At the trough or the bowl

by Avishkar Parmananden Govender

Imagine for a moment that the human race was extinct and that instead in its place several billion humanoid pigs had taken up residence on planet earth. Pigs, yeah lets say pigs – or dogs, or cats or birds for that matter, it doesn’t really make a difference. Let’s say that these pigs (or dogs or cats or birds) wanted to believe, and live according to beliefs that were, things untrue – or fictional. In fact let’s cut to the chase, let’s say the human race was gone and instead there was a race of humanoid pigs or humanoid dogs or humanoid cats or humanoid birds that were delusional in the extreme.

They would have to be, after all they were pigs (or dogs or cats or birds) calling themselves humans, and instead of living like pigs or dogs or cats or birds they were attempting to live like humans. That would mean a different set of mores and laws, a different set of acceptable behaviours and conducts and a different set of norms and standards; from what to which they would ordinarily subscribe. And yet they were happy to live like that. Now among them there would be the realists that would be rooted in the reality that they were not humans and that they were in fact imposters (albeit pig imposters or dog imposters or cat imposters or bird imposters) and in contrast to this there would be pragmatists who were mindful of the facts of the reality, but who were simultaneously caught up in the reality of the situation – that is that they would be happy to be humanoid pigs or humanoid dogs or humanoid cats or humanoid birds as the case may be.

Naturally, the realists would attempt to hold the pragmatists to account, keeping them on a firm leash to retain their pigness or dogness or catness or birdness and not to get lost in their assumed humanness. The realists would demand that the pragmatists celebrate their original pigness or dogness or catness or birdness – and that they cherish the heritage that gave them lineage as pigs or dogs or cats or birds that became humanoid pigs or humanoid dogs or humanoid cats or humanoid birds. Naturally the pragmatists would want to embellish their humanness and would want to create the construct that they have always been humanoid pigs or humanoid dogs or humanoid cats or humanoid birds – so much so that they would prefer to celebrate their humanness, and only to refer to their origins in passing or on especially important public occasions.

This would create the schism between the two sorts of humanoid pigs (or humanoid dogs or humanoid cats or humanoid birds) – where according to the realists the pragmatists were progressively schizophrenic in their adoption of exogenous culture; and where according to the pragmatists the realists were sluggishly schizophrenic in their clinging to endogenous culture. That being said, it is important to note that neither the realists nor the pragmatists would not be delusional. The instance of the delusion stemming from the very existence of the humanoid pig (or humanoid dog or humanoid cat or humanoid bird).

Now the point I raise at this time is that these two cohorts of the humanoid population, would be delusional in their affectations, one being delusional and clinging to the story of their origin and the other being delusional and clinging to the story of their destination. So in fact they would both be perpetually claiming things that were untrue and believing things that were untrue and living according to things that were untrue – but which in their delusional states would be permissible as being the content of their delusions in and by themselves. Nonetheless delusional claims are false, and when people make false claims, they are referred to as being delusional.

This means that there would be a humanoid race populating planet earth that would be delusional all day, every day. Without exception. Several billion humanoids, for whatever reason, all being delusional. Now let’s say that the humanoid pigs (or humanoid dogs or humanoid cats or humanoid birds) established hierarchies for themselves and made it difficult for just anyone to claim just anything – that is let us say that because they were all being delusional, that, the exact designation of whom would be allowed to have what delusion (where having a delusion would be manifested as making a delusional claim – as in “I am the King…”) would be a highly regulated thing.

This would mean that there would be a process that determined who would get to have what delusion, when and where. Further to which this would mean that the process of allocating the delusion would have to be a generally accepted thing. Now let us separate delusional claims into minor claims and major claims – and let us say that for the utterance of major claims that the apparatus of control and the locus of power would be such that the humanoid pigs (or humanoid dogs or humanoid cats or humanoid birds) would limit the numbers of the potential claimants and would insist that the delusional claimants put up vast resources for the benefit of those foregoing the utterance of the major claims. That is a bribe to pay off those who could, but do not, claim to be “king” or whatever other major claim is under consideration.

Now as regards minor claims the apparatus of control and the locus of power would work such that multiple utterances of the delusional claims would be encouraged and that they delusional claimants would be required to put up resources that would be used to pay off the non-claimants, as before but not on the same scale. Now let us consider the practical nature of several billion humanoid pigs (or humanoid dogs or humanoid cats or humanoid birds) all being delusional – some in major claims and some in minor claims, at the same time. That would mean that each of them would have to be delusional in their own lives – and that this process of inducing delusional beliefs would have to be ongoing.

So now we have billions of delusional humanoids. And all we have to do is give them the script for their delusions. That is the words and pictures that give meaning to their delusions. Let’s say hypothetically, that we gave each humanoid pig (or humanoid dog or humanoid cat or humanoid bird) a piece of paper to read; and let’s say that these pieces of paper were printed with the content of their delusional claims. This would create a very efficient system of enabling the humanoid pigs (or humanoid dogs or humanoid cats or humanoid birds) to go from being delusional to living their delusions with just one printed piece of paper.

But let’s go further than this – let’s say that we could simulate the inducing of delusions – so that no-one had to do it – that we could deliver the scripts electronically, and that we could gather and allocate the resource bribes virtually – so that the delusional humanoid pig (or delusional humanoid dog or delusional humanoid cat or delusional humanoid bird) could simply read the content of the delusion and go from zero to delusional – instantaneously. What then would stop this race of humanoid pigs (or humanoid dogs or humanoid cats or humanoid birds) from simply living in their delusions – without even being accused of being delusional? They would simply be realists or pragmatists; sluggishly or progressively getting on with the reality of being humanoid pigs (or humanoid dogs or humanoid cats or humanoid birds).

Finally to locate this discussion in some sanity – I propose that the electronic scripts of which I speak is all around us – the internet is made of it – every html page (and I know that html pages are not the only internet pages) is a piece of a printed electronic script – containing some sort of delusion. But it gets worse – social media is made up entirely of electronic scripts – replete with ways to gather and allocate resource bribes – that being advertising and purchases. Perhaps the real concern is that we are trying to sync our various devices to make the electronic scripts and the traces of the delusionality seamlessly connect across our activities. Whether on our desks, in our hands, on our televisions or across our many, many smart devices – it seems like we’re quite serious about delusions.