What civilization is, is 6 billion people trying to make themselves happy by standing on each other’s shoulders and kicking each other’s teeth in. It’s not a pleasant situation.
And yet, you can stand back and look at this planet and see that we have the money, the power, the medical understanding, the scientific know-how, the love and the community to produce a kind of human paradise. But we are led by the least among us - the least intelligent, the least noble, the least visionary. We are led by the least among us and we do not fight back against the dehumanizing values that are handed down as control icons.
This is something, culture is not your friend. Culture is for other people’s convenience and the convenience of various institutions, churches, companies, tax collection schemes, what have you. It is not your friend. It insults you. It disempowers you. It uses and abuses you. None of us are well treated by culture.
Yet we glorify the creative potential of the individual, the rights of the individual. We understand the felt-presence of experience is what is most important. But the culture is a perversion. It fetishizes objects, creates consumer mania, it preaches endless forms of false happiness, endless forms of false understanding in the form of squirrelly religions and silly cults. It invites people to diminish themselves and dehumanize themselves by behaving like machines - meme processors of memes passed down from Madison Avenue and Hollywood…
quite Teun van Dijk-ish: “[…]van Dijk does not understand power in Foucault’s sense as productive, but as abuse. Power is always oppressive, it is used by certain interest groups and imposed on passive subjects. This conception of power stands in contrast to both the poststructuralist understanding of power as productive as well as oppressive (based on Foucault’s view), and to Gramsci’s concept of hegemony on which Fairclough draws (in which power is seen as ‘negotiated’, in the sense that people can, to a certain extent, act as agents with possibilities for resistance). As a consequence of his understanding of power, van Dijk has a tendency to neglect people’s possibilities for resistance.”
“We don’t want to conquer space at all. We want to expand Earth endlessly. We don’t want other worlds; we want a mirror. We seek contact and will never achieve it. We are in the foolish position of a man striving for a goal he fears and doesn’t want. Man needs man!”—Snaut in Solaris