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Re: <nettime> Can the Left Meme?
Felix Stalder on Mon, 12 Jun 2017 23:23:56 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Can the Left Meme?


On 2017-06-12 00:20, Gabriella "Biella" Coleman wrote:
> https://www.textezurkunst.de/106/notes-toward-memes-production/
> 
> 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.


One of the things that bothers me a lot in current "progressive"
political narratives, and this article above is part of it, is the
meme -- so this ready answers above the question, in my view -- about
when the right wins, then it's about some sinister tactics -- Pepe
the Frog, Cambridge Analytica, Russian hackers [*] -- that somehow
stole the election from "us", the righteous winners. Whereas when the
left wins (or even center right, as with Macron), the it's somehow
about the revival of organic grass-roots, people finally understanding
the true structure of the historical moment and their own objective
interests.

I would call this a meme even if it's form is not a gif, but a "think
piece", but in some ways, it functions the same way: a simple idea,
easily shared -- viral I guess -- because it's irresistible for the
way it fits into groups cognitive map constructing a border between
those who get it and those who don't.

Don't get me wrong, I would subscribe to the second part of the
narrative, but I think it's absolutely wrong not to understand the
success of the right (including its memes) as something that responds
to deep social currents. Of course, it does so in way that makes
things worse -- as we can see and which seems to frighten a lot of
people back into the liberal consensus (where there exists one).


Felix



[*] A german satirical magazine recently ran a story that the belief in
allmighty russian hackers has been officially recognized as a religion.

http://www.der-postillon.com/2017/06/russische-hacker.html
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