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How Might We Undermine the PMC?

How Might We Undermine the PMC?

Fourteen years ago, I wrote a very long article that became the lion’s share of Chapter Two of Keith Farnish’s book Underminers. My article was about the Tools of Disconnection — the cultural mechanisms by which we became disconnected from each other and the more-than-human world, and hence willing and able to endure civilization and all the atrocities that it has perpetrated. The image from the article is reproduced above.

I think the article still holds up, though if I were to rewrite it today it would be a lot less strident and blame-y. We have conditioned each other, the only way we could have, and with the best of intentions, to live in a way that no wild creature would ever tolerate. In so doing, we have created, with civilization, a pressure cooker culture that, tragically, seems to bring out the worst in us.

The tools of our disconnection — our education system, the media, propaganda, marketing, political indoctrination, and just our well-intended conditioning of each other from childhood and throughout our lives (“If you want to succeed in this world, you have to do this“) — have, I would assert, led to behaviours that have made us physically unhealthy, chronically frightened, angry, distrustful, dissatisfied, and traumatized, so that we have been cowed into accepting a culture that has, in just a few millennia, horrifically overpopulated and desolated the planet.

The “management” of this utterly unsustainable culture, which is now rapidly falling apart, has required the evolution of a caste system, much like the horrific system that arises in groups of rats in similar conditions of ghastly overcrowding and scarcity. The top caste has been labeled (by Barbara Ehrenreich in the 1970s) the Professional Managerial Caste, or PMC.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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