Wednesday, May 19, 2010

We Are Markets, Not People

There are two modes of being in our post-modern world: neurotic and political. There can be no other way, for one must choose. The apolitical innocence of small, unconnected worlds, like hidden tribes cradled and hidden by a geographical mother no longer exist. There is no tradition, no myth, no god to inform, there is no purity of culture from which globalization, cacophonous hums of machines -- from which a hyper-reality orchestrated by dominant forces informs, disciplines and manifests the spirit and body of the contemporary human.

Are we not corn? Are we not TV? Are we not radiated, electrified with the new pollutions that in all essence create the maladies, the existential horrors of the new human body? As swarming groups feel the lechery of tumors and chemotherapy, what are the new forms of our lives? Do we fear the slow death of godlessness or the slow death of alien cells consuming us inside-out created by an endlessly complex etiology of thousands of radical chemistries of the human scientist that have no human meaning, have no place in the equilibrium of nature? Technological pollution has entered our bodies, affected them profoundly, and in doing so, have created new phenomenological realities, new feelings of the body, and thus new identities, new egos. Are we not our own pollution?

Everything is either latent shit or manifest shit in a post-capitalist, consumerist society.
Everything can be turned into and come from shit; who knew we could grow crops off of dead earth, sustained by genetic manipulation of crops, pesticides, artificial nutrients? Dead soil that delivers nothing to the crops -- just shit -- nothingness, a dirty artifice that taints and must be disposed of. "Farm animals," or more aptly, conscious meat-cogs, that are not pigs, chickens or cows, rather, they are shit. Covered in shit, turning into shit through pain, dirt, torture, absolute deprivation. But what are they really? They are pinned creatures, horrific, tortured monsters capable of a simpler, purer innocence that is impossibly alien to us; they are aliens, so much so that I might say that these creatures' collective consciousness, the hundreds of millions of them that appear on Earth every year in endless flickering, in all their suffering, in all their secret, hidden purity, in their eyes of boundless forgiveness, their awareness is the closest thing to God that will ever exist; billions and billions of bodies creating an absolutely sinless being.

So, what to do with the problem of shit? It is evident that where we are in history is the result of many social and historical forces that have culminated to allow for such a reality to exist, many of which we are only just barely aware of in terms of their causal impact on our everyday reality. Consumer capitalism has only one value which is absolute pleasure at the expense of everything. Pleasure is everything, and in order for that to be true, the individual, the pleasure-seeker, must be emphasized, developed and given intention.

The formation of contemporary identities are, for a large part, the masterful orchestration of institutional, governmental, industrial complexes that create an audience, a people in order to provide their self-sustaining service; a government must have a nation to have sovereignty over a people; an industry, a seller must have a buyer or a consumer in order for it to have a market. This seems counter-intuitive to us because traditionally the Adam Smith conception of the invisible hand is used to explain the functioning of the market; this conception, however, is out-dated and based upon a form of society that we no longer live in. If we are to have a serious analysis of our society in contemporary times, it must always include the prevalence of the media, in its many forms, and its hyperbolic effect on everyday reality. Also, our everyday person's market has moved onto pleasure as the sole motivator of purchases, where Smith's was based upon needs. Smith would be dumbfounded and incapable of explaining the hysteria of Tickle-Me-Elmo. This is Post-Capitalism Consumerism, not Capitalism.

Markets are created through the formation of identities by corporations and sellers. Then, through an artful manipulation of people's perception, their false ideologies, artificial misunderstanding of their own Pre-Consumerist histories and cultures, identities and adherence to such identities occur on a subconscious level through the media. Young boys believe men should smell like Axe Body Spray, where even though they are aware that such an idea is being marketed to them, and perhaps is orchestrated, they continue, regardless, to buy Axe Body Spray associating the absolutely artificial and meaningless smell with symbolic worth of being masculine. It's just a commercial, it's just a magazine ad, a billboard, a radio ad, a logo on your shirt, an entire mall that consumes most people's luxury and free time -- it permeates everything. Such a dialogue of the consumer and the plethora of symbols and meanings in their consumerist world replace, distort and blur all other sources of information through a cacophonous onslaught. One knows that none of this makes sense, that perhaps they have been duped, but they have no other sources of culture, of knowledge about how to be in the world. They must accept their busy world of bought and sold meanings and then ruthlessly enforce them because they have nothing else; even if their identities are fake, they are still an identity from which one can have meaning, can act, can understand falsely, but have the joy of the semblance of understanding.

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