Ever- Ever- Ever-Ever-
It seems that today the use of ‘Ever-‘ with another word attached to it, is almost everywhere. Usually it is ‘Ever-more’, ‘Ever-less’, ‘Ever-increasing’ or ‘ever-harder’. It has become so frequently used in news articles, management emails, general work-place chit chat, scientific journals that is has become white-noise, entirely naturalised. When you pull it out the white noise, suddenly it reveals the disconcerting connotations of Now.
I would say that such a use of words (even if the language has changed) would have had little need to be used before the industrial revolution, except (perhaps) in times of ‘Biblical catastrophes’. I’d say that such a use of words is specific to a society based around the illusion of infinite growth set in motion by capitalist dynamics. But I would also say gthat despite the fact the this process is over 200 years old, the naturalising of this use of words began at the back end of the 20th century, and became naturalised during that last decade. This is because the psychological assault of the austerity-logic alongside the creeping (occasionally, crashing) awareness climate change is upon us that has given us the feeling of being on borrowed time, a feeling that gives rise to the ‘ever-more’ ‘ever-hard’ etc.
Out of Time?
Why does time seem against us? Is everything completely out of out hands, or is this sensation helped along by an ideological construction? The ‘Ever-‘ of ecology and the ‘Ever-‘ of economy have recently blurred into one. A sense of overriding powerlessness results from this. True, an economy has to take into account the ecology, and a deteriorating ecological predicament is going to affect the economy. But this economy is driven by an ideology that has asserted itself as reality. The assault of seemingly permanent austerity is not a response to reality but a distortion of reality. Yet, because there was no alternative idea big enough to challenge it when it died the first time in the 2008 financial crash, it has been able to rule the media-waves with its ‘reality management’.
This has compounded the feeling of time being against us, because the ability to picture a pathway out is smothered by a tidal surge of hardship (aping the real, climate disaster tidal surge) slowly heading our way. Everything seems to be in permanent motion against (the majority) of us. Which is why the sink of swim, ultra-competitive dog fight logic seems to have become the norm in society – like fighting for the remaining places on a lifeboat. Austerity is not an empirically-based objective – it is an economic war dealt by an ideology based around neoliberal economic theory, that seized the chance to distort the causation of the 2008 crash for its own ends.
If you’ve noticed, concern shown about the environment has diminished significantly since 2009, at least here in the UK. As much as people recognise the seriousness of it, the feelings of ‘Ever—‘ that dominate thought make it seem such an insurmountable situation. However, I think it’s pretty reasonable to argue that, under an economy driven by (or, more correctly, in service of) a different agenda, serious actions to deal with it could be taken in a very straightforward manner.
But with this acceptance of the ‘Ever—‘ we become silently accepting of things only ever getting worse. This has a huge psychological impact, that ripples throughout society, where people feel that they have to accept worse working conditions, worse services, a worse environment (think how the powers that be are repeatedly trying to make us resigned to accepted fracking – whether it works or not. The gap between a worsening of life for the majority based on empirical fact, and the worsening caused by this ideological assault has been been seamlessly bound. Why is why environmental issues cannot be challenged whilst accepting such a dogma as reality itself.