Phenomenology of The Disaster: (3) On the Economics of The Disaster

BOULDER, CO – It goes without saying that there is an economic aspect of The Disaster that many of us are experiencing as a financial threat and terror, another of the sharp pains of being in survival mode. I expect that this tension will lead a majority of us to think about the open cultural question of what authentic livelihood is, and, obviously, simply to question the disastrous, economic status quo we’ve undergone up until now.

When the public fears economic ‘depression’, austerity, insecurity, the collapse of markets, endemic poverty, what are they really fearing? Pull away the facades and curtains, the smoke-and-mirrors, the computer graphics, and what actually is feared? It is the small group of financially powerful Americans, the heirs and heiresses, owners, tycoons, oligarchs, financial wizards whose constant reinvention of investment markets ensnares the masses’ capital before ultimately gambling it away (followed by bailouts), in lockstep with political cycles. The public also subconsciously fears those cultural elites who proliferate gratuitous consumer products and unleash related barrages of marketing – they are ruthless panderers of addictive, frivolous themes.

This overall scheme by Wall Street and consumerism writ large is a weird psychological and intellectual cruelty against the humanity of Americans (and people around the globe). It is macro gas-lighting, which seeks to normalize the very existence of the conservative economic establishment and its baked-in greed.

The establishment’s main lie is that society must be built upon a financial foundation, that we should develop cultural experiences upon the edifices of commercial activities – and, an adjacent lie is that society must be built upon private property, gun ownership, and business, because this somehow ensures basic civility, individual liberty, law and order, while it prevents anarchy or authoritarians.

We have been brainwashed by these deceptions into feeling that certain cultural fulcrums, eternal nemeses, are natural and unavoidable: conservative versus liberal, white collar versus blue collar, rich versus poor, professionals versus workers, and so on. While there are certainly dualisms and contradictions experienced throughout culture, these conventional opposing pairs above show how even our ideological encampments are entrenched according to economic notions – whereas those camps may have plenty of alignment on issues other than the (poorly-understood) economy.

Obviously, if society is forced to take cultural and spiritual guidance from the outdated Capitalism of post-WWII American individualists, or the 1%, then our social contract will get sicker, and need critical care. The current Covid-19 crisis is exposing the underlying health issues, so to speak, of our entire socio-cultural matrix including the parasitic economic ‘system’.

The good news is – philosophical experiences also exist, including the Arts. More good news: we can gather around the interest areas of pure thinking and experiencing the Quickening together, as an Audience of this unfolding interest in what is most important, overall, philosophically.


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