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"We are the Middle Children of the History!"


Fırat Devecioğlu

Socrates often went to marketplaces and answered to those who asked curiously because he didn't by anything as "I come here to see how many things I don't need".


Our environment is full of things which we don't need and which make us feel like we could not go on living without them. We are living in an era of the humankind in which we take ourselves away from ourselves and leave ourselves in the lap of wishes which never end. 


We are exposed to hundreds of commercials every day. Soon, we will see lifeless hologram models that reach out to us from a billboard or a shop window and directly talk to us as we wander in streets or as we are in a mall or in the subway.


In this "era of firms" we live in, the products are positioned as gateways to happiness. We always chase after products, acquisitions and successes which we think will make us happy when we buy or get them.


We can never go out the circle, despite some of us solve the mangle from time to time. Those who work in life-consuming jobs and wait every day for their time to pass find themselves in malls at weekends. They try to relax by consuming as if they were racing. In fact, when we look from the outside, we can see how irrational all these are.


Are the people who struggle in this entire circle satisfied at the end? Or is there anyone who is? No. It is also not quite likely.


So why is the humankind so eager to adopt the role they are given as the consumer humans while they have life-draining life although they are never satisfied? Why do they have a life which is not suitable for their own nature and in the claws of their desires and think that this is a natural form of life?

Why can't they give up even when they realize it? 


First of all, there is good in discussing the "desire" which is used by the system and which causes this situation. According to Lacan, the object which causes the desire and the object which will satisfy the desire are always different and thus the real desire can never be satisfied. Zizek asks, "What is it that you desire?", "What do you actually want?" pointing out the uncertainty (dissatisfaction) which is created for the individual by the discrepancy between the cause and the object of the desire.    


The wish is something that we want consciously, it is expressed with symbols and it may be satisfied. But desire is not on consciousness level as the object reaching to it is unclear and it is impossible to satisfy.


We are in a very strange point now; according to Freud, desires whose objects are unclear and which are subliminal warp real wishes.

A study he made on the issue is like this; you are about to die of hunger and cold. When you fall asleep you dream a four-pillar bed and caviar. This dream shows the wishes of a human who is about to freeze and die. That they wish to eat and harbour...


But why not a normal bed, a bowl of soup instead of a four-pillar bed and caviar? Right here, the desire steps in and warps the wish. The desire converts the true wish (food-shelter) into detail by warping it. The desire on the other hand, shows itself in an unpredictable place.


The problem is: desires in our era which are impossible to satisfy are manipulated by the capital system. 

The system provokes consumption and desires. "Marketing" is made in order to create a virtual "delusion of happiness" for humankind. Some think "how can we create a delusion" in order to sell more. The products and services are made "desirable". These desires are provoked more by putting "souls" in products with more promotions. 

The ability of mankind to fantasize and then to believe the fantasy in their minds is abused to the max. The individual who is isolated from himself wanders around for a "delusion of happiness" and for things he will have like products, services and success in this mangle.


The capitalist system converts the man of our era into some human who is in pursuit of constant consumption for the continuation of the system by using their power and desires to imagine which distinguishes them from other creatures. The individuals are like lifeless shop-windows dummies that are clothed.


Desire-inciting system creates people who don't know where they are going when they wake up in the morning and who think of "the things they will reach, they will have and their endless desires" in their minds. 


The happiness is imposed as a commodity which can be bought or which is accessible when certain success and acquisitions are met. People believe in this formula of happiness by dreaming and fantasizing. Thus, the individuals go after the "make-believe desires" as if they were their own desires. He will be in pursuit of the new desires pumped by the system even if he gets those years later. Because the things he is made to believe and dream are not actually "his". Just like the fact that the life he lives in is not his...


Our characteristic to believe in the fantasy we imagine becomes our enticing weakness by manipulating us with the hand of the capitalism (by inciting the desires). 

The feelings of humans are strong, but they are weak. Pumped up desires, wishes and ambitions overtake individuals who are not aware of their weakness. While managing it as it wishes, it feeds off from the weakness of individuals.


In our era, a huge lifestyle is designed based on the happiness imaginations, weaknesses and gaps of humankind. 


Those who get carried away in the delusion "planned" with lifeless dummies on shop-windows in malls which invite them to a fabulous world and who live for holidays and drag their souls into races they don't belong rush about with a futile effort in pursuit of the "planned desires" just like the system wants, though they think they live their lives. 


This shows itself with a set of weird behaviours because of living a life unsuitable to their own desires and their nature in the human model of our day which took its place in the circle, those who share their "joyful moments" as if they were in a competition, those who adopt the format of "I am happy with my hobby", those who are in debt for the rest of their lives...


While writing all these, a legendary scene came to my mind. 

Tyler Durden was saying;


"We grew up believing that we were going to be rock stars, cinema gods, and millionaires by watching television but we won't be able to...

We are all being wasted...

A whole generation pumps gas, does waitering or has become while-collared slaves... We are in pursuit of cars and clothes because of the advertisements...

We work at jobs we hate; we buy things we don't need... We are the middle children of the history... We have no goals; we have neither lived through a great war nor a great depression... Our war is a spiritual war... And our depression is our own lives..." Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club






Fırat Devecioğlu


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