How capitalism degenerates our minds

We live in an age of advertising. The goal of marketing is to shove a short, impactful message into our head to make us want something — and before we can rationalise whether or not we need it, the idea is already implanted. We’ve become accustomed to seeing ads everywhere, and especially young people who’ve grown up in late capitalism and on the internet have become conditioned to interpret this omnipresent reality as something to desire, as it ultimately is up to everyone to personally realize how irrelevant most adverts are to them, ultimately forcing everyone to deal with the ballast that has formed in their minds during their most impressionable years.

Intertextuality plays a major role. The mind creates expectations based on previously read texts when approaching additional texts, and there is no escape from seeing dozens of different adverts every day of movement in the real or virtual worlds. As minimalism and impact are preferred means of conveying a business message via an advertising medium, our intertextually functioning minds become accustomed to this simplicity. This leaves the potential of complex critical thinking stunted, as instead of developing our cognitive capabilities and attention span through reading longer texts which do not carry an implicit propagandist agenda of the dominant ideology, we become not unlike panting dogs whose master is offering them a treat for rolling on the floor. And we even learn to revel in it.

Furthermore, as the human brain is wired to seek pleasure, purchasing can easily become a sort of therapy, where one falls into the habit of spending money for short-term gratification. As ironic as it is, these things are just as addictive as drugs yet nobody seems too preoccupied with warning young people about it. Consuming is seen as acceptable as long as it doesn’t undermine our personal financial capabilities. And if it even comes to that, we learn to see errors in ourselves instead of the capitalist world that even has the audacity to present itself as a good one, one that provides salvation in contrast with different ideologies, and one is forced to turn to more spending in hopes of resolving the resulting pathologies.

As dire as it may seem however, oscillation is the natural order of the world, and all things that sustain wear are bound to innovate themselves and become more aligned with the natural order of our collective survival enterprise. What does not serve its function properly will inherently be replaced or fixed to better align with our needs and nature. The first step, however, is to realize there is something wrong, and to bring these issues into public discourse.