Old Scene, New Scene: How to move from Particular Proper Names + Intellectual Property towards the Cult of the Commons via Common / Natural Language

I don’t believe in Beatles.

In “God“, John Lennon disavows belief in many things — and most of these things are things that many do believe in fanatically… they are essentially old-fashioned cults. I would like to contrast these with new-world cults.

In old-fashioned cults, some particular thing is worshiped — a person, a God, or perhaps some kind of nationalistic ideal. People who are either backwards or maybe simply traditional will continue to “believe in” such things, but increasingly people will tend to believe more and more in sharing with each other — and by that I mean that not a particular place or person or incantation will matter, but rather whatever brings people together, into agreement, thereby creating (or increasing) harmony and peacefulness.

Brands, trademarks, icons and such images will come and go — they are essentially ephemeral. As they increase in number (remember that the “Smith”, the “Miller” and other such common family names of today are actually more in the tradition of a shared common language, they are not really a matter of an exclusive brand or identity), brands will lose their definitive, trademarking and identifying characteristics. It is all good and fine to have a handful of brands to choose from, but when there are hundreds or thousands (or more), normal people are easily overwhelmed.

There is not much commonality in becoming a member in a small-scale sect or splinter group. The cult of the common is not a matter of exclusivity, but rather a common ground that all who join share in. It is a scene that we can step into and participate in. It is the environment which makes our actions easier to communicate and understand. The cult scene is a prop that we use as a tool to more easily perform a particular social function, to play a role, to interact.

Scenes — just like natural language — are not owned, they are shared. They support communication by adding context. They are used as catalysts in order to transport meaning. There are few or no barriers to entry — learning the language is pretty much all it takes. This is not enlightened self-interest, but rather enlightened community-interest… and such community boundaries are quite permeable.

This is all rather sketchily formulated. Since it is not a completely thought through “finished” concept, but on the contrary a quite unpolished rough draft, maybe you can help me by asking whatever questions you might have? :)

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