On the Contemporary Conformist

Read this first. Then come back and read the below.


Contemporary conformism is inherently conservative, and yet presents itself as progressive.

It is a commercially focused and materialistic ideology. It is reliant on progressives to do the leading, hard work in order for its products to be viable, due to its position as as secondary or tertiary cultural front.

It is the cultural formation of the Blair-ist, Obama-ist, Rudd-ist economically conservative, socially liberal third way politics so heavily adopted by the Today show and its ilk. It is an ideology driven by symbols, not actions, while implicitly endorses mass market production.

It is not an aesthetic. It is not any one group, although it is reliant on trend following designers, artists, programmers, writers, and thinkers. It is the ideology of the avant grade stripped of its radicalism and foundational thinking and packaged as a way of increasing capital gains.

It is arguing that “being gay is not a choice”, rather than arguing that even as a choice it is still perfectly fine. It is the unexamined, unquestioning life which doesn’t know that it is unquestioning and unexamined. It is as old as Socrates and as young as the herd mentality it despises.

It is making apologies for capitalistic doctrine while attempting to eschew and distance itself from it. It is the stress yawn of the middle class. It is New Girl.

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It is the middle of the bell curve, and as a result is difficult to define and spot. It is where everything ends up. It is cultural gravity, atomic decay, and entropy rolled into a ball of white teeth and moderately priced cotton. It is the rolling, howling maw which forms the foundation of our cultural and class anxieties. It is ennui.

It is local designers being run by multinational brands. It is vintage wedding photography. It is weddings. It is the sum of all human cultural output and yet it is none of it. It is the long shadow Western imperialism and economic dominance, driven longer by the gradual collapse and atomisation of the global working class.

It is thinking that Fight Club is the greatest movie ever made. It asks no questions and offers no answers. It is invasive and desperate and comfortable and easy all at once. It is driven by the separation between the means of production and the consumption of those products.

It is living a drug free lifestyle while chomping down on anti-depressants and beer at $20 a six pack. It is thinking that you really should do more about the environment. It is accepting that the way things are now is the way they should always be. It is thinking that things tend to get better as time goes on.

It is the base of our desires and needs as tribal, herd focused creatures. It is our willingness to say and do nothing each day. It is the absence of a shadowy cabal leading the world into oblivion, instead replaced by a flock of starlings, each subtly influencing the other until we fly into a wind farm and are chopped to pieces.