Reflection on my time in Venezuela (after a few too many glasses of pisco)
May 15th, 2010: Caracas, Venezuela
Identity is shaped through negotiation. The individual defines himself according to certain parameters whilst the world around him do a similar thing. They way the Self is defined is thus not only by the individual himself but also by the others around him.
Individualism in the Western/liberal sense of the word clearly demonstrates how the formation of identity is created through these two viewpoints. It has become somewhat of a fashion statement to claim that one wouldn’t have to care what the others around him think of him since he is the center of his own universe. However, this attitude can be reduced to its true form, that is it nothing more than an act which is indeed meant to influence the outside opinions of the Self.
So what does this paradox mean?
The individualist seeks some sort of superiority whilst remaining part of a system which forces him to remain mediocre. He does this by separating himself from this system. Truth is though that the individual in question never desired to separate himself from society, in other words: the separation is nothing more than a pretense.
It could thus be said that this approach to seeking superiority is a farce, nothing more than a fashion statement in order to remain mediocre. Pretentious superiority is the norm, not something that outgrows it. The individualist does not seek dominance, he merely seeks mediocrity.
In capitalist thought this will be denied since according to this belief-system status is determined through wealth; one might say “wealth and power”, but the capitalist will argue that wealth equals power. To them the individualist’s quest for superiority is a genuine one in which the protagonist tries to obtain this goal through the gain of economic wealth and the possession of consumer goods. What is ignored here though is the simple fact that wealth does not equal power. Power is control and whilst control could be bought, in reality control over a thing is nothing more than the ability to destroy that thing. One’s destructive capabilities are thus the defining parameters for power and power defines status. A single man with a gun is more powerful than one hundred men without one, not matter how much wealth they possess.
Thus, those in power are not automatically those who are the wealthiest, but those who have the most destructive capabilities. For this reason alone the people themselves could be considered the greatest enemies of Western democracies. It is they who have the power to smash everything apart, if they are willing to use that power. Those in control fear this of course, they know the destructive capabilities of man, especially of those who are desperate. What we thus see is that the people’s potential has to be numbed down in order to keep this system functioning. This is not done through oppression but through deception. The masses are fed with unobtainable desires and pretenses of freedom. They are given all the freedom they want and for that reason they have no more clue what to do with that freedom. Freedom has become their slavery. An oppressed man is forced to be a creative man, a free man tends to be a distracted man. Tie humanity up in chains and beat them down and they will still find a way to resist you. Give humanity all the freedom they want, and they will be reduced to watching pornography.
A true authoritarian would know this. His goal would not be to maintain power, but to eventually lose it. Through oppression he forces others to resist, to liberate themselves, to become Enlightened. The pseudo oppressives we’ve seen throughout history seemed to have been in denial of this goal. They hoped to obtain absolute power through a methodology which creates the exact opposite effect. The liberal capitalists have been more successful in achieving their goals of power. They have told their societies long enough that they are free to do what they want, and with this belief man has become obedient. A lie told often enough becomes truth.
True power, or true oppression, is always temporary in nature. Its goal is its own demise, the methodology applied is meant to be fought every step on the way and eventually defeated.
Smile you pigs…