Boredom + Power Fuels Stupidity + Sadism

By William Markiewicz

Displays of boredom without power:

I was passing through some small town, I really don't rememember where it was. The main street was filled with parked cars, hundreds of young people sat on the car roofs and hoods as if they were benches. They stared straight ahead with challenging expressions even if there was nothing to challenge. Perhaps they were just embarrassed at being unable to do anything else. Either there were not enough pubs in town to contain them all or they were not yet eighteen.

One evening in Miami I saw people sitting on the veranda of an old folks' home, just looking forward even though there was nothing to look at. I think that, again, the feeling of togetherness was their armour against boredom.

On a busy urban street in the late evening, a long line formed in front of the movie wicket. There was a parallel line of people leaning against the wall of the cine, just staring forward, not looking at anything, just comfortable to be together. They were probably homeless, totally passive, perhaps on some drug; more like institutional patients than addicts. They looked pathetic and defenseless.

So, a feeling of togetherness comforted them all. Grasse named it "group effect;" this (and the sun of course) makes people crowd together on beaches. All society-forming creatures obey this trend. Apparently it's a trend of psycho-somatic character, in humans more psycho than somatic, but still soma plays an important role.

Those three examples demonstrate boredom without power; togetherness cements them and gives them a sense of life. Generally they're not creative enough to use their time in beneficial pursuits. Now let's imagine that those people get unlimited power; all the primordial instincts that they don't know exist within them would be suddenly unleashed. Those bored and unrestricted individuals become aggressive and do whatever pleases them. It turns mostly to sadism, because sadism is nothing other than enjoying power with all the faculties. So, they reign in Auschwitzs, Gulags, Guantanamos, Abu Ghraibs, where the supreme bored and supreme powerful masters have sent them "for the glory of the Nation."

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