You might have seen it. You’ve certainly heard of it. It won multiple Emmys for its first and second seasons on the air.
The TV show I’m speaking of is Showtime’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’
If you don’t know it… it’s a must see. Canadian author Margaret Atwood wrote the novel the show is based on, in 1985.
Atwood’s world in The Handmaid’s Tale is called Gilead. It’s an extreme world to be sure, but it feels so possible.
In Showtime’s version of The Handmaid’s Tale, a political group has swooped in and murdered every single member of Congress, all the Senators, The Vice-President and President and all the upper level officials at the Pentagon.
This unnamed faction has taken over the United States of America.
With surprising speed, they turn Washington D.C. into Gilead.
The headquarters for their new oppressive regime.
Gilead is run by authoritarian men with obedient wives who don’t work and aren’t equal. In their homes they keep oppressed handmaids. The handmaids wear either grey dresses (for the worker-bees) or red ones for women in their fertile, child-bearing years.
Then there are the ‘problem’ handmaids. These recalcitrant bitches go to a type of concentration camp called “the colonies.”
Gilead seems extreme, but it fits neatly into the categorized, compartmentalized, and hierarchical psychology of superior men.
Beware of superior men… and when I say superior I mean those who think they are superior.
A sense of superiority leads to all things bad.
The events of Gilead are farfetched but, the show’s popularity with both men and women, young and old, suggests it’s hit a nerve.
Nerves Are Raw
The fact is, it’s feels more constricted living in the US today. It’s definitely more constricted online. There’s a good argument to be made that American democracy has been eroding for decades.
Along side The Patriot Act, signed into being on October 26th 2001, there’s also been head-spinning advancement of technology and social media.
This mix of cyber invasion and data collection has left us more vulnerable than ever before…. and I don’t mean from terrorists.
It’s our own US government and big corporations using laws and tech for their own benefit re: against us.
We haven’t seen this before. The overwhelming amount of data collected by the powers-that-be has changed the game.
A sense of superiority leads to all things bad in this world.
Of course, Trump can’t be blamed for all the ill-conceived, knee-jerk policies put forth. He can be blamed for pulling back the brush in the everglades.
We can see the swamp monsters clearly now.
These are superior swamp monsters too.
Those who respond to totalitarianism can listen to their leader speak in absolutes and relax.
When their leader plays the victim they can relate.
When their leader puts the blame on someone else they can agree… and relax.
You can stop thinking. It means you can stop being afraid. You can feel better than ‘the others.’
This is group think.
And no one talks a more final, absolute game than Donald Trump… the likes of which the world has never seen before.
This Is Group Think
In an odd, surreal type of way, this is what group think looks like.
This is mass consciousness made manifest. The affect group think has on individuals who feel powerless, is powerful.
This is what group think looks like; Superior sense of one’s self — -> an authoritarian view — -> need for totalitarianism — -> tax cuts for the wealthy and trade wars with allies.
The oppression head of Gilead is a group of men with a strong sense of superiority. They also have purpose and vision.
Perhaps we’re lucky… Trump seems to have absolutely no vision for American.
He’s content to win the approval of his fan-base, authoritarian leaders around the world and filling his bank account. If he had a greater sense of purpose and vision we might be really screwed.
In the end, the societal molotov cocktail we find ourselves in needs to stop.
So what are we supposed to do? Go in the corner and meditate? Fill out an online petition? Rant on Facebook? Bring prayer beads to a gun fight?
An Internal Proposal
What we can do is take responsibility for our internal world and not let the density of living dampen our joy. It sounds too simple to work but it does. Try it. Staying present and joyful brings clarity to every situation.
Try paying attention more. Stay focused on what’s right in front of you. Work. Live. Love. Laugh. Stay happy.
Superior authoritarians hate it when we do.
Thank you for reading and have a sensual day.
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