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Re: <nettime> The Meme Wars
C.Robbins on Tue, 17 Jan 2017 08:56:26 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> The Meme Wars


Hi David,

Thx so much for this explication -

It strikes me that "post-truth" may be an appropriation of some academic jargon that I've heard bantered around at conferences ... as a rhetorical signifier of the MSM's hip intellectual pose in their never-ending attempt to keep ahead.

> I believe that the term Post -Truth is the expression of a one wing of the political and media establisment, who fear they are 
> losing their grip on power.

> we have moved from an era in which risk was calculable to one of radical uncertainty  (U.Beck)

Yes, this again is on target.  That said, the rise of the B2B market gave rise to a structural mirroring embedded in this "language of science" / technological rhetoric  - in these very programs that you cite .... and, yes, this may where we find Foucault to be most useful.

> The language of science, not the actuality of systematically applied doubt, but a technocratic rhetoric 
> has dominated our phase of modernity, through neo liberal economics (the dismal science) and its hand-maiden, neo-managerial 
> audit culture.. armed with weaponised -grey media- (M.Fuller).. gantt charts, excel spread sheets and power points, seek to protect their 
> hegemony by drawing on the authority on models from another age that no longer work in a boarderless world - Its sometimes difficult 
> but Foucault’s suspiscious view on the constructedness of all social knowledge categories still works for me.  

These notions of "authenticism" take on a specific irony note for me.  As I participated in an academic think tank ostensibly revealing pathways re: digital media way back in 1999 ( along with Douglas Rushkoff) in LA, we were confronted by those representing the relatively nascent interests of corporate digital media ( Adobe, Digital Domain, Sapient Technologies,  etc. ) One participant patently suggested implementing a strategy of the "branding of authenticity" which would then prove to be the antidote to the strictures associated with "scripting" that would come to both underpin and dominate our online and media based interactions ... and, of course, political narratives and talking heads.  Indeed, 
> "-straight talking truth to power schtick- as another rhetorical pose.  is precisely what he had in mind.

That said, the typology of "authenticism" that you reference below strikes me as a mirror image of a wide swath of online interactions - specifically those prevalent in the gamer realms dominating the manosphere ( which so easily translate into the signifiers and language of alt-right.)  What is problematic about this is the prevalence of a clichéd sophomoric sensibility of resistance to accepted norms. In consideration of your first post as well as the one below this statement resonates"
 the anarchist/left has been strangely absent in the US meme wars of 2016, whilst  alt.right has succeeded in transforming the spectacle of protest into the reality of power. 


To my limited knowledge, the left seemingly has channeled itself more to formations of textual exchanges and more broadly based iterations of a panopoly of aestheticized resistances - at times approaching mechanisms now commonly associated with augmented realities and alternative cultural spaces.  It is not singularly constrained with the autodidactic sphere of the alt.right.  Perhaps, once again, the singular focus and allegiance of the alt-right lends itself to this easily accessible morphing into the reality of power.  Nonetheless, as you state, the necessity for continual exposition and resistance require our constant vigilance

> The mass revolt taking place against this technocracy has taken the equally dubious form of “authenticism” (for me a better term than 
> populism). Its power is drawn from another kind of truth claim based on the pose of the outsider (the Ancient Mariner, the ultimate party 
> crasher) with gut feeling for the -deep story- and uninterested in the small minded fact checkers. (I hate Hitler comparisons but ..decorated 
> war hero.. not a member of the officer class..). For the authenticist even the worst behaviour and character flaws come accross as fearless 
> expressions of their authenitc nature- a truth higher than fact. It is as vital to expose the authenticist -straight talking truth to power schtick- 
> as another rhetorical pose. Just as much so as the technocrat’s claim that they have the key to truth. Both positions need to be exposed and 
> resisted as a power struggle between different wings of the establishment. 




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