The culture of make believe

Posted on May 1, 2023

Jensen, D. (2004). The culture of make believe. Chelsea Green Publishing. is a rather bizarre book (in the sense that it often reads as random thoughts put on a paper), in the anarcho-primitivist tradition, that more or less equates civilisation (“the dominant culture”) with an algorithm that is hell-bend on dominating everything and treats the living as means to an end, as objects. In other words, our culture is in a permanent state of sin.

Something that caught my eye is this:

…Another way to say all of this is that those in power – and remember, those in power are not really the point, because they, too, are serving an ideology, and are essentially as replaceable as any of the rest of us in this mass produced machine culture—have no need to hate us or to do us violence, because we are not resisting, and, indeed, are helping them along. If you don’t believe me, step far enough out of line, and we’ll talk again, maybe in one of my creative writing classes.

The author describes a vast organisational machine of sorts, with demiurgic quantities (i.e. it wants to conquer and extract value out of everything, it is mad and has mad goals). The upper classes (i.e. the Archons) are just bribed by the machine to do its bidding. The machine itself is an abstract idea, a concept, a thought-form, an algorithm, a process, so everything that does not serve it can be easily replaced.

Empirically, this is madness, as you cannot touch, feel or shot the process, not until it solidifies as something more concrete. Contra Ellul, Jensen does not provide a plausible theology for replacing, conquering or antagonising the machine.