Superstate as substitute for the Supernatural [MM Monday]

Security Camera

Not much in this Monday’s McLuhan post; it’s been a long week and weekend for me. I had to give you something to munch on, though. So, in honor of the recent “shocking” news from the U.S. National Security Administration, here’s a Marshall McLuhan reprise from a previous post:

If discarnate man has a very weak awareness of the private identity and has been relieved of all commitments to law and morals, he has also moved steadily toward involvement in the occult, on one hand, and loyalty to the superstate as a substitute for the supernatural on the other hand. For discarnate man the only political regime that is reasonable or in touch with him is totalitarian — the state becomes religion. When loyalty to Natural Law declines, the supernatural remains as an anchorage for discarnate man; and the supernatural can even take the form of the sort of megamachines of the state that Mumford talks about as existing in Mesopotamia and Egypt some five thousand years ago. [..]

– A Last Look at the Tube, 1978


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