Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident
they are acting on their own free will.” —Joseph Goebbels

We humans have recently come to believe we have have inalienable rights and intrinsic dignity as well as the probability of, with hard work and honesty, moving up in the world. Around here we call that the American Dream.

Look around—at your neighbors, not at your screens—and you can see that this is not true. That dream is a false consciousness, that all of us wage slaves, folks who work for money as opposed the capitalists whose money works for them, and former wage slaves, the disabled, laid off or merely retired, that has been foisted upon us by capitalists for their own gain at our expense.

Next up: Demeaning those below you as you climb the social/economic architecture is a rite—and right?—of passage. But the more successful you get at it the less you are a person—empathetic, altruistic, and creative. You also become more a part of the system, an interchangeable component in a machine designed to concentrate wealth and power. But only at the next level up from yours. You, too, are demeaned, you’d know that if you took time away from counting your assets to notice.

“The ideas of the ruling class are, in any age, the ruling ideas” —Marx and Engels

On top of this spectacle, above the robotic corporations and other financial mechanisms is the ruling class. They control the means of production, but also the means of culture, the framework within which those bound to a society believe, and act. They disguise themselves to look enough like we do—at least on our little screens they do—to lead us to believe that someday we could join them.

This belief making system is not really a system, but individuals with similar interests acting in similar manners. But common goals are not evidence of a conspiracy. Some belief making devices are designed simply to protect wealth quietly, and out of sight. But others are fantasy spectacles that are created to seem just possible enough to stop us from acting, from knocking the whole edifice down.

In the 1800s Marx understood the problem, and he thought he had a solution. But it took one hundred years or so and millions of lives lost to see he didn’t. However the opposite of that solution isn’t the solution either, so in the 2000s the problem persists. As ever, those in power don’t even see a problem. So we still don’t have a solution and we all sink deeper in the muck. First class will be rescued, they always are. But not before millions more are drowned. Whitewash, rinse, repeat.