“The culture of narcissism is a culture of surface appearances, in which everything is done for show and nothing is done for its own sake. People are obsessed with projecting a certain image of themselves to the world, but this image is usually a hollow and superficial one. It is a kind of mask that people wear, to hide their true selves from others and from themselves. In this sense, contemporary society can be seen as a kind of carnival, in which people are always putting on a show for others, but never revealing their true selves.” “The Culture of Narcissism” Christopher Lasch (1979)
The term “virtue signalling” is often used to describe the act of conspicuously expressing one’s support for fashionable progressive causes, such as those related to race, climate, sexuality, and immigration. While some individuals may hold genuinely held beliefs that stem from personal experience, for many, it is simply a way of donning a cloak of moral superiority. In this sense, “virtue signalling” can be seen as a kind of performative posturing, rather than a genuine commitment or engagement with the issues.
It’s the absurdity of people like leo DiCaprio preaching on environmentalism while flying on private jets
Whether on the streets or social media, they’ll trumpet views that at one time may have got them arrested or frowned upon. It’s the elevation in importance of the issues of the minority above those of the majority. Many have described this phenomenon as carnivalesque.
Carnival is a festival or celebration that traditionally occurred before the Christian season of Lent. In many cultures, carnival is a time when the usual order of things is turned on its head, it’s the upside down world. Social hierarchies are temporarily suspended, and ordinary people are given a license to engage in behaviours that would normally be considered taboo. The poor might dress up as the rich, men might dress up as women, and children might be allowed to mock and ridicule their elders. The king becomes the fool and the fool becomes the King
The traditional carnival of yore, was a temporary spectacle lasting mere days or weeks, but the carnival of today appears to have no end. A perpetual state of carnival has become the new normal. What may have been fun for a few days is becoming a hangover which is increasingly eroding the foundations and structures of our society.
The carnival was a release valve a time when the oppressed could have some respite from there shackles and speak truth to power. Within the new upside-down world any protest against the new progressive power dynamic is outlawed and demonised. Dissenters and critics are cancelled and any protest or coming together is portrayed as the actions of terrorists.
It is interesting to apply Nietzsche’s theories in his work “The Birth of Tragedy.”(1919) To the current direction of our society. He saw the Dionysian and Apollonian as two opposing forces in art and life.
Apollonian, named after the Greek god Apollo, is associated with reason, order, clarity, and the rational. It represents the principle of individuation and the imposition of form and structure upon chaos.
The Dionysian, named after the Greek god Dionysus, is associated with instinct, passion, chaos, and the irrational. It represents the primal and ecstatic aspects of human nature, characterized by emotions, intoxication, and the dissolution of individual boundaries. It is very much the energy of the carnival.
Nietzsche theorised that the stuffy culture of the 1910s was excessively focused on the Apollonian, stifling spontaneity and creativity. He advocated for a balance by integrating Dionysian principles. If Nietzsche were alive today, he would likely see that society has swung too far in the opposite direction, neglecting reason and embracing excessive Dionysian qualities.
It is strange combination of totalitarianism combined with the decadence of the carnival which if continued on this path mirrors the mythical narrative of Dionysus.. Where his followers , in their ecstatic state, mistook Dionysus for a sacrificial animal dismembered him and tore him apart. It’s the descent into Chaos and destruction.
This opinion piece from Boston Globe expresses the current Dionysian carnivalesque dynamic
In our ‘emocracy,’ emotions rule
We no longer live in a democracy. We live in an emocracy — where emotions rather than majorities rule and feelings matter more than reason. The stronger your feelings — the better you are at working yourself into a fit of indignation — the more influence you have. And never use words where emojis will do.
There was a time when appeals to emotion over facts were regarded as the preserve of the populist right. But truthiness — the quality of being ideologically convenient, though not actually true — is now bipartisan. On a recent “60 Minutes,’’ Anderson Cooper confronted freshman congresswoman and social media sensation Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with some of her many factual errors. Her reply was that of a true emocrat: “I think,” she replied, “that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.”
Indeed a new Justice Department draft proposal illustrates this shift into emotions over facts. Whereby anti-discrimination guidelines would prevent FBI agents and other federal law enforcement from using crime statistics in law enforcement activities.
FBI agents and other federal law enforcement officers would be banned from using a person’s “actual or perceived race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, sex characteristics, disability status, or gender identity” in “any degree,” the documents show. The ban even applies to scenarios where using protected characteristics might otherwise be lawful.
This defies logic, when searching for a criminal, the observations of a witness regarding their ethnicity and apparent religious affiliation can provide valuable clues. By utilizing this information, we can effectively narrow down our search criteria. Any factor that helps reduce the size of the search pool should be considered permissible in our quest for justice.
In my opinion, it seems unlikely that this chaotic situation can continue for many more years. Despite all the efforts of the controlling elites and corporations to gaslight the populace to believe this is reality. The absurdity will become all too apparent and there will be a revolutionary wave against it.
I even speculate this inevitable reaction was actually fully expected and is part of the plan to bring in a totalitarian society
The pendulum will swing in the other direction, leading to an excessively Apollonian society that could be just as dystopian as our current situation.
Before the rise of the Dionysian carnivalesque culture, the cultural landscape had begun to achieve a sense of equilibrium marked by growing levels of openness, acceptance, tolerance, and understanding. The backlash against the assault on conservative values and traditional views on gender and sexuality, as well as the suppression of free speech, is likely to occur. . We could go back to the days before all these civil rights freedoms had been won. Suppression of freedom of speech would continue but in the control of a different power dynamic. We could see a puritanical dystopia like that portrayed in The Handmaiden’s tale.