“The citizens whose lives are split between business and private life, their private life between ostentation and intimacy, their intimacy between the sullen community of marriage and the bitter solace of being entirely alone, at odds with themselves and with everyone, are virtually already Nazis who are at once enthusiastic and fed up or the city dwellers of today who can imagine friendship only as a social contract between the inwardly connected.” The Dialectic of Enlightenment, Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno (1944).
“The religious chimeras must be replaced by the utmost terrors. The people must be freed from the fear of a future Hell. Once that is destroyed they will abandon themselves to anything. But the chimerical law must be replaced by penal laws of enormous severity which apply of course only to the people since they alone cause unrest in the state….What do the rich care for the idea of a leash they will never feel themselves if this empty semblance gives them the right to grind down those living under its yoke?” Horkheimer and Adorno quoting from Juliette by the Marquis de Sade (1797).
The founders and practitioners of free-market ideology have finally succeeded in turning the individual intellect, and the collective that is Western civilization, into little more than value-objects. Now, all are witness to the reality that everything, everyone, every emotion and even every movement has a price and a cost. Western society and individual thought has, at long last, become totally materialistic; which is to say, completely economic according to practices decidedly informed by 18th and 19th Century philosophy (often misinformed).
All manner of life from the quanta of action to the intimacy of lovers is irretrievably locked into economic value functions. This has led to the ice cold calculus, and equally brutal callousness, now present in the minds of the rulers, and the ruled, which sees transgender and transracial issues; Greek financial woes; job liquidation and unemployment; private and public pension pillaging; cuts in social safety nets (austerity); head transplants; and; for example, US preparations for open war in/or with Syria, Iraq, Russia and China as natural and as expected as the sun’s presence during the day. No emotion of care or concern arises that would see even a finger lifted to change the system as it is as such.
What’s the Point?
The efforts of journalists and academics are nearly intellectually bankrupt save for the “effort” of trying to report on the world not as it appears, but as it is as designed and managed by a willful economic totalitarianism that provides for a “free” life in terms demanded by economic doctrine, even as it tortures that life daily, providing no escape from the daily routine. Even dreams are polluted.