Back in the days when I was writing on assignment for newspapers and magazines, I pitched a story about individual power to an editor. I wanted to trace its history as an idea over the past 10 years.
He looked at me for a few seconds. He looked at me as if I'd just dropped some cow flop on his desk. He knew I wasn't kidding and I had something I could write and turn in to him, but that made it worse. He began to squirm in his chair.
He laughed nervously.
Then he stopped laughing
He said, "This isn't what we do."
For him, I was suddenly radioactive.
I had a similar experience with a high-school history teacher in California. We were having lunch in a cafe in Santa Monica, and I said, "You should teach a course in individual power. The positive aspects. No group stuff. Just the individual."
He frowned a deep intellectual frown, as if I'd just opened my jacket and exposed a few sticks of dynamite strapped to my chest. As if he was thinking about which agency of the government to report me to.
Now, for the schizoid part. The movies. Television. Video games. Comics. Graphic novels. They are filled to the brim, they are overflowing with individual heroes who have considerable power. These entertainment businesses bank billions of dollars, because people want to immerse themselves in that universe where the individual is supreme. They want it badly.
But when it comes to "real" life, power stops at the front door and no one answers the bell.
Suddenly, the hero, the person with power is anathema. He's left holding the bag. So he adjusts. He waits. He wonders. He settles for less, far less. He stifles his hopes. He shrinks. He forgets. He develops "problems" and tries to solve them within an impossibly narrow context. He redefines success and victory down to meet limited expectations. He strives for the normal and the average. For his efforts, he receives tidbits, like a dog looking up at his master.
If that isn't mind control, nothing is.
Once we enter a world where the individual no longer has credibility, a world where "greatest good for the greatest number" is the overriding principle, and where that principle is defined by the elite few, the term "mind control" will have a positive connotation. It will be accepted as the obvious strategy for achieving "peace in our time."
At a job interview, a candidate will say, "Yes, I received my PhD in Mind Control at Yale, and then I did three years of post-doc work in Cooperative Learning Studies at MIT. My PhD thesis? It was titled, 'Coordination Strategies in the Classroom for Eliminating the Concept of the Individual.'"
From Wikipedia, "Cooperative Learning": "Students must work in groups to complete tasks collectively toward academic goals. Unlike individual learning, which can be competitive in nature, students learning cooperatively can capitalize on one another's resources and skills...Furthermore, the teacher's role changes from giving information to facilitating students' learning. Everyone succeeds when the group succeeds."
That is a towering assemblage of bullshit.