Post-Pandemic Social Landscapes: Surveillance Capitalism, Behaviour Modification as the New Consensus Reality

Emerging ‘post-pandemic’ landscapes are likely to be hazardous territory for our mental, emotional and physical states. The human condition is under modification. 

New forms of power are rising, embedded within structures of health security, re-imagining our social lives, living and workspaces, and our physical and digital movements. Until now, the spider’s web of social control mainly operated below the waterline in a space where an almost intangible world existed beyond governance or accountability. Now the Kraken awakes and unashamedly rises to the surface. The beast of behaviour modification spreads its tentacles through our established social and cultural landscape without shame – all in the name of health security (the new nom de plume for social management). It is encroaching upon our media, city life, the office, and – perhaps most of all – the online digital world. The modification of these spaces is set to further desensitise, anaesthetise, and dehumanise us – the collective human mind is being groomed and prepared for a new consensus reality of “normalised dissonance.”

The post-pandemic landscape is merging physical world pandemics with its own viral digital epidemics that now infect the human psyche. The Italian philosopher Franco Berardi has noted that our “electronic mediascape” places “the sensitive organism in a state of permanent electrocution.”1 The social body is deliberately targeted by strategies that cause anxiety, fragmentation, exhaustion, confusion, polarisation and fear. We can see this happening through national and local lockdowns; social distancing; anti-social interaction; social ostracisation; loss of economic independence, and more.

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