Picture courtesy of Pixabay
We live in a society that is run on consumerism. From the food we eat to the clothes we wear to the shows we watch. Everything has been broken down, packaged, and labeled. Even our thoughts, emotions and instincts, everything that makes us human have been turned into a commodity. We live to work endless hours dedicating our lives to companies that care nothing for us and to serve people (the consumers) who largely have no appreciation for the hard work that is done. All the money that is made goes straight back to the employer when we buy their products.
Karl Marx was right when he spoke of the alienation of the worker from his labor. The human worker is no more than a means to an end, a commodity that has no more value than a mindless machine. In fact, the worker themselves, becomes robotic, doing the same laborious work with no real profit to show for it.
Marx no doubt laid the foundation for unionization, organizations that are made up of the proletariat to protect the proletariat. However, Marx could not predict the hijacking of labor by organized crime which in turn transformed the unions, which were created for the working class, into fiefdoms that benefit the hierarchies of the locals and in many cases give so little benefits to the workers, that paying union dues could easily be considered extortion.
This is taboo to speak about in academia and often the Communist obsessed professors are not even aware of the existence of mob infiltration. The academics themselves, are so far removed from reality that they believe liberalism and progressivism are the same thing, which real progressives would find comical. Their easily persuaded by euphemisms and catch phrases despite having Ph.D.’s. They have limited themselves to the knowledge and interests that has been spoon fed to them by the educational system both grade school and university, never taking any initiative to be creative and continue their learning outside the curriculum.
Moreover, those in academia, in many cases have never even stepped foot in a factory or warehouse or grocery store other than to buy product. Therefore, they cannot relate to the worker or their struggles. This further amplifies the academics ignorance to organized crimes vice grip on labor believing that Jimmy Hoffa was a one-time deal despite his son, Hoffa Jr., who himself has been on the radar of the feds, has been President of the Teamsters since 1998. The know-nothings of university enlarge their bubble even more by refusing to keep an open mind not allowing any room for new ideas especially those that contradict the ideas indoctrinated in them from Board of Trustees of Yale or Princeton who, coincidently, are largely made up of the very bourgeois that Marx denounced.
Lastly, the academics naivete is demonstrated by their drooling over the capitalist’s propaganda (public relations). Their infatuated with the capitalist’s sponsorship of just causes pertaining to diversity and equity. Thanks to academia’s philandering with Hollywood, the academic looks at the bourgeois of entertainment as some type of social justice warrior completely disregarding the actual workers who get paid little but are the heartbeat of Marxist theory. The entertainer (crony capitalist) is no more than a propagandist doing the bidding of the corporation and their pet the government. They have done well to sabotage any real form of activism in the educational system. The academic elite themselves have in many cases turned into celebrities. Dr. Cornell West of Princeton is frequently on mainstream youtube channels and makes appearances on CNN and Bill Maher and was even in at least one of The Matrix films. Other rock star professors like Richard Wolff has shown appreciation for the face of the pharmaceutical industry Dr. Anthony Fauci, an industry that is responsible for the opioid crises among other things.
Of course, theirs the godfather himself Noam Chomsky, who is considered one of the most outspoken progressives in academia. Chomsky is just another gatekeeper. Admittingly, he used to criticize the Democrats frequently, equal to that of the Republicans. Nowadays, Donald Trump and the Republicans are the only ones that matter. Chomsky has always whitewashed the capitalist puppeteers (the propagandist). Often giving a watered-down version of Edward Bernays and Walter Lippman’s public relations techniques.
Chomsky completely neglects the bourgeois’ use of phony activism like that of Bernays’s 1920’s Easter Day Parade maneuver where he hired models and certain feminists’ activist to smoke cigarettes as they marched in the parade calling the bogies “torches of freedom” as it was taboo for women to smoke during that era. Little did anyone know that Bernays’s was hired by American Tabaco to normalize women smoking. The company’s profits increased tremendously because of that stunt. Chomsky only goes as far to say that Bernays’s hired some models to walk down Fifth Avenue smoking, completely leaving out the façade of activism.
Chomsky further refuses to acknowledge the capitalist’s non-profit organizations that are used to whitewash their reputation, get out of paying taxes and alter the very structure of society (education, health, real estate, environment etc.) into something of their desire. Its also worth noting Chomsky’s relationship with rock band Rage Against the Machine who is obviously of the Hollywood elite and is sponsored by some of the country’s top corporations.
The university is only a piece, at that an excessively big piece, of the problem. The other issue is the culture of Western society, American. As mentioned in the beginning our society is run on consumerism. All our lives are boiled down to spending and debt. The media and the advancement of technology has done much to intensify this. We carry around smartphones that constantly give us updates on what the hottest new device or the best sales that are going on. We feel that we need to go out and buy something constantly thanks to the updates on our phones and the bombardment of ads on the tv and social media sites.
An even more subtle, but probably more effective, way of advertisement is through films and tv shows. Often a company will pay thousands or millions of dollars for a character on the screen to emphasize on a certain product whether it be Bud light beer or Versace cologne. Or it could be as simple as a close-up of someone’s Levi’s as they walk coolly in an upbeat scene. The viewer does not realize it, but he is being manipulated through the self-conscious to want to buy the product emphasized.
This explains why you and everyone you know wears a certain style jean or shoes or listens to certain artist or drinks a particular brand of beer. Witnessing a lovable character in a popular film associate with those styles and products in a positive manner is imbedding a message into your brain to go out in the real world and do the same. Hence, the creation of a trend.
A more divisive, but yet candid, form of advertisement is that of fear produced by the media. We’ve seen quite a lot of fear within the past year with the Covid-19 pandemic. In the Spring when many of the states were shutting down and President Donald J. Trump ceased travel to Europe, the supermarkets became battlegrounds. People fought over Lysol, turned the front of the delis into a parking lot and bought up as many packs of toilet paper as they could, because theirs nothing more nutrition than toilet paper for when the apocalypse comes and theirs no more food left, right?
Its hard to pinpoint exactly where the fanaticism with the toilet paper began. Most likely a news source mentioned it in a story and the other media outlets decided to run with it. This turned people’s anxieties towards hoarding toilet paper contrary to canned goods and other foods which are usually the typical necessity in panic mode situations. Although it was true that the canned goods were ransacked it wasn’t wiped out to the same extent as the toilet paper further emphasizing the reality that people don’t do what’s good for them but what’s imprinted in them through fear via the media.
The same can be said of snowstorms or even just the word snow in general. The meteorologist, who is most known for getting the weather wrong, utters that sinister word SNOW and the masses go running to the grocery store as if this the end of humanity. The snow might be only falling in one particular area of the region or could just be a light coating. Nonetheless, the viewer will take the situation very seriously and instead of waiting and thinking about what he just heard on the news the viewer reacts almost (possibly certainly) like a rapid animal.
Those same people will be back again the day after the blizzard, and in some cases even during. After all the pounds of cold cuts bought and the running around the parking lot trying to get a spot, the person is back for more. But why? Why is it that people will fill up their kitchens with groceries as if their going to be stuck in their homes for days but then be back the next day for more. The answer is not that much of a mystery. Their doing it because its their addiction. The end of the world scenario whether it be the blizzard or Covid-19 is the permission they need to go out and consume. Because consuming so much a part of their life when its doomsday time on the news or social media their first instinct is to go out and buy, buy, buy.
It’s part of American culture that was formed for us by the media empires. Just like how companies paid to have their products advertised in movies the same is done in conjunction with the media networks. Its seen all the time in-between news segments. “This program is sponsored by Stop & Shop” followed by a commercial of the same company. Its in the media best interest to fearmonger people into going to the grocery store.
There is also the issue of disrespect to the workers in the supermarket. The very people that are working during times of crises like the pandemic or during a whiteout blizzard are more often then not treated rudely and less than by the consumer. This not to say that the worker isn’t a consumer, obviously everyone is the same in that regard despite what the snobby politicians might claim when on a podium. The difference is that the workers are the ones that are keeping essential places that consist of food and other necessities, afloat. In times of crises, whether it be real or manufactured, the average consumer is so busy fighting with one another attempting to get that last pack toilet paper that they treat the worker with disdain and at times even with pure hatred as they grow impatient waiting for their turkey and cheese to be cut.
Again, we turn to the media and advertisers as the culprit doing what they do best to turn their fellow man against one another in hopes of gaining power and profit off of the division. Society must wake-up to the fact that they have become a commodity. A non-living thing that’s sole purpose is to produce for the almighty corporation. Whether it be through consuming or working or both, the human-beings main reason for being, in the eyes of the capitalist, is to produce.
Western society must release itself from this addiction and consume only what they need and limit the things which they want. Often what people think they want is an idea that was planted in their heads from social media, a movie or youtube. If people just cut out the amount of screen time, they give themselves the less they will crave unnecessary things which will be used once, if at all, and then discarded adding on to the amount of goods wasted. Digital advancement, advertisement and the media are all connected. The less you have your eyes on the screen the freer you will become from the grips of consumerism.