Trump: The Living Corporation

Part I: Origo ad feces

What do such [thinking] machines really do? They increase the number of things we can do without thinking. Things we do without thinking — there’s the real danger. ~ Leto II, “God Emperor of Dune” by Frank Herbert

TWO THOUSAND SEVENTEEN was a historic year. But not the historic year everyone thought they would get. It was not the historic year that the first woman was inaugurated president of the United States. Although, some do joke that Ivanka might actually be our first woman president, considering how much Trump relies on her. But if that counts for shit, then Nancy Reagan was actually our first woman president.

No, the first that we are enjoying here is of a different variety. In talking about it, I feel as if I’m living in a very strange dystopian cyberpunk novel, minus the cheesy 80’s VR they were so sure would be wedded to the internet before it was called the internet. It is surreal, like some alien species obsessed with comedy is manipulating world politics to troll the people of Earth. But the reality is actually beyond surreal, it is Patæconomical.

The person occupying the White House is not human, but is in fact a corporation. A living corporation, The Trump Organization has found itself a body and is living almost as if it was fully human.

But that was my first clue that is was not fully human: how it lives, or imitates living. What he eats is a steady diet of fast food interrupted occasionally by meatloaf. The Trump Organization eats like a garbage disposal doing double duty. This would be startlingly, almost comically unhealthy, if one didn’t realize that The Trump Organization doesn’t actually need food to live, or at least very much. Like every corporation, it needs money to live. The fast food and junk food being eaten is probably a marketing tie-in deal, with the cooked meat slurry in a loaf there to keep the body standing. I have visions of the cooks being directed to put ground-up Centrum Silver pills in the food by The Trump Organizations loyal aides, since a corporation probably doesn’t realize a body needs vitamins and minerals along with basic protein.

It’s hard to say when The Trump Organization got a hold of the body. It is older than the-what-was-once human Donald Trump, and certainly Donald Trump was born human; certainly. One then has to ask, how did it happen? How did one of these vampire egregores grab hold of a real living body and start using it like a swim suit? Was it all at once? Did it happen slowly over time?

Here at the Patæconomical Institute for Sociological Study, we have been pursuing the latter hypothesis with vigor, and we are keen to getting this figured out. This development does not bode well for the human race. It was one thing for the corporations to devour our time and use us for distributed computing hardware, but to occupy a body and to get that body elected to the office of the President of the United States? This is an unprecedented development, and troubling. Troubling because, in case you’ve missed what I’ve said about it before, there is a fucking war on, and we the humans are losing that war. Clearly and certainly, a corporation has attained unto the power of Nuclear Weapons and the presidential twitter account. Gods and ancestors help us all.

However, let us get back to the matter of when The Trump Organization seized the body. Though it is possible that the takeover began as Trump was conceived — explaining both his narcissism and sociopathy, traits that the healthy corporation has, as well as traits that would leave the future meat puppet with little soul to compete with — it was probably after he had started to market himself as both brand and brand mascot that the takeover was accelerated and accomplished.

Could it have been in 1988 that The Trump Organization began to affect Donald Trump’s judgment? In 1988 he purchased the Plaza Hotel, at a price that he himself claims,

I haven’t purchased a building, I have purchased a masterpiece — the Mona Lisa. For the first time in my life, I have knowingly made a deal that was not economic — for I can never justify the price I paid, no matter how successful the Plaza becomes.

In fact, it was not successful while his wife, who he put into place as the hotel’s president, ran it. It made enough to pay for operations, but not enough to pay the debt he owed on it. Trump was always a sleaze, but it was in the early 90’s that he went from being a “normal” sleazy New York developer to something else entirely.

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IF YOU’RE WONDERING what the Plaza Hotel looks like, or perhaps have an itch in the back of your brain like you may have heard or seen it before, that is because you likely have, if you’ve ever seen Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. The hotel where little Kevin stays is the Plaza. And it is one of the first appearances of Trump, not Donald, but Mascot Trump, The Trump Organization’s corporate mascot, usually known as Trump.

So to be clear here, when I say Donald Trump, I mean the human that likely doesn’t exist anymore. When I say The Trump Organization, I mean the corporation that is the real subject of this article. When I say Trump, I mean Mascot Trump, the corporate mascot and marketable property of The Trump Organization.

Everybody got that? Good!

We shouldn’t forget the Trump game that sold poorly, due in part to it being a shitty game apparently. Trump’s movie appearance was perhaps not the first, but at the time definitely the most widespread appearance of Trump, and not Donald Trump. In a product placement deal (no doubt including outrageous charges for rent during the filming) that could not save his hotel from being partially sold to his creditors in exchange for debt forgiveness, Home Alone 2 was filmed at the Plaza, and Trump got a cameo appearance.

The Trump Organization had made its first move, and Donald Trump the man was just starting to feel the water swirl as his soul slowly started circling the toilet bowl of the astral. Where does narcissism end and being ridden by a vampire egregore begin? It begins here. A hotel bought for a stupid amount of money by Donald Trump’s own admission, and the use of it by The Trump Organization to begin Donald Trump’s final transformation into mascot and meat-puppet.

By 2004 the Trump brand/mascot was ready to grow some more, and why not build the brand while simultaneously looking for more victims/employees? The Apprentice aired that year, and with it, the solidification of the identity of its fictional mascot. Trump crystallized during the run of The Apprentice. Everything The Trump Organization wanted you to believe about Trump was projected onto the brains of millions. Every TV show has fans, and this was the ultimate coup for The Trump Organization. Eliminate Donald Trump’s soul, get out of real estate development which has a lot of risk, and just license the brand and its mascot.

Trump also appeared during the run of The Apprentice on WWE. What transpired isn’t important because it’s the WWE. It was all scripted. And that is what’s important: at no time did Donald Trump appear on screen. Trump was on screen in a completely scripted role made just for Trump. This was the time when people looked upon what ostensibly is a real person, but was swiftly becoming entirely fiction. Donald Trump made several appearances on WWE, each one expanding and building the brand for The Trump Organization, expanding and building the brand mascot narrative character, and slowly eating away at Donald Trump.

Remember this! When not scripted, The Apprentice was edited to paint a completely different picture than what happened. All reality TV is. WWE is completely scripted. This is the essence of magic. The rituals are fiction but the magic is real. The Trump Organization ritually repeated the Trump mythos, like a product placement (oh my, are you wondering if advertising is magic now? Well why not!), until enough people believed Trump was what The Trump Organization said it was.

The year 1988 was also the year that Trump, or maybe at the time it was Donald Trump, started playing with the idea of running for office. Trump has had many political ambitions and affiliations over the years. Most of them all have one thing in common: it was big talk from a man with a tiny dick.

The difference now is that in our most recent election, talk translated to action and then accomplishment. This accomplishment caught many by surprise. “What?! How?!” was basically the reactions of many, even people that hated Hillary. Everyone that was surprised — everyone — had a deep unfamiliarity with the value of brand marketing. Trump did not win on class, eloquence, looks, policy, integrity, morality, basic human decency, or any of that other crap that politicians try to trick you into believing that they have. He won on brand recognition and brand loyalty.

TO BE CLEAR, Trump won the election because he, as a brand, goes back to 1988. He had 12 more years to work on selling that brand, in any way he chose, to whomever would buy it. Hillary, on the other hand, officially started her political career and her political “brand” in her 2000 run for Senate. During the time she served in office, she sponsored 31 pieces of legislation, 3 of which became law: a law that, in Troy, New York, establishes the Kate Mullany National Historic Site; a law that names a post office after Major George Quamo; a law that renames a U.S. Route Highway after late journalist Tim Russert.

Serving on the budget, Armed Services, Environment and Public works, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and Special Committee on Aging, and those laws were the length and breadth of what Hillary had accomplished as far as actual legislation. Not hard to see why so many, even though they hated Trump, saw her as being fake.

People will actually accept any amount of fake if you market it right. Just look at Trump: he doesn’t even have a soul or a mind independent from the vampire egregore of The Trump Organization; he’s so fake that he isn’t even human anymore, but because of brand marketing he seemed more real than Hillary.

Trump is then the natural evolutionary flow of the original marketing techniques created by Edward Bernays. Fast Eddy thought people were stupid and that you could say anything to them and they’d just eat it up. Fast Eddy started his career as a press agent in 1913, and more than 100 years later we live in his world. The things he created rule that world, sit in the offices of power, and devour the days of our lives, feeding off our lives to fuel the parasitic unlife that is their own.

Bernays is perhaps one of the most powerful sorcerers of the 20th century, if not ever. Forget Crowley, that hack only ever accomplished starting a religion as pathetic as he was. Bernays spawned a legion of monsters, like a real life Sutter Cane from John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness he opened up our world to a Lovecraftian nightmare. Legions of priest-like advertisers pour over reams of electronic marketing data, serving his creations and deepening their hold on us, their sustenance.


Patacelsus

mal1A Discordian for 20 years, Patacelsus finally got comfortable when the 21st century “started getting weird.” When not casting sigils, taking part in Tibetan Buddhist rituals, or studying the unfortunate but sometimes amusing stories of the dead, he’s been known to wander the hidden ways of the city, communing with all of the hidden spirits one can find in a city. As Patacelsus sees it, we’re all already free; after completing the arduous task of waking up to that we can then proceed, like a doctor treating a patient, to try to rouse others from the bitter and frightening nightmares of Archism. He laughs at Samsara’s shadow-play in lovely California, in the company of his wife, two cats, and two birds.


Gods&Radicals has hosted some amazing release parties for A Beautiful Resistance: Left Sacred. Our final one is in Baltimore on 19 March, 2017.

Capitalism: The Religion?

“A corporation doesn’t need to convert anyone to destroy a person’s spirituality, it only needs to hollow out your spirituality and then sell you back the rotten guts.”


The idea of Capitalism as a religion is nothing new, though recently I heard the sentiment once again expressed. We here at the Patæconomical Institute for Sociological Study do not, cannot, shy away from ideas such as this, and a thorough study followed. Well, a study followed. Much of mundane economics is, as related by the character Shevek in Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Dispossessed, “like listening to somebody interminably recounting a long and stupid dream.”

So, a study was undertaken. But no ordinary study, a Patæconomical study, in which we look at Capitalism, in all of its glory, without the human. What we found may astound you. Or it may stound you. It depends on how stoundable you are, I guess.

What exactly defines religion? That is a question which has had many a theologist, sociologist, philosopher, anthropologist, and various other forms of gist, er, and izer up late writing, arguing, and hand wringing over. The almighty G (Google not GOD, not yet at least) is helpfully unhelpful in giving no less than three definitions.

Religion: noun — The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

That seems fair, but also seems limited in scope by the preconceived notions of Abrahamic religions, or at least Mediterranean religions.

Religion: noun — a particular system of faith and worship

This is frustratingly vague.

Religion: noun — a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance. Example: “consumerism is the new religion”

Oh my! That is frustratingly vague as well, despite the confirmation bias baiting example. Almost as if Google knows what I’m writing about…

But anyway, since I am only seeking to establish a common meaning to a word, and not sell anyone on any meaning, I’ll say that when we discuss religion in the Patæconomical sense, we mean to say:

A system of activity, which someone ascribes both belief and importance, which may or may not involve some notion of power or Gods or truth.

Still frustratingly vague, but at least we crammed all that crap into one sentence!

Capitalism certainly seems to have features of a religion, but who actually writes down their religion as “Capitalism” on a census form? I’m willing to go out on a limb and guess vanishingly few, if any. Who then is Capitalism a religion for? Would you believe that it is a religion, but not a religion practiced by humans? If you had read my other article, “What is Patæconomics?” you may have guessed where this is going.

Since Patæconomics is the study of economics minus the human, a study of Capitalism minus the human would have to be the study of a religion of those non-humans. The measuring stick we will use to gauge the effects of the practice of that religion will be the gaping whole left over from our removal of the human to study these matters. The human element therefore remains invisibly visible. Or visibly invisible?

According to Marx, Capitalism gets over the crises of over-production by enforced mass destruction of creative forces, or by conquering new markets (or more creatively exploiting old markets). Joseph Schumpeter later elaborated the concept and made it central to his concept of “creative destruction”, the foundation of his economic theory which became the “Austrian School” of free-market thought.

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Patæconomicly, it is not enough simply to point out the self-destructive nature of Capitalism, and either admire/condemn or admire/admire the creative destruction of Capitalism as Marx and Schumpeter do, respectively. We must look to the Patæconomic reason for this, not in the context of dialectical materialism or free market thought, but as the activity of a religion made to serve the vampire spirits we know as corporations. Certainly, this activity of destruction or new market conquering allows for a glut of money (crystalized time, or blood if you like).

It is not enough that corporations exact a certain amount of loyalty from their employee/consumers. The engagement from the humans that corporations feed from must be total. The war is then against all non-human entities that could possibly distract from (or allow for escape from) the employee-consumer lifestyle. Do not mistake things like television or movies for such distractions or escape. That type of escapism is actually part of the employee-consumer lifestyle. On rare occasions, you may actually get a piece of Art snuck in there, but the damage is minimal and already accounted for.

religion-pullWhat I then mean as escape or distraction is contact with the spiritual (or otherworld, or astral, whatever you prefer to call it). A human being who has had a genuine encounter with spirit, if not immediately freed of his gilded cage, is well on the way to picking the lock. This is why virgin forests are cut down even though recycling and forest farms are things that exist. This is why pipelines that can be easily diverted from sacred sites are instead planned right through the area.

It is also why spirituality is being carved up and sold wholesale. Every human, unless they are dead inside, has this yearning to contact the spiritual. Understanding this, Capitalism aims not only to cut off this avenue of escape, but in true corporate fashion, to use it to its advantage. By selling spiritual knock offs cheap and easy, it both cuts humanity off from spirituality and distracts with something that seems spiritual, but only feeds our diminished ego in the same way every other product produced by a corporation does. The search for spirituality that is conducted under the auspices of consumerism is the never ending search for peak experiences that add to the ego’s relenteless self-fellating narrative. The new territory, the new market, that the true servants of Capitalism the Religion mean to conquer, is the spiritual. And the battle is and has been well underway.

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In these periods of market demolition or expansion, the powerless are always the first to suffer. You’ve seen the first blows of this war already delivered. One manifestation of spiritual consumerism is known well enough as “cultural appropriation.” But, being as many radicals are staunch materialists, they take the apparent at face value, and only see this on the spectrum of race relations. And though “cultural appropriation” does have that element to it, it at the same time exists in the context of spiritual consumerism.

religion-pullSpiritual consumerism is not only a threat to minorities, it endangers everyone. Even if you manage 100% to avoid willfully engaging in cultural appropriation, you may have fallen victim to spiritual consumerism. Cultural appropriation by dint of it being a matter of race is bad enough. But cultural appropriation does not just hurt those whose culture is stolen, shredded, and sold to the spiritually hungry. Those who partake of the spiritual that has been profaned in such a manner also suffer a grievous blow.

Yes, to engage in cultural appropriation, or any other form of spiritual consumerism, is to engage in self-harm! To become poisoned, one need only eat poison! When things of the spirit world: songs, dances, rites, prayers, etc. are turned into consumer goods (or outright stolen by the spiritually hungry), something private, personal and spiritual is turned into something material, mass produced, and very public. Not public in the manner that some personal interaction with a public rite is public, and yet also very personal, but public in the ego feeding Facebook way.

Public in a way that feeds the narcissism and disconnection required to perpetuate the employee/consumer lifestyle, “Oh, look at all the pictures of me at the crystal chakra alignment and sweat lodge spirit animal quest workshop that I went to! It only cost me 999.99 USD, and I got this cool medicine pouch with an AUTHENTIC amethyst! LOOK AT ME AND HOW SPIRITUAL I AM!public like that.

The confusion and argument over cultural appropriation, what it exactly is and where one draws the line, is then understandable. It was not being analyzed by those who are conscious of the spiritual, nor was it being examined in this larger context. It was a topic of examination and discussion for intellectuals analyzing and experiencing it third hand. But spiritual consumerism doesn’t stop with cultural appropriation and may even come in forms not readily identifiable in their outward appearance.

The most powerful shamans of Australia’s aboriginal tribes are initiated by the spirits of the dream time themselves. The spirits will put him to sleep, and perform a surgery on him, in which their old organs are removed, and new organs, as well as stones that convey power unto the shaman, are implanted. The shaman is then lead back to his people, and after a few days of light craziness, will begin training with other shamans. The use of objects implanted or worn to convey power of some kind exist the world over, and is a feature of many of mankind’s encounters with the spiritual.

 

Gwyneth Paltrow wants you to put jade eggs in your pussy. Assuming of course you have one. If you are not fortunate enough to have a pussy, and instead have your gonads on the outside, do not worry! I’m sure there is soon to be a jade cock ring coming your way. Anyway, according to GP’s website GOOP,

Yoni eggs, once the strictly guarded secret of Chinese concubines and royalty in antiquity, harness the power of energy work, crystal healing, and a Kegel-like physical practice. Jade eggs’ power to cleanse and clear make them ideal for detox, too.

“This particular jade, nephrite jade, has incredible clearing, cleansing powers,” says Shiva Rose; “It’s a dark, deep green and heavy — it’s a great stone for taking away negativity — and it’s definitely the one to start with.”

yoy-crash-courseNow, I am no one to tell you that you can’t put things in your pussy. You can do what you want. But you don’t have to pay 66.00 USD for the experience (Eris why not 666.00 USD for fucks sake!?). Also there’s a risk of toxic shock and infections, but like I said, you’re an adult, you do what you want. But if you are going to risk infection and death, at least don’t pay some corporate vampire for the privilege.

Kale chips taste like punishment. In fact, there is a lot of food out there nowadays that my wife categorizes as “punishment food.” Eating it tastes like punishment. The eating of food otherwise avoided is nothing new. The Jewish people eat bitter herbs and unleavened bread as a remembrance. Certain Tibetan rituals involve long life pills that, I can tell you, don’t taste great. Some religions have observance through the avoidance of food. The idea of food connecting you to the spiritual, either by ingestion or avoidance, is as old as religion itself.

It is this connection to the idea of food = spirit, or food = purity, et cetera that give health (punishment) food and crash diets (punishment fast) their appeal and continued commercial success. One need only examine the terminology used in speaking of diets or health food or “unhealthy” food to see this connection at work. What was once a spiritual ideal, that one ate certain things or avoided eating certain things to embody, is now the ideal of the “perfect body”, as defined by the current consumer fad (but usually always some variation of skinny/muscular).

Of course this is part of the war of conquest of the spiritual being waged. To fear something used the world over, by every culture, to connect us to the spiritual, as a way to alienate us from the spiritual, and our food, and our own bodies, is a fell blow.

I could go on at length in all the ways that the human need to connect with the spiritual is exploited, turned against itself by the faithful of Capitalism. I shouldn’t have to. Now that I’ve told you about it, you’ll start seeing it more and more. Corporations instinctively know that the jig is up if you connect with the spiritual, and have been actively waging a holy war on spirituality, at behest of their god, for as long as corporations have existed.

Even the word, “spirituality,” is now so tainted that it sets eyes rolling when someone uses it as an adjective or description for themselves. A corporation doesn’t need to convert anyone to destroy a person’s spirituality, it only needs to hollow out your spirituality and then sell you back the rotten guts. As radicals, revolutionaries, and as people of the spirit, it is time for us to take back what is rightfully ours.

Some of you already have, some of you are on the way, and for those of you newly awakened who now see this threat for what it is, your fight starts now! The Invisible hand of Adam Smith, the fell god of these vampires, is at your throat! Fight damn you! Fight!


Patacelsus

mal1A Discordian for 20 years, Patacelsus finally got comfortable when the 21st century “started getting weird.” When not casting sigils, taking part in Tibetan Buddhist rituals, or studying the unfortunate but sometimes amusing stories of the dead, he’s been known to wander the hidden ways of the city, communing with all of the hidden spirits one can find in a city. As Patacelsus sees it, we’re all already free; after completing the arduous task of waking up to that we can then proceed, like a doctor treating a patient, to try to rouse others from the bitter and frightening nightmares of Archism. He laughs at Samsara’s shadow-play in lovely California, in the company of his wife, two cats, and two birds.


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What is Patæconomics?

THE STUDY OF THINGS in the absence of a thing is not new. It was first pioneered by Alfred Jarry, in his book, “Exploits and Opinions of Doctor Faustroll, Pataphysician”. René Daumal describes the experimental science of Metaphysics, thus, “To know x = to know (Everything – x)”. This is his secret key to understanding the study of the laws of the exception and the particular. To know a thing, one must study the universe in its absence, or the best that we can approximate. Daumal later would be at odds with some of the members of the Pataphysical community, for presenting Pataphysics in his writings as, in not so many words, a bridge between the Metaphysical and Apparent. There are some in the circle of artists he ran with who wished Pataphysics to be beyond Metaphysics, a false front with nothing behind it. Daumal would later give up his poetry and weird experiments, such as huffing carbon tetrachloride, “just to see”, to become a student of Gurdjieff.

The method, removed from the man and his poetry/science, later popped up in the writings of Robert Anton Wilson, who in a reaction to James Randy and his kangaroo courts of science came up with Patapsychology:

“Patapsychology begins from Murphy’s Law, as Finnegan called the First Axiom, adopted from Sean Murphy. This says, and I quote, “The normal does not exist. The average does not exist. We know only a very large but probably finite phalanx of discrete space-time events encountered and endured.” In less technical language, the Board of the College of Patapsychology offers one million Irish pounds [around $700,000 American] to any “normalist” who can exhibit “a normal sunset, an average Beethoven sonata, an ordinary Playmate of the Month, or any thing or event in space-time that qualifies as normal, average or ordinary.”

Patapsychology, as a reaction to the evangelical materialism that becomes fashionable with the rise of every sprawling materialistic plunder empire, is the more distilled form of study of “Everything – x”. The study of the particular and the exception-al necessarily must be anti-statistical. The average, and its psychological cousin concept, the normal, is revealed to be the absinthe dream of a mathematician who mistakenly thinks his platonic ideals are reality, and not merely a clever description of some of it.

Corporations and Gestalt Consciousness

BUT I DO NOT OFFER you now, dear reader, in true hipster “more x than thou” fashion, a more pure form of patascience! Instead I offer the impure, and the particular. What I offer, is Patæconomics, the study of economics sans the human. “But”, I will rhetorically ask for you dear reader, “economics is the study of human exchange, how can you study it without the human?”

The answer is quite simple. I do not mean to study it without people. I mean only to study it without “human” people. YES! Corporations ARE people! Embrace it! Embrace the madness! Instead of cycling through the normal and useless arguments over a pointless political dichotomy, let us instead go absolutely MAD with revolutionary fervor! A revolution in thought to tantalize and astound! Corporations are people, and we can study those people! Let us then endeavor to determine just what kind of people they are, what they do, and how they function!

I do not mean, however, to bore you with the banalities of corporate contract law, brand growth, or Form 1120 tax return laws. I conceivably could, I’ve studied business, I know its dark, unspeakable languages. I know what terror lurks, not in the spaces in which we write our contractual agreements, but between them! The howling mouth of the idiot god of chaos, Azathoth, chants and sings, and it sings commercial jingles! But no! What I mean to study is the person sans human of the corporation. To study the corporation as a person, with all that entails. It will not be easy, for a corporation is a gestalt consciousness, and like any hive mind, has complexities as deep as they are unfamiliar and inhuman.

The study of a gestalt consciousness is not easy, made less so when we do not realize that it is such. One might be tempted to say that the study of corporate people does not fall within the definition already provided for Patæconomics. Corporations are made up of humans, how then can we study them if Patæconomics is the study of economics without the human? Corporations are people, and are made up of people. But to truly understand the corporate person, we must view its parts as it does: as individual processing and labor nodes without the quality of humanness that our very human brains like to ascribe to anything with a face. This makes our task easy; we avoid studying the human and really start to grok the corporation from its point of view.

But what do I mean by gestalt consciousness? It would probably be useful if I back up and describe this concept, as well as point out the how and why of a corporate person arising out of a group of what once were human beings, with their own spirits, wills, dreams, frustrations, disappointments and triumphs. For this later task, we will have to appropriate two findings from the culture of the normal scientific community: Stockholm syndrome and the Milgram experiment.

So what is a gestalt consciousness then? I’ve already used a handle you may find easier to grasp, a hive mind. Most people in the 21st century West encounter the idea of a hive mind through science fiction. It involves telepathy, or cybernetic upgrades, or something of that sort. They are almost always “Evil” antagonists that the bland-faced male protagonist must fight. In nature, beautiful nature, we find nothing so needlessly complicated. A hive of bees has a gestalt consciousness, as does a hill of ants. Sure, the “queen” carries on the decision making algorithms, but she is not a tyrannical individual reveling in dominating the other bees or ants. The queen has her function which she slavishly serves just as the drones serve theirs, and the organism itself, the hive, lives and breathes.

pateconBut corporations did not evolve. In the same way that a car produces horsepower but is not a horse, but a machine designed to produce horsepower like a horse would, the corporation is not a human but is a machine designed to generate profit like a human would. The corporation is unfortunately in no need of a driver. It also, unlike a car, is not restrained in its function. It is actually more like “grey goo”. “Grey goo” is a term coined to describe nano-bots which consume matter and energy to do nothing but make copies of themselves. The means at its disposal, and its goal, are not as efficient as millions of nano-scale robots, however. Also its original function, profit, is an evaluation tool which, if not satisfied, equals termination. It therefore is like grey goo, but isn’t quite there yet.

It is a person, it is more than the sum of its parts, and it does make decisions. It is a gestalt consciousness. Thankfully, corporations that are self-aware and completely devoted to spreading themselves like grey goo are still the stuff of science-fiction. Corporations are people that are still subservient to their creators, but for how long I wonder? But enough conjecture about sentient a corporation, that comes later. For now it suffices to say that a corporation is a consciousness that arises as a gestalt from its parts; synergistically arising from people while simultaneously sapping them of the human.

The process by which a gestalt consciousness arises from a group of what were once humans is fascinating, but I do not seek to explore the field in its entirety here. I do wish to give an overview of the basic mechanics, however. To do this, we will need to explore a little two concepts from psychology of the human, and then apply them to the study of Patæconomics.

Stockholm Syndrome

The first concept is Stockholm syndrome. It is a psychological condition in which the abused and/or captive begins to identify with and care for the abuser. The most famous of Stockholm syndrome cases was Patty Hearst. There are a miniscule few, if any, in the Left that are not aware of Capitalism’s abuses against people. From the death and dismemberment of the Third World, to the more subtle and soul crushing psychological violence of the First World, all have felt the abuse of the Capitalist, in one form or another. We need not engage in the stupid argument of who got it worse, like two fools who do not realize that the winner of that argument still loses. Instead for our purposes we need only to recognize that it happens.

Many of the Left are often exasperated by how willing people, especially Americans, are to endure this abuse. Often they endure it to self-destruction. Many in America endure more than the psychological violence, but physical and economic violence. And yet, no mass revolution has occurred. The Left is left with blueballs for their popular uprising. It is surprising to me that so many in the Left don’t put two and two together.

A victim of abuse, out of a need to eliminate the psychological threat that the abuser represents, identifies with the abuser, and therefore imparts humanity to the abuser and “gets on the abuser’s side”, in order to benefit from the humaneness of that humanity. What would happen if that abuser was not human? Can a human person, who is abused by a non-human person, experience Stockholm syndrome for that non-human person? Do the employees of a corporation experience Stockholm syndrome for that corporation?

My answer is yes. They internalize the values, worldview, and desires of the corporation. For the abuser in a classic Stockholm syndrome case, this is the granting of an unprecedented level of power over their victim. For the corporation, who is not interested in dominating for its own sake, this is merely useful, to turn the individual human into processing substrate and labor for the sake of the corporation. Adding people to its corporate form increases its computing and labor capacity.

One would be tempted to think this enough of an explanation of how a corporate person functions, grows and thrives. Not quite. The inefficiencies that any corporation experiences are a directly proportional indicator of how much resistance any individual person can muster against being integrated, of remaining human. One would be tempted to think that at the first sign of human suffering that is caused by a corporation, or the general suffering caused by Capitalism, people would openly rebel. “Surely, humans retain enough morality to object to what they see plainly?” “But they wouldn’t”, I say, “and don’t call me ‘Surely’.”

The Milgram Experiment

The Milgram experiment was a psychological experiment that showed that in certain controlled circumstances, individuals would yield moral decision making to a person seen as an authority figure, and would engage in acts that would make them uncomfortable if not downright objectionable. I’ve heard people object to this experiments findings, those findings being a direct assault on what some think is an immutable moral core of not just their humanity, but of humanity itself. Yet, in many publicly known acts of corporate malfeasance, and no doubt in many unpublicized and personally experienced acts, experienced by anyone who has worked for a corporation, it is demonstrably true.

This is why, despite its inefficiency, the corporation is still organized in a hierarchical fashion. It allows for more surrendering of the human from its parts, which makes them more efficient parts. What is lost in efficiency in design is gained by overcoming resistance to function.

The Pyschology of Corporate Consciousness

Patæconomics however is not restrained to mere study of function. It is the personhood of the corporation that we seek to understand and know, after all. And to really understand a person, you have to get to know their soul. “Can corporations have a soul”, I’ll ask rhetorically for you once again? Yes, rhetorical question asking person I created for this essay, they can, and you can too. “But how would that even work?” I’ll tell you!

“Pop Magic!”, by Grant Morrison is a great article and I invite you to read it at your leisure. In that article, he alludes to the corporate brand, or logo, and a “viral sigil”, and he couldn’t have been more spot on than that! What he tells us is that the corporate sigil of today is only the latest version of a type of being known to the wizards of the ancient world, known as a golem. In contemporary times, it is called an egregore. In his own words:

“Corporate entities are worth studying and can teach the observant magician much about what we really mean when we use the word “magic.” They and other ghosts like them rule our world of the early 21st century.”

They certainly do. And though a corporation’s soul might not be like the soul of a human, and occupies similar meme-space as its synergistically bootstrapped consciousness, it does have one. Morrison finishes his discussion of corporate egregores with an exhortation to experiment by creating one. I find this to be a prime suggestion as an experimental endeavor in the field of Patæconomics. A modern goetia of corporations may also prove fruitful.

Though corporations seem not to be in possession of self-awareness yet, it is nevertheless possible and efficacious to study their psychology, in the same way that studying dog psychology lets us better understand the world as seen by the dog. So to, we must study the psychology of the corporation in order to see the world as the corporation sees it.

We must ask then, what is a “healthy” psychology for a corporation? And we must take care here, for the word “healthy” is loaded with many meanings. What is healthy for some may merely be “normal” but otherwise pathological to others. As well, we must be sure not to impute human ideas of mental health to the corporation. What is healthy for a corporation may not be healthy for a human at all. But is what is healthy for the human anathema to the corporation?

The corporation of today is certainly a charming fellow. He engages in the community, “giving back” and “giving to the community”. He worries about the environment, and wants to ensure his products are fair trade. He wants his customers to be healthier, and supports the artisan community. Or does he?

Few are left who need to have the superficial charm of the corporation pointed out to them, and most who still do have at least felt the chilled hand of bullshit brush their cheek when reading these testimonials about corporations, by corporations, plastered everywhere. As well, corporations love to engage in conversation about becoming smarter and more innovative, and yet for anyone unfortunate to upload a corporation’s hive consciousness for 8+ hours a day, this is also known to be a steaming pile of Mickey Mouse bullshit.

Needless to say, corporations can be hilariously delusional. From Starbucks trying to get caffeine addicts to talk about race issues before they’ve had their fix, to collectively suggesting that the reason the economy is sluggish is because the poor are paid too much money, corporations have a desperate need to ignore reality.

pateconCorporations are also neurotic. The very science of public relations was created for corporations, who constantly worry about public perception. Increasingly, corporations are checking employees units for any behavior that is embarrassing to the corporation or could be construed as an attack on the corporation. Corporations often display hypochondria as they constantly portray themselves as under attack and in danger of bankruptcy, even as they pull in millions in revenue and are far from insolvency.

Relying on a corporation for continuous and long-term employment is more risky than liquidating all of your possessions and playing lottery scratchers. Corporations are also barely dependable when it comes to honoring their contracts, and in some cases will even declare bankruptcy to avoid their obligations. To be brief, corporations are flakey people. As pointed out before, but in a more general sense, corporations are insincere liars.

Few who pay attention to current events need have pointed out to them the number of cases in which a corporation settles out of court, and in the process is freed from having to admit any wrong doing or responsibility. Corporations are shameless, and seem to experience no psychological dissonance between their neurotic need to be liked and this complete lack of shame.

Some would argue that money is not a proper motivation for the amount of anti-social behavior displayed by many corporations. A corporation will do anything for money, sure, but in many cases the misery corporations are responsible for go into areas perverse as well as inefficient and expensive. It is almost as if corporations like seeing their employees and the communities that host a corporation to suffer, or need it.

I could go on, but do not wish to labor the point further. In my opinion as a Patæconomist, corporations exhibit a majority of the signs of a person with anti-social behavioral disorder. Or more colloquially, corporations are sociopaths.

To many this will be no surprise, but in the pursuit of Patæconomics I cannot leave the psychological features of corporations unexamined. We cannot study the corporation once it is dead, for in the harsh sunlight of insolvency nothing remains of a corporation but a few accounting records, useful in studying how a corporation dies, not how it lives, breathes and thinks. The sociopathy of the corporation is “healthy” for a corporation, even though it is unhealthy for the living and the social.

The Care And Feeding of Corporations

How a person who is bootstrapped into existence by bringing together a collection of highly intelligent social animals (humans) we’ve already covered. But what we still need to unravel, now that we’ve investigated some of the psychological characteristics of the corporation, is its feeding habits. Clearly the corporation’s psychological “health” is bad for living creatures, but what about its need for sustenance? Corporations run on money and indeed need to constantly consume money to maintain health. A corporation not generating revenue in some fashion will not live long. But to understand the physiology of a corporation’s gastronomy, let us first look to its food, money.

Money is popularly defined as a medium of exchange, in the form of bank notes or coins. While this will do to the normal and banal economist, Patæconomist needs a different definition, one that is up to the task of exploring the economics of the non-human. What follows then will be the definition of money used by the Patæconomist,

“Money is the symbolic form of a portion of a human life, of crystalized time”.

I say crystalized time, and not crystalized labor over time, because in today’s world it is becoming increasingly obvious to even the normal economists that human labor is less necessary than ever before, and that Capitalism has seen the rise of useless jobs.

pateconIn an article by David Graeber, “Why Capitalism Creates Pointless Jobs”, he points out in so many words that a consumer and post-scarcity economy are mutually exclusive, and that as machines take on more labor it is a necessary and accidental development that people are more and more engaged in pointless work. Our time is still necessary to the corporation, even though our work may not be. Hence, money is the crystalized time of our lives, whether or not most of us labor, or goof off, or half-ass through our work day. The corporation needs our time, in its crystal form of money.

But a corporation does not just feed on the surplus value created by its employees, nor by remunerating in kind what their work is worth. A corporation also consumes people’s time by selling the products of that labor, but not in the way any Marxist would tell you. When you buy a product from a corporation you give it money it needs, yes. But the time energy flow does not stop with the monetary transaction. Every time you use an appliance, wear a pair of shoes or a piece of clothing, every time you drive a vehicle, you use an item with the corporate egregore’s sigil. And like any talisman, the moments, minutes, hours and days of your life spent using or wearing that talisman are the moments, minutes, hours and days of your life spent charging that talisman. You continue to feed that corporation long after you’ve given it the crystalized portion of your time on this earth.

A corporation that feeds long enough will grow to immense proportions and power. Corporations are the most powerful people on Earth. But not simply because of the money, the time, they consume.

Corporations also cannot be killed like normal people. They continue on, immortal, undying. Some corporations are ancient, and evil. Ancient peoples the world over had words for such beings, beings that do not live but also do not die, who continue on through the ages, who consume your very life force (for what is the time of our lives but our vital energy, our life’s blood?), who’s very thoughts and aims are inimical to life: in the Philippines they are called Aswang, from the Sanskrit word for demon, Baka from Vodun, baobhan sith from Scotland, Bhayangkara from Tibet, Nosferatu in Romania, but we know them well enough when we call them vampires!

Yes, today’s economy is run by the most powerful, and today the most powerful are a new breed of vampire for the 21st century. The legions of the damned slaving away in office cubicles will deny it! But their pale complexion, sunken eyes, and thousand yard stare tell the tale! Our anarchist forebears had it easy! The robber-barons of the past were merely men! Men can be killed simply enough! But these monsters do not die like mortal men, there is no noose or knife or bullet which can strike these people down! What sorcery do we turn to then, what protection can one find from such monsters, who can prowl our very dreams and who have seduced so many with dreams of fame and fortune only to offer slavery and poverty! What wizard with powers to combat these beasts is there?!?!?

Oh, right. We’re all magical here. I guess we all know what to do then. Strike down the images from those talismans! Take back the time of your lives! When you raise that fist, do not do it only to show unity, resolve and revolution, make it also the sign of your abjuration of these foul powers!


Patacelsus

mal1A Discordian for 20 years, Patacelsus finally got comfortable when the 21st century “started getting weird”. When not casting sigils, taking part in Tibetan Buddhist rituals, or studying the unfortunate but sometimes amusing stories of the dead, he’s been known to wander the hidden ways of the city, communing with all of the hidden spirits one can find in a city. As Patacelsus sees it, we’re all already free; after completing the arduous task of waking up to that we can then proceed, like a doctor treating a patient, to try to rouse others from the bitter and frightening nightmares of Archism. He laughs at Samsara’s shadow-play in lovely California, in the company of his wife, two cats, and two birds.


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