Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Freedom Façade

Like the "truth" fetish, the "freedom" façade is an example of the misappropriation, and manipulation of symbolic terminology in order to convince oneself or others, of the authenticity or viability of whatever form of ideological surrender is being presented through factitiously appealing slogans like "truth" or "freedom".

As astute readers of this blog will already be aware, "fetish" objects as those constructed by a "magic man" or shaman in the African, Asian or American traditions, were often said to encapsulate a certain "spirit" or power, eliciting fear, anxiety, influence, submission or fascination in the target(s) for which they were intended.

Subesequently, reflecting the social power relations pertaining to "ownership" of the fetish or stewardship of the force it contains, the "sense" of reverence, confidence or respect in the individual(s) for whom it was manufactured, is derived from the fetish object's (continuing) mystified social power.*

The freedom façade is regularly deployed like the "truth" fetish, and other superficial slogans, in order to appeal to the broadest mass of the people, (as anybody who has seen the film "Braveheart", or follows a libertarian on twitter knows), however and all the more insidiously, as a derivative of this former condition it is used by the individual themselves, as a means with which to convince themselves of the delusion;

a) that there can be such a thing as an "individual" in a socially cooperative mammalian species such as ours, and that this supposed individual can enjoy unlimited freedoms..
b) that the species beyond those from which you derive some gratification aren't important.
c) that individuality, promoting internalization of socially derived laws and customs into superficially atomized units is a sustainable or positive trait.
d) that personal avarice is at least a birth right if not a duty.
e) that corporations have no responsibility to the society they profit from by being a part of.
f) that alienation will dissipate the more you consume, identify with, and adhere to the precepts of, constantly emerging forms of commodity fetishism.
g) that people don't have a responsibility to look after the environment or public institutions.

The freedom façade also provides a constantly elusive target, with which the individual preoccupies himself amidst the existential emptiness currently plaguing Western liberal capitalist societies.

With greater freedom one only discovers and "unlocks" greater freedoms, but none of these freedoms are without costs, financial or otherwise, the more "individuals" focus on the exact same sorts of self gratifications, numerous private interests competing for ever more finite resources, the further from the most basic collectivist principles "humanity" slips.

One man's freedom to enjoy something turns into his freedom to monopolize the market in that particular commodity or service, one man's freedom to believe what he wants to, becomes his freedom to indoctrinate, one man's freedom is another person's slavery, apply the laws of "freedom" to one's body and the entire concept would fall apart, as would our body if it's elements were not highly regulated within a highly organized network of complementary, mutually beneficial elements working toward the goal of sustaining life.

The very existence of the freedom façade is due to our over identification with the mind, with mental images, representations instead of the things themselves, our tendency towards abstract utopian thinking instead of reasonable criticisms against the already existing conditions impeding any such progress.

As numerous examples within the music industry or alternative media show, an entirely unoriginal mammalian impulse, say rebellion, when re-branded into a marketably popular commodity form, by creating an outlet for people's attention and energy in the manner of a pressure relief valve, feeds the continual expansion of commodity production, and it's ability to satisfy increasingly abstract demands of greater numbers of people.

Any change is merely qualitative and required to sustain interest in the crumbling façade of "freedom available to all", just as it offers pseudo-goods to be coveted, and false models of revolution to naive local activists, the most advanced forms of capitalist production offer distractions for your wandering eye, ideal solutions for your dissatisfaction, and pre-packaged products or actions for your revolutionary impulses.

The function of "ideal" objects of identification, serving as the self obsessed agents of the most developed form of capitalist production, is to act out various lifestyles or sociopolitical viewpoints in an unrestrained, "totally free" manner.

They embody the inaccessible results of social labour by dramatizing the by-products of that labour being magically projected above it as its ultimate goals: power and holidays— the decision-making and consumption that are at the beginning and the end of a process that is never questioned.



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*.A concrete example today would be the sense of desire, envy, lack or determination, one might experience from not being able to purchase an "IPhone", the idol of Krisna manipulated by Russel Brand is a similar principle.

Who wields the reproduced image of Krisna or Jesus Christ's, commands the fascination of the non-critical.

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