The Ultimate Commodity

  • The Ultimate Commodity

    Posted by Peter Barus on October 27, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    Community is that state in which everyone’s attention is focused in common, in collective awareness.

    The object of attention—but that only describes a feeding frenzy. The focus of Community attention is not an object.

    It is Awareness: living, ephemeral, fluid, emergent, immersive, relational, reverberative, momentary. Shared consciousness. Collective experience. A common reality.

    The normal condition for herds, packs, pods, prides, schools, flocks, troupes, and tribes. The social function of dancing, song, adornment, imagery, and eventually, language.

    The practice and experience of Community is the source and medium of society, aka, Love.

    But in “A world in which each individual is cut off… only the power of value, invested in the monetary object, allows the existence of a social life… It reunites separated individuals by building for them a common horizon, the desire for money, and a common language, that of accounts.”—André Orléan (paraphrased translation by Howard Richards), L’Empire de la valeur : Refonder l’économie. Paris : Seuil, 2011.

    With the advent of this Basic Cultural Structure—a crude substitute for Natural Law—of property, promises, and profits, everything was quickly named, measured, quantified, and evaluated. This terrible loss and disorientation we call Scarcity. To navigate this artificial terrain, we have accounting. The vital necessity of Relationship is still available—but no longer necessary—and only for rent.

    What became of Community then?

    When “Only the power of value…allows the existence of a social life”?

    Nothing could be spoken of, listened-for, even perceptible, except in terms of transactions in, or seen as, measurable in time and distance.

    Dignity was the first to go. And now, Attention itself is on the block.

    Everyone’s Attention is the ultimate prize. To be the ultimate object of that object is the Golden Ring on this merry-go-round.

    The direct route to obtaining that object is mind-numbing terror.

    The following is from my raw notes, attending an online conversation, Iain McGilchrist and Philip Goyal (2023-05-10):

    IM: mistake to think in terms of things; always process;

    PG: an object is located at a region; a strange idea, not there in geometry;

    IM: the really interesting thing here is that its past and its future is all in potential; and we’re looking for the actual; a collapse of this field of potential;

    love is not measurable or manipulable;

    “higher than actuality stands potential” (heidegger)

    always uncertainty/possibility

    PG squeezing out potential is saying a thing has no memory of its past;

    time slows down when things get very intense, a psycho-physical parallel…

    IM: an ambiguity… mindfulness is to lose the tension of intent… if you stand by a river you can see the flow, but if you are in the water you don’t see movement;

    Peter Barus replied 7 months ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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