Let’s Play an Old Game (3/29/16)

A thought experiment: Imagine yourself to be a member of that small, select cabal of ‘behind the scenes’ elites who actually stage manage the currently-running tragicomedy in which virtually all of humanity is knowingly or unwittingly conscripted.  There is indeed an elaborate, multi-tiered SYSTEM, the rudiments of which stretch back to ancient Sumer and Egypt. The system received a significant overhaul under the Roman emperors and the Caesaropapism of Byzantium, finally assuming its distinctively modern guise after the industrial and ‘democratic’ revolutions in more recent centuries.  This upgraded ‘operating system’ that you and your fellow elites oversee typically goes by the euphemistic name of ‘modern civilization,’ but you properly understand it as a marvelously intricate game.  You also know that the game is so capacious and inviting in its reach that it offers something of compelling interest to just about everybody.  Whether a ‘player’ happens to be driven primarily by acquisitiveness or charitableness, hedonism or patriotism, religious impulses or the romantic love-quest, ethnic pride or intellectual snobbery—the operating system has a suitable place and a slew of enticing prizes for everyone.  Well, almost everyone, but we will postpone our discussion of these anomalous dissenters for the moment.

From the very summit of human affairs, securely out of sight and protected within the game ‘control-room,’ along with your fellow puppet-masters, you are a ‘true believer’ in the absolute necessity of the game’s uninterrupted sovereignty and progressive development.  This conviction of yours—respecting the dire importance of the system’s preservation—is not based, surprisingly, on your personal greed or even your love of power.  To be sure, you cherish both your inestimable wealth and your unfathomable power as a system administrator for the planet Earth, but your unshakable faith in the absolute necessity of the system is founded upon an even deeper, almost impersonal basis.  It is based on your certainty that the game is the only reliable dam or barrier standing between humanity and depraved, all-engulfing barbarism.  The system—like any well-constructed game—provides rules and roles that impose order and dramatic, narrative structure upon the otherwise seething, bubbling stew of anarchic human lusts, cravings, terrors, and aggressive impulses.  From where you are sitting, the game or system—no matter how deeply it descends, from time to time, into an imbalanced and unfair modus operandi—is always infinitely preferable to NO GAME AT ALL!  Nihilism, ‘the Absurd,’ ‘Somalia,’ and ‘Syria’ are but child’s play compared to a collapse of collective faith in the indisputable authority of the system, as such.  The moment the system is understood to consist of artificial constructs and elaborate fictions, ‘the game is up,’ so to speak.  Its authority can be maintained only so long as it holds the players in a dreamlike state of bamboozlement.  The alternative is literally unthinkable, since both language and conceptual (abstract) thought are key components of the subtle, comprehensive game itself!  Within the protective horizons of the ‘dream-game’ of human civilization, values and goals (of all levels and sorts) make some kind of intelligible sense to the variously motivated, diversely talented players—but as soon as those bounds are transgressed, all bets are off.  The transgressor finds himself alone, mute—his mind stuffed with ineffectual, worthless mental currency that has no purchasing power in this ‘no-man’s land’ he’s slithered himself into.  Only the most monstrous courage can impel such serpent-men to proceed deeper into that uncharted, starless region beyond the game—beyond language and all the criteria afforded by the system, now receding in the rear-view mirror.

The serpent-man who has somehow managed to slither through a tiny orifice or crack in the game-wall (without, at the same time, disintegrating into a bubbling brew of barbarous impulses) has miraculously succeeded in breaking the spell of enchantment that imprisons both the conscripted puppets and the elite puppet-masters who control the game but who dare not exit its sacrosanct precincts.  For that, one must be sub- or super-human, and the loyalties of the invisible elites lie ultimately within the bounds of the human, and not beyond them.

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