People want to believe. People want a religion, a painkiller. Alienation and powerlessness to actually change their lives has knocked holes in their psyche that need to be filled by something, anything. Salespeople know this. Sales and other forms of mind control wouldn't work if the mind wasn't looking for something to control it in the first place - a "Big Other" (as the Lacanians say) that can take your powerlessness away.
The point of "motivational psychology / magic" is being able to - as the Subs say - "pull the wool over your own eyes". You wouldn't be able to "programme your own reality", though, if you deep-down didn't despair of actually be able to do anything to change things in the real world. Well, you wouldn't have to. You would be able to change things in everyday consciousness.
As it stands, your everyday consciousness is the consciousness you need to survive in a capitalist economy - to be an employee who gains the bosses' good but not bad attention, an efficient manager who maximises surplus value, a dynamite salesperson. At work, that is. You get home and you get to be a "good family man / wife", or whatever mass-produced consumption-related identity you've decided to buy. Goth, party girl, Magus, huge fan of reality TV, whatever. The only thing in common that these have is that they fill niches in a media/consumption environment rather than being in a position to change that environment.
Sadly, "revolutionary" is - for the most part - just another of those identities. Look at the industries that have sprung up to enable the "anarchist lifestyle" - organic stores, radical publishers, politically correct musical groups, etc. The Marxist sects can also be seen (for the most part) as parasitic growths on the yearning of people to believe in something. Just like Christian, Buddhist, Muslim and Neo-Pagan sects, for that matter. Religion is still the opiate (painkiller) of the masses, for a wider definition of "religion".
Any "scene", or community, or whatever, must be analysed with the tools of dialectial materialism. Where is the money and the surplus labour going? Who pays and who benefits? Is it going into creating real things in the real world or into supporting someone's lifestyle?
Lukacs said: "The Soviet is the end of alienation", because only the workers' council form can actually, consciously, change social reality. The best an individual can do is psychically "dope themselves up". This can of course be used for positive and negative goals. A painkiller can encourage you to lie around and stare at the ceiling, or kill your family, or it might take the edge off enough to allow you to accomplish something in the real world.
The early Christian writers said "we believe because it is absurd". The rationality we are taught to survive in the real world shows us that any efforts to change the world are doomed to failure. "Painkillers" - sect organisation, in this case - which enable us to act "irrationally", can bridge the gap between that reality and a future reality where workers solidarity and revolutionary political activity will be really, truly practical. This, I think, is what Gramsci meant by "pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will".
The death of independent working class culture came at the era when the ruling class needed to impose - not only passive habits of submission and deference - but active consent to the system and integration of the proletariat with middle-class cultural norms. That is, the era of universal suffrage and mass consumerism. This is one of the reasons that simply attempting to re-run 1917 doesn't work. Gramsci worked it out - the Tsarist state hadn't come nearly as close to incorporating the working class in "national" (bourgeois) culture as they had in Western Europe. And it's gotten much worse since then, to the point that working class culture simply doesn't exist in much of the world any more.
In our "First World" societies, industrial production has been mostly exported and we now have the birth of a service or info-processing working class. This has smashed all the old cultures and traditions of solidarity, and the new working class hasn't had the space to build new ones. We need a new "culture in opposition" - not a separatist "Proletkult", but a culture which fights the ruling class tooth and nail for everything that's good in culture (both mass-market and niche-market) as well as setting out to create our own free, open source, culture. This will take the form of a "historic bloc" (in Gramsci's terms) between a section of the cultural/ ideological intelligensia (a new middle class layer) and a new, rising layer of proletarian organic intellectuals, who may well grow precisely from those newly-proletarianised layers who went through "new middle class" education and training but lost out in the struggle for jobs.
A real international socialist movement would put as its first priority intersecting with the spontaneously arising working class cultures of China, India and South East Asia, but that's a bit beyond our means right now.
One of the essential contradictions of bourgeois ideology is going on about globalisation on one side, and then pretending that there are still such things as "national economies" on the other hand. The reason why there are info-processing, high-skill jobs in the West is precisely because the industrial heart of the world is now on the northwest of the Pacific.
Paradoxically, the very high-skill nature of the economy has led to the debasing of those skills and shoving people with training in cultural production and ideology into the new working class. The solution is of course not to run into the past and try to restore an industrial base in one country, but to struggle in international solidarity, and realise that only our bosses benefit from their oppression, or ours.
There's a difference in Venezuela - the Government's effort to build an industrial base there is correct because there isn't ANY sort of real working class at the moment, which is why the revolution is growing in such a weird shape. The popular masses, the base of the Bolivarian project, are mainly petty traders and casual workers in the cities who live off the trickled-down oil rents. Only a working class based in commodity production can build a social base for real workers power. The contradiction is that funnelling the oil rents into the social missions has opened up the very space for popular revolutionary consciousness that might bring this about.