“Most people are infantile until about the midpoint of their lives, that is until the age of thirty-six, and immediately after that from one day to another grow senile” (Andras Laszlo, Solum Ipsum).
Perhaps the quote above captures best the spiritual and intellectual (not in an academic sense) state of affairs of our times. Celebrities -who took the place of heroes of previous eras-, being ahead a step or two, may be observed as indicators of where the mass is heading.
The mass is undifferentiated and highly conditioned; it culminates in the bizarre phenomenon of consumers (that replaced the “vulgus”, which had previously replaced the “populus” in a process of involution) : they want the same things and they want them the same way. The differences between the individuals are purely quantitative: some want more, some get more.
The reason why we deal with this stupid story (Aslop is an investor who wants to buy a new toy. He gets invited to an event where they present the toy. At the event things don’t go perfect and consumer egos get bruised so he blogs about it. Musk is the toy-maker who probably gets offended and decides not to sell the toy to Aslop) is because it shows some subtle, but important “developments”.
Aslop, the hurt consumer is actually kissing Musk’s ass in his blogs, trying to show quite desperately that he’s still a fan; the note has an “I am so sorry” undertone, that – in lack of any other points expressed- seems to be its actual purpose. Of course consumerism is possible precisely because principles are missing, so it would be curious to see poise and pride in anything that is related to consumers both on the sell and the buy side (think about black Friday or boxing day for example).
The subtle new development is the emerging power play. Aslop isn’t submissive because he wants the toy that bad but because he’s afraid of Musk. Musk has more, and more (quantities) dominates. He could have run with the ball damasking the infantile character of Musk’s move and emphasizing that it’s not money (including the achievements preceding it) and toys but virtues that deserve respect. Instead, he went the opposite way, not exceeding the level of a customer who complains about bad potatoes.
The mass is incapable of recognizing qualities and the toy-makers appeal precisely to this void (can you make an Iphone? Then shut up and buy a new one). The I have more card is being played more and more often. It’s worrisome to think about what would happen if the spoiled tech kids would follow Trump’s move and stepped out of the background and crossed over to politics openly.
Realistically speaking this move must be anticipated in the near future.