Something happened to a small group of subsistence hunter and gatherers 10,000 years ago. A mutation? A tiny congenital malformation of the prefrontal cortex? Brain damage from exposure to a botanical neurotoxin? Or maybe it was a chance side-effect of the capacity for symbolic representation, part of our linguistic development, and the fact that it happened 10,000 years ago instead of 100,000 years ago or yesterday is just a statistical detail. Whatever the initial source, the resulting lifestyle changes spread like a potent contagion, rapidly out-competing all other modes of being in the world, to the point now where the drive to domesticate has become a defining feature of human action. Human history is a story of the domestication of the world. The rise of the global technoindustrial complex is very likely the final chapter in human history, threatening the end of wild nature, and the conquest of all that remains wild in the human soul.
It is to government’s advantage that people think of themselves as citizens. It is to the corporate world’s advantage that people think of themselves as consumers. Globalization has led to the corporate assimilation of all world governments, which leaves only consumers.
For those of us who would be revolutionaries against the system, the advanced state of domestication of the human mind can be turned to our advantage. As consumers, “civilized” people are sheep who are largely controlled by corporate propaganda, a fairly unsophisticated from of psychological manipulation.
We might start by resurrecting the idea of human dignity. But the idea of human dignity has leverage only when people think of themselves as human beings. And there is some considerable volatility in convincing people to see themselves as human beings.
The system has no use for human beings.