According to Gajo Petrović, who wrote A Dictionary of Marxist Thought in 1983, “reification” is:
“The act (or result of the act) of transforming human properties, relations and actions into properties, relations and actions of man produced things which have become independent (and which are imagined as originally independent) of man and govern his life. Also transformation of human beings into thing like beings which do not behave in a human way but according to the laws of the thing world.”
Well, I’d like you to meet Samantha. Samantha was an intelligent, ambitious, talented, loyal, hardworking, healthy, beautiful 18 year old. Her protective, loving parents, with God’s guidance, have successfully avoided putting her into the thing-world (the world of reification), shunning bondage through surety, contracts that can never be broken, and lies that are treated as truth.
Samantha loved her family and life on the farm, but like most young adults, she wanted to know what life is like “out there” in the thing-world. Her desires were to travel in the thing-world, get a job to learn new skills in the thing-world, save up enough money to do thing-world things, and basically see what God has planned for her life.
She first wanted to try to travel in the thing-world. In spite of the fact that Samantha has operated dirt bikes, go-carts, tractors, cars and trucks on the farm since she was five years old, she does not qualify as a “driver” in the thing-world until she gets a plastic thing called a “Driver’s License
.” She is confident that she will pass a skill test to obtain the plastic thing, so gets a ride to the thing-world building called the “DMV.”
S – “I’d like to get a driver’s license, please.”
DMV – “Ok. We’ll need to see your birth certificate, social security card, and proper ID.”
S – “I don’t have those things. But I have legal evidence of who I am and I can show you how well I can drive” handing thing world being a paper thing called “Affidavit of Identity” as recommended by a thing world legal expert.
DMV – (giving her a look of astonishment and contempt…) “Why don’t you have those things? You NEED those things! You can’t DRIVE without those things! You can’t LIVE without those things! Go get those things and come back!”
Samantha leaves the thing-world DMV without a plastic thing. She thinks to herself, “How silly…I’ve been driving for 13 years and living for 18 years without those things! Thing-world being is clueless!”
After again discussing with her parents the ramifications of getting things to enter the thing-world, Samantha prayerfully counts the cost of not having said things, and attempts to get them.
First step – birth certificate.
It is not enough in the thing-world to be born from your mother’s womb in front of witnesses, have a doctor’s record of this birth, and have your birth recorded in your family Bible. Thing-world only sees a paper thing called a “Birth Certificate” as proof that you were born.
Samantha’s parents understood that a Birth Certificate was a security instrument that mentally converted Samantha into chattel, and thought at the time of her birth that it would be an evil thing to do to their daughter. Little did they know that the hospital did not need the parents’ permission to create this security instrument called a “Birth Certificate” out of thin air, giving Samantha the appearance of being a chattel thing in the thing-world. After some paperwork and fees paid, Samantha had in her possession the oh so important “Birth Certificate” thing, which, through the system of reification, now allowed Samantha’s existence as a "citizen
" to be recognized in the thing-world.
Second step – Social Security Card.
Samantha’s parents understood that a Social Security Account was a contract that could never be ended short of death, and would mentally convert
(reify) Samantha into surety
for a debt that could never be paid, and thought at the time of her birth that putting her into a lifetime of bondage and servitude would be an evil thing to do to their daughter. So while Samantha’s parents did not choose to enter their daughter into this voluntary scheme
, Samantha saw no other choice but to volunteer herself. So she got a ride down to the thing-world Social Security Administration to try to obtain the “Social Security Card” thing that would allow her to get the “Driver’s License” thing.
S – “I’d like to apply for a Social Security Number please.”
SSA (in very broken, almost unintelligible, English) – “You mean you need a replacement card?”
S – “No, I have never had a card. I’m applying for the first time.”
SSA (giving her a look of astonishment and contempt…) – “What do you mean you don’t have a number?! Why don’t you have number?”
S – “My parents did not get me a number for religious reasons, but I would like to get one now. Can you help me?”
SSA – “I don’t know. Wait here…” and disappears for about 25 minutes.
SSA – “I need your Birth Certificate and your Driver’s License.”
S – “Here is the Birth Certificate. I do not have a Driver’s License.”
SSA – “What?! You are 18 and don’t have a Driver’s License?! Then I need to see your School ID. Or an Employee ID. Or a Military ID. You must prove who you are.”
S (a bit startled at the contempt shown by thing world being) – “I can’t get a Driver’s License without a Social Security Card. I don’t have a School ID because I was homeschooled. I don’t have an Employee ID because I can’t be employed without a Social Security Card. I’m not in the Military.”
SSA – “Why didn’t you go to school? You HAVE to go to school!”
S – “I was educated by my parents at ho…”
SSA (not waiting for an answer…) – Well you do have medical records, right? You must have been vaccinated! Or a copy of your last tax return? You do file taxes, right?!”
S (trying to stay on point)- I have medical records from my hospital birth and a recent physical…
SSA – Just give me what you have and we’ll get back to you…
After about a year’s time, dozens of phone calls, letters to SSA, and multiple visits back to the thing-world SSA office in the city, Samantha had that magical card in her hand that made her exist in the thing-world.
Third Step - Driver's License
She could now exist to the DMV, so went and got her plastic thing called a "license" and became a "driver." She even made her car exist by mentally converting it into a thing-world "motor vehicle
" with a paper title saying so and registered
the title with the thing-world STATE
so thing-world enforcers don’t punish her.
Now that Samantha was a "driver
" she could now become an "employee
" and got not one but two jobs, to pay for all her thing-world stuff, working many hours a week for thing-world "wages" that automatically showed up on thing-world "debit card". She begins embracing the laws of the thing-world, even eating thing-world food (yes, it is food in name only…), getting thing-world allotted sleep (taking chemicals to get to sleep and chemicals to wake up) , following thing-world mandate of mentally and physically alienating her family, and forgetting most of what she was taught about faith, virtue, love, and loyalty. It took an amazingly short time for Samantha to transform from a bright, creative, inspired, faithful young lady into a droning, dull thing like being which does not behave in a human way but according to the laws of the thing-world, just as Gajo Petrović wrote in regards to reification.
Does Samantha now realize why her parents loved her enough to keep her out of the thing-world for most of her life? Of course not…They deprived her, she says. And she was recently overheard telling her little sister of this deprivation. “Sis, you NEED to get a Social Security card and a driver’s license! You NEED those things! You can’t LIVE without those things! You are NOTHING without those things!”
Little sis sheds a tear over the sister she has lost, and says a simple “No thank you,” for now, anyway.
And that, folks, is reification in a nutshell.