From the Depths of a Melting Pot into the Circles of a Neoliberal Inferno: Part I


‘Tarabish’ – Hilda Hiary

We’re being driven away from one another, under the guise of solidarity. Compartmentalized, like cell-blocks in a prison system; drawn apart – enclosed – bondaged within the confines of a rampant neoliberal ideology that has all but taken control of our cultural spaces. Like pseudo-authentic traces, of an inter-generational struggle re-defined, by free marketeers of a postmodern machine hell-bent on control, by any means necessary.

In an age of behaviour, where trans-national ideas and narratives group together individuals based on how they subjectively identify, the iron grip of identity politics has accentuated our perceived differences to liberate consciousness.
But conditioned to unknowingly preserve a status quo, these neo-liberators atomize identities like cells in a panopticon, while their makers ceaselessly profit off the backs of us: dining in an ivory tower, at the centre of their empire.

For while this neoliberal lie – constructed upon the decaying cocoon of fascism in disguise – sinks its sharpened canines into the cultural power of countless interconnected struggles, that transcend the authority of time through the intrinsic power of ideas in infinite space, our conscious unity is being broken up – dissected – into diverging flocks of identity; competing for the same space, under the same shackles. Because as defiant efforts to halt the march of global austerity crumble from within, the consolidation of wealth, power and influence feeds an all-seeing psychopathy at the summit of an observation tower. Slithering around like a serpentine lineage of ravenous saint barbaras – entrapped – constricted by their own creation, whilst billions suffer and ecosystems wilt, under the oppressive weight of human progress.

When —

We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme.

(Mohandas Karamchand
Gandhi – the Collected Works
of M.K. Gandhi

‘Compulsive Navigation Disorder’ – Samira Abbassy, original design using photography by Robert G. Longpré

‘Compulsive Navigation Disorder’ – Samira Abbassy,
original design using photography by Robert G. Longpré

With a burgeoning class of bourgeois socialists, systematically poisoned by a modern-day soma, the illusion of human liberty, realized, spreads through our public sphere with little interference. For ‘authority, by bribing people to conform, produces a very gross kind of over-fed barbarism amongst us’. To closely paraphrase Oscar Wilde, it is not the crimes of the ill one is truly sickened by, but the punitive measures we impose upon one another. For without this process, the panopticon itself would crumble from within, and cease to exist.

So just what is progress, in these modern times?

Is it a free world? With free trade? And free liberation?

Because as we peer out through a cracked, stained-glass Overton window our perspectives are enclosed within the limited spectrum of acceptable thought. Imprimis, splintered worldviews are aligned by a web of mechanical designs: echoing the same blueprint, yet never identical in composition. A parasitic hijack of consciousness, altering human experience. For a state of cognizance shaped upon prevailing binaries alone, radically negates how our reified ideals are created and re-produced in a society shaped by a history of capitalism – evolved – into a neoliberal tiptoe.

From animal slavery through to divine slavery and beyond, for eons the idea of human progress has been shaped by the few, to be followed by the many. And in this strangely existential age – predicated on behaviour – the pursuit of human liberty has normalized dysfunction, perverted freedoms and invigorated torture: all concealed behind the veil of progress.

neoliberalism (2)

‘The Devil’ – Adrian Ghenie

But just observe what this does to us. Through the immortal desecration of man, we sanctify an iridescent mirage with masked conflictions; piercing our very understanding of life. A heroic dichotomy, instilling a retrograde requisite for ideals shaped within a deified thought paradigm: every sickly construction we maintain through egocentric escapism, deifying its symbiotic antithetical. A miserable condition on earth, hyper-actualized with eternal opposites.

For the human ego desperately seeks affirmation, wrapped in its cloud of unknowing. Like a picture unshaded, latent egotism permeates through every sphere of our lives, without a clear visual embodiment. Mechanizing the very design of human compassion, empathy and kindness: reduced to a distant river, beyond the looking glass, thus feeding an unconscious fear of it. As —

It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit.

(Frantz Fanon – Black Skin, White Masks)

∞              ∞             ∞             ∞             ∞             ∞            ∞             ∞             ∞

So what affords us this freedom to idealize? The privilege to imagine intangible realities, beyond our present state?

Are ideals bound to consciousness? May education, at its root, be the single most profound privilege in a world where everything can be taken, at any point in time?

Caught in a state of flux, what if an unchecked inflation of latent egotism has laid us at the altar of unquenchable hypocrisy?
Are we guilty of not problematizing these ideals, we so freely reify?
And the binaries they sustain and re-produce, in a madly schizophrenic world?

∞              ∞             ∞             ∞             ∞             ∞            ∞             ∞             ∞

Raised upon the foundations of our prescribed ideals, “neoliberal collectivism” surreptitiously preys upon the construct (and reality) of human vulnerability, shielding us from the very humiliation we disseminate in the midst of this vicious cycle.

And blinded by this false dawn bestowed upon us by a stone-hearted elite – ensnared in the inner-circles of a blazing inferno – “individual freedoms” all too often materialize at the expense of freedom itself.

Deified or devoured, de-alienated or damned, this process of policing behaviour disembowels passionate collective energy, rendering us vapid ideologues of a warped narrative occupying cultural space on a polarized spectrum.

So to take sex-positive feminism as an example, if “sex-positivism” implies that the repression of sexual desires is wholly “negative”, isn’t the movement subsequently attaching a stigma to the choices of others? Isn’t the idea that behaviour can liberate the individual from patriarchal conditioning, negating the very presence of dysfunction in the pursuit of (isolated) solidarity from hetero-normative, hyper-masculine constructs?

The problem extends beyond this. For the discourse emanating from sex-positive feminism advocates “sex work” as a form of liberation, and “feminist porn” as a source of “cis-free” empowerment: if the undesirable conditions of “sex work” (in all its forms) are righteously circumvented through the environment created.

Meanwhile the very essence of slavery – on both the spiritual and material level – irrevocably pervades the requisite transaction of sex for money, in a rabid culture of institutionalized despoilment.

A murky climate where de-humanization penetrates every milieu, ensnaring women and men, girls and boys – regardless of identity – in a vicious cycle of humiliation, manifesting via the normalization (and contortion) of endless abuse, and the metastasis of reactionary movements, fueled by interminable trauma.

Ostensibly, these latent hypocrisies – permeating through the nucleus of sex-positive feminism – precipitate the hierarchical de-legitimization of the source, and every single individual and collective they associate with it.

To exemplify this point, the experiences and sentiments of writer, activist and formerly prostituted woman Rachel Moran, have strongly been denounced by ‘unretired call girl’ Maggie McNeill, along with other sex-positive feminists. Exemplifying how the aforementioned piousness infiltrates the central thinking of the movement, whereby the underlying mechanisms of free-market control fundamentally inhibit the individual’s capacity to freely express mutual understanding, beyond the cage of isolated solidarity — and perniciously intertwined with our most base and primary instinct for self-preservation.

So to echo the recorded thoughts of psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, our orgastic potency is dependent upon our capacity for love, not hate. And any movement constructed upon a dogmatic belief falls short of embracing love, in its very inception.

Therefore enslaved by this perpetual conflict, people far and wide are being drawn into a mental prison, where there are no winners.

Nobody wins war.

neoliberalism (3)

Violence generates counterviolence. The cycle does not stop until the killing stops. All that makes us human—love, empathy, tenderness and kindness—is dismissed in wartime as useless and weak. We revel in a demented hypermasculinity. We lose the capacity to feel and understand. We pity only our own […] ignoring our complicity in perpetuating the ceaseless cycle of death.

(Chris Hedges – States of Terror)

It’s Muslims versus the Christians, it’s heterosexuals versus the homosexuals, it’s women versus man, it’s youth versus the elders, it’s man versus nature. It’s always a fight. But there’s always somebody or some small group that make money no matter what the outcome is; and they promote conflict, they don’t promote harmony. They don’t promote peace […] they want to control people. They want to control what you think, how you think, what you say, where you say it, who you say it to.

(Yasiin Bey – Interview with Ferrari Sheppard for ‘A Country Called Earth’)