Dreams and the Business Framework of Consciousness

Society, by its very definition, has always been a group mind. The group psychology theories of Gustave Le Bon, Sigmund Freud, and Elias Canetti's Crowds and Power help explain the role and operation of the crowd and the group mind in dreams. In The Consciousness Industry, Hans Magnus Enzensberger sees thought and commercial ideas as regulated by an institutional and industrial superstructure. The civic production of everyday consciousness is behaviourally conditioned and reinforced by the culture industries demands for consumer conformity. For Enzensberger, the mind-making industry is a product of the last 100 years. The unconscious became colonized and industrialized by the media.

If science fiction shapes imagined possibilities of the future then, as Frederic Jameson has pointed out, cyberpunk is the supreme expression of the technological sublime in late capitalism. The evidence such hypotheses are common in dream texts received by the  IIDR. The thought of Noam Chomsky that consciousness becomes a product of manufacturing consent through media imperialism is ever-present in modern Dream Vision.

Dreams are subject to a political economy whose dialogue goes on within political, national, and international forums. The Republicans' 1995 manifesto, Restoring the Dream, represented a domestic recipe to refashion the U.S. political economy. Dreams expose the deep structures of language, class, sex, race, age, and the body. The politicizing of mind, consciousness and the unconscious has existed since the beginnings of the ancient Greek polis. In cinema, the money motive often alters the plot and characters' motivation, for example, in The Maltese Falcon (view video), Casablanca (see film trailer), Goldfinger (watch film clip), Wall Street (view trailer) and No Country for Old Men (see video clip).

As Marshall McLuhan says in The Gutenberg Galaxy, "Money is a metaphor in the sense that it stores skill and labour and also translates one skill into another." In this stock market or warehouse of images that is the dream, money talks and time is money. Pay cheques, gifts, dowries, money lenders, hush money, blood money, pocket money, ransom money, the swindler, the hustler, the debt collector -all are bound in a class code circuitry that creates relations and meaning, idealizing conspicuous affluence, depersonalizing and stigmatizing failure and poverty.

The daily mass consumer's calculus of material well-being generates a sense of deprivation and supports the politics of envy. For the poor, there are injuries to freedom and dignity in the inability to win and be a winner, the self-defeating sense of no-win situations. On U.S. currency, "In God We Trust" basically tells us that money is a fiction that we must have faith in, based on the government's assurance that money has real value. A problem arises when confidence falters. Guenter Schmoelders in Psychology des Geldes (Psychology of Money) believes that money is an illusion based on consensus, and when this consensus changes, value does also.

Georg Simmel in Philosophy of Money investigated how bureaucratic rationalization has uprooted tradition, making a sense of belonging expendable. The progress of rationalization since the 15th century has been marked by the eradication of mystery, emotion and tradition as valuations, to be replaced by cool rational calculation. The everyday business news dominates media attention. Hundreds of multi-national companies control the commercial landscape. Retailers like Wal-Mart, oil companies like Exxon, Shell, British Petroleum, car manufacturers like GM, Toyota and Daimler/Chrysler rank in the top 10 global revenue generating corporations world wide. World stock exchanges like the NASDAQ drive the marketplace of global markets. Cash, credit cards, debit, cheque and money order all are financial tools of exchange.

Thorstein Veblen The Theory of the Business Enterprise believes that; "The MATERIAL FRAMEWORK of modern civilization is the industrial system, and the directing force which animates this framework is the business enterprise." Veblen is principally interested in the operation of business vehicles and the traffic of modern life, business and commerce which is anchored in the machine process. In The Theory of the Leisure Class Veblen provided a critique of consumerism.

The material and psychological framework of industry and leisure in modern civilization can be found in our dreams, here are some of the industries; 

The IIDR will continue to post dream interpretations related to other industries such as that advertising, auto, airline and housing industries.


All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.