America is an aggregated society. The American exists as an individual, but the nation has become rather indifferent to the individual and the common man. America may be too large for it to be any other way.
Earlier this week I wrote about why America works for stupid people. It may have been interpreted as Darwinist, but it is not. It identifies the inorganic, the incorporated nature of what we build in our consumer economy. We act as markets and our actions are interpreted by business enterprises which exert inordinate influence on our social lives. But our non-market actions, our political, moral and social actions, even those have been monetized and marketized. This doesn't exactly dehumanize us, it actually distributes a great deal of arts and crafts through our society. But this marketization and corporatization of our social forces does do a bit of damage.
I view this situation primarily through the lens of what I call Aggregation. Aggregation is 'farming a greater portion of the long tail'. We are putting more people and things onto a market grid of understanding for the purposes of business. As the man in '12 Angry Men' said, we throw things up the flagpole and see who salutes. We throw things out onto the front porch to see if the cat licks it up. We build clickholes and honey pots. We bait the consumer with bright lights and big cities and convert the meaningless into markets going after disposable income. We feed him food in a box. This is an inflationary process whose key symptoms are 'bullshit jobs' and 'edutainment'. We pay people to do things that are optional in order that they might buy things that are optional, and in all that thrash we exacerbate the inequality of market-makers and market participants.
At this point in our country's history, we have done so much of this that our private enterprise is no longer self-sustaining. The direction of private enterprise has gotten so far afield of providing the necessary ingredients for the common man into the realm of accoutrements and fashions that we collectively have become incompetent at the basics. These are outsourced industries. We graduate millions of high school kids who want to play video games and drive automobiles but have actually never seen computer source code or a drill press. The result is that the common sense of providing the basics has also fallen to the government which is compelled to tax private enterprise even more.
The problem is the inflation which is inherent in the desire to provide a high standard of living and leisure for everyone. We cannot afford it.
But I see the greater damage in the rendering of the individual into a receiver of commodities, the quality and nature of which are dubious. Certainly it stands to reason that the woman who spends too much money on makeup only finds the lesser man. Surely the man who buys trophies is only fooling himself. But can we really stand to watch millions adopt such false identities as human beings? This is the dilemma of the Humanities and I'm beginning to blame them for not being up to the task of creating enough compelling materials and concepts to break through this identity crisis.
We must find a way to rebel against the dehumanizing aspects of Aggregation firstly by leaving people be. We need to squelch crusading zealots for marginal causes while realizing champions are necessary. You cannot cure hunger in some developing nation by sending the profits of trendy shoe sales. You cannot cure debilitating diseases by solititing donations via viral videos. People have to do work. We must leverage the actual work of millions of the common man in order to accomplish that which benefits the common man. In other words, we must leave him to his own interests and not distract him with inflationary trinkets and make-work.
The implications are that we will not have some lofty 'attainables' in society, but that which we do have will work reliably for the common man. He will benefit by being able to understand the overwhelming majority of issues that attend his own life, rather than being befuddled on an endless treadmill of university studies, or news videos about things of peripheral concern. Americans may know how to 'change the channel', but there are literally 1000 channels of garbage.
I am invested in survival. I expect things to crumble slowly then crash unexpectedly. My hedge is a skillset based not on paranoia or a SHTF scenario, but in the social graces required of chivalry; the human grace of noblesse amid the squallor of what befalls the common man in a system designed to fleece him.
This covers a lot. It's where I am today.