If you are sincerely reading this post then it is likely that you have taken part in the conversation that tends to follow the question, “If you could have any one super power what would it be?” It seems that everyone can pretty easily come up with an answer and many are prepared to enter into a heated debate to defend their choice. I have found that there is more likely than not one person who smugly throws out “mind control” like it is the obvious option for anyone smart enough to think things through.
But that person obviously never considered emotion control. Now I am going to be honest up front. I only considered this power after reading the Twilight series. The vampire Jasper has a version of emotion control. For those of you who have only seen the movies he was the guy who kind of looked constipated and had a southern accent that you didn’t hear until almost the end because he had all of, like, one line in the first movie. Him. But just because you might not like the franchise, or if you do never mind, doesn’t mean she didn’t have a decent imagination. But I digress.
Mind control is not a feasible long-term solution. The idea is that you potentially have control over all actions and thoughts. First, think of how much trouble you have controlling your own thoughts. Can you not think of something once it has been brought to your attention? Do you always think the best thing? Do you find yourself daydreaming and wasting time? Now think of how much trouble you have controlling your actions. Your body language. Your emotional outbursts.
Now add an entire extra mind to that list. Except it is a mind you are not used to. You have to learn the associations made by this new mind. You have to choose how much you will control and how the uncontrolled parts will affect the controlled parts. And then, because the brain is malleable, you have to keep controlling it. If you sleep and loosen control would it cause the person to gain their control back? These are just some of the considerations for controlling the mind of one person. To truly be effective you would need to control multiple people, even the masses.
You could decide to take complete control, leave the human without any ability to act independently. But then the world is extremely limited. The growth of whatever you are working towards is limited to only your abilities, your view on the world, and your imagination. Are you really conceited enough to think that you will be able to solve everything or that you are always right? Do you not mind a world of echoes and nothing but the future you see before you? Then fine, choose mind control and be in absolute control of a future that will end with a bunch of useless bodies and a power vacuum.
Mind control is pretty pointless if you don’t use it constantly and globally. A small empire is bound to be overcome and a complete empire would lack any reward.
Emotion control, on the other hand, can be scaled properly for the exact level of control you want. Granted, you could never have complete control but I believe I have made it clear that a world of echoes or a living doll should not be tempting in the least. Emotion control would allow other people their independence of thought and action. Instead of making them do something you would influence them.
It would take some time to be effective but the same can be said for any good marketing campaign. Just as we are supposed to associate love and happiness with diamond rings you would create usable associations in the minds of people. Choose what emotion is associated with each though and each action. If a person feels unhappiness or shame when they go against what you wish then they are more likely to avoid those situations. If they feel pleasure when they do something you want them to then why wouldn’t they see it as mutually beneficial. Control the emotional associations and you won’t have to make them do anything. They will learn to act how you want them to, will be conditioned towards the actions and thoughts you have manipulated positive emotions for. And as a bonus they keep their ability to be original and unique.
Control the mind and you basically have to go all in for a dull world. Control the emotions and you can make as big or as small of changes as you want. Next time you feel jealous at a memory just think how much you would love to cause such strong reactions.