“However, the social, political, and economic organization of society must be recognized as a significant contributor to people’s mental health, with certain social structures being more advantageous to the emergence of mental well-being than others. Capitalism can never offer the conditions most conducive to achieving mental health. Oppression, exploitation, and inequality greatly repress the true realization of what it means to be human.” — David Matthews, 2019
The holidays are at hand. Boycott Season is in effect. As the snow starts to fall, the commercial war of the season asserts its dominance. Our identities as citizens are quickly buried in a blizzard of advertising that defines us as consumers.
Greed is an addiction. Like lab rats choosing pain to get doses of opium, the greed that underlies our way of life is killing us – and make no mistake: our way of life must die. Pathological consumption is no more acceptable in human beings than in locusts. It will die or we will die. The question is only: will we go down with the sinking ship of our culture or will we evolve again, past the folly of homo sapiens’ dubious wisdom into a species willing to live in balance with our one and only planet?
Humankind, being an inherently tool-making species, has always been in a relationship with technology. Our tools, weapons, machines, and appliances are crucial to forging the cultural criteria of human life. At present, amid the technology created phantomscape of mass media’s lurid — yet somehow sterile — imagery, one can feel as if one’s mind is in danger of being churned to spittle.
With crappy apologies to Samuel Beckett
It was just a question of time before the crap spilled over the edge.
But that wasn’t the beginning of all this crap. Back then, way back, crap was valuable.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Oct 13, 2018
Liza Featherstone in Divining Desire: Focus Groups & the Culture of Consultation shares with journalist Chris Hedges how advertising techniques developed by early Viennese intellectual elites were adapted and coopted by US elites to control politics, consumption and opinion.
Corporate demons possess our nation’s soul. They crept in stealthily, full of trickery and deception, but now they’re lodged in place, as surely as if they had stormed our homes and halls of power with guns and tanks. Perhaps we’d recognize their coup if they had assassinated a flesh-and-blood president instead of merely stealing the souls of all our elected leaders.
Before I say anything I have to say, I’ve never been as free on the inside as I am now. Once I understood some things and let go of materialism I realized where freedom lies. Not that I was caught up with things or it’s wrong to have them but I had to see past it. It opened up a part of me that seemed turned off. I began to see the Human side of me that was disconnected. Please don’t take that the wrong way, it’s the only way I can describe it. And maybe it’s just for me and you’ve already been there.
I believe if we’re not self-aware, we can take on the values of the political and economical system as our own. If so we end up treating each other through that filter. We think we’ve gained individual liberties but it’s been at the expense of disconnecting ourselves from being one with each other, and nature. Rather than going with the stream of life we’re going against the current. The Earth has a frequency and we should be in tune with it. This is speculation but I really wonder if the technology we have today is throwing our frequency off. Regardless, rather than using technology to help liberate people it has been used to enslave us further by exploiting us along the way.
Within many areas of contemporary life there is a growing momentum for fundamental change. Inequality and injustice are being resolutely challenged and environments in which Right Relationships can evolve are being consistently and powerfully demanded. The establishing of right relationships is a principle hallmark of the unique times we are living in, it sits alongside those other perennial values of goodness: justice freedom and sharing; qualities that have been held deep within the hearts of humanity for eons though consistently denied and not expressed.
Overwhelmed by anxiety and image insecurity a friend’s 20-year-old daughter recently quit her university course and withdrew to her bedroom where she took to self-harming. Company and environments in which she felt emotionally secure became harder to find, until she stopped venturing out all together.