imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The Cult of Capitalism

by Archie Kennedy Tuesday, May. 31, 2005 at 11:29 AM
akenn100@hotmail.com

And in the end we can look back on our lives and remember all the great shows we watched on television; the great virtual escape from alienation.

Strive to be an oddball and to think for yourself. To be ‘normal’ in the modern, western world is to be psychologically sick. We are products of our environment and the environment of capitalism is no longer a healthy one. In fact, it is no longer capitalism. It has graduated into monopolism. The ideology of psychopathic corporatism along with its values and priorities has an impact on most individuals if not all. We must understand how the sickness creeps into our psyche and how it affects us.

The average life consists of running on the wage-slave treadmill in order to avoid the destitution of not only ourselves, but of our loved ones as well. If only we could build up our own little fortress against the ravages of the future, we will have made it to safety. In the process we build up a mentality of competitiveness against our neighbour rather than a cooperative relationship with the community of trust and mutual collaboration. We learn instead to take pleasure in the misfortune of others and to feel angst when we notice evidence of our neighbours success.

The Dali Lama said that the way to true happiness is through compassion for others. We cannot be happy as long as we are selfish. But when we genuinely put the happiness and well being of others over our own, we can find happiness. It sounds like some cosmic trickery but when you think about it, you know beyond any doubt it’s true. Grasping for ‘me’ can only lead to jealousy, aggression, anger and dissatisfaction. Caring for others can take us out of our small alienated world and to direct contact with other people. In an atmosphere of insecurity and possible financial devastation, it is difficult for people to think that way.

The root of our modern problem is alienation.

Human beings have always had various means of making contact with others. We use language, sex, and work to do so. In each case, we escape our existential aloneness and share subjective experience with another human being. It is that existential aloneness that is the driving force behind our activity.

We know on some level that our thoughts are illusory and ephemeral. There is no substance to these flighty bubbles of fantasy. Our human tendency from thought is toward affirmation that our private world is not alone. But in the world of conceptualization and thinking we are alone and that presents us with a problem. Our response to this problem is to share our subjective experience with others. That is the natural human way and it is human just as building dams is the beaver way, or building webs is the spider way. Speaking and cooperative work are specific human activities.

Through work, we share our inner ideas with others through operating on the outer environment. As I write this I share my own inner world and when you read it, the process of work has taken place. When we work and especially when we work in the company of others and work together on the same thing, we share our inner life and when we see the ideas of others, we ‘see’ inside their thoughts. We can see how the mind of another is working just as you, the reader, can see inside my thoughts as you read this.

Two important things happen at that point. First, we share our inner world. We act upon the world and other human beings can appreciate what we’ve done. When they do, they appreciate me and that appreciation is beyond ego tripping. It is communion. Secondly, through work we share common goals with other people. We work together for each other whether we build a structure of wood or knit a blanket. We act upon the natural world from the ghostly world of thoughts and in the process we give substance to our flighty reality of thinking.

But something has happened along the way. Work has been appropriated by an alien force. When that appropriation occurred, the inner life of ‘me’ was rendered inconsequential.

Now the workers inner life has been completely severed from the process of work. The worker works for somebody else. It is the initiative and the will of a coercive force that guides the process of work for the worker. The important ingredients of inner will and initiative have been lost. Most importantly, control of the process of work has been lost.

Now the worker is told when to work, what will be done and what will be produced. The worker does this not to manufacture objects or services, but to get money to survive. He or she does it to manufacture even more money for his or her owner. Rather than using tools within his own field of initiative, he is a tool within somebody else’s field of initiative. He finds no joy in work and instead lives only to escape from it. What was the human expression of his or her self is now the bane of his existence, his nemesis. He lives for the weekend or the evening or for vacation. He lives for the pension.

The study of human development indicates and suggests that healthy human development depends on meeting different needs at different stages. The infant needs tactile stimulation and nourishment, the toddler needs structure and so on. There is nothing to suggest that these needs ever go away but they do become less salient though the process. And in our journey toward optimal development, initiative is a cornerstone. We build up toward initiative early on and build upon it once we achieve an inner sense of it. Stripping human beings of initiative is tantamount to stripping us of our human potential.

The values and ethics of the most dominant forces have a tendency to find their way to the majority. If the individual is valued not as a mother or father, not as a friend or lover, not as a human being, but instead is valued as an object of work and not valued in terms of use value but instead in terms of exchange value, this will have a significant impact on the identity of the individual. Further, the outward display of exchange value may become the highest priority. Status symbols such as new cars and big homes come to represent ‘who I am’ replacing substantial qualities such as kindness, community spirit or intelligence in work. The world of substantial human contact is reduced and the world of facades and masks take over. The world of shared subjectivity is replaced with a world of crass objectification.

Popular and mainstream media contribute to instilling and propping up values that otherwise would be suggestive of psychopathology. They worship idols with glib and superficial charm, self centered ego-maniacs, economic parasites, blatant liars, con artists, and so on. We learn to worship the Trumps, the Bush’s and the self serving psychopaths, the merchants and the movie stars.

The impact of capitalism on our individual identity affects us directly thorough the organization of the work process and through the larger cultural milieu as well. And it is through the formation of identity that we develop out ideological sense of values and priorities.

In this process, we learn to sacrifice our lives to acquire more stuff and better stuff than those around us. We aspire to be like those at the top of the heap. We spend our lives housed in our suburban tombs and rather than living life, we watch television. We virtually live our virtual lives and are alienated from our work, our peers and all too often, from our families and ourselves. Too blind to see our malaise, too brainwashed within the cult of capitalism, we push our children to do exactly the same thing.

And in the end we can look back on our lives and remember all the great shows we watched on television; the great virtual escape from alienation.

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

The Shortwave Report 04/06/18 Listen Globally! A05 4:25PM

Nicaraguas Conflic with native Peoples on the Caribbean Coast Near Bluefields in Decade80 A05 12:14PM

Millions Boycott The Sponsors Of Laura Ingraham A05 11:36AM

THE CONSERVATIVE THREAT A05 6:51AM

The US, the Dollar, IS and Saudi Arabia A05 3:34AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy