Posts Tagged ‘spectacle’

At The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, N.Y., May 2015, Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges spoke for over an hour about how his new book, “Wages of Rebellion,” differs from his previous works, including, the public loss of faith in the political process and the revolutionary potential bubbling beneath the surface of American life.

SACRIFICE ZONES

ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS

ECONOMIC CRISIS

UNFETTERED UNREGULATED CAPITALISM

What it takes to Rebel

GLOBAL CAPITALISM

We are passive in front of our electronic hallucinations

Movements of Mass Civil Disobedience

Cornell West

Noam Chomsky

Susan Sontag

Mechanisms of coercion and violence

Paramilitarised police

It struck me that all the aspects of “inverted totalitarianism” (which Hedges highlights and defines early on) can in fact be seen today in the European Union, where the financial industry has in fact made the sovereign governments of member nations subservient to their whim and have even begun to implement what is essentially “inverted socialism” by means of austerity to weaken governments and social programs and then strengthening these same financial industries with bail-outs. (SOCIALISM/ANARCHISM for the Richest, Austerity for Everyone Else!).

The EU is to inverted totalitarianism is to what the USSR is to true totalitarianism, except in the EU we are seeing true socialism applied but to corporations and a kind of “let them eat cake” feudalism to the population.

It’s like the corporate world had been waging a war with the population, which it in fact had been doing, due to the population starting the war by adopting democratic values.

The population then lost the war and is now being punished with a kind of “Treaty of Versailles” where they must pay reparations to the corporate state, just as the Wiemar Republic did after World War 1.

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The Capitalist Paradigm – (Neo-Feudal Culture Derived From Advanced Capitalism) And Mass Schizophrenia, A Dualistic Version Of Reality.
My research for my essay required me studying at works shock/jolt the viewer from the hypnotic complacency of the spectacle/simulacra (which are, to me, essentially the same i.e. – kitsch, empty, nullifying culture and society that covers over the horrors of war, politics, disparity, capitalism, etc).
They shock by mocking the horrors of postmodern life and by making visible those horrors.

However, such is the Spectacle and Simulacra that it quickly nullifies through fetishism/desires for commodities that consume us, as much as we consume them.
Quickly, we are able to compensate the shock, overcome outrage at the horrors of the world and once again become passive, docile (Foucault) consumers of contemporary life.

This is where the schizophrenia comes into the context of my essay, as we are constantly and simultaneously in two minds, each overcoming the other, so, we do not rise up and become accepting of the status quo.

I went on to talk about how the artists work to critique contemporary culture. Then how they ultimately fail, as shock is nullified and their art becomes part of the spectacle because the artworks are after all simulacra themselves and become commodified.The artists battle it out in the end as to whether they overcome or perpetuate fetishism, consumerism, the spectacle and simulacra…