Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Triumph Of The "Won't"?

A psychologist on Alternet asks the wrong question: "Have consumerism, suburbanization and a malevolent corporate-government partnership so beaten us down that we no longer have the will to save ourselves?" THAT answer is a "qualified yes." It depends on if you think a whole populace can be trained "behavioristically" (e.g. Skinner; see also Bernays) to predictably respond to predetermined stimuli, and if so, then idea of "will" per se become pretty evanescent. Cuz the majority of folks, I believe, would regard those instruments--consumerism, etc--as "apps," not "bugs." You've gotta love Big Brother.

The real reason why the Murkin People no longer (if they ever did) resist their oppression by the CorpoRat state is because--thanks to the genius of the Murkin schools, and their civilian handmaids in that effectively endless, generations-long, trillion-dollar, propaganda campaign, called the Murkin CorpoRat media--they have NEVER even seen (and never will see) that what their corrupted institutions were doing to them was in fact, in almost all particulars, textbook 'oppression.' They were never told it's a zero-sum game--that's how the Bosses play it--and to the extent that the CorpoRats prevailed, the workers lost. It's systemic, intentional, predictable.

Naw, they'll tell ya, that's just life. That's just how things were 'spozed' to be.('Sides, ma life's good! Got m'plasma screen, the beer fridge, Play-offs in a coupla weeks, Fox News, and delivery pizza. What else do ah need?)

We have been taught--conditioned since birth by school, church, the State, family norms, everything; think BF Skinner--to 'normalize' our own oppression; to "love" it, in Orwell's lexicon. The teacher is that avatar which Dan Quinn in "Ishmael" characterizes as "Mother Culture," the less threatening face of pair, though her son, Big Brother, can be heard breathing, nearby.

Yeah, dammit, he's right again...still...If Oedipus was an icon for a previous generation of obsession, then today it is certainly Narcissus. Remember Vonnegut, in Mother Night? "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."

The interesting part is that perhaps no society before has tried to sustain itself amid so much ambiguity between the real and the mediated "reality."

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