Humanity as gasoline

by: Nate

I’m a little confused as to how this is assignment is expected to be written, so to the

best of my understanding I’ll approach It within the context of hegemony.  As industry

expands and our global focus shifts towards a worship of profit (I say shift though it has

been this way longer than most can remember). We see an explosive saturation of

advertising to the point where it has been installed in every facet of our lives. The objective

here seems to be to maintain the consumer base, as the consumer base. That is to say this

constant flood of input from advertising, and media as a whole seems to be aimed at leading

the lower classes to feel catered to and satiated by giving them the ability (through

consumerism) to illustrate their individual levels of success. This allows a compromise

between cultural hierarchy “If you behave yourself like a good little serf we give you

permission to buy 12 inch rims that just keep spinnin”.  Though not as blatantly

condescending as this, the intention to satiate this appetite through providing the means to

illustrate personal financial success seems aimed at leading a poorer group of people to

completely forget their station as their own preconceived notions of success are fulfilled.

The more malicious element here is found when one considers that the groups and

companies creating products and media for consumption are also creating the advertising

and media that illustrates what the public perception of success should be. Our own

measure of personal success is overshadowed by what we’re told success is. The sad reality

is that the levels of success the higher classes of aristocracy and members of high profile

corporate culture experience is radically different than the one the lower

classes are told they should be striving for. Any dissent leveled at this system is attacked

by media superpowers as an attack on our fundamental way of life, rather than an attack

on a system that unfairly relegates certain stratus of society  to predefined roles dictated

by corporate structure.

This makes the very act of engaging this system with any level of criticism a social

taboo. I’m reminded of when Warren Buffet came out in favor of Obama’s plan to tax the

wealthiest of Americans and was met with a barrage of criticism labeling him a socialist. It

would seem to me that this is not unlike what happened in Europe upon the rise of

Christianity where any and all dissent was met with the label of heathen.  This is naturally

the method used by most powers when “attacked” by inquiry and dissention.

This entire power structure when using the act of labeling dissenters, seems like a

system whose sole function is to maintain the status quo. Those in power must stay in

power and those that slave must always slave. Why is this? It would seem to me that by

infusing the peasant class with the right to buy and own artificial symbols of power they

are imbued with an artificial sense of advancement. “I own a bigger house than my

neighbor and thusly I am more successful. It would seem that by playing on the human

instinct to have the best of something and to be a more advanced form than the human

next to you (natural selection has shifted from genetic power to economic power), the

power structure that maintains our world has found a fundamental hook that plays to our

most basic desire. This is the one advantage our economic religion has over the previous

faith based one. There are immediate tangible results that you will be rewarded if you

work hard and make money. This infuses the subject with a false sense of importance and

causes them to be directly invested in the success of a system that feeds on their work.

Advertising is simply the refined delivery method for a system that uses humanity as


This entry was posted in Fall 2011. Bookmark the permalink.

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