[Art .] From revolt to conditioning…



Günther Anders (born Günther Siegmund Stern) is a German and Austrian journalist, philosopher and essayist (1902-1992). A former student of Husserl and Heidegger, he is known as an important critic of technology and a pioneer author of the anti-nuclear movement. The main subject of his writings is the destruction of humanity.

Text Excerpt:

“In order to suppress any revolt in advance, it is important not to use violence. Archaic methods like those of Hitler are clearly outdated. It is enough to create a collective conditioning so powerful that the very idea of revolt will no longer even occur to people. The ideal would be to format individuals from birth by limiting their innate biological aptitudes…

Then, the conditioning would be continued by drastically reducing the level and quality of education, to reduce it to a form of professional insertion. An uneducated individual has only a limited horizon of thought and the more his thought is limited to material, mediocre concerns, the less he can revolt. It is necessary to make sure that access to knowledge becomes more and more difficult and elitist….. that the gap between the people and science widens, that the information intended for the general public is anaesthetized of any content with subversive character. Especially not philosophy. Here again, it is necessary to use persuasion and not direct violence: one will massively diffuse, via television, stultifying entertainments, always flattering the emotional, the instinctive.

We will occupy the minds with what is futile and playful. It is good to prevent the mind from questioning, thinking and reflecting with incessant chatter and music.

We will put sexuality at the forefront of human interests. As a social anesthetic, there is nothing better. In general, one will make sure to banish the seriousness of existence, to make fun of all that has a high value, to maintain a constant apology of lightness; so that the euphoria of publicity, of consumption become the standard of human happiness and the model of freedom.
The conditioning will thus produce such an integration of itself, that the only fear (which it will be necessary to maintain) will be that of being excluded from the system and thus of not being able to reach the material conditions necessary to happiness. Mass man, thus produced, must be treated as what he is: a product, a calf, and he must be monitored as a herd must be. Everything that allows to put to sleep his lucidity, his critical spirit, is socially good, everything that would risk to awaken it must be fought, ridiculed, suffocated…

Any doctrine that challenges the system must first be designated as subversive and terrorist and those who support it must then be treated as such.

Günther Anders.
“the obsolescence of man” 1956

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