Metamodern Culture. Divide, Demonize and Conquer

“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.” – Alexandre Dumas

By Allen Sands
Image (above) by Jorge Murcia

Societies all have a propensity to divide and compartmentalize their cultures. Through some form of social engineering, economic development, religion or political philosophy we divide, demonize and conquer. Capitalists detest socialists; socialists and communists detest capitalists; the technocrats detest them all, and it’s “all” nothing but semantics.

The branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. There are a number of branches and subbranches of semantics, including formal semantics, which studies the logical aspects of meaning, such as sense, reference, implication, and logical form, lexical semantics, which studies word meanings and word relations, and conceptual semantics, which studies the cognitive structure of meaning.

Politics and Economics for some reason are considered to be of the same entity in the social construct. This causes great confusion and collusion due to how different state entities have manipulated their own governments and economic systems. Business and governments, without a secure system of checks and balances, have a tendency to create conflicts of interest between the private and public sectors through cronyism, influence peddling and specifically campaign finance. This is how we create an environment of fascism or as the twenty year Princeton University study has shown, the Oligarchy.

After a small lifetime of reading, observing and trying to find myself within any context of social divide, I find that there is no one category that I can file myself under. I consider myself politically independent. I claim to be a Libertarian/Socialist. I believe there is no such thing as an “established” society or an established method for doing anything in life. Society is always emerging and needs critical thinking and the creative, or “artistic” process to survive. The survival of the species depends on its ability to improvise, adapt and overcome.

I am neither pro-business nor pro-labor. I am pro-autonomy. I believe I can be autonomous within any collective. I am a free man. But – willing to cooperate. In other words, I am never a company man, but always a team player. Business cannot survive without labor and labor cannot survive without business. Period. The battle between a socialized economy and a capitalist economy is only as different as its corruption allows. Both are “capitalist” in principle. In other words, supply and demand of resources and “division of labor” is constant with both mechanisms.

Enter the Technocrat. The technocrats were entirely economic in principle. They are scientists and technicians. They believe that society should be engineered within scientific principles or “systems” of efficiency. To them technology is the essence of our economic sustainability. They have no need for politics, and at times some of their (extreme) theories become ambivalent to life as a component or cogs on the gear that can be sacrificed for the elegance of their theory. Before Adolph Hitler came to power, eugenics was developed in California. Some technocrats favored eugenics, but there were divides. Long story short, Hitler learned well, from us, and began human experimentation the likes only the Asians had seen by the hand of the Japanese Imperial Army.

Jacques Fresco is a technocrat. He has been proposing a “resource based” economy since the seventies. This is the total antithesis to capitalism and socialism as economic principles. We cannot comprehend a society with no exchangeable currency. The capital or currency the technocrats foresee is in energy. In other words, the capitalist or socialist will pull raw materials and through division of labor manufacture a product. It has no intrinsic “value” until after its been manufactured for consumption. We sell the product for capital to procure our own goods and services. “We work more hours to make more things to make more money to buy more things; so we can work more hours to make more things to make more money to buy more things”.

By the 80’s, thanks to Reagan’s capitalist, Military Industrial Complex, it became, “We work more hours to make more money to buy more coke, so we can work more hours to make more money to buy more coke….” While state sponsored fascism declared open season on Central America.

The technocrat sees the raw material or resource as having “capital” value already. The Earth is the bank. If we pull too many resources too quickly; oil, water, agriculture and livestock, we will “break the bank” so to speak. It was a technocrat who started the “Peak Oil” buzz. Capitalism and socialism are the antithesis to conservation and sustainability. When you run out you have to steal it from somebody else; through tricky trade deals, exploitation, extortion and if all else fails, by state sanctioned armed robbery or war. It has been theorized by many economists that capitalism cannot survive without periods of war to stimulate production. Does anyone see any reason at all to pause for a second to reflect on this?

Not one philosophy, economic principle or established form of government holds all the answers. We are as diverse as we are the same in our thinking. I do not think that any theory or philosophy is inherently evil. These are concepts devised by man to improve or observe the human condition. Any institution can be corrupted. You cannot in any reasonable way assume that any system of governance or economics will always run smoothly. We are all individuals within the collective. It’s in how we preserve our autonomy and basic civil rights within the global village that defines our system.

We always hear how “bad” capitalism is from the Marxists. We are always told how “bad” socialism is by the capitalists. And we are told how bad both are by the technocracy. You would be inclined to think that there are absolutely no redeeming qualities to be gained from either system depending on which “compartment” of culture you have declared your loyalties to.

I propose that we can have our cake and eat it too. I do believe that was the endgame of those fundamental principles of opportunity, freedom and liberty that our nation was built upon. Not to divide with political and economic segregation, but to become allies through mutual cooperation. “With the meeting of different cultures comes the exchange of ideas.” That was what I learned in History class!

Americans are famous for throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The USSR called themselves a socialist state. They were evil. They corrupted their own economic system. We call ourselves a capitalist, free market economy. Couldn’t be further from the truth. We’ve managed to corrupt our own economic system as well through government collusion and conflicts of interest.

Science vs economics vs politics, the great divide. The technocrats have the biggest uphill battle in that respect because nobody wants to believe in science. Especially the Republicans. I’m not talking about Global Warming and Climate Change. IMHO it’s all BS. What’s not BS is pollution and industrial waste, which has been politicized beyond all recognition. And that’s why American politics, the economy and the environment will never improve.

We have all been divided, demonized and conquered through our own compartmentalization and unwavering dedication to “established” political thought, religion and mass marketed propaganda. And until we start seeing the best that each philosophy has to offer and start combining and reinventing ourselves through the best elements of each, we will never emerge from our own cultural entropy.

1. Physics: A thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system’s thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system
2. lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.
“We have a marketplace where entropy reigns supreme”

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