Saturday, March 11, 2017
Eric Hoffer: totalitarianism in free societies
There is a large measure of totalitarianism even in the freest of free societies. But in a free society totalitarianism is not imposed from without but is implanted within the individual. There is a totalitarian regime inside everyone of us. We are ruled by a ruthless politburo which sets our norms and drives us from one five-year plan to another. The autonomous individual who has to justify his existence by his own efforts is in eternal bondage to himself.
-- Eric Hoffer --
from The Passionate State of Mind
If autonomous individuals are in bondage to themselves, then the non-autonomous individuals must be in bondage to outside forces. Since there is no escape from bondage, according to Hoffer, then I would prefer to be in bondage to myself.
Aside from death, is there another option which could free us from this bondage? Or, does this bondage really exist?