Another cartoon: a figure with the head of a boar with its snarling lips and prominent tusks, the body and dress of a regular corporate office worker, listlessly drumming with one drumstick in one hand while another hand supports his head in the universal pose of boredom. The caption:
“The Boar-Drum of the Modern Wage Slave.”
That’s about what all of this technological and institutional worldwide culture gets us to: all the now hyper-stylized graduations, the trillions of student debt, the amazing communications technology, the globe-circling cables and massive libraries of thought and art: preposterous days of alienated non-labor.
Who is in charge of this inane present? Of course this is simply the agglomerated outcome of all prior human civilization, and if it has runs its course against the impending finality of species extinction, then that is simply the end result. According to David Callahan’s fairly centrist book The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age, our culture has become a sandbox for competing billionaire foundations. These royal scions and heiresses do not all play in one corner of the box, but they control all the toys, the movements of the toys, and the lack of alternatives to sandbox play. So there are huge displays of fascistic influence by the Kochs and the old-money philanthropies, but there are also some liberalish pockets of competing big-money endowments, but it still just sandbox games.
This is a constrained, fairly hideous arrangement of social domination by lunatics and psychopaths and their kin and progeny, but the morass is so total that it can be hard to discern. Here is one example: a fairly benign yet ambitious purveyor of academic journalism called The Conversation takes money from a sinister mega-moneybags cult, the Lilly Foundation, which is dedicated to worming religious propaganda into academic discourse. The Conversation publishes a corner of its wide-ranging website as “Ethics/Religion,” as if the two are even within shouting distance of each other, and publishes nonsense apologia from a unfrocked “Professor of Public Policy”: https://theconversation.com/arguments-why-god-very-probably-exists-75451.
A few commenters revolt against this malevolent infiltration of fact-connected academic journalism, but it’s the work of our supersystem, its veneration of money above all else, that is the real villain. The Lilly Foundation, the Conversation, and the hack professor would have gotten nowhere separately, but let the billionaires run free, and this is what we get : enshrined, feted, money-fattened promulgation of stupidity. No wonder “Boar-drum” is all that an honest person can do to make a buck.