State of Chaos
This is denial by means of hyperbole. America is no longer governed by laws, but by men. Most of the “law” is ever-changing to meet the desires of whatever group is dominant at the moment, and even the unchanging parts of the “law” are only enforced not because they’re the law, but only because to not do so would cause so much chaos that those in power would lose their grip on that power. As such, Americans already do live in a “state of chaos.”
What are they doing about it? Virtually nothing. Most are striking the upper most twigs, some are attacking some of the more substantial branches, and virtually no one is striking the root. Most are content to pretend as if it’s not happening, and to go on living as if the disruptions and burdens placed upon them do not exist so long as some degree of what was possible before those disruptions and burdens are there to distract them.
The appeal of this commercial is that it allows people like this, living in a culture like this, to escape the unshakable knowledge that things are how they actually are, and that their reaction to it is what it actually is. This repressed, inarticulate awareness manifests itself as dull, diffused – but chronic – emotions of fear and shame. State Farm knows this, and is seeking to capitalize upon it.
The message this commercial sends people – particularly compartmentally-rational, economically fastidious men – is the message that their indifferent reaction to the culture is appropriate because it just isn’t “that bad.” “That (the visuals in the commercial) is what it would look like if it were actually bad; and that how I would react if I were actually a desensitized, jaded, cynical, cowardly person. None of those things are what I’m seeing in real life, so these feelings I’m having are unfounded.”
Of course, this commercial won’t actually shake those feelings (only the correction of the real world’s problems will do that – and only a passionate interest in understanding and solving them will to that), but it does provide a moment’s relief from the knowledge that this is tantamount to what is happening to the country; that every day otherwise-decent people are letting it happen. The destruction, obviously, may not be as abrupt and acute as what happens in this commercial – in actuality it is imperceptibly gradual and spread far and wide – but it is happening, and on the whole it is as destructive. The same could be said for the apathy, cowardice, intellectual dishonesty, and willingness to be bribed: it may not be shown in a few large, dramatic events – and it may not be concentrated in a relative few conspicuously disgusting individuals – but it is there in virtually everyone, slowly working it’s way down into the core of everyone’s being, and it’s effects will be the same as if such events did happen and such individuals did exist in the world.
Why are large, respected, relatively-financially-stable companies like State Farm – who sell products which will always be in demand to one degree or another – willing to resort to such tactics in order to get a short-term edge on their competition and make a quick profit? Don’t they realize that further inculcating complacency will only ensure an even more chaotic cultural and political landscape, and thus an even more anti-business environment in the future? Perhaps they, too, need to believe what they imply to their customers.