There is a force within modern society that has grown to a point of prominence that was largely unprecedented years ago. I have been noticing this force grow in number over the years and it is disturbing. This force is known as “the spectator”. Philosophers such as Max Scheler, Adam Smith, and David Hume have written about this force and how it has grown over the ages. They predicted that it would grow to become the principle influence on the lives of human beings in years to come.
What is the nature of the spectator? The spectator is omnipresent. It is a fluid entity that morphs itself to fit its environment. The eye of the spectator is inescapable. The spectator is unfeeling. Passive-aggressive. The spectator will shame a person into carrying out its will. The spectator is demanding. Relentless. The spectator will shower praise on others but not you. The spectator is unforgiving. The spectator will not forgive any mishap and will chastise you at the first sign of weakness or imperfection. The spectator disregards the individual’s core personality and praises that of outward appearance. It values lust, greed, arrogance, apathy, vanity, and hedonism. It eschews solidarity, understanding, sympathy, kindness, and an overall care for the person. This is not to say the spectator does not have a sense of morality. If someone does something that is not appeasing to the spectator such as child abuse, the spectator will come down on the individual in the most heavy-handed of ways.
What is the mission of the spectator? It wishes to put in place a model of life for the 21st century. It wishes for all of humanity to adopt a universal standard of decorum that is necessary to breed all of the unsavory natures of the human being. It wishes for a person to constantly compare themselves against others and will make the person feel inadequate and undeserving when a certain standard is not met.
Where is the spectator? The spectator is everywhere. As said before, the spectator has reached a state of omnipresence that would be impossible without the internet. The spectator makes itself most known on websites such as Facebook. People that are acceptable to the spectator will be showered with the highest praise. This comes in the form of “comments” and “likes” on that individual’s page. People that are seen as too far off the mark will be casted out and left to wither on the side of the road. The spectator will make this known by way of neglect, rather than outright opprobrium.
Who is the spectator? The spectator is a faceless entity. However, people automatically know the spectator when they come into contact with it. Though a faceless entity, the spectator will take various forms to meet its end goals. The spectator is the Church. The spectator is the students in the classroom that look at you as you give a presentation. The spectator is the people that watch you walk down the street from a walk of shame. The spectator is the music critics that review your latest effort to create music. The spectator is the investors that you try to pitch an idea about a start-up company.
Examples of people that have been subject to the spectator in recent years:
These are only three cases that have come to mind but the spectator does not only criticize celebrities.
Everyone who has lived in the Post-Industrial society has encountered the spectator more than once. The spectator will destroy your character and turn you into a tool for its own twisted machinations. The spectator is a very, very, strong force. One that has driven numerous individuals to suicide.
If we wish to return to a society where the spectator plays a superfluous role and that of the individual is greater, then we need to stand together against the spectator. I can’t do it alone. I’m only one man.