14.1.19

First Daily Post

As I listened to cable news correspondents disclose facts about the dire, precarious, indebted financial status of the majority of Americans -- terror struck.

It was a chill-to-the bone shock of the dystopian situation in which employed masses (employment having been mandated, at least by a draconian norm) could be manipulated by their own lifestyles turned into games, and controlled by debt. Their attention would be consumed by employment glued to survival and identity (hear: indentureship), with spare time consumed by a succession of games such as being a ‘smart’ consumer, dressing sharp, and keeping high credit scores.

The grand social game would be like that ‘sim’-community online, with the object of being ‘productive’, as efficiently and smartly as possible, in acquiescing with this gamification of life. Perhaps it would progress to the point where a too-large number of people would have assimilated this life as their paradigm (and ceased needing to acquiesce).

Some of you may scoff that this seems like my first waking terror from imagining such a future, watching its encroachments upon the present. The truth is that for decades I have felt chilled by the dystopian aspect of corporate culture, and the ominousness of politicians. But hearing the radio today was the strongest reaction I have felt to the imminence of such a bad future.

Yet, I believe that the above image need only be a daymare, a figment of the imagination, because after all, there are philosophical arts in this world whose job it is to pull up a mirror to society, to rescue society from drowning in nightmares.

A question like Is the Marxian future of capitalism coming to pass? holds a certain disingenuousness towards the perennial nature of this situation, baked into the human condition. It can be explained not only phenomenologically but also ontologically.

The phenomenology of this situation is nothing new or apocalyptic. Its essence is a kind of enlarged trauma, spread out in a society, which can be seen in a child from an abusive home. In the macro, it is a vast majority of people unnecessarily impoverished by the rules of the society, its poverty trap. But what is the very essence of the mortal fear that is the trap’s lever on people’s sense of reality? That would require the ontological explanation.

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