To Cognitive Dissonance (first letter)


I think of us and remember Marx: The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope. Thirty years after the so-called End of History, this still seems plausible because of you (funny too in an absurdly tragic sort of way). Nothing’s happened yet of course.  The guts of the last bureaucrat also remain untouched. You’ve been busy directing our inept stewardship of all existence.  We’re marching toward oblivion. If human nature exists, you are its most influential frenemy, the mentor of sanctimonious hustlers, guru to this unconscionable now. Where would Modernity be without you?
There’s always a plethora of contract-based training, administrative and managerial positions on offer (ultimately equivalent to the menial wage labour gigs first experienced in early adolescence). When “careers” come up, promising spiritual fulfillment and material security, hundreds, sometimes thousands, of applications from superbly qualified candidates are submitted. One jumps through the hoops – and so does everyone else. You are with them all. None of it needs to exist in the first place. Neither do you.
Do I hold on to a dream or abandon it as illusory? Is the dream my own or is it socially necessitated? You stalk me as I ask these questions. You shadow artists, police officers, unemployed scavengers, technocrats, social workers, speculative investors, teachers, landlords, students and soldiers as they try to brand themselves. No one confuses you for Hope. You don’t come out of an ethical framework. You don’t exist despite the outcome. You are the outcome — of indecision and constant abuse, loss of faith, the absence of justice and its exploitation.
We know it and we don’t. That’s the way it is when you’re around, so I imagine you gone. People without a chance stop entertaining fantasies of invincibility. Class war becomes the only occupation. Champagne socialists and professional activists no longer exist. Addictions end. University departments and corporate boards disband in the streets, integrating with everyday life. Money is worthless. The Earth’s sixth mass extinction never happens.