Unsurprisingly, the stations are being planned as nodes for further communicating to “shoppers at retail and essential business locations– seconds before they select a brand.” As interfaces for big business marketing operations (including advertising and data scraping), that is.
The image above, from one of the aspiring installers, is fascinating at several levels. Where, for starters, are the actual automobiles? There’s one way across the scene, curiously NOT being charged.
More fundamentally, this depiction shows a society whose cultural planners have no intention of offering up anything but more of the same, come Hell and/or high water.
The point applies at all levels of applied power, too.
Very probably, we presently live in the early stages of a world-historic ecological crisis requiring a collective acknowledgement that the teenage fantasy of endless wealth accumulation can’t work. I order to save civilization, we will have to make huge changes in our main institutional priorities. The way we design and make products will have to be very seriously altered.
Soon. Like yesterday.
Meanwhile, despite this, per Douglass, power concedes nothing:
Behold Lasso, the (supposedly) forthcoming kitchen appliance for sorting and packaging your recycling!
Here is how Engadget describes this dishwasher-sized machine’s ideal operation:
In order to keep the money flowing, in other words, big business interests “may” use their clout to ignore and suppress achingly obvious macro-choices, while pushing increasingly trivial micro-choices.
Behold, then, this:
That, friends, is one of our glorious economic system’s newest offerings. It is a $20 dental floss dispenser.
Corporate capitalism is totalitarian. By its very nature, it drives its constituent organizations and primary beneficiaries to pursue activities that, without being centrally planned, lead, in the aggregate, to increasing, increasingly effective rentier-class dictation of both the flow and the details of all three spheres of modern life (paid labor, personal life, and politics).
Marxian thought, meanwhile, barely exists any more, and, to the extent it does, remains as prone as ever to favoring arcane and/or insane mastications of “what Marx said” over investigation of new ideas and perspectives, no matter how huge and overdue and unfathomed in 1867.
In any event, the fact remains that corporate capitalism yields market totalitarianism, and this process could and should be carefully explored and explained, with an eye to transcending it.
Toward this end, TCT would like to mention this short essay in The Atlantic. Its author, Judith Shulevitz, is onto something. In its own rambling, shambling, yet exactingly micro-planned way, our prevailing social order is doing to the fabric of social life what state totalitarians did in different, cruder ways:
It’s a cliché among political philosophers that if you want to create the conditions for tyranny, you sever the bonds of intimate relationships and local community. “Totalitarian movements are mass organizations of atomized, isolated individuals,” Hannah Arendt famously wrote in The Origins of Totalitarianism. She focused on the role of terror in breaking down social and family ties in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union under Stalin. But we don’t need a secret police to turn us into atomized, isolated souls. All it takes is for us to stand by while unbridled capitalism rips apart the temporal preserves that used to let us cultivate the seeds of civil society and nurture the sadly fragile shoots of affection, affinity, and solidarity.
Here at TCT, we of course delight in delivering all the great news about how corporate capitalism keeps winning the day by deploying its special, unimproveable innovation techniques to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.
New and better methods of butt-wiping, as you surely know without being told, is way high on the list of things people want and need in this, the year of our lord 2018.
One less hassle! You’ll love not having to constantly change the toilet paper!
Indeed, who hasn’t lost sleep over that? Oh, the waste! The pathos! The squandering of human hours! Tell us, dear readers, all the wondrous things you’ll do, now that you are free from the oppression of changing your TP…
The new Forever Roll, you see, is a clever repackaging of Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper. Walmart sells various quantities of the conventional format of that long-running P&G product for 4.0 cents per square foot.