by Ben G. Price BenGPrice@aol.com
"The Muses have forsaken Parnassus and are divinities no longer. They are but divers manifestations of the expedient Reason has always employed to find a way into the mind of man." -- Valincourt
To become conscious of unconscious oppression is not to discover any new texts or histories. It is to see the old ones with new eyes. To recognize a condition as being oppressive is a circumstance verging on automatic liberation from the oppression: it is a condition like that of the fully developed butterfly awakening to the interior view of the chrysalis. Until it awakens to its new form, it can not know its cocoon as a prison. What had once protected and permitted its safe development now threatens its new form with extinction if the shell is not torn and abandoned.
Caterpillars around the world may gasp in horror at such blasphemy. The chrysalis is not a lowly thing to be shucked and abandoned; it is the end reward for a just life of munching and grazing in the vineyard of the lord! This truth is their truth. It belongs to them and is as inseparable from their being as are the many stub legs upon which they walk. It is irrefutable, because it is the source of their certainty and optimism. It is the strange attractor that exists unseen in the unknown future. Unknown but for the certain fact that they each munch and march toward a secure, a beautiful, a mummifying chrysalis in which all their imperfections will vanish. Beyond this knowledge they know nothing and desire to know nothing.
Meanwhile the butterflies within their now oppressive cocoons are agitating for more: they want some space, some elbow room. A chance to spread their wings. Just knowing that it can be done seems to have replaced the silk-shrouded faith they once had that nothing more would ever be required. But outside, beyond the suffocating hardened shell of the chrysalis, an unnatural procession has been assembled. A mob of faithful caterpillars is writhing on the limb, clinging to denuded branches, posturing in battle pose, threatening the jostling cocoon not to open, not to emit from the consecrated sarcophagus of an ancestral caterpillar the thing within, the thing that knows not obedience to the old laws.
A command is legitimized by obedience. It has no other substance and no firm existence without the legitimation of being obeyed. A command ignored becomes a lone desire unfulfilled. Now, in the context of the discussion as it has been carried on in the first two parts of this essay, the origin of human authority and command can be traced back to the "beginning" as it was defined by the Elohist author of the Old Testament Book of Genesis: "In the beginning was the Word." It was in the first dawning of language that an idea born in the head of one person could be transplanted and take root in the head of another. Language permitted the infection of ideas, the communicable spreading of subjective experiences among individuals. And the vector of language, by way of memes, became established as a social organelle. Much as early infectious organisms are thought to have become incorporated in the primitive cell as mitochondria and golgi bodies and other sub-cellular components of more recent microorganisms, language and the infection by subjective experience beyond the individual became incorporated in the individual as a newly gained natural capacity. And, as in the case of microorganic evolution, humans have incorporated language as a functioning part of their behavioral repertoire gradually, honing its range of effectiveness over time.
The command is one of the earliest forms of linguistic communication, and its vestiges in modern human social intercourse unavoidably form a bridge to long-ago yesterdays in which individual intelligence and the social sovereignty of the citizen that has evolved but recently in democratic societies were non-existent. Now we live in a time when those vestiges are strong, and being nurtured back to health by virtue of some of the very tools that seemed only a short while ago to promise the flowering of reason, and the mastery of fate, and the awakening of the mind from its long slumber in the fields of unknowing, in the company of the beasts. Historian Paul Hazard says of the "age of enlightenment,"
"Never was there a greater contrast, never a more sudden transition than this! An hierarchical system ensured by authority; life firmly based on dogmatic principle--such were the things held dear by the people of the seventeenth century; but these--controls, authority, dogmas and the like--were the very things that their immediate successors of the eighteenth held in cordial detestation. The former were upholders of Christianity; the latter were its foes. The former believed in the laws of God; the latter in the laws of nature; the former lived contentedly enough in a world composed of unequal social grades; of the latter the one absorbing dream was Equality." -- Paul Hazard, The European Mind 1680- 1715, p.xv
To say that the awakening of modern ego consciousness occurred during the years of ferment that was the enlightenment would be an unfocused assertion. Julian Jaynes surmised that the dawn of ego consciousness was a gradual thing, but likely first appeared in noticeable numbers among individuals of a human population in that era just preceding recorded history, about 3000 years ago. The enlightenment was more likely the symptomatic eruption of a long-fermenting intellectual brightening. The loosening of the authoritarian grip of the religious hegemony of the Roman church brought an awareness of the wider world to the orthodoxy-narrowed minds of common people. The continent-spanning theocracy was a victim of its own impulse toward empire, opening itself up, as it expanded, to cultural infection by memes that were distinctly challenging to the Christian orthodoxy.
Certainly the orthodoxy's reactionary behavior to challenges to its legitimacy preceded the culminating era of individuated consciousness we call the "enlightenment." Without exaggeration we can say that from the moment a human mind became consciously aware without the interloping of a bicameral voice, theocracies were established to prevent the spread or legitimization of the memes, thoughts and ideas that might be generated without authorization. Communication of subjective experience and knowledge that differed from official, authorized, god-generated knowledge was to be forbidden, eradicated, and punished without sympathy if rebelliously practiced. The barbarity of the Inquisition is a case in point. The case histories of countless victims of that psychological "cleansing" have been preserved in detail, and the reader is recommended to Carlo Ginzburg's book The Cheese and The Worms for the story of Menocchio, who in 1599 was burned at the stake for daring to quench an iconoclastic curiosity with unorthodox knowledge. His "crime" was the construction of a personal cosmology based on the books he had read and the ideas he had generated from them over a lifetime.
Obviously there were minds capable of doubting the legitimacy of the commands emanating from Rome well before Rousseau's writing in the French vernacular granted popular permission to the masses to reject the cultural hierarchy lock, stock, and barrel. In fact, the ability to spread memes (today we call them "sound bites") was vastly expanded with the invention of the printing press around 1439. And as texts that were once only available in Latin and Greek (the languages learned only by the elect in the social hierarchy) became translated and commonly available in the vernacular (common languages), the contagion of ideas spread more rapidly. The "voices" in the head of the commoner use to be those of the priest, the king's "spokesman," the town crier, or some other official. With the new availability of books in a language anyone could learn to read, he could also hear the voices of philosophers, satirists, and if done secretively, blasphemers and heretics!
The French and American revolutions were the culmination of this process of popularizing (royalists might say "bastardizing") knowledge. Education became for a while, among liberal- minded populations, a thing to be much desired as a tool for liberating the people from the unconscious oppression of aristocratic and clerical tradition. Gustave LeBon, who published his "The Crowd, A Study of the Popular Mind" in 1895, saw in liberal education a corrupting influence that would after hard experience yield to a more tradition-weighted schooling "capable of inducing our young men to return to the fields, to the workshop, and to the colonial enterprise which they avoid to-day at all costs." (P87) Paul Hazard comments on the unparalleled output of authors during the enlightenment. Significantly, poetry, the speech of the Muses, all but died-out during these years of rational frenzy. But prose piled-up like columns to support the intellectual architecture of a new era. And schools were established for the general education of the "masses" away from the authoritarian traditions of the past. Dourly, LeBon wrote, "the acquisition of knowledge for which no use can be found is a sure method of driving a man to revolt." The question certainly becomes: "whose use?"
The unsettling and unfamiliar consequences of any process of "progress" are, alas, unavoidable and readily damned, with a quick declaration that we must all reclaim divine righteousness as our guide. The conservative impulse to reestablish hierarchies and authorities that are suddenly seen, in the bewildering and stressful circumstances of any "modernity," to have been unwisely and immorally overturned: this is the unshakable albatross that attests to the tenacity of our bicameral past, and it is embodied in the puritanical striving against the opening of the mind, for fear that it will be crushed by the very gods that have been chased out of it.
As with Rome and its expansion of empire into the New World, the expansion of the empire of reason into the new worlds of science, commerce, and politics has once again expanded the medium by which memes can impregnate minds with thoughts not their own. But it has not been an impulse toward liberation that has harnessed these new tools in recent years. Not only in the technology of electronics, but in the realm of politics itself, and the psychology of commerce, we see the clever invention of new cocoons for the shrouding of minds and the reestablishment of the kingdom of the gods on earth. This retrenchment will be the focus of our attention as we pursue the evolution of modern consciousness out of the pre-historic, the historic past, and into the a- historic present.
In Part 2 I quoted Erich Auerbach's discussion of the one-dimensionality of mentality seen in the characters encountered in two of the oldest works of literature, Homer's Iliad and the Elohist's tale of Abraham in the book of Genesis. You will recall that only perceptions of the immediate moment came to the foreground, and reflection on past and future were wholly absent, except as the histories of objects and personages that came into present view were recited, as if mini-epics in their own right, fixing the object or person in the eternal present. I am about to argue that this bicameral mentality remains active to this day, and here is Wyndham Lewis, a conservative voice of early twentieth century letters and criticism, describing one of the most prominent arenas in which bicameral mentality not only survives, but is nourished, nurtured, and has shown alarming signs of returning to dominate human mental functions. I refer to the realm of commercial advertising:
"The world in which Advertisement dwells is a one-day world. It is necessarily a plane universe, without depth. Upon this Time lays down discontinuous entities, side by side; each day, each temporal entity, complete in itself, with no perspectives, no fundamental exterior reference at all. In this way the structure of human life is entirely transformed, where and in so far as this intensive technique gets a psychologic ascendency. The average man is invited to slice his life into a series of one-day lives, regulated by the clock of fashion. The human being is no longer the unit. He becomes the containing frame for a generation or sequence of ephemerids, roughly organized into what he calls his 'personality.' Or the highly organized human mind finds its natural organic unity degraded into a worm-like extension, composed of a segmented, equally distributed, accentless life. Each segment, each fashion-day (as the day of this new creature could be called) must be organically self-sufficing.
"In the world of Advertisement, everything that happens to-day (or everything that is being advertised here and now) is better, bigger, brighter, more astonishing than anything that has ever existed before. The psychology that is required of the public to absorb this belief in the marvelous one and only -- monist, unique, superlative, exclusive -- fact (immediately obliterating all other beliefs and shutting the mind to anything that may happen elsewhere or to-morrow) is a very rudimentary one indeed. The best subject for such a seance would be a polyp, evidently. An individual looking, with his intellect, before and after, seeing far too much at a time for the requirements of the advertiser or hypnotist, is not at all the affair of Advertisement. For the essence of this living-in-the-moment and for-the-moment -- of submission to a giant hyperbolic close-up of a moment -- is, as we have indicated, to banish all individual continuity. You must, for a perfect response to this instantaneous suggestion, be the perfect sensationalist -- what people picture to themselves, for instance, as the perfect American. Your personality must have been chopped down to an extremely low level of purely reactionary life. Otherwise you are of no use to the advertiser. If there were many like you, he would soon be put out of business." -- Wyndham Lewis, Time and Western Man, pp. 12-13
It seems evident that advertisers, far from being "put out of business," have instead flourished and perfected their craft of chopping-up human mental life into fashion days that substitute the superlative admonitions of the sales-huxter for the bicameral commands of prehistoric internal deities. Lewis's observations concerning 'Advertisement,' published as they were in 1928, would likely have been extended and demonstrated more completely had they been made more recently. He had no idea at the time how immeasurably more powerful and ubiquitous advertising would become throughout the world, and in every moment of waking life, with the invention and commercial cooption of the technologies of radio, and television, cinema, CDs, video games, telephone, and every conceivable means of invading private lives with 'privatized' reality. The unavoidable voice of the saleman is everywhere, like Abraham's god, speaking out of the darkness, out of the very air, with no visible means of connecting the source entitiy to the continuum in which we dwell.
Advertising is the exemplary of modern bicamerality. But it is an exemplary among a plethora of examples of human behavior in which a passive listener receives a message from a presumed superior with the expectation of conformity to the suggestion. The centrality of this issue to the behavioral norms of modern life is dramatic. The question is: how can it be shown that consciousness remains a rare state of mind among contemporary humans, and that what Julian Jaynes described as the bicameral mind not only survives, but is understood and acted upon by motivation experts in commercial and political endeavors as the preferred and promoted common mentality of the majority at all times?
If language is made up of words, and if words are what people think with, then if we study the words in any particular language, we should be able to learn something about the psychology of the people who speak and use it. For instance, a large number of words for one thing or a closely related class of things would tend to indicate that people using that language think more often about those things than about others for which there are few words. Or perhaps they do not more often think about them, but rather they experience more nuances and hence are more in the presence of the things for which their vocabulary has been expanded to describe. Eskimos, for instance, have an impressive and expansive vocabulary of words which all refer to snow. We might, then, ask ourselves what phenomena we have defined and nuanced in language to a greater extent than others. And I would like to suggest that one such concept in the English language embraces a single phenomenon in many guises. Consider these characteristics, and then see if they all apply to the list of terms below. The thing these words describe is a social situation in which:
-- one person speaks to another.
-- no two-way discussion occurs.
-- the speaker infuses the listener with ideas.
-- the listener is passive.
-- obedience, acceptance or conformity is expected of the listener.
Now consider a non-exhaustive list of words other than "advertisement" that apply to these conditions:
suggestion persuasion commercial announcement lionize hypnotism conversion infotainment public relations dictate propaganda brain washing entertainment inform proclaim proselytize preach order indoctrinate sound bite promulgate campaign decree promote infomercial educate hype mandate jingoism testimonial rhetoric sales pitch direct bait and hook bait and switch incite command tease titillate mesmerize punditry pull poll push poll demand rally lecture sloganize insist patronize lobby intimidate instill arm twist influence advance amuse directive market posture positioning demagoguery ultimatum inspire sensationalize desensitize disinform deceive lie anathematize speechify rabble rouse polemicize demonize defame ostracize delegitimize ridicule bamboozle trick fool oblige prescribe proscribe forbid blame indict summon chastise correct call on the carpet
In 1990, the future Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, had his political action committee, GOPAC, circulate a pamphlet that listed psychologically active words that were to be used by Republicans in a psy-war campaign to gain the House majority in the upcoming congressional elections. Any resemblance between my list and Mr. Gingrich's is superficial, since I hope to empower all alike with mine, while Mr. Gingrich had a shorter list of beneficiaries. The pamphlet was titled Language, A Key Mechanism of Control. We can not be certain of its effectiveness except to note that the outcome complied with the Speaker's predictions.
With varying intonations and nuances, the terms I have listed above can all be used to indicate a communicative circumstance in which the manufacture of consent and/or compliance is desired by the acting party. The "manufacture of consent," as Noam Chomsky calls it, is based on the engineering of the psychology of one person or group of persons by another. Knowing the rudiments of human motivation gives the conscious schemer the necessary tools to manipulate whole populations of people, to drive them like a herd toward a common goal chosen by their conscious shepherd.
The calculated use of the vestiges of bicameral reverence for authority, and susceptibility to auditory commands and "subliminal suggestion," gives great power and leverage to those awake enough not to, themselves, be similarly manipulated and herded. Icons, emotive symbols that feed nostalgia for divine authorization, as well as libido-stimulating images that motivate behavior from lower down on the brain stem: these are the weights that forcibly hold the mind in the chrysalis of bicameral pre-consciousness.
Bicamerality, like vestigial toes, is an inseparable part of human phylogeny. Toes that once grasped branches in the arboreal habitat of our ancestors now help us balance an evolved upright stride. And the brain that once, triggered by stress, heard voices instructing and commanding a responsive behavior now is capable of both passive automatism and conscious thought in which many freely "learned voices" instruct and command choice and judgement.
Obedience and conformity are characteristic habits of human social behavior. In every personal choice that we attribute to the workings of free will there is a dimension and a depth of influence for which we seldom take account or attribute to it the strength of its authority. Modern psychologists, following Freud's theory, have named the mysterious author of our motivations the "unconscious mind." Central to Freud's theory of the unconscious is the supposed creation of a repository of hidden thoughts by way of active repression of ideas considered too painful or hostile to individual ego integrity to allow them an existence in the conscious realm. But this seems just the reverse of what historical and semiotic evidence tells us, not to mention common sense. For it is those "repressed" ideas that, according to Freud, account for the disintegration or malfunctioning of the ego in cases of psychological pathology.
Consciousness, as Julian Jaynes has illustrated, is not top-down where, as Freud's interpretation requires, the already conscious mind protects itself through repression of untenable thoughts. Instead, the unconscious (or subconscious) activities of the older regions of the brain (in terms of evolution) influence and dictate to the younger, less rigid and hence more fragile conscious activities of the cerebral cortex. And it is at the crossroads of human mental development, from preconscious ancestor to ego conscious historical human, that the "voice" of internalized language begins to speak, at first from one cerebral hemisphere to the other, whence it was interpreted as unseen gods. And later as the voice of conscience created out of the memory of every reprimand or command ever heard by the individual from authorities. Elias Canetti refers to this command induced "conscience" as the Sting, and James Joyce calls it The Agenbite of Inwit. Later still, as we hear its omnipresent drone today, the mind-colonizing voice of commercialism is on the verge of becoming the ubiquitous conscience and pseudo-consciousness of the "developed" and "developing" worlds.
The tenacity of bicameral mentality, or its vestiges, is not obvious until pointed out and brought to our conscious attention. Prior to their contextualization in this essay, the above list of bicameral reference words would not have evoked on their own their hidden commonality. Consciousness relies on the device of language. Language allows us to hold an idea, including the idea of the self or ego, in the present moment and extend awareness of the idea into the immediate future, because language makes artifacts of ideas, by attaching to them representative symbols which we can subsequently manipulate and place in combinations, as creatively as we may, with other ideas and words. It is simply not possible to be conscious of an idea for which no words apply. Likewise, it is impossible to remain conscious of an idea for which the applicable words have been vandalized through the distortions of propaganda and disinformation. We are again reminded of Mr. Gingrich's pamphlet, which he authored in order to instruct his colleagues how to control people through the manipulation of language.
The conscious project of removing established "referents" (the agreed-on things to which words refer) from association with words and yet retaining those words as hollow icons through which authorities may speak with impunity: this is the project of the tyrant. Shrouding their will to manipulate in the symbolism of words gutted of their original meaning, the authoritarian leader uses jingoism and jingle promotions, sloganeering and platitudes to replace individualized conscious judgement with a collectivized public "morality" which serves the needs of the tyrant by dictating the limits of thought and behavior. As a result, the unconscious takes over the evacuated territory of consciousness vanquished. People become unconscious of the source of their motivations. The commands and suggestions of the faceless gods of commerce and politics are mistaken for personalized tastes and preferences. Citizens are transformed into consumers and voters. The self disappears.
The command of the bicameral gods persists in sublimated form. Actors are enticed, with the power symbolism of money, to perform the oracular function of "product spokesmen." Press secretaries stand-in as icons of the absent (hence invisible) authority of a public official who is above being questioned directly by the ostensible information gatherers of the people, "the press." The press of the masses. The authority crushing curiosity of conscious citizens. To humor the demand for accountability, authority fronts with icons and vocalizing statuettes, and statuesque actors and actresses who "represent the essence" of the expert, the authority, the best proprietors of public goods and the public good. The glamour of Madison Avenue is just that: an industry of spell-casting for hire by all who have the clout to command its service to a focused will.
The essentially religious character of the trance into which the majority are lured has nothing to do with spiritual matters and everything to do with the obliquely recorded history of human mental evolution. Gustave LeBon tells us:
"All founders of religious or political creeds have established them solely because they were successful in inspiring crowds with those fanatical sentiments which have as result that men find their happiness in worship and obedience and are ready to lay down their lives for their idol. This has been the case at all epochs. Fustel de Coulanges, in his excellent work on Roman Gaul, justly remarks that the Roman Empire was in no wise maintained by force, but by the religious admiration it inspired. 'It would be without a parallel in the history of the world,' he observes rightly, 'that a form of government held in popular detestation should have lasted for five centuries....It would be inexplicable that the thirty legions of the Empire should have constrained a hundred million men to obedience.' The reason for their obedience was that the Emperor, who personified the greatness of Rome, was worshiped like a divinity by unanimous consent. There were altars in honor of the Emperor in the smallest township of his realm. 'Some years before the Christian era the whole of Gaul, represented by sixty cities, built in common a temple near the town of Lyons in honour of Augustus....' To-day the majority of the great men who have swayed men's minds no longer have altars, but they have statues, or their portraits are in the hands of their admirers, and the cult of which they are the object is not notably different from that accorded to their predecessors. An understanding of the philosophy of history is only to be got by a thorough appreciation of this fundamental point of the psychology of crowds. The crowd demands a god before everything else." -- Gustave LeBon, The Crowd, pp. 66-67
Julian Jaynes, in his book, shows us the ancient foreshadowing of secular "monu-mentalism" in case after case of late bicameral idols propped-up and poised as if imminently to speak. As the bicameral era of clearly audible voices grew distant in memory, people devised rituals such as the "opening of the mouth" ceremonies for newly chiseled idols. All means of revitalizing the supposedly divine voice were culturally institutionalized in cults and religions. The effort continues to this day.
An image of visitors gazing up at the huge seated figure of Abraham Lincoln within the Lincoln Memorial comes to mind. To the skeptic who will insist, "yes, but Lincoln does not speak to his visitors," I respond: do they not hear the famous words repeating in their heads.... "Four score and seven years ago....?" And what if the echo of his words must be prompted by the engraved letters upon his monument? Is the oracle of Lincoln any less eloquent than the idol of Marduk? What is that tingling sensation up the nape of the patriot as he gazes at the Titans of democracy carved into the granite of Mount Rushmore? Does he not hear the words "We hold these truths to be self- evident..." as he stares into the unmoving eyes of Jefferson's image? Some of us can still recall the numberless framed photographs of John Kennedy that suddenly found places of honor on the walls of many homes and in store front windows after his assassination. "Ask not....."
When the self is dismantled by the "selfless works" of religious devotion, hypnotic suggestion, propaganda, and the vandalizing of hard-learned and recently evolved referents, the power of the crowd, or mob mentality is seen. LeBon and Canetti are among the few to have studied this phenomenon and written about it with much insight, for it is one of those concepts that, like the bicameral mind (of which crowd mentality is itself an instance), has but a limited vocabulary with which we can think about it.
But an entire industry of PR, advertising, and "marketing" has developed over the past century or so, and it has researched and delineated for itself an entire science of mental manipulation, the secrets of which are guarded jealously, and the methods of which are denied vehemently, as we have seen in the claims of pristine intentions made by the tobacco industry. The "Joe Camel" campaign and the disinformation campaign of decades duration to ridicule belief in the health dangers of smoking are clear examples.
Likewise, the spin doctors in the asylum of politics manipulate the referents to which the facts of perception point. In often successful campaigns to confuse public perceptions, rob them of the conscious certainty that direct observation should yield, and even separate them from a once thriving if tenuous trust in public servants, the in-formation specialists of government play the part of a sub-rosa insurgency. Recalling the ancient tribe of hominids where a cry of "Wahee!" means that a lurking tiger is about to pounce, the internal political propagandists act the part of a renegade band of hooting juveniles, saboteurs who, at the warning sign themselves begin to chatter soothing calls, or opposing cries, all in an effort to redirect or at least confuse the larger group into ignoring the dictates of their common sense of reality. It's all fun and games until somebody looses an "I." The fortunes of consciousness have ebbed and flowed during recent historical times.
The collapse of the Roman hegemony over European consciousness lead to the brief era of "enlightenment." The ensuing revolutions yielded constitutional governments that were established to protect nascent individualism and the rule of the governed by the governed. But authoritarianism has been industrious in harnessing the fruit of conscious discovery (mass communication, advanced weaponry, etc.) to its redomestication and enslavement to centralized dictates. The temptations of empire reharnessed liberated minds to grand schemes of power, and evolved the means of unifying whole populations to the propagandized ideals of colonization, often with duplicitous claims that such militarism was necessary to advance the conquered "races" to the pinnacle of enlightenment so recently attained by the conquerors.
For a half millennium, the balance between tyranny and liberty dueled for a mid-ground. Liberty's cause was fueled by the self-evident contradictions in all claims of absolute right attempted by the industry of conquest. I say "self-evident" because in meeting other cultures, other ideas, other minds, the overarching culture of the West could not deny the existence, however doomed, of its conquered peoples' differences, achievements, and independent histories.
Yet, we seem to have come to an end-game of sorts, where the last gambits of individuality are being played-out. The prospects for a multi-cultural society are not strong, given the monopoly power of mass media, which has been employed by multinational commerce to glamorize the passive culture of consumption and destroy as ridiculous impediments to "progress" any entrenchment of diversity. Unincorporated populations have been redefined by the new gods in our heads as promising new markets.
What remains of brief-lived consciousness? Even the court jesters, today's comedians and entertainers, who once challenged with ridicule the absurdities of tyrannical authoritarianism can find no employment if their ironies are not targeted at defanging and declawing the lions of individuality and creativity and personal curiosity about life. The Limbaughs of the age boast huge audiences, while true criticism is censored, protest silenced and opposition leaders assassinated, and artists are jailed and fined for "obscenities" that simply make plain and discussable the obscenities spoken by the oracles of the new god, Mammon.
All of this having been said, it must be added that to many, the majority perhaps, the awakening of consciousness and the loss of dogmatic certainties is imagined to be a personal calamity. And it is, no doubt, full of danger and mystery and uncertainty. The expansion, never mind the mere waking of consciousness, has been designated public enemy number one. The sixth decade of the twentieth century saw something of a miniature enlightenment, remarked upon from all perspectives by social scientists. Among them, Peter Berger is prominent for making his observations in terms of an evolving consciousness:
"While it is questionable whether modern science and modern technology are intrinsically and inevitably inimical to religion, it is clear that they have been perceived in this way by large numbers of people. At least to the extent that mystery, magic and authority have been important for human religiosity (as Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor maintained), the modern rationalization of consciousness has undermined the plausibility of religious definitions of reality." -- Peter Berger, The Homeless Mind: Modernization and Consciousness, p. 82
But the human need for conformity, obedience, and a simplicity of mindset has already, only three decades later, turned the whole of industry, science, and politics to the task of calling upon the tide that has ebbed and allowed us a clear view to the sky to return and cover us in the sea of unconsciousness from which we are hesitant to emerge.
Part IV will examine some of the actual Grammar and linguistic curiosities that are the hallmark of Authoritarianism.