The Queue

Of the two competing sides of what is essentially human nature, there is evidence and proof to suggest that emotion and passion override reason and logic more often than not. Moreover, the debate of whether reason and logic prevail over emotion and passion or vice versa has been central to philosophical discourse since the beginning of intellectualism and intelligent thought. 

After all, it is emotion and feeling which prompt the idiocy and stupidity of waiting in a line or “queue” for 24 hours and camping out in dreary weather to glance at the coffin of a monarch who was largely nonchalant and unregretful about the abuse and exploitation of millions of people through the course of her country’s modern history. Whether the abuse and exploitation of millions of people is worse than the idiocy and stupidity of the people who pay their respects to the abuser and exploiter is a worthy question to explore. But as one Afghan proverb puts it: “Slap the oppressor once and slap the oppressed twice.” Thus, in a sense, the idiocy and stupidity of the people who are paying their respects is harder to excuse than the behavior and discourse of the abuser and exploiter. 

And due to the preponderance of emotion and feeling over human behavior and discourse, it becomes easier for people who wield the sinews of power such as the military, police, financial sector, and the mass media to manipulate and predict mass behavior and mass psychology. Because human behavior and discourse is largely ‘contingent’ upon what others are doing, setting off a ‘chain effect’ of actions and emotions is a real possibility for those who control institutions such as the military, police, the financial sector, and the mass media. This means that the idea or notion of everyone freely choosing or voluntarily doing whatever it is that they are doing is mostly erroneous and ill-founded. 

Why the masses are largely confounded by the circumstances and environment fostered by those who wield the sinews of power is largely due to a social context or situation known as “information asymmetry.” As long as the “information asymmetry” can be maintained, the control and manipulation of emotions and feelings and thus mass behavior and mass discourse can also be maintained. There is literally an “information system” which operates and is layered over the economic, political, and social life of a society and in turn is in charge of everything. Arguably, control over this “information system” translates into control of virtually everything else. Thus, the question of whether one’s mind is in control of one’s life or whether one’s life is in control of one’s mind is largely intertwined with the stream of information one receives. 

But arguably, the control and manipulation of the “information system” has an economic imperative more than anything else. Arguably, there are cultural, political, and social dimensions to the control and manipulation of the “information system.” But more likely than not, the control and manipulation of the information system has more to do with consumption and thus economics more than anything else. For a country like the United States where two-thirds of the economy relies on consumption and in turn is the largest economy in the world, a slowdown in consumption means a slowdown in the economy as a whole, which then results in either a recession or depression of global implications. Moreover, class and political interests are largely economic and financial interests. Kings, presidents, and parliamentarians cannot be detached or untangled from their business and financial interests. Without the business and financial interests, kings, presidents, and parliamentarians would be like anyone else. Hence, the idiocy and stupidity of standing in a “queue” for 24 hours stems from the inability to grasp this very basic fact. 

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