Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The New Devil's Dictionary: Delusion

Delusion, n.--A shared belief supported by power, therefore true. When the belief is not shared by the group, untrue, and therefore, the holder of it is mentally ill and resistant to reasoned argument or objective proof.

When the holder of said belief is not strong enough to enforce it on the group the belief itself is untrue, and therefore, they are heretical or mentally ill; also designates the pathology at the core of all civilizations.

Examples include the core belief of Aztec civilization that violent imperialism and the capture and sacrifice of enemy warriors was necessary in order to prevent the universe from plunging into eternal darkness. Incan civilization held that expansionist measures were necessary to please the gods and feed the cults of the dead emperors. Roman civilization felt it necessary to spread "Pax Romana" (Roman peace) to the barbarians, and so on.

Current examples posit that the core belief in the profit motive will continue to provide sustainable prosperity ad infinitum and redeem the world, while another related core belief of contemporary human civilization posits the "need" for entrenched and unaccountable hierarchy in order that the species may continue into the future. (also see "Identity politics" and "Pathology")