"The first people totalitarians destroy or silence are men of ideas and free minds." ~ Isaiah Berlin
"There's a sucker born every minute." ~ George Hull
No, it was not P.T. Barnum, though he was part of the story. It is truly amazing what people will believe. For instance, that voting is equivalent to liberty. The ritual of voting is a collective act of self-delusion. A grand illusion weaved into the societal fabric of freedom-loving people. This coping mechanism is obviously not sufficient to provide freedom, yet this behavior continues in spite of the obvious trend of increasing controls imposed by the very state agents that are voted for. Could so many people really be born suckers?
Voting is an act that individuals use as an outlet for the natural desire to be heard by the herd. To speak their minds to power is a feeling that must be soothed by political caregivers. Hoping for a better politician and praying for a better law from a system that is trusted because no other way seems possible. Repeating rote reasons for voting while seeing with perfect clarity the systematic impotence of the state's devices and the corruption of its agents. The feeling of pretending to be free even if it obviously is not being free becomes soothing. Rituals, drugs and pacifiers all provide relief of the symptoms of natural desires, but these things have no substance of what is truly desired.
Some fight and struggle before succumbing to the soothing touch of authority, and others run down the path of collective drama only to hit a wall and crash into reality. Humans yearn for liberty just like food, water, warm covers on a cold night and sex. How we reconcile the satisfaction of desires with the scarcity of resources that provide satisfaction of those desires is a lifelong project forging each individual's character. Even born suckers can see the scam once in a while if a light is put on the table for all to see.
Breast feeding just happens when allowed. Mother generates milk and provides a nurturing delivery system for which the child takes too with extreme pleasure. Babies' mouths are amazing little sucking machines literally coming out of the womb with lips moving. If the satisfaction of a baby's needs is delayed, they will become angry; aggressively reaching out to take mother's breast as if it were their own property. So then, literally, we are born suckers with an inclination to appropriate the property of others when we feel the need.
Pacifiers are a coping device that we nearly all learned to accept as a baby. Some never get over it and even emulate it elsewhere in their lives. Pacifiers work until real hunger replaces the fear of the coming hunger and baby spits it out. Then it gets put back in again and again. Finally children will acquiesce to the manipulation of soothing physical stimulation in place of the real thing. Baby knows that the pacifier is not real but it still feels good. As long as baby can be made to believe that it will get fed soon, this fake nipple simulating satisfaction is sucked on with pleasure. Eventually the pacifier itself is desired. Some will even suck their own fingers, clinging to self-delusions well into adolescence.
The first time a device that does not produce food is substituted for a device that does produce food, a baby will almost immediately figure it out, stop, try sucking on it again, then become anxious before finally spitting it out. Trusted authorities are thus caught mitigating fraud to treat the symptoms that manifest from the needs of the trusting. A fraud perpetrated to make baby feel better and accept that there is no food available at this time. Fraud perpetrated for baby's own good, that is.
The fact that so few people can comprehend what freedom really is should not be surprising. The amazing thing is that so many people do grow up to see the truth. Voting is to liberty what a pacifier or a thumb is to a baby: a willing act of self-delusion that enables people to feel like the need for liberty is being met in the face of a growing hunger for it. This empty ritual leaves voters wanting more liberty while providing none.
Survival instincts to acquire food, water, sex and liberty are powerful stuff. Humans never loose this part of the brain, but growing up forces us to move on, deal with it, cope with it. Living is a skill that one must acquire, and learning how starts at birth. Don't waste your time or spiritual energy on empty rituals. Hold out for the real stuff.
Voting has nothing to do with being free. It has everything to do with providing a ritual to substantiate control by elite. The real "opiate of the masses." Whether people are born suckers or get turned into suckers by trusted caregivers, they don't have to be suckers for life. Maturity requires giving up the use of self-delusion in favor of seeking the truth. Substituting fraudulent mechanisms for real satisfaction will always leave one wanting, feeling hollow. Like suckers.