Culture of Commercial Flattery

by rsbakker

You can do anything, so long as you keep dreaming.

You can be anything, so long as you try, try, try.

Follow your heart.

Go with your gut.

Be an individual.

Just believe in yourself.

Just do it.

I’m sure the list goes on. The absolutely dismaying fact of the matter is that if you correlate the frequency of these and other similar slogans with what we know about human cognition and you have the picture of a fantasy world culture.

This isn’t some self-serving hothouse theoretical account of ‘false consciousness’ and the like. This is the case. We are hardwired to buy our own bullshit. It leads us into disaster time and again. And we have created a culture intent on eradicating any critical consciousness of our delusions.

Just look at the past couple years. After 25 years of fiscally conservative policies, the GDP of the USA and Canada has approximately doubled, yet the middle-class remains exactly where it was. The supposedly oracular markets delivered us to the brink of depression, and now everywhere you turn, you’re told we need to shrink government, hand more over to the markets and the corporate bureaucracies that game them, make labour ‘more flexible’ – which is to say, shrink the middle class.

That doubling of GDP went entirely to the wealthy, who reinvested it in purchasing all the volume and voices that money can buy.

I’m not an ideologue by any means, but doesn’t anybody smell a self-serving rat? Where does this end? Have the exploited been utterly robbed of the will and knowledge required to kick back.

Oh, I forgot. If they’re not wealthy, they must have forgotten to listen to their gut, and just believe in themselves, because, they could be anything they wanted to be, if only they tried, tried, tried.

It’s a cartoon, I realize. But a disturbing one to say the least.