For those who think this will be a diatribe on the value of Marx’s statement on religion….you would be mistaken. While I appreciate a lot of the work of Karl Marx I will disagree with him on this one. While my “opiate” has become a more or less modern phenom….who knows Marx might agree with me it he were alive today…..(wishful thinking on my part, no doubt)…….
My “opiate”, as I have mentioned, is not religion but rather consumerism.
That is right…YOU! You buy then you have become an addict to the drug that corporate media has created……In capitalism, profit becomes the goal and consumers are considered a means to that end. Thus the final goal is the creation of more and more consumers.
The conception of “consumer” is an illusion possible only once production and consumption have been alienated as apparently separate and independent processes. Every act of consumption is equally an act of production, so the alienation of one from the other is a social construction. Since wage-workers produce only to earn a living, and are alienated from their own labor, the illusion is created that their only real life is as a consumer.
Theodor Adorno of the Frankfurt School focused on the creation of a global consumer culture. The mass media has created pop culture, Hollywood, and commercial TV which fuels mass consumption..this encourages celebrity worship, lifestyle worship and yes, Greed……
What can I say….back in the 1920′s, Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci made a very forward looking prediction….he said the the mass media would drive hegemony…..not bad considering that in his day newspapers and a bit of radio were considered mass media……he was saying the the mass media would drive politics, culture and yes, Greed! Take a look at politics today. Take a look at our so-called culture today. It is all drive by the media.
The media drives our consumerism…..we are told what cars to buy, which credit card makes us whole, what political indoctrination we need and what is life all about…..the mass media controls all!
Ben Nicholson said…….”The corruption of the American soul is consumerism.”
There you have it…..consumerism is the “real” opiate of the masses………