We stand today, blessed in a modern era of technological and industrial advancement never dreamed of by any of our ancestors, even mere generations before us. The dawn of a new era of globalisation has led to an unprecedented up-scaling of communications networks among humanity. Spanning nation-state borders this has placed us in an unprecedented and empowered status in history. However, I propose to you readers today that homo sapiens, that global species of humanity stands today in chains. Chains forged by our very hands, built upon link by link in a seemingly inevitable and even unnoticed manner. These chains cannot be seen physically, except to those most observant, and may seem highly theoretical to others. Despite what you believe, they do exist.
We are enslaved to our own sense of stability, whether programmed by our evolutionary make up or manufactured by the structures of the society that we have created for ourselves.
There were times when this was not so obvious, arguably times of larger inequality, with backwardness and nothing like the prospects and power we possess today. It is not my aim to debase the progress of humanities existence to this day, but in fact to utilize it: in order to grasp hold of subtle tendencies which slowly rot away our potential power to create and progress.
The enslavement of mankind to routine is a sickness. The simplicity of how we slip into it, unnoticed and unchecked. It is not my intention to slander the concept of routine in and of itself, but to critique it’s infectious form currently rampant in modern capitalist society. We find ourselves preyed upon by others almost every minute of every day. And it is impossible to escape it.
Our daily lives, which could be spent feeling joy, enhancing society for all, or even pursuing our dreams are more easily conceptualised as a unique part on a factory assembly line. We begin beautiful: ill equipped for the rigours of the modern world, but helplessly creative, resourceful and full of expectation. Slowly we are drilled, patched, modded, worn, and inevitably reconceptualised by forces beyond our will and control. We become ritualised and bred to worship a concept of “time” we are totally beholden to. Innovative ideas that are leaked out of us are pounced upon by others, whose talents extend to legitimising their own existence from profiting off others. We are bombarded by theories, concepts and formulae that give us some sense of opportunity to our lives. We are led to believe we have choice.
In reality we have nothing. Material possessions are forced upon us, giving us a sense of identity, a seeming pursuit of individuality. All you have done is glare at a set of options put before you and choose the one you think is least bad. Some of us admittedly – those gifted ones – may look down into their hands and see something wonderful. An innovative creation. But after that it will be doomed to be down-costed, mass produced, shrink wrapped and worn by thousands of individuals across our tired blue planet. Any control we once had over the products of our labours has been taken from us by an enslavement to routine, financial exploitation and the encapsulation of branding.
For one moment, close your eyes and imagine. Think about the constraints, the ties, the bonds. The chains.