Daniel Pinchbeck’s Business Shamanism

Daniel Pinchbeck. Photo: Herwig Maurer (CC)

Daniel Pinchbeck. Photo: Herwig Maurer (CC)

I wonder if this essay by Daniel Pinchbeck will, years hence, be looked upon as a seminal point in the transition of the “consciousness” movement, for lack of a better term, from an idealistic remove from the mainstream a la Burning Man (which of course is completely unsustainable despite it’s worthy goals), to a pragmatic vision of how to change the world. From his Reality Sandwich blog:

Now that the Evolver network and brand have established themselves to a certain extent, I want to look ahead to developments I hope to see in the near future, with this organization and other initiatives. For the next phase of development, I propose the term “business shamanism.” “Corporate alchemy” would be a viable alternative.

First, some context: As I write this, the ruling regime in our rotten republic of Obama-stan is seeking to ignore the pain of the sheeple and extend lavish tax breaks for the wealthy.The financial elite engineered a massive transfer of assets over the last decades, and they are now completing the procedure of creating a two-tier society resembling a serfdom. Champagne glasses are no doubt clinking in fancy hotel rooms and private clubs to celebrate the selling out of the people, as the unemployed and dispossessed roam the streets. We witness, as spectacle,the slow-motion dismantling of the American republic — though nobody can say how the story will play out this time.

We tend to forget that Roosevelt’s New Deal was not a good-hearted gift to the working classes but a compromise to stave off mass uprising. The current oligarchy has determined that it will make no such deal this time around. I suspect they assume that the pulverizing of the populace with mind-numbing media, psychotropic drugs, police state tactics, and poison food had the desired effect. And they may be right.

From the viewpoint of those seeking a deeper level of transformation, however, the political gridlock, social polarization, and extremism of the right wing are all positive signs. The increasing rigidity of the system suggests it is soon going to crack. Perhaps the spirit of insurrection and liberty will reawaken in the people as it does so. But perhaps not.

We don’t know when or if we will reach the critical threshold where a current of rebellion becomes a wave and then a mass movement…

[continues at Reality Sandwich]

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  • Dane Cullum

    Great article, however I am willing to wager the Graphic Novelist he mentions is GRANT Morrison

    • Tuna Ghost

      I would also be willing to bet a substantial amount of money.

  • Dane Cullum

    Great article, however I am willing to wager the Graphic Novelist he mentions is GRANT Morrison

  • 5by5

    “Obama-stan”? Seriously? You’re blaming Obama for the Republicans holding the unemployed hostage so they can get a tax break for the uber-wealthy?

    At least be accurate about WHAT you blame him for.

    You SHOULD blame him for caving the the Republicans instead of telling them to go fuck themselves, abolishing the filibuster, and ramming through the unemployment funding AND the tax increase on the wealthy. THAT you should blame him for.

    But the trickle-down economics tax cut for billionaires? That’s a Republican idea, through and through.

    • Honu

      I winced when I read “Obama-stan” too but only because it’s such a right wing styled cut. The general sentiment I think he’s trying to express is that no matter who’s in office, the larger picture is showing that we’re heading down the drain. I have to agree with him too.

      Sure you can point to the just say ‘no’ Republicans for preventing Obama from doing better but Obama hasn’t exactly been mr. progressive. He didn’t rescind the warrantless wiretapping on Americans, he’s kept Bush’ wars going, he’s never pushed for criminal investigations into the housing/banking crisis or the Bush Administration’s actions that are legally questionable and now with the whole Wikileaks thing, he’s pushing for criminal charges against Assange. This is not progressively minded behaviour. Obama is a centrist with a penchant for moving right.

      • E.B. Wolf

        …and he’s shaping up to be the most effective Republican president since Clinton’s second term.

  • 5by5

    “Obama-stan”? Seriously? You’re blaming Obama for the Republicans holding the unemployed hostage so they can get a tax break for the uber-wealthy?

    At least be accurate about WHAT you blame him for.

    You SHOULD blame him for caving the the Republicans instead of telling them to go fuck themselves, abolishing the filibuster, and ramming through the unemployment funding AND the tax increase on the wealthy. THAT you should blame him for.

    But the trickle-down economics tax cut for billionaires? That’s a Republican idea, through and through.

  • Honu

    I winced when I read “Obama-stan” too but only because it’s such a right wing styled cut. The general sentiment I think he’s trying to express is that no matter who’s in office, the larger picture is showing that we’re heading down the drain. I have to agree with him too.

    Sure you can point to the just say ‘no’ Republicans for preventing Obama from doing better but Obama hasn’t exactly been mr. progressive. He didn’t rescind the warrantless wiretapping on Americans, he’s kept Bush’ wars going, he’s never pushed for criminal investigations into the housing/banking crisis or the Bush Administration’s actions that are legally questionable and now with the whole Wikileaks thing, he’s pushing for criminal charges against Assange. This is not progressively minded behaviour. Obama is a centrist with a penchant for moving right.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    On the level of superficial stylistics, I may tend to disagree with this guy. “Obama-stan”? Sounds like a cheap cliche. I was tempted to switch channels right there.

    But that would have been a mistake. His central thesis is spot on here, if I understand correctly. There is a mythos or ethos underlying all of our social structures, and our current paradigm is irretrievably broken and perverted. Digging ourselves out of this hole won’t be as simple as re-jiggering around the edges of the template–it’ll mean fundamentally changing the template.

    What we need to do is identify language and statistics that identify true PRODUCTIVITY rather than profit. In a closed system of resources–which just plain undeniable physical realities impose on us–individual profit MUST be recognized as plunder from one sector of the economy towards another. In the short and medium term there is simply no way to generate the massive level of new wealth demanded–there is no way to “make the pie that much bigger” in the short term.

    That’s the fundamental reality: there is no way to increase the absolute volume of food in the world today by shuffling paper around. To the extent that there is such a thing as “magic of the markets” it is a dark magic that needs to deceive its victims in order to benefit its practicioners. Oh there is a way to incrementally increase the absolute volume of goods and resources–but it requires a fundamentally different approach, a more wholistic appreciation of the production process and a focus on tangible benefits, not self-defeatingly narrow constructs like financial capital.

    These numbers, profit, margin, price-earnings ratios, etc., etc., they’re like dark sygils that bind our energies into a downward spiral of negativity that takes us farther and farther from the basic realities of what it means to be human beings. Surely a clever alternative numerical formulation, a system of ‘counter-sygils’ could bring us back, no?

  • Liam_McGonagle

    On the level of superficial stylistics, I may tend to disagree with this guy. “Obama-stan”? Sounds like a cheap cliche. I was tempted to switch channels right there.

    But that would have been a mistake. His central thesis is spot on here, if I understand correctly. There is a mythos or ethos underlying all of our social structures, and our current paradigm is irretrievably broken and perverted. Digging ourselves out of this hole won’t be as simple as re-jiggering around the edges of the template–it’ll mean fundamentally changing the template.

    What we need to do is identify language and statistics that identify true PRODUCTIVITY rather than profit. In a closed system of resources–which just plain undeniable physical realities impose on us–individual profit MUST be recognized as plunder from one sector of the economy towards another. In the short and medium term there is simply no way to generate the massive level of new wealth demanded–there is no way to “make the pie that much bigger” in the short term.

    That’s the fundamental reality: there is no way to increase the absolute volume of food in the world today by shuffling paper around. To the extent that there is such a thing as “magic of the markets” it is a dark magic that needs to deceive its victims in order to benefit its practicioners. Oh there is a way to incrementally increase the absolute volume of goods and resources–but it requires a fundamentally different approach, a more wholistic appreciation of the production process and a focus on tangible benefits, not self-defeatingly narrow constructs like financial capital.

    These numbers, profit, margin, price-earnings ratios, etc., etc., they’re like dark sygils that bind our energies into a downward spiral of negativity that takes us farther and farther from the basic realities of what it means to be human beings. Surely a clever alternative numerical formulation, a system of ‘counter-sygils’ could bring us back, no?

  • E.B. Wolf

    …and he’s shaping up to be the most effective Republican president since Clinton’s second term.

  • gondolfin

    I tend to agree with him, but the term “Obama-stan” seems adopted from the suggstions from right-wing loonie conspiracy at YouTube’s Conspiracy Channel (and several blogs and forums,).

  • Anonymous

    I tend to agree with him, but the term “Obama-stan” seems adopted from the suggstions from right-wing loonie conspiracy at YouTube’s Conspiracy Channel (and several blogs and forums,).

  • Lizahayden

    Yes all very obvious & we enjoy the brevity but is it a new ology or just the samme tryosylables vieying for equanimity?Yogic positions have to be maintained through out life…the word sacrifice in title or on anyones lips or in textual word ought to be navigated from alchemists now require entitlemeant of what?pushing toddlers around a supermarket borgeosiff or calffing the differentiations ic or ad hoc surely obama stag or bowing to the stag lets go further picking mushrooms when nature herself naturally planted them for the time of culling why cant the deer be moved?bushey park?because are beacons or cameras on or televizing hallucinations////????????dont know how long this experimeant will last but this labrinth is weary.

  • Lizahayden

    Yes all very obvious & we enjoy the brevity but is it a new ology or just the samme tryosylables vieying for equanimity?Yogic positions have to be maintained through out life…the word sacrifice in title or on anyones lips or in textual word ought to be navigated from alchemists now require entitlemeant of what?pushing toddlers around a supermarket borgeosiff or calffing the differentiations ic or ad hoc surely obama stag or bowing to the stag lets go further picking mushrooms when nature herself naturally planted them for the time of culling why cant the deer be moved?bushey park?because are beacons or cameras on or televizing hallucinations////????????dont know how long this experimeant will last but this labrinth is weary.

  • http://surber.us Josh Surber

    tl;dr

  • Anonymous

    tl;dr

  • Tuna Ghost

    I would also be willing to bet a substantial amount of money.

  • Tuna Ghost

    I wonder if this essay by Daniel Pinchbeck will, years hence, be looked upon as a seminal point in the transition of the “consciousness” movement, for lack of a better term, from an idealistic remove from the mainstream a la Burning Man (which of course is completely unsustainable despite it’s worthy goals), to a pragmatic vision of how to change the world.

    In a word: no. This idea has been described far more eloquently by more trustworthy sources, as anyone who has bothered to look can tell you.

  • Tuna Ghost

    I wonder if this essay by Daniel Pinchbeck will, years hence, be looked upon as a seminal point in the transition of the “consciousness” movement, for lack of a better term, from an idealistic remove from the mainstream a la Burning Man (which of course is completely unsustainable despite it’s worthy goals), to a pragmatic vision of how to change the world.

    In a word: no. This idea has been described far more eloquently by more trustworthy sources, as anyone who has bothered to look can tell you.

  • Tuna Ghost

    I wonder if this essay by Daniel Pinchbeck will, years hence, be looked upon as a seminal point in the transition of the “consciousness” movement, for lack of a better term, from an idealistic remove from the mainstream a la Burning Man (which of course is completely unsustainable despite it’s worthy goals), to a pragmatic vision of how to change the world.

    In a word: no. This idea has been described far more eloquently by more trustworthy sources, as anyone who has bothered to look can tell you.

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