What is Anxiety Culture?
AC began as a magazine, in 1995,
exploring the anxieties behind the smiling
mask of "normal" society. It
contains ideas and gimmicks for navigating
the stressed, over-competitive, work-obsessed
times we live in.
The website went online in 1998, intended
as a cocktail of curious news, satire,
outsider psychology and uplifting propaganda.
Is it safe?
It's designed to be pleasurable. If over-excitement
occurs, discontinue use.
Is it an "anti-work" site?
Sort of. We're not opposed to all work,
just pointless, underpaid wage slavery.
We find most work ethics (eg Protestant)
malign. Any work requiring an ethic
probably serves no practical purpose.
We question why people (eg in UK and US)
work longer hours now, on average, than
in the 1970s.
"If we all quit work, wouldn't
the economy COLLAPSE?"
See previous answer (and perhaps lie
down for 15 minutes).
Why the stuff on fear of crime?
The belief that crime is "spiralling"
seems unchallenged in most media. It has
little basis in fact (at least in Britain
and America). If we don't question
this fear-inducing myth, who will?
"Avoid responsibility"? Are
Only in the sense of not allowing others
to define your "responsibilities".
It's about the "hypnotic" nature
of words such as "responsibility".
It's not a licence for idiocy.
What are "control systems"?
We have a section of articles about "systems"
which "control" the passive
herd ranging from "medieval
metaphysics" to "consumer-anxiety".
We don't necessarily mean conspiratorial
systems, in the spooky X-Files
What is "outsider psychology"?
Any psychology which aims at "liberation"
rather than "fitting in". Conventional
psychology wants people to be "well-adjusted",
but outsider psychology regards
the "well-adjusted" as zombies.
What is "uplifting propaganda"?
Anything that removes the authoritarian
from communication. Irony, satire and
gentle mockery are standard methods used
by counterculture philosophers of all
Do we make a "political" point?
Only that authoritarian tendencies seem
to correlate with insecurity, both
in government and society in general (and,
no doubt, in personal relationships).
Here's a gross oversimplification to
illustrate how we think: Governments
are sometimes accused of lying, etc. Such
accusations make them insecure, so they
adopt authoritarian measures, mostly to
protect themselves. But they claim it's
to protect the public. Insecure people,
wanting "protection", might
believe the government line, but few others
do. So it's in the government's interest
to keep the public anxious.
What other perspectives do we have?
We live in a crazy, overworked
society driven by puritanical fear and
guilt. But there are psychological gimmicks
to bring fun and pleasure back. All perfectly
legal (currently). AC contains
many such gimmicks.
Fear sells. The most common advertising
technique is to exploit psychological
insecurities. One function of the media
is to deliver psychologically insecure
audiences to advertisers.
Our beliefs program
our realities. If we believe that
the universe is fundamentally unsafe,
then we're going to experience perpetual
anxiety which isn’t a good way
to operate our brains.