The fool — the main resource of contemporary capitalism

Forty six million seven hundred eighty thousand one hundred thirteen

© Nancy Fouts

I was invited to a conference at the Economics faculty of Moscow state University, Lomonosov within the framework of the celebrations. We will talk about intelligence – intelligent Economics, intelligence as a factor of development, the knowledge economy, etc. This topic is very close to me. That's what I'll say on this extremely intelligent Assembly.


Professor Katasonov told in LH. He likes to ask students this question: "What is the main resource of the modern economy?"The answers are different: oil, money and knowledge. And all the past. "The main resource of the modern economy, solemnly proclaims the Professor is a fool. He can sell everything." Laughter in the hall.
Funny, isn't it? But really this is no joke, and, as said Ostap Bender, the "medical fact". The motor of modern development is ignorance and obscurantism.


Humanity has reached its maximum scientific and technological strength in the 60-ies of the twentieth century. After that, nothing radical in science and technology did not happen. The driving force behind this development was the nuclear missile race. Symbol and the apotheosis of scientific and technological power was out in Space.

At this time, the scientific profession was the most fashionable and prestigious, bearded physicists were heroes of books and movies, loved them girls, they imitated "the young man, pondering habitation." I remember how it was fashionable Space in my childhood in the 60-ies. We knew at the memory of all the astronauts, I remember, I had published a newspaper with the headline, which is very proud: "the New era of the space age – a radio message from a distant Venus."

There was a huge demand for engineers, physicists, mathematicians. It was a physicist in those days, a modern version of the "good fellow". Each era produces its own version of a hero of our time – and so then it was physicist. The best, smartest, received matskuly, and then in some MEPhI and MIPT. That one became a world champion, thousands of should start playing football team in the yard. Exactly, and that made a world discovery, myriad should start whether to teach physics and mathematics, to wrinkle the forehead above the puzzle from the magazine "quantum", to strive for victory in the regional subject Olympiad. And all these activities must be fashionable, respectable, prestigious. So then and there. When smart people were considered fashionable. In my childhood was the almanac "I Want to know everything!"— they wrote mostly about science and technology. And the kids really wanted to know.

Already in the 70-ies seemed to have run out of fuel in the rocket and she went ballistic orbit. Everything went kind of still, but it was out of inertia, the soul of the world is gone from this sphere of life. Voltage missile-nuclear arms race had begun to wane. Gradually nuclear superpowers ceased really to be afraid of each other and expect from each other of a nuclear strike. Fear has become rather a ritual: the Soviet threat to frighten voters and congressmen in America, and "the machinations of imperialism" — in the Soviet Union. That is, the arms race continued: the great thing in General has tremendous inertia, simply because it will not stop there our Soviet life is still not fully collapsed. (I mean the technical infrastructure, and podlewska "structure of everydayness").

The arms race continued, but such that the Secretary of defense jumped out the window shouting: "the Russians are coming!"already could not be. The arms race over time has lost its passion, has become a matter of not fighting, and more bureaucratic.

Scientific and technical requirements of the governments to their scientific communities decreased. The political leadership has not spoken to the scientists, as comrade. Beria comrade.The Queen, sitting in the shelter at the atomic polygon: "If this thing explodes, I'll tear your head off!".

Accordingly, the scientific profession, still prestigious, more and more became just one of the professions.

From the annals of history of our family. The father and uncle of my husband at the turn in the early 50-ies went to College: my father-in-law to Bauman, and his brother – in MGIMO. So one who is enrolled in Bauman, considered in their environment more fortunate I. that is to say, than the one who arrived in MGIMO. Already in my time in the 70-ies, the scale of prestige is reversed.

A manifestation of this new spirit was the famous Détente, which passed 70 years. Seriously a military threat, no one believed, did not build bunkers in the garden, not stocked with gas masks. Then the enthusiastic singers of the Discharge said that this was the true end of the Second world war, the true transition to peace. It is possible, in the spiritual, psychological sense it was so.

Respectively, and fashion to science, natural and technical knowledge, the scientific way of thinking is gradually eroding. It seems that science is not able to develop on own basis of myself. Her tasks are always placed outside. The vast majority of cases, these are the tasks of improving the military equipment. A scientific community is able to produce only what is called "satisfy their own curiosity at public expense."

In the 60-70-ies of the scientific way of thinking (i.e. the belief in the knowability of the world, the experiment and its logical interpretation), more and more inferior to place different kinds of esoteric knowledge, mysticism, Eastern teachings. Rationalism and characteristic of science positivism has been actively loosened. The Soviet Union is officially not allowed, that only fueled the interest. The great chronicler of Soviet society Yury Trifonov captured this shift in their "urban" stories. Engineers, scientists – the heroes of his novels — suddenly together into mysticism, spirituality, perform seances. In the West at the same time spread the fashion for Buddhism, yoga, etc. teaching, far from rationalism and a scientific approach to reality.

It was one of the preconditions for what happened next. There were other powerful premise.


About 60 years of progressive mankind was overtaken by a kind of attack.

About 60-70-ies in the leading capitalist countries, something happened that is not it, mankind did not know the moment of the expulsion from Paradise. The fact that this one blew not the trumpet to his once again confirms the indisputable: in his little life, and in the General life of mankind people strain off the trifle and great and most importantly – do not even notice. So what happened?

The worst had happened.

Basic household needs of the vast majority of inhabitants were satisfied.

What do you mean basic? This means that natural and reasonable. Needs for sufficient and healthy food, in normal and even not devoid of a certain beauty clothing according to the season, in a spacious and hygienic housing. The family started up the cars and household appliances.

Still in 50-e and 60-e years it was the American dream – a dream in the sense of not available to all. In England 50 years even born the word subtopia – glued from two words "suburb" (a suburb) and "utopia": a dream about an own house in the suburbs, equipped with all modern amenities.

A couple of years ago Divov ago, a blogger posted in his journal of interesting material on this topic. This is a translation of the fragment of memories about life in England in the provincial mining town of the turn of the 50-ies and 60-ies. So that's where the whole town was one (!!!) the bathroom, "convenience", all the inhabitants were in the yard, the contents of chamber pots by morning were covered with ice, my mom washed in the trough, the fruits are bought only when someone was sick, and the flowers – when he died.

So enough of worldly comfort and security have become available to about two thirds of the population in the late 60's-early 70-ies. With tension, twists, but available. Of course, this is a "Golden billion".

Before this has never happened before in history and nowhere in the world! Prior to that the norm of the common people was poverty. And daily intense struggle for a piece of bread. So it was in all – I emphasize-all! – world country. Re-read under this perspective realistic literature from Hugo and Dickens to Remark and Dreiser, read "Roman stories" 50 years of Italian writer, Alberto Moravia, and everything will be clear.

And here are all fearfully and wonderfully changed. Normal, average working man in the street received a tolerable accommodation, modern amenities and appliances, he was well nourished, began to buy new clothes.

I had a chance to talk to older Europeans who remember this tectonic shift, this epochal transition, this ... I don't even know what to call it, until it is a landmark. I remember one Italian told me how after the war he had a dream: to eat a big plate of generously seasoned with butter macaroni. And at the end of 60-ies he suddenly found that "non mi manca niente" — literally, "nothing is missing". And it's awful! What would it be? The man pushes the plate and said, "I'm not hungry"? What's next?

In other words, the model of development based on the satisfaction of normal needs to earn the people's money, has exhausted itself. People did not have and did not foresee any growth of the cash or growth needs. Business can grow only with population growth, which also unfortunately has stopped growing in developed countries.

Dostoevsky in the Adolescent predicted. Eat people and ask: what's next? The meaning of his life give. Or any other purpose.

But in reality, asked the man. Was ahead of him. Ahead of a global business. He first asked "What's next?"first and found the answer.

Capitalism can not exist without the expansion. Global businesses need new markets. And these markets were found. They were found not beyond the seas (there was already by that time there is nothing to catch), and IN the HEARTS of PEOPLE.

Capitalism begun to meet, and to create all new and new demands. And triumphant to satisfy them. So, mobile operators created the need of continuously talking on the phone, the pharmaceutical corporations – the need to constantly swallow pills, manufacturers of clothes is to change it almost every day and in any case every season.

You can also create new dangers and to protect them with the appropriate products. Protect against everything from dandruff, from germs in the toilet, from cell phone radiation. As a marketer I can say that the Russian market is the best model "escape from danger".

At the fore marketing. What is marketing? In essence, this doctrine about how to tag unnecessary. That is how to make unnecessary it seemed necessary and bought it. Why marketing was not there before, in the NINETEENTH, say, century? Yes, because the need was not in it. Then carried out the right products and met real needs. And when it was necessary to invent false needs – and then took the marketing. That is the role of total advertising.

Marketers have a lot of professional pride: we are not meeting the needs – we create them. This is in fact the case.

In order to motivate people to buy anything, reasonable arguments canceled. Since we are talking about the imposed and false needs is rational to discuss them is dangerous. It is easy to prove that they are false, and that what they say does not exist and can not exist because of the natural laws. The imposition of requirements takes place strictly on an emotional level. Advertising appeals to the emotions is a lower layer of the psyche than the mind. Below the emotions only instincts. Today is more appealing directly to them.

To ensure that the process was more cheerful, it is necessary to eliminate the obstacle in the form of rational consciousness, habits of critical thinking and scientific knowledge prevalent in the masses. It is very good that these habits and knowledge become loose even in the previous step. All this hinders the global expansion of capitalism! This makes it difficult to sell mountains of irrelevant and empty things.

In General, to include critical and rational thinking is today – is not required. It is not fashionable, not modern, not trendy. S. G. Kara-Murza is constantly talking about the manipulation of consciousness (in fact, the eponymous owner and brought him fame). It is not so. Global capitalism swings to the more ambitious task than the manipulation of consciousness. Manipulation of consciousness – it's still spot a Scam, one-time manipulation. And now we are talking about the global formation of an ideal consumer, completely devoid of rational consciousness and scientific knowledge about the world. Famous philosopher Alexander Zinoviev rightly said that the ideal consumer – is something like a pipe, which with one end loaded, and from another they come whistling out to the dump.

Who is the ideal consumer? This is an absolutely clueless dork cheerful living elementary emotions and lust for novelty. You can tell, not a jerk, and delicate – a child of six. But if in thirty years you have the mentality of a six year old – you're a jerk, no matter how delikatesy. He is smooth, not marred with unnecessary thoughts with a face shaved with a razor "vest", white-toothed smile, treated with the appropriate toothpaste. He is cheerful, positive, dynamic and always ready. Consume. What? What do you say – it will be. Then he and the ideal consumer. He will not whine: "not what I the new iPhone, when I'm old-it is not mastered? And actually, I don't need that". He must have everything. Grabbing a new toy, he should immediately throw the old.

It needs to constantly snacking, experiencing "heaven" while heroically fight obesity. And not to ignore the idiocy of his behavior. He must constantly chatting on the phone, and frantically to save on cellular service. It needs (this is likely – it) continuously protect your family from germs that in fact absolutely not needed and even harmful. And most importantly, he must believe – believe what they are told, without argument.

In General, the phenomenon of rational proof, which was a great achievement of the ancient civilization and since then it is inseparable from a thinking humanity, in the eyes fades away and threatens to disappear. People no longer feel they need them.


For the education of the positive hedonist – the perfect consumer, who is continuously happy shop, guzzle and while actively losing weight, not noticing the absurdity of his behavior needed everyday purposeful work of brainwashing the masses.
The main role in this plays the TV as most consumed media, but not the only one.
Consumption does not say "spiritual", but say "virtual" product must also constantly to please or, at least, not to disappoint the difficulty, obscurity, and complexity. Everything has to be positive and happy. Any information about anything should relegate everything to the level of the basic gum. For example, any great men must stand as the object of gossip of the kitchen, such as simple and silly as spectators, and even viewers themselves, and how those ideal consumers, who in the audience is going to be.
About anything the consumer doesn't have to say: "I don't understand" or "I don't understand." It would be regrettable and not positive.

Once Gorky wrote that there are two types of approach to the creation of literature and the press for the people. The bourgeois approach – is to try to lower the texts to the level of the reader, and the second approach, the Soviet, – to raise the reader to the level of literature. Soviet writers and journalists, is considered Bitter, is supposed to raise the reader to the level of understanding of this literature and serious texts. Modern media is not down to the cash level of the reader – they actively pull this reader down.

Increasingly subject to the picture-books, but not for three years, as it always has, and for adults. For example, the successful publication of this type is the last period of the modern history of the USSR and Russia in pictures from TV presenter Parfenova.

In essence, the modern media is a virtual Island of Fools, brilliantly described in N. Nose in "dunno on the moon". It seems to me that in this satire, the author rises to switowski height. This remarkable text is, who forgot, that's what. On a island dumped homeless vagrants. There they continuously entertain, show detectives and cartoons, ride on the carousel and other rides. After some time of staying there, inhaling polluted air of this island, the normal short people turn into sheep, which are cut, receiving income from the sale of wool.

Our media regularly deliver sheep for shearing.

Customers in the narrow sense is made up of advertisers and customers in the broad sense is a global business that requires sufficient numbers of consumers. As the Soviet press was aimed at the Communist education of workers, just as today's media have to educate ideal customers. Only a completely brainwashed citizens are able to consider the goal of life continuous change phones or continuous waste money on eye-pleasing nonsense. And if that is true – people must be put in proper form, i.e. a fool.

The brainwashing begins at school, with children's comic books that you can buy anywhere, while the more intelligent magazines are distributed by subscription only, and never advertised. I was surprised to learn that published Newspapers and magazines of our childhood "true pioneer", "pioneer". But they never show themselves, the students do not know about them, it is something like an underground newspaper "Iskra". These publications (which are also not perfect, but quite bearable) no school libraries, no kiosks none at all in everyday life. As a result, most children read only fantasy that prepares them for the glamorous perception of the press, ladies and detective novels, etc.

The result of this deliberate policy is the impossibility and unthinkable no serious discussion in the media, in General no serious discussion of anything. Even if someone such a discussion started, it simply would not have been a nobody understood and supported. American experts have established that the normal American adults-the viewer is not able to perceive and track incremental deployment on a topic longer than three minutes; then he loses the thread of the conversation and distracted. About our audience no data. Do flattering to our Patriotic feelings assumption that our twice as smart. Then they can't listen to three minutes, and, for example, six. So what? What kind of serious discussion can even be a question?

Typically, even people with a formally high level of education (i.e. with degrees) do not feel the need for a rational proof of any claims. They do not require either the facts or the logic, quite shamanic cries, like the currently widely accepted universal method of reasoning: "It is so!»

In my classes with the sellers direct sales (almost all with higher education received in the Soviet era – teachers, engineers, economists, doctors), I repeatedly found is that people don't need reasoning. It just takes time and wasting weigh down the performance. Persuasive speech is perceived as boring. "You tell me how it is and be done with it". Much better than any of the arguments is perceived that Rousseau called "emotional cries" and attributed the prehistoric savages.

Habit to contemplate favorite TV stars forms the view (perhaps unconsciously): that's not what they say, and glavnoe – who says. If the man says dear, dear, nice – all taken for truth, "people shavaet". People need to see "talking head" on television, the perception of even a simple text in printed form is very difficult. No wonder many of my students are willing to acquire the videos of my performances, though much simpler (from the point of view of traditional) to read them.


In the simplicity of his Minister Fursenko spill the beans: the purpose of education – education of the cultural consumer. And the modern school – secondary and higher – is gradually pulled up to this task. Not once, but tightened.

What do they teach? How to behave in society, how to fit in how to make a video or write a CV. A physics to chemistry – it nudga, scoop the last century.
Not so long ago on the highway of Enthusiasts hung Billboard depicting cute "silver molecule" contained I do not remember in what – seems to –antiperspirant deodorant. The idiocy of advertising among the workers of my company only saw one elderly woman – a chemical engineer by profession before the revolution. Then the Billboard removed.

Know I mean to keep in mind – we are taught – nothing. All you can see in Yandex. This is a very productive point of view. If a person knows nothing, he can sell everything. And an empty head is very good to pump into it details of tariff plans or properties of different varieties of toilet paper.

In this case, it achieved a huge success. I sometimes have to talk to the young people coming to work for us. They are well kept, neat look, have some skills of self-promotion and are perfect savages: I don't know about history, nor about geography, nor about the basic laws of nature. So, we worked as a history teacher by training, not knowing who the Bolsheviks.

What head to score? It is necessary to know completely different. Once I went on the Internet to test the knowledge of different trendy stuff tend to, according to the organizers, the lifestyle of the middle class. The test I failed miserably, the answer came to this: it is strange that you have a computer and Internet connection to pass this test.

That's it for the formation of such experts and designed modern education and modern educational technologies.

Obscurantism and ignorance is the last refuge of modern capitalism. It's not just a defect of modern society is its most important component. Without this modern market can not exist.

Logical question: who, then, will be to create new products for "sparki" ideal customers? And who will lead the human herd, who will be the shepherds? It is obvious – consumers are ideal for this purpose are not suitable. In today's USA today that the role played by immigrants from third world countries from the former Soviet Union. What's next – hard to say. Modern capitalism is, in modern Western civilization is not looking forward to her main – current expansion. And it is achieved through total mental debilitation of the population. Because this is today the main resource. published 




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