11 February 2009

Essay: USian angst turned into commodity

Outstanding on many fronts, this essay highlights the connections between the (North) American individuation of uniquely (North) American human suffering and its promotion and perpetuation by the state. The essay should be read in its entirety.
The pathology of Americanness is entirely about human consciousness, a taboo subject in our declining industrial super state.

The subject has been officially smothered, or even demonized, by authority since it was first openly broached in the '60s. However, those running the industrial government complex learned a few things, too, in the process. Particularly about the efficacy of dope.

Being authoritarian and capitalist, they of course preferred downers over the mind-expanding drugs. And ever since then, corporately produced biochemicals, tranqs, mind-numbing antidepressants and the like have been successfully used privately on individuals to squelch the psychic anguish produced in the Darwinian workhouse America has become.

Not that I'm entirely opposed... Hell, I'm an American -- instant gratification works for me, too. But an anesthetic to workhouse burnout just ain't enough incentive...

Seriously though, back in the '60s, along with LSD, nature and Buddhism, I looked to psychology for answers... But who'd have guessed it would become a massive and officially sanctioned ideological control arm of the state? A form of social control and containment of the citizenry through a governmental and corporately sponsored "mental heath system"? And the way it does so is this: It refuses to acknowledge that our aggregate society holds any responsibility for the conditions it produces in our fellow individual members.

Now, collective societal responsibility is common sense for, say, a Dane or a Frenchman. Most of them anyway. For Americans though, it's an explosive issue. Because if we acknowledged collective responsibilities to the individual members of our society, then we would have to deal with the issue of class in this country.

Unaware we were doing it, Daphne and I each wrote a post on this essay, and each interpreted it in a different way. So we decided to let both posts stand.

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