Vertigo—a sense of dizziness felt when staring into the abyss of complexity.
When one is assaulted by the freedom of an I-tunes gift card and the infinite choices presented there in, one cannot but feel vertigo. One can spend all time traversing the infinite connection of signifiers—different bands, albums, genres, artists and music-mixes.
This vertigo now characterizes all of life, to such an extent that when someone says that the answer is simple an impulse propels us towards consent. A biological impulse sent through our system in order to assuage a low-level anxiety that is constantly reminding us of a lack of homeostasis.
This impulse propels us towards all types of options.
Simple options for ordinary people are the best. At the moment it is sending many towards “populist” tea parties in which revolutionary political action is being simulated. Many are mad. Damn mad. They know not at what, or who, but at some one. Some one must be responsible for the predicament they now find themselves in and this someone must be brought to account.
The problem is that this someone qua person is a something qua process that only after a quite intense theoretical mediation – or, rather, ontological explication – can again be perceived as a someone qua entity. It looms upon the horizon disappearing just before one can grasp it, like consciousness under the scrutiny of neurological researchers, philosophers and psychologists. It is an emergent phenomenon, with an agency, but one that cannot be located via our scientific apparatuses, or visualized through a direct line of sight. It must be theorized in order to come into view. Its trajectory must be inferred from the path of its effects. Therefore, it is only ascertained in hindsight and its movements can only be specified historically. Nevertheless its trajectory has been scrutinized and studied throughout its history and its movements have displayed common features so that its telos can be apprehended with relative certainty. Similar to a virus or bacteria, it desires nothing more than to grow. Like an invisible whirlwind only perceptible in its effects the traces of its vortex have left a pattern. It presents itself as god, as our savior, but does so in a way that is not perceived in reality. Only in the hyper-real does it make itself known. It parades as the promise and the culmination of Utopia, and as such demands and commands our past, our present and our future.
It is present in the after math of the 2010 Haitian earthquake. It sustained its path into Haiti years back as Clinton held Aristide in America until consignments had been made that would allow unbridled foreign investment to flow across the Haitian social field. As cheap US subsidized rice flowed over the newly porous borders of Haiti a man named Pier was forced to sell the land that had been in his family for years and move into Port Au Prince. He could no longer compete with the cheap rice now appearing from some foreign competitor in the local market place. He moved himself and his family into the capital city in order to find work. He could find nothing for a while, but was soon able to find work in a “free trade zone” set up by with the help of the US government, the IMF, the WTO and US investors. There were no labor laws enforced here and no minimum wage. He was told that this was good. Now the beast would come into the country and he could also worship at its feet.
He worked 12 hour days, six days a week for wages of less than $2 USD a day. He could barely afford to feed his family and could not afford to eat much himself. His family erected a make shift home, more of a shack/tent structure, in order to sleep under at night and keep the semblance of privacy and dignity. Luckily the FTZ had no legal age limit so he was able to bring his 10-year-old son with him to work each day. This was good, it allowed his son to eat. Pier died within a year of coming to Port Au Prince from shear exhaustion. His son stayed and worked at the factory every week until he was crushed, with his whole family, save his sister who survived, under the weight of the crumbling concrete structure that his house was next to. The family land was co-opted by the Red Cross a few weeks later for relief work. His sister sits and waits for treatment there now, unaware that this used to be her land. She was too young six years ago to remember much of anything. All the while the Beast moves on.
It convinces us of its salvation as it allows a few traces of its excess to be spent helping Pier’s daughter and her few survivors. All bow to its throne and to its priests. Its priests bear the label of philanthropic CEO’s, Celebrities and/or churches. They exist in the hyper-real. They have become shaman’s able to enter into the world of our Savior and bring forth wisdom, benefits and most important of all, Capital.