Modern society is built to facilitate addictions, because people who aren’t addicted to anything are hard to control. On the other hand, it’s extremely easy to control a person, or a group of people, who are addicted to something: simply offer them more of the thing they’re addicted to, or threaten to withhold that thing from them. This method of manipulation is currently the basis of most human interaction these days, between everyone; between individuals, institutions, citizens and governments, even between nations.
“If you do your homework, I’ll give you a cookie.”
“If you fix the garage door, I’ll give you a blowjob.”
“Stop cutting classes or I’ll downgrade your phone plan from LTE to cans on a string.”
“If we don’t go to war against mostly innocent people, we’re going to lose our oil supply.”
“Sign over your national resources for foreign exploitation or we’ll stop sending you Nutella and overpriced pop stars.”
Addiction is the most powerful method of manipulation, bar none. This is because people who are addicted seem like they are doing it all themselves, of their own personal choice.
“I’m going to fix the garage door because I love you and I love having sex with you, not because you would never give me a blowjob otherwise.”
“I’ll stop cutting classes because I want to be a good student and eventually a productive member of society, not because losing access to Twitter for more than an hour at a time causes me to palpitate with anxiety.”
“I’m gonna go to war to defend my country, not because I can’t stand the idea that we might have to start using trains for long-distance travel like those barbaric Europeans with their international high-speed rails.”
“I’m going to support APEC to facilitate economic progress and trade relations within Asia, not because I believe everything that white people in suits tell me.”