Volatility

January 28, 2019

Gaia and Consumer

Filed under: Freedom, Mainstream Media, Reformism Can't Work — Tags: , , , , — Russell Bangs @ 9:15 am

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At this stage of our existential crisis we have only the either/or: Ecological vs. consumerist. One’s primary thoughts and actions go one way or the other. (As for myself and anyone else brought up with the indoctrination to be a consumer, we who consciously have renounced this, I don’t know how likely it is we can be born again truly as of the Earth. But at least we can think and live as ecologists and help bring about a new way of living, and eventually a new way of learning to be human.)
 
Corporate production-consumption imperatives dominate all rhythms of power in modern societies. Corporate-Randroid “competition” ideology, corporate austerity, and corporate marketing dominate all modern culture, intellectual life, science, and the pseudo-politics of fake democracy. Consumerist politics is inherently non- and anti-political. This includes almost all aspects of modern political speech and campaigning, and all of electoralism. Fake-political ideas, attitudes, campaigns, are marketed exactly the same way as any other aspect of commodity culture. Those who consume these experience them and act them out in exactly the same way.
 
That’s why it’s usually impossible to have anything recognizably like a political discussion, let alone an argument (in the proper sense of that term). It’s almost always like an angry and childish dispute over which sports team or movie is better, because that’s exactly how most of the “politically aware” conceive and experience politics these days. That’s part of why Politics is Dead in just the sense Nietzsche meant when he wrote God is Dead: People still superficially “believe” in it, but it really means nothing to them except as a superficial identification. They don’t live it. The kind of movement or political party one joins, with membership as a core part of day-to-day life, no longer exists. Thus the term “identity politics” is, in the broad sense, redundant. At least in the West almost all politics is identity politics, no matter what its superficial ideology.
 
(In all this I’m talking about the West, and any strata anywhere which apes the political and cultural framework of the globalist cancer economy and society.)
 
This is the complete, though temporary, victory of the production-consumption ideology. Even those who identify as “radicals” see this as a hobby, while they see their “real life” as consumed by their private imperatives: Job; materialism of car, lawn, and “stuff”; maybe sometimes family. They don’t view ecological-political participation and the responsibilities of citizenship, even in a polity let alone an ecology, as being even a co-equal value, let alone the paramount one.
 
Electoralism always was driving politics inexorably into this pit, and at the latest under neoliberalism’s corporate rule has been deliberately designed that way. The focus on large-scale electoralism was an historical mistake for those who fought for freedom and equality. If these are attainable at all, it’s not by that path. God knows today’s alleged “alternatives” within electoralism do all they can to prove that electoralism doesn’t work. And by now only cultists of an electoral religion still believe in it. Thus today’s “radicals” and “progressives” are, ironically, a type of reactionary.
 
Some people eat to live, others live to eat. So it is with politics. A tiny few experience politics as essential to human life, if only because where subjugated health and happiness depend upon this, while most prove by their actions that they experience it as just another consumer product.
 
 
 
 
 

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