[Walter] Benjamin suggests that fascistic governments aim to maintain the status quo by providing citizens with the means to express themselves aesthetically without reforming their lives materially. Thus the aforementioned government that Brandon thinks TikTokers have scared shitless actually, as Benjamin writes, “sees its salvation in granting expression to the masses—but on no account granting them rights.” More to the point, any countercultural voltage these influencers purport to possess gets nullified by the fact that they have clear incentives not to talk about controversial matters, lest they get dropped by their brands. “I don’t talk about politics at all,” Brandon says. “It’s like there’s always another opinion. It’s always better to be neutral. I feel like everybody avoids politics on social media. Besides that, though, everyone feels like they have a voice.”
Fucking knob. Coal formed precisely because plant matter back then didn't decay, because fungi hadn't yet evolved the ability to digest lignin."Just as the carboniferous period created the indescribable wealth - leaf by decaying leaf - of hydrocarbons, data is the crude oil of the modern economy."
-- Boris Johnson, speech to the UN General Assembly: 24 September 2019
Weren't counterculture people talking about "the system" in the 60s? If not the Beats even earlier?When did we start collectively thinking about governed life in terms of "the system"? Could it have caught on as information technology took off? An inability to comprehend the intricate patterns of that with which you interact, and a paranoia about how it may be used against you?
They weren't something ordinary people used or (probably) were even aware of, but under-ocean and transcontinental telegraph cables synchronized the world's commodity markets in the 19th century. There's a book about this, although I haven't read it.I think there may be something psychologically pivotal about it. Like the Big Other going cybernetic and not being fully recognizable as human, to channel Nick Land.
this is very good and very true but i dont personally beleive there is a huge distinction between government and tech monopoly to be made and tech monopoly is an arm of empire imo not to say there arent tensions and contradictions built into thatProbably a pretty obvious statement but the concept of today's overarching system and the historic "man" stepping on the freedoms of the beat generation are pretty different
Today's system is really a byproduct of a totally consuming all-pervasive broadband economy that most of us have opted into willingly and allowed ourselves to become products of.
For all the talk of government authoritarianism it is just catching up to the tech monopoly's stranglehold over your head by virtue of the bullshit on your phone/tablet etc