There is a constant pressure on the size of one’s universe, like the balance upon the size of a star. Radiative forces pressure its surface outwards; gravitational forces pressure its surface inward. It forms and apparently stable surface, where the limits of the edge of the star exist, where the outermost parts of the star exist in balance with these forces.
Our willingness to fit in and accept the absurdities of the way things operate, our supineness, is a testament to what we will accept for the preservation of our comfort and convenience. Of course, we mock these absurd rules – everyone in any tyranny does too – and make up our own corner-cutting cleverness. That is the gravitational force on any bureaucracy and autarchy. Unopposed, it will collapse the civilization into a black hole of nothingness.
To question, expose, overturn and suspend questionable axioms – that it the outward force, that is the mark of the individual in society. It is the honor that dissent brings to a true republic. That is the expansive force.
The analogy is poor, because each force leads to catastrophe for the star, but not for the civilization. Without the radiative force of individuality, society collapses.
The postulate dating back to Aristotle is that all humans are by their nature and creation, individual and unique. In our modern society, we push to see them all as interchangeable objects, and to force them to be so.
That is the fearsome trend of control.
There are only two conceptions of human ethics and they are at opposite poles.
One of them is Christian and humane, declares the individual to be
sacrosanct and asserts that the rules of arithmetic are not to be applied to human units.
The other starts from the basic principle that a collective aim justifies all means, and not only allows, but demands, that the individual should in every way be subordinated and sacrificed to the community which may dispose of it as an experimentation rabbit or a sacrificial lamb. The first conception could be called anti-vivisection morality, the second, vivisection morality.
Whoever is burdened with power and responsibility finds out on the first occasion that he has to choose; and he is fatally driven to the second alternative.
Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler