Interesting dystopia, Off Guardian 4 years ago: How to institutionalise the world by Darren Allen
Posted by marknadim on February 19, 2021, 11:31 am
How to institutionalise the world |
by Darren Allen
Welcome to the World.
You are alone and in enemy territory; stumbling around a frustrating, exhausting, shoddy reality which is, at its core, hostile to life in all its forms. Your instincts to share, cooperate and bring the necessities of life within reach of ordinary people are relentlessly punished. Your conscience is a burden here, your talents are useless, your uniqueness a liability and your actual experience of life a threat.
The only way you can survive in this place, much less accept that it makes any kind of sense, is to have your finer instincts amputated. No easy matter—in fact the eradication of your consciousness, creativity and sensitivity is a lifelong profess, beginning in the proto-institution of the home, continuing through fifteen to twenty years of intensive schooling and ending with forty to sixty years of work in the institutions of the world, also known as the system.
This vast mechanism of interlocking institutions, tools and techniques was originally created by and is continually powered and informed by the addictive primal fear and the mental–emotional momentum of the egos of its individual members. By ego I mean a self-informed self—a mental emo- tional entity which calls itself ‘I’ but is radically cut-off from my sensations, feelings and conscious- ness, and so cut off from the environment, the context and the present moment, which it perceives but dimly and always in terms of what it can get out of it .
Because the system is a manifestation or reflection of ego, its only purpose is to serve ego, which means to serve itself. It will feed, house, entertain and care for you, but only while you are useful to it; i.e. while you are self-ish. If you are not sufficiently ambitious, mean-spirited, cynical, violent, addicted, subservient, inhuman or lacking in fundamental dignity—if, in short, you don’t take your self seriously—you will be discarded from the institutions of the world, prevented from rising through its hierarchies, ignored, ridiculed, exiled (into poverty or precarity), imprisoned or, in extremis, killed by its authorities.
This is not a conscious activity. Nobody is consciously exterminating dissidents, and there is no illuminati ensuring that only system-subservient mediocrities get admitted into prestigious universities, get the highest-paying jobs or get elected. There is no conscious conspiracy because ego is unconsciousness—it is automatic, unaware and mechanically selfish. Conscious awareness of what is really going on, is a threat. It is, in fact, the threat.
In the early days of the system this threat was eradicated through direct human agency— through the will and overt violence of royal power, which reined in independence, crushed resist- ance and annihilated difference—but, as flesh-and-blood human intervention contains the seeds of consciousness, fairness and responsibility, it became necessary to abolish human power as soon as rational technique was advanced enough to create a system that could run without it.
In place of pesky human interference, sensitive awareness of the context, spontaneous cre- ativity and so on, the system uses its own mechanical ‘intelligence’ to manage its operations; which means that it follows the only directive it can possibly ‘understand’; expand (or ‘profit’) forever, infinitely beyond any human limit. This leads to excessively large, hierarchical institutional struc- tures which a) cannot run without bureaucracy (as the distance between head ego and hand becomes impossible to bridge without paperwork) b) prioritise abstraction and specialisation (and language or rationality-exalting philosophies) c) manufacture nothing but varieties of porn (i.e. that stimu- late the emotional component of ego rather than, as with true art, still it) and d) hollow out culture and destroy nature (both of which are meaningless to ego) and e) generate inequality and waste.
Because human beings do not enjoy living in a sterile, unreal, unnatural, bureaucratic virtual prison of proliferating bullshit, and will instinctively subvert any attempt to enslave them, all insti- tutional processes must be directed through a set of [interlocking and mutually-reinforcing] filters.
THE FIVE SYSTEM FILTERS
In 1988 Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman proposed five news filters which ensured that media output served institutional interests and manufactured consensus (and consent) without any overt control by a ministry of truth. This propaganda model, useful and accurate as it has proved to be, only applied to the news content of the news media, not to its comic-strips, its dramas and documentaries, its celebrity interviews or its feature films; nor to any other institution.
To understand not just how the entire media, but how the entire institutional system inevitably creates shoddy clothes, furniture and housing, nutritionless unfood, drug-suppressed sickness, boredom concealed with spectacle, self-loathing concealed with ‘career’, lack of society (and lack of privacy) concealed with ‘identity’ and lack of original art concealed with novel titillation.
How it creates an endlessly proliferating porn-tranced self-world of intense, unconscious unhappiness, owned by a corrupt, psychotic elite, managed by a subservient bureaucratic professional-class, built by a depressed, violent, enslaved, sick and over-worked underclass and built on an earth which is actually dying — to understand the whole system, we need to look at the five system filters that keep it all together.
reliance on self · the egoic system can only perceive and therefore function through what can be imagined, possessed, measured, described, controlled, desired, feared or rationally used. Everything else — originality, responsiveness to the context, genuine mysticism, profound love for humanity and for nature, outrageous generosity, genius, death and revolutionary beauty — must be ignored, exterminated, controlled, outlawed, ridiculed or suppressed from nursery school.
reliance on technique · consciousness is, a priori, ruled out by the modern system. Its only comprehensible values are rational action, logical thought, technology, and the ordering of linear timespace into discrete objective parcels (money, countries, classes of people, etc.) for technical processing in service to the system. This technique, however, does not just demand more technique (a machine which produces more raw material needs more machines to refine and distribute the surplus, more technical labour, which must be pacified with more propaganda, etc.) but demands total technique (a technical police force, for example, must constantly observe everyone to be ‘perfect’); there is no other value as comprehensible, to ego-technique, as ‘more’ and ‘total’. ‘Different’ or ‘nuanced’ or ‘truthful’ simply do not, or cannot, exist and any suggestion of them must be eradicated.
reliance on the market · the institutions of the world must all be subservient to the needs of the profit-oriented property-economy. They must be run by corporations that must put profit above every other consideration (through fiduciary duties to shareholders and through operating in a cut-throat competitive system). This permanent market-expansion creates distances which can only be covered by the system, waste which can only be disposed of by the system, sickness which can only be cured by the system, futility which can only be made meaningful by the system, helpless stupidity which can only be educated by the system and loneliness which can only be filled by the system. Man is crippled and deformed by the market, and then sold crutches to complete himself.
reliance on other institutions · all reputable information, opinion, authority and, should the system ever struggle, the support of tax and armed-intervention, can only come from institutions (and their professional representatives), elite graduates or agents of power. No other source is as corrupt, as indoctrinated or as submissive; i.e. as ‘credible’.
reliance on objectifying exposure · from cradle to grave individuals must be under continual bureaucratic surveillance so that a) they can be measured, recorded and ‘known’ and therefore controlled or filtered out; and, more importantly, b) they will place themselves under their own schizoid, spontaneity-suppressing self-conscious scrutiny. For the first objective—of control through measurement—it is necessary that individuals are monitored by those in institutional power (doctors, social-workers, teachers, spooks, etc.). For the second objective—control through self-consciousness—the identity or motive of the observer is irrelevant; teevee viewers, neigh- bours, social-media friends, comments-page peers and some chap with a camera-phone can all enhance the inherently passive, predictable, addicted, anxious and self-referential qualities of the objectified self (personality or mask) when it feels like it is being watched, named, rated, judged, defined and recorded.
Once again: these five filters are not consciously put in place by an evil cabal, they are created automatically from the expand-and-profit priorities of ego, and they automatically result in the creation of artificial (virtual) environments which are separate from nature and society, which force members into subservient roles, which punish independence, which honour only those activities which the market can make use of and which devalue and suppress honesty, generosity, innocence, beauty, soft-consciousness and even masculinity (through rewarding inaction, obedience and wordiness) and femininity (through rewarding ambition, rationality and insensitivity).
So what about the elites? What about the managers? What about the 1%? What about them? Well, although the system runs automatically, there does still have to be people on the top of the pyramid of evil who take care of the machine; human-shaped entities in authority who work, while at work, to personally eradicate the threat of independence, but their actions are always within the framework of the system. If they were not—if they were not sufficiently selfish—they would have been caught by system filters long before they reached their position of power.
Everyone, for example, who reads submissions, applications, references, progress reports and the results of ‘objective tests’ knows the unspoken code by which system-friendly psyches are to be welcomed and those who ‘are disruptive’, ‘have a relaxed attitude’, ‘cannot concentrate’, ‘are not team-players’, ‘are not technically adept’, ‘have strong opinions’, ‘are not working to full potential’ and other euphemisms for ‘reject!’ are passed over. And everyone who holds the keys to elite positions of authority can sniff out the right attitudes, the right ideas, the right ‘work ethic’ and even the right tone of voice for the job.
This is how psychopathic ceos, ambitious interns, hollow politicians, system-friendly bosses, shuffed-out professionals, living-dead billionaires and the favoured cultural elite can all claim, with total—factually accurate—sincerity, that ‘nobody tells me what to think’. Nobody has to tell them what to think, because the system would not have allowed them to reach the top if they had to be told. They have learnt – long, long ago – to internalise the values and priorities of the system, and have repeatedly demonstrated their willingness to do so. This is why they succeed.
1. How this ego came to be, what its nature is, how it works and how it is different to consciousness, is beyond the scope of this essay, but is explained in detail in The Apocalypedia.
2. Likewise the ‘perfect’ entertainment industry makes it impossible to be idle for a nanosecond, the ‘perfect’ energy industry makes everything dependent on massive quanta of energy, and so on and so forth.
3. See Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society.
4. See Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish.
5. “Employers have at their disposal a whole range of convenient terms—confidence, presentation, commitment, personality—
upon which to hang any ideological conflict.” – Ivor Southwood, Non-Stop Inertia.
This is an adapted extract from The Apocalypedia, a comic-philosophic handbook of radical self-knowledge and profound subversion by Darren Allen © Green Books.
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Feb 19, 2017 5:29 PM
I posted to this but it didn’t get through so here is the blog of what I wrote as the article; ‘What lies beneath’.
Inner conflict embodies separation trauma; the denial or suppression and evasion of which calls up the masking persona as ‘survival’ within a world of split minded conflict to which the living is sacrificed and lost love and power are sought in substitution of ‘external’ conditions, gratifications, validations.
Mind as evasion operates the persona in terms of positive achievements but always secretly defined or framed in negative belief. Such is addiction or identification in externals by sacrifice of self as the means to ‘get’ what they are believed to offer.
Until an addict recognizes and owns their addiction – they…/snip
Feb 19, 2017 4:18 PM
Good article, albeit rather bleak. Unquestionably, the world seems to be moving away from democratic forms of rule and transmuting into more totalitarian systems (liberal totalitarianism if you will). This is not a novel reflection. During the 20th century there has been a copious amount of dystopian literature, prior to and coincidental with the rise of totalitarian systems in both Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy. This tendency was initially captured in Jack London’s novel The Iron Heel first published in 1907. In this novel London imagines a capitalist dictatorship established in the US and ruled over by a small group of tyrants called the Oligarchs who are served and guarded by the Mercenaries. Perceived enemies of the state were disappeared. As a class the Oligarchs thought that they were saving civilization from the hoi-polloi. Without them humanity would anarchy would reign and humanity would drop back into the primeval slime from which it originally emerged. Thus, the raison d’etre for the entire edifice and the ruling elite was the unshakable belief that they were doing – in the words of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blanfein’s – ‘God’s work’.
All of which sounds very familiar.
An addition to the genre came with the publication of ‘We’ by the Russian writer, Yevgeny Zamyatin. The book was first published in 1921. It is the 26th century and the inhabitants of Utopia have lost all their individuality and are known only by numbers. They have no privacy and live in glass houses; this enables the secret police (known as Guardians – I’m not joking here) to supervise them more closely. They live on synthetic food, and can have sex for one hour at stipulated time-slots. The overlord of this state is a personage called the Benefactor. The Benefactor undergoes an annual re-election and wins each term of office by 100% of the votes on a 100% turnout. According to the state ideology, it was postulated that freedom and happiness are incompatible. Rebellions are ruthlessly repressed and the guilty are punished to execution by guillotine.
Further additions to the genre are Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and George Orwell’s 1984 which carried the same dystopian message but where the mechanisms of rule were somewhat different.
The above authors seemed to argue that the economic structure of these civilizations (if I may use this term) was irrelevant, what mattered was the political-ideological structure which was hierarchical and elitist. I don’t altogether agree with this, I would argue that there has occurred and will continue to occur is a fusion between the state sector and corporate sector, as Mussolini predicted. In the present conjuncture, we seem to be at the beginning of the disintegration of the ancien regime. The Powers that be TPTB seem to be losing control and are moving from the methods of control they once use(d) in empire, moving these repressive practises back to the home base. This is not a new departure, even Thucydides pointed to this practise in ancient Greece. In general, non-democratic states used violence against their own people, whereas imperial democratic states, Britain, France, Germany, the US turn(ed) their violence onto the hapless inhabitants of the global south – and still do. Democracy is apparently for internal use only, but even here increasingly less so.
One final point the whole show cannot go on without an ongoing permanent war and war psychosis; war being a great and indispensable social integrator.
Whether or not these dystopias will come into being is a matter for speculation. Unlike nature and the natural sciences there are no iron laws of development in the social/political world.
Feb 19, 2017 10:20 PM
Reply to Frank
“Unlike nature and the natural sciences there are no iron laws of development in the social/political world.”
I both agree and don’t.
Culture, which undeniably exists, is a composite of behavior and cognitive patterns shared by a great many individuals and which is part of their human ‘conditioning.’ As such, it therefore operates as a ‘law’ of collective behaviors that are highly predictable and that also of necessity ‘condition’ subsequent social/political developments if and when such developments happen.
Personality, which undeniably also exists, is an efflux of responses grounded in a composite of enculturated norms characteristic of the social groups to which a person belongs and idiosyncratic habits, of a behavioral or cognitive kind, that are unique to the individual. Taken all together, these cultural and idiosyncratic elements of a person’s personality structure, comprise the hidden programming or laws that constitute the predictability and intelligibility of a person as being “this” person and no other, that is to say, as being ‘this” distinctive personality and no other, and these elements also very much and by necessity constrain within definite limits the directions and the extents to which “this” person can or will develop in social-political terms.
So I find myself largely in agreement with Darren Allen’s piece, that is to say, that ‘conditioning,’ which is inherent to ‘human nature’ and without which institutions (or societies) of any kind, good or bad, would become impossible, is at the same time the biggest obstacle to progressive change that ‘we’ collectively face.
If this is the case, that what we are really up against is our own collective and individual conditioning, then at least part of the solution to the way forward is the undoing or loosening of that conditioning, that is to say, arising to an awareness of it, a recognition of it, an understanding of how in its structures and dynamics it undermines our best intentions, so as then to find ourselves in a position to attempt to re-program ourselves into new modes of collective behavior, to create, in other words, entirely new and more humane institutions.
So there is an ironclad law — or rather, many such imbricated laws that at any moment in time determine human society, how it is structured and how it develops. However, we can re-write these laws if only piecemeal and with the greatest of efforts. The secret is to become habitually reflective, both individually and collectively.
Feb 20, 2017 12:15 PM
Reply to Norman Pilon
It is a conditioned thinking that posits awakened responsibility (life) as if it is a war that must be won or survive within its terms. The lie that is accepted in place of truth must then demand the sacrifice of truth.
Awakening to the Felt True of your being is connecting to the true will in place of false thinking. Be vigilant then, from who you now recognze yourself to be – for your peace and against the insinuating bait of falsely framed thinking.
No matter what habit or conditioned reaction is active – you are the capacity to notice that it is ‘running’ (you) – and yet not aligned or in accord with who you now feel yourself to be. If you own the ‘choices’ made in a past that may have served in the past – you are awake as the chooser and not ‘up against and enemy’ though of course you are free to see yourself in such terms.
Addressing the effects or symptoms – easily becomes conditioned or defined by reaction to a presentation in the terms it sets. So pausing from presuming to already ‘know’ is the opening to a Felt quality of being in which to discern the true nature of your relationship with whatever is arising. Without the Felt quality – a ‘disconnected’ thought can and does override the feeling of being in private self-gratification. Here is the psychopathic killer set on bringing to right in its own (private) light.
No one likes to uncover hatred as their nature – that’s why they have a ‘mind-adjuster’ so as to be ‘justified’ in their rage – whether served hot or cold.
The NEED for an enemy – or indeed for the ‘sin’ of evil to be worshipped and killed in the ‘Other’ is the mind at war against itself aka insanity. Why is it that evil is seen and powerful and attractive and love as weak and impotent – but that love of power has usurped the power of love in our own mind?
The love of truth and the truth of love are one. Division is conflicted and seems wilfully so – and yet is it your true will or the mind you take as true?
If one chooses to listen to truth within – this is grown as the basis from which to live. Of course one then meets all the ‘justifications’ for sacrificing love to the power of hate – perhaps as ‘persecution’ or sickness or ‘self-sabotage’. That we are beings of choice as to what we accept and grow is not that we determine what truth should be – so much as recognize its resonant quality through our own.
What anyone else chooses is not my responsibility – but how I see them in their choosing is. That they are choosing is my freedom to reflect to or remind them -as is joining with their choice for Life – because I recognize and accept this for myself regardless the spin of the mind or the symptoms of fear and division.
The search for an external power to save one from oneself is vain reinforcement of the original error – yet within a true acceptance of self is a greater power than mind can imagine – though it can GIVE power TO creative imagination as the Field to the Particle. Fragmented thinking is not part of and so experiences apart from – as if it is true.
Feb 20, 2017 1:59 PM
Reply to binra
No matter what habit or conditioned reaction is active – you are the capacity to notice that it is ‘running’ (you) – and yet not aligned or in accord with who you now feel yourself to be.
Yes. That is the moment of awareness that results , when it fortuitously
If you own the ‘choices’ made in a past that may have served in the past – you are awake as the chooser and not ‘up against and enemy’ though of course you are free to see yourself in such terms.
Yes and no. You never ‘chose’ to be the child you were, born in a specific culture at a particular moment with your human propensity, as a child, to embrace the norms and customs of your social environment, that you cannot but assume in the same manner that you do not ‘chose’ the programming inherent to the genetic constitution you inherit.
Before you ever really reach a time in your life when you can engage in either episodic or sustained ‘reflection,’ you are already and largely irrevocably enculturated, that is to say, ‘conditioned.’
It isn’t and never was a matter of “choice.” However, it’s true, you can “choose” to attempt to overrule or overturn bits and pieces of your culturally “inherited” conditioning, and for a multitude of reasons also largely beyond your conscious intentions either fail or succeed in your attempts. So choice certainly enters into it, but it is heavily constrained, and not just because you are “choosing” to be willfully blind, though that, too, can be an additional complicating factor.
And yes, you are “free” to see yourself in whatever manner you want to see yourself, but that “freedom” doesn’t guarantee the your “seeing,” that the “image” of what you concoct of what you imagine you are “seeing,” actually corresponds to the reality of either your situation, which bears heavily upon your so called “seeing,” or indeed, actually corresponds to “what” you are in terms of the possibilities available to you for re-fashioning your personality.
Don’t underestimate your ‘material nature,, Binra — understanding the term “matter” in its broadest sense to be anything that both resists and conditions human intention. “Conditioning” is a “fact” of human existence, and in that sense is also, so to speak, a ‘force of nature’ that mankind must contend with and that we have as yet to learn how to ‘master.’
Feb 20, 2017 6:12 PM
Reply to Norman Pilon
Choosing THIS human lifetime:
You – as your conditioned personality identifies – doesn’t choose anything. For a falsely framed tyranny demands the protection of the mask.
Accepting your human focus as ‘choice, albeit from a perspective not currently obvious, brings back into alignment with freedom of sovereign will – the nearest match in the personalty framework for this is the concept of ‘choice’ – but of a deeper quality of being than the tyranny of mind frames. Creative freedom is not really ‘choose-between’ so much as a resonance of attention and desire.
So allowing an ‘unwatched’ or diverted attention to ‘drift; along lines of its thought and focus will result in outcomes that may SEEM to happen against your will – as interruptions to your invested identity. The split off sense of self then asserts a substitute for will as an assertive presentation of self to limit loss (protect) and regain what is believed lost and threatened (power).
If freedom of will can oppose itself – then it never was free and tyranny the truth that proves freedom false.
IF we allow that we operate as a split level mind with a surface or waking consciousness, a subconscious of automatic reactions and an unconscious of repressed, denied, discarded or blocked self, then see that all of this is active as effecting ‘choice’ or directing the focus and thought so as to interpret and act from what is taken real – and believed to be the human condition and not at all questioned as a human conditioning.
What ‘MATTERS’ to you in any instant with reflect as the visibility and tangibility of You – however your mind is being used to interpret and experience that. The world is a feedback reflection of living light – but this will take demonic aspect in any attempt to possess or control it – and then you can fight your own shadows until ‘Kingdom Come’! – But your choice to possess was the primary impulse of separation and conflict. The patterns of dissonance that are particular to your own part in this are your unique expression and regardless ‘consensus’ reality – you will live the life you choose by re-integrating ‘faulty choices’ no longer meaningful and therefore released to free up for a better or more aligned expression.
No one but suffers belief – for knowing is freedom from the separated seeking. But beliefs can and do change, evolve or transform with willingness to open anew or to take a fresh take upon recognising a mis – take.
The release of the middleman that interposes between the need and the need met is coming back online as a wholeness of being. Nothing needs rejection in the freedom to alight in your joy. Demonizing sets a negative charge that then attracts as you are in effect choosing to give energy and focus to.
Because freedom of being is innate and unearned – it is beyond achievement – and associated with grace – which the little mind can project its own grandiosity upon and again ‘possess’ or subvert the Living Will to a private agenda. That is its ‘function’ until you release it of such employ. The grace of being is then recognized as the freedom to use the means by which separation-experience was ‘effected’ – as means of re-membering and re-integrating self and world. In this light the devices being employed by ‘THEM’ to ‘control us’ become the illumination of the inner mapping that brings me to the clarity of releasing what doesn’t belong to me. For when we attempt to grasp at life we actually take in darkness – of hidden correspondences. For only the form can be grasped at – which then masks falsely because it is no longer the freedom of Living Will but a sense of self in lack and loss – that may see itself betrayed, deceived, rejected and abandoned… and etcetera.
The true function of form is to embody our living will; to identify us perfectly. Weaponizing and marketising form is not aligning with Creation – but in a fake reality where forms are defined as currencies of manipulation. If that is all one sees – then a vengeful or reactive sense of self-gratification uses relationships only to exploit or ‘get’ from. As someone dear to me would often say ‘Who has eyes to see, let them see’. ‘Who has ears to hear, let them hear!
Yielding to the true will is reversing the attempt to enslave it. If you value sovereignty – honour it as the truth of others regardless the presentations of their current sense of reality testing.
Notice that everything of the conflicted self, frames everything in conflicted terms. All one has to do for a unified sense of self is pause from the ‘doing’ and truly listen or feel for the Living. The ‘mind of thinking is the refusal’ of this but is that your mind and indeed your choice. If you can watch your mind in act – then whatever you are – you are not limited to such thinking.
I do appreciate your bringing perspective into your posting and show that by honouring your capacity to recognize – in your own way – something of what I felt to give articulation to here. Not to define and possess the Living – but in willingness to give witness to qualities of inner recognition that the busy surface thinking operates to deny, marketize or weaponise. IF there is to be a cultural awakening – and I mean a fresh embodiment of the Creative in our relationships with ourselves, each other and our Living World – then its foundation must be desired, given welcome and acceptance, and lived as the way we walk and talk and not locking down into the forms of a fake consensus conformity.
I do not see any point in attempting to raise the dead – unless they are already of a willingness to awaken. But wherever there is a true meeting in willingness – are signs of Life and not just forms appearing to the mind in terms of the past, replaying the past and masking off true presence.
The persona is a mask and in some sense like a space suit for Earth or indeed a VR immersion device. Its feature is the Forgetting of Who You Are – and that serves the uncovering of a Surprise! But perhaps when who you are NOT becomes an intolerable or meaningless burden – and released. I might say ‘over and over again’ amidst the energetic of habituated thought and reaction – but truly it is only Now, that I ever recognize or notice the mind within an upstream freedom of being relative to a reality construct. Not being falsely framed is edgeless. The Infinite is not absent the ‘ordinary’ moment and a sense of timelessness accompanies doing what you love and loving what you do. In practice one starts somewhere – with where we are being the only material with which to work – or indeed play. To invite a truly creative relationship in place of ‘going it alone’, under the belief and indeed the asserted narrative that one is …
” …alone and in enemy territory; stumbling around a frustrating, exhausting, shoddy reality which is, at its core, hostile to life in all its forms…”
That isn’t true. Unless to reflect the self-hatred of a frustrating, exhausting, shoddy sense of worthlessness and rejection which is, at its core, hostile to life in all its forms. But what if it is mistaken in who it accepted and believed itself to be? What if all our ‘self-certainties’ fleshed in pain and war, are fundamentally wrong?
Howbeit we are deceived but by ‘certainty’ of our own reaction to what we falsely read and take to be true.
Feb 20, 2017 6:39 PM
Reply to Norman Pilon
Very Durkheimian if I may say so. Surely culture produces, reproduces and sustains human behaviour so that society becomes possible. He makes reference the what he terms the ‘conscience collective’ which, according to him exists as an objective fact and conditions human behaviour. This is a sociological theory which has enjoyed a long history shared by social theorists from Talcott Parsons to Louis Althusser. However, it does not really explain how social systems break down and are replaced by new structures and value-systems. Human volition plays a key part in this process. Marx’s famous quote ‘men make history, but they do not do so as they please.’ pretty much sums up the tension between the mechanistic and voluntaristic tendencies.
Moreover social systems often collapse because they simply are unable to reproduce themselves indefinitely. This has been an historical leitmotif, what we might now call a paradigm shift. The powerful ideas are the ideas of the powerful. Until they aren’t powerful any more! And we are beginning to bear witness to this phenomenon. We know why this process takes place but we don’t fully understand how it takes place. In Max Weber’s words, ”… sociology is a science concerning itself with the interpretive understanding of social action and thereby with a causal explanation of its course and consequences. We speak of action insofar as the acting individual attaches a subjective meaning to his action.” Both structure and agency drive this process forward.
Here’s to the new paradigm.
Feb 20, 2017 1:30 PM
Reply to Frank
Your closing phrase reminded me of Hamer’s ‘Iron Law of Cancer’ – of disease as an expression of psychic-emotionally embodied biological shock(s). Though of course his perspective was quickly and overwhelmingly ‘invalidated’ and shut-down by the collective mind-denial AGAINST psychic-emotional exposure. Likewise the shock or terror tactic against one’s own is the setting – or rather the splitting of the mind by which to reset it from a foundation of fear – as the very idea of possession, control and domination. An imposture of order upon secretly maintained dis-order in which truth is given blind eyes.
There remains a balance even here, because the false can only pass off as the true in total dependence upon the true – it has no life or being apart from what is given – or indeed sacrificed to its self-idea or idol in place of True. Victory over truth is always death in whatever presentation. The ‘living dead’ know not what they do – regardless the what of whatever they do.
Whatever is accepted and held true is that to which everything else is judged against – and fear defined ideals appeal as IF worthy because they are NOT the evil or hated other. When Life is hated as the unworthy of a mind seeking to possess and control it – it is denied, excluded, controlled and deprived of existence. Yet this is always truly done unto Oneself though the acceptance of such recognition is in within Life and thus unrecognized as feedback.
Our story seems to have a collective canvas within which we each make or accept choices that then enliven (or limit) our own perspective within existence. I have no way of knowing if the ‘world’ is in fact an external continuity of set ‘laws’ for I only experience (the experience of) it within consciousness – including the definitions of consciousness that expand or limit its embrace and connection. The world is change – or the always changing. The world is where I can recognize and share in true reflection or privatize a personal agenda. But this perspective has grown in me – and is not apparent to the self that seeks to change the world without recognizing its own constructed reality distortions.
I can identify what does NOT belong in my own recognition and put it behind me – by the embracing wholly of what does. Don’t focus in what you do not want to experience – but use it to stand more clearly in who you are.
The past is not here unless imposed upon the present – and the future has yet to be and so is OPEN unless we re-enact the present AS IF it was the past.
Captives can become conditioned to feel safer in their confinement. Perhaps the door is not locked but for the fear of opening the truly new. Perhaps the ‘Guardians’ and even the ‘Benefactor’ are invoked or employed to limit Infinity through the fear of infinite loss or pain? Fear and guilt are not worthy foundations for the true power of Life. Does worthlessness become worthy by forced worship under terror? Only by bringing all to worthlessness can it seem the power to limit loss and condition the captive to feel ‘loved’ for being less penalized, and yet more ‘loved’ for willingness to exact penalty on others.
Feb 19, 2017 3:28 PM
Did I miss something, but is this essay not presented as a piece of satire, a “comic philosophic” critique – and as such does not purport to ‘define reality’ – but intentionally parody it? As such, although I have problems with it (not least the hyphen- ation) it is informative and thought provoking as a parallel construction – juxtaposing ‘reality’ with a state institutionalized ‘pseudo-reality’ – outlining the state-corporate (self-policed opt-in) plan to “institutionalize the World” Also as such, it provides us with a functioning definition of institutionalized psychosis – and a functional warning, straight out of Dante – to “abandon all Hope, all ye who enter here” – into the Inferno of the state institutionalized psyche.
Reading the comments though, you’d have thought that submitting to the consensus and risking becoming institutionalized by it is the only option currently left available. To which I feel the need to say – can we not collectively take a step back, take a deep breath, chant AUM, clear our vibrational space with a Tibetan singing bowl, and primally scream NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
The state institutionalized model of reality is pervasive and upon us, but neither is it the only model, nor is its edifice is anywhere near complete, nor is it inescapable, nor need it ever be completed – not if we choose life instead. Its totalitarian headfake prison is a mental fabrication which must be actively self-constructed – brick by brick. As Eliot put it, “thinking of the key, each confirms the prison” – but that which can be constructed can readily be deconstructed. At every point there is a choice between consciousness and unconsciousness – life and living death – conscious awareness chooses life. As such, conscious awareness is the enemy of the state-corporate institution. It will never submit to being fully institutionalized, it will always choose life.
As a real life example: two journalists join the Guardian – one has internalized “the values and priorities of the system”; (unconsciously) follows the protocols above; abides by the “Five Filters” and fits in – his name is Nick Cohen. The other struggles to fit in, his work is often heavily edited or not published – eventually he moves to Nazareth to become freelance – his name is Jonathan Cook.
Give me Jonathan Cook any day of the week. Choose life.
Feb 19, 2017 11:40 AM
Reblogged this on Radiation Free Lakeland and commented:
Interesting essay ……
Feb 18, 2017 9:15 PM
Although I agree with the content of this article, I have to disagree, because if the conclusion is true (‘they succeed’), then that would mean the end of humanity. And with that conclusion I heartily disagree.
Here is an anecdote, actually from 2 persons who I know closely and who both have learned ‘- long, long ago – to internalise the values and priorities of the system, and have repeatedly demonstrated their willingness to do so.’ Which made them very succesful on the corporate ladder.
These 2 persons have children, who want to have a same career as their parents have, but these children cannot make it in the system that made their parents succesful and to which system their parents adhere to and which they further refined by dehumanizing it. I consider that a tragedy for both the parents and children, but it is also offers a way out of the system that would otherwise succeed in destroying humanity. It creates much needed cognitive dissonance.
I am afraid that this anecdote may be a bit vague, but the point that I try to make in it is also described in Sinclair Lewis book ‘Babbitt’. There the main person (Babbitt) conforms unthinkingly (so it seems) to prevailing standards and is, in his way, very succesful. However Babbitt secretly knows that his succesful life is completely meaningless. It’s very kind (and if you would ask me: true) from Sinclair Lewis that the end of this book is open in which Babbitt allows his son to rebel against the system and in which he might succeed.
So in terms of whether the institutions will or will not rule humans, the curtains are not drawn, or so it seems to me.
Feb 19, 2017 12:23 PM
Reply to Willem
I agree. The outcome is not determined. In its own way this piece – in all its cleverness and persuasive sense of ‘authority’ – is also a form of indoctrination. “I [the author] will tell you how it is. I will also tell you that you have very little chance of escaping ‘the System’ – because you don’t even realise the hold it has on you”. Orwell had a similarly bleak perspective. For millions it was true – the many millions who were crushed in the totalitarian systems form which Orwell drew his inspiration.
Orwell’s story ends in the ‘hero’ willingly – even gratefully – accepting submission to something his rational mind knows to be untrue: the 2+2=5 lie. He has learned to love the system that imprisons him, both physically and mentally.
But the murderous regimes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler all fell – the ones in eastern Europe practically overnight. They collapsed from their own internal contradictions – and because the human spirit cannot so easily be crushed.
The new assault on our humanity and integrity – from ‘the System’ – is more subtle. It seduces people with gadgets and gee-gaws and multiple distractions. But not everyone. And it too will collapse from the inside because humanity continues to break out even under the most oppressive (or seductive) conditions.
Feb 18, 2017 4:39 PM
A very well conceived and written article on how what we call – “reality” – is made. One could add that what we refer to as – “history” – in the West is also created through the same veils and filters. Adding to the complexity is that what is described in the article is a very “Western” version and experience of reality. Indigenous world views and experiences exist in rather stark contrast to what we in the West have come to see as “real,” which is why our destruction of Indigenous cultures continues to be an ongoing activity of great importance to the West.
When one looks back to the origins of our pathological Western mind it is clear that collective trauma on a massive scale has played a largely unexamined role. Columbus and the other monsters in human form who for centuries have terrorized the Americas, Africa and Asia themselves came out of hundreds of years of the very public horrors of the Holy Inquisition, the witch burnings, the Crusades, the Black Death, and many centuries of brutal feudal warfare which wrought not only mass collective psychological trauma but also mass malnutrition and starvation. These highly traumatized populations of Europe, under violent, arguably psychopathic hierarchic leadership, became the foot soldiers who then themselves served to traumatize literally the entire planet over the last 500+ years.
The disconnection of the Western mind from body, from the earth, from other life forms, and from each other did not happen without massive collective trauma shaping and distorting our psyches and our psychic life. John Trudell’s discussion of what happened to the tribes of Europe –
seems quite prescient given the new research into the neurobiology of trauma and into the epigenetic mechanisms that allow the inter-generational transmission of trauma impacts. One can argue with solid historical foundation that Western humanity is the primary conduit by which our collective trauma has become the entire world’s collective trauma through our Colonialism, chattel slavery, genocide of Native peoples, two World Wars, and the current state of global neoliberal militarized Western based domination systems.
Feb 18, 2017 4:03 PM
Perhaps more of a modernised update on Huxley’s Brave New World and showing how his foreshadowing of the neoliberal capitalist consumer-based inequality system has indeed proved correct. Brilliant essay and so clearly lays before us our present almost inescapable predicament.
Feb 18, 2017 3:40 PM
Great piece of writing, insightful, and made me aware of the five news filters. 1984 is upon in many respects, all without conscious design or moral consideration. Thanks for posting the article and thanks to Apocalypedia.
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