Global Economic Meltdown 2008 -or- Greed is Good
Is the global economic meltdown affecting our dreams?
Your question about how the global meltdown is affecting our dreams is an interesting one.
Money is usually not directly visible in our dreams, what we do see however is consumer behaviour. Other dreams Is God Dead? sent to the International Institute for Dream Research (IIDR) prior to the global meltdown speak about the theology of the maketplace. In standard textbooks on consumer behaviour such as Leon G. Shiffman and Leslie Lazar Kanuk Consumer Behavior, third edition, we can find such statements as "consumer behaviour is an integral part of the ebb and flow of all business in a consumer-oriented society such as ours." Advertizers seldom show the exchange of money instead like the Canadian 6/49 lotto commercials (see TV commercial)they dramatize a dream come true, suggesting to its' audience to "imagine the freedom". From a popular music perspective The Barenaked Ladies If I Had a Million Dollars (see music video) tell us about what they would do (buy) with the money.
As Marshall McLuhan Understanding Media tells us "'Money talks' because money is a metaphor, a transfer, and a bridge." "Like words and language, money is a storehouse of communally achieved work, skill and experience." Dreams provide a window into understanding the business dynamics of this metaphoric "ebb and flow" process. If as McLuhan suggests that money talks, then the poetics and rhetoric of money and consumer behaviour can be made visible. Some of the dreams about consumer behaviour that I pointed out to you posted at the IIDR website include:
- Alienation effects
- Conspicuous consumption
- Global banking system
- The Underclass or The Fear of Falling
What we are seeing right now are dramatic life style changes in consumer feelings, perceptions, motivations and behaviour. The business signals of these changes can be seen in our dreams. Again, while we do not usually see money directly in our dreams, we do now see more feelings of frustration, anxiety and loss due to the downturn in the economy. It would only be natural for Louis Breger The Effect of Stress on Dreams to find a correlation between stressful experiences and dreaming. People with postraumatic stress disorder usually suffer from posttraumatic nightmares.
Both the CBC and PBS featured news pieces called Inside the Meltdown showing who were some of the players in the 2008 market crash. The global effects on the unsuspecting public was enormous as we now know. Peaple loosing their jobs, their houses and homes, their savings. Some people committed suicide. The everyday hardworking taxpayers left holding the bailout bag.
The American sociologist Barbara Ehrenreich wrote a book about The Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class. It becomes obvious that the middle class have fears of falling into the "Underclass". This fear can be observed in our dreams. A dream that I have posted at the IIDR website (General Hospital) dramatically points to all that I have written above. For the attending doctor "time is money", for the patient this business metaphor is the cause of her depersonalization. From a popular culture perspective the 1987 film Wall Street (watch film clip) starring Gordon Gekko who tells us "greed is good". Some might say, some things never change.
Where are the ethics of care? Where is the Hippocratic Oath? The economy can tragically influence us in the extreme, the sociologist Emil Durkheim Suicide shows that suicide rates can be correlated with the state of the economy and society. Crime rates usually increase when economic times are hard. It seems only natural that when legal "opportunities" to earning an honest living and survive are barred then people will have a tendency to turn to illegal opportunities. The ideas of these illegal opportunities are often hatched in our dreams.