As it is difficult to believe in the real world, we believe in unreal phenomena. And we believe with all our hearts which would otherwise – without that faith – quite certainly break.
The total working time throughout eight working weeks is one million and one hundred and fifty-two thousand seconds. And that’s not ‘so what’…
The American Congress of Trade Unions recently calculated that a worker employed in a warehouse of the company Amazon needs four weeks to earn as much as Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, earns in one second. So, in the historically progressive 21st century, one individual earns a million and a half times more than the other who is employed by the former. And that’s not all, because:
An Amazon worker is paid $18 an hour. Which makes them a kind of working bourgeoisie, considering that this is, for example, almost seven times more than the average hourly wage in, say, Serbia – 2.2 euros. Let’s play with numbers again: aside from whatever he has in terms of wealth and capital, Jeff Bezos earns almost eight million times more (7,737,313) than workers in Serbia, in one second. Jeff Bezos is, therefore, a person who deserves a cult of his own. Not even a personality, he’s a living, breathing deity.
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Many learned people claim we have entered a new, to say the least interesting, epoch. Its name is Techno-feudalism. Simply put, it is a social order in which more than 99% of the population turns into permanently poor or temporarily rich ‘serfs’, and they are all ruled by less than 1% of techno-feudal lords.
Pacified by the illusion of the existence of a middle class, blinded by the loss of all professional and life security, modern serfs became believers, firmly determined to dedicate themselves to the newly formed cults. The cult of possession, the cult of beauty, the cult of fitness and wellness, the cult of believing in conspiracies… and I guess at the intersection of all those numerous cults – the new and the newest – we’ve got modernized Cults of personality.
For a start, personalities are now famous and of diverse titles. Influencers, opinionists, Instagrammers, YouTubers, Tik-Tokers, celebrities, athletes, musicians, actors, ‘fashion icons’ and ‘style icons’… Each of these numerous people have their own admirers, followers, believers. Unlike earlier personality cults, now, in addition to our love for Them, the emphasis is on how They love the same things as We do. Or at least they tell us what we should love. And we buy, of course. From the money we earned during our working hours.
Anyhow, these and similar Cults also created the Culture of neo-feudalism in which we live now. Wealth, fame and power have their blinded followers, who neither pay attention nor see that the former propaganda has turned into today’s hypnosis, and that (sorry Marx) the former ‘opium for the masses’ has returned decentralized, glamorous and massive. As it is difficult to believe in the real world, we believe in unreal phenomena. And we believe with all our hearts which would otherwise – without that faith – quite certainly break.
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Contemporary political Cults of personality, based on all of the above, are a logical complementary continuation of our newly divine religions, mixed in with a little help from the previously known material. But I have to say, it’s a very small amount. Modern Stalins, Mussolinis or Maos only resemble the previously known totalitarian patterns at first glance, but they actually have much better packaging, bow included.
There is nothing inside the packaging of our ideological Rihannas and Justin Biebers, but there are many of them. Global or local Bezos’, both small and large monetary (and other) heroes of this era – a beautiful, colorful gathering of the new feudal oligarchy. All of them are kept together by the benefit gained when the shiny foil of the Cult of the Leading Celebrity finally delivers its impact on an anonymous peasant-voter.
Therefore, this is not about the Cult of Personality, but about the Cult of Similarity. And it serves to make it impossible to come to the conclusion that everything has changed, and that only the Leader is still a bit reminiscent of the Leader whom we knew before. And the poorer we are, the more alike they seem.
We wouldn’t be working for 2.2 euros an hour otherwise.