Mass Culture As A Virtuoso Strategy Of Shipwrecking Democracy

Calculation of advantage (by socio-political leadership), calculation of profit (by financial elite) and calculation of consumerist pleasures (mass public) made us forget life. Life is precaritized in present conditions (life together with our planet, with cosmos, through mystical/existential ties with universe), and this precarity of life is producing psycho-pathologies and social pathologies.
Periphrasis from Franco Bifo Berardi

We want more time to live… We do not need more things, we need more time. We do not need more property, we need more joy… So the problem now is to develop the possibility of self-care, of self-therapy, of self-education.
Franco Bifo Berardi

Hell is the home of the eternally underdeveloped.
Graham Greene, “Collected Essays”, Viking Press, 1969, p. 126

After WWII – the biggest in its ambitions, the most massive in its scale, the most daring in its transgressions, the most expensive and the bloodiest of the wars of human history, it looked for a while that a prophetic opening in the destiny of humankind was looming in the horizon. It was, as if, people struck by the horrors of a technologically advanced war were ready for a historical alternative – for a world more positive and collaborative, more culturally and democratically oriented. In US the GI Bill, fight for human rights and finally Human Right Legislation, and the popular defeat of Vietnam War pointed in the direction that was decisively opposite to the old world of animosity, rivalry and strife. Mass distribution of humanistically scientific books, celebration of American poetry, fiction, theater and serious Hollywood films seemed like a premonition and cultural foundation for a flowering democracy ahead.

But it became more and more noticeable that inside the democratic garden there were predatory species of plants which for the first glance looked like belonging to democracy but gradually started to suffocate the democratic life. These weeds that looked like belonging to the democratic verdure quickly spread their predatory roots and branches, until the muscular trunk of Roi Reignan’s pop-charisma signed into Law the very dismantling of democracy in the name of profit for the 2% of population, under the hypnotizing slogans of democracy’s protection and promotion. Democracy became a code-word for money-tocracy.

The strategy of shipwrecking democracy (under the icon-banner of its stabilization and development) wasn’t the creation of a monstrous mind imagined by a paranoid imagination. Nor was it invented by villains from James Bond movies. It was multifaceted, multicolored, designed by the spontaneous efforts of profit-dreamers and profit-makers – seekers of Promise Land of gluttonous money-multiplication and technological power over the sunset and sunrise. There was no any massive destructive plan. The terrorism of money did the job. Totalitarian (one for everybody) ideology of power through money was more subversive to democracy than any traditionally totalitarian ideology. It was like a synergic wave of creative excitement uniting the wealthy, wealth-hopefuls and wealth-dreamers. Like Soviet communism was in 20s and 30s, magic belief in wealth and wealthy is the super-popular dream today. Everybody wants to try wealth by their teeth. “Creative” entrepreneurship married to technical science and the new alchemists of money-making from the air and clouds developed an unprecedented assault on human freedom and dignity, on human self-respect based not on being rich but on being born a human. Human being is now defined as a wallet and a pocket and a robotic logic manipulating the environment and circumstances and exploiting of opportunities.

The mass-cultural strategy of distracting people from being human was – to over-satisfy them instead of just satisfying them, to over-feed them instead of just feeding, to shut them up with excess instead of stimulating their thinking, imagination and uniqueness. Over-saturate human dreams – and they will fade away, and in this moment put before them artificial: robotic, dream, and history will be over (“technical progress” will take the place of its elder brother – humanistic progress). It is like throwing giant pumpkins into the wide open jaws of a hippopotamus. To make democracy addicted to all kinds of gluttony instead of keeping it healthy is a much more effective weapon against it than ideological assault on it (as it was practiced by traditionally totalitarian systems). Food must be oversaturated with caffeine, sugar, salt and fat, while pop-images – with excitability, pleasantness and over-satisfying ability. Entertainment has always been there, but technology has made it much more important for people than human life. How your body look is becoming more important than whom it belongs to.

Obsessive, abusive, addictive food and entertainment train people in narcissistic stupefaction. The soul-emptying entertainment as a goal in itself kidnaps us from existential system of coordinates. The goal of producers and dealers of processed food and images is not to mislead (it could be an ideological goal), but to make money by fabricating, faking goods by making it irresistibly attractive: by transforming it into drugs (the commercial goal). But commercial interests are ideological. It is like the question of the “sincerity” of the leading Soviet communists’ belief in communism which they promoted in Russia so ruthlessly. Belief in communism helped them to justify their desire for power over Russia and the Russian people and fed their megalomania of feeling themselves the first and the best among humanity. Naturally, people will sincerely believe in concept that’ll provide them with a leading position in the country, more than decent living and belief in their best-ness in the world.

Glamorous sport events, cult of super-stars and pop-music, the somatization of the population’s interests through fitness and gym obsessions and body-occupations are profitable for the rich who then are free to pursue their goals (without public participation in decision-making about the present and future of the country). In the same spirit the so called sexual revolution was the most ingenuous invention of anti-democratic minds. “Let people f… whoever they want (well, almost) and whichever way they like (within the reason) and let them have their pot of dope, instead of lecturing us, the wealthy, what to do, how to run our business and how to behave”. That’s how young people were neutralized politically, philosophically and existentially not to resist the rule of the Golden Calf over the world because they are allowed to collect the crumbs from corporate meals in the form of entertainment and pleasures youth needs so badly.