Why Japanese people prefer to go along with the flow?

An interesting article appeared in the Asahi Shimbun dated September 3rd, 2017.

A research team from the UK published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analyzing a survey of 140,000 people worldwide.

The paper suggests that individuals who rate themselves lower in terms of “how much control they have over their own lives” are more likely to support authoritarian politicians.

Despite the increasing degradation of society and the growing difficulty of life, could this shed light on the reasons for the prolonged existence of the Abe administration?

Japanese society is filled with individuals who constantly go along with the flow, refrain from thinking independently, and avoid expressing their own opinions.

The collective of sheep, carried away by inertia, craves a “strong” leader who provides them with instructions.

Without top-down directives, they cannot maintain psychological stability.

It matters little if the leader is vulgar or uneducated.

They do not desire a leader who listens to others.

There is a strong tendency to seek politicians who are authoritative, domineering, and dictatorial.

This is why figures like Shintaro Ishihara and Toru Hashimoto maintain enduring popularity, even if they have a poor international reputation.

The underlying reason is evident, whether it involves legal violations, the frequent occurrence of death from overwork, or the continued prosperity of “black companies.”

In simple terms, it’s a slave mentality.

Although Japanese people live within a democratic system, many carry the psychological pathology of voluntary servitude.

Quoting from “The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude” by the Frenchman Étienne de La Boétie:

Beginning of the quote:

“Suppose two, three, or four people were unable to overcome one opponent, that would be strange but still possible. In such a case, it could be said that they lacked determination. However, when a hundred or a thousand people silently endure the actions of a single oppressor, is it not more accurate to say that it is not due to a lack of courage to resist the oppression but rather a lack of desire to resist?”

“How peculiar a vice it is for people to submit to rulership. It is a vice so base that it cannot even be deemed cowardice, and it is a depravity for which no fitting ignoble name can be found. It is a vice that nature has not created, and it is a vice that refuses the designation of words.”

“Incredibly, once the people submit to servitude, they swiftly and profoundly forget about freedom, to the extent that they can no longer awaken to it and reclaim it. Indeed, appearing as if they are free, they submit so willingly and spontaneously that, at first glance, one might even be tempted to say that they have not lost their freedom but rather gained a state of subjugation.”

“The preceding generations, those born with yokes around their necks, have perpetually endured servitude, and their ancestors have lived in the same manner. They believe they are destined to endure evil, having been convinced of this through past examples. Thus, they, with their own hands, over an extended period, establish the foundation for the dominion of those who inflict tyranny upon them.”

“Nevertheless, how remarkable it is that in order to attain freedom, one merely needs to desire it, and with the will alone, yet there exist populations in the world who consider it too costly.”

“Those who submit to servitude not only lack the courage to fight but also lose vigor in all other matters, with their spirits becoming servile and lethargic. Consequently, they are incapable of achieving great deeds. The oppressors are well aware of this, and upon witnessing their subjects develop such habits, they spare no effort in further weakening them.”

End of the quote.

Slavishness is a manifestation of personal immaturity and the loss of autonomy.

A slave is a feeble being unable to take responsibility for their own life.

The cost of acquiring the habits of a slavish nature is substantial.

Unwilling to acknowledge their own slavish way of living, those entrenched in slavishness tend to exclude and condemn individuals who assert themselves actively.

Intense jealousy toward those living their lives authentically emanates unconsciously.

For those solidified in voluntary servitude, democracy is nothing but discomfort.

Suffrage is as valuable as a gold coin to a cat.

What they seek is a supreme leader, a dictator.

The pre-war Meiji Constitution fits more seamlessly than the post-war Japanese Constitution.

They do not seek humility or sincerity in politicians leading the country, admitting historical mistakes.

The leaders they depend on must be ‘strong’ and ‘beautiful.’

Attracted to arrogant personalities lacking the concept of dialogue, they readily submit.

Perhaps you can observe specific instances around you as well?

In Japan, where many individuals harbor the psychological pathology of voluntary servitude, the cumbersome procedures of democracy struggle to take root.

A glance at the low voter turnout (=political apathy) illustrates this.

The enemy of democracy is not authoritarian politicians but the unconsciously submissive individuals who, with voluntary servitude, inadvertently yearn for a dictator.