Friday, June 29, 2007


Rushkoff on the Secret

Until the inevitable South Park spoof, Rushkoff weighs in on the Secret:
What we're really looking at here is a get-rich-quick scheme. What the Secret is is the logic underlying the religious grandiosity of Amway or Mary Kay or any of the pyramid schemes. They all rely on a kind of bootstrapping that comes from nowhere. And it is true that maybe in a purely capitalist era when we're no longer selling each other things of value but we're really just selling each other symbols of value that something like the Secret works because it's really a matter of whose got the most charisma in order to sell his worthless beans to someone else so that they then think now that they've got that piece of value. So, where all value is phantom, then phantom systems for the creation of value start to make sense again. But it's a very cynical place to go especially when so many people in the real world are starving.
Rushkoff also comments on Jim Henson's The Cube and his upcoming book Corporatized. His last comment in the interview is something I've been thinking about lately:
We really are living in something of a cult. It's like we're all doing the Secret or something.

We all want to be thin, beautiful, young, wrinkle-free, blemish-free, have the latest technologies, drive the fastest cars, and have large disposible incomes for all the other crap we think we need... oh, and we want to be entertained.

John Mayer aptly sings, "waitin' on the world to change...."

We just wait to be told what to do. People generally don't take action these days. Enacting change and independent thoughts are tied together. It's just too burdensome to think for most people...
Actually, it does what many get-rich-quick schemes do: it borrows serious work, stands it on its head and sells it to people who should know better, using celebrities like the rapacious Oprah who never met a snake oil salesman she didn't like (I give you Dr. Phil and W). A lot of New Age thought has been debased in this manner.

As my husband pointed out, the "Secret" sees thought as matter when it's really matter that's thought. And that comes free.
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