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GEORGE SIMMEL AND THE FLATTENING OF CONSUMER SOCIETY

March 26, 2013

NOTES FROM THE METROPOLIS AND MENTAL LIFE (1903)

1)MONEY

In its “comparableness”; the “purely objective life” of science and the “objective culture” of Western capitalist cultures; “Reduction of qualitative values to quantitative”; “a blunting of discrimination”-“all things lie at the same level and differ only in size and area they cover”; and finally “intellectuality” and “cerebralness” as psychological protection mechanism.

2)”COMPARABLENESS” OF MONEY

Erodes intrinsic value of everything it is applied to-even reality or life itself, as individual analogically projects worth in terms of price to medium.

3)WORTHLESSNESS

In an intrinsic sense of reality is reflected obversely back onto the self.

4)DIALECTIC

Of intrinsic “worthlessness” between individual and social reality.

5)CAPITALIST SOCIETAL NEED

For the individual to seek to differentiate him/herself so as to gain social perception as uniqueness (Simmel) is really a form of self-obviation in terms of intrinsic meaning-ultimate value rests on how you are perceived and not what you know yourself to be.

HOW THE PSYCHE REACTS

6)FRIVOLIZATION

As a way of hiding from sense of self-worthlessness, sense of worthlessness with regards to everything, to life itself.

7)NIHILISM

As more “vital” and aggressive attempt to self-affirmation, but based still on a sense of worthlessness-sex, drugs, intentional self-obviation.

8)’POSTITIVE’ CAPITALIST NIHILISM

Of the “workaholic”; but is really a form of frivolization (sic) that could also include a feigned or in someway forced “spirituality” as psychological compensation for a sense of existential worthlessness.

9)VIOLENCE

Towards others. The self-obviation of the guy-or woman-next to you instead of yourself; and the taking-out on others of your –most real-frustrations.

INSTRUCTIONS

Choose the psychological reaction as life mode that most suits your individual tastes!

All four (6-9) are part of human experience, being the most unfortunate number 9; but you tell me:

Which one is most preferred by consumer society as a power system of exploiting self-perceived human need on the part of the individual?

(Clue: it is not, actually, number 8)!

Yes!; that’s it!

You betchya!

Any observation regarding mental illness and suicide?

How about the social use of alcohol and illicit drugs?

You should have a few comments, don’t you think?

See ya’ at Disney World.

(Orlando, Florida; I already seen the shark in San Diego!):

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