I’m reading Slavoj ZiZek’s book again, Living in the End Times.
He suggests a strategy of democracies to prevent class struggle from happening on a large scale… to prevent the poor majority from discovering their own strength. The way this is accomplished is by dividing the large Federal majority into smaller units called States. This way the strength of the poor majority in each State, if they rebel, will not spread beyond the State’s borders. Hopefully.
At the same time, however, it is understood that a little revolution is necessary for the health of the democracy. The roots of democracy must be nourished from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. But not too much. Just enough to induce in the poor majority the illusion that it is affecting real change.
The discussion about laypeople and clergy being equal can be the same kind of empty talk. There is a lot being said about people having the right to think for themselves and assert themselves. A little rebellion is good now and then. It gives people the sense that they are actual contributors to the wellbeing of the organization.
But I’ve seen it over and over again. And maybe you have too! People are allowed to speak their minds, disagree, assert and challenge… until a certain line is crossed… and the hammer of authority comes crashing down. Usually when those in power and their positions are directly threatened. Then we all retreat back to our superficially sedate subservience.