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How did an entire culture get the notion that a thing is untrue, weightless or meant to be taken as pure evil unless it is flattering?

Himself a centerpiece to one of the infinitude of tactless personality cults preferring ideological loopholes large enough for a fisting, in a recent essay Slavoj Žižek unironically ponders whether Hegelian thought can have a place in this modern, proper society, if the masses could regard as reality experiences stemming only from subjective phenomenon while disregarding experiences outside of the personal with hardly a tangential second thought. I would argue that reality is inherently not as subjective as the general masses wish, only their responses to it, although phenomenon is, with the result being subjectivity every which way readily mistaken for reality already. For example, Uncle Sam self-identifying as a god-king does not make it noumenon or a measurable truth, regardless of the fervency from its marketing on that behalf. Competing subjectivity (“opinions are like assholes…”) embattled for dominance openly spites the objective reality, giving rise to all divides as objective reality is not up for reinterpretation. We live, we die, etc, whether we might be aware of the experiences or not, regardless of cognizance or limitations on sensory perceptions or outright arrogance in declaring that clothes make the man.

I’ve before taken this to extremes myself, advocating how the foundations of the left/right paradigm ultimately concern ego averted vs ego exerted. The more one obliges ego, emphasizing one’s bias before the needs of others, the more rightwing their true aim, whereas the more one considers the needs of others before self-interest, the more lefty. I realize most people hate such simplification, even while it’s completely true in the same way that the only thing separating Neocons from Neolibs is that Neolibs project their shame where Neocons suppress theirs. To paraphrase Nancy Pelosi, at the end of the day politicians are all Capitalists, which Howard Zinn informed us was the opposite of populism even if we award the label of populist leader to billionaires today when to become a millionaire or billionaire decidedly requires self-aggrandizing, as opposed to self-sacrificing. Over-complication is commonplace because exceptions are desirable, and because exceptions are desirable what would be commonplace is denigrated as over-simplification. The issue then is that while most persons alive today have no idea who Hegel was, everyone is Žižek to the shallow core, forever wanting to define the reality to be experienced by strangers instead of seeing it for what it is.

When more parties exert the ego by fist or by methods more traditionally erotic, any collective becomes undone, from romantic relationships to nation-states. And when more people cannot agree on what constitutes reality, the universe laughs. Are purity tests and pledges of allegiance not for egos in need of waxing? Is refusal to submit to the promises of advertising not widely regarded as a character flaw?

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast evidently are just now learning that ignorance is bliss, by suggesting narcissism as a means for stress reduction. As Capitalism is apparently the socially acceptable form of sadomasochism, the notion that ego might ever be somehow magically separated from Capitalism is flat-Earther territory.

Larry Summers, President Emeritus at Harvard University, recently observed how those in America no longer share a common lived experience. Actually, I suspect light at the end of the tunnel near-death experiences and the alien abduction narratives of waking in strange ascetic environments before benevolent strangers are flashbacks to the shared, earliest first world memory of being born in a hospital. Unlike detractors to his article I gather he implores the stereotype of experience itself, like borrowing dad’s truck to take Betty Sue to the prom before leaving for the army or college. Whether or not they truly existed in reality to begin with the Norman Rockwell symbolic archetypes just do not exist anymore, everyone reading from different librettos by necessity, although increasingly by demands of the ego. I was a 14-year-old high school junior when I had to drop out for work. I think it’s faith in Capitalism insisting on believing, or rather perpetuating the neo-mythology by way of rewriting history, that at some point even for those not heterosexual Caucasian males, society held opportunity for the majority of families whose parents had no means to save, yet as time goes by the compulsions to exist beyond their means incontrovertibly amounts to their own undoing. I know the American dream is simply a refusal to acknowledge any consequences for the stories we market to ourselves, even should they amount to hard realities we all us must live with nonetheless.

Not to be confused with a beacon of hope as hope is merely more advertising and promotions, mathematicians and physicists must surely be rather deeply upsetting economists in this new piece from Scientific American. These last 4 paragraphs particularly, which I gladly swipe as follows:

“We find it noteworthy that the best-fitting model for empirical wealth distribution discovered so far is one that would be completely unstable without redistribution rather than one based on a supposed equilibrium of market forces. In fact, these mathematical models demonstrate that far from wealth trickling down to the poor, the natural inclination of wealth is to flow upward, so that the “natural” wealth distribution in a free-market economy is one of complete oligarchy. It is only redistribution that sets limits on inequality.

The mathematical models also call attention to the enormous extent to which wealth distribution is caused by symmetry breaking, chance and early advantage (from, for example, inheritance). And the presence of symmetry breaking puts paid to arguments for the justness of wealth inequality that appeal to “voluntariness”—the notion that individuals bear all responsibility for their economic outcomes simply because they enter into transactions voluntarily—or to the idea that wealth accumulation must be the result of cleverness and industriousness. It is true that an individual’s location on the wealth spectrum correlates to some extent with such attributes, but the overall shape of that spectrum can be explained to better than 0.33 percent by a statistical model that completely ignores them. Luck plays a much more important role than it is usually accorded, so that the virtue commonly attributed to wealth in modern society—and, likewise, the stigma attributed to poverty—is completely unjustified.

Moreover, only a carefully designed mechanism for redistribution can compensate for the natural tendency of wealth to flow from the poor to the rich in a market economy. Redistribution is often confused with taxes, but the two concepts ought to be kept quite separate. Taxes flow from people to their governments to finance those governments’ activities. Redistribution, in contrast, may be implemented by governments, but it is best thought of as a flow of wealth from people to people to compensate for the unfairness inherent in market economics. In a flat redistribution scheme, all those possessing wealth below the mean would receive net funds, whereas those above the mean would pay. And precisely because current levels of inequality are so extreme, far more people would receive than would pay.

Given how complicated real economies are, we find it gratifying that a simple analytical approach developed by physicists and mathematicians describes the actual wealth distributions of multiple nations with unprecedented precision and accuracy. Also rather curious is that these distributions display subtle but key features of complex physical systems. Most important, however, the fact that a sketch of the free market as simple and plausible as the affine wealth model gives rise to economies that are anything but free and fair should be both a cause for alarm and a call for action.”

All to unfortunately fall largely on deaf ears, as the masses by all appearances would much rather be beating something else than brows or chests, greatly enjoying their willfully produced misrepresentations in these cracked black mirrors to nowhere definable, to nowhere refinable.