Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Futile cynicism as a characteristic of late modernity (mouse utopia: terminal phase)

Futile cynicism is everywhere, normal, accepted.

Everybody is 'cynical' about politics and politicians; advertising; the mass media; fashion; the culture of celebrity; the behaviour of lawyers, professors, tradesmen - everybody knows that the public world is full of hype, spin, unscrupulous selection, grossly partial exaggeration, devious dishonesty and outright barefaced lies.

And yet this cynicism is utterly futile, totally ineffectual - because everybody believes what politicians say (if they support them), and what the mass media says (if they want it to be true); and they buy and wear or mutilate themselves as fashion dictates, and they believe and obey legal verdicts and college qualifications and government officials; and they swallow up celebrities - hype, spin and all - in a single gulp.

In the not so distant past, for example in the Eastern Bloc, cynicism meant disbelieving and ignoring - it meant cooperating only when forced to cooperate. Nowadays, cynicism goes with blind docility and slavish obedience - the authorities play upon the public like a musical instrument.

The public are cynically aware of the facts, but it makes no difference. The modern public - as individuals and en masse - will soak-up and go-along-with anything and everything the leadership class dream-up to pander, exploit, titillate and torment them.

And the leadership class are exactly the same about each other, and about themselves.

Cynicism about cynicism = credulity.