(Part 1: Zombies —>)
How does one become a fascist zombie servant of Golem?
Diversion 2a: The Golem's Guide to Manipulating Habits and Opinions
Excerpts from Edward Bernays's book Propaganda
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in a democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.
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They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons — a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty million [1928 figures] — who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.
It is not usually realized how necessary these invisible governors are to the orderly functioning of our group life. In theory, every citizen may vote for whom he pleases. Our Constitution does not envisage political parties as part of the mechanism of government, and its framers seem not to have pictured to themselves the existence in our national politics of anything like the modern political machine. But the American voters soon found that without organization and direction their individual votes, cast, perhaps, for dozens of hundreds of candidates, would produce nothing but confusion. Ever since then we have agreed, for the sake of simplicity and practicality, that party machines should narrow down the field of choice to two candidates, or at most three or four.
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...We have voluntarily agreed to let an invisible government sift the data and high-spot the outstanding issue so that our field of choice shall be narrowed to practical proportions. From our leaders and the media they use to reach the public, we accept the evidence and the demarcation of issues bearing upon public question; from some ethical teacher, be it a minister, a favorite essayist, or merely prevailing opinion, we accept a standardized code of social conduct to which we conform most of the time.
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...There is consequently a vast and continuous effort going on to capture our minds in the interest of some policy or commodity or idea.
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Some of the phenomenon of this process are criticized — the manipulation of the news, the inflation of personality, and the general ballyhoo by which politicians and commercial products and social ideas are brought to the consciousness of the masses. The instruments by which public opinion is organized and focused may be misused. But such organization and focusing are necessary to orderly life.
As civilization has become more complex, and as the need for invisible government has been increasingly demonstrated, the technical means have been invented and developed by which opinion may be regimented.
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Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.
Universal literacy was supposed to educate the common man to control his environment. Once he could read and write he would have a mind fit to rule. So ran the democratic doctrine. But instead of a mind, universal literacy has given him rubber stamps, rubber stamps inked with advertising slogans, with editorials, with published scientific data, with the trivialities of the tabloids and the platitutdes of history, but quite innocent of original thought. Each man's rubber stamps are the duplicates of millions of others, so that when those millions are exposed to the same stimuli, all received identical imprints. It may seem an exaggeration to say that the American public gets most of its ideas in this wholesale fashion. The mechanism by which ideas are disseminated on a large scale is propaganda, in the broad sense of an organized effort to spread a particular belief or doctrine.
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The important thing is that it [ie, propaganda] is universal and continuous; and in its sum total it is regimenting the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments the bodies of its soldiers.
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But clearly it is the intelligent minorities which need to make use of propaganda continuously and systematically. In the active proselytizing minorities in whom selfish interests and public interests coincide lie the progress and development of America. Only through the active energy of the intelligent few can the public at large become aware of and act upon new ideas.
Small groups of persons can, and do, make the rest of us think what they please about a given subject. But there are usually proponents and opponents of every propaganda, both of whom are equally eager to convince the majority.
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The invisible government tends to be concentrated in the hands of the few because of the expense of manipulating the social machinery which controls the opinions and habits of the masses. To advertise on a scale which will reach fifty million persons is expensive. To reach and persuade the group leaders who dictate the public's thoughts and actions is likewise expensive.
For this reason there is an increasing tendency to concentrate the functions of propaganda in the hands of the propaganda specialist. This specialist is more and more assuming a distinct place and function in our natural life.
New activities call for new nomenclature. The propagandist who specializes in interpreting enterprises and ideas to the public, and in interpreting the public to promulgators of new enterprises and ideas, has come to be known by the name of "public relations counsel."
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Men are rarely aware of the real reasons which motivate their actions. A man may believe that he buys a motor car because, after careful study of the technical features of all makes on the market, he has concluded that this is the best. He is almost certainly fooling himself...
It is chiefly the psychologists of the school of Freud who have pointed out that many of man's thoughts and actions are compensatory substitutes for desires which has been obliged to suppress [sic]...
This general principle, that men are very largely actuated by motives which they conceal from themselves, is as true of mass as of individual psychology. It is evident that the successful propagandist must understand the true motive and not be content to accept the reasons which men give for what they do.
was one of the founders of the Public Relations Industry
Our minds are the battlefield upon which various factions vie for control. It is no mere metaphor to say that our imaginations are colonized. We must first explore the mechanisms by which identity is created, then consciously exploited by these ontological colonizers, and thus see how this inevitably leads to us desiring the very things that oppress us — the fascism as defined by Foucault: "to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us."
Identity as Sociological Pas-de-Deux
Our identity and sense of reality are, ultimately, socially constructed. Peter Berger, in his exceptional introduction to sociology, Invitation to Sociology
, explains this process very well.
[S]ociety confronts us as an objective facticity. It is there, something that cannot be denied and that must be reckoned with. Society is external to ourselves. It surrounds us, encompasses our life on all sides. We are in society, located in specific sectors of the social system. This location predetermines and predefines almost everything we do, from language to etiquette, from the religious beliefs we hold to the probability that we will commit suicide. Our wishes are not taken into consideration in this matter of social location, and our intellectual resistance to what society prescribes or proscribes avails very little at best, and frequently nothing. Society, as objective and external fact, confronts us especially in the form of coercion. Its institutions pattern our actions and even shape our expectations. They reward us to the extent that we stay within our assigned performances. If we step out of these assignments, society has at its disposal an almost infinite variety of controlling and coercing agencies. The sanctions of society are able, at each moment of existence, to isolate us among our fellow men, to subject us to ridicule, to deprive us of our sustenance and our liberty, and in the last resort to deprive us of life itself. The law and the morality of society can produce elaborate justifications for each one of these sanctions, and most of our fellow men will approve if they are used against us in punishment for our deviance. Finally, we are located in society not only in space but in time. Our society is a historical entity that extends temporally beyond any individual biography. Society antedates us and it will survive us. It was there before we were born and it will be there after we are dead. Our lives are but episodes in its majestic march through time. In sum, society is the walls of our imprisonment in history.
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Identities are socially bestowed. They must also be socially sustained, and fairly steadily so. One cannot be human all by oneself and, apparently, one cannot hold on to any particular identity all by oneself. The self-image of the officer as an officer can be maintained only in a social context in which others are willing to recognize him in this identity. If this recognition is suddenly withdrawn, it usually does not take very long before the self-image collapses.
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Looked at sociologically, the self is no longer a solid, given entity that moves from one situation to another. It is rather a process, continuously created and re-created in each social situation that one enters, held together by the slender thread of memory.
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The individual, then, derives his world view socially in very much the same way that he derives his role and his identity. In other words, his emotions and his self-interpretation like his actions are predefined for him by society, and so is his cognitive approach to the universe that surrounds him. This fact Alfred Schuetz has caught in his phrase "world-taken-for-granted" — the system of apparently self-evident and self-validating assumptions about the world that each society engenders in the course of its history...Society predefines for us that fundamental symbolic apparatus with which we grasp the world, order our experience and interpret our own existence.
In the same way, society supplies our values, our logic and the store of information (or, for that matter, misinformation) that constitutes our "knowledge." Very few people, and even they only in regard to fragments of this world view, are in a position to re-evaluate what has thus been imposed on them. They actually feel no need for reappraisal because the world view into which they have been socialized appears self-evident to them. Since it is also so regarded by almost everyone they are likely to deal with in their own society, the world view is self-validating...Reality is socially constructed.
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What happens in socialization is that the social world is internalized within the child...Only an understanding of internalization makes sense of the incredible fact that most external controls work most of the time for most of the people in a society. Society not only controls our movements, but shapes our identity, our thought and our emotions. The structures of society become the structures of our own consciousness...Our bondage to society is not so much established by conquest as by collusion. Sometimes, indeed, we are crushed into submission. Much more frequently we are entrapped by our own social nature. The walls of our imprisonment were there before we appeared on the scene, but they are ever rebuilt by ourselves. We are betrayed into captivity with our own cooperation.
As the South African activist, Steve Biko (murdered while in custody), said, "The greatest weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." The Golems know this very well.
It is as if there is a universal conspiracy that determines who we are, and what role we are determined to play. As we shall see later we may be able to find some ways outside of this conspiracy, but for now we must acknowledge the dance of identity we perform between the social forces that construe our identity, and our complicity in accepting this identity by internalizing it.
Here, from Frantz Fanon
, is a concise example of how this creation of identity is achieved in capitalist societies:
In capitalist societies the educational system, whether lay or clerical, the structure of moral reflexes handed down from father to son, the exemplary honesty of workers who are given a medal after fifty years of good and loyal service, and the affection which springs from harmonious relations and good behavior — all these aesthetic expressions of respect for the established order serve to create around the exploited person an atmosphere of submission and of inhibition which lighten the task of policing considerably. In the capitalist countries a multitude of moral teachers, counselors and "bewilderers" separate the exploited from those in power.
Diversion 2b: The Zombie's Guide to Success and Happiness
Dale Carnegie. How to Win Friends and Influence People.
There is one all-important law of human conduct. If we obey that law, we shall almost never get into trouble. In fact, that law, if obeyed, will bring us countless friends and constant happiness. But the very instant we break that law, we shall get into endless trouble. The law is this: Always make the other person feel important.
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You want the approval of those with whom you come in contact. You want recognition of your true worth. You want a feeling that you are important in your little world. You don't want to listen to cheap, insincere flattery, but you do crave sincere appreciation. You want your friends and associates to be, as Charles Schwab puts it, "hearty in their approbation and lavish in their praise." All of us want that.
So let's obey the Golden Rule, and give unto others what we would have others give unto us.
How? When? Where? The answer is: all the time, everywhere.
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Little phrases such as "I'm sorry to trouble you", "Would you be so kind as to----", "Won't you please", "Would you mind", "Thank you" — little courtesies like that oil the cogs of the monotonous grind of everyday life — and, incidentally, they are the hall-mark of good breeding.
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Three-fourths of the people you will meet to-morrow are hungering and thirsting for sympathy. Give it to them, and they will love you.
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In a Nutshell
Six Ways to Make People Like You
- Rule 1: Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Rule 2: Smile.
- Rule 3: Remember that a man's name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in the English language.
- Rule 4: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Rule 5: Talk in terms of the other man's interest.
- Rule 6: Make the other person feel important — and do it sincerely.
This is all good, sensible advice. Dale Carnegie's enormously influential and continually best-selling book — which, significantly, is considered the first mass-market self-help book — seeks to help instill in people traits that most would consider worthy. After all, wouldn't we all want to live in a society in which all its citizens were polite, empathetic, good listeners, sincere, etc? These are all good things, so what could possibly be wrong with inculcating a society's members with such constructive traits?
Undoubtedly Carnegie's motives were honourable and sincere. But there's something unwholesome and insincere in asking people to make others feel important, and to do so with sincerity. It's asking people to internalize behavior that will make others like them. Doing so creates a natural wall in which a person masks from himself his true motivations in which one seeks to makes others feel important so as to be liked and have friends. It's asking people to put on masks that will become a part of them, so that the mask will become internalized and only further repress one from one's true self and, even, one's true self-interest. It creates a society of self-promoting dissemblers each trying to sell everyone else on their cultivated sincerity. One is turned into a salesman of oneself, made aware of how he's behaving towards other people, and always with some other end in mind.
There's something troubling when a society needs to so overtly train its members to behave in such a way to each other. We are all made salesman selling ourselves to each other, so that we can influence others as well. It is a society comprised of people on the make, of isolated individuals whose self-awareness consists of how others buy how one sells himself. It is a society comprised of individuals that cannot make a community. It is the opposite of community, in fact. People are not in it for each other, but in it for themselves to influence others to come to their way of thinking. In a society that promotes competition the one who is able to best dissemble his own identity from himself to sell himself to others will succeed the most.
Those who are not able to sell themselves adequately miss out on their ability to fit in to this fabricated community in which everyone tries to buy the person who sells himself. It is a community of fronts, masks, and hucksters who determine their identities and worth by how much they are accepted into this false community by selling themselves as a product for consumption. ("On all occassions we assume the look and appearance we want to be known for, so that the world in general is a congregation of masks." -La Rochefoucauld.) It's no wonder that people don't have a sense of who they are, or their real motivations for their actions. By continually looking outside themselves to guage their own identity people will adapt themselves in such a way to whatever dominant thinking will allow them to sell themselves to be accepted by their community. Sociological tests have repeatedly shown that an actor will alter his sense of reality to that of the group so as to fit in better. (The classic example of this is the way peer pressure will serve to get an actor to question his own accurate perception of an event or object to eventually conform to the misperception of the majority around him.)
It is, ultimately, a users guide in self-repression that only serves to separate a society's members from each other by paradoxically helping people seek a way to "fit in" and be accepted by their community. It is a textbook on how to sell yourself to others, how to live for others, how to create a false sense of acceptance to fill the communal gap left by consumer capitalism. It is a training manual in how to convert yourself into a product that others will consume. As Bernays' little book is a guidebook for Golems, Carnegie's little book is the training manual for zombies.
How Zombies Create Community Under The Golem's Gaze
Vast sectors of society are threatened by freedom — most often those very same people who proclaim their desire for it all the loudest. They are psychologically incapable of admitting difference, and seeing others live truly freely threatens them to their core. They must squelch those who seek to truly live freely, while beating them over the head with how much they value freedom. This ability to squelch freedom in freedom's name is called "doublethink" and is the psychological ability to embrace mutually contradictory beliefs without difficulty (eg, to kill an enemy in the name of Jesus). Such people cannot tolerate seeing others live in ways they disapprove, ways that Philip Green
cites what "Mill called the most monstrous doctrine of all: that I am injured if you behave in a way that offends me, even if your action has no material impact on me."
Erich Fromm, in Escape From Freedom
, attributes this phenomenon to be the psyche's defensive reaction to the existential nullity in which modern man finds that his individual freedom has been effectively cancelled by what he calls the "monopolistic phase of capitalism":
Those factors which tend to weaken the individual self have gained, while those strengthening the individual have relatively lost in weight. The individual's feeling of powerlessness and aloneness has increased, his "freedom" from all traditional bonds has become more pronounced, his possibilities for individual economic achievement have narrowed down. He feels threatened by gigantic forces...
An enormous though secret power over the whole of society is exercised by a small group, on the decisions of which depends the fate of a large part of society.
In short, even if his chances for success are sometimes greater, he has lost a great deal of the security and independence of the old businessman; and he has been turned into a cog, sometimes small, sometimes larger, of a machinery which forces its tempo upon him, which he cannot control, and in comparison with which he is utterly insignifcant.
He then discusses the various theatres in which this sense of insignificance conspire to nullify his sense of freedom, everything from business and the economy — both as producer and consumer — to the political and even to the geographical. All these conspire to produce a feeling of intense isolation and powerlessness. But this sense cannot be admitted to oneself:
...this feeling of individual isolation and powerlessness...is nothing the average normal person is aware of. It is too frightening for that. It is covered over by the daily routine of his activities, by the assurance and approval he finds in his private or social relations, by success in business, by any number of distractions, by "having fun," "making contacts," "going places." But whistling in the dark does not bring light. Aloneness, fear, and bewilderment remain; people cannot stand it forever. They cannot go on bearing the burden of "freedom from"; they must try to escape from freedom altogether unless they can progress from negative to positive freedom. The principal social avenues of escape in our time are the submission to a leader, as has happened in Fascist countries [this was written in 1965], and the compulsive conforming as is prevalent in our own democracy.
The two avenues to escape this burden are, as hinted above, a move towards either a positive or negative freedom. Positive freedom is one that allows one to
relate himself spontaneously to the world in love and work, in the genuine expression of his emotional, sensuous, and intellectual capacities; he can thus become one again with man, nature, and himself, without giving up the independence and integrity of his individual self.
The other option, negative freedom, essentially means that one has embraced their "cogness" [my term]. It is far easier for the vast majority of people to embrace their "cogness" than to continue to fight an unwinnable battle, especially if they lack the cognitive and support structures necessary to find alternate ways of existing. But annihilating the sense of self to overcome unbearable feelings of powerlessness is only part of it. One does not only escape from
, one escapes to
, specifically one
attempt[s] to become a part of a bigger and more powerful whole outside of oneself, to submerge and participate in it. This power can be a person, an institution, God, the nation, conscience, or a psychic compulsion. By becoming part of a power which is felt as unshakably strong, eternal, and glamorous, one participates in its strength and glory.
And so the individual
ceases to be himself; he adopts entirely the kind of personality offered to him by cultural patterns; and he therefore becomes exactly as all others are and as they expect him to be. The discrepancy between "I" and the world disappears and with it the conscious fear of aloneness and powerlessness...The person who gives up his individual self and become an automaton, identical with millions of other automatons around him, need not feel alone and anxious any more. But the price he pays, however, is high; it is the loss of self.
The more the drive toward life is thwarted, the stronger is the drive toward destruction; the more life is realized, the less is the strength of destructiveness. Destructiveness is the outcome of unlived life. Those individual and social conditions that make for suppression of life produce the passion for destruction that forms, so the speak, the reservoir from which the particular hostile tendencies — either against others or against oneself — are nourished.
The problem, of course, with this is that once a society enters such a spiral it is enormously difficult to stop: it acquires a momentum that must play itself out. The essence of any personality — and by extension, any culture and any society — contains within itself the seeds of own its opposite. Personalities, both individual and cultural (for certainly cultures have personalities), are always in a dire threat of entering a spiral towards achieving its self-fulfilling prophecy. To quote Don Richard Riso in Personality Types
Every personality type creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, bringing about the very thing it most fears while losing what it most desires as it looks for happiness...Each personality type contains within itself a source of self-deception which, if played into, invariably leads us away from the direction of our real fulfillment and deepest happiness. This is an irrevocable law of the psyche, something of which we must become convinced if we are to have the courage to look for happiness in the right place and in the right way.
He then gives psychological examples of this at work, such as how one's desperate need for love ends up creating hatred instead, or how the need for dependence will ultimately lead to abandonment.
It's the psychological and sociological incarnation of the classic Tao principle (that Hegel westernized with his theory of the dialectic) — simply, something creates its other by reason of its own existence. Eg: a subject creates an object; a bully creates a victim; an oppressor creates an oppressed; an attack creates a defense; eliminating evil creates evil. Everything creates within itself the seeds of its own destruction by creating its opposite.
Here, from Political Paranoia: The Psychopolitics of Hatred
, by Robert S Robins and Jerrold M. Post, MD, is a crystal clear example of it operating in the sociological/political realm:
It is not irrational for [a paranoid] group to believe that "society is out to get us." This self-fulfilling prophecy is characteristic of the paranoid dynamic. When the group mounts its anti-establishment attacks — killing judges, bombing government buildings — society will respond, and the fantasy war will be transformed into reality. This in turn consolidates the "us versus them" mentality and dissolves whatever incohesion there was within the group, magnifying its solidarity.
As we move further along this path we can see where society is heading. Once a society is comprised of members who subsume their identity to the whole they enter a paranoid mentality that will brook no apostasy, no difference, no error. They are psychologically committed to maintaining their belief system.
Doubt and doubters threaten commitment to the cause, which requires uncritical loyalty to the movement and its leaders. So it is that uniformity of thought is required within the group. For if doubts persist and grow, the unity of the movement is threatened. Doubt implies an ability to stand outside the group and take measure; the capacity to doubt dogma implies self-assurance. There is no room for questioning, self-assured individuals in fanatic movements, for doubt is the enemy of unquestioning commitment...Blind faith depends on insecurity, and the more self-doubt, the more powerful the passion of the true believer.
As Reinhold Neibuhr has remarked: "Extreme orthodoxy betrays by its very frenzy that the poison of skepticism has entered the soul of the church; for men insist most vehemently upon their certainties when their hold upon them has been shaken. Frantic orthodoxy is a method for obscuring doubt."
That's why we see increasingly virulent denunciations and attacks on those who disagree with BushCo's neo-liberal and neo-conservative groupthink. That's why holding up mirrors to the public of the evils which Murka is inflicting on the world — such as art derived from the torture at Abu Ghraib
— is just cause for inviting irrational anger and even assault.
The feeling of oneness with the crowd is powerful, but equally powerful is the feeling of distrust and persecution toward those who do not belong, the outsiders who are perceived to be intent on destroying the crowd. Those who do not subscribe to the belief system challenge the very foundations of the crowd. Insiders who question the unifying beliefs of the movement are an even greater threat. Skepticism is treason, and the insider who persists in questioning will find himself an outsider. The feelings of persecution, then, are directed against both the "attack" from without and the "conspiracy" from within. Like a besieged city, the movement must strengthen its walls against the enemy without and search for enemies within. True belief does not permit question and doubt. [ital. mine]
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There is a comfort in belonging to an association of like-minded individuals on the side of the angels and together opposing the evil, conspiring other, whether that association is a union in conflict with management or a nation at war. This human tendency to adopt the paranoid position when enmeshed in social organizations, especially in times of stress, becomes intensified when a paranoid leader is at the helm of the organization and shapes it to reinforce his own paranoid disposition.
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The various aspects of the paranoid syndrome, such as the fear that others are plotting against the paranoid person, can be seen as expressions of the alienated human condition. Paranoia from this point of view is simply man's situation when he cannot fulfill his social nature and feels forced to live outside society. Political paranoia is a perverse attempt to reconnect with others, to regain community. [em. mine]
And so we return to Erich Fromm. The "escape from freedom" is, ultimately, a desire to regain community. But the path it takes is the downward spiral of a negative self-fulfilling prophecy: in the society's neurotic eagerness to band together to create the community it has lost through systemic plateaus of alienation it brings about its greatest fear — the complete fracture of that society. It is a spiral which, if it can not or will not halt through honest introspection and evaluation, will ineluctably lead to totalitarianism, a system of enforced community demanding conformity and order because it cannot tolerate freedom and difference. Zombiehood.
A Zombie's Community
Our identity is a creation of the society in which we emerge. It is a process of never-ending unfolding that locates us in a time and place and tells us who we are.
If the society that creates us is inherently schizophrenic, inherently competitive, inherently based upon a notion of acquisition in which desire is synonymous with lack, inherently alienating and anti-communitarian, a society in which we are always on the make, trying to sell others, as well as ourselves, on our presentation of ourselves — what kinds of people will be formed in such a society?
Because our identity derives from the society in which we emerge we will adopt and internalize such messages in order to survive in that society — they become part of our very makeup as human beings. Consumer capitalism creates psyches that seek to isolate us from one another, to view us as competitors in a zero-sum game, a society in which community is inherently fractured. Communities shatter because Golems are threatened by their healthy actualization — after all, if people share their lawnmowers then the Golems won't be able to sell more of them so as to increase their horde. Golems will seek the help of their enforcers (police, national guard, etc.) if communities go up against them if, say, they try to build their houses where they're not wanted, or if the zombies somehow shake off their zombiehood and band together and demand better working conditions, or seek to prevent illegal and immoral wars.
When all waking thoughts are devoted to finding ways to fill a lack that can never be filled then we all compete against each other for resources we consider scarce. Is it any wonder that our sense of community is obviated?, especially seeing that its very essence is built upon the requirement that we must distrust each other as we compete for those scarce resources; yet, simultaneously, we must put on a mask of sincerity to show that we aren't competing — we pretend, even to ourselves, that we sincerely care about the other. It's only natural that means are sought to regain a sense of community. If that community cannot be sought via positive freedom — because we do not have the resources by which to perceive such an option exists given the ontological box we inhabit — then it will be sought by negative freedom. Man's need for community will
find a way to happen — one way or another.
Man is a social animal, and it's only natural that when his need for communal experience, his need for actualization
, his need to feel a part of his larger world — when these natural needs are dashed and rendered impossible due to the Golem's demand that communities cannot be permitted to exist — communities based upon a notion and habit of plenty, of shared resources, of giving — then that sense of lost community must and will find a way to resurface. And as fear is used as a wedge to drive a society apart to make it easier for the Golems (via their enforcers and "bewilderers") to control us, then the desire to form community becomes perverted as our evolutionary psychological demand for group identity kicks in and creates an artificial community that unites its members in increasingly angry in-group mentalities that defines itself by determining what does not belong in it. This alienation is what leads to fascism.
Diversion 3: An Extended Excerpt from Ur-Capitalism's Prophet
Marquis de Sade. Justine
"That woman belongs to me, Therese, she is my wife and that title is doubtless the most baleful she could have, since it obliges her to lend herself to the bizarre passion whereof you have been a recent victim; do not suppose it is vengeance that prompts me to treat her thus, scorn, or any sentiment of hostility or hatred; it is merely a question of passion. Nothing equals the pleasure I experience upon shedding her blood...I go mad when it flows; I have never enjoyed this woman in any other fashion. Three years have gone by since I married her, and for three years she has been regularly exposed every four days to the treatment you have undergone. Her youth (she is not yet twenty), the special care given her, all this keeps her aright; and as the reservoir is replenished at the same rate it is tapped, she has been in fairly good health since the regime began. Our relations being what they are, you perfectly well appreciate why I can neither allow her to go out nor to receive visitors. And so I represent her as insane and her mother, the only living member of her family, who resides in a chateau six leagues from here, is so firmly convinced of her derangement that she dares not even come to see her. Not infrequently the Countess implores my mercy, there is nothing she omits to do in order to soften me; but I doubt whether she shall ever succeed. My lust decreed her fate, it is immutable, she will go on in this fashion so long as she is able; while she lives she will want for nothing and as I am incredibly fond of what can be drained from her living body, I will keep her alive as long as possible; when finally she can stand it no more, well, tush, Nature will take its course. She's my fourth; I'll soon have a fifth. Nothing disturbs me less than to lose a wife. There are so many women about, and it is so pleasant to change.
In any event, Therese, your task is to look after her. Her blood is let once every ninety-six hours; she loses two bowls of it each time and nowadays no longer faints, having got accustomed to it. Her prostration lasts twenty-four hours; she is bedridden one day out of every four, but during the remaining three she gets on tolerably well. But you may easily understand this life displeases her; at the outset there was nothing she would not try to deliver herself from it, nothing she did not undertake to acquaint her mother with her real situation: she seduced two of her maidservants whose maneuvers were detected early enough to defeat their success: she was the cause of these two unhappy creatures' ruin, today she repents what she did and, recognizing the irremediable character of her destiny, she is co-operating cheerfully and has promised not to make confederates of the help I hire to care for her. But this secret and what becomes of those who conspire to betray me, these matters, Therese, oblige me to put no one in her neighborhood but persons who, like yourself, have been impressed; and thus inquiries are avoided. Not having carried you off from anyone's house, not having to render an account of you to anyone at all, nothing stands in the way of my punishing you, if you deserve to be, in a manner which, although you will be deprived of mortal breath, cannot nevertheless expose me to interrogations or embroil me in any unpleasantnesses. As of the present moment you inhabit the world no longer, since the least impulse of my will can cause you to disappear from it. What can you expect at my hands? Happiness if you behave properly, death if you seek to play me false. Were these alternatives not so clear, were they not so few, I would ask for your response; but in your present situation we can dispense with questions and answers. I have you, Therese, and hence you must obey me...Let us go to my wife's apartment."
Having nothing to object to a discourse as precise as this, I followed my master: we traversed a long gallery, as dark, as solitary as the rest of the chateau; a door opens, we enter an antechamber where I recognize the two elderly women who waited upon me during my coma and recovery. They got up and introduced us into a superb apartment where we found the unlucky Countess doing tambour brocade as she reclined upon a chaise lounge; she rose when she saw her husband.
"Be seated," the Count said to her, "I permit you to listen to me thus. Here at last we have a maid for you, Madame," he continued, "and I trust you will remember what has befallen the others — and that you will not try to plunge this one into an identical misfortune."
"It would be useless," I said, full eager to be of help to this poor woman and wishing to disguise my designs, "yes, Madame, I dare certify in your presence that it would be to no purpose, you will not speak one word to me I shall not report immediately to his Lordship, and I shall certainly not jeopardize my life in order to serve you."
"I will undertake nothing, Mademoiselle, which might force you into that position," said this poor woman who did not yet grasp my motives for speaking in this wise; "rest assured: I solicit nothing but your care."
"It will be entirely yours, Madame," I answered, "but beyond that, nothing."
And the Count, enchanted with me, squeezed my hand as he whispered: "Nicely done, Therese, your prosperity is guaranteed if you conduct yourself as you say you will."
Next: Confronting the Golem