Branding: Perception Management and Control
A large number — close to 56 percent — of all Fortune 500 companies have formed alliances in their communications. — (Brand Sense, p. 41)
The average consumer is bombarded with an astonishing 3,000 ad messages a day. (Brand Sense, p. 40).
These two statements should be deeply disturbing. But the implications of these seem to pass under most people’s radar (which is, after all, the point of it). You can certainly learn a great deal about the human condition and social trends by learning about propaganda (or “branding”) and reading the research of the marketers (which is where all the real social research is being carried out with practically unlimited budgets, and where all the research results of psychology of perception and the neurosciences are being absorbed, exploited and applied).
These two statements go a long way in accounting for the significance of “the Modern Corporate State” or “corporatocracy”.
The End of History, the Golden Straitjacket, and Inverted Totalitarianism
By chance I came across mention of a book by Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang entitled Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism, (Bloomsbury, 2008). Chang is a frequent contributor to The Guardian and I always look forward to reading his articles on economics there. Amazon had his book on sale, so I ordered a copy, which, having arrived surprisingly quickly, I dived right into.
It could have been subtitled “The Real History of Globalisation”, and though I’m always uncomfortable with the use of the word “myth” where falsification is meant (for it is only accurate of the degenerative or “deficient” phase of the mythical consciousness structure) the book is very good in describing how the real history of free trade , the “free market”, and globalisation have been falsified. Myth, whenever it becomes subordinate to the mental-rational consciousness, becomes propaganda, and is in that sense precisely what Plato meant by the use of “the Noble Lie” for social and political organisation of his Republic. So, although Plato disparaged the poets as confabulators, and myth as untruth, he nonetheless thought it useful and utile as propaganda.
Domed City and Closeted Minds
The fantasy of futuristic domed cities is, along with the body as perpetual motion machine, the wet-dream of every technophile, and these are, in that sense also, the fantasy of the mortal self in time (Mr. McGilchrist’s “Emissary”) — its aspirations for permanence and immortality reflecting the ego-nature’s fear of Time, Death, and Dark Night. These fantasies have their roots, not in the rational portions of the psyche, but in older and more non-rational and “irrational” portions of the psyche — in magic and myth. The rational mind merely rationalises them.
The domed city is not only a return to the sanctuary of cave and grotto and even the womb, but an image of “paradise” in technological disguise, for the very word “paradise” means “a walled enclosure”. The walled enclosure, like the contemporary gated community, is an ideal of wild and unpredictable Nature totally tamed, domesticted, and regulated, barricaded and isolated from real, living Nature by substitute technical processes — but completely insulated against “the law of the Earth”. And in some ways the “Anthropocene” is already an image of this self-enclosure of the rational upon itself in tautology.