Consensus reality is not reality at all; it is something altogether different that it is a bit of a challenge to hang a specific label on. What determines consensus reality are the social needs and prejudices of the ruling class. Thus owing to the nature of the times we live in some semblance of a political democracy has to be maintained in order for the ruling class and its governing power structure to maintain their legitimacy. In order to preserve this increasingly fragile legitimacy a proper concerted use of all the various components of the mass media have to become fully mobilized in support of the social needs and will of the ruling class. More important than this however, is the need of all the many and varied institutions of the society that basically make up much of the existing social fabric to be fully committed to any possible course of action or set of values that the ruling class seeks to justify by way of such supports as it can then seemingly command as a result of these vested and trusted social institutions appearing to support and justify said needs. The reasoning here may seem to be circular but the real affect to the broad masses of people in the society seems to be truly metaphysical.
Therefore what better proof could there be for the metaphysical soundness of the organizations of popular religion that such circular logic that takes place behind the backs of the broad masses of people in any given society and in the hollowed halls of the many churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples that constitute the hardware for the perpetual maintenance of these many and varied religious myths and legends. Religious myths and legends are not without value if they can be seen for what they truly are. Such myths and legends are as the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung pointed out the symbolic wellspring of the human psyche in all its various manifestations down through the ages and into the present moments. Religious symbolism represents a true form of inner meaning that can often be of more value than the outward reality of the senses. In order to understand this and why it is so one would do well to consult the many literary works of such imminent scientific theorists into the nature of human consciousness and intelligence itself as Teilhard de Chardin, C.G. Jung and many other theorists who have labored long and hard in this arcane field of human endeavor trying as best they could to unlock the mystery of human consciousness and the subtle but real intelligence that underlies the know Universe.
This subtle but real intelligence expresses itself by way of the increasing complexification inherent in the natural order of things culminating in the phenomenon of life itself and the ultimate consciousness of Itself that is the human being. In his memorable work The Phenomenon of Man de Chardin traces the earliest origins of the intelligent factor that seems to be at work in the known Universe that ultimately culminates in a Universe that through man has become self aware. Tracing this development out from the earliest micro-seconds of the Big Bang to the present forms the basis of The Phenomenon of Man and the basis for de Chardin’s theory of consciousness/intelligence. Further amplifications and refinements constitutes the vital thread that runs throughout all of his other literary works. Unfortunately Fr. Teilhard as a member of the Jesuit order was placed under a Papal Bull from publishing his life’s work on the subject of human consciousness, intelligence, and the ultimate fate of humanity. His literary works were only discovered after his death and published through the dedicated efforts of his lifelong personal secretary. Teilhard was an anthropologist by profession and spent most of his professional career in China assigned to a Chinese Catholic University outside of Beijing. Without a doubt Teilhard de Chardin was the Galileo of the modern era whose life and work still remains under appreciated not only by the broad masses of people in the world today but by the many professional researchers into this arcane field of psychology and physics that meet in the biology and psyche of man.
Since we now know a little bit more about the origins and evolution of human consciousness perhaps now is the time to begin a discussion about how consciousness can be manipulated and who specifically might be interested in establishing a science of propaganda which is what the manipulation of human consciousness is all about. It’s through the medium of perception that such manipulation proceeds. The technical means for doing this are very highly advanced as opposed to the early part of the 20th century when Freud’s son-in-law Edward Béarnaise wrote the first textbook of the new science of propaganda entitled appropriately enough Propaganda. Béarnaise’s career did not take him to Stalinist Russia but rather to Madison Avenue where a life in advertising awaited him. His work in the field of social psychology enabled him and the major advertising agencies of America, Brittan, and the rest of the capitalist world to find ways of subverting human consciousness by way of perceptual back door traps that inevitably led to the suspension of reason in the unwary consumer in favor of feelings and emotions that seemed for the consumer to trump any rational reason for not buying said product.
It was a natural progression for the science of propaganda to go from selling products to the public to selling wars. The Nazi minister of propaganda Dr. Joseph Goebbels’ exploitation of Béarnaise’s perceptual theories was the first known use of the work of Edward Béarnaise by a modern state to sell illegal wars of aggression to a quiescent German public that was willing to suspend reason and logic in favor of the primitive emotional centers in the brain that have often been referred to as the “reptile brain/” The personal tragedy for Béarnaise and the rest of the Jews of Europe bound up with the exploitation of the science of propaganda founded by Béarnaise could not have been more complete.
The saddest thing of all however is how enthusiastically the ruling class of America has embraced Béarnaise’s work in an effort to sell their own illegal wars of aggression to an almost equally quiescent population of “good Americans” who like Hitler’s “good Germans” were only too happy to suspend their higher powers of reason and logic in favor of emotional cues from the “reptile brain.” We know how that experiment ended for the science of propaganda. The American people for a whole host of reasons quite different from their German counterparts seem to be equally happy to suspend their higher powers of reason and logic in favor of the emotional cues that they get from their own “reptile brains” that put the psychology of the mob in charge of national security policy exactly as the existing national security state would have it. What ever happened to the myth about American individualism and all that is implied by that false belief? Needless to say many experts claim that America constitutes the most conformist society on Earth in stark contradiction to the myth of American individualism employed by such prostitute scribblers as Ayn Rand to sell cheap trashy paperback books to the broad masses of people in her new adopted home after leaving Russia in the early part of the 20th century.
Information warfare is the new label in Pentagonese for the secret ministry of propaganda that operates deep within the hidden recesses of the national security state. Comprising elements of DIA, CIA, NSA, regular military and DOD; the ministry of propaganda/information warfare monitors all forms of electronic communication while at the same time exploiting mainstream media sources to implant usually false narratives to counter the inconvenient facts that make up the truth. The nuts and bolts of this constitute some of the most closely held secrets in government today. Only those with the highest level of security clearance have access to the total picture.
Just as police departments across the nation have become militarized and integrated into NORTHCOM the official Pentagon military command for North America; so academia has been integrated to a large extent with the national security apparatus as well as the military. Probably no other important social institution exist for the establishment of consensus reality amongst educated elements of the middle class than the system of higher education in America today where the ideology of political correctness has come to replace academic freedom, the Berkley Free Speech Movement, and other popular academic projects of the 1960s. It’s interesting to note that it’s the petty politics of personal identity that has come to dominate the non discussion and shut down through implementation of the ideology of political correctness. Feminism as an ideology as opposed to what it formerly was, i.e. a movement to help in the uplift of women throughout the society enjoys pride of place within this larger social trend on American campuses for solidarity with the US military and support for the illegal wars of aggression that the Pentagon has launched in the name of all Americans. The militarization of campus police departments has also occurred coeval with this ideological trend. In actuality these are the two prongs of the ruling class strategy to keep working class politics out of campus life because it would challenge the right of the Pentagon to carry out wars of aggression in the name of all Americans as well as put an end to the actual militarization of academia through a system of grants from not just the Pentagon but from such major CIA proprietaries as Science Applications International Corp. or SAIC as it is more commonly called.
There is no innocent explanation for any of this and it is clear proof of the ability of America’s ruling class to create a kind of consensus reality through the use of the many social institutions that exist within the society and where the job of doing this goes on as Marx would have said “Behind people’s backs.” Is this reality proof of the fact that capitalism by its very nature constitutes a kind of conspiracy (for lack of a better term) against the interests of working people? I guess that the answer to that question would be that perhaps it is not a conscious conspiracy per se but rather a kind of unconscious response by the establishment to the social pressures that they have come under in recent years from many different quarters. It’s true that sometimes language does not contain words that are adequate to describe certain situations or events which is why certain things seem almost impossible to think about since science has proven that we think in words. Indeed without the invention of language human consciousness would not exist at all. Language came into existence only because humans had evolved a certain kind of voice box or vocal cords that could give birth to the variety of sounds needed to have a language. So its true that in the beginning was the word and it was the word that gave birth to human consciousness. This is a curious matter that I will have more to say on at a later time. Is there any wonder then why there should be a curious religious connection with this matter in just about all the world’s great religious myths? I think not as we have something that is totally immaterial, i.e. “the word” which in effect constitutes a sign which in turn helps to produce that most immaterial of all psychic entities- the symbol which in turn often has a life of its own because it either constitutes an archetype or is an integral part of one. It was C.G. Jung who claimed that archetypes were actual living psychic entities.
So if indeed archetypes are indeed living psychic entities is would appear apparent that these entities are what correspond to the angels and demons of religious myths. That is not to say that angels and demons are real but to say that they are symbols for psychic entities that do exist. Certainly if such is the case then the question arises as to what constitutes life. Ernst Mandelbrot seemed to think that any self replicating entity constituted life whereas others have suggested that such self replicating mathematical systems as Mandelbrot discovered actually constituted artificial life. It may seem to be all a matter of words but we have just proven that indeed words are powerful things that in turn gave rise to human consciousness as we know it and experience it in our everyday lives. It’s only in our dreams that words no longer hold sway. In our dreams we are taken over by what Eric Fromm called The Forgotten Language. Since that is the title of a book that I have yet to read I am not qualified to speak in regard to its content. I think that it’s probably safe to say that the forgotten language is the language of symbols and signs that may have actually existed before the invention/discovery of language; but then maybe not. Jung proved however that religious symbolism was synonymous with the symbols and signs that made up the language of dreams and that this formed the basis for the ancient belief that God speaks to us in our dreams. Native Americans believe that our ancestors speak to us in our dreams while a psychologist would say that such departed persons who we see in our dreams are those with whom we have “unfinished business” with hence the need to sort out this unfinished business in our dreams.
And so it goes ad infinitum until we see that consensus reality is not reality at all but just the psychology of the mob being whipped up for political and social reasons by those social institutions made reference to above that serve the will of the establishment. Since consensus reality can therefore be easily dismissed for what it really is, i.e. an illusion; we are free as individuals to construct our own personal reality on much firmer ground. That is the only kind of American individualism that can ever have merit because it reached for a higher purpose in the tumult of the moment.
Note-this piece was originally posted to Open Salon on 11-30-2014