Over at Plough, the tag is: Another life is possible. This ought to be a mantra for most of us. We can live in defiance of the mandates of technocracy and metaphysical capitalism; we can’t make those demonic Powers go away, and we probably can’t live uninfluenced by them — but we can reduce their power over our lives, one small step at a time. Independence is not gained in an instant, but I think there’s a growing body of people who want it.
There’s a funny passage in James Pogue’s recent report on right-wingers relocating to the West:
Resistance to “globalism” is a new organizing force of right-wing politics. “These people at the World Economic Forum,” DeSantis told the National Conservatism Conference in September, “they just view us as a bunch of peasants. I can tell you, things like the World Economic Forum are dead on arrival in the state of Florida.” It could have been Alex Jones talking.
Well, maybe. But it certainly could’ve been Bernie Sanders talking. And isn’t that noteworthy?
It would be nice if people found it so. Recently Michelle Goldberg wrote about recent studies showing the damage that social media platforms are doing to the mental health of young people — but as soon as some politicians on the right called attention to those studies, reactive nitwits on the left, of which there are many, fled to alternative explanations. Because Josh Hawley can’t be allowed to make a valid point about anything, now can he? Goldberg:
The idea that unaccountable corporate behemoths are harming kids with their products shouldn’t be a hard one for liberals to accept, even if figures like Hawley believe it as well. I’m not sure if banning social media for young people is the right way to start fixing the psychic catastrophe engulfing so many kids. But we’re not going to find any fix at all if we simply start with our political priors and work backward.
If people — people on social media all the freaking time, naturally — could manage to take a few minutes’ break from their Pavlovian virtual cages, they might discover the possibility of consensus — consensus on the vital necessity to restrain the predatory megacorporations that are destroying our society, and, if their recent adventures in chatbots are any indication, are very much looking for new worlds to ruin.
Any day I can take a step back from my political priors, take a step back from absorption in Technopoly, take a step back from the commodification of myself, is a good day. That some of us find that extremely difficult is perhaps a good Lenten meditation.