The Mythology of Business Part 2: The Dark Side

MythThis is Part 2 of an excerpted series for Reality Sandwich from the anthology The Immanence of Myth published by Weaponized. Read Part 1 here.

Despite the exciting creative possibilities posed by new media in regard to myth, they do not come without a price. The danger presented by the presence of myth in modern media is paramount, and must be considered outside the mythic framework of industry, for instance, which reduces the material world to a matrix of profit and risk.

Though the propaganda of fascist mythologies such as those of Nazis or the USSR serve as the clearest example of these dangers, they exist in only slightly more subtle forms in the media produced by modern capitalist states. (Subtlety in this case not being an indicator of benevolence, necessarily.) After all, it was Mussolini who declared fascism to be the merger of state and corporate power.

Though media is ostensibly the watchdog of the government, both the government and media agencies of the capitalist state are beholden to international corporations and their interests. The contextual nature of truth makes myth in media a potential form of national or even international coercion. The story of American politics and news media between the 1950s and the present serves as a cautionary tale of such possibilities.

There is no ensuring that mythological images, and the powerful psychological forces that they represent, aren’t being used by corporations towards short-sightedly greedy ends, not to mention a benefit for the “self” of the corporation to the detriment of all others. When there is no mechanism for establishing human needs and rights as paramount to corporate or industrial myths, this is an increasingly dire concern. As organizations invariably try to present themselves in the most positive light it is impossible to get a read of their actual values from an intentionally fabricated myth.

This myth of benevolence presents itself on a national level as well. American culture in particular has a need to present itself as a benevolent superpower, leading the rest of the world into an Enlightened era of growth and commerce. This is not unlike Britain’s Empire, upon which the sun never set. In both cases the hubris exhibited was not merely of capacity, but more importantly, more catastrophically, it represents the rigid and wholesale self-congratulation of a myth that has so overshadowed reality that the two share nothing in common …

(Read article on Reality Sandwich)

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