[Marxism] Question on alienation and anxiety

Rachel Mendoza aka at cts.com
Sat May 8 23:14:04 MDT 2004


Tony brings up many interesting points. I am still working on this model,
but I thought I'd throw it out there and see what the Marxists think.

To stay alive we must must cycle the energy: think of the three dimensions:

1) Consume energy (eating/drinking)
2) Burn energy (movement/exercise)
3) Restore energy (rest/sleep/human contact/sexuality)

We do those three things to stay alive. In the "civilized" world, all of us
(judging by the fact that you have enough time to read this message) operate
basically in the fourth realm or dimension. I believe it was Dick Gregory
who said the three main CAUSES of sickness in the West are: dehydration,
sleep deprivation, and lack of movement. (I realize Dick isn't certified by
any medical group; spare me the notification)

Ok, so we don't have to worry about these three categories, which brings us
to number four:

4) Potential energy (creativity/morality/history/future)

In this fourth realm, humans have decided that the flow of nature must be
controlled. And this, I feel, is why so much pain and hate is present in the
world today. This 4th category is non-unifying in that one person's morality
or history is very different from the next person.

Is there hope? Yes. Because all of us have 1-3 in common. Basic human
instincts that unite us and tie us to Nature. I'm not advocating going back
to "primitive" times, however, embracing the moment would seem to elimate
confusion regarding history (what Marx REALLY said) versus confusion
regarding the future (where we are HEADED. So I pose the question: if we
must learn from history, why shouldn't we learn from the future?

"The dynamics of capitalism is postponement of enjoyment to the constantly
postponed future." -Norman O. Brown
((in fact, I would even substitute the word "civilization" or perhaps "blind
ambition" for "capitalism"))

[note: I have not read much of Brown, but I did enjoy this quote]

Rachel Mendoza

PS - For those of you from Left Hook reading this, I apologize if I am
repeating myself (hopefully Louis doesn't give me the boot for being off
topic)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tony Abdo" <gojack10 at hotmail.com>
To: <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Saturday, May 08, 2004 7:44 PM
Subject: [Marxism] Question on alienation and anxiety


> Overeating is linked to depression, boredom, and inactivity.  All this is
> also linked, in general, to poor physical health.  Conisder overeating to
be
> an effort to self treat for depression.  However, more severe depression
can
> actually lead to appetite suppression.  The mere fact of going through
with
> it to consume an adequate meal is more effort than a severely depressed 
> person may feel capable of doing.  And a severly depressed individual
does
> not want the social contact associated with meal consumption.
> 
> One can say, that in some sense, capitalist society takes the large 
> depressed mass of worker-consumers and offers fast food as quick
medication
> for their depression, leading to profits for some, and obesity for the 
> consumers.  And like other addictive meds, a larger and larger dose is
often
> needed to continue to reach the same effects of relieveing the continued 
> depressed state. Each buffet must be bigger, and a bigger bargain to
boot.
> 
> Alcohol is often described in the medical community as a an effort to
self
> medicate for depression.   It also is a food, and as a food substance is 
> frequently overconsumed leading to obesity.  But all food in a large
sense,
> is considered relief from pressure. That's why feasts are the centerpiece
of
> holidays. Thanksgiving is seen as having made it through the harvest
season
> without a disaster, and now lets relieve ourselves from our previous 
> worries!  A stuffed bird then leads to stuffing ourselves.
> 
> There have been many studies of what the specific motives of overeating
are.
> These studies have been done already.  But often wrong conclusions are
drawn
> from study results.  Instead of seeing obesity flowing from depression, 
> often the reverse is seen as the principle thing learned.  Conclusions of
> these studies will state the obvious, that obese people often suffer 
> depression, too.  But will fail to state that it was depression that 
> actually was the major factor for so many to become overweight in the
first
> place.
> 
> As usual with medical problems, the whole medical effort to 'fight
obesity'
> under capitalism centers often times around developing new meds to change
> chemical processes in the body. That way McDonalds and KFC can continue
to
> go about business, and controlling weight will become strictly the 
> individual's responsibility, in coordination with the doctor and the 
> pharmacist.  Nobody now really expects the weight loss centers and
athletic
> clubs to do much more for health than tanning salons are capable of. 
Paying
> for one's activity at a gym now competes with running freely in the
street,
> or bicycling there, and risking one's life that the body doesn't collide 
> with a car, or break an ankle from bad pavement, etc.
> 
> It is considered subversive to say that depression has become a mass 
> phenomena.  And if one can't say that, then how can it be shown that 
> depression is the principle causative factor to consumer
consumption,without
> being subversive to society?  No top echelon doctor wants to be that, a 
> subversive!  To do so is suicide, and not so hot for the pocketbook,
either.
> 
> Tony




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