Table showing the matrix of memetic production on a societal level.
The columns represent the principle identity of the meme-producers, those in charge who control memetic production and thus shape the identity of the populations they control. Roughly speaking it’s chronological left to right, due to the order of the emergence of the three spheres of identity.
The rows represent the class of memes used in the execution of the aims of the ruling minority. Thus, territory memes are memes born of territory identity (words, concepts, symbology etc) and so on.
Principle identity of meme-producers (the ruling minority monopoly)
COSMOS TERRITORY COMMODITY
Nature of the
COSMOS Religious cleansing Expansionist wars Modern Evangelicals
Early Holy Wars of civilisations
TERRITORY Colonialism Neo-Colonialist
Nationalism (post- 1945)
COMMODITY Unfettered Capitalism.
Notice the lack of entries in the bottom/left side of the matrix. This is largely due to the rough chronology of the succession of the three identity types. Though not impossible to fulfill in theory, I believe it unlikely simply due to the nature of each successive identity type to subvert those it seeks to replace. Thus religious leaders wish to lead, and political leaders wish to get rich etc. (power corrupts)
I should point out that this matrix is vastly simplified (I’m on Word FFS) and that both axis should be treated as a spectrum with no definite boundaries. For instance, Neo-colonialism should be smeared in a bell-curve situated slightly to the left, reflecting the mix of nationalist and commodity that is the driving force of neo-colonialism. So to can colonialism itself be smeared across all three identities since both the memes and the rulers, although intensely nationalistic, were both also tinged with the objectives and memes of religion and personal wealth (the first inklings of widespread commodity identity)
Notice also how those most destructive elements (fundamentalist religious cleansing, nationalism and the horrors of the 20th century wars) are those that no longer need to use old memes and identities to rationalize their actions and instead are able to define for themselves what is right and what is wrong. The Nazis are the obvious example, who required nearly 10 years of nationalist indoctrination to under any sense of humanity. If this is allowed to happen, there is no checks and balances in the memetic variance of the population because there is no memetic variance,
This raises an obvious warning, that perhaps the next big evil that follows religious fundamentalism and unbridled nationalism is that of the unchallenged capitalist. As most of us outside of America know (and plenty inside too I’m sure), what runs America is not democracy as is found in the dictionary but money. Books such as Tales of an Economic Hitman and Shock Doctrine amongst thousands of others, as well as the testimony of millions around the world, makes it clear that industry and commerce (or to put it more accurately the commodity-identified people that own it) have subverted the state for their own ends, to the point of becoming indistinguishable. The same people switch between territory (politics) and commodity (big business) with such regularity that they have become the same group. This is not limited to the U.S and I point to the convergence of the language used over the last 20-30 years as evidence for the merging of the two ruling identities.
This is dangerous. The urge for greater power drove identities to shift from a cosmic to territorial basis. Commodity is doing the same now. The commodity identity is not bound by borders, the world is his or her oyster. The power is far greater since you’ve seen for yourself that money rules the world. This is a slippery slope, since a ruling elite that doesn’t feel bound by the (supposedly) agreed upon basis for national rule (international law, civil rights, everything we’ve fought for for the last 2000 years…) is one that starts to define itself.
This is already happening. The central tenet of commodity based identity, the thing that made it successful, was freedom. This concept, particularly in the U.S, has been intimately tied to the concept of modern capitalism ever since the end of WW2. Now, whenever the ‘other’ is attacking, the ruling elite point to the need to protect freedom. They tell us to go shopping. The commodity identity regards itself as protector of individual freedom, a far more flexible and abstract notion than the well-being of a nations people and one that is not bound by nations borders. It’s exportable. Corporations already have the rights of a person. If capitalism is allowed to define itself (and it’s doing a good job of it in LA, I can tell you) and shed the limits of its former guise of territory, then I dread to think what could happen.
This is obviously dependent on the commodity based ruling elite retaining memetic monopoly. We can only hope that the internet has arrived in time to stave of what would otherwise, I believe, be an inevitable outcome.
Lastly, yes, I am being slightly disingenuous with regard to modern evangelicals. I have no doubt that there are indeed evangelicals out there in it for the money, but then there are those for whom the motivation is cosmic and yet has to work with a world dominated by commodity. It still deserves to be there though, since they represent the creators of a very real, very insular, ‘one-to-many’ power dynamic, as with the others.
I think that those times of progress in the past are those that have had a balance between the three identities. The trading, political, myth telling people of Greece are a good example, as well as after Church and state had split in enlightenment Europe. This is simply because it creates the greatest mixing, and that is the take home lesson of this blog. Memetic mixing is the most objectively moral task I can think of, memetic homogeny the most utterly immoral.