A view of narratives

Posted: 20/03/2018 by zandtao in BigTech, Finance, Struggle, War
Tags: ,


I hear Russell calling for a new narrative, and such a call might well be what is popular now – I don’t know, Naomi thinks so and that means something. I have in a sense rejected this approach because it could be standard intellectual obfuscation that moves away from a clear class analysis. But perhaps it is a real movement, let me treat it as such.

What is the old narrative, if we want new we have to know what is old and what we want to change?

If we want to understand an old narrative we have to see historical trends. This is so important because if we do not examine trends we can end up with idealisms based on rhetoric imposed on a time-frame. To explain this let’s consider democracy.

In the UK where did democracy come from? There was tribalism, feudalism, monarchy, Cromwell and parliament. There was staggered suffrage. It is worth considering these on a timeline to understand our democracy. Under the monarchy and feudalism people were fundamentally serfs or soldiers with an existence predicated on the landowner. This started to change with money when different people became wealthy and used money to buy power. At this point parliament developed where wealth and land were supposedly two opposing interests. Cromwell was a figurehead in this as he represented wealth as parliamentarians. To develop support parliamentarians encouraged the notion that parliament was for the people, and so began the delusion of democracy. Initially suffrage was very limited but once it was seen that voting confirmed the status quo suffrage was expanded. Democracy as part of the establishment has never been in the interests of the people but has been used as a carrot to delude people into working for the establishment. This is democracy today. Similarly we could examine US history but it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel, look through the eyes of Howard Zinn.

For most people these are not accepted narratives.

Here is a forum for discussions on a new narrative (not necessarily recommended), and here is their presentation of the old narrative:-

“Within this narrative the basic trajectory of life was seen as go to college, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids, go to church, work every day until you have saved up enough money, then retire.”

[This I will term the normal narrative].

But what can be clearly seen by those with an enquiring mind is that this version of the old narrative could fit into a view of consumer conditioning. Examine the components of this view of narrative. We get educated to get a job. Nature dictates we have kids but the narrative turns that into house, maybe church, kids getting educated. When we get too old for a job we retire, and this is enabled by the narrative through savings and pension schemes.

This “normal” narrative simply accepts the prevailing system that is based around getting money to bring up a family. That narrative simply accepts that people will consume. This narrative also assumes that society’s method for enabling this narrative is acceptable.

Politically this narrative has been supported by the capitalist system, money is accumulated to create means of production and the profits from sales of consumer items go to the owners of those means of production. Various mechanisms such as the stock market are used to create the accumulation. Intrinsic within the old narrative is the notion that this is just business, and whilst there are some minor problems business works, capitalism works.

So tied in with the old narrative is a capitalist system, and this system has been questioned. Initially this system was questioned by Karl Marx pointing out problems, along with Lenin, Trotsky, Castro, Guevara and others proposing communism as an alternative. Whilst communist alternatives have not been successful criticisms of the way capitalism has developed have increased.

These criticisms perhaps reached a crescendo globally with movements such as Horizontalidad, the Arab Spring, Indignados and Podemos in Spain, and then the Occupy movement. Perhaps most significant in these movements became the recognition of the 1%, new terminology describing Marx’s bourgeoisie and proletariat.

During and since these times has been the rise of the right wing as a response to the globalisation by the 1%. These right-wingers seek a return to the perceived wealth that nationalism had supposedly brought. This emerging right-wing is common throughout the white world (Russell Means’ European) where benefits of the capitalist system had been more pronounced. These right-wingers target liberal movements as the source of the problems. Identity politics seeks to promote non-white races, women and LBGQT communities, and for these people on the right this liberalism has become an enemy.

Automation has completely changed the workplace in the last 50 years. It is now more profitable to increase the use of machines in manufacture being both more reliable mechanically and also able to work 24/7. In the capitalist system that is only interested in profit, much work that needs to be done is not profitable such as caring and the environment. Attempts are made to commodify all these non-manufacture items, and make people pay for them through taxation. So there is some profit-making but high taxation is de-motivating. At the same time a large proportion of taxation is required for defence procurement without which many western economies would fail.

With increased roboticisation there will be less and les jobs under the capitalist model, with profit as the driving force robots will be much cheaper. With less jobs there will be less money in circulation, and without that money there can be no consumerism that maintains the capitalist system.

With all of these considerations the “normal” narrative described above is not feasible.

Before considering a new narrative it is important to consider criticisms of the old narrative. With the emphasis on profit as the means of maintaining the capitalist system and therefore the normal narrative, critics point out the consequences of this normality. Increased accumulation has led to all sorts of crimes against humanity, beginning with battles for expansion, then colonisation and neo-colonialism. We have now reached a stage in which wars-for-profits are justified as an unspoken aspect of this narrative, and our education system within its hidden curriculum is required to provide the wage-slaves that keep the capitalist system functioning. At the same time we have to recognise that the system could be considered unsustainable. We are using resources without replacing them. Spending functions only in terms of debt both on an individual and governmental level, economies function as fiat economies without public reference to this invention of money. Within the white countries governments have recently promoted austerity agendas yet whilst doing so gaps between rich and poor have widened. And the taxation system is breaking down because transnationals are dodging taxation leaving money for government services short.

With all of its gross consequences capitalism does provide for some a pleasant lifestyle as described in the normal narrative. There are “natural” components within this normal narrative, and these capitalism provides for. Having children is a human necessity – as with all life. Capitalism does ensure that people work for the community in some ways albeit those ways only exist if there is profit for the accumulators, however it has to be noted that community services do not function efficiently because they lack money and resources. This of course has to be the case because such services are not creating profits.

The emphasis on profit is exclusive. In the normal narrative the church is included yet in western countries church involvement is variable. Other than mentioning the church what might be termed values are not included in this normalcy. But of course humans do have values. In general I think it is objective to say that under this normal narrative human development is not a focus, but there is of course development. However this development is driven by profit, research and development is primarily financed by corporations with the ultimate objective of profit and accumulation.

What is not mentioned above that is part of the normal narrative is the rule of law. As with all these questions books can be written on every issue but fundamentally this law protects the normal narrative of which capitalism is integral. The forces of law, police, courts and military protect the normal narrative and at the same time the capitalist system, and there are many cases in which the individual loses out to the interests of the corporation.

When we examine a new narrative we have to understand that such a narrative will meet powerful opposition if it leads to changes in the situation of those who have the accumulation – 1% or bourgeoisie. The rule of law fundamentally protects these people, and a new narrative has no power to overcome such a rule of law. It is in the interest of the powerful to consider a new narrative as they must realise that the way of life of accumulation is under threat as time marches on. There is an immediate conflict that they need to address, that of increasing automation and roboticisation, and the impact of that on consumerism.

For most normal people this immediate conflict is creating fear and violence. With increasing automation the normal narrative doesn’t function, and whilst white people fight to retain this normalcy their fear turns to violence of racism as well as greater acceptance of war – that then enable profits.

So when we ask about a new narrative we are actually questioning our way of life, and this questioning is becoming increasingly imminent. What is needed is for the narrative to evolve, but has the accumulation gone so far that evolution is not possible? Is there any new narrative in which the 1% can actually fit in?

<– Previous Post “Indigenous activist” Next Post “conditioning narrative” –>

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Mandtao, Matriellez.

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