Occupy yourself or corporate yourself. As Einstein famously pointed out, we cannot solve a problem by using the same type of thinking that created the problem in the first place. Over the past 30 or so years, most people have chosen to pursue the rewards of conformity instead of the fruits of revolt. What they have been left with are boring und dull lives, ugly and stupid places and a planet pushed to the very edge of destruction by capitalism’s efforts to keep feeding them new promises of consumable happiness, and elaborate architectures of lies and self-deceptions. Influence has replaced representation and spin now substitutes for honest communication. The biggest problem is a silent tyranny of consensus. All too often you hear people say that they can’t do things because it has not been approved. Fuck this – you are the leader. The object is to collapse the system by undermining pillars of support. One of those pillars of support is public opinion and the media to labels us. It was the beginning of a symbiotic relationship between advertising and media, where even politics will be advertised. Media chokes us, coerces us, makes us believe that being more than human is better than being. I see women desperately seeking perfection, enslaves by their magazines’ false ideals – too much of nothing. I see selfishness. I see caricatures and parodies aspiring to become iconic. I see posers paddling in a media pool waxing lyrical about life, believing that they know. They know nothing. They swim in style, adrift in champagne politics. True, we live freely within a capitalist ethos of consumption and we all work to live. Who cares about the face when you’ve already sold your soul. The wealthiest and most fashionable people have been made even wealthier and more fashionable – by poorer people who pay to look at pictures of them going to private parties and expensive restaurants or to read accounts of their luxurious lifestyles and love affairs. Attacked by a barrage of advertisements, this is the era of what Baudrillard called »cool money«, wherein financial instruments flow within an independent sphere, seemingly detached from the real economy, as if finance was its own self-perpetuating reality. Slow down the fast money that plays the world economy like a casino: a 1% tax on all stock market transactions and currency trades! Every society clings to a myth by which it lives. The truth is we are not in control. But that’s not the worst of it. We suspect, indeed we know, that no one is in control: no God, no glorious leader, no benevolent dictator, nothing and no one. It’s even worse than the fantasy behind the »Wizard of Oz« and the »Emperor’s New Clothes« – there is no wizard and no emperor. It is as if we are living in quicksand. We try to dig ourselves out and we dig ourselves deeper. Why do we have a general feeling of powerlessness? One reason is the profound separation of politics and power. The fact is that today politics and power have fallen apart in liberal democracy. They are divorced. We know this. The referent of power is not the people and is not located in national governments. It is elsewhere: with financial institutions or the European Central Bank. And these are the institutions that European governments serve, not the people. The casualty of this separation of politics and power is the State. The state has become eviscerated, discredited, and its credit rating has been slashed.

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