Capitalism and Identity

Making the connections that I have between our environment and the pressures that societal structure and goals place upon us has been and continues to be an ongoing research project. I do not have definitive proof nobody does but what I would like to include here is at least a little of the background sources that I have been reading that deal either directly or indirectly with this subject.

It is of course a massive area and subject to cover it encompasses social theory anthropology ethnography economics, Psychology and Philosophical insight.

This Is why I have had to step away from some of the research for now as it has become so huge I was becoming lost in its labyrinth of possibility.

What I have managed to focus in on that is particular interest is the Ideological aspects that sit behind social norms and often masquerade as knowledge, Reading Giles Delueze ‘Postscripts on the societies of control’ (Delueze 1992)

gives a really useful way of looking or rethinking the connections of ideology power and control and how outward facing structures of control like the police and the state have become hidden mechanisms in the west often hidden within the technological elements of media consumption in consumerist society.

Apart from following on from some of the readings I have made of Foucault in the past on this subject, It forms a direct link to my next readings on the  shifts in how politics is conducted both behind the scenes and in public.  Adam Curtis  looks at this modern form of confusion and deliberate shape shifting in his film Bitter Lake

And It certainly has more than an echo with the Delueze’s Text:

‘Enclosures are moulds distinct castings, but controls are a modulation, like a self deforming cast that will continuously change from one moment to another’ (Delueze, 1992)


Hyper normalisation the is the effect of all this as Adam curtis explores in his new film of the same name, the collective fantasy being held up by those in power, the purveyors of the broken system, and the consumers themselves us, the people who choose to ignore the failings even when they are only to aware of them, because they are not aware of or see no alternative

You may be wondering what all this has to do with a working class man on the verge of suicide in a small  seaside town in Devon. Well it has everything to do with these larger events for several reasons. If we form our identity and our sense of place in the world through what we do and where we are, then nowhere in a global economy is safe from these systems of control and the ideologies that they impart.

To put it another way we begin to believe that the only way of being is to obey these principles, we become slaves free to follow the paths chosen for us and to seek the always unattainable.  Reinforcing a belief system of continual growth and perpetual happiness. It is always just out of reach because it is a fantasy designed to support a rotten system of lies and greed. When  these ideologies become not only confused with truth, they begin shape our sense of reality and of self.

This project is not just simply about the impossibility of these goals but the effects on an individual when all that constitutes this path seems to have been broken or violently taken away. The sense of loss and confusion when building your existence around these goals is no longer an option.

The horrifying picture of failure held up and displayed to us by this system, has to continuously be implied,  it is the social ideological stick that beats us all across the back to push forward. Even those who know that this forward movement  is in fact leading us nowhere, still stumble forward into a darkening and increasingly narrow future.

One thing I do disagree with Adam Curtis on is the idea that there is no alternative to this system, here in lies the problem at the heart of ideological systems of control…But for now I will curtail this ranty blog here, in the dark confines of the tunnel.






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