What is the future going to be like, people often ask me, keen to hear my informed take on the subject. Well, I tell them, it’s not going to be good. We already live in evil times and things can only get worse. They generally lose interest when I say this but that’s people for you – only interested in hearing what suits them. We just don’t want to know that our entire way of life – our whole civilization in fact – is a crock of shit.
Things are bad now but they’re going to be a thousand times worse in the future and there’s no point in pretending otherwise. The future of the human race is not looking that great at all from where I stand. Or sit, as the case may be. Social engineering with a view to converting the entire population of the planet into narcissistically disordered vegetables, incapable of doing anything other than preening themselves and putting their profiles up on social media sites. Look around you – any fool can see that we have already made substantial advances in this direction. What does it take to convince you? ‘Project Narcissus’ is already well under way.
There’s nothing in the world easier to manipulate than a self-absorbed narcissist (show me any other sort) and the reasons behind this statement are of course nothing if not obvious. Does a narcissist care about injustice, care about what is going on in the world? Are narcissists motivated by a strong desire to uncover the truth, no matter how unpalatable that truth may prove? Of course not, they only care about themselves and about how things impinge upon their tiny little worlds. And just how small IS the world of a narcissist? What are we talking about here? Ask yourself that, if you would. Think about that a bit. There’s a pertinent question for you. If you wanted one… As long as you keep on providing these guys with fancier and fancier smartphones they are as happy as Larry. Or at least, they are whatever passes for happiness in Narcissus World – which is a placid and contented form of self-absorption rather than a frustrated, up-tight or enraged form. All your typical narcissist wants to do is hang around in nail bars, gyms or yoga studios working away on their self-image. You think they want to do this because they want to do their bit in making the world a better place? Sure it is. Of course it it. What we need to ask ourselves here is the following question: what in the whole wide world is more useless, more politically inert and more manipulable than a narcissist?
Anyway, that’s not the future – that’s the present day. That’s right now – 2017. The future will see a technologically-assisted development of this project taken to its logical conclusion. Before another century has past we will all be living in tailor-made narcissistic cocoons somewhere in the ever-proliferating virtual realms of the hyperreal. In this realm we will be able to create perfect virtual identities for ourselves and live perfect lives in a Hi Def virtual world that caters faithfully to our every whim. This general idea is the same as Second Life only with full immersion and no need for actual physical bodies any more. Physical bodies only decay, after all – that’s all that is in store for them as we all know very well. Even the highly-advanced technology of the world of the future can’t keep your physical body looking good for ever. When we’re talking about virtual constructs in cyberspace however anything is possible. You can be whoever you want, whatever you want. You can be a superhero saving the world every single day if you want. You can be a Nobel Prize winner graciously accepting your prize from the King of Norway every week of the year if that’s your bag. Why not? What could be easier?
So this – in my view – is what lies in store for humanity. Reality itself becomes a product, a commodity. Deep down we all know this is on the cards, one way or another. That’s the way things are going. Humanity’s future involves a full-scale narcissistic withdrawal from reality into futile, self-serving fantasy. Actual bone fide reality never sold that well anyway! Who wants it? We’ll all be heroes in our own imaginations. Or in the imagination of the corporation-boys supplying the entertainment, more like. In actual reality we will be in suspended animation. In reality we’ll be narcotized like the Lotus Eaters in The Odyssey – lost in narcissistic dream worlds created by the corporations. The helpless prey of whatever nameless demons it is that stalk cyberspace.
Not exactly what you might call a convivial picture is it? Not much like those utopian visions the science fiction writers of the nineteen fifties were so fond of where everyone is wearing white robes and there are flying cars with fins dotted all over the sky. So that just goes to show – those guys didn’t know shit…