Existential Nausea

Standard

I was very interested in Andrew Martin’s analysis of the language of Marx and how it seems apposite in today’s political climate:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/25/ed-miliband-karl-marx-squeezed-middle?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

In this article he analyses the phrase squeezed middle as a description of the middle classes in our country, who are more hard pressed than others in time of economic difficulty.

There is purity to the language and world picture of Marx, which filtrates out of society the basic model that defines the way our lives interact of a macro scale. Marx’s model is as relevant to day as it ever was. Previously in this blog I have written about the media and the means of production and Marxist exploitation on X Factor. I have written a novel about commodity fetishism and the lumpenproletariat.

Marx believes that alienation from species essence is a systematic result of capitalism. It is possible we are entering a phase of post capitalism where this alienation is being eroded by a sense that we are connecting again to a sense of communal economics and a communal society, mainly achieved through work and play on the Internet.

We have all felt a sense of alienation in out lives before; in mine, I was in my 20’s, living alone and reading Nausea by Jean Paul Satre. Many people’s psychological models of reality are heavily influence by the media, which informs us of everything we know about the world outside our own immediate social relations. Young people’s worldviews are heavily influence by the worlds of media and celebrity, insofar as the whims and diktats of those public and private forces determine everyday choices they make, from hair colour to music choice, from bodily self-image to the way they present themselves to strangers – many teenagers will not describe themselves as teenagers, but would rather present themselves as currently on the lowest rung of a career as a DJ, rapper, singer, model or actor, based on sketchy mixes disseminated on YouTube and cameraphone self portraits posted on Facebook. We are neurally linked to a reality picture the media had networked us into, and divorcing our minds from that dimension is as impossible and horrid to contemplate for young people as the worst existential nausea.

Andrew Jenkins self diagnoses alienation in himself. It is possible there is alienation, and that it is this classically Marxist alienation that started the riots over the summer. It is possible there is wider alienation amongst society, but that would be impossible to detect as these people are by definition beyond our visibility anyway, secluded as they are in private miseries that we cannot justify the cost of interrupting with good news.

A degree of social engineering would be welcome from those who have the capital concentrated in their hands, to create a media model of society that does not frustrate young people into smashing windows because they have not had a number one single before their 19th birthday. Whilst many of these young people might not actually know the blackest horrors of the abyss we all know may exist if we get society wrong, that is not to say that their turmoil is not real. An inclusivist model must be found to prevent alienation, in the Information Age, or the Age of Instant Celebrity, to give everyone the freedom to think inside the boxes the media have secured their minds inside. A possible reason for the riots was that media forces and editorial lines from bearded media fat cats screaming at us from newsstands cramped young people’s heads into a state of agonising stress that needed to be vented. This should never be allowed to happen again.

Advertisements

Messianic Marxism

Standard

There is an interesting tension in the media these days. It is as if the nerves of the media are touching the surface now, and spiking on radars. For the intelligent observer, it is an interesting, ethereal world, a floating world of undiscovered entertainment.

The relationship between the media and the public seems to have taken a fracturing blow over phone hacking, which has shaken the establishment to its core. The mass psychological forces that make up our society need mediating in a different way. Up until now society has been Marxist, with the media owning the means of production and the proletariat selling their labour to the owners of the means of production. Can we understand this new power structure in Marxist thinking? Was there ever a Messiah in Marxist theory? Perhaps we need neo-Marxist theory, or a theory for some social environment that has never been sociologically studied or written about. But whatever this environment is, the media are stitched into it like the lining of a suit, as are the public – and as, as of now, is the meme included in this blog post.

There seems to be some bloodless revolution of mind about to happen around the world, and this blow to the neoliberal conspiracy model has not been dealt by the #occupy movement, but by some private force that regulates and mediates between conscious minds (see my blog post the End of Economic Failure). Capitalism was a certain kind of damned corporeal theory whereby humanity could only be quantified in terms of what it could produce physically, rather than what it could produce mentally. There seems to be some new kind of spiritual understanding around the world that a new kind of rainbow littered spiritual mass form of existence is possible, quite different from the lives set out for us by late capitalist corporeal television sets and newspapers. I am particularly interested in a revival of spiritual thought in the Islamic World, precipitated by the Arab Spring. I can see a new spiritual thought awakening in the Middle East that rejects the damned corporeal pathology of Islamism in favour of an Islamic thought that welcomes sex and alcohol, just as the Islamic world widely did when it was at the height of its civilisation. I believe we may be about to see a new Renaissance in the Middle East, not seen there since it was eclipsed by Europe in the 13th century.

England is also a fascinating country now. The new spiritual realities that movements like #occupy have generated need to be traversed and mined to see what utility can be gained from them.

The only thing stopping this Marxist spirituality from encompassing us all is the quantum uncertainty existing in the spaces between people’s distinct worldviews. The Marxist superstructure of our society has overtaken the Marxist base, and this needs addressing.