How We Can Dezombify The Human Race Today

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How We Can Dezombify The Human Race Today

There have been growing discussions about what would happen to the Republican party if Trump doesn’t get the Republican nomination or else gets it but loses the election for the U.S. presidency.  Will Trump and his ideas continue to exert a strong control over a significant segment of the electorate?  Now what happens if DeSantis wins the nomination and the presidency?   Will that be enough to keep Trumpism alive?   And what happens if neither Trump nor DeSantis gets the nomination?  At the present, this seems unlikely, but let us supposes that by some miracle, one of the other candidates gets the nomination.  Will Haley, Scott, and Pence make a major philosophical break with Trump?   If either Christie or Sununu, one of the truly anti-Trump candidates, becomes the nominee, will he be able to remake the Republican Party in a non-Trumpist image?  Is Trumpism only kept alive by the hope of getting a Trumpist to the U.S. presidency?  For those of us who are horrified at the thought of a Trumpist becoming president again, there is a lot of anticipation and concern regarding these questions. Because if we end up in a second term with a Trumpist, it could very likely result in the end of democracy in America.  

Now for the moment, forget about Trump.  Look at all the horrible things that DeSantis has done in Florida.  The incredible limitations he has put on when an abortion would be available for a woman seeking one.  The censorship on what can be taught in classes in schools regarding the history of race relations.  The removal of books from library shelves that are perceived as offensive by even one person.  This is the beginning of fascism.  And yet DeSantis continues to be very popular in Florida.  Do his supporters there really understand what they are getting into with his policies?  Maybe a better question is do they even care.

When one is dealing with a modern cult leader like DeSantis, what is most important in terms of his being able to maintain a continuity of support is not so much the precise substance of his ideas as it is his capacity to rise above the numbness that is generated by modern technology and to be a vibrantly alive leader with abrasive intrusive policies.  And this is because his followers are unusually numb people – people who suffer from conative anesthesia or the numbing of the will – such that they have great difficulty being free agents, autonomous people in the conduct of their lives.  They are people who have become so numb in terms of their capacity to activate their will, that they have become zombies, awake but not awake.

Of course, as we have discussed in the past, these conditions don’t just apply to DeSantis and his followers, but to Trump and his followers as well.  And to all the other populist authoritarian leaders in the world along with their followers.  And, to a lesser extent, to all the rest of us who are immersed in the overly frictionless, overly mediated field of experience that is so much a part of our modern technological living environment.  We all have a little bit of the zombie in us.  The modern technological world is becoming increasingly zombified.

When we think about the notion of free will, the opposite of free will is normally considered to be oppression.  A force that clamps down on people and prevents them from expressing their beliefs, their hopes, their dreams, their plans, their desires.  A solid force with mass and substance.  Certainly, this is the force we think of when we think of populist authoritarian leaders like Trump and DeSantis.  People who want to control and manipulate other people so that the latter can fit in with the grand plans that are being created for them.

But underneath this oppression, there is another influence today that is every bit as powerful at keeping people down.  And this is the modern technological living environment itself, a living environment that is so frictionless and so mediated that it ends up paralyzing people with numbness.  Which in its own way, prevents people from exercising their free will as effectively as if it were oppression.

And it is this numbness that is the foundational cause for people becoming zombies.  It’s not something that people are consciously aware of happening.  It sort of just sneaks up on them.  But as it happens, people develop a lot of different pathological ways of trying to fight it off.  Mostly they involve developing a lot of different patterns of abrasive behavior.  Cyberbullying, abusive behavior towards one’s dates and one’s friends, towards one’s significant other, towards one’s children, towards one’s elderly parents, towards one’s employees. And let’s not forget self-destructive activities, things like different addictions, cutting and suicide.  And then there is mass murder.  These are the results of becoming zombified. 

And the only way to counter zombification.  More traditional natural patches of living environments and primary experience.  And shunting aside screen reality.  Living in a sensory world of three dimensions.  So, one can feel more vibrantly alive.


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Acerca de Laurence Mesirow

Durante mi estadía en la Ciudad de México en los años setenta, me di cuenta que esta enorme ciudad contenía en sus colonias distintos "medio ambientes vivenciales", que iban desde muy antiguas a muy recientes; desde muy primitivas a muy modernas.Observé que había diferencias sutiles en la conducta de la gente y en sus interacciones en las diferentes colonias. Esta observación fue fundamental en la fundación de mis teorías con respecto a los efectos de la tecnología moderna sobre los medio ambientes vivenciales y sobre la conducta humana.En México, publiqué mi libro "Paisaje Sin Terreno" (Editorial Pax-México), y luego di conferencias para la U.N.A.M. y la Universidad Anahuac. También, presenté un ensayo para un Congreso de Psicología.Ahora que mis hijas son adultas, tengo el tiempo de explorar mis ideas de vuelta. Le agradezco mucho a y en especial al Sr. Daniel Ajzen por la oportunidad de presentar mis ideas.

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