Snarky Behavior

Commodifiying Our Existence

July 27, 2007 · 2 Comments

Brother Carlo absolutely hates it when I wax philosophical, because I am so fast and loose with my shaky understandings of the foundations of his craft. But Carlo is also on the path to permanent head damage, and we all know PhD’s Can’t Communicate.

Moreover, Carlo is part philosopher, part physicist– and whereas hard sciences require building blocks of knowledge to reach the upper echelons, Bullshit Mountain has a mono-rail (thank you, Jon Stewart).

Of course, the value of studying epistemology is that you avoid redundancy of thought. But, by the time you’ve performed an extensive survey of previous literature and start exploring original, independent ideas about the nature of knowledge, you’ve drilled down so deep that you’re a termite missing the forest for a decomposing stump.

So, I do see value in my (and others’) haphazard applications of philosophy and political theory.

Over the last week or so, I’ve written about the following:

The overarching theme here seems to be a vague concern with the commodification of our lives. The necessities of our global society are such that, to align our humanist desires of leading a meaningful existence, we must first commodify ourselves in some fashion as to provide value to the rest of the world.

Without commodifying ourselves, it becomes increasingly difficult for us to engage in creative, exploratory, meaningful, sustaining, and leisurely activities. Without first investing in the social-norms of education, technology, career, we can’t take time to discover our intrinsic values.

Of course, once we fully incorporate ourselves, putting our applied value to use in a global market, the trade-off is almost always leisure and self-exploration. The external demands and stress of a competitive system shift our values in such a way that nearly all of our life decisions are based on how to best maximize ourselves as a commodity in such a market. And lacking genuine time to decompress and develop meaningful relationships, we abuse drugs and alcohol for quick spurts of relief and meaningless sex.

And those are the realities of the modern state.

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