Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Big Mainstream Grocery Store

Go into a/the big, mainstream grocery store/supermarket. There they sell 200 magazines – you'll notice that they have no Harpers, nor The Atlantic. But the conservo’s (this is a technical designation I use that replaces the term "conservatives" for me, although also in this case I could say the "mainstream people..." ~ ) do have a philosophy: Consumption-Enjoyment-Simplicity-Money.
     Ah, what geniuses they are! The ideological doctrine here might say that life logically centers around mundane consumer goods, with due consideration for those acts that will be needed for obtaining them—the process of payment. This brings up the matter of money, since these consumer goods are to be obtained through payment, which means "money." The problem is: it does not work. Or, we can say it doesn’t "apply." (I mean it doesn't "apply" to real life.) Of course not. You can pretend it does. But.
     If there is actually such an ideology of "mundane consumer goods" and you pretend this philosophy applies -- or works -- applies to real life -- that is dangerous, for you are pretending that "the only ideological doctrine in town" is relevant. It isn't. Is that healthy? No. Because this would lead to cultural suicide. Let us now restate the point; it is important. There is perhaps such an implicit doctrine — (mundane consumer goods and spending) — it is supposed to apply to real life. Right-O. Does it? No. If it comes up short; if it is ideology, then the sooner we realize it, the better. So, this "mundane" doctrine involving free market consumer goods probably does not apply to real life. The sooner we realize that the better it is for us.
     We can always look at what it says. Even if it does not make perfect sense we should also look at what the philosophy says. We now do that. We will now look at what the philosophy says, or what it would say, if it existed! What it would assert to the public is: Government owes persons nothing. Since this theory of economics "truly exists" it mean it will all be solved by the private market, so the implicit meaning is ---  Government owes persons nothing and everything should be solved by the private market (it is not private, but, as we said, it is not a very good theory anyways, the word "private" becoming now another intangible that only reflects what people say).
     The view itself is lame; it crumbles. Nevertheless, it is inevitable that these persons in capitalism who are operating this supermarket project some kind of view. We may pick that up. We pick this up in various ways. This seems to be what was happening, for me, when I looked at their big, mainstream supermarket and even when I saw the magazine rack (as an offhand remark, I would suppose that the magazines reflect the lifestyle proposed by the ideology). As a result of these considerations, we see that the view that the market should solve everything is more like some kind of myth. It is something the society makes use of in a practical way. The application to the real world is in fact weak, hence it does not "apply," it is mythic: We tell stories, stories about markets.
     The word "market" is important here. A awful lot seems to hinge on a word. But when we examine it, we find certain things that seem curious. We do not find "the" market. So. Maybe "a" market works better? I always like to try the indefinite rather than definite article, "a" market could replace "the" market. The problem is, I get stuck. Unlike most language matters. Mostly, language questions seem to naturally resolve themselves. Not here. This is one I am not able to resolve so easily. Recently, I saw a new phrase: "market phenomena," from Boldizzoni (he is in Italy.) Perhaps we should say "market phenomena." Oh hell! (I just get frustrated sometimes.)
     What is it with these guys? It seems to me that they do not have any basic knowledge of what they are doing. They lack the explanation that "applies," but the fact that it does not really apply to the real world is not something that will us from creating ideology. So that is what they are able to produce. We should also understand the importance of having an ideology. There has to be some kind of an explanation, and the magazine rack somehow seemed to reflect that, for me.

To change the subject here a little, what do we need? What is really needed, I think, are public educational services. Again, it may seem that there is such a "truly existing" thing. But I think that what the mainstream or existing method does not do is provide public educational services. In other words, they say they do but that is ideology again. (It's all a part of a situation of social propaganda and ideology.) Those are public services I want. These are not private services. We already alluded to what "private" might mean. But now, I mean to say, definitely, public services. This may be conceptually distinguished from the private profit method. In any case, the matter of providing services is vital, and the more "educational" type of service is not getting out to people. So, it's a big deal; the services are not being provided. (Not if all we get are the silly magazines that I share try to list eventually, so you can see what I saw, at the store.) But we know about the kind of services that are motivated by profits. We know about 'Big Corporations,' but we are just not quite sure what they are. Now, John Kenneth Galbraith used to say they were institutions. Others say "private" enterprise. Private? How so? Where is the explanation? Private? The companies depend on their stock price. That is a public matter, isn't it? We do know that they are motivated by mega-profits! This eliminates the average person, who probably gets few of those "megas." The profit is not the common customers' concern. The shopper, the customer, is not very likely to be a shareholder, or on the board. (He could conceivably be one – OK, maybe he is a "major" stockholder). Maybe there is some public participation, but this is about the profits, and the bigness, and therefore of little interest. That is of interest to the institutions, and not of any interest to those persons just doing some shopping!
So, public educational institutions would be my suggested alternative, I guess my thought process when I changed the subject just somehow linked itself to that since such a service is definitely not being provided by the system in place now. [See my upcoming post for the names of all those magazines! What I can say right now is that "Einstein" was the only magazine I was even at all interested in—it was next to "John Wayne."]