Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The Illusion of Boundaries; Mexico and the United States
William Irwin Thompson wrote, "We live in a culture we do not see."As an old age passes and a new consciousness emerges, we often "comfort people by performing the past and affirming it so that you can ease the transition into a radical new consciousness."
We no longer live in an age with neat, closed borders and sovereign nation-states with their private industries. Even though that's how the argument is being composed, that time has long since passed. We live in an age where multinational corporations have effectively done away with traditional national industries. Corporations extend beyond any one country, and often pull the strings of the local governments, just like ancient Empires allowed for local-rule. The United State's recent supreme court decision to consider corporations as people is case in point.
The US is one of the major benefactors of globalization. Many US businesses have out competed the third world for crops and industry. The shadow side of capitalism is that it only looks for efficiency, not environment. So we have huge corporations that swallow smaller countries whole, and then use their impoverished state as a kind of serfdom. What we have going on in Mexico is exactly this "unconscious," dimension of modern capitalism rising to the surface. Mexico is poor, and kept poor. It can't compete with the US for industry, nor is it allowed to. We take full advantage of their desperate state and use illegal immigrants off the books. Cheap labor, dispensable, dime a dozen. Those who hire illegal workers are kept safe, while the "serfs" themselves are always the scapegoat.
Yet in the media the issue is framed as one of legitimacy: trespassing, authentication of citizenship, taking our jobs, etc. All of these things are on the surface, meant to entertain us in with the questions of keeping a "nation's borders secure." Meanwhile there is a shadow current that depends on it being wide open. Like any shadow that has not been integrated, it appears in the form of other. So we have the collective psyche disowning its own shadow. When that goes on long enough, our shadows appear in the form of "other" bubbling up to the surface, and we lash out at it. You can see how Americans lashing out at Mexican immigrants recapitulates this dance between the conscious and the unconscious. So when we talk about putting up larger walls and forcing Mexican-Americans to carry their green cards, we are really talking about the collective suppression of shadow capitalism.
This dissonance is obvious if we look at how these corporations have long since usurped, and now manipulate provincial legalities. The dance between Conservative and Liberal is a farce. Big Government is a phantom with little power over the Bigger Corporations.
If we don't want this whole system to collapse under us, we have to begin to allow these unconscious realities come to conscious light, put aside the dancing puppets who are meant to comfort us on the media, and begin to really talk about how this can change. Alongside multinational corporations has thankfully come something else. The internet age is a powerful tool, because it forces transparency and open-access to knowledge. News can go viral and grassroots in a matter of minutes, spreading across the globe. So these new serfdoms and global elites have in fact, sewn the seeds for their own destruction, and if we allow the internet to continue its role in rendering the shadows into the light, we may see a brighter future indeed.
The Reading Room
- The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells
- Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell
- Sex, Ecology, Spirituality. Ken Wilber.
- Man's Place in Nature, Teilhand de Chardin
- A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity
Open Source and Other Links
open source sociology by Jeremy Johnson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at www.opensourcesocio.blogspot.com.