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Welcome to the Age of Abstraction

Postscript on the Societies of Lockdown

Sinéad Murphy

The UK Metereological Office has just reported that we have enjoyed the hottest May on record.

Meanwhile, those of us who have lived in the UK during May have endured unseasonal cold and rain, and have complained to one another constantly about it.

Welcome to the age of abstraction, when lived experience is irrelevant and theoretical constructions carry the day – when what is deemed right and true is unmoored from what is actually happening here and now.

Over four years ago, Covid lockdowns staged a dramatic confiscation of present reality. The question is, did we ever get it back?

*

When the UK government ordered its first lockdown at the end of March 2020, present reality was put on hold – businesses were shut, schools closed, social activities banned, and human interactions restricted.

Chaos and suffering inevitably ensued. But in the midst of the misery, there arose a new possibility.

With present reality in abeyance, we were freed of its reality-check. And we began to indulge in a new and joyous expectancy, of a wonderful future to revive a glorious past.

‘We’ll meet again,’ Queen Elizabeth assured us, reprising in her words and presence a fondly recalled togetherness of the last world war and promising its restoration as if it had only just been paused – as if the decades-long decimation of community and family and individual had never happened, as if only a temporary order to Stay Home stood between us and a lost world.

This new possibility was tantalizing and quickly took hold of Middle England, the BBC-believing bastion of British Values, bent ever more implausibly on keeping calm and carrying on.

By 2020, this beleaguered demographic had been all but spent from spotting certainties and consolations on the horizon of Left and Right, to forestall a looming vertigo at elite interests dashing its hopes from above and state-reliant deplorables whose fate beckoned from below.

Middle England, front and centre of policy and institution, had long been demoralized by its present reality:

Consigned to jobs made ever more bullshit by the erosion of ambition and discipline; flip-flopping between debt and the dregs of old desires; addled by precarity and the virtuosity that survives it; overseeing the retreat of human sympathy everywhere and applying for relief to anxiously awaited festivals that never failed to disappoint.

Lockdowns’ suspension of this reality was in itself a great boon.

But greater still was what followed: unimpeded anticipation, of a happy tomorrow to follow a happy yesterday, in which all we would do because all we had done was Hug Granny and Play Whist and Toast Marshmallows and Sing Carols.

This was not nostalgia. It was infinitely more potent.

In nostalgia, the past is glorified as what is dead, as what is ‘vintage’ or ‘retro,’ as what can therefore only be remembered, however wistfully.

In lockdown, the past was reanimated, suddenly reframed as what would be again once universal cocooning came to an end.
Lockdowns relieved us of the one thing that had stood between us and fantastic recollections of Digging For Victory and Winning At Cribbage: present reality.

We were free now to regret the past, not hopelessly as what was lost and gone, but hopefully as what had just been put on hold and would soon resume once things got back to normal.

Yes, we still went through the present realities of 2020 and 2021. We ate food and washed clothes and logged on, and drank too much and fought too hard and lost our sense of purpose. But suddenly, all of that was in parentheses – not real at all, just for now.

Lockdowns achieved a transfer of the reality-effect from an inglorious present, sodden with disappointment, to a host of abstract ideas plundered from an invented past and projected to an inflated future.

*

Over four years on, we are no longer supported in our exemption from present reality by government orders to Shelter In Place. Present reality is returned to us, after a fashion.

It appears, however, that we do not want it back, that the lockdown mode continues to tantalize.

The reluctance with which many have relinquished their facemask has surely warned of this. As has the ongoing normalization of work-from-home.

But there is another and more insidious aspect to our cleaving to lockdowns’ suspension of present reality: our growing enthusiasm for theoretical constructions for which present reality is irrelevant.

During lockdowns, we plundered the almost-dead stock of yesteryear for content for the new mode of fond expectancy – abstract ideas of Dunkirk Spirit and Oh! What A Lovely War were hastily put abroad, adorned with Union Jack bunting, mugs of builders’ tea, allotment lemonade and royal memorabelia.

But already before lockdowns ended, the stock of abstract ideas began updating.

The widely disseminated death of George Floyd launched a Black Lives Matter theme complete with its cartoon fist, and the rainbow of Gender was a seamless segway from the I Heart NHS refrain that had played ad nauseum for Covid.

As lockdowns receded, we were encouraged to extend our exemption from present reality by a growing fund of available abstractions: Climate, Health, Equity, Security, Safety, Identity…

These abstractions come with readymade, insertable symbols: Black Lives Matter fists and Gender rainbows have been joined by Ukraine flags, Greta hastags, syringe icons, and wildfire emojis.

We trade these ideas as if they are old friends – unobjectionable, universally liked. We pin their cutesy signals to our messages and our lapels.

But these ideas are not our friends. They are quite the opposite. Because these ideas are not only theoretical, they are necessarily theoretical – by definition inapplicable to our lives and therefore indifferent to our flourishing.

The idea of ‘Environment’ is no more relevant to the rubbish blowing around our street than the idea of ‘Climate’ refers to the weather outside or the idea of ‘Health’ is concerned about how we feel or the idea of ‘Gender’ maps on to our biology.

Nothing about these ideas touches down in present reality. By trading them between ourselves – by posting them and tweeting them and dropping them into our casual conversations – we perform a contempt for present reality and a will to exempt ourselves from it, perpetuating the effect of lockdowns long after the lockdowns have ended.

*

Early Covid scepticism often argued that they invented Covid so they could have lockdowns. In retrospect, this was wrong. They invented lockdowns so they could have Covid. Not the disease of course, which was a concoction. The idea. Or rather, the kind of idea.

Covid is not just an abstract idea. It is an essentially abstract idea. It refers to something never heard of before – an asymptomatic disease, a disease for which present reality is necessarily irrelevant.

The Vaccine, which followed fast upon Covid and with great eclat, is another essentially abstract idea. With no significant effect on either transmission or infection, it is among us only as scorn for lived experience.

But Lockdown too is such an idea, describing a degree of distancing of people from one another and of cessation of the activities of life that could never be achieved in reality.

It is in this sense that lockdowns have defined our societies, escorting us from a time when present reality was relevant and required to be manipulated to a time when present reality is irrelevant and can be vetoed at will.

Lockdowns both launched an assault upon present reality by physically removing us from it, and piloted, through the impossible idea of Lockdown, the cycle of abstraction that continues to transfer the reality-effect from lived experiences to theoretical constructions.

In the end of all, perhaps they invented lockdowns just to get Lockdown, imposing abstention from present reality to kick-start abstraction from present reality.

Of course, we still live out the realities obscured by their abstractions – beneath the pristine idea of Lockdown, there arose material conditions from which millions continue to suffer, not to mention the physical devastation unfolding under the idea of the Vaccine.

But somehow, all of that is in parentheses. Fallout from lockdowns is revealed in public inquiries and injuries from vaccines are reported in the media. Yet, it produces little effect – as if none of reality is real, but only a series of abberations.

Exemption from present reality, begun so theatrically by lockdowns, continues unabated. What counts as vital circulates in the abstract, and lived experiences are sidelined as mere happenstance, hardly worth our notice at all.

*

Foucault’s most important insight is that you do not need to enslave people first in order then to exploit them. There are ways of exploiting people that also enslave them.

The disciplinary techniques of industrial production, with their unerring distribution of people in spaces and times, made people at once docile and useful.

In 1990, Deleuze updated Foucault’s insight to explain that you do not need to pacify people first in order then to steal from them. There are ways of pacifying people by stealing from them.

The debt-based consumerism of post-industrial societies at once made people complacent with gratification and transferred their wealth to elite corporations.

By 2020, we had moved beyond the paradigms of production and consumption, even reproaching ourselves for over-producing and over-consuming.

By 2020, it was the age of abstraction.

Lockdowns officially launched this new age in spectacular style. But quickly, lockdowns became unnecessary.

For, it emerged that you do not need to lock people away from present reality first in order then to circulate unbelievable ideas.

If reality is sufficiently hostile and the ideas are sufficiently abstract, you can lock people away from present reality by the circulation of unbelievable ideas.

When we shake our heads to one another about Climate, or submit to screening for the good of our Health, or question our Identity, we exempt ourselves from present reality as effectively as if we were under orders to Stay Home.

And the powers that should not be can tell us anything they like, even that it’s sunny outside.

Sinéad Murphy is author of Effective History (2010), The Art Kettle (2012), and Zombie University (2017), and co-editor of Pandemic Response and the Cost of Lockdowns (2022).

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AnonymousFrog
AnonymousFrog
Jun 18, 2024 12:54 AM

A fascinating insight that resonates like the torrential rain against the windowpane of the hottest May on record.

Ron Marr
Ron Marr
Jun 16, 2024 3:56 PM

There are NO doors on the bird cage of abstraction. They can implement any mind game into their simulation they wish. We (spirit) are in a psychological war for the mind in a virtual reality. Consciousness is our only salvation…do not linger in the Bird Cage. Soar with the pilot and co-pilot called love and kindness.

Dr. van Nostrand MD PhD D
Dr. van Nostrand MD PhD D
Jun 16, 2024 2:10 PM

This could have been an interesting article, but the author floweried his ideas to death.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jun 17, 2024 4:14 AM

The bird cage is death. Unpleasant but nevertheless the truth.

jtkong
jtkong
Jun 16, 2024 10:59 AM

“They invented lockdowns so they could have Covid.”

This fascinating perspective furthers the understanding of covid warfare, by reordering the analysis of cause and effect. Lockdowns were not the result of a biosynthetic assault, but the engineered precondition enabling mass cognitive modification.

Anthony Murphy
Anthony Murphy
Jun 16, 2024 10:06 AM

Good article. I noticed this reality shift from day one. Adding to the context – note that the ‘Lockdown’ would not have been possible without the internet and quantitative easing.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jun 17, 2024 4:16 AM
Reply to  Anthony Murphy

.. and the always eager and willingly sheeple who ran to the cliff because their piper said they should do it.

niko
niko
Jun 16, 2024 3:20 AM

Is my comment in permanent pending prison?

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jun 17, 2024 4:20 AM
Reply to  niko

Yes. Your odd vitriol filled with poisoned truth comments able to immediately change the world to a better place, are all being scrutinized by Illuminati and TPB before release.

GR-Watch
GR-Watch
Jun 16, 2024 2:50 AM

they imposed a lockdown on billions of people to ‘save lives’.

there is a type of lockdown that can truly save lives from certain death. and it involves locking down only a small fraction of the population.

order the military to stay home. the military personnel is only a fraction of the world population. so, it shouldn’t be hard to implement.

millions of lives saved!

GR-Watch
GR-Watch
Jun 16, 2024 2:40 AM

they claimed they wanted to save lives. but in the background, they keep conspiring and pushing a population reduction agenda!

we have been treated like lab rats and dogs.

Cunt Swaddle 9
Cunt Swaddle 9
Jun 24, 2024 10:51 PM
Reply to  GR-Watch

People allowed themselves to be treated that way, nobody was forced. Just sheer willful ignorance and craven stupidity, and they’ll do it again the first xhance they get, the people I mean, because in their perverse masochism, they actually enjoyed it.

Veri Tas
Veri Tas
Jun 16, 2024 12:21 AM

I noticed over the past few years that weather forecasts have gotten worse, not better, contrary to mainstream articles about this.

Some time ago, I read that our local forecasting has shifted to centralised AI forecasting.

If true, this could be good or bad for us. It could be good, as it shows the incompetence of AI computing in general but it could also be very bad because even if everything in the future will be analysed and judged by AI who do we complain to if we are wrongly accused (and automatically fined or worse) for “misbehaving”?

Vagabard
Vagabard
Jun 15, 2024 10:44 PM

Abstractions. Are women even capable of them?

niko
niko
Jun 15, 2024 10:02 PM

‘Abstraction’ as used in this article is basically another name for ideology, false consciousness, lies…political science of social engineering no longer primarily political but scientific for the techno-totalitarian takedown launched with convid (Because Science, Science Is Real, and so on).  For real resistance against agenda hidden in plain sight by its magical thinking of misdirection and illusion, it’s necessary to deconstruct ideology, but that’s hardly sufficient without reconstructing “present reality.”  Revolutionary theory floats away as aborted animation without real-world revolutionary practice changing social relations of power enabling ruling class institutions to get away with murder under cover of ruling ideas.  Critique like that of postmodernism remains complicit with powers that (shouldn’t) be by reserving reflective intelligence (aka ‘abstraction’) for exclusive if not elite intelligentsia, monopolizing disciplinary discourses (to recall Foucalt) which remain impenetrable, indifferent, and irrelevant to the masses of us, managed by such manufactured dissent if only by default… Read more »

KiwiJoker
KiwiJoker
Jun 15, 2024 9:23 PM

When you have mastered yourself will you be your own master.

purgatorium
purgatorium
Jun 15, 2024 8:27 PM

I have been thinking about these problems for decades.

My current thesis is that the root of the problem is a weakness in humanity : the ability to lie and the inability to always see through lies. If we had this ability to always see through lies, none of this horror would be possible, none of this parasitism would be possible and lying would only be workable in games (card games, role playing ganes etc) and theater/ acting, where the suspension of disbelief is known and required.

It seems to me that if humanity does not develop this ability, it will submit to the parasites.

Christine
Christine
Jun 16, 2024 7:41 AM
Reply to  purgatorium

I believe it would still be possible, we are all mightily brainwashed including believing that we are weak. Our realiy is a lie and the level of mind control we have been subjected to for a very long time was ramped up, weaponised, to ‘test’ how good it was. This power ‘flex’ with the scamdemic was extremely successful. Most people can’t/don’t see it and without actively looking will not develop an ability to do so. The programming is military grade and relentless. Alison McDowell is doing a great job of revealing how advanced this process is, peeling back the layers and has really opened my eyes to not choosing a side, it’s quite the challenge.

Researcher
Researcher
Jun 16, 2024 3:55 PM
Reply to  purgatorium

No. It’s not a weakness. It’s actually the trusting nature of humanity that allows humanity to thrive (communities keep babies and children alive therefore trust must extend beyond just ourselves) but paradoxically and conversely it’s this trust that enables an unethical group of parasites to enslave and farm humanity through the ages, using multiple methods and techniques particularly education as indoctrination and brainwashing, and media as repetitive mind control. Because humanity as a whole, isn’t aware that evil, sociopathy, narcissism and sadism can easily be encouraged and created within this group (by rewarding it monetarily and with faux awards like Nobel prizes, medals, degrees, titles, honours etc) to exploit, harm, deceive, poison, cull and farm the majority. The people within this group (and that extends to all secret society members, Greek Orgs, think tanks, professional associations, leadership orgs, “government” employees) see themselves as superior and are easily manipulable as they… Read more »

praying for discernment
praying for discernment
Jun 17, 2024 12:43 AM
Reply to  purgatorium

Most see the lie and some prefer to the truth.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jun 17, 2024 4:33 AM
Reply to  purgatorium

At least most of us should have this ability inside us. But it require some guts which many men dont have.
It must be men as women, with all respect, have their biological differences, get pregnant, have children, and therefore form nature’s side have a right to be protected by us men and we men are biological born to fulfill this obligation.

Ennes
Ennes
Jun 15, 2024 6:43 PM

We are in the urgent era where the global establishment want to make their long-planned abstract idea become material reality. Many of us are and have been trying to warn the public that if Starmer gets into government his Labour Party will try everything in their power to change Britain’s constitution permanently so that the totalitarians can further their UN Agenda21/2030 plans (including granting colossal powers to the Global-to-Local governance mayors in all our local areas who will help warp-speed all the tyrannical Sustainable Development Goals) which will also include bringing-in things like wealth taxes which will ultimately destroy property ownership (and use of private cars, gas boilers and wood-burning stoves for instnace). If you want yourself and your descendants to be free, unsurveilled, own private property and not be herded into the digital gulag & smart cities (including living in Blackrock’s & Vanguard’s etc rented stack ‘n’ pack micro-flats)… Read more »

purgatorium
purgatorium
Jun 15, 2024 8:29 PM
Reply to  Ennes

Yes, wealth taxes are the true horror, if you are wealthy.

Otherwise I agree that Labour seems at least as bad as the Tories, who will probably go with the 2030 agenda as well.

Ennes
Ennes
Jun 15, 2024 9:08 PM
Reply to  purgatorium

It’s Orwellian speech (like most of the UN’s Global Governance phrases). People still don’t understand that these so-called ‘wealth taxes’ are going to affect mainly normal folk with houses, cars, etc. The people with real wealth will not be affected much at all (because they can take the loss without feeling that much pain compared to the low-waged and average-waged property owners, mortgage holders and car owners, etc). By increment, normal people will be drastically affected and ultimately lose their home, cars (and other things like gas boilers, wood-burning stoves ultimately) when forced to adhere tthe ‘Net Zero; nonsense). Owning nothing confined to the digital gulag in micro-homes in the Smart City is the result wanted by UN Agenda21/2030. Silent weapons for Quiet Wars, indeed.

See Rosa Koire’s work for more about what Agenda21/2030 really means.

Ennes
Ennes
Jun 15, 2024 9:54 PM
Reply to  purgatorium

It’s Orwellian speech (like most of the UN’s Global Governance phrases). People still don’t understand that these so-called ‘wealth taxes’ are going to affect mainly normal folk with houses, cars, etc. The people with real wealth will not be affected much at all (because they can take the loss without feeling that much pain compared to the low-waged and average-waged property owners, mortgage holders and car owners, etc). By increment, normal people will be drastically affected and ultimately lose their home, cars (and other things like gas boilers, wood-burning stoves ultimately) when forced to adhere to the ‘Net Zero’ nonsense. Owning nothing confined to the digital gulag in micro-homes in the Smart City is the result wanted by UN Agenda21/2030. Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, indeed.

See Rosa Koire’s work for more about what Agenda21/2030 really means.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jun 17, 2024 4:44 AM
Reply to  Ennes

The wealth taxes are for the middle class. They want to get rid of the middle class.
The middle class didnt pass the check and did’nt fulfil their role as to become co-responsible.
Go back to start of the Matador game…..to the peasant group. You will never get the chance again…………………LOL.

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
Jun 15, 2024 6:40 PM

Maybe, I am a little bit older than Sinéad Murphy, but Sinéad Murphy writes exceedingly well..She is already an internet media star..

This is classically brilliant – Thank You, for cutting the BBC Bullshit to the core.

Incidentally, after “Listen with Mother”, most of us kids listened to Radio Luxembourg and Radio Caroline, not the BBC, and I still do..in full HD Stereo now,,

https://www.radiocaroline.co.uk/#home.html

Brianberou
Brianberou
Jun 15, 2024 6:39 PM

“ ..we exempt ourselves from present reality..”

Putin’s speech in its entirety lays out very clearly were we are going if the US/U.K./ NATO/ City of London controlled entities continue to ignore reality!

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2024/06/putins-full-speech-brics-nato-expansion-and-ukraine-peace-talk-conditions.html#more

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jun 17, 2024 10:53 AM
Reply to  Brianberou

Thanks. Off course we need to read the whole of Putin’s speech to know wtf is going on in this sphere.

Brianberou
Brianberou
Jun 17, 2024 1:10 PM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

An American Ambassador to the Russian Federation stated if you want know what Putin intentions are read his speech. Something neither the West Media nor parts of the Social Media wish you read in its entirety!

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jun 17, 2024 4:14 PM
Reply to  Brianberou

I noted a major part of Putin’s speak was devoted to Ukraine, obviously a big issue in Russia.
The second I looked after was signs of globalism, the “they are all in it” feature.
I found only *sustainable developments” and “global community”. ;-(
But the rest was solid geo-political analysis of the real state of affairs. ;-).

Brianborou.
Brianborou.
Jun 17, 2024 4:44 PM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

Yes, no mention of destruction of nation states, no mention of LGBT perversion nor destruction of the family or religion which doesn’t fit in with the core strategy of the Globalists.

ariel
ariel
Jun 15, 2024 5:33 PM

Well, they often or even usually do, and more especially lately. I compare the BBC weather forecasts for my postcode regularly through the day, and measure them against what is actually happening outside the window, and they come up wanting.
I also have thermometers all over the place, inside and outside.
Now we can only have a sunny walk at the beach once in a blue moon.

les online
les online
Jun 15, 2024 11:38 PM
Reply to  ariel

‘once in a blue moon’ happens about once every 32 months.

les online
les online
Jun 15, 2024 11:44 PM
Reply to  ariel

Here in Sydney, yesterday (Saturday) was clouded,
miserable, and wet, all day…Checking the weather
via my laptop i kept being told it was ’14’C and sunny’…
I guess ‘sunny’ has undergone an Orwellian re-definition…

ariel
ariel
Jun 15, 2024 11:59 PM
Reply to  les online

I spent a year in Melbourne, and the winter was pretty cloudy and damp.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jun 17, 2024 11:05 AM
Reply to  les online

The difference between real weather and virtual weather.comment image

sandy
sandy
Jun 15, 2024 4:49 PM

They are not “abstractions”. They are hot button words with definitions twisted into meanings dressed up in the Kapitalists Kookbook serving up Humanity to become fodder to 1% greed and conflict empire. They are merely trying to keep their obsolete profiteering paradigm alive with falsehoods hiding behind words that facade their cures for diseases they created. Which are not cures. A ruse, they are.

purgatorium
purgatorium
Jun 15, 2024 3:11 PM

Northern Europeans and Canadians and their US counterparts are wallowing in 1st world arrogance and the pretension of sophistication based on science and technology. Even some manual laborers love to whip out their smart phone and get techy.

They believe it is “smart” to take on the metereological office’s statements as having priority over their own perception which they have been taught is unreliable and subjective, while science gives the “objective” bigger picture.
Never mind that actual science debunked its own supposed objectivity decades ago!

Likewise with the “virus”. It’s invisible, you can “infect” others with it without anyone knowing, it needs “hosts” and you can even be “asymptomatic” but we have these clever PCR tests made in a factory in China that you can use to test for it!
The mind boggles.

sandy
sandy
Jun 15, 2024 6:00 PM
Reply to  purgatorium

My wife just found that the SMART CITY initiatives and the supposed SMART categories of tech is actually an acronym with the following definition: Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology. More aptly described as a surveillance network operated by the masters of the system and it’s coined goal, the Internet of Things (IoT). A remote controlled economy and thus remote controlled society.

Binra
Binra
Jun 15, 2024 3:03 PM

I don’t accept weaponised language for subverting emotional identity as ‘abstractions’ but I do accept them as without true foundation and thus operating against a grounded or embodied consciousness, culture and participation in real relationship with self, others and world (past present & future) now. I see a lockdown mindset of a split & dissociated defence; a mask of relative virtue set against guilting exclusions framed in boosted fear threats. All very specifically targeted. We are being offered a picture of ‘the ego’ of self-imaged judgements operating rules & filters for perception that frame any response. We are being offered an education in true rehabilitation FROM a split-minded dissociation. But this rests on looking AT the baiting frame on ‘offer’ or being pushed, nudged or insinuatingly suggested – INSTEAD of reacting within its frame. I read the following tract this morning which has deep correspondences to the themes above and… Read more »

Thom 9
Thom 9
Jun 15, 2024 2:54 PM

The fine art of “double speak” and “perverted abstraction” just a couple of the tools created by the brainchild of the Tavistock Institute of the City of London and it’s master.

ariel
ariel
Jun 15, 2024 5:36 PM
Reply to  Thom 9

Lost Vagueness’

ariel
ariel
Jun 16, 2024 12:01 AM
Reply to  ariel

Strategic ambiguity’ (E.Macron)

nima
nima
Jun 16, 2024 9:55 AM
Reply to  ariel

Drain the swamp, lock her up, Make america great.
Change, Hope, Facts are sacred.
they all do the double speak.

ariel
ariel
Jun 16, 2024 1:29 PM
Reply to  nima

When the word ‘Safe’ has been somehow magically transformed into its new Woke meaning of ‘locked up/imprisoned,’ its probably, hopefully not already past the time/too late to do something relevant and useful about it.
I had already streamlined my life before the COhoax officially started, because it had been clear with H1N1 and Rockefeller Foundation ‘ Lockstep, ‘that they were going to pull one of these., so when it did start we basically ignored it in all aspects.

KarenEliot
KarenEliot
Jun 16, 2024 1:50 PM
Reply to  ariel

Care and control are ultimately the same thing. I’m from the government and I’m here to help. Yeah, right.

America has got your back.

and so on.

ariel
ariel
Jun 16, 2024 5:59 PM
Reply to  KarenEliot

Not ‘America’s got you in the back.’ then?

Bryan
Bryan
Jun 15, 2024 1:46 PM

Foucault’s most important insight was that people choose to enslave and exploit themselves. His self-defined sphere of study was how and why do people subjectivate themselves (as “docile bodies”); that is how and why we make ourselves human subjects? Thereafter: surveillance is self-surveillance (as “Panopticon”) and the exercise of power is a participatory social relation we partake in by choice. According to Agamben: Foucault abandoned the traditional approach to the problem of power in favour of “an unprejudiced analysis of the concrete ways in which power penetrates subjects’ very bodies and forms of life.” (“The Subject and Power”; “Technologies of the Self”; by Foucault; “Sovereign Power and Bare Life” by Agamben.) In “Postscript to the Societies of Control” Deleuze showed how personal choice is not freedom, but slavery. Out choices are modulated and channeled (“cathected”)) into predetermined consumer channels that capture, modulate, “mould” (or cast), and enframe us. Some took… Read more »

sandy
sandy
Jun 15, 2024 6:09 PM
Reply to  Bryan

When we accept peer pressure in an obedience fashion we surrender independent thought and analysis to the master’s propaganda. It is a harvested false consciousness, seeded first by all kinds of unquestioned bullsh*t ideas. That we now question every second of every day.

Bryan
Bryan
Jun 15, 2024 7:33 PM
Reply to  sandy

How we constitute our bodies as an extended social metabolism is the real power relation. If we were not doing anything yet survived, grew fatter even, then where did that surplus energy come from? Not from our furloughed labour. Somebody else must have been doing our primary social reproduction for us which is how Foucault thought of power relations of domination and subordination. Remember, the crops were rotting in the fields without imported migrant labour? The UK labour force sits on top of other people’s work at lower levels of social metabolism. Surely this is the “Master/Slave” power dialectic? Actual abstraction from bare life?

Researcher
Researcher
Jun 17, 2024 4:14 PM
Reply to  Bryan

The crops were rotting in the fields according to whom? The media? Lol

Or was big agriculture using media and govt as mouthpieces, because they won’t pay decent wages to local employees so import slave migrant workers, courtesy of faux governments enabling that slavery?

Because if big ag, use slave wages they can send their smaller, local competitors broke by keeping produce prices artificially low.

The slave-master dialectic is the faux governments. That’s it. They force, enable and encourage all slavery, worldwide through their fake “legal” system, fake tax system, fake markets, fake money and fake trade system.

KarenEliot
KarenEliot
Jun 16, 2024 1:48 PM
Reply to  Bryan

The author’s book Zombie University is much more lucid and explores the same theme at greater length. It’s one of the better books of the last ten years. The article is ragged and feels rushed (c.f. the segue and memorabilia errors which a two-minute proofread would have caught). As for Foucault, yes: he was clear that power enables, not just coerces, that power and resistance go hand-in-hand, and that power is indivisible from knowledge (hence power-knowledge). As pointed out elsewhere in the thread, to grasp the complexity of reality without abstractions is not possible. Always there has to be a ‘dilution’ or approximation, some underlying assumptions. (All of economics as a social science is exactly that). In the same way that an image can be transmitted quicker at a lower resolution. Representations, dare I say hyperrealities, serve as a buffer between the painful ‘real’ word and our pampered lives. The… Read more »

Rolling Rock
Rolling Rock
Jun 15, 2024 1:42 PM

First there was abstract art, now there is abstract life.

The foundations of what we call reality have crumbled to become quicksand. The shifting sands of changing definitions, rewriting the perception of the absolute truth, into one’s own truth. Totally arbitrary and socially engineered.

Rather than challenge the Orwellian blueprint, most people either simply accepted it, looked the other way or joined in.

Such confusion and uncertainly may make the idea of the metaverse more appealing to some. When reality becomes too much, seek out escapism. Put on a pair of augmented VR goggles and live out one’s fantasy life in the metaverse or recreate the world before the post-truth era. An opportunity to take back control of one’s life through simulated reality.

The engineered ‘chaos’ in the real world will allow the pre-planned ‘order’ to be offered at some future date to the people as the solution.

j d
j d
Jun 15, 2024 11:25 AM

“Information Control Is Mind Control

True understanding of the present requires true records of the past. The disappearance of certain books, of certain information, impacts the collective mind of society the same way hypnotic forget-commands act on individuals.

The essence of mind-control is information control. You are most free when you have the most complete access to information. “Secret, don’t tell” is the beginning of enslavement, individual or social. “Classified” information makes an entire society amnesic. A lie in the “news” deceives an entire society. For either an individual or a large democratic society to best function, there must be complete and accurate information.”

Excerpt from “Secret, Don’t Tell – The Encyclopaedia of Hypnotism” by Carla Emery DeLong (https://www.secretdonttell.com/):

Voltaria Voltaire
Voltaria Voltaire
Jun 15, 2024 6:49 PM
Reply to  j d

Yeah. If anyone is going to control my mind it is going to be ME. The manipulators with vested interests against my own rationality can f off.

mgeo
mgeo
Jun 16, 2024 6:15 AM
Reply to  j d

In conversation, you can beware of phrases such as “Keep this to yourself..” or “Don’t quote me..”.

Online, the pandemic of manipulation does not provide such tips. It thrives on gullibility, undermined education and desperation.

Edwige
Edwige
Jun 15, 2024 10:53 AM

“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.”

Hannah Arendt.

BTW I fully agree with Vagabard about not wholescale dumping of abstractions. The answer to “2+2=5” is “2+2=4”, not “I’m giving up on arithmetic”.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jun 17, 2024 2:52 PM
Reply to  Edwige

I felt sad when I read this, because this is the prevailing condition here where I live. Youngsters ask me how I manage to define what is right and wrong. One example, a young guy drink a glass of tap water because a report from a water quality institute state the water is clean to drink. Then he use a bought bottle of mineral water from the supermarket to clean dishes because he should prepare some meat and therefore the plate should be completely clean. In real life the quality control of tap water is taken at the water plant, and from here it goes 5 km through pipes out to singles taps collecting pipe bacteria, and in the mixing cold/hot tap, the water is warmed up to make these bacteria flourish. Presented for reality they will refuse it, and stick to what paper says. “Reports says the vaxx, the… Read more »

Vagabard
Vagabard
Jun 15, 2024 10:33 AM

Abstractions are essential to understanding the world. Without them it would be impossible to understand anything; like physical bodies without minds. If I have an abstract concept of a butterfly, I can then go out into the real physical world and encounter an particular example of one. Without such a butterfly concept all flying creatures are forever one and the same. Of course there are abstractions completely divorced from reality and those that correspond better with it. So review the model of the butterfly once you encounter a real one. The blueprint may need some alterations.  Lockdowns will have reduced that empirical aspect of that knowledge process (the exploring the real world), leaving people with an excess of Platonic rationalism (sitting in caves with unreal theories). More empiricism is hence the antidote. More exploration of the physical world. More comparing of models with reality. Not the abandonment of models entirely… Read more »

NixonScraypes
NixonScraypes
Jun 15, 2024 3:05 PM
Reply to  Vagabard

Clever liars mix real abstractions with false abstractions, words describing real things and words describing concepts. Damn it’s impossible to express exactly, I can only give the gist of it. The world of words is very slippery.

sandy
sandy
Jun 15, 2024 6:34 PM
Reply to  NixonScraypes

So true. Words, representations are not abstractions. They are depictions of something known or understood as existing. Abstractions are not depictions of supposed “real” things. They are studies. They are hypothesis.

NixonScraypes
NixonScraypes
Jun 15, 2024 8:43 PM
Reply to  sandy

Yes, that’s getting closer.

ariel
ariel
Jun 15, 2024 5:54 PM
Reply to  Vagabard

‘watch a butterfly flutter by, on paths only known to butterfly logic.’

sandy
sandy
Jun 15, 2024 6:29 PM
Reply to  Vagabard

Exactly. Many in this anti-woke period swallow false diagnosis funneled through “left” or “right” binaries that do not apply. Misuse of the term abstraction as we see here is a soft form of propaganda to destroy intellectual discussion of facts and truth. Abstraction, in it’s actual definition, are tools for analyzing reality, valuable mirrors that clarify thought. Distorting the meaning of words into falsehood bombs is merely trickery people fall for too much.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Jun 17, 2024 2:59 PM
Reply to  sandy

True. Our true math and physics is an abstract language to understand our world. We use a straight line to analyse down to an organic world who move and change to keep hold of our relations to it.
But in reality an abstract straight line doesnt exist in our entire universe where everything bows and bends and moves after the proportions in the golden ration..

rickypop
rickypop
Jun 15, 2024 10:22 AM

‘Be A Nation Again’, In context there will never be a Nation Again. Scotland’s pathetic football performance can be laid at the feet of our corrupt Globalist, Nanny State, Trans-loving, Poison injecting government. Once upon a time, boys would have filled fields kicking anything that could be moved whilst girls played hopscotch or peaver. Times were tough and that made for tough people. Happy were kids taking risks and loving life. Nowadays our fat, programmed youth eat and drink shite while staring into a flashing screen.
Nothing is by chance and until we realise we are all being played and wake the fk up things will only get worse.

mgeo
mgeo
Jun 16, 2024 6:19 AM
Reply to  rickypop

Under the new law against “sexism” in Scotland, can games only for men or women remain legal?

rickypop
rickypop
Jun 16, 2024 11:07 AM
Reply to  mgeo

Having only one sex is their plan and that’s what sexism is all about. No boys or girls just plain mono sex, babies created in a lab. ‘Legal’ is a term I never use or abide by. It is a means of power and control. The justice system has been corrupted and in the banker’s pocket.

niko
niko
Jun 15, 2024 9:43 AM

Still, when abstraction sets to killing you, you’ve got to get busy with it.  (Camus)
But maybe not with more abstraction.

Mabs
Mabs
Jun 15, 2024 9:16 AM

“People are lied to in all areas today, not just in politics – so it is easier to assume a lie than to hope for the truth.”

Regards Chnopfloch

——

“The way to overcome lies and misinformation is to courageously set the record straight. Failing to speak up allows lies to prevail over truth.”

“Lies are truly frightening, because they not only deceive others but also destroy one’s own humanity.”

— Daisaku Ikeda

Lowbrow
Lowbrow
Jun 15, 2024 9:01 AM

“even that it’s sunny outside.” – It is, above the clouds.

sabelmouse
sabelmouse
Jun 15, 2024 11:08 AM
Reply to  Lowbrow

” clouds”.

Clutching at straws
Clutching at straws
Jun 15, 2024 8:50 AM

This is what sold us the last four years.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Otjn0YMJNdE&pp=ygUZV3VoYW4gcGVvcGxlIGZhbGxpbmcgb3Zlcg%3D%3D

Is it any wonder they think we’re stupid ?

Edwige
Edwige
Jun 15, 2024 10:46 AM

Notice how they put their arms out to break the fall – it wasn’t even good crisis acting.

ariel
ariel
Jun 15, 2024 5:37 PM
Reply to  Edwige

YES INDEED

Johnny
Johnny
Jun 15, 2024 8:43 AM

Have we locked ourselves down with our www/device obsession?

An infoglut that is making us obese with the trivialities of our plastic, personality centred world?

It is a handy tool but does it have its ubiquitous hands around our throats?

PS ‘Segway’?

niko
niko
Jun 16, 2024 1:59 AM
Reply to  Johnny

comment image

Elongated Muskrat
Elongated Muskrat
Jun 16, 2024 10:06 AM
Reply to  niko

The great emperor of the galaxy couldn’t afford a dentist…?

Marc
Marc
Jun 17, 2024 12:35 AM

Who can afford a dentist?