Corporations, government are dehumanizing us
After 56 years or so of watching the "powers that be" in operation, I have come to the conclusion that slowly, but surely, big corporations and the government are dehumanizing us.
I can recall a time when those who dealt with employee relationships were called "personnel departments and employees were referred to by name. The first step was to take away our names and give us "employee numbers", (under the guise of simplifying accounting procedures) so that we would no longer be thought of as a real person. Then it was to change the corporation department that deals with employees from the "personnel department" to the "human resources" department, which takes away our humanity altogether. With time and constant hearing of ourselves referred to in this manner we've come to accept it when we should be screaming at the top of our lungs against it. Even our media, whom I truly believe are on someone's propaganda payroll, refers to us in this manner.
I am of the mind that this is deliberate on the part of government and corporate America. It's easier to destroy someone else's life if they have been dehumanized in this manner, and no one will object when we do actually become nothing more than a resource to the powers that be.
Now I'm not saying that the American public has not been complicit in this, because we certainly have been. We have behaved like sheep, not objecting to our dehumanization because we have been afraid of pissing off the boss and losing our jobs. (Can we all say ba-a-a-a-a-a?)
For some reason unbeknownst to me, we have allowed a non-human entity (I say non-human because quite frankly they don't act like they are human with the human qualities of compassion, and concern for others who are less fortunate) like corporate America to convince us that we can't possibly live without them. If they did not exist we wouldn't, couldn't survive as a society in general. It's strange how for several thousands of years humanity has done just that, survived without big corporations, but apparently no one told them that they couldn't. In short we have allowed them to get a stranglehold, and they are choking the life out of us.
I am strangely reminded of a tarot card that shows the figures of a naked male and female bedecked with horns on their heads, and chains around their necks. Above them is a figure that is supposed to represent Satan. Satan sits on a cube which is supposed to represent the material world to which the figures are tethered by their chains. The interesting part is that the ch ains around the figures necks are quite loose, and could be removed at will. However, there seems to be no "will" to do so. Instead of noticing that they are chained they are looking at one another and it appears to be that they are quite ignorant of their perilous situation.
I feel that we are for the most part, those loosely chained figures that are tethered to the material world but instead we are tethered to the material world of corporate America. We seem to be just as oblivious and ignorant of our own situation and slavery as those figures is. We could if we wished throw those chains off, but we don't seem to have the will to do so just as those figures seem not to have the will either.
Instead of exercising our own power, demanding our rights as human beings, and holding corporate America hostage during the financial crisis we handed over whatever they asked for on the premise that if we didn't they would collapse and we couldn't survive without them because we wouldn't have jobs. Small business would no longer be able to get loans and be able to employ (which they do the most of in this country not corporate America who mostly employs out of the country) and the whole economy would collapse. A premise that was one of their own inventions, by the way.
We as Americans need to wake up and smell the coffee, because if we don't do it voluntarily we will be forced to do so, and it won't be either pleasant or pretty.
Thanks for letting me spout off. It helps to speak of this to someone who understands.
I do so enjoy your articles, and many of those by your readers. It's a refreshing place to come and read when one desires the unadulterated and unabashed truth. I do hope it never ends.
Yes, we dehumanize ourselves through corporations. It's a symbiotic relationship. I don't think it's going too far to say that global corporations operating collectively now constitute an intelligent entity cultivating humanity for its providence and sustained animation. There's no rule that says all intelligent entities must contain blood or chlorophyll. I know that sounds a bit Matrix-y, but when you consider the relationship between man and the thick crust of machinery, technology and scientific industrial regimen now wrapping the planet -- it's hard not to draw that comparis on.
Personally, I do not believe there are enough brave, insightful Americans in existence to step forward and begin turning the machine around. Nor would enough people follow them to get the job accomplished even of there were. Man the mimicking socially oriented ape just wants to be normal -- and the corporate state issues the boundaries of what is normal when it issues products. Just as the early hominid was modified by environment, diet, terrain, existing shelter, so we have been modified by consumer product lines. It was inevitable that we would conform to our industrially manufactured environment of commodities and their associated marketing. And when you stop to think how corporations entirely dominate the needs hierarchy (try to think of some material aspect of your life that is not supplied by or distributed through a corporation). But hell, what do I know? I just look around me at very normal stuff and draw conclusions.
The blurring of the real world with manufactured imagery by media on behalf of the corpocracy has been going on a long time. And yes, the media does get paid to do the propaganda work. It's called advertising and marketing money, which is of course the lifeblood of the media. Nobody had to conspire with the media to use the media as propaganda. In a capitalist system that is the only purpose of media, given that media must be for-profit to even exist, and that its value is judged by its stock price, not by the quality of its product.
You can scream at the top of your lungs, but I'd suggest you save the strain on your larynx. Nobody can hear us, hermetically sealed in the vacuum of the nation's living rooms media streaming the national consumer message straight to their cerebral cortexes. We have reached the point where only media can be heard regarding anything significant. It the corpo-political machine wants to hear from us, it will stage a Tea Party or a Town Hall Meeting featuring what it considers the most entertaining and useful fools among us to rage against decent healthcare, or to rant against the war in Iraq, thus demonstrating that the Great American Capitalist Democracy Machine, in all of its goodness, allows freedom of opinion and speech.
The crimes of deception that sustain the empire and our mutual and consensual hallucination called "The American People," and "national purpose" is the 24/7 fare of American life. Yet, if mass deception is a crime, it is a crime accomplished with the victims' consent. Three generations of Americans have granted others great power to deceive us. Consequently, each of us is the principal in the crime, the perp, and the others are accomplices.
Discontent abounds in America these days, and that's good, since discontent is so often the first step toward progress. However, our mass illusions and false mass consciousness cause us to seek false villains, such as the Wall Street thieves that have ever had their hands in our purses, or the fat cat bankers and CEOs. Then it causes us to seek false heroes to rescue us, such as Barack Obama. Once the formula for mass deception was perfected by the corporate state through Madison Avenue, think tanks, etc., and proven effective, we were left with a terrible conundrum. There is no similar formula for mass disenchantment. Any attempt at mass disenchantment taps into the same mass induced enchanted magical thinking. Consequently, it only elaborates upon the ongoing illusion, because it is a product of that illusion. A pathogenic illusion that has colonized our group consciousness.
One tried and true solution, of course, is self realization and inner liberation. Seeing the world with the cold eyes of the simplest and purest sort of awareness, and a fiery compassionate heart. Seeing the world without illusion, which is very hard and constant work. Then keeping it personally unto ourselves. Keeping our traps shut about it but acting individually upon what we see before our eyes each day, and not according to the consensus of those around us.
Trying to persuade others or persuade the masses is a waste of time. Doing that only leads to mass embrace of yet another mediocre solution -- because the powers that manage our society know what to do with any mass behavior, including a mass appeal for change. They embrace it and make a profit from a fake solution, or a political career from the photo op of the embrace, but never delivering a solution or ending the popular outrage and discontent. That's where such things as "no child left behind," (the outrage over our crappy public education), or "the ownership society," (discontent regarding the disparity of home ownership, thus the subprime mortgage industry scam). Or "nation building" (worldwide discontent over massive U.S. military aggression and destruction.
Incidentally, this should have been called "nation rebuilding," since we dropped more explosive power on that country than we did in all of World War II). That's what I find disheartening about the so-called grassroots initiatives for change. They are well meaning, but nobody seems to understand that the grass is growing on the turf of a totalist corporate state, with its roots dependent upon the corporate hegemony for nourishment. If the big dogs don't continue to *@%+ on them daily, they whither and die. The big dogs know that, and they know that the grassroots-ers are moreover powerless, and that only the local pups need worry about them at all -- unless they start burning some *@%+ down and blowing some stuff up on a sufficient scale.
Raw power only understands raw power, and what was gained by force, for damned obvious reasons, can only be recovered by force. And who is gonna go first on that puppy? Not me. And not you either. So who throws the first firebomb? Sure as hell his or her ass will be publicly roasted alive if they are caught. And if not the corpostate will come up somebody to play the "domestic terrorist" role for the bread and circuses news hour. Still, we could learn a thing or two from Jihadist martyrs.
However, I do believe that rediscovering the natural self and truly discovering that there is a whole wide world outside the national hallucination
liberates the individual and pokes a stick in the eye of authority. Admittedly a small one, but if there are enough of them. A liberated individual does
not consume very much, nor succumbs to the sales job that permeates our consumer society, and therefore does not own or purchase very much. Nor pay many
taxes, since he or she does not need to earn anything near the national average, being the worst kind of rogue imaginable by the state -- the rogue
The Screaming Man inside Joe Bageant's head: "SHUT THE *%*# UP YOU GIN SOAKED OLD GASBAG! GET BACK TO THE LADY'S
OK. Sorry folks.
Actually, we might not want to be too hasty to throw off those chains. If all the corporations vanished today, most of us would literally be dead inside of a month, for lack of food production and transport, medicines, communications, power for the national power grid. Which gives some indication why we allow them to continue and grow and why we the people cannot imagine life without corporations. And some indication of just how massive any effort toward real change would have to be.
Given that corporations own and dominate the needs hierarchy, I don't see any mass uprising. Especially when we consider that the moving parts of those corporations are perfectly nice people just as unconscious as the rest of the nation. They are simply going to work every day and doing their jobs and taking care of their families and doing everything according to the directions issued by god and the manufacturers of society. Doing what our educational system trained them to do and what their parents, their church and their high school civics teacher taught them was right. Just like the millionbs of people they are *+%%#%$ over so badly.
Also, it might be a good ideas to dump the "We as Americans" group think. To indicate why, I will leave you with these words of Harold Pinter in his acceptance speech for the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature:
"Listen to all American presidents on television say the words, 'the American people', as in the sentence, 'I say to the American people it is time to pray and to defend the rights of the American people and I ask the American people to trust their president in the action he is about to take on behalf of the American people. It's a scintillating stratagem. ... The words 'the American people' provide a truly voluptuous cushion of r eassurance. You don't need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it's very comfortable."In art and labor,