Artists have always obsessed about two fundamentals: the transformative nature of the imagination, and about freedom of expression. Imagine if both were at the centre of a new human narrative that rewarded a revelation of this hitherto secret world of the mind.
Could an unprecedented historic opportunity challenge all the stereotypes of the free market and its relationship with ‘Art’ and invent a completely unique self-regulating ‘environment’ as opposed to traditional views of society?
I think that corporate capitalism isn’t fated to implode as Marxists have predicted, or globalise into corporate big brother as easily as others have predicted. The superior age will depend on the breadth of enlightened consumers, no longer at the mercy of predators manipulating naive investors etc, but technological advances that compromise monopolistic cartels reviving an economic charter for the individual based upon a willingness to open markets that they choose to use. You could be a socialist of the 20th century but attribute greater empowerment in an environment that you the individual forge – capitalism at its most radical would value itself not just as an exciting economic miracle but as a social asset, rather than a nineteenth century Dickensian and dysfunctional divided society. A ‘Big bang’ of technologically revolutionary changes would impair the suffocation of freedom that some say is an inevitability in the future. Furthermore change is accelerating, and even the CIA have had to employ hackers to hack into their system to try and stop technology from controlling the CIA, rather than the other way round. ‘Consumers are doing it for themselves’.
Why should the untapped sections of the mind only be the preserve of dreamers, artists and anti-social criminal elements at the margins of our world? Instead the individual has nothing to lose but archaic ideological prisons he imposes on himself.
Consider a watershed in Capitalism would necessitate the full and entire population to participate because a new technology will focus on the exploration of the mind. There will be new ways to remain cerebrally active when one is asleep or when ones subconscious mind requires information. There will always be ways in leisure to access a variety of ‘mindsets of one’s ancestors, famous people, but there will be ways of health preservation through collective hypnosis, telepathy, inter-planetary communication, forms of cross- examination of witnesses or criminals to engage beneath the conscious mind, new forms of tuition when one is asleep or religious applications or socialising with friends for a drink while one is asleep etc. All conscious, subconscious and unconscious thoughts could be exercised for the individual, who will have total freedom to select how far he/she wants to exercise the mind, and of course there would be applications to have virtual mind accelerators to enhance ones capabilities but leaving individual DNA unique. I don’t believe that history’s fate is only self-destructive, I believe that society will always evolve to survive and that humans will ‘jump start’ new powers of the mind producing a chain reaction in human evolution, the most obvious being telepathic engineering etc. We won’t press the button to cause anihilation, we will have an Olympic games of war, where gladitorially we will take turns to win without exception.Therefore if applications require us all to experience our lives through the unique DNA of a marketplace of the mind why wouldn’t capitalism be fierce and competitive through the rigours of us all being ‘x men’ of the future, who would all contain new powers to exercise at will? Social evolution really will coalesce with a quantum leap in human evolution of the mind.
Naive, romantic or just cynical manipulation?
This theoretical scenario is only a window of opportunity and has to be reconciled by the reality of power relations etc and the all important recognition of the power of human greed. It is this gravitational pull that paradoxically saves Capitalism from collapse, negating Marxist analysis, by re-birth after cyclical recession. Greed drives profit to extremes, and is a willing conspirator in sub-contracting, the black market and rabid rivalry in the bear-pit of competition – an ally not to be under-estimated in the rebirth of private enterprise. I paint naive colourful paintings, but I try to solicit the response from the viewer that there is always the possibility that with every virtue and ideal there is always a series of threats- hence don’t try and domesticate the wild animals I paint or they will rip your arm off. This is best illustrated by the experience of the internet, which at first sight was a free gift a pet for the democratisation of the world, but which has spawned ‘trolls’ of social media and fears of criminal hi-jacking of it.
However, the more we accept responsibility the more freedom we have the more we can determine our own lives the less passive we are, and where hitherto social status was based on social classification and wealth, freedom will be the new currency of the future. We can have our own freedom to roam. This requires a transformation from power being institutionalised to individualising power. Freedom might replace redundant military confrontation, poplularising technology would replace casualties in hitherto conflicts. Capitalism would insulate against micro-management from the state by the cerebral health of mass participation. Our analogue minds will be digitalised individually according to his or her needs.
This is a prototype to defend ourselves against the future which would have this structural defence mechanism of self-regulation of mutual gain in the knowledge of mutual accountability. The sheer quantity of information would render impossible any state organisation from anticipating or even just controlling or exploiting any given scenario. Vigilance would be incentivised by self-empowerment rather than penalisation as a disincentive: the more you make a career of self-motivation to mental exercise the more you can remove impediment. Self-regulation as a form of self-determination would entrust responsibility to end pendulumic swings of contemporary Britain, from paranoia to smug complacency. Why wouldn’t humanity evolve that much? You decide.