The Gaze And Its Relation To Mammon

            The previous post of July 12, 2012 concerned itself with the promulgation of mammon. Taken as an account of the authentic real, or as an elaborate representation, it is patently absurd. But given that the authentic real is dead (much as god is dead and so, to shamelessly introject Baudrillard, we must invent a simulacra of the authentic real) and representation is obsolete in a culture of surface and distraction, the posted essay does point in a certain direction. The PBS show Frontline ran an exposé of the Pebble Mine controversy in Alaska the other night. In its usually thorough approach, it looked at what proponents and opponents put forth as their rationale for the future. Primarily relying on superb technology, the mining conglomerate assured viewers that its engineering expertise was focused on not only the current ecological challenges, but on those hundreds of years away. Even the environmentalists’ modeled and statistical projections were grounded in technology. The native resistance countered corporate engineered utopian designs with a bombardment of “what if’s” based on these “green” technological projections. On a vastly different scale, this mirrored the current fracking controversy embroiling parts of Ohio. It is significant to note, in a Lacanian sense, what was lacking or absent in the Frontline (as well as fracking) debate presented. Neither side entertained the very real possibility that an entity “existing only in contemplation of the law” may choose or be forced to go out of existence. Nor did they desire to imagine that copper may become obsolete, that is, something else may come into being as a disruptive innovation rendering the use of copper obsolete. Very real precedence for both is found historically. Corporate “reorganization” through bankruptcy or dissolution in order to avoid liability losses absolves responsibility and allows capital to flee disaster (such as occurred with the catastrophe in Bhopal India or the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in West Virginia). Obsolescence of product or technology shatters market demand and results in process abandonment. Evidence of the latter is over abundant with derelict factories, brown fields and in Ohio, coal mining areas that once fueled steam locomotives now leach acid into the watershed. These exigencies of the argument are elided by both sides in preference for the “scientific” ones of technology. Why? Could it have anything whatsoever to do with the enormous debt we all owe to technology? Like homeowners underwater on their mortgages, we fear being foreclosed on, being evicted from the convenience and ease provided by evolving technology. We would be homeless without our droids. This sophisticated technology is likewise primarily what makes “too big to fail” supra-national corporations possible. Mammon’s precedence and priority appear invincible when coupled with scientific certainty. Whether corporate idolatry or environmental ideology, exponentially evolving technology comprises today’s gaze, and the gaze is experienced by both.  The very history of human commerce and exchange, and its continuous repetition of blunders, debauchery and conflagration comprise the repressed real. The gaze and its relation to mammon determine today’s politics of imagined reality.


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One Response to “The Gaze And Its Relation To Mammon”

  1. M. Says:

    I wondered where that gaze went after it quit focusing on me!
    Another score.

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