Mercury comes inbetween silver and gold in the hierarchy of alchemical substances, which is one reason why it was given the name “quicksilver”. As the tyranny of silver is control of intellectual perceptions and the tyranny of gold is control of spiritual perceptions, so is the tyranny of mercury control of information and truth perceptions. This means controlling who is allowed to say what and when.
All tyrannies have an interest in controlling information – a lesson best taught by Orwell’s 1984. As Stalin said, “Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don’t let our enemies have guns, so why would we let them have ideas?” Ideas are how people organise themselves, and without ideas they are unable to position themselves to strike against the tyrants, never mind whether they have guns.
Resistance to a tyranny must first begin with an idea, because the resistance will need to rally around an idea if they are to be coherent enough to succeed. The usual case is for that idea to be expressed in terms of information, as a memeplex, and therefore counter-resistance must first begin with denying accurate or meaningful information to the people, because otherwise the people will provide and share the necessary information to each other.
Thus, in order to control information you have to first control free expression. There are two major ways to do this.
The first is through legal consequences. This means to forbid a range of opinions or means of expression and then to punish anyone who proceeds to express them anyway. The best-known examples of these methods are the Soviet Union and East Germany. In the latter country it is believed that, at one time, one in five of the adult population were Stasi informants.
In the 21st century, tyrannical attitudes to free expression can be observed in the ever-increasing prison sentences handed down to people for what are essentially blasphemy charges – blasphemy against the religion of political correctness. This has been happening in Britain for some years already and it looks likely to get worse.
Some of the most egregious examples are the sentences for social media posts criticising Islam. Freedom to criticise religion – especially the mindless, violent, supremacist cults of Abrahamism – has been an integral part of Western culture since the Enlightenment.
This could be equated to “hard power” in the sense that transgressors run the risk of getting locked into a cage of iron by direct force. It’s essentially no different to giving someone a backhand across the mouth for saying the wrong thing. The ultimate purpose is to discourage the transgression by applying immediate physical suffering.
The second way to control free expression is through social consequences. Although this is similar to the first category in the sense that the idea is to modify behaviour by punishing that which is undesired, this method uses more subtlety – although it can be equally as brutal.
Humans have a deep, instinctual fear of being excluded from the tribe. In the biological past, getting banished from the tribe for some kind of moral transgression frequently meant death. Even though starving to death is nearly impossible in today’s age of plenty, the raw, primal fear of it remains – and can be manipulated by those who can see the wiring of the human brain.
One of the consequences of this pattern of human instinctual behaviour is that people with social influence can wield this influence as a weapon against those without it, by threatening to destroy the community reputation of those with low social capital. The way to destroy another person’s community reputation is to suggest that they are not moral on account of some belief they have or action they have taken, thus leading to distrust.
Such threats frequently evoke fear and acquiescence, and could be equated to “soft power”. This is similar to the sense that countries like Britain are believed (by some) to possess a cultural influence that goes much further than their military one. A perception exists that one risks being shunned from the clique of cool nations if one goes against them.
It can be readily observed today that the West is falling into a state where freedom of expression can no longer be taken for granted. When a tyranny begins to fail, the first thing they are tempted to do is to restrict free expression, because the free expression of a people who have been failed by their leaders will involve criticism, and this criticism threatens the continued rule of the tyrant. Understanding the tyranny of mercury gives us clues as to the tyrant’s next moves.
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