Have you heard of repressive desublimation?
Let me rephrase that. Do you like shiny objects?
Hold up something shiny, something that glitters in the light, and the pouncing animal is distracted. Give a woman a diamond necklace and she will forgive her husband’s transgression. Give a voting public a mild sex scandal to distract them from a far worse scandal. Humans are only animals… they have attention deficit disorder. And in these one-click times distraction-mongering has never been easier to carry out.
It’s called repressive desublimation, and it has always been thus. Give the human race something to believe in, and they will keep calm and carry on. Religion is one giant distraction technique. You know it really. It’s cognitive dissonance.
A shiny object may appear exciting, but it is ultimately numbing. The banality of gratification to remove the energy otherwise available for social critique. Keep them busy with something else. It’s all about marketing – and religion is the greatest marketing campaign of all time. It’s kind. It’s a defence mechanism. Do you really want the truth? Don’t you want to be told that it’s easy? Do you really want to be plunged into the void where you have to think for yourself? What would you think?
We must celebrate superficiality. Because the depths are unthinkably deep. Give people the idea of the end of the world. And get them to think it’s their fault. Give them some semblance of control. The shiny object becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and eclipses the thing from which it was meant to distract you. Is that such a bad thing? Surely that was the purpose.
But shiny objects can corrode.