Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Negation Aspiration vol. 59

"But now you can’t make a point online that differs from the Weird Left Twitter consensus without getting sent a dozen dril tweets. Adherence to the linguistic rules — how you signal and don’t, the way you make your arguments instead of what you’re arguing, the ways you show you are cool and not Mad Online — have overwhelmed anything resembling political substance. Not being owned seems to be the preeminent goal of a lot of people who, for reasons I can’t fathom, nonetheless are insistent on branding themselves as leftists. The basic idea of the dialectic, literally the central theoretical practice of the left for 150 years, has disappeared. It’s all exhausting and stupid and people are not nearly as clever as they think they are. They’re just regurgitating a set of tropes that someone much funnier and better read made up in entirely different discursive conditions 10 years ago. Yes, you know how to use Congratulations. That makes you a true leftist. 

"What people say to me — boy, they love to say it — is that none of this matters because it’s all online. (I am perpetually confused by people who spend a ton of time on social media, as I do, and yet constantly insist that nothing their matters. If so… why do you tweet so much?) But the narrative about the ongoing growth of Democratic Socialists of America suggests this is untrue. I am asked to simultaneously believe that the memes and jokes that DSA became well known for are driving unprecedented recruitment efforts but also that this recruiting tactic will do nothing to affect the constitution of the organization, and I can’t square that. A DSA chapter’s online presence constantly shitposting actually has a material impact on the messaging, recruitment, and organizing strategy of the group."

subculture to counterculture to culture

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