Hegemony and the Modern Condition in the United States

Human subjects are dominated by their masters. While you’re used to thinking of master/slave in terms of chattel slavery, so you appreciate the subjugation of black slaves to their white plantation owners and can understand why those slaves rarely revolt and often didn’t even think consciously about revolting, you don’t consider modern rulers to have slaves, precisely because you’re enslaved by the modern hegemonic force. Every slave begins by believing he’s free – his freedom can only begin with the realization that he’s not.
Slaves consume the product of the masters, often willfully, just like chattel slaves ate the food “given” to them by their plantation owners. And more importantly, they DON’T consume the products that their masters don’t want them to consume, just like the vast majority of chattel slaves didn’t act outside the bounds of their slavery, bounds that they as intelligent human beings fully understood.
The stronger a hegemonic force is, the more “subversive” the product they can produce. For example, a strong plantation owner could show his slaves the movie Django Unchained, which is about a former slave’s rebellion, but the purpose would not be to encourage his slaves to rebel but rather to say to them that I am so strong that I can show you this movie and you STILL won’t rebel.
Hollywood revels in it’s own power, a fundamental trait of all dominators.
The ultimate movie as far as Hollywood is concerned shows an utterly realistic method of achieving human freedom which they encourage people to see by means of a massive PR campaign, just like every big budget movie currently gets regardless of it’s quality. And then people tell each other how noble Hollywood is by means of “helping them free themselves”, and then they go to the next Hollywood movie, and the next one after that, etc., in order to experience the “feeling” of supposed freedom without the pain, terror, insecurity, loneliness, and oppression of ACTUALLY freeing themselves. It’s no fun at all to be free when the people around you are slaves. It’s this shared sense of community, this need to be intimate with other humans, which causes slaves to remain slaves, since the only other substantial community is the masters, and every human with a decent soul prefers slavery over mastery. This is why the masters terribly fear “misfits”, “antisocials”, “psychotics”, etc., not because they are “looking out for the well being of people” as they say, but because these are people in the process of freeing themselves, slaves who are cast out of slave societies for not being happy slaves.
Yet another deceptive Hollywood movie is The Matrix, where a small group of freedom fighters successfully battles the forces of oppression. This cannot occur in reality, only a mass movement with millions of people can successfully create a revolution.
There’s a modern conceit which is potentially very damaging, the idea that any mass group of people is inherently revolutionary. So the Arab Spring is called “revolutionary”, despite the fact that very little of any real positive substance has occurred there. The unfortunate reality is that hegemony is so strong, that potential revolutionaries are so desperate for any good news, that they invent good news to console themselves. So the Arab Spring is “revolutionary” despite not doing much, the mass gathering in Wisconsin around Scott Walker’s machinations was “revolutionary” despite doing effectively nothing, the anti-NATO gathering in Chicago a couple years ago was useless as I can personally attest to.
As I wandered around the anti-NATO gathering wondering what I was doing there, I noticed that I seemed to be the poorest person there, and I’m far from the poorest person in America. The typical protestor was a well-meaning middle-class person fearing for his material well-being after having gazed into his dark future. There’s nothing wrong with such people protesting of course, but if that’s what things amount to there’s not going to be any success.
Right after we dutifully marched down the streets of the wealthy I walked South, and just a few blocks away I saw a lot of poor black people, none of whom cared about the rally. Then I want back to the other world, and saw the protestors happily returning to their cars and buses, having done their “fight for justice”.
THEY DIDN’T GO SOUTH, THEY WENT HOME. This might as well be the slogan for the current state of things in the United States. Everyone knows poor people, especially poor black people, are pathetic and useless, right? Why bother inviting them? Middle class white people are so FUCKING AWESOME that of course they can do super-awesome things all by themselves. Besides, if poor black people are included then they might want some of the spoils of the “revolution”, and we can’t have that.
There’s such a thing as premature celebration. Can the Arab Spring lead to something useful? Yes. Will it? That’s a situation that is ongoing, to determine whether it will. But calling it a “spring” is itself depressing, since it’s much like the Obama slogan of “hope and change” – it gets hopes up while the elite use that manufactured hope to make things even worse.
A slave watching Django Unchained and cheering is doing nothing other than living vicariously through another’s experience, which isn’t even a real experience. Hollywood smiles in response and greenlights Elysium.

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