a common element and / or theme in many crime or mystery stories is that of the captured snitch, the one who has information to help the protagonist along, a crucial piece of the puzzle. in many instances this snitch will have been hired to do something bad, but professes not to know who hired them.
sometimes, the snitch will under pressure confess to knowing the agent of their employ. often however they simply do not know, and at this point the “lead” is given up for dead, and other clues take the fore.
while as a storytelling device it may seem useless to write in a snitch unless he can further the plot by providing the next stepping stone to the bigger bad guy, or to the ultimate moral lesson or justice of the story, there still remains a psychological effect of witnessing the drama play out between protagonists and a captured evil-doer who is being manipulated by an unknown agent.
i believe such a storytelling device functions as a method to induce in viewers a fear of themselves.
the snitch, while not knowing who has hired them to do the (usually obviously immoral) deed in question, still agrees to perform the action. this is deemed evil. so it is with all human thought, however, is it not? where do our thoughts come from? are they merely the emergent virtual phenomena of electrochemical interaction? i doubt, even if true, that such an explanation will put to rest the minds of many who cannot tangibly feel the origin of their thought processes and the moral conclusions they generate.
the unknown agent is a thing to be feared, and judged evil, most especially within ourselves. or so we are led to believe. instead, we are asked to believe in the collective, in the authority, in the collective authority that in most cases seems to be reasonably appointed by collective agreement, through a collectively assembled and agreed upon formula of ritual and procedure that allegedly ensures all of the “right people” get into the “right positions.”
unfortunately, the truth about collective agreements is that they stifle individuality.
as we all know, or at least i am open to discussion about it, individuality is an inevitable quality of our existence. and so, because of it, we are destined to bring harm to others who are not ourselves. we do this because no individual’s needs can or will perfectly coincide with any or every other individual they come into contact with. therefore, at our most basic, we have an effect on others. we stifle the individuality of others by our mere existence. this effect is usually quite minor on a one to one level, at least in civilized society, likened perhaps to the gravitational pull of any one person of our average human mass on another person.
however, when organizations, governments, or other collectives become very large in size, they can inarguably do at least one thing: they stifle the individuality of vast numbers of individuals on a more wide-reaching scale than any one individual would. therefore organizations, even the most well-meaning and best structured of them, are destined to bring harm to others.
and because of the nature of organizations, that as they grow over time any change of procedures slows down and becomes more difficult to enact, the result is that this harm becomes a locked-in fact of the day to day existence of the organization in question. organizations, or governments, or any collective body, become mass-misery generators.
what this means is that, by and large, the potential harm of one unknown agent is far less than that of any known organization, if for no other reason than what is known can be measured, and any measurement is of far greater substance than some nebulous unknown quantity.
and, as we are so far unalterably individual beings, we should work to try and discover methods of preserving, enabling, sustaining, and progressing the individuality we do have instead of building societal structures that only serve to cause us to engage in behavior patterns that accelerate or magnify the destructive tendencies innate in our individuality.
what this means is that centralized power of any kind is dangerous to the human race. therefore, just for instance, each home should be built to be self-sufficient in terms of electrical generation, water, and have enough space to grow some food so food interdependence stays at a minimum. technology is great but needs to be personalized with well defined boundaries.
we can see already that since the population of the human race has far exceeded any ability we have to build self-sufficient estates for every living person that we are rapidly approaching a critical point in our centralization of power, a point beyond which there will be massive death and pain before there is any hope of a new recovery.
additionally, returning to the point of the unknown agent, if our minds are all prey to the machinations of our own personal unknown agents who determine our thoughts, and if the ramifications of this are evil, then collectives can be described only as very great houses of evil, where large numbers of unknown agents come together to plot schemes that will be inflicted upon the rest of us.
therefore, our best hope for survival and peaceful coexistence is to strongly limit the influence, even the existence, of any type of collective power structure.
some, i know, may ask “what is so special about being individual anyway?” i hope the answer to this question is obvious enough to be self-explanatory, and so i will not get into it.