Friday, January 08, 2010

Culture's Deceptive Transaction

I have been reading Jacques Ellul's The Ethics of Freedom for a couple weeks now and encountered an excellent quote concerning society's function as deceiver:

"Society does not want its members to suffer. It offers them remedies. The individual for his part does not want to know the real situation. He is ready for anything rather than this. Hence he joyfully accepts these possibilities and demonstrations. In so doing, substituting illusion for reality and a fake for real life, he brings about his ultimate alienation." (page 231)

This is the function of idols, is it not? Much of culture's purpose is to subsitute illusion for reality. I linked to a video yesterday of a model of unnotable beauty who was turned into a beautiful model through makeup Photoshop. But this is only the surface.

Our society has also chosen to replace capital with debt money; real food with edible food-like substances, knowledge with information, truth for half-truth, and so on.

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