Friday, February 02, 2007

The Amway Administration

Sister Novena's PortaPulpit: "So how did Amway change my thinking? Well, it made me glad to have a functionally rational mind, and it made me scared and a little grossed-out by what some people consider a good use of their lives. It helped me realize that on some level this society -- in which I actively participate -- is itself a vast pyramid scheme, in which everyone is promised wealth that can't be sustained. Eventually, somewhere down the line, someone -- you, or me, or a poor brown person in Indonesia -- is going to have to do the actual work, make the actual products, be the one who gets fucked for the financial benefit of someone else; and that there will always be many more people getting fucked than will ever be 'successful.' But just as the faux viscount isn't actually a better person than broke little me, I must always remember that if I manage to make a life for myself in which I don't spend my days in a plastics factory in Asia, it's not because I'm a better or more worthy human being, or more blessed by god. It made me realize how badly some people want to be led, how deeply they'll invest in other people's ideals, how much effort and thought they'll expend trying to avoid effort and thought. It made me wonder what even the 'successful' people did with their lives after they'd won their purported freedom -- they made nothing, produced nothing, created nothing,"

There are makers, takers and fakers. Guess who's running the nation for their benefit right now? Ok, that's glib, but I needed a hook.

I've done my time with Amway - until I discovered what Sister Novena found. I've done websites for those gobstruck by the majesty that is Matol. My wife had fun with Mary Kay for a while, until she got bored. Meanwhile, my in-box is crammed with various scams that involve getting rich suddenly, and they all seem to have the word "downline" in there somewhere.

The thing that's most troubling to me is that most of these schemes seem to be aimed at Christians. Amway is in particular very skillful at making itself an almost but not quite religious experience for the "insiders." and it easily hooks into churches that put a heavy emphasis on recruiting for their flocks.

It concerns me - a great deal - that people are so used to spiritual counterfeiting that Amway seems like a genuine, legitimate enterprise. I mean, they hype what they do a great deal, but it's not like they HIDE what they are.

What's even more surreal is that the same rhetoric, the same not quite facts, the same tactical vagueness has been a hallmark of the Republican Party since.. well, since Regan. Never mind THINKING about it; FEEL with us! Feel our Extra New Powerful Imperial Majesty! And you can share in all this! Just vote for ME!

Citizenship without effort or investment - just like those real-estate scams.

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