Is it really all about social constructionism?
Just Protester Trevor, welcome back to The Sewers. We congratulate you here and now.
How have you been? Feeling better since last time?
Last time? Oh yeah sure, that was ages ago. It was just a minor setback y’know? In the mood. We all have moods y’know?
Yes, of course.
So for now I’m reading a lot, informing myself, writing, spreading the word, doing all I can do to make sure the revolution is on its way.
Yeah, for sure.
How can one tell?
We’re mostly focused now on maintaining an alternative news platform that’s based on facts and undermines capitalist propaganda.
You’ve been doing that for about 5 years now.
For sure, it takes years.
Where’s your focus currently?
Like a lot of culture criticism, the way power always finds a way to integrate any resistance into its interests of exploitation and blindness.
You mean like cooptation?
Yeah I mean it’s similar, but I’m talking about the way mass culture turns resistance into non-resistance. Like how being a protester becomes a fashion, stripped of its actual political meaning. That’s my focus now.
Give us an example.
I think the best example, and the most banal, is the Che Guevara T-shirts. I mean no one who sells or buys these Ts actually supports what Che Guevara stood for.
Y’know, I stand for his revolutionary passion.
Right, that’s meaningless, do you stand for what he actually stood for?
Why do you say it’s meaningless? I think his revolutionary passion was really one of a kind, he was really… he really dedicated his life, and his death, to what he believed in –
Some would say that about Ayn Rand as well –
That’s fucking stupid. A stupid comparison.
It is indeed stupid, in the sense that you can’t really appreciate one solely for one’s devotion to a cause, without considering what the cause is.
Alright fuck I see what you’re saying. For sure. So yeah I stand for what Che Guevara stood for in a way.
So you’re a communist in a way?
I believe our current economy is just plain wrong. It’s fucking wrong and it’s the cause of 99% of the wrongs in the world today. But I dunno if the state actually owning everything is the right solution. I mean I think the state should have no ties and no shared interests with privately-owned companies, I think the state should understand better its function in our lives: it’s meant to serve the people and once it doesn’t it’s wrong. I mean the state has no justification in itself. It’s nothing but a social, economical apparatus that’s meant to serve the people. Once it fails to do so, it has no legitimacy what so ever.
What should the state do?
First of all, it should meet the people’s needs. Y’know, education, infrastructure, health, housing, social security. The basics. But it’s like people don’t really consider these things when they vote and that’s coz they’re distracted, y’know? If what people really needed was on the news every day, and not even on the news, y’know, like in the mass culture they consume, y’know, like when you watch movies about wars and the end of the world on the one hand, and about stupid love stories where labor and your means of existence are a meaningless, taken-for-granted background on the other, then, y’know, for sure, when you go voting you won’t think about what you actually need in your actual life. You’d think about fantasies, you’d vote like you live in some fantasy world.
So you’re saying that the state doesn’t do what it should do because people don’t know what they need from it.
No, people know what they need, for sure, but they’re distracted. And yeah, I think you were right to say people don’t know what they need from the state. They know what they need period, but they don’t always know what they need from the state. Coz some people think the state is a justification of itself and that’s just wrong, y’know? Coz when you’re a nationalist you don’t see the state as an apparatus that’s meant to serve you, you see yourself as a server, with some rights maybe, y’know? But it’s like the state has more rights than you. Of course nationalism is one thing and mass media is another, sure, but it’s like it’s causing the same kind of blindness and exploitation.
It’s that old individualism versus collectivism debate again.
Yeah, what do you mean?
That this blindness is caused by the collectivism of nationalism on the one hand, and the individualism evoked by mass culture on the other hand.
Yeah that’s a way to look at it. I mean it’s not simple polarities, I believe they’re mixed. I mean in a way the current wave of nationalism is a creepy form of individualism. Coz it’s about shutting your borders and being a homogeneous society, it’s like trying to define yourself by excluding everything and everyone else, and that’s like the only place you can find your individuality. But I mean I don’t think collectivism is a dirty word, I think it’s all a question of how inclusive or exclusive it is. Nationalist collectivism is crap. I’m into individualist collectivism if anything. It means you can see the individual within the collective, it means you are able to see as equal people who are different from you, it means collectivism that doesn’t blind you, but instead makes you see.
Y’know, see the nature of the social contract we’re engaged in.
And once they do, they’d vote for the right person and the state would fulfill everyone’s needs?
When we see the reality maybe we decide to change that social contract. Maybe we decide the state as it is now isn’t right for our social contract. Maybe we decide to change the whole fucking system. Things will change, and I think people like Trump make sure this change would be all the more radical.
The worse the better.
I dunno. I have a moral problem with that concept. When you say that when you talk revolution, I mean the people who’d say that are never the people who’d actually have it worse. Like my comrade Robbie Clair from Rizla Manifesto who sometimes writes for our blog wrote something like two months ago called “Thank you, Trump”, where he talked about how Trump’s gonna be the one who’ll really make the working class revolt once they realize just how brutal his policies are, specially for them. And that was good stuff, what he wrote, but I mean it’s easy to say “the worse the better” when you’re not the one facing the consequences. I think activism isn’t about making these predictions and sitting aside watching whether you were right or not, it’s about helping the people who need most help and making them rise up before they go down.
And you do that with your blogs?
For sure, I try.
By informing people, by making them see what they think is obvious isn’t obvious, it’s all social construction.
Right, but I believe you just talked about the precarious workers, those who should revolt. Do they find interest in your blogs?
It’s not all about the blogs, y’know? I mean the blogs should lead to action, they’re not the point. I mean I do what I can, I take what I’m good at, which is writing and observing and informing, and I try to do the best I can with what I can do. But what I meant to say is that while I do it, I’m careful not to be “the worse the better” kind of guy, because I won’t say that when I know I’m not going to be the one hit by ‘the worse’.
So basically it’s kind of a hobby.
Your online activism.
That’s what I said.
Oh you’re so full of crap, please. I follow what I believe in and practice it. What do you do? It’s real easy making fun of ‘couch activism’ but y’know I consider myself a part of the society I live in and I have the urge and the need to be involved so I do it the way I can. I don’t have this fantasy of changing the world all on my own, I see myself as part of something big, of a big movement, and I’m doing what I can do within it. so no, it’s not a fucking hobby, it’s a belief I follow and practice, it’s something that I’m dedicated to and I’m not gonna apologize or feel embarrassed for doing what I do just because it may seem meaningless to people like you. It usually seems meaningless to people who don’t understand the reality they live in or to people who gave up trying to change that reality. I’m none of the fucking above.
So fuck you, you suck.
I was agreeing with you actually.
Oh thanks, that was the one thing missing in my life, now I’m finally complete! Thank you so much for agreeing with me!
You’re welcome, of course.
Okay fuck you.
We thank you and congratulate you, until next time.