In the TADJ (Totally Amazing Day Job) I meet many people who have a vision of themseles as they were five years ago. That vision does not match where they are now, and – crucially – where they are likely to be in a year’s time. Standing on the outside, it’s easy enough to see the gaps, the blanks, the ways we protect our self-image, the failure to assess our trajectories. That’s all easy enough.
Since 2008 there has been a similarly obvious rupture in the sinews of global capitalism. And the Old Ways* are gone. We expect that they can come back. We are waiting for them to come back – either via more austerity, or less austerity or better governance or magic pixie dust.
We have emotional or financial skin in this game. It’s every bit as hard and painful for us to see the new normal, and the lack of any realistic prospect of a return to the Good Old Ways (1), as it is for those people in my TADJ.
Technology will save us
What a powerful powerful ideology it is. It say there’s a magic solution out there. A bit more of this, a bit of different that. I don’t have to do the work. I don’t have to change my ways. There’s a pefect external solution out there.
And we are sold it all day every day by the advertisers; “You are pathetic. You are worthless. But once you buy product X or gizmo Y (whether it’s shiny hair, a new car or whatever), then you will be complete.”
It’s commodity fetishism, is all. And til today, I don’t think I ever really – really – got just how seductive that is.
(1) Whether or not they were working for us as individuals – they certainly were not working for us as a species, or for other species..