What Does Counter Culture Mean, counter culture conformity

The notion of counter-culture seems to be hijacked by the mainstream, standing paradoxically in it’s own way.

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What Does Counter Culture Mean?

Counter culture is a culture that manifests by countering and rejecting the mainstream culture. It is truly postmodern, and as children of postmodernism, whole generations have embraced and embodied it. But it seems like counter culture doesn’t even exist anymore because it has been hijacked back by the mainstream; mutated into a counter-culture-conformity.

It may be easier to demonstrate it than to explain it: Words have become very strange in the technological information age. Abbreviated quips, acronymized sayings and made up words have become popular and accepted into vernacular at accelerating rates. But they began as counter cultural insignia. A “simple” text message is nearly unrecognizable to older generations in today’s world; “Totes fire,. Right bae?” “Totes” and “bae” are both made up words. “Bae” is a term of endearment but in fact, bae is a Scandinavian word for poop. The next time you are with your friends and your friend says something that does not have the right amount of syllables, you might just be talking to a robot; or a human that mimics a robot which is all too common in herds of humans. Some part of this “trend” is rooted in counter-culture; the creation of the new “ours”.

The notion of counter-culture is embedded in the word “woke” even: as if to be awoken from the dream-state that is our current accepted culture. The term represents the idea of being “superiorly aware” of inequality and racism around you as opposed to the rest us that are sleepwalking along in-line with structural an systemic oppression. But psychologically, we are biased to see everywhere what we choose to seek.

Photo Credit: RV1864 on Flickr

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process they/them do not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche

What Does Counter Culture Mean, counter culture conformity
Art by AI from Cafe.wtf Titled: “Counter-Culture Conformity”.

Counter Culture of the 60’s Becomes Counter-Culture Conformity

Counter-culture has always been an upcoming generational trend since, well, forever (Can’t think of examples before the beats). But somewhere around the 90’s it appears as if counter-culture became somewhat embraced, mainstream (ironically).

In a study titled, “The Sound of the Street: How Corporations are Trying to Capture the Voice of Counter-Culture” by Adam Hanft, published in the Journal of Advertising, the author notes that “Corporations are trying to purchase the “coolness factor” as a way of attracting the next generation of consumers, who are more likely to be more hip and independent than their parents. It is a way of mainstreamisation, to connect with consumers who are weary of corporate society and who are interested in the underground music, art and fashion scenes.” -(non-existent study, to my knowledge; and even a made up word in there haha)

A glaring and beautiful example of this post-modern addiction to counter-culture and rejection is Banksy’s “Girl with Balloon” shredded art piece selling for 1.4 million USD. The artist who’s work rejects capitalism, and makes fun of it, becomes a brand who’s work is accepted, promoted and consumed at a premium in our capitalist market; creating demand for it! Another Example: a sculpture of nothing selling for 18k USD.

Definition of Wokeness – What is the Definition of Woke

Wokeness is now increasingly being bought up by corporate interests; wanting to be “in” with the new generation, while the previous “in” companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook undergo a wokeness purge. [Note: the “in” term ironically denotes the “becoming popularly perceived as rejection/change/upheaval of ‘mainstream'”, i.e. the new up and coming mainstream.] Post modernism is the enlightenment to the enlightenment, but why does it sound illiterate?

What is the Definition of Wokeness: It’s the RACE war to divide and distract from the CLASS war.

SOLD to you by the 1%, for their own preservation. A perfect execution of capitalism!

Corporations (capital C), and the people that run them, always have their own separate corporate objectives. These of course are the most primitive objectives to survive and thrive. It is not good for business when the lower-class swaths are organized against upper-class interests.

“Wokeness” is the new Feudalism. A handful of people are now a new aristocracy, just as they were before the Great Recession. It would appear that the people on top want to keep their place. The new aristocracy is the people that have the most control over media, entertainment, tech, and finance. These are the people that control the flow of information and perception. This is why the new aristocracy is the new ruling class of the new era. And they will do whatever they can to remain the new aristocracy.

In a bit of a speculative lens, what appears fairly probable is how this whole racial divide trend has really taken off since the great recession began, over a period of vastly expanding economic inequality. In a democracy, when there is huge economic inequality, turmoil is bound because of the numbers; seeds of revolution. The oldest trick in the book is to divide the majority lower-class.

Wokeness is a form of “cultural Marxism”, which is the idea that culture is the basis of all problems, not the economy. The problem is not the corporate structure, the problem is the white male patriarchy. The problem is not the ruling class, the problem is the “white privilege”.  The problem is not the economic disparity, the problem is that the disparity between the races.  The problem is not the ruling class, they are “progressive”; the problem is you, who are not. Wokeness is the ideological “foundation” of the new liberalism, a liberalism that is quite cruel and unforgiving (as we saw in the “Bernie-or-bust” crowd). That liberalism, which is now really just fascism as we see it in the new identity politics, is a form of soft authoritarianism.  It is a form of authoritarianism that can, and will, get worse because it is an authoritarianism that has to be enforced.

In 2013 the search for the term “woke” doubled (the year after an election, and a time right after economic volatility). In 2017 it climbed again and in 2020 it even doubled again (to more areas of turmoil). The term wokeness went up exponentially in 2020.

As I often warn, cults are everywhere and everything has a little snake oil in it. The culture-cult is quite a daunting one!

The term appears to become more promoted during economic volatility and is correlated with increasing economic inequality!

Term “Woke” – Credit: Google Trends
Term “Wokeness” – Credit: Google Trends

The counter-culture is the way wokeness is being pumped into the system; a trick the advertising market has learned to exploit the notions of rising passionate rejection. It is on a similar terms as the notion that “bad news is good news” in that it can spark catalyst based on passionate emotional stimulus. It’s just so ironic that the definition of wokeness, the notion of standing up to “systemic tides”, is pushed and “sold” to us by the very system!

This is the crux of the matter about ‘Wokeness’ (capital W): The people that have the most to gain from the new system are the ones that are the most “woke” about it. And the people have the most to lose are the ones that are not so “woke”. It’s a form of divide and conquer.

“Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage-the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry.”

— Ayn Rand

What Does Counter Culture Mean, counter culture conformity
Art by AI from Cafe.wtf Titled: “Counter-Culture”. (It appears the AI does not quite understand “counter-culture” other than counters and cultural food haha. Maybe it hasn’t gone mainstream enough just yet?)

*Disclaimer: Some of this story was generated through the use of AI. All italic text was created by the AI Writer.

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