dystopian movies keep getting more and more boring because there’s very little bad stuff left that hasn’t actually happened
You are climbing up a ladder, your body seemingly automatically. You can’t see where it ends, and you can’t remember where it started, or when you started to climb. At the bottom of the ladder there might be snakes. You’re not sure about that. At the hop however there is something bad. Undeniably, magnificently bad. You don’t know what it will look like, or just how bad it will be, but it will be bad. And yet you keep climbing. You don’t want to think about what’s ahead, or what’s beneath. Because it scares you. You’re only worried about not stopping, not letting go, not entering free fall.
Even amongst the misanthropes
Some seem happy, satisfied, at peace
But I have genuinely never heard
Of that fabled creature
The happy misogynist
Constantly agitated, confused
Villifying that which you seek the most
Confusing the cure with the illness
Like a child that
Refuses his bitter medicine
You have to put it on a
For them to swallow
Ir-re-ver-si-ble. Revolution is analogous to conception. Beforehand, there are a million possible lives, infinite outcomes, everything is in limbo, abstract, a potential. But at the moment of conception, there is the idea of a concrete human being, with a concrete future. Similiarly, an idea without any praxis is also an abstract potential. It is not possible to terminate an idea, just as it is not possible to terminate a life that has not yet been conceived. We can see this phenomenon unfolding all the time. The modus operandi of capitalist ideology is not to fight against socialism, anarchism, or any competing ideology at all, rather it is to subvert it, to gloat in irony, to sneer, to belittle. Once an idea reaches the status of memetic circulation, termination is impossible. As we’ve seen time and time again, killing the idols will only embolden their followers, rightfully so, as the ideas gain gravity when they become concrete rather than abstract.
This means, of course, that curbing or surpressing a revolution, cutting it down violently, is nothing but idealistic infanticide. But infanticide does not make a child unborn. When an idea comes into praxis it becomes concrete, instead of being a mere potential it becomes material history, instead of infinite pathways it becomes singular. What comes after infanticide is the trauma, and the trauma of all the lost futures, of all the curbed attempts, will seemingly last forever. Why is it that I always think nostalgically over Allende or the Bavarian Soviet Republic or the Spanish anarchist Communes, even though materially and ideologically some of these might actually have been stillbirths? It seems the trauma is not just personal, but generational. There is something deeply human about caring about lost potential, caring about what-ifs, longing for long-past opportunities.
The revolution is irreversible. Ideas are interminable. Trauma is inevitable. That is a cheap solace, perhaps, but it’s something.
Capitalism lives in a meaningful sense, insofar that it responds and reforms constantly, which is exemplified by its own metaphors
(I) The literal Market
This is where insidiousness starts, by naturalizing all of human exchange and its various forms into the economic system of capitalism, see Marx notes on Mill and Ricardo
(II) The trade-hub, slavery and colonialism
Where exploitation and inequality become manifest and tangible
(III) The National Economy
When political goals and even religion become subsumed under capitalism, see Weber on Protestantism
(IV) The coal Factory
Through which capitalism showed off its need of growth and ressource extraction in order to fuel itself, where existence becomes abject and all workers alienated of their humanity
(V) The global Stock Market
As the entire world is subject to the fundamental laws that govern capitalism, even those that resist it involuntarily end up within it, where even culture and all of human exchange and expression are subsumed under capitalist logic, where we first see processes being automated, and institutions being governed by capitalist logic itself, not human agency, see Culture Industry, Fisher
(VI) The quantified self
Finally, as stock markets become self-governed capitalism reaches a new heights, the oxymoronic need for infinite growth becomes apparent, the consequences of ecological exploitation become unbearable, life-threatening, humans in their ideological impotence and ironic defeatism submit themselves fully to the logic of capital, which now most of all desires one ressource: human metadata. Human existence itself becomes the fuel, and capitalism begins to live through humans itself, reaches the stage of actual naturality that it promised from the start, becomes ingrained to the point where we are but hosts, performatively repeating the modes of production infinitely, and assuming their our own.
(VII) Capital becomes sentient
As a last step, with digital capitalism at its eclipse, when algorhithms are long past what they are now, when the loop feeds back into itself, all other agency and semblance of human control fully extinguished, capitalism, having become fully naturalized, will ascend past humanity and exercise its logic onto being itself.
What way could there be for humans to express what makes them fundamentally human? The human condition is a tree that many bark up to. You can point to it, but can you put it into words? Does the animal express its animal nature through its very being?
On the other hand, don’t we have the easiest time defining the animal? It is an exclusionary practice: We can only really conceive of the animal by defining it in its opposition to the human, or to the lifeless, irrespective of the fact that we are animals, too. Animals are instinctive, humans are memetic, animals represent nature, humans represent culture, the false dichotomies, it seems, are needed to make sense of it all.
Wouldn’t it then be an interesting concept to define the human as we define the animal? By looking at what we are not? We fundamentally experience consciousness as a singular entity (irrespective of whether we are that or not). From this stems our feeling of incompleteness, self-awareness, our longing, insecurity, doubt, our vital need for other human beings, all of which are the main driving forces for that which we call culture, progress, history, expression. Perhaps we should ponder more about what we aren’t.
(I) Blank-Slateism is the belief that human beings are fundamentally the same irrespective of origin
(II) It is an oxymoronic belief In the sense that it is
(1) Factually true in that all human beings share both common ancestry, experience, and the conditio humana
(2) Yet are obviously also different, whether on the individual level or the level of arbitrarily made up categories
(III) Blank-Slateism is a narrative instrumentalized by different ideologies
(IV) Such as racism, or to some degree, evolutionary fundamentalism
(1) Racists openly deny Blank-Slateism and shoehorn human differences into systems of superiority or inferiority
(2) The ethnostate is a nicely packaged lie of progressive ideas: Universal peace, diversity and togetherness
(3) It is based on an ideology fueled by the other, an outgroup, a foe, which it feeds on in order to survive; The same is true for fascism, and indeed capitalism
(4) This narrative necessarily gravitates towards skull measurements, eugenics, genocide
(V) And progressivism
(1) Progressives openly tout Blank-Slateism yet tacitly accept it as the foundation of their system of human difference as diversity
(2) This narrative simultaneously denounces and promotes separation through the contradictory concept of multiculturalism
(3) When unveiled, multiculturalism exposes itself to be based on the conceptions previous systems of oppression: separation, assimilation and integration
(I) All that is can be described as the totality of the organic code
(1) The organic code writes itself on the chaotic level of quantum processes, universal laws and entropy
(2) The organic code is written by the interaction of natural laws and matter
(3) The organic code is re-written through consciousness in time
(II) There are three fundamental ways of looking at culture through this lens
(1) Culture is the totality of human activity
While satisfying, wholistic, indeed wholesome, a definition too wide plunges any descriptor into meaninglessness; It is the definition that eliminates itself
(2) Culture is the system which determines the symbols of symbolic exchange
Which denies that which we all share, which is the conditio humana, the great equalizer, the common denominator in our experience and expression
(3) Culture is the chiffre of not only symbolic exchange, but of the organic code itself
Where we assume that we share through our common humanity the symbols of the exchange, but that the way we interpret them is not universal, but specific
All of which can be partially true, though they contradict themselves as totalities, none of them is satisfying on their own
(III) The laws of the organic code extend to its subsystems
(1) Speaking through Kuhn and Fleck, cultural systems such as science are subject to laws
(2) Entropy exists in thermodynamic systems as a fundamental law
(3) Cultural Entropy is when the concept of entropy is applied to cultural subsystems
(4) One cultural subsystem is science, or rather, the thought collective(s) that govern(s) scientific inquiry
(5) Scientific Entropy is the occurance and gradual accumulation of anomalies
(6) Which in turn lead to a scientific revolution/a revolution of the thought collectives
People will come up with the most egregious shit if they drink the wrong kind of kool aid, and have too much time on their hands. I’m not here to point fingers or ridicule, just generally interested in the pitfalls of the human mind, the vocal super-minority, the grand ideologies that we as humans adapt to cope. My goal is to analize and dissect those narratives, to find the plot holes and to dive deep into their implications. Lastly, at least in my opinion, there is usually a psychological need, a grain of truth, a degree of vulnerability and hope to every narrative. That is what this series is about.
The first spin is part of a Black Supremacist narrative that revolves around black popular culture being an opressive institution dominated by “the man” (almost always Jews). The hottest of all takes comes from self-declared activist Deric Muhammad:
In the late eighties, so-called “gangsta rap” took the nation by storm when a young Black entrepreneur named Eric Wright a.k.a. “Eazy E” assembled some of the finest talent to be found in the Los Angeles/Compton area to form the legendary collective N.W.A. The group captured an untapped market selling millions of albums with no commercial radio play. These record sales did wonders to fill the coffers of Ruthless Records, which was owned by Wright who took on a partner by the name of Jerry Heller. Heller was a veteran music executive who once represented artists like Marvin Gaye. The group’s most creative geniuses, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, eventually left the group citing unfair compensation. Accusations flew that Eazy conspired with Heller to rob the other members of royalties that were rightfully theirs.
From my limited knowledge that is how it went down, but then again there is little to no evidence, only conflicting statements. Of course, This is just the introduction to the topic. It sadly ends with the following quote:
Heller happens to be Jewish.
Which is pretty much the entire text in a nutshell. After all this went down, Ice Cube wrote the disstrack “No Vaseline”, which famously featured this line:
Used to be a homie now you act like you don’t know me [directed at MC Ren]. It’s a case of divide and conquer ‘Cause you let a Jew [Heller] break up my crew
The diss sparked a lot of controversy, famously Heller even called in the Jewish Defense League, which called Ice Cube out on his “anti-semitic” lyrics. Whether they really are anti-semitic is entirely up for debate. I for my part thought it was unnecessary to call him out on his Jewishness, since it didn’t seem to be relevant at all. The relation I see is that of a rich, well-connected executive profitting off of poor, black urban kids. Cube responded to JDL allegations, interestingly enough, saying: “I respect Jewish people because they’re unified. I wish black people were as unified.” And I can’t help but think that he’s got a point there. There was (is?) no equivalent to the JDL for the Afro-American community. There was no powerful lobby. Even after the sixties, there simply wasn’t. Ice Cube calling for unity is something that resonated with lots of people, and is, for him, the positive aspect in his admittedly violent, graphic, angry poetry. So far, so bad. This is the point where the theory devolves into a pretty deep rabbit hole. Deric Muhammad:
There is only one solution to this problem. I recently heard that many accuse rappers Kanye West, Jay-Z and others of being members of the “Illuminati”, or secret society. It, personally, sounds bizarre to me. However, in my humble opinion, they need to start something similar. Artists need to convene a private meeting of some sorts to determine the best way to chart a course that frees hip-hop artists from such inordinate control. We must learn how to settle differences among ourselves so that our personal disagreements don’t leave Black-owned companies, like Roc-a-fella Records, in the hands of the “clean-up men.” The enormous influence of a collective group of hip-hop artists backed by the Black community could hold enough weight to make these crooked executives bend to its collective will. The only solution to this problem is UNITY, organization, fearlessness, selflessness and the desire to free the art form and its culture from the control of outside forces.
Here is a man proposing for black artists to unite under the guise of a “Illuminati” like conspiracy to deflect the alleged Jewish conspiracy. Not only does this undermine all the points he (might have) made, it just leaves a bad aftertaste, especially after reading line after line about this or that exec. being Jewish (I spared you the quotes, half the text is essentially name-calling). Though in subsumation I have to say this is still one of the tamest conspiracy theories I’ve come along recently. Some of it is even somewhat historically true. Muhammad is strongest when he conjures up black history:
Some of our greatest icons, such as Sammy Davis Jr., Billie Holiday, “Little” Richard (and the list goes on) lived rich, yet died broke while Jewish managers, accountants, attorneys, business advisors and others fed their families for years off of their largess. Few entertainers in the history of Black America have been able to say that their assets and true net worth were as prominent as their talent and popularity. Sadly, hip-hop is no different. And while hip-hop has produced a handful of millionaires, they are like a teardrop in the Pacific Ocean when compared to the many rappers who, like most Black people, are living “show-to-show” and “check-to-check.”
The text has some pretty vile anti-semitic rhetoric, feeds the everlasting Stereotype of the greedy Jew, and is generally just an opinion piece dressed up as fact. Sources are never cited.
What this piece does reveal however, completely unintentionally, is that vocal minority groups like the Nation of Islam or the 5% Nation do have pretty significant impact in African-American (popular) culture. Almost regularly a rap artist will come out with an anti-semitic tweet or diss and voice his anger, frustration, pain. A 2017 article in “The Observer” focussed on Lupe Fiasco, who said the following in the single “N.E.R.D.”:
“Artists getting robbed for their publishing / By dirty Jewish execs who think that it’s alms from the covenant.”
Of course the ADL jumped on it, and Twitter wars followed. The fallout was that Lupe ended up naming names: Lyor Cohen, Craig Kallman, two execs who both fucked him over at various points in his career. The article itself was written by a Jewish member of staff, who gripes with the issue of anti-semitisms’ collateral damage: What about all the Jews who aren’t extremely wealthy record execs? Why denounce them, too? And at the same time struggles with the structural history, the material reality of Jewish execs exploiting black artists throughout history. It’s a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the ambivalence of the topic: https://observer.com/2017/02/music-industry-history-dividing-blacks-and-jews/
The sad thing about this dilemma is that while racial accusations are thrown around everywhere, the real culprit isn’t even named. Poor artists are exploited by rich execs, everywhere around the world, irregardless of ethnicity. The superstructure that allows exploitation is capitalism. The increasingly desperate, cartel-like situation in American media: Film, Music.. Seems to either be ignored or ascribed to racialist conspiratorial notions: “Hollywood is Jewish!” The invisible damage that these narratives are doing is that they divert the focus from these obviously structural issues (of which systemic racism, no doubt, is also one) and shift the blame to an easily identifiable (i.e.: Jewish) yet somehow ominous cabal, in order to craft a narrative that is easier to spread and exploit.
Greetings from the Rabbit Hole. Yours sincerely,