nic dodac, nic ujac.
A culture of hype and consumerism
In the old days, America had a pioneer/cowboy culture of expansion during the
days of the Old West. But that’s been reduced to nostalgic remnants of the
country and Old West films. Nowadays, modern American "culture" is basically
an industrial culture consisting of two primary ingredients - HYPE and
CONSUMERISM. These two elements pervade almost all facets of American life,
all for commercial purposes.
American culture has little or nothing to do with reality and substance.
Instead, everything is hyped up beyond substance or reality for commercial
purposes. The US economy lives and thrives on hype, which is a mere illusion
of advertising to attempt to psychologically create the desire among the
populace for the goods and services being sold. The hype of course, serves and
perpetuates our lifestyle and routine of PERPETUAL CONSUMPTION without end,
which is encouraged as well.
This is exemplified everywhere in advertisements, commercials, billboards,
strip malls, mass media, etc. We are programmed to think that being able to
buy things leads to happiness and fulfillment. And in fact, in most of
America, there is nothing to do but go to strip malls to BUY and CONSUME
everyday in a neverending routine of hyped consumption. The US lifestyle
simply offers little else.
To see an obvious example of excess consumption in America, go to a typical
home and look in the garage or basement, and notice the excess of things
stored there that are never used, making moving a total pain in the ass. As
ancient wisdom goes, too much of anything is never any good.
It's no wonder that my Greek college buddy used to always say to me that,
"Americans have no inner life. All they do is consume, consume."
Though excess consumption is supposed to lead to happiness and fulfillment,
for many it doesn't, so they are left confused as to why they feel empty and
flat when they should be happy for being allowed to consume to their heart's
content. Hence they wonder "What is wrong with me?" rather than see a problem
in the whole hyped consumerist system which they've been programmed to think
as the perfect epitome of life. And of course, our system's train of thought
is that anyone who doesn't fit into it or find fulfillment in it is "the
problem" rather than the system itself.
Excess consumption=excess production=excess work
The problem with the American lifestyle is that people consume more than they
need to and they work more than they need to. They both go hand-in-hand.
Excess consumption means excess production, which in turn leads to more work
and jobs to be done. Plus, if you consume a lot, then you have to work more to
make enough money to keep up that lifestyle. The thing is though, that neither
are really necessary. We are simply programmed to think it's necessary and act
Some socialist authors have postulated that there is enough productivity in
this country for everyone to work only 3-4 hours a day, yet maintain the same
lifestyle. But the reason we don't is that the powers that rule production and
resources in this country do not wish us to, for if everyone had that much
more free time, they'd start to think on their own, organize grass root
movements in their own interest, and upturn the status quo. In other words,
they know that a revolution of the people would be much more likely if
everyone had that much more free time. So, they prefer you to always work at
least 8 hours a day so that you'll be so tired at the end of the day, that all
you can do is lounge off on TV the rest of the night, becoming a passive
observer rather than a participant. That's how the ruling class in America
maintains a slave labor to keep doing its job.
Stagnation of mind and soul in an industrial culture
The problem with mainstream life in America is that there is basically nothing
to expand your mind or soul, like there is in Europe in plenty. On the
average, not much good or bad happens; time just passes and life is wasted in
mind-numbing mechanistic routine in conformity to the industrial culture of
hype-driven consumerism to perpetuate the stability and expansion of the
industrial forces that dominate the country. These forces also seek to control
the rest of the world, often overthrowing foreign governments and regimes due
to corporate greed. Let's elaborate on some of the factors at work.
Although America tries to pretend to be a multi-cultural melting pot of
diversity to appease its many ethnic groups, in reality it is a culture of
assimilation with no real culture left (notwithstanding a few cities, e.g. New
York, San Francisco, New Orleans), at least not by the standards of the rest
of the world. Instead, it's basically a giant "industrial machine" of mass
production and consumption, seeking to dominate the world and make all in its
path serve its interests.
Even foreign immigrants who come here lose their culture, as they become
immersed and "assimilated" into the gigantic industrial culture of modern day
America. Those who "assimilate" into the industrial culture are rewarded with
a mechanistic automated life of non-expression and hype-driven
overconsumption, while those who don't are labeled as misfits and losers, who
will be left behind in the "rat race".
Those with a strong need for creative self-expression often feel suffocated in
corporate America, instead becoming starving artists, actors, musicians, small
business owners, hippies, or living some other poor Bohemian lifestyle. Thus,
while America boasts freedom politically and legally, there is no true freedom
of the SOUL, something much more abundant in European cultures. On the
contrary, life in America stagnates and stunts the growth and development of
the soul as conformity to an industrial culture and materialistic mentality is
forced upon you.
Regulating self-expression in an automaton society
What most Americans don't know and don't realize is that the industrial
corporate forces that control everything in the country, NEED them to be
automatons, without self-expression or critical "out of the box" thinking, and
therefore set up the conditions to make and keep them that way so the
industrial structure of this country can prosper and stabilize. To maintain
the status quo, free expression needs to be squelched to keep the lives of the
populace as automaton-like as possible. Since America is a generally stable
and conformist-oriented country, its economic system is dependent on people
who rigidly conform to it. Rather than encouraged or taught to think, we are
simply plugged into the system like an automaton.
Most Americans don't realize this because they've never stepped outside of it
like I and others have, so they think that it's "the universe" and nothing
else is outside of it. But as in the "Cave Analogy" by Plato, some do escape
the shadows on the cave wall and step out to see the light, but of course, the
national media, owned and funded by corporate industrial interests, never give
them an outlet to present their viewpoints.
One way corporate America forces its citizens to become automatons is by
discouraging and banning any kind of self-expression in the workplace (ok at
least you're allowed to hang pictures of your family in your cubicle),
allowing only conformity to the corporate structure. With no freedom of
expression in corporate/industrial America, there are no true outlets to
expand your mind and soul. There is only freedom to move up and down the
corporate ladder (or sideways). Thus, Americans are conditioned to define
themselves by what they do, even judging their self-worth by it.
To quell the human need for self-e