Notes On Strategies And Tools of Antidemocratic Efforts Amid Democracy

Concentrated wealth creates concentrated power, which legislates further concentration of wealth, which then concentrates more power…
Noam Chomsky

We’ll focus here on two tools/strategies of subverting democracy in US after WWII without using antidemocratic ideology and more – by using pro-democratic phraseology. It’s, as if, the anti-democratic efforts take place covered with pro-democratic ideological banners. The first tool/strategy deployed against democracy is the ideology and practice of consumerism, and the second is mass culture that deploys machoism, guns/weapons worshipping and militarism with its hate and bravado to cover/handle with its influence youth with conservative sensibility, and, on the other hand, high-tech guitars and sweaty-sentimental singing on the stage – to handle young people with liberal sensibility. Who created these anti-democratic strategies – some evil mind in an evil body? Nobody in particular, but everybody with penchant for consumerist and mass-cultural pleasures. Primitive impulses to accumulate power and wealth got a chance to act through technology with full naiveté about their own nature. Technological manipulation of the people and lands doesn’t seem, at first glance, like manipulation, but as generously providing people unlimited opportunities to improve their lives.

Consumerism and mass culture – the clothes of anti-democracy designed as more democracy are growing inside democracy like neoplasms – consumerism participates in the destruction of democratic prosperity, like mass culture – of the secularly spiritual culture.

What consumerism uses against prosperity and mass culture against culture is an appeal to the psychologically crude layers of human psyche and by the intensification of devaluation and destruction of humanistic education (the main socio-cultural “agency” capable of refining the human psyche through training it how to overcome its megalomaniacal narcissism of implying that “we are by nature smart enough to understand life without humanistic education”).

Culture (as different from mass-culture) and the idea of prosperity (as radically different from consumerism) can function only insofar as a rational and reasonable (humanistically educated) spirituality is made part of the human psyche. This mature spirituality (result of a tormenting experience of permanent intellectual self-overcoming) prevents obsessiveness and naïve self-confidence on part of any need trying to command individual to act out in its name. It is the needs becoming obsessive and ideas becoming absolutized which transform culture into a mass culture and the concept of prosperity into a consumerist vain obsession.

Prosperity is modest and moderate, while consumerism is obsessive and avaricious. Culture is sublime, while mass culture is de-sublimated. Prosperity is noble and generous while consumerism plebeian and blind. Culture is disinterested while mass culture is indulgent. Culture is intellectually demanding while mass culture is intellectually loose and cognitively messy. Cultural images and their perception include humility while the task of mass culture is to provide over-satisfaction to hook us on easy pleasure.

The “mechanism” of destroying prosperity through consumerism and culture by mass culture is providing the “mechanical” and superficial exaggeration of the image of the host by the intruder, for example, of music by (entertaining) pop-music or well-being by luxury – of concentrated refinement by cheerful and sentimental vulgarity. Regular people perceive prosperity as an “underdeveloped” consumerism and the fact of being in poverty as a form of falling from the consumerist heaven. They consider consumerism as prosperity’s higher phase. For the humanistically under- or the uneducated ones gluttony is a result of developed taste for food. The same with culture and mass culture. Mass culture provides more “somatic” and gusto-dense emotions in comparison with culture which includes thinking about the meaning of images and words (hard work for many who operate mainly through intuitive inspirations and instinctive mental agitations). So, people prefer David Bowie to Pierre Boulez, Prince to John Cage and Madonna to Jessi Norman. Culture doesn’t encourage identification by similarity (for example between viewers and movie characters) – psychological mechanism which a totalitarian community and countries are based on, while mass culture exploits this very mechanism because it is based on strong and exceptionally pleasant “we-them” emotions (“morally and intellectually superior-we” and “inferior-them” feelings).

Instead of building their prosperity and expanding their cultural competence people drum-dream about becoming bill-mills (billionaires-millionaires) and indulging in consumption of each other, the world and entertainment, with crude-greed of bill-mills as the ultimate role models. They worship Donald Trumps and Lord Bankfines (Lloyd Blankfeins) who participate in destroying prosperity and in building consumerism for super-consumers like themselves.

Consumerism (as an economic activity) and mass culture have consumerism as a psychological position as shared common denominator. Consumerists imply that the world and technological advantages of human civilization exist in order to be at their disposal – to be a tool for their profit and pleasure. More and more Americans are frustrated not because in the time of austerity they are deprived of what they have the right to enjoy as citizens of a technologically developed democracy – the human prosperity, but because they are not able to be the (maximal) consumerists.

Consumerism and mass culture (both grown from consumerist roots) have debilitated American democracy so effectively, that today financial elites with their sophisticated strategies of manipulating people’s financial behavior and public funds in particular are in absolute charge. Even the poorest people have become more and more corrupted in their feverish dreams of becoming bill-mills. Neocons – saber-toothed conservatives are silently planning mass abandonment of the people (a new – “sublimated” form of mass extermination by withdrawing/cutting the funds from public investment to the helping those who need care because of being chronically unemployed, disabled or elderly). People possess more and more arms to kill one another and leave the financial majesties free to finalize their conquest of the world including US.