Sam Dwyer on Sun, 18 Jun 2017 09:18:23 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Can the Left Meme?

The question I would ask is, *need the left meme?*

Addressing exclusively the word-picture-hahas, the power of memes is
I think largely in the condensed arguments they offer; the format of
memes force a certain clarity of expression: short, punchy, funny.
These features are rewarded in any ~conversation or expression, and
images in particular do not well lend themselves to debate.

But, in their (d)evolution to common coin, the rhetorical stun effect
is fading. To the extant we *expect *memes, they have become rote.
*Should the left develop the kind of culture that produces "memes?"
*Why now? This is a cultural/rhetorical formation already rapidly
ossifying into formulae.

To link with Ted's discussion of the Left's general renunciation of
*all* violence, I believe this is also changing. It was remarkable to
watch the cheers around Richard Spencer getting punched. But then,
his politics place him in abrogation of America's generalized and
hysterical Zero Tolerance policy towards violence, removing (in their
eyes) his common social protections, and turning him into a touchable.

I think, though, that this wild social energy is like lightning: it
seeks ground. Chaos, disarray, and their stalking-horse nihilism are
perhaps necessary precursors for new construction, and I *do *think
that the will is developing out there to build a different society,
although right now it's largely obscured by conflict. So, how do
we anticipate that transpiring, and then -- *does the left need to
*"meme"* while guiding the articulation of this new world?*

I think not.

Popular fascination with the James Comey hearing was a moment of
theoretical reintroduction for both the popular barroom Left *and
"*good-faith, communitarian rightists" to the significance and
functioning of the State's monopoly on violence. This revisitation
will develop further, and eventually the puerile little cartoons will
all seem quaint, regardless of what happens next.


On Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 5:16 PM, t byfield <> wrote:

> Lots of bad bits too. No amount of theory can paper over basic flaws in
> analysis.

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