The righteous energy that inspired the sadistic priests of that infamous festival of hate – the Spanish Inquisition – is present in Sturgeon’s own 21st century crusade. I’m currently reading Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s 19th century classic, The Brothers Karamazov, the sharpest investigation into the human condition in modern literature. One of the more famous chapters involves the parable of the Grand Inquisitor. The moral tale unfolds as follows. Jesus returns to earth –Seville – during the Spanish Inquisition. When the Inquisition discovers him there the Grand Inquisitor has him arrested and imprisoned. The Grand Inquisitor explains to Jesus why he was arrested and, if necessary, will have him killed a second time. This is perplexing: why would a Christian commit the monstrous crime of killing Jesus?
From the perspective of 21st century the answer is bone-chillingly familiar. Rather shockingly, the Inquisitor explains that his justification is cut from the same intellectual tree as that preached by Jesus: love of mankind. The Inquisitor and Jesus have different views about the nature of mankind, however. Jesus died to ensure our eternal freedom; the Inquisitor believes we fear freedom and cherish happiness more. As he explains, the Inquisitor better understands our essential nature and it is his duty to deliver us to our natural calling of perfect serenity. For that cherished ideal, he can indefinitely suspend freedom. It is out of his love for human kind, he has spared us the inner torment of liberty by using his earthly power to keep us entertained and satisfied; our bellies too full to ask questions; our minds too busy with entertaining spectacles. To preserve that sacred happiness of man he will kill the only son of God, again.
Dostoyevsky’s point is clear: people do not perpetrate awful crimes because they are evil but because they believe they are better than other people and know what is better for them. He truly is motivated by a deep love of humanity. Their devotion to their cause is forged in the fires of righteousness; they are convinced that they have privileged access to ‘the truth’. With the zeal of a prophet, they begin to convert non-believers; those who cannot comprehend the ‘truth’ require immediate conversion by those ‘in the know’. This charade quickly descends into viewing others as intellectual degenerates and moral sloths, a visceral repulsion that someone should not share their divinely placed moral co-ordinates. How can they not see the light?
Ideological Thinking and the SNP
The lesson is to be wary thinking that is too ideological. We see similar trends in thinking with the SNP . With evangelical energy, the high priestess of hate Nicola Sturgeon strives to convert every breathing body in Scotland to her political program, bending every individual into her belief system. Only she and her toxic travelling show has privileged access to ‘the truth’ and can lead us to happiness and contentment – the Promised Land of nationalistic bliss, Scottish separation from the Union. Those who refuse to follow the Gospel are, in some way, deformed. They have been tainted, corrupted by evil outside forces. Like the shape-shifting agents of darkness, they come in many disguises and forms to lure the weak from national deliverance. The BBC has brainwashed non-believers into quiet supplication; the long tentacles of the Daily Mail has captured their reasoning faculties; or they are part that arcane institution, the Orange Lodge. Should the indolent blaspheme not square with any number of possible iniquitous interferences then the unbeliever is a manifest moron. Any sane person with an IQ higher than your average Alsatian can see this plain truth, they argue.
These entirely fabricated excuses serve only to support their own ideology; for to admit that well reasoned and educated people should refute their manifesto of madness brings doubt upon the authority of its truth. Are the brains of the majority of Scots filtered through a Unionist propaganda sieve that results in a thick, compliant pulp, or are we a diverse people with a range of opinions and beliefs? Which one of those scenarios seems most likely?
This week the Queen of the Tartan Manson Family decided to change her tone on separation, an inevitable decision given the recent General Election result. Her change of tactic has been reported as IndyRef2 being ‘shelved’. This is a gross misinterpretation. The Church never wavers from its divine path, it is etched into the party’s identity; their entire existence is based on destroying the world’s most successful Union. Not an unfamiliar sound to our Scottish ears. Like the rusty mechanic sound of a moving tank turret was the indistinguishable sound of political recalibration. She has merely delayed her decision until a later date. They need to feed the cult a few more followers before we can commit the collective act of national suicide on the altar of nationalist dogma. From the political pulpit, Sturgeon will preach and prophesise about the immorality of Brexit and Tory austerity; she will scream with a sound of fury, fire and brimstone politics, in her desperation to save the Church. The SNP are out to convert the masses for the good of the nation; for the good of humanity and our children and our children’s children. Believe in our Dear Leader; believe in Room 101; believe in the Grand Inquisitor because she knows what’s better for you more than you do.
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