More than a year ago I wrote a review about a fairly well-intentioned but wrong approach documentary: "The Century of Self". Adam Curtis, the author of this documentary claimed that contemporary consumerism manipulation and propaganda would somehow come from Freudian psychoanalysis on the basis that his grandson Edward Barnays emigrate to U.S. and become there the founder of the advertising and PR. I still think that getting to Freud from this distant hardly known nephew is a kind of empty speculation and some hint of racism because is showing the psychoanalysis itself not as an objective scientific fact but a matter of family blood. Being preoccupied for its errors and for reducing the text length at that time I did not pointed the merits of this documentary. It is now time to return to the subject to show its the good side in the very analysis that will make about contemporary phenomenon of collective manipulation techniques discovered by Freud and then diversified in various aspects by other theorists or psychotherapists.
Indeed the role of people manipulation to become maniac customer for the capitalism functioning is overwhelming and psychological knowledge from various investigative tools were generally used for this. For this issue is typical one of the psychology world famous experiment that founded the development of nowadays advertising. The experiment was done in 1957 by James Vicary who made two random groups of individuals and showed them the same movie with that difference that in a case among the movie there were flashing short video messages “Drink Coke” and “Eat popcorn”. Finally it was found that selling of cola and popcorn in the group where the film had such messages was much higher. Throughout the entire contemporary manipulation and the contemporary civilization that pretend to protect “human rights” or human dignity work on this principle. The contemporary bigger liberties halfslave won from contemporary classical slave charged with the emergence of a huge and absolutely grotesque machines manipulation of consciousness so that halfslave not to be obliged to serve any longer but to be persuaded to do so voluntarily. No matter how misguiding or suicidal would be a good idea, no matter how deceiving there would be a politician if their image is obsessively repeated then the community gets to attach to it and to like it.
Such an experiment was practically showing what first Freud theoretically analyzed with phenomenon of transfer. It involves mainly the interlocutor response of worship towards its psychotherapist. I say “mainly” because the reaction may be excessive hostility also. Although this second case is rarer, however the two feelings are homologous, similar and retroactive. I won’t get into details here on the second case because the area belongs more to psychology.
Within the psychoanalysis session Freud as a person was perceived by the interlocutor as a prophet that guesses the thoughts and talk about things that bourgeois morality of that era hid them under the rug of consciousness. Inhibition of sexual compulsion that defines the neuroticist psychopathology transforms in prophet worshipping as the therapist seemed to seek for the solutions out of state neurotic suffering. The neurotic conscience transgenerationally came from a humble social class so it psychically projected religious contents into the therapist person. Religious constructs of the interlocutor deep primitive soul gave rise to this type of worshipping and hope for liberation from suffering. The same mechanism has happened in the history of culture when the Christianity became a new type of transferential spiritual enthusiasm. Christianity promised equality of all people before God and thus this religion became ancient slave worship solution destined by classical culture to remain eternally an animal.
The right to be human (or at least man alive) was not accepted for classical slave. So called contemporary democracy has replaced the classical slave with contemporary halfslave based on this new technique of persuasion through worship. If someone worships then that person can be convinced more easily and with less expense to serve and bring profit. I pointed out in detail here the way that primitivism is a source of exploiting for “elegant manners” civilization. Emancipation is a word with unexpected blades.
Anything new gets a worship response in the consumer depth psychic level because it promises a new world, a better world, a supernatural world, a heaven. Most of the times the new objects are not entirely new, they just repeat existing technology. Their “novelty” relies on external design that is presented in a way that they give the illusion to consumers that are revolutionary technology. This is the prototype of false technologies because instead of setting slaves free as Aristotle hoped in ancient, it enslaves them more.
From an economic point of view such worship involves an overvaluation of the object of offered for sale which implies an unfair exchange. The quantity of labor offered in exchange for the purchase of that product is too high. Basically a part of such overvaluated object does not cover the natural exchange relationship. That means that this labor is done actually for nothing just like in the classic case of forced slave labor in exchange for providing a natural right that classic steals: right to life. But with the emergence of the industrial age and the number explosion of the different household objects there was a time to adjust the Christian morality that ancient slave bet almost two millenniums ago: the equal rights for all the people. Obviously as long as machines have not yet definitively replaced slave labor that ideal of equality in rights remains to be achieved in the future. The slave was not totally liberated but has won some rights more or less hypocritical and more or less applicable. At least she/ he was no longer forced to serve but only convinced to do it with the wide institutions manipulation. And for the persuasion to be effective there is rights limiting required. But with industrialization (which began with the Renaissance), he won some real rights. Escaped from the lands of feudal the classical slave slowly moved to bourgeois factories. This time was no longer threatened with a gun to work (maybe it was done rarer) and it was enticed to worship a new world, the worldwide excess of objects.
Any commercial add causes some mental distress because psychologically it translates the harassment of psychodynamic system by creating an artificial inhibition or by artificial provocation of desires. The consumer becomes a fish lured with the bait of shopping, with the obsessive collection of unnecessarily objects induced by social system metamanipulation and propaganda. The social system abuses such natural role of the general mental desire which is to balance the organism and species with the potentialities of the environment. Harassment of human desires with subtle psychological advertising does not adequately reflect the environment to which the organism report but it reflects a tricky environment designed to manipulate and persuade the consumer to harness on the work which artificially sustains a lazy and parasitic social minority. In short: this is a trap.
Advertising is often confused or intentionally and forcefully identified with transparency that governments and institutions should open to ordinary people or simply to communication itself. Many commercial offerings coming either from the Internet, either into the home mailbox or directly while walking on the street call themselves "communication" but all of them are larger or smaller degree of violation of one's intimate space. Such business behavior is positioned within the category of “aggressive marketing campaigns” even by the marketing language itself. In a world full of lies and scams that actually cancel the basic principles of communication it can be said that somebody can happily skip such "communication." Such intrusion painted in "communication" colors ends up on questioning real communication of private and personal thoughts that someone shares with friends or relatives. Officially recognized as “Communication Sciences” by the education and research official social organisms actually involve on greater or smaller degree but invariably the social manipulation and the power of lying without anyone realizing that, without being caught or condemned for it.
Advertising is not just a notice to services that can be made by someone although there was the point of beginning. Advertising today means much more than that; it means either the creation of artificial needs, or creating an artificial fear that purposes on having on consumer a psychological compulsion to acquire and consume, which is a subtle manipulation of demand and price overvaluation. The purpose is the same: the target, the buyer. The old analogy between the military organization and the organization and new factories, corporations, is exactly reflected in contemporary consumerism reality. The target is an individual with a humble pedigree either congenitally afraid of lord threats or willing to escape of everyday banalities just as her/his slaves ancestors wanted to do centuries ago. They had been left in the genetic code the need of escape from the slavery to freedom and the contemporary "target" is harassed by this compelling inner need to escape from the present into a new world.
Marketing and advertising consist of a body of actions that bring to attention false choices in the field of human ideals so that human dreams are manipulated and diverted to the contemporary commercial halfslavery. The historical need for freedom, the metaphysical need for immortality of the soul, the eternal emotional love need, the need for admiration and respect and many others are meanly exploited by commercial advertising halfslavery and attracted to the collecting of goods that replace the traditional search for these ideals.
Classical slave is generally frustrated and hungry. The almost phobic fear of poverty is the tool that contemporary halfslavery system subtle controls status the halfslaves. Inside contemporary halfslave mind the poverty is equivalent to the classic slave misfortune. The legacy of this misery is found in contemporary halfslave fear and shopping mania obsessively counteracts it. Civilization poverty is different from primitive or wildlife poverty. The civilized poor is a victim of the organ traffic, rappings, all kinds of abuses and generally to of all kinds traumatisms. Contemporary halfslave counteracts this feeling of failure and poverty through the obsessive acquisition of one more bizarre and more useless than the other objects. Obviously not the acquisition itself involves contemporary halfslavery state. Shopping is the nice part of things (although this can be questioned) but it is just the tip of the iceberg. For shopping money one need to work, to sell freedom. And this is where excess labor comes. Here is the critical point for handling modern halfslave to serve privileged social classes in contrast with the classical slave which is simply threatened with weapons to do it.
Consumerism began from the necessary and essential objects such as a house or a car, continued with the useful but not indispensable such as a mower or electric mixer and finally got to create the shopping man, the man who buys objects from the inner need to buy only as a result of continuous advertising that bombards consumer’s attention. Assiduously promoted by the stars of the day shopping has become the main mechanism of neoslavery system. Instead of getting an easier job and have more time of its own the contemporary halfslave choose paid better and more stressful job in order to pay the objects that doesn’t actually need. This kind of objects would eventually help her/him to feed a abyssal psychological ideal that somehow he/she would be a star too and thus would escape the humble condition. It is this deep mind solution that ensnares contemporary halfslave into consuming trap.
Although they are talking of a "free market" it is clear that advertising and political marketing are artificial and perverse mechanisms of discrete influencing common people in exchange for the comfort of privileged classes by artificial overvaluation of market demand. The halfslavery capitalist system abundance is just bait in the most proper sense of this term. Its role ends up into less and less freedom for the ordinary people and framing it in different forms of obedience and exploitation. Advertising reveals what is ugliest in today human being. The need to cheat and deceive, the need too lie for a certain benefit is far from a sign of a civilized society but just a poker table involving misleading faces that hide monsters came from other galaxies with a hand on cards, a hand on the chips and another on the trigger gun.
Today (pseudo)freedom and (pseudo)democracy differs from classical slavery only by this reversal of roles. Armies do not come directly to steal human property anymore and do not keep vigilant eye over the slave for preventing the escape. Classic slavery armies rob without giving something in return except for... “slave’s life" and the promise of Heaven. The modern capitalist armies do not classical rob the halfslave but constantly harass its carnal or spiritual desires by promising false solutions. This time the contemporary halfslave is lured to agree “by its own will” to provide a surplus of work to sustain the privileged classes. If classical slavery system used to threaten the slave with taking a natural right – the right to life – on the contrary the contemporary halfslavery system instead use to trick the halfslave into unfair exchange relationship for all kinds of unneeded products. Both systems have the same result: unpaid work for slave or halfslave. Overvaluation of the exchange product offered by the corporation is the halfslavery system functioning key. Advertising and its mechanisms are subtle and invisible scams; they are swindles done much better and much more efficient than the ordinary pilferer and so none notice them. In this persuade social system are involved all state institutions and all the "spiritual values" more or less directly. False technology is so the flagship of the new slavery, of the halfslavery abundance.
That is why contemporary halfslavery system panic when halfslave moves on consumerist addiction and cross the barrier into the drug space. Basically drugs attempt to throw down the drain all the state institutions work of causing discomfort to halfslave so that then could be "cured" by shopping. Drug addiction people do not buy "half measures" of consumerism preferring strong inflow of chemical satisfaction and escaping out of manipulation halfslavery gearing. All efforts of different institutions and other instruments of social system of halfslave humiliation and attract it into "VIP" consumption have a serious competitor: the drug consumption. Drugs are not as much a danger to addicted individuals as to those who can no longer count on its "good will persuasion” to accept exploitation and to be productive. Although officials are concerned about the life of addicted person still this issue is secondary and often hypocritical; in fact they are worried about losing that person as a slave caught in the straps of manipulation and consumerist scams as refugee into higher illusions of psyhoactive substance dependence. That is why powerful drugs are still illegal.
Labor itself is a natural and even funny fact as long as it remains reasonable and moderate. Man can easily survive by making a simple discreet job and so the labor becomes simply fun. Unfortunately the congenital greed of the historical social privileged ones transformed a part of society into workoholic. Work has become one of the most horrible things that classic and modern man must do. False educational and moral values are systematically planted advertising and / or classical culture in the human soul and are put there by classic and contemporary social system just to persuade people to extra work and serve the boundless greed of these social cyborgs. The human mind mutilation is the price for satisfying this social privileged hallucinating greed. The poverty of classical slave has been replaced by overconsumption of contemporary society. In its genealogical desperation contemporary halfslave finds peace with this minimum of comfort and excess consumption of food or objects that does not need. Panicked voices of its chained ancestors in that screams into its soul are provisory comforted by this the anesthetic consumption. But immoderate consumption not only produces ugly, obese and prone to diseases people due to obesity but also involves the destruction of the artificial environment to provide materials for those useless products. Contemporary civilization slave is no longer threatened by the army to accept its social state but by controlling its soul and by constant poisoning its mind. The following entry will show in detail this process and will bring some examples of commercials to support of these assertions.
The issue of this entry will continue on the next one