In Lady Chatterley’s Lover (DH Lawrence), one of the characters loves to define human enslavement to money as the Bitch Goddess. It’s caught on. His friends use the term too. I don’t like the feminisation and deification of money, but that’s not really what I want to discuss. I’ll keep hold of the term for the purpose of my question.
When born, our lives are governed by this bitch goddess. Sociologists since the 1950s have repeatedly shown how life chances are determined by the wealth of the family into which we are born. This has little changed, despite wider social awareness of the fact and tinkering with policies to provide a semblance of ‘equal opportunity’. There are exceptions to the general rule, of course, great stories of those who rose from the pit of their poverty to do incredible things. But to do what? Keep the bitch goddess happy in the creation of more currency signs on banks’ computers.
It isn’t even real.
Wealth distribution across the world is increasingly concentrated in the hands of the few. The rest of the populace are slaves to the continuation of this concentration, motivated only by the demands of the bitch goddess, because they have to be. Where is tomorrow’s meal going to come from? Tomorrow the electric is going to be cut off unless I turn to the money lender. Tomorrow, I will have no home.
Through Lady Chatterley, the reader is exposed to a contempt for early industrialisation. Set in a mining community in Derbyshire, his main character describes how industry creates separation. Not only between the classes, but also between individuals. It is now recognised that our separation is responsible for many of the more prominent illnesses of this millennium, stress (also linked to obesity, cancer, heart disease…), depression, addiction….
This awareness isn’t new, DH Lawrence could see it during the early 1920s. Yet, the alternatives are being stripped away while the world is enmeshed with this illusionary global goddess. Cultural diversity is replaced by a cultural mashup with the white potato as the primary ingredient.
I was browsing through cityscapes, thinking about what they represent. Photographs are narratives, which tell a story about a single moment in place and time. Have a look at the photograph above and consider it as symbolic of our current condition. How would you explain its meaning to someone who has no understanding of our world?
To the being, you are telling a story. The cityscape is a metaphor and they know it isn’t real, because there is another underlying narrative they have received. For example, we tell our children stories about fairies and unicorns, but at the same time we tell them they are not real, and if they dare say they have seen a fairy out in the woods, we tell them how wrong they are. The child is taught, ‘it’s just a story’.
The being gazes in the direction of the cityscape but can’t see it. It knows it’s just a cruel tale.
If we could strip away the illusion too and no longer have the capacity to see the bitch goddess, how different might our lives be?