The New Organization Human
The symptom of a dying soul is its unquenchable desire for stimulation. Without meaningful work, without access to nature, without, in many cases, access to friendship and conviviality, people sacrifice their time (their free energy) on the altar of ‘being entertained’—or worse, ‘staying informed’.
The news (callow, morally dead talkbots generate circular arguments amongst themselves) is mental rape, which produces nothing but a jacked-up numbness and constant anxiety. Disconnected from real knowledge—emotional, embodied, intuitive, practical—we’re left with the pseudo-knowledge created by the increasingly bizarre media sociopaths who promise us safety from all threats and all uncertainty: the avatars of one-party expertocracy who have parasitically attached themselves to the venerated body of the traditional news (and traditional political power).
The power of news brands underwrites an arbitrary relationship to the truth and makes it possible to articulate alternate realities, increasingly removed from pragmatic and material and emotional reality. Covid has shown how incredibly easy it is—via an alliance of new technology, old media, and eternal political interests—to (rapidly) instill new priorities, new virtues, new myths, new habits. The regime of testing, sanitizing, masking, masking, self-reporting has forged a New Organization Human, as rigid and obsessive as the corporate engineer of the 1950’s, but far more omni-present.
The New Organization Human works on Zoom, and has no problem imagining life in a one-party system, as long as that one party aligns with their values. What they care about is predictability and feeling good; freedom has no essential meaning for them—and probably never did. Zoom meetings are comforting because they provide an opportunity to watch and be watched (if only everything, the New Organization Human sighs, was like a Zoom meeting). The New Organization Human demands that everyone be as average as they are; they invent all sorts of threats in the name of shaming the Individual into being more like them, the generic button-pusher.
Just like the British Empire ran India with a handful of bureaucrats and soldiers, we’re finding that America—or Canada or Britain or France or Germany or Australia—can be managed relatively easily by a few smug, but not particularly elite elites with media support; Covid has made it clear that cable news profit and soft autocracy go hand in hand; Covid has made it clear that the ironclad law of modern democracies is that they subconsciously aspire to the state, surveillance capitalism of the CCP.
Mass communication creates masses; local communication creates individuals. The more people participate in anti-social media, the more they sound not only like each other, but like the few corporate media blue checks who dominate their feeds (think feedlot). Sameness is efficient and replicates itself easily. The larval subject of the self is easily co-opted, and formally redeployed in service of the Big Lie. When someone takes a vaccine selfie and posts it, all they’re really telling you is that they have become part of a collective, The Collective, and that they do not mind being reduced to its symbol; they have no mind left to resist participation in these banal narratives of what it means to be a good or successful person.
The American left and the American right are illusions, ephemera, brands that hide a basic sameness in our political and social thought—a basic addiction to shallow, ahistorical reasoning consumed straight out of the corporate media can. Our personalities and beliefs are prefab, products of digital industrialism. The possibility of difference is converted into repetition; mass sameness is the key in the state of exception; the state of exception is permanent when its values becomes adopted as virtues.
It just feels like the human being is the Ship of Theseus: it looks the same, but all the constituent parts have been switched out over time. A well-educated person from the 19th century, aside from their initial shock and confusion, would be horrified by the automated quality people have now. They would wonder what the point of it all is.
So where are the artists of existence, I wonder, capable of creating new values and reconstructing lost geometries of the human? Are they in hiding? Or have they gone extinct?