Last Pages (p. 10-12) From Ch. 9 of the Book “Ideological Superstitions and Political Misperceptions in the 20-21st centuries”

By comparing these four modes of the conformism in relation to power we see that with each step of seeming distancing from power (direct support, indirect support, enjoyment of power as spectacle and consumption) the consciousness of continuing identification with power is more and more destroyed. Power gets the ability to become invisible and by this avoid resistance. Liberal conformism is the most conformist form of relation to power. “The transition to monopoly capital has dealt a mortal blow to the individual… ‘The category of the individual,’ wrote Horkheimer, ‘is not able to withstand giant industry.’ Subject’s subjectivity is being administered out of existence… The subject is paralyzed as an active historical force…Yet psychic and character forms of reification are historically specific. The concept of reification, as Adorno points out, must not be reified. It would be wrong to identify the sexually repressed, cold Puritan as the unchanging bourgeois character form of reification… Today it is often the reverse: instant intimacy, smiles, liberation in one’s own backyard. Marcuse’s concept of ‘repressive desublimation’ or Adorno’s of ‘desexualization of sexuality’ are efforts to come to grips with the recent historical dynamic of the psychic dimension. This psychic dimension is as fluid and historically variable as capital itself; as the succession of capitalist forms accelerates, so do the psychic forms. In the blur, the dead shells of domination appear to come alive. Even the most resilient are turned into desperados hunting for pleasures in the amusement park of life.” (Russell Jacoby, “Social Amnesia [A Critique of Contemporary Psychology from Adler to Laing]”. Beacon Pr., 1975, p. 99-100) Consumerist (hidden from awareness) identification with power, identification through such distance that object of identification cannot be seen and felt at all, is a form of psychological reification that with each year becomes more extensive and intense. The higher survival/success stress the more we have to consume (and the more amazing technical toys and designed items of luxury) to feel satisfied, the less time and energy we have for psychological and spiritual development.

People imply that slave labor becomes less enslavement if it is compensated for by money. People work up to three jobs, sometimes six or even seven days a week to feel that they are still succeeded/survived. People are ready to adapt to any decision made by decision-makers if their life will continue to include consumption and entertainment. They will sacrifice spirituality, wisdom, rationality, ability to think disinterestedly and objectively, ability to live peacefully with other people. They will agree to use nukes against another people just to continue to make money and entertain themselves.

Can way out be found? “Credence-credit. The linking of these two ideas may derive from primitive times, when a mankind still in childhood, separated from the mother, was forced to rely on the Other in order to survive. That other may be the father, the king, the prince, the parliament, the party, the welfare state, or the intellectual. As long as we remain children (and who has completely escaped from childhood?), we need transference – a synonym for love and faith… [Psycho]-analysis is apprenticeship in separation. Analytic experience reveals that the discourse of the father, king, prince, or intellectual is your discourse… Analytic discourse speaks of a humanity that is willing to lose in order to know itself as pure loss and thus pay its debts to the Almighty; it aims for tenuous, temporary ties and relationships… Analysis is a means of transition from trust to separation. I give my heart, then I reclaim it in order to risk it once more, ad infinitum. I am always prepared to be pushed off center without tragedy and with sufficient pleasure that I am ready afterward to renew relations with others… Having discovered the essence of the other, I am able to settle in myself. To settle in oneself through love of the essential good… Analysis gives me confidence that I can express all the parts of my being, and this confidence quells my narcissism and enables me to transfer my desire to others. I can then open myself up to the variety of experience…” (Julia Kristeva, “In the Beginning was Love [Psychoanalysis and Faith]”, 1987, p. 55 – 56) While describing the trail of psychological and spiritual development relevant to the destiny of every child and every adult in Western Democracies and larger world, Kristeva is not talking here only about psychoanalysis as an only tool for this universal task but about humanistic education and serious culture in general the part of which psychoanalysis became.

Destruction of humanistic education in USA (that reach its culmination in cult of machoistic bravado, mine-ization of money and addiction to entertainment, and the growing inability to differentiate between belief and truth, and between psychological projections and reality) makes it near impossible to help people to develop in mind, in soul and in heart. Disappearance of public intellectuals in the mosaic of professionalization and technical punditry invests in the problem. “The crime of Galileo was less what he discovered or said but how and where he said it. He renounced Latin to write in fluid Italian for a new public. As the Florentine ambassador reported after a meeting of papal authorities with Galileo, ‘If he wanted to hold this Copernican opinion, he was told to hold it quietly and not spent so much effort in trying to have others share it.’ This is precisely what Galileo rejected. He had decided, states a modern account, ‘to by-pass the universities and address himself in the vernacular to the intelligent public at large. This involved no doubt a sacrifice of the international value of Latin, but Galileo did not care to mark himself as an exclusive member of the light-shy and scattered republic of scholars… He felt right at ease in the street, in the square…’ [Today] the danger of yielding to a new Latin, a new scholasticism insulated from larger public life, tints the future gray on gray. While professional…languages can be a refuge, and a necessity, they can also be an excuse and a flight… The demise of public intellectuals reflects the recomposition of the public itself; it coincides with the wild success of television, the expansion of the suburbs, the corrosion of the cities, the flattening of the universities. The eclipse of the big general magazines, such as Look and Life, itself registers a parcellation of a once more homogeneous public; they have been replaced by ‘special interest’ magazines – tennis, computer, travel, sports… Younger intellectuals…have surrendered to their times… Humanity does not make history just as it pleases, but it does make history. By the back door choice enters the historical edifice.” (Russell Jacoby, “The Last Intellectuals [American Culture in the Age of Academe]”, Basic Bs, 1987, p. 236 – 237).

In the area of the analysis of the people’s life in today’s society the knowledge and competence is dissolved in formal equality of all opinions. People think that to study to form competent opinion is eccentric and even arrogant and ‘elitist” position contradicting the spirit of democracy.

Hate becomes a brother of money and entertainment again.