It’s amazing that a group of people can “exist” as a single person. The whole Borg idea really does have a disturbing feature, one that hurts us to consider. What would it be like to be a member of One Borg Mind?
What is most startling is that if you were a member of the Collective, then you would not be a member but the whole collective. (Not to be confused with Russell’s Paradox.) The Group would be self and your body would be other, just as in your present condition your voice is self and your limbs are other.
This whole=self/part=other puzzle brings to mind Clive Barker’s image of a whole town coming together and binding themselves into a bona fide Hobbesian Leviathan—a real, physical giant whose cells are people. Hundreds of people people roped together in horrible and contorted ways so that they actually move in unity like a big golem and walk around. One guy doing sit-ups is functionally the giant’s little toe, restoring balance. Chains of people linked arm-to-leg like trapeze artists are functionally muscle fibers in the giant’s quadriceps. And so on. Is there nothing more disturbing?
In Popolac a kind of peace reigned. Instead of a frenzy of panic there was a numbness, a sheep-like acceptance of the world as it was. Locked in their positions, strapped, roped and harnessed to each other in a living system that allowed for no single voice to be louder than any other, nor any back to labour less than its neighbour’s, they let an insane consensus replace the tranquil voice of reason. They were convulsed into one mind, one thought, one ambition. They became, in the space of a few moments, the single-minded giant whose image they had so brilliantly re-created. The illusion of petty individuality was swept away in an irresistible tide of collective feeling—not a mob’s passion, but a telepathic surge that dissolved the voices of thousands into one irresistible command. And the voice said: Go!