Cultural Reproduction and Freedom
by claire Tuesday, Dec 10 2019, 11:26pm
It is self-defeating to write reformative and/or subversive revolutionary material about any existing culture. All the great philosophical, religious and political treatises that we imagine were/are new are merely reproductions of culture as process. WHY/how? Simply due to the fact that culture resides internally as 'mind' distinct from consciousness and externally as a social phenomena, though both productions are inextricably bound in an extremely tight symbiotic relationship by LANGUAGE.
Mind cannot be separated from thought and the content of thought is learned from external culture via the socialisation process, which we are all subjected to by necessity if we intend to survive in a particular cultural environment, as we are indeed a social species and therefore subject to this process.
Whatever we think, the content of thought, after the socialisation process, remains direct cultural content learned from external sources, primarily media, in its broadest sense, today; and regardless of how many 'twists' or variations we may imagine we have created individually the process is nevertheless bound by thought (cultural concepts) and learned (superimposed) cultural values, which utilise the 'magical' medium of LANGUAGE.
Language is the dynamic propulsion engine of culture and any 'new' broadly accepted word/concept merely becomes another internalised thought concept of culture which may or may not survive depending on a number of factors, the strongest of which is widespread acceptance/BELIEF have you never questioned your particular status in life and why how you arrived at your current position? If not, it's time to question the most fundamental aspects of culture and its conditions, processes and productions, freedom-slavery and all the associated unequal distributions of the naturally occurring and inequitably distributed available cultural productions and not forgetting, the concepts of appropriation and ownership. If done then it quickly becomes apparent that inequality and authoritarianism is characteristic of ALL cultures.
Culture in effect reproduces itself internally in mind before it reinforces external culture by relational behaviours (working for example) -- as external cultural is dependent on its subjects/slaves as a resource or source of its maintenance, production and reproduction. The majority must remain subjected/ENSLAVED to it by automatically sharing imposed/learned values and beliefs, which are all text/language based cultural products. So which/whatever new direction/variation of thought one imagines one is creating it nevertheless becomes self-defeating as it is nothing more than a variation of the old as there is no such thing as a cultural void or vacuum from which to draw. All cultures are thought dependent and rely on pre-existing core value or belief systems regardless of how the 'new' variation may be 'dressed' or appear, in the end it is simply a repetition. However, if these belief systems are interrogated they ALL reduce to arbitrary, abstract, or imposed fictional values and narratives.
Thought (language) or internalised culture, which is not necessary for physical survival but is essential for the reproduction and maintenance of external culture -- language is always behind ALL cultural processes manifestations/productions -- which form the substrate structural and socially adhesive aspects of culture; in that sense there truly is nothing new under the sun regarding man's condition.
It, thought or internalised language, also explains why political revolutionary movements all end in authoritarian systems, for instance, the extreme 'left' and extreme political 'right' meet and shake hands in totalitarian/authoritarian oppressive regimes with ruling elites, those who have more than they need, and exploited slaves, the majority of which are fed only enough to enable them to serve elites; history verifies same as ALL cultures are essentially authoritarian structures regardless of transparent names and veneers.
For instance, all theological systems of belief promise a paradise after one dies but robs believers of the paradise and joy of life here and now, the ruse is simple, suffer exploitation, hardship and misery now so you earn the right to enter paradise if you adhere to essentially these fictional elite serving belief systems written and broadly disseminated by elites, in the first instance, a reality easily verified since the beginning of recorded history. What utter bunk, as subjected people are robbed of the joys of living by an unsubstantiated and LIE. Nevertheless, religion has proven itself a successful means of managing (exploiting) large groups of people, as the policing, behaviour modifying aspects exist in mind/thought, inculcated at early impressionable developmental stages by already subjected/enslaved parents and reinforced by external cultural institutions managed by elites.
The same applies to political systems and movements, the originators exploit those converts that are LED TO BELIEVE they would build a fairer more Utopian society and system in which everyone is equal -- the absurdity of these obvious lies (ideologies) should now be apparent to all and if one cares to investigate and research the matter, recorded history would provide all the proof one requires for verification of the FARCE.
Moreover, large societies have NEVER departed from the minority ruling elite and enslaved masses model though many revolutionary and social reform attempts have been made, nonetheless, they all very quickly returned to the 'discipline' of the elite-slave authoritarian paradigm and there is good reason for that as humans must first transform within before any hope of a lasting revolution without is possible, their trained minds must be transformed and purged of antiquated, superimposed fictional belief systems/structures prior to attempting to transform any external culture, which are all maintained and supported by subjects, in the literal sense; and if these subjects maintain old authoritarian models internally in mind then those tendencies would quickly reproduce another authoritarian system of minority elite rule and mass slavery, regardless of name or veneer.
The dilemma of breaking free of this process has challenged free thinkers throughout the ages, particularly breaking free of prevailing authoritarian structures.
To cite one of the latest, Roland Barthes, a French academic who 'authored', the irony is not lost, a short paper titled the The Death of the Author, inferring the death of all text based authority, particularly religious -- we should now be aware that culture is text/language based was one of the major influences and instigators of Post-Modernism, in which persons retake authority as Barthes basically stated that readers not authors create their own authority via interpretation, therefore the subjective choices of readers are as valid, if not more so, than those espoused by authors (authorities). Hence people are now able to elect their gender, regardless of genitalia specifications, nevertheless, changing one's name from Jill to Jack doesn't grow a phallus nor does the reverse grow tits so it's all a bit of a wank.
However, almost half a century after Barthes' seminal paper we have 'political correctness' (PC) gone mad, legal elective genders and transgender toilets in some schools, which phenomena are all culturally produced today, so what in essence has occurred? Culture either detecting a threat or for other purposes (profit) has appropriated that thought/ideology system, which if it stubbornly resisted may have culminated in its structural demise. Nevertheless, these rather minor and unpopular variations have NOT disrupted the core structures of authoritarian minority elite rule, as exploitation, inequity and mass slavery continue.
Now this is not the fault or failure of the author which provided the key to dismantling all cultural authority as given and naturalised, rather it was/is the radical adaptability of the capitalist system itself, which almost automatically appropriates any sub-cultural or ideological variations that threaten it, furthermore, true to form, it then attempts to profit from these new bastardised appropriations.
Nevertheless, the impact on religious organisations/ideologies and other unnecessary belief systems have been fairly strong as indeed conservative religious organisations rather stupidly resisted the notions of Post-Modernism and continued to insist on the authority of the (interpreted) text rather than adapting as capitalism did successfully.
For example, in the Christian context it would have been a very simple matter to sell/adapt Jesus as a radical Post-Modernist, as he did reject the authority of the ruling elite priest class and subverted cultural behaviours/habits such as stoning women etc; in fact even the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, asked Jesus what is Truth? That question is PM to the extreme, however, conservative, 'anal' religionists cannot adapt as they prefer living in prescribed/formulated 'boxes' though few can agree on interpretations of the text, as demonstrated today, Christianity is the most fragmented of all the major religions hence is imploding due to its lack of radical adaptability, without refuting essential core teachings, which in Christianity is LOVE, one of the most, if not the most Post-Modern word in existence.
I think it is fairly safe to end this discourse here as culture's power structures and fantasy belief systems, theocratic, political, scientific (Newtonian previously agreed upon measurable 'facts', now disproven by quantum physics) or any other 'authority' is easily seen as an agreed upon fiction.
So what of Pilate's PM question, what is truth? Indeed, TRUTH exists but it cannot be found in any culture, due to the simple reality that truth is by nature infinite as is the universe and all cultures are finite and depend upon qualitative finite structures particularly language/thought, which quite obviously cannot escape it/themselves.
However, the answer or the experience of TRUTH is easily had by simply sitting quietly and ceasing to think for an extended period; and when this state of quietude is achieved mind/thought cease to exist, revealing instead the full flowering of cosmic (infinite) consciousness which we and existence are born/created with. Why then would anyone fall victim to a clearly arbitrary, fictitious cultural superimposition of false values?
So, if you truly wish to reform transform culture/society then you MUST first transform and free yourself, there is no other way.
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