30 Jun 2006
Ideas have a significant role in shaping the world. World runs on ideas. Great ideas helped mankind, insane ideas killed millions, mediocre ideas preserved mediocrity, and dumb ideas made for good experiments. There's another category of ideas - bestsellers. These can be either one or a combination of insane, mediocre and dumb ideas (of course, there are some bestselling ideas that are great too, but they are very very few). They are effective in their appeal and can be presented in attractive packages. They gratify various needs of a population and foist a semblance of harmony, thus helping the ideas to sustain.
I'm sure there are many such ideas, but four of them, to my mind, stand out (not necessarily in the following order):
These have been on the bestsellers list for centuries. Each of these is associated with shallow, but loaded, words - responsibility, morality, duty, salvation, etc. If you don't vote, you are an irresponsible citizen. Pay your taxes and file your returns and you are an 'honest' gentleman, an example for others. Question the logic of customs and virtues and you are damned. Dump God and you are banished in heaven. Marriage and morality - well, there's at least one book and a hundred articles published on this crap every week.
I find it tough to understand how these ideas have prevailed. These have worked for centuries, acorss cultures, across generations. It has worked for billions of people. But I fail to fathom the secret. It confounds me. The way I look at them, they are not good for anything except to make people neurotic. And the state of the world reflects this very obviously. However, bestsellers are amazingly shrewd - they lay the trap, they kill you slowly and they rarely fail. You feel it's a pleasant sail, because they hypnotize you to feel so. This is made easier by your preference for security. When you wake up, if at all, it's time for the grave.
Fueled by these ideas, the world seems to have only one message for you - "be responsible, be moral, be morally responsible, be responsibly moral, get screwed for a lifetime, and be a repudiated martyr".
I wish there were a separate country for people who give up on the bestselling ideas!
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