Over at Other McCain, Smitty draws on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to discuss the blunt truth that the collective has no soul, and indeed must destroy the souls of individuals in order to perpetuate itself.

So that plane of pyramids, as the society reproduces, must be trained to halt their growth at the lowest, fleshy level. The spiritual and intellectual levels must be attacked and leveled, so that humans can be reduced to child-like contentedness.

That’s basically the first principle of Taoist government: keep the people’s belly full and their minds empty. In this way, peace can be achieved. That’s the idea that Progressives seek relentlessly: build a powerful state, and that state will resolve the people’s problems for them, shielding them from the cruelties of life. But they also insist that such will enable people to work beyond the daily drudgery for survival and, as Marx put it, practice philosophy in the afternoon. They think that they’re doing something more than just emptying the minds and filling the bellies. They swear that the velvet glove does not cover an iron fist.

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