Zombies They Walk Among Us! Rethinking Consumer Capitalism

Jim Murphy, Josie E. Richards

Abstract


The purpose of this paper will be to describe how one would survive the zombie apocalypse from a philosophical perspective. This paper will draw on first generation critical theorist, Theodore Adorno to explicate the position. According to critical theory, the zombie apocalypse is already upon us. For Adorno, contemporary individuals in Western society live under the conditions of consumer capitalism. These individuals are manipulated by advertisements and the mass media into believing that the ideal way to relieve their inner frustrations is to mindlessly purchase goods and services that reflect their inner longings. Due to this constant manipulation, young people are ill-equipped with the tools required to think critically and evaluate both their own behaviours and the messages generated by advertisements. These individuals retain their human forms, but do not employ their mental faculties to engage in what truly makes them human (i.e. free, critical thought). Therefore, they are zombies in a figurative sense. This paper will propose that the only way to survive a zombie apocalypse of this sort would be for individuals to wake up and think critically for themselves about the socio-economic forces that manipulate the world in which they live. By becoming a free thinking, critical individual, a zombified person will awake human once again.

Keywords


Capitalism, Commodity Fetishism, Conformity, Critical Theory, Critical Thought, Education, Narcissism, Philosophy

Full Text:

PDF

References


Adorno, T. W. (1993). Theory of Pseudo-Culture (1959). Telos, 1993(95), 15-38.

Kant, I. (1996). Practical Philosophy (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant).

Trans. MJ Gregor. The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 11-22.

Thomas, K. (2010). Haitian zombie, myth, and modern identity. CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, 12(2), 12.

Marx, K. (2000). The Fetishism of the Commodity and its Secret. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, 1, 163-77.

Marx, K., & Engels, F. (2003). Capitalism and the modern labor process. In R. C. Scharff & S. Val Dusek (Eds.), Philosophy of technology: the technological condition: an anthology, 2, 74-87.

Witkin, R. W. (2003). Adorno on popular culture. Psychology Press.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22329/iasza.v0i0.4920

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2017 Jim Murphy, Josie E. Richards

University of Windsor crestCentre for Digital Scholarship logo