In “The 48 Laws of Power”, author Greene states that
one of power’s crucial foundations is the ability to master your emotions. An emotional response to a situation is the single greatest barrier to power. Emotions cloud reason, and if you cannot see the situation clearly, you cannot prepare for and respond to it with control
If indeed an emotional response is one that clouds reason and hinders a rational assessment and response to a situation, and thus results in a reduced scope or a total loss of power, then it follows that the “infantilization” of the public and the overemphasizing of all aspects emotional and sentimental in the individual, that we have seen as a clear, established, and rising, trend in recent politics, is evidently looking to undermine, weaken and ultimately eradicate all manner of power in the individual sphere, the power of the individual to determine his own answer to a situation, his own rational reaction, searching to make him respond, act and conduct himself more like a child, in a sphere where only emotions that have been directed, manufactured and packaged by those holding positions of power, hold sway over the individual. Never have we heard so much talk about developing critical reasoning abilities in the individual while doing the exact opposite from state-controlled “public education.”
The deliberate debilitation of responsibility and stupidification of public life, as well as the widely held belief that if you were inspired by good intentions and lofty goals – no matter how empty-headed and misguided – then you did not, could not act wrong and you are thus excused of any harmful consequences of your actions, are manifestations of this trend, of this (not so) subtle and debilitating maneuvering. Furthermore, one does not even need to measure the effect of one’s actions and decisions that were inspired this way.
In the age of narcissistic solipsism, the vindication of sentiment, the spurts of bland sentimentalism, empty good-willing grand statements, do-goody blatitudes and inane bleatings that we’ve had, and continue to, endure from our politicians and the media all look to extol the validity of sentimental response as supreme, to establish it as a superior and better thing that being a colder and more rational. In this way, the individual loses and relinquishes, without even realizing it – which is the best way to co-opt somebody’s resistance-less cooperation – the capacity to react, to assert his own response. Without as much as missing it, or even realizing he had it in the first place. This means a neat power transfer from the individual to the upper instances who actually hold power, and seek to accrue it.