17 September 2009

O wad some power the giftie gi'e us...

I think I've mentioned before that, in late period consumer capitalists, the cultural technician class functionally act in the same regard as the priesthood did in feudal Europe (manufacturing consent among the oppressed for their own oppression, creating narratives for the ruling class which justify that oppression, and being rewarded with quasi-autonomy and a slice of the pie). But of course, that's not how the "creatives" see themselves. They pretty much see themselves as wizards, as if this were some kind of fantasy novel. And of course some of them cast their "magic spells" for their own self interest, some for what they think might be the interests of the world as a whole (filtered through their own perception), and some simply for hire. The common thought is that they are the s00per-special elite who will decide the battle for one side or another.

Deluding yourself is probably a good survival trait if your aim is to get the most goodies out of the World-As-Is. However, rigorous honesty with what you really are is necessary if you actually want to act as an outlet of goodness into the world. And you might have the power to shape people's consciousness with your magick spells, and thus gain for yourself $$$ and other class privileges, but really, that's nothing that a mediaeval priest or a tribal witchdoctor can't do. And both those professions found themselves historically obsolete when a stronger class or national force appeared on the scene - unless of course they shifted their allegiance to the new boss, same as the old boss.

The cultural technicians and creatives have to be an important part of a new historical bloc to overthrow the system, of course, or the planet's screwed. If for no other reason that they probably have as much economic "weight" to throw about in the advanced capitalist countries as the industrial proletariat. However, the problem happens because they always assume that they're going to run the show and teach the idiot proles what's what.

Stalinism, and its mirror image McCarthyism, are both essentially middle-class ideologies because they include this basic assumption - that proles are dumb machines who need to be programmed by an enlightened class, and that the real battle is a Wizard's Duel between competing value systems and media networks. So it's White Wizards vs. Dark Wizards for the soul of the nation, and the proles will just have to sit back and wait to be told which side won. This of course lends to all manner of elitist claptrap such as conspiracy and terrorism, both of which might mean a new class of entitled jackasses taking over, but will never mean a change in the actual way the world works.

In contrast, Chaos Marxism promotes the concept of the "organic intellectual". Can you actually unify yourself with a real class force, and help it to come to self-awareness - which does not mean teaching them to see themselves the way you think they should be seen, but to clarify their own semi-conscious grasp of reality? To put it in concrete terms - the response to the Fox Newses and Globovisions of this world is not to set up competing and opposing propaganda channels. You can't beat the bastards on their own terms because it's based on mobilising within current market forces, and we're supposed to be opposing market forces. On the contrary - how can we create media in which people tell their own truth, rather than waiting for clever wizards to tell them what reality is?