Pluto wrote:According to the Tiqqun collective, we have become the innocuous, pliable inhabitants of global urban societies. Even in the absence of any direct compulsion, we choose to do what we are told to do; we allow the management of our bodies, our ideas, our entertainment, and all our imaginary needs to be externally imposed. We buy products that have been recommended to us through the monitoring of our electronic lives, and then we voluntarily leave feedback for others about what we have purchased. We are the compliant subject who submits to all manner of biometric and surveillance intrusion, and who ingests toxic food and water and lives near nuclear reactors without complaint. The absolute abdication of responsibility for living is indicated by the titles of the many bestselling guides that tell us, with a grim fatality, the 1,000 movies to see before we die, the 100 tourist destinations to visit before we die, the 500 books to read before we die.
I don't know and don't really care who the Tiqqun collective is, but the thought is based on a fallacy that pretends that what they have identified is something new. What is "we have become", is in effect "what we have always been". This is a classic 'golden age' fallacy. In which the argument is based on a false idea that the past was better, and that the problem resides in the present.
The fact is that NOW we all have to ability to communicate with just about any other person on earth, at the touch of a button. That, for the first time in history has enabled us all to escape the structuring pressures of our own parochial society and to make choices never before possible since the dawn of time.
And they are wrong, we do complain, like no time in history. What we now lack is a unifying ideology. 150 years ago, the oppressed were able to change the world through a left-wing political ideology. ~But that was a doubled edged sword. Whilst it enabled the people to break the power of the aristocratic elite, it was much like a new religion, and bound its followers to a strict cause. And that cause was soon abused by the brokers of power who quickly returned to the old status quo, the new leaders simply replaced the old leaders and repeated the insult.
Now, if anything, the problem is too much choice. Not just in the consumption of white goods, and life-style choices, but in the choice of political rebellion. There is no single coherent, positive anti-establishment political voice. The voice is not manufactured, as Marx, and Lenin were able to rally the people to a belief system. Now the voice is the voice of billions. But the voice is negative. Whilst we know that the corporate hegemony has a strangle hold on us; and whilst we all know the banks are corrupt and making money not just in the booms, but through the mirage of austerity; and that the lowest of us is suffering the failings of the international banking conspiracy--- all the voices are negative, and leading to violence which is easy to put down.