Bondage and Dominance and Politics
Clausewitz once said that, "Diplomacy is war conducted by other means." And in a like manner, politics is dominance conducted by other means.
Of course it's not SEXUAL dominance -- most of the time. But the human mind is not the tightly compartmentalized thing some people seem to think it is, and we are not all that far removed from the apes, and the political crowd that cheers their victory in an election isn't all that far removed from the chimpanzee that sexually mounts a subordinate chimpanzee after defeating it in a fight (a well-known dominance behavior of chimps).
In fact, the special vigor and enmity that generally characterizes political conflict has its origin in simple monkey dominance behavior rather than any other human characteristic. One group is seeking to impose its will on another, like it or not, though both groups mask their behavior in claims that they are simply trying to implement society as a whole. While this is true on one level, it's also true that monkeys are trying to mount other, unwilling monkeys on another level.
These behaviors generally manifest themselves in varying degrees, often in the same individuals. Who has not heard of the politician who is not all high-minded rhetoric in terms of his public utterances, but in private is a foul-mouthed goon?
(President Lyndon Baines Johnson would be the classic example: at one time, Johnson told his public affairs guy that he wanted him to start a rumor that Johnson's political opponent in a Texas election fucked pigs. "But he doesn't fuck pigs, sir!" responded the media guy. "I know that," said Johnson, "I just want to make him deny it.")
The central idea of this blog is that bondage and dominance behavior pervades American political and social culture (actually, it's worldwide, and much more prevalent in some countries than others (hello, Saudi Arabia!) and that the best way to deal with the influences of bondage and dominance behavior is not to ignore it or deny it, but deal with it from a position of understanding. (This is why traditional religious and cultural attempts to deal with the problems created by bondage and dominance behavior have been uniformly unsuccessful, since they are almost always based on ignorance and denial.)
I plan to make my point by showing how the mainstream culture perceives and deal with dominance issues and imagery, as a way of understanding its attitudes, and I hope to suggest some ways we can created a better, healthier culture through understanding of this behavior.
For the record, I am not arguing FOR bondage and dominance behavior in politics and some aspects of culture -- I'm against it, it tends to get in the way of maximizing human potential and freedom. I just think there are some better ways to do things than the way we are doing them now.