André Rebentisch on Mon, 12 Jun 2017 22:50:35 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Can the Left Meme?

Let's suppose meming, as well as the political joke, is simply
counter-cultural - a kind of mirror device.

When the mainstream is conservative memes become progressive, when the
mainstream is predominantly progressive memes become reactionary.

Thus, memes jump on the trampoline of a dominant narrative as
antithesis. Or in the mirror metaphor, they show different images
depending on who looks into it.

I found a book of N. Hartmann insightful to this end: Hartmann,
Nicolai, Das Problem des geistigen Seins, 2nd edition, Berlin: de
Gruyter, 1949

p. 191 "der Gemeingeist als solcher ist nicht Gemeinschaft, er
hat nicht die Form des Kollektivums, ist weder als Summe noch als
das Ganze der Individuen zu verstehen." 

--> "The common spirit (Gemeingeist) as such is not community, it does
not take the form of a collective, is neither sum nor the whole of

p.182 "Wie der vielzellige Organismus keine Summe von Zellen ist, so
ist auch der Gemeingeist keine Summe personaler Geister. Hier wie dort
ist die Gestaltung des größeren Ganzen ein ontisches Novum"

--> "Just as a multi-cell organism is no sum of cells, the common
spirit (Gemeingeist) ist no sum of personified spirits. Here and there
the design of the greater whole is an ontic novum"

p. 220 then very useful reflections on the superindividual of language
with the key thought: "gemessen an dem, was der Einzelne übernimmt
- der überkommenen Sprache, "die für ihn dichtet und denkt" -, ist
das, was er von sich aus hinzufügt, minimal. [] Niemand ist in der
Lage diese "geistige Masse" preiszugeben und durch eine neue, selbst
geschaffene zu ersetzen"

--->"judged by what the sole person takes over - from inherited
language which "verses and thinks for him" -, whatever he adds by
himself is marginal. [] No one is capable to abandon the "mental mass"
and replace it by a new self-creation."

From a theoretical perspective it may be useful to reconstruct a
framework of "Geist" theory in a playful manner to address the meme
phenonemons and its relation to the general stream of consciousness
or the autopoesis within a society. When you look at the meme as the
stage diver on the public mind you also need some sort of model of
that public mind "Gemeingeist" that carries the memes.

All this may involve playful use of "reactionary" biologisms and
downplay the role of technology but the term meme presupposes that

Am 12.06.2017 um 00:20 schrieb Gabriella "Biella" Coleman:
> Lots of good bits in here covering the nitty gritty mechanics of the
> alt-right and their stellar command of media manipulation in light of
> theories of art and cultural production. Worth a read.

André Rebentisch                Dipl. Kfm. & M.A.
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