I discussed in a previous article how the the economic system has become an entity unto itself, and how it needs to feed itself to keep alive. The irony is that it has no consciousness. It is a machine that we have made with our own hands, that has turned against us. Today, we will see how it makes us Zombies without us realizing it, and in fact, makes us think that we’re free agents!
In order to keep the wheels moving, every single person in even the not so developed countries, has been fed the fallacy of success. Years ago, success was living the ‘American Dream’. Nowadays, when so many people are well off, they are required to achieve more and more. In fact, they are required to achieve the impossible.
Image Credit: RobW_
What is this ‘Impossible’ achievement? Short Answer – Success. Success, as portrayed by every bill board, and TV advertisement refers to a state of wealth, good looks, career satisfaction, and loads of free time. Take the average billboard advert depicting a successful man. He invariably has the following characteristics regardless of what is being sold:
- Good Looking
- Rich, or drawing a huge salary
- Well Dressed
- Lots of women falling for him
- Lots of free time (Either Golfing, or Yachting, or just loafing generally)
- Physically fit
- Knows what he is doing, and is confident
This image is so compelling, that most don’t take the time to look at it carefully, and realize it’s stupidity. First of all, it is practically impossible for a man to be so naturally good looking, and fit. Second, it portrays a lie, in the sense that, in real life, successful people are overworked, and rarely have the luxury to focus on anything other than their work. Third, the attributes that are displayed often have nothing to do with the product that is being advertised.
There are so many things wrong with this picture, that the deeper one looks at it, the more ridiculous it seems. It is wrong to assume that all this is obvious. People are fed this lie, and most people aspire to be like that. And when they can’t, they feel inferior to something that they can never achieve. To feed this complex, they are driven more and more into buying themselves items that they feel will push them towards that ideal.
The ideal depicted above, is just one sort of ideal. There are others like a father with his kids, having a great life because he has Life Insurance! Anyone reading this, will understand what I’m talking about.
These lies go unchallenged by our “Commonsense”, because they engage our emotions instead of our rational thought. If people were to logically decide whether or not they need something, they would be able to make an objective assessment, that would frequently lead them to reject the item being pitched. By engaging the emotional cravings people have, marketeers bypass their logic, and go straight to that part of their nature that is illogical by definition.
This is why I say we are slaves. Thinking ourselves free, we are manipulated by ‘the system’, of which, the corporates who feed us these lies, are unwitting tools. It is not to be supposed that they have any choice in the matter. They are doing what they are being forced to do by the economic system. Which is why it is so difficult, if not impossible to lay the ‘blame’.
I feel that human society, just like a single person, has stages of maturity. These stages can last for hundreds of years. It is my hope, that one day, we will all see the lie for what it is. I have faith in man. This cannot last forever. And what will we do when the lie is exposed? I cannot even imagine.