Our Increasing Loneliness
One of the biggest dangers with capitalism is the idea of super-individualism. In his award-winning documentary series The Century of the Self, director Adam Curtis studies that way mass media and advertising shifted our sense of self worth. How capitalism grooms individualism and our expanding materialistic needs to feed the economic needs of consumerism.
This change doesn’t simply affect the way we consume goods and commodities but it also introduced a new form of politicians who started selling themselves to individuals rather than unions and known affiliations. Politicians started to appeal to the middle-classes as individuals, which led to the binary “Us vs. Them” mentality, creating an animosity between what is familiar and what is strange, usually resulting in fear-mongering and dangerous stereotypes.
The internalisations of colonialism manifests in our construction of knowledge and is especially dangerous to how we view race. Racism is intrinsic to colonial order,
its creation of racial hierarchy and how it has ultimately coloured our thinking. Our colonised society will then continue to adopt these stereotypes and prejudice; we can see how Lee Kuan Yew painted Malaysians with their “lack of ethics and laziness” and then understand how our children will be brought up with this knowledge.
We may have been independent for more than half a century, but we are far from distancing ourselves from our colonial masters. We have to start reclaiming our past and question the powers who continually repeat the colonisation of our thought. How can we start to create a new way of thinking, not just remain predisposed to this shaping of history? Without moving away from our exploited past, how can we move away from creating an exploitative future?