You think, perhaps, as you are entertained, that you are simply an observer. You think maybe when you sit alone in your apartment watching your TV that you are detached. You might pretend to be completely uninvolved in politics, war, and other issues relating to the outer world. You might tell yourself, and you may be told: I am a civilian, I am a consumer.
But such reductions of reality eventually lead only to pathologies. Looking at a three-dimensional world in one dimension will only get you so far before you see the blood on your hands, or see your blood on other hands.
You are not a mere observer. You are a creator. You are a destroyer. You are not alone, not when every thought and feeling within you have eventual impact on another human being. You are not uninvolved in politics–every move you make has political ramifications. You are not a civilian, you are a potential target. You are not simply a consumer; you guide the market.
Things are much more complex, much more deeply interconnected than we are taught to admit. We aren’t supposed to know that the decisions we make affect people on the other side of the globe. Remember the butterfly of the chaos theory? A butterfly flaps its wings and a hurricane blows somewhere else. Forget the theoretical butterfly. Consider this: you flap your lips and a storm will blow inside of someone else’s heart. Imagine the compounded effects of that.
People watch sports, they gather together in stadiums, they rise together in staggered sequence, their arms rising and falling in the air, the intentional mass reproduction of a wave. It is cute, it is tame. It is like a child trying out a bicycle with training wheels.
People amass into crowds, into mobs, they can grow suddenly violent, suddenly barbarous. Nothing can get in their way. Cars will be overturned, whole city blocks destroyed. It is disturbing, it is wild.
The inherent power in an individual lies in that individual’s ability to identify with a collective. An empowered collective, aware of itself, can do almost anything.