July 14, 2024

The mountain of shit theory

Uriel Fanelli's blog in English

Fediverse

Ghosts of decay.

Something that I have always struggled to understand, reading the millennialists who write about how we will all die and how the entire West (whatever it is) is already condemned to decadence, and how Europe is condemned to decadence and how the world is condemned to decadence, it is a common trait that pushes people to follow up on these ghosts.

By pure chance, the word ghosts came to me, and if we go to what is called "technical philosophy" the "ghost" is a kind of image that we project in front of us with the aim of acting as a mediator and with the aim of soothe anxiety about what we see. This is the mental equivalent of “augmented reality”: I project the ghost of the entire road system onto the windshield of my car to eliminate the anxiety of not knowing how to get where I want to go.

Or, having reached old age and with declining hormones, I can say "I'm my age, I no longer have the hormones I used to have", or say "say whatever you want, but the women of the past were more sexy". In the second case, I am invoking a ghost, something that does not exist (a hypothetical degradation in the quality of ALL women) to calm the anxiety that comes from the idea of ​​growing old.

One of the most common ghosts of our era is the ghost of decadence, which is brought up by an increasingly aging population, to calm the anxiety of old age.


Obviously this is a side effect of the fact that the percentage of elderly people is the highest in history, and therefore if we ask ourselves what the dominant and socially shared ghost is, it is the ghost of social decadence.

When we start to get anxious about the fact that as we get older we are no longer able to do some things, or enjoy some things, we prefer to attribute it to society as a whole: food is no longer so good, women are no longer 'as interesting, or as desirable, as they once were, and so on. Ultimately, the ghost of decadence is shared by more and more people, and thus becomes the new "reality": the ghosts, in fact, then enter the "confirmation bias", and if we all start saying this then everyone sees one's impression is confirmed, and it becomes an accepted reality .

No, gentlemen, the world is not falling apart. You are the one who is getting old, or falling apart. The ghost of the world falling apart serves you, to calm your anxiety. But it won't stop time. You will go to pieces, we will go to pieces, while the world will go on.


In all modern millenarianisms, ranging from the eco-catastrophist one to the geopolitical one, to the migrationist one, to the economic one, to the demographic one, I always see the same ghost: I am getting old, I can no longer be like I used to be, I feel I'm anxious, so I prefer to tell myself that I'm always the same, while the world is deteriorating.

So the old man tells himself that yes, he could really still do what he did to damsels when he was 17, but unfortunately damsels (all!) are no longer as desirable as they used to be. And they say that yes, he could still do the magic he once did at work, but today "computers do everything" and then he can't do it anymore. Old age has nothing to do with it.

Even conspiracy theories are ghosts, which serve to manage the same anxiety: it's not me who is unhappy, it's the world that is becoming evil. It's not me who fails to build my happiness, it's the wicked, it's THEM. It's not my life that's in crisis, it's the whole world that's in crisis. In short, it's about projecting one's anxiety onto the entire world, starting to describe it as if the problems WE are going through were actually problems that the world is going through.

The entire modern culture is pervaded by the ghosts produced by elderly people who are anxious about their own aging and decay.


These are, in my opinion, the cultural effects of dealing with an increasingly aging population:

the collective projection of the same ghost, which, being socialized, becomes the new truth. “I'm going towards death” becomes “I'm fine, the rest of the world is dying”.

It would be sad if it weren't so hypocritical.

Uriel Fanelli


The blog is visible from Fediverso by following:

@ uriel @keinpfusch.net

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