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Glen and Stu Reshape America - The Stand ** SPOILERS

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There's a scene I found disturbing in Stephen King's "The Stand"- especially considering today's context.

It is when Glen and Stu are sitting together and alone and Stu asks Glen- a former sociologist of the Old World before the plague hit- what is to come and what is to be done about it.

** SPOILERS

What follows is pretty shocking...to me, at least. In the same breadth that Glen talks about the need to recreate the American spirit, he straight-away begins to divulge a plan to manipulate the people around him into forming a government of his choosing to create a society that follows an ideology of his choosing and is run by people of his choosing- all while making it appear as if the decisions were being made by the people.

There's more detail to it, but it basically amounts to a central group of individuals planning to create a government privately run by them while appearing to be good and democratic. Glen also states that this government is necessary to combat the society being formed by the Walkin Man himself, Randall Flagg. This implies that such a government has a noble, spiritually clean, just, and or virtuous character that is against evil rather than the cause of it.

I haven't read ahead of this in the books so I'm not sure whether this is actually the characters authentic viewpoint or they will move away from this hideous outlook, but the irony I found in it is that this actually is the spirit of America. Things are already decided and the democratic process is largely symbolic. The hellishly ironic thing is that the plague...began in the US. In America. Not Iran. Not Iraq. Not China. Not Russia. America. The whole reason for this Armageddon is that the American's were constructing yet another weapon of mass destruction and they dropped it in the wrong place.

Well...nothing to do but keep reading and hoping this doesn't turn into some sort of patriotic christian-American circle-jerk.

** Except for this part, this book is pretty good though. A bit wordy, but good.

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  1. Kevin's Avatar
    None of King's books are of a Buddhist worldview. On the other hand, I did have a true Christian once tell me he was sure King was demon-possessed. I asked him why, and he said because they never really stamp out the evil.
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