Nothing has such a captivating effect on us in our culture as the word ‘new. New acquisitions always promise and seem to offer us ‘completion’.

Why would any one bother to repair the old when it is now so much cheaper, and easier and convenient, and instant to just buy the new – whether that is a phone, a hoover or indeed a relationship.

Relationships have become another product of capitalism to be enjoyed only in immediate consumption. A date has become a test drive, something to be tried, tested, tasted but the genuine cost and commitment of which makes us so wary, and so often in debt, bankrupt.

People communicate with each other from a distance; we live in a Facebook world of images disconnected from the body, a virtual world where the imaginary has run riot – a hall of mirrors in which not only are we lost, but happily lost, avoiding any real encounter with the Other, with another. Our virtual communications are now stored in the memory of the computer, this is where the ‘past’ is kept, not always backed up.

The encounter with sexuality is always scarily, powerfully real, as it can never be anticipated or calculated.

Communists in the former Eastern Europe did not want happy people who believed in the communist system, but instead it aimed to generate unhappiness in people that just couldn’t believe and therefore these people were alienated, disillusioned, and consequently broken and depressed by this. The success of this form of ‘communism’ was that it failed its people. It is a success that our modern consumerist capitalist culture is built upon. Big Brother is always watching, and we must love him, because we are no longer allowed to genuinely independently care for ourselves.