The starter kit memes are a staple of social media. The memes identify a target group, and the four accompanying pictures as part of the meme show an individual, an opinion slogan, a consumer good, and a clothing item associated with the group. People chuckle and move on through their feeds. The meme itself reveals a truth of the contemporary world, namely that capitalism and progressivism have effectively captured the question of Being for their purposes, which is a culmination of moves dating back hundreds of years.
In the modern world, the beginning moves began as the feudal way of European society and Christianity’s hold on European society broke down in the 19th century. There were enough philosophers wondering if God was dead and how they would replace God in their daily lives and reorganize society. Answers came, but those answers satisfied progressive paradigms and large-scale capital. New technologies allowed for new channels into the mindspace of the masses.
The mechanism behind switches of these kinds is that for progressivism, the old or current manner of aggregating an identity must be deconstructed and obliterated for new possibilities to be presented and believably sold as superior. This fits with the progressive attack on local institutions, old identities, and relationships formerly rooted in community, family, church, etc. Context gives meaning not just for words, but individuals.
Martin Heidegger’s idea of Being focused on mood, and who we are in the context of our surroundings. To drive towards the truth, to be unconcealed, was to be free. This might appear to dovetail with the contemporary progressive pitch of liberation. Liberation now means to free up women to become empowered free of the patriarchy and traditional female roles. Liberation now means for gays to be contemporary gays as defined by progressive media, not a person who happens to have homosexual inclinations properly managed and muted by ritual and solemnity.
These progressive pitches are not true revelations of what it is to be free, but are rather what Heidegger would classify as distortions. The liberation pitched by progressives to trap individuals brings gayness, femininity, and blackness to the surface and subsequently makes it their primary definition of who they are, albeit in progressive-defined ways. This further separates the targeted individual from their community and makes them a member of team progressive.
Even the often celebrated liberation of women combats the idea of freedom as being the essence of truth or the true self. A woman’s liberation does not mean the freedom of being the self and woman she is meant to be in her particular historic environment and community. A woman’s proper liberation in the progressive predetermined library is the hard-charging corporate drone, the sexual tigress, or the butt-kicking babe. These are not liberations but highly manicured, limited pathways for the needs of the progressives and big capital.
As such, Lesbian Jane does not fit within her community with a slightly different sexual orientation as, say, a nun. Lesbian Jane is a progressive foot soldier, an advocate, an apostle. All identities are stripped of traditional, deep community context and become instead pre-packaged identities with progressive-issued norms, mores, and political opinions.
This pre-packaging dovetails with large capital’s prepackaging of consumer identities to move product. Associating consumer identities with small niche identities makes advertising and marketing both easier and cheaper. To be a good man, black, gay, etc., means consumption of designated consumer goods. There is a widely used phrase in our culture of the “man card.” The concept of man card entails that there is a set of basic qualifications to be a man.
Capital has captured this concept. According to capital, what it means to be a man is not proper action or behavior. It is not even being a reliable worker, wise man, father, husband, or protector in the context of community. Rather, to be a man is an identity that is A-B market tested and opinion polled. This is an extension of the odd abdication of judgment and decision-making by moderns to outside authority, any authority. People have deferred to any authority, including capital, because the old bonds and institutions have been destroyed.
The rituals and acts one performs within these new identities are for progressive and central capital’s ends. The validation of the elite’s desired policies and system is offered as a vote or a consumer purchase. Love Wins or Love Is Love are vague slogans for a progressive vote or mitzvah to earn status points. Those slogans are also easy to adapt to capitalist needs to cheaply market to subgroups for microtargeting ads for broad goods of mediocre quality.
There is something deeper at play at the individual level. The concept of Being is in the hands of progressives and the marketing/product development teams of large corporations that often have progressives at chokepoints. The idea of the self becomes how one identifies with a constantly rotating selection of goods. This means the self becomes a blank screen for the latest fads to be projected upon by superiors in progressive control.
Under this system, there is no thought, but simply “I buy and do as they say” as the new Descartes foundationalism.
As all becomes politicized, the leftward drift places a primacy of quicker adoption of new ideas spewed from the leftist media-academia complex. An identity that accrues high status does not simply come with adopting the newest progressive ideas but in the speed with which they are adopted. With each development with telecommunications, the spread of ideas becomes wider and the speed of transmission increases. The value of being in the know and on the edge for news or opinions means there is value in paying attention to said sources of information.
These identities are a revolt against nature. Even simply being an informed progressive is against nature, as one has an unnatural adherence and focus on opinions, ideas, and events far away outside of one’s true environmental existence. These identities are manufactured to progressive or consumerist ends. The key is to identify who benefits, to notice the adherence to abstract ideas for progressive ends, and to see the farce behind liberation. The concept of identity should be re-localized. The advertisement or popular media fantasy paths and roles should be recognized for what they are: fantasies supporting the regime’s desired goals.
The contemporary Westerner is miserable because he is free.