Thursday, December 8, 2011

Denial of Agency - Please Continue to Hold

One of the mental barriers that operates to keep many entities from passing between "Stages" First or Second (discussed here) and onto Stage Third is a denial of agency to other people--but in a "good," self-sacrificing way. For example, "Stage Third" (same link) classifies a set of recognitions that a global financial elite controls/manipulates stuffs. While it has its own frustrations and errors built in (parsed here), Stage Third behavior is much more palatable than that of one who operates in the fairy tale of an earlier stage, where many politicians are trying to get it right, elite businessmen and the products they produce are knights in shining armor, and working through mainstream channels will accomplish something.

The signs of a generalized stream of endless bullshit are everywhere; most people have learned to recognize and say, for example, that politicians are liars. However, this remains a token trend--as the puppets on the teevee change, people become willing to discard this belief for just long enough to support one of those politicians, or to discard it for so long that they believe a politician (Obama would be the easy whupping boy here) is actually the idealist they want to believe in, but that she or he is being "held back" by members of the opposition party(ies) from doing what is right. All associated "wrong" behavior is explained away by the need for pragmatic, intelligent compromise, or newly-discovered realities. In Obama's case, his early conservative campaigning and financial contributions were attributed to the need to appear "centrist" for the presidential election. His later behavior has driven many to recognize him as a farce, but in a specific, rather than systematic way--the next teevee figure may yet get ahold of them.

Akin to Obama, other bullshit production factories have become so culturally prevalent that even the most low-functioning minds are able to recognize them. For example, few westerners now believe it when a telephone robot tells them that their call is important during a 32 minute hold, prior to the transfer to a foreign national in whom has not been vested the power to provide any fixes. They expect to be lied to in a kind way--it keeps them imagining the megacorp at least "needs" their business in some small way--but they don't actually believe the company cares enough to offer them quality customer service.

Yes, they keep buying. In a no-choice environment, where the initial investment requirement for an industry is too high for all except elite capital, and all elite capital has the same HR firms in Delhi, that's the choice that must be made. But many are able to make it and not like it.

Not so with media/political elites--who are themselves the financial elites and/or their lackeys. This one is thinking of two particular friends, on two issues over the past decade: firstly, the Iraq war, and secondly, the Obama election. Friend 1 argued that the Iraq War was not about enriching big business, because that would be too ridiculously overbroad of a conspiracy. When this one began to point out that CSX shipping had received a $1 billion taxpayer contract to ship military supplies over to the Persian Gulf, the discussion ended abruptly. Friend 1 promised to "sit down over coffee" with this one to discuss the issue in a few months. Discussion never came; Bush left office; various documents popped up demonstrating, to even many hardened Republicans, that the war was in fact about oil (and money, and killing, and big business, et cetera). These docs were all available beforehand, but they now even had elite backing, as everyone agreed that we needed to get out of Iraq at some point. Utter silence from Friend 1, nach.

Friend 2 argued that, although Obama was imperfect, as a one-issue voter he was bound to support Obama, because Obama would (unlike McCain) protect a woman's right to choose. Most recently, despite doing everything else that would have offended Friend 2, Obama's flunkies just canceled the over-the-counter morning-after pill. Like all Antilifers--who can be easily identified by their willingness to slaughter, which should have cued in Friend 2--Obama and company will, naturally, desire to control and repress human sexuality. So, Friend 2 (and America's girls) lost out. Even the terrible, vulgar, selfish choice to support mass murderers in exchange for abortion rights doesn't pay off. Compromise with evil is still evil.

In amused, bemused, joyful, sorrowful failure does this one continue. Still, this one can't get Friend 2 to change tunes. The primary failure is the one that began this essay: whenever the end-results of a conspiracy are experienced, Friend 2 (or any other token entity) refuses to believe that the goings-on could be part of a carefully-orchestrated, unfair plan.

All American society (to pick the easiest whupping boy; the rest of the world is, by and large, not let off the hook) is based on bullshit. Universities teach marketing and business: the techniques of manipulating people into buying crap, including representative personas and ideologies--which they don't need, and which are frequently to their own detriment. Companies have not enough customer support specialists who really care about your time. Politicians tax you, hold wars, imprison masses, and represent you. Rich people screw you, gather your money, live in luxury, and are better than you. Michael Bay makes better movies than you could.

But there can't possibly be any thought behind it. That stuff's all a crazy set of conspiracy theories. No publishing company promotes annual formulaic drivel to overshadow a soul-starved public's search for meaning. No small-town businessman out there is deliberately trying to drive more people to his restaurant. No life insurance agent cares more about her own commissions than she does your family's long-term financial future. The President is deeply wounded every time he orders a drone strike that unfortunately kills some bystanders. The next one will fix things.

Please continue to hold.

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