What civilization is, is 6 billion people trying to make themselves happy by standing on each other's shoulders and kicking each other's teeth in. It's not a pleasant situation. And yet, you can stand back and look at this planet and see that we have the money, the power, the medical understanding, the scientific know-how, the love and the community to produce a kind of human paradise. But we are led by the least among us - the least intelligent, the least noble, the least visionary. We are led by the least among us and we do not fight back against the dehumanising values that are handed down as control icons.
This is something -- I mean I don't really want to get off on this tear because it's a lecture in itself -- but culture is not your friend. Culture is for other people's convenience and the convenience of various institutions, churches, companies, tax collection schemes, what have you. It is not your friend. It insults you. It disempowers you. It uses and abuses you. None of us are well treated by culture.
Yet we glorify the creative potential of the individual, the rights of the individual. We understand the felt-presence of experience is what is most important. But the culture is a perversion. It fetishises objects, creates consumer mania, it preaches endless forms of false happiness, endless forms of false understanding in the form of squirrelly religions and silly cults. It invites people to diminish themselves and dehumanise themselves by behaving like machines - meme processors of memes passed down from Madison Avenue and Hollywood and what have you.
How do we fight back? It's a question worth answering. I think that by creating art -- art -- man was not put on this planet to toil in the mud. Or the god who put us on this planet to toil in the mud is no god I want to have any part of. It's some kind of gnostic demon, it's some kind of cannibalistic dema urge that should be thoroughly renounced and rejected.
By putting the art pedal to the metal we really, I think, maximise our humanness and become much more necessary and incomprehensible to the machines.
The following is, in all likelihood, exactly the sort of thing to which McKenna was referring when he suggested the creation of art as part of the fight back against corporate culture and the mass psychology of fascism:
As the man says, don't give up on solutions.