The Woke Freikorps

Laura Krifka

“I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.”
Donna Haraway (A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century)

“Because something is happening here
But you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?”

Bob Dylan (Ballad of a Thin Man)

“I’m not in the business, I AM the business.”
Spoken by Rachel the cyborg, or replicant, in Blade Runner (dr. Ridley Scott, 1982)

There are mass regressions, psychologically and emotionally, taking place against the backdrop of the ‘lockdowns’ (sic). One sees this in an increasingly incoherent political spectacle, in the train wreck of unscripted extemporaneous comments from government leaders, and throughout social media. Unless there is a teleprompter handy, the elected politicians have a hard time focusing on even the topic, let alone organizing an answer. There is a critical degree of bad faith in the functionary class. Even as the script is being followed, word for word, the gnawing virus {sic} of uncertainty is palpable. And social media is now a morass of projection, shaming, guilt, and anxiety.

Social media is rapidly weaponizing a lynch mob mentality — one that existed from inception but one that has now been streamlined structurally to accommodate this growing mental health crisis.

The regressions, the psychological ones, are interconnected with the habituation to screens. Life is increasingly a life experienced on screens. Go to any tourist destination and see people with faces glued to their smartphones, taking pictures, or texting. They later look at what they visited on their digital apparatus. Life then becomes that which you can quickly and ephemerally document. It validates not just that ‘you’ were there, but there was there. In fact, the ‘you’ part of that equation is open to debate.

Alan Charlton

But more, I can’t shake the feeling that everything is degraded. Life experiences in nearly all realms and at all levels feels degraded. A significant part of this is the corporatism of everything. And the most banal aspects become meaningful because of the volume, the accrued total and how ubiquitous this phenomenon. The small pleasures of daily life have been destroyed. The prosaic and seemingly trivial enjoyments that sustained one’s grasp of reality have been destroyed.I have written before about men’s shoes. Florsheim once made the very highest quality wing tips, the Imperial. Once they sold out to a corporation they began to make junk. People figured this out and stopped buying Florsheim and they go out of business. That’s the model. Take this:

One can find literally endless examples. Once smoking pipes were something nearly forty percent of men (in the US and UK) did; the art of smoking was something almost viewed as a legacy skill, a generational secret passed on father to son. There were a dozen high quality small pipe makers in the UK, and a few in the U.S. too, and Italy. Most eventually sold out to corporations and began to make junk. Barling was such a brand. A Barling pipe, made during the family owned business era, in good condition, will fetch you six hundred dollars today. Vintage Dunhill even more (Dunhill sold out, too, twenty some years ago). Or Sasieni, or Charaton, and many, such as Ferndown, simply went out of business when the primary carver died or retired. There is not much money in pipe making today when only 6% of men smoke them. Or clothes, even work attire like denim jeans. Today, vintage worn out Levi’s, if made at the old Cone Mills factory and during certain periods, will cost you a thousand dollars. They become luxury items. The Japanese now make (excellent) jeans on old vintage machines (shipped from the U.S. usually) and using expensive African cotton, and they cost upwards of five hundred dollars. Again, a luxury item (on one level I applaud the aesthetics and skill, the crafts junkie in me is delighted, albeit but briefly). And while obscene in price, a good part of me wishes more people knew the difference between what is on display at the mall and those five hundred dollar denims. It should be noted, of course, that only 2% of the clothing worn in the U.S. today is actually made there (per John Smith).

Yoshishige Saito

NOBODY makes inexpensive quality clothing items. Its virtually impossible. A trip to the local mall (something that soon may no longer be possible, but I will get to that) to shop for shirts or pants, or underwear (I am obviously more familiar with men’s items) is a journey of nihilism. I find it more than just mildly disturbing to see the junk on sale. Endless throwaway junk. I can remember boots my grandfather gave my father, and he to me…except my foot was bigger, so I gave them to someone else. Those boots were indestructible. Literally. They lasted three generations.

You think there are shoes you will pass on to your sons? Or shirts? Of course not, its not even a discussion. And while perhaps banal, given that the majority of the planet lives on virtually nothing and cant afford ANY kind of shoe, its still telling. It speaks to the loss of what had been fought for by workers, and with unions. These items were not a luxury. Buying a pair of brogues as a young man was a sort of rite of passage in a sense. These are men’s shoes, not boys. No such notions exist today. Men are children anyway and wear children’s clothes and have children’s tastes.

Boushra Almutawakel, photography.

Which segues to another closely related topic; and that is the toxicity of social media, today. And the attendant lynch mob tendencies in, especially, white men from the US and UK. Now there are plenty of women in these mobs, but the driving force for the mob reaction is found in men. I have been cyber lynched, and most all politically left commentators have been numerous times. This is the resurgence of a hybrid “Respectability Politics”. Only in the age of The Great Reset, where class is becoming, or enclosed by, caste, the notions behind this moralism is decidedly misogynist and xenophobic, but also strangely puritanical. Now I shouldn’t say strangely, because puritanism has never for a second left the English speaking world. And the acute conservatism and moralism of the fascist sensibility runs throughout the west in the 20th century and on into the 21st.

“The measures taken by the Nazis at the start of World War II showed how much they feared having women in the work force. In fact, they apparently blamed women for the collapse of the “Home Front” in 1918. In arguing for the retraction of a plan to increase the number of women in the work force, Secretary of State Stuckart wrote on May 9, 1940: “The compulsory recruitment of women for work purposes is particularly disposed to influence the
mood of the populace. . . . This recruitment of women must be approached with great caution.”

Klaus Theweleit (Male Fantasies)

“These gendered stereotypes within scientific literature are deeply socially embedded; for instance, gendered narratives about the ‘passive’ nature of the egg and the ‘active’ role of the sperm cells are proliferated through children’s picture books about human reproduction (Moore 2003). In such books, which are designed to give children accessible information about the ‘facts of life’, sexual intercourse that results in pregnancy is framed as an act of love occurring within a stable, heterosexual relationship. The egg and the sperm are often anthropomorphised and endowed with gendered characteristics so that the egg is presented as a feminine entity and the sperm cells as masculine entities, for instance, by giving the egg rosy cheeks and eyes framed by long, feminine eyelashes. This presentation is largely uncritical and such a binary, gendered representation is naturalised through the implicit assumption that the narratives presented in these books are objective fact.”
Erin Harrington (Women, Monstrosity, and Horror Film)

Ingmar Alge

That much cyber stalking and character assassination is carried out by cyber agent-provocateurs goes without saying. Social media is inundated with various ops. Those that are not are usually lonely self loathing men with a hysterical need for discourse about sexual or erotic transgressions. And they resemble to a disturbing degree the Freikorps that Theweleit analyses so exhaustively.

“The relationship of officers to women that was described in chapter 1 can now be summarized. The men construct an image of a high-born woman (“white countess”). They then worship that image, which must be asexual. They persecute the sexuality of the “low-born” woman—proletarian, communist, Jew (= whore)—by first making her a prostitute, then murdering her; meanwhile lack is maintained in relationships with their own (child-bearing and asexual) women through their exclusion (as nameless wives) from social productions and from the confraternities of men. All of these forms of oppression—adoration, murder, exploitation—are related. As our meanderings through a number of tendencies in European history indicate, strata in which such forms of repression surface do not engage in struggles for economic power. The men fight for dominance within their own stratum (gained at the expense of their women and children) and (with the weapon of “new moralities”) for power over socially less powerful strata. Capitalism’s survival under fascism is due in part to the energetic efforts of the sons of “strata fighting on two fronts” to combat their own demise as patriarchs. Capitalism has been able to count on such men precisely because of their refusal to confront the issue of economic power.”
Klaus Theweleit (Ibid)

Selim Abu Izzedine, photography. (Egypt, early 20th century. Gelatin silver negative on glass).

The psychological and emotional effects of the Covid lockdowns has been hugely underestimated. There have been a few articles with a cursory discussion about increases in depression and the stress put upon children and between marriage partners, but not much has been written about the deeper and more severe mental trauma that this normalizing of emergency has caused. And certainly little on the sudden precarity into which millions have been thrown. And the bad faith involved has left its mark as well, for most people, even true believing mask wearers know deep down that the science is bogus and that an agenda by the globalist ruling elite is in play.

Gerrit van Honthorst, (The Procuress, 1625, Netherlands).

“Societies of control emerge in a context in which marketing departments replace the assembly line as the core element of production. In Deleuze’s words, capitalism becomes directed towards ‘metaproduction’ and marketing becomes the new ‘instrument of social control’ ”
Claudio Celis Bueno (The Attention Economy)

So, what does it mean to live in a society that collectively has embraced bad faith. A society in which the majority are at least partly suspicious of government narratives? A government narrative (and marketing campaign) that defines itself as altruistic and concerned for the health of the populace? That fifty doctors globally have become billionaires since the pandemic is well known. There were articles in publications such as Forbes. And yet when Anthony Fauci goes on TV to warmly tell children he traveled to the north pole to vaccinate Santa Claus, nobody (or few) throw up. And Fauci remains ..if polls don’t lie…wildly trusted. He is the avatar for integrity in health care. Now, as absurd as this is, given Fauci’s dodgy resume, the reality is that his popularity is because of Trump. The hatred of Trump eclipses all else, even inherent absurdity.

And then there is marketing. And few things in recent memory (if ever) have been marketed as aggressively as the Covid pandemic.

Kim Tschang-Yeul

“…according to the Internet Movie Database 30 percent of the All-Time Worldwide Box Office Top 100 are post-1980 science fictions films.”
Sean Redmond (Film Since 1980.The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction)

“The division of nations into oppressor and oppressed [is] the essence of imperialism.”
V.I. Lenin (The Revolutionary Proletariat and the Right of Nations to Self–Determination)

The intoxications with technology, that even critics of the coming ‘reset’ technocracy {sic} suffer from, were set in motion at the end of WW2. It existed before that certainly, but the current version is the child of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For this was the white supremacist statement. The message. We are the Imperialist power, and western capitalism is now supreme. And the only voice of opposition to that statement was the Soviet Union. And when the U.S.S.R. fell, there were only much smaller voices, those more easily drowned out by Madison Avenue marketing teams. There seems a strange consensus about the effectiveness of AI and digital tech. Everywhere the most read articles at magazines are the ones about AI. Its this Jetson’s future that people have had implanted in their brains. Many who write that one should fear the new AI global prison seem to imagine these massive computational feats and enormous data extraction and so on as evidence of some great leap of progress (4th Industrial revolution ). They are in awe, besotted, even while knowing enough to politically criticize it severely. So while fearing this coming AI future, and encouraging resistance, they still seem not to question the narrative itself. And this couples to something I will get to below about fear mongering and crime and race and gender. The narrative is all important.

Adolf Dietrich

The degrading of life is the result of Imperialist power and globalization. The corporatism of everything today is linked directly and hence a great deal of effort is given to mystifying Imperialism by the Imperialist powers (largely the U.S.). But the use of the word corporatism can be confusing. The corporatism of the 21st century is really fascism.

I was criticized for complaining about the confusion of a writer whose work I admire in many respects. And the problem is where to begin. I feel many critics of, as the immanent example, the ‘Reset’ have only vague ideas of how capitalism works. But bourgeois economics is hardly my strong suit, so I will instead touch on the idea of class. For this is so crucial. And yes, one will be confused about all of this without a fundamental understanding of class. And an understanding that Klaus Schwab and his friends did not invent the Reset, that its not a product dreamed up from whole cloth by AI.

“What drove this reorganisation above all was the sudden fade-out of the postwar boom. Intensified international competition was forcing down rates of profits, drying up sources of investment and slowing the rate of growth. Even social democracy was now too radical and ex- pensive a political option. The stage was thus set for Reagan and Thatcher, who would help to dismantle traditional manufacture, shackle the labour movement, let the market rip, strengthen the repressive arm of the state and champion a new social philosophy known as barefaced greed. The displacement of investment from manufacture to the service, financial and communications industries was a reaction to a protracted economic crisis, not a leap out of a bad old world into a brave new one.”
Terry Eagleton (Why Marx was Right)

“Income inequality has greatly increased since the 1980s, and in this regard the United States is a leader among rich countries. From 1982 to 2012 the portion of total income going to the top 10% of the US population rose from 35% to 51%, while that going to the top 1% rose from 10% to 23%. In other words, the income share going to the top 10% went up almost 50% and that accruing to the top 1% went up 130%. Over the two decades from 1993 to 2012, the average income of the top 1% rose thirteen times faster than that of the bottom 99% (Saez 2013). Moreover, despite politically popular claims about upward mobility, “the probability of staying in the top 1 percent wage income group from one year to the next has remained remarkably stable since the 1970s”
Anwar Shaikh (Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises)

Lamya Gargash, photography.

“…fascism was no more than the death rattle of a capitalist system on the point of extinction.”
Terry Eagleton (Ibid)

I cannot provide a full analysis of class struggle in a single blog post. But the above quote seems timely. The demmolition of capitalism means fascism, that is the Schwabian idea, really. But to grasp that, one needs to recognize that history is driven by class struggle. That is the basic and fundamental truth of Marxism.

Class is bound up with the forces of material production. Once a productive force was the hoe. Later the computer. Human labour is a productive force. But they do not exist outside of history. They are always tied together by social relations. And if you are rich enough to own a private beach, you are denying others the use of that beach. Social relations define class, and the hierarchies are formed through the shifts in these dynamic relations over history. If you play chess, and your opponent makes a terrible blunder, that blunder is also a help to you in winning the game. The blunder does not exist in isolation.

There is an enormous amount of revisionist writing on Marx. There was an unfortunate trend toward post modernism, and away from material analysis. But these are what this blog (among other things) has written about over 8 years. I happen to think highly of the Frankfurt School, and now that they are SO out of favour it seems, I am even more convinced of their importance. Gramsci, Deleuze, and others dot these pages. Recent writers like Samir Amin are crucial to digest. I am hugely concerned with culture and art, and that is usually my focus. But these things overlap and are intertwined at the most foundational level. What I find is people who do not think dialectically are people who in the end arrive at reactionary conclusions. For that is what fascists do, too. They think UN-dialectically.

“In 2013, the tariffs charged by the U.S. government on its apparel imports from Bangladesh alone exceeded the total wages received by the workers who made these goods. ”
John Smith (Imperialism in the 21st Century)

Now aesthetics is tied into this, too. And again there are plenty of examples. I was watching the early Disney Christmas cartoons with my twin four year olds. They were wonderful and then suddenly much more recent cartoons began, also made by Disney, also featuring Mickey Mouse et al. They were terrible. They were shoddily drawn, cheaply conceived and I finally turned them off. So in the course of sixty years, roughly, even early products of “entertainment” devolved. I have written of Disney before, of course. But the point is that Hollywood today makes primarily unwatchable and incoherent films and TV. There are exceptions, but they are few. The formulas are well established and repeated ad nauseam. But then people, by and large, no longer look to the arts for anything meaningful. The meaningless is treated as profound, and there is a sort of camp ethos running through mainstream discourse about popular entertainments. (Camp here meaning the exaggerated appreciation of junk). It is no longer presented as ‘camp’ however. For the mystification of the arts is much like the mystification of economics and politics overall.

A quick recent example of just how bad “prestige” TV has become is HBOs drama “Your Honor”, with Bryan Cranston, developed by Peter Moffat and based on an Israeli TV show. All one needs do is watch the first fifteen minutes. That’s all. The ‘white’ boy, with asthma (rich kids are infirm, often, tempering their privilege, sickness as the great equalizer) in a car accident. The victim on a motorcycle. It happens in a poor black area of New Orleans. The black inhabitants (who don’t speak, because, well, zombies don’t speak either) walk, or rather lurch, forward threateningly. The white boy escapes. Terrified. Who wouldn’t be; those were black people, black teenagers!!!!!!

The entire melodramatic narrative is surreal in its preposterousness, and the acting is uniformly hammy — and Cranston reminds me lately of Charlton Heston. As Heston’s career developed, so did his self importance. Cranston evokes similar feelings; he is now the grand old man of the theatre (er…television) and his acting, while always pretty bad, is now nearly laughable. But that the show could open with such a stunningly racist first episode is almost hard to believe. Did this not strike anyone involved as questionable??

But the point here, to return to the lockdowns, is that cinema and TV did something Jonathan Crary succinctly pointed out (they did far more, as well, of course)…”Crary argues that cinema is capable of simultaneously offering mass distraction while individualizing each spectator through a disciplined attentiveness.”
Claudio Celis Bueno (The Attention Economy)

Arturo Rivera

Theatre simply does not provide this individuating aspect. Theatre cannot provide an incentive to shop. Hence most large theatre today (before the lockdowns) is presenting TV on stage. It never quite works, but that is the idea. So here we have the Imperialist and white supremacist message gaining momentum over the last half of the 20th century. Alongside that is the ascent of marketing. And, for the affluent exploiter nations there has been (in line with marketing’s aims) a shrinking of the world view in their rhetoric (more on that below). There is a constant reiteration of the problems of the affluent white westerner. Coupled to this, too, has been the rise of the victim’s rights belief system. And in another branch is the rather sudden affects of screen culture. The harm psychologically and intellectually from habituation to screens. And a renewed emphasis on identity. Culturally the scope of identity themes has never before reached such a level of dominance. There is, almost of necessity, a new short-hand for identity themes. There are several basic stories that are told again and again. But the problem is that are contradictions when one juxtaposes these stories. And the stories are related. There is always an exaggerated faux concern for the well being of children. Unless of course the child is black or latino, and poor. The white teenager, especially girls, will always be exalted and seen as under threat from sexual predators. Really, the real reading is under threat of being tarnished, of having her virtue soiled. There is absolutely so strong a sub text to these stories as to no longer be seen as ‘sub’. The chastity of the white teen is the polar opposite of the black teenage boy in a hoodie (see Respectability Politics…Cosby the pound cake etc). There is a fashionable trend toward ‘protection’ of children (and indeed it would be nice if such concern were real. It is stunning, actually, to take into account the number of child porn cases…meaning pre pubescent ‘children’ in the world, so that’s a real and massive problem and one worth examining in more detail at some point) and this protection is often carried by the ersatz Reverends and Tipper Gores of social media. But of more interest is always the underage girl saga. And this is the last bastion for self righteous indignation. The once clear self righteous consensus that nobody will broke. The ersatz Reverends will mobilise far more quickly and with far more fervor and passion when the story is about ‘jail bait’. The Mandingo and jail bait formulas persist for good reason. Even in the ‘woke’ 21st century, the nature of repression remains much the same. And as social media has taken hold, as unemployment has increased and places and opportunities for socializing diminished, the lonely uncel (self identified or not) is only a keystroke away. And yet, and yet, the largest and most profitable sector in porn is that of underage teen girls. And the figures for porn consumption suggest it is highly unlikely that at least some of these guardians of morality are not among those clicking sites featuring rape and underage teen fantasies.

Loretta Lux, photography.

Now, back to this shrunken world view, or what I mean by it. It is often subtle, actually. But it has to do with the elimination of most of the population of the world. Those slums in Bangladesh rarely appear in dramatic narratives. Images of those slums, when they do rarely appear, are carefully framed in a bland sociology that suggests white western leadership is what is most needed. This is the world view of Bill Gates for example. The more rhetoric is devoted to the global village, the less that so called village is visible. John Smith quotes Amy Zamin from Financial Times:

“It is necessary … to be aware of structural differences between nineteenth-century British industries and those in contemporary Bangladesh. For, unlike owners of the former, Bangladeshi garment owners are at the lower end of an international chain of subcontract relations, extending from production units in Bangladesh, via intermediaries, to retail trading companies in the countries of the North…. Garment production has been relocated to, and re-relocated within, the Third World, in order to tap cheap sources of wage labor. While local entrepreneurs obtain a part of the surplus value created, they do not get the major share. Thus, whereas the extraction of surplus value is organized by Bangladeshi owners, its fruits are overwhelmingly reaped by companies in the North.”
Amy Zamin (Financial Times)

The fear mongering of climate change (which while real was still subject to marketing) migrated to the pandemic. And now Trump, again, serves as the symbol of threat from his phantom white underclass henchmen. The new Freikorps are not those cartoon white nationalists, but the mostly white liberal and partly educated class. These make up the cyber mobs and trolls one encounters in social media. With millions now out of work, and close to 64% of small businesses expected to go under in the next six months, there is a narrative needed to justify whatever draconian measures Biden’s presidency will employ to ‘stave off the crisis’. The thirty percent that Chomsky once identified as the white educated demographic most targeted by marketing are now becoming the virtual foot soldiers for authoritarian governance. This is the weaponizing of the Spectacle. For these are the people desperate for virtue validation. The new narrative will focus on (per the Reset) a rebuilding of capitalism as a green and equitable system. (again one needs to read Cory Morningstar). But it is not rebuilding capitalism, it is controlling the destruction of capitalism.

These narratives of virtuous reform are found today in the hugely popular sci-fi films (and horror films, with its decidedly youthful target audience) from the 80s onward. And a striking feature is the glaring misogyny, and contempt for the underclass.

Leslie de Chavez

“The description of the proletarian woman as monster, as a beast that unfortunately cannot be dealt with merely by “planting a fist” in its “ugly puss,” hardly derives from the actual behavior of women in situations such as those described above (even here, they are hardly let off lightly). Rather, it can be traced to an attempt to construct a fantastic being who swears, shrieks, spits, scratches, farts, bites, pounces, tears to shreds; who is slovenly, wind-whipped, hissing-red, indecent; who whores around, slaps its naked thighs, and can’t get enough of laughing at these men.” In response to some secret need, this monster is identified with the proletarian woman.”
Klaus Theweleit (Ibid)

Among all the other things one can find in the Reset propaganda manual, one finds sex negativity.

“In Volatile Bodies Elizabeth Grosz (1994) notes that in the West female corporeality is conceptually constructed in terms of viscosity and liquidity, flows and secretions. This ontological structuring of the female body is marked by a sense of uncontrollable ‘seepage’ that positions women’s bodies as both passive and dependent, and unruly and disordered…”
Erin Harrington (Women, Monstrosities, and Horror Film)

And its there in the insistence on conflating women and horror, sex with terror and infection, that popular western culture, or entertainment more properly, mirrors all fascist societies.

Yann Mingard, photography (Saanen-Gstaad, Switzerland. Data storage center, underground.)

“Over roughly the last thirty years, a discourse of fear in the United States has focused on crime. Such discourses trickle down from the top levels of ivory towers to popular culture outlets. These discourses intersect with simmering racism in American culture, but also play on other deep fears wherein women are victims of stalking, children are sexually exploited, serial killers lurk in shadows everywhere, and so on.”
Geoffrey Skoll (Social Theory of Fear)

“The “green economy” can only flourish on the foundation of imperialism. Electronic devices are made from rare metals and rare earth elements which can only be extracted and refined using vast amounts of energy. More often than not, these are water-intensive processes. In the process of resource theft, it is those most vulnerable and impoverished who mine the required metals – in countries kept deliberately, and permanently, destabilized by foreign corporate interests and colonial states. Such destabilization and foreign interference will persist until the targeted state becomes depleted of the resource. In addition, land, forests and water become barren toxic wastelands, poisoning all life and the biosphere itself. The “great reset” of the global economy is the rebooting of imperialism and colonization of the Global South.”
Cory Morningstar (The Great Reset, part III, Wrong Kind of Green)

The American (and all the English speaking world) society has been indoctrinated with political rhetoric that reinforces an anti-communism every bit as overwrought as that of the McCarthy era, and with a Hollywood entertainment industry that hammers at the same basic messages; fear the underclass, fear women, especially of the underclass, or worse, foreign, and feel pride in your own American rugged individualism.

Now in the shadow of an explosion of homelessness, and unemployment, with millions of Americans feeling desperation and an emotionally crippling fear, there is a resurgence of distrust about capital. A distrust of the leadership and of government institutions. But given the erosion of education the complexity of analysing these factors can be overwhelming. Also, the lack of ‘red’ political parties of any sort and the destruction of unions has meant there are few outlets for group discussion. The only available outlet is social media. And social media is a terrible substitute for study groups or lecture halls. And the lockdowns cunningly have made group meetings literally illegal. Social distancing is not about medical hygiene, its about preventing grass roots organizing.

Thomas Leuthard, photography.

Additionally, there has been such a relentless attack on Marxist theory that many of the more talented and insightful critics today suffer from conspicuously un-dialectical thinking. And when that happens, the conclusions tend to solipsistic or just non conclusions. The marketing of AI (and technology in general) has gone on for fifty years. The so called ‘fourth industrial revolution’ is treated by marketing as if it were something that fell out of the sky, a new world order of thought that has been severed from historical precedent. I cannot count the number of times I have been told or read that Marx is outdated. Almost entirely by people who have not read Marx, of course. A popular meme has been that Klaus Schwab and the Reset are “communism”. Where this came from is unclear, but the fact that a number of very credible critics have repeated it is testimony to the profound indoctrination and propaganda against socialism or communism. And, as I have said before, the most glaring absence in this stuff is class. And class is absent in popular culture, a culture where the default position is always anti communist, misogynist, racist, and Imperialist (by extension if not literally). The coming demolition of capitalism is planned. The replacement order will be a kind of faux woke feudalism.

Thoralf Knobloch

The rise in popularity of supernatural narratives, especially in just the 21st century, suggests a need for explanations. This is partly another version of Dialectic of Enlightenment. The return of the mythic, the kistch attempt to re-enchant one’s ever more barren world. And barrenness itself looms as a profound allegorical theme given the falling birth rates over the entirely of the ‘developed’ world.

“The haunted or cursed house is a prominent setting in gothic literature, and such houses are likewise prolific in the horror film. Such places include the imposing Bates’ mansion in Psycho (1960),the unsellable Myers house in Halloween (1978), and the decaying farmhouse of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). This “Bad Place” (King 1982) or “Terrible House” (Wood 2003) both reaches back to the decrepit, dissolute mansions of the gothic tradition and serves to reinforce the idea that the space of the contemporary house is always-already fraught, and its boundaries, like those of the body, far from fixed. The house may be monstrous or contain, or hide, monsters in plain sight, as in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Psycho or The People Under the Stairs (1991). It may sit the ‘traditional’ family unit as both the victims and the causes of supernatural trauma, as in Poltergeist (1982), The Conjuring (2013), Insidious (2010) or The Amityville Horror (1979). This is doubly so, given its precarious situation within a system of capitalist ebbs and flows that serve to undermine the economic safety and autonomy of the nuclear family (Grant 1996; Williams 1996), which reframes the house not as a site of safety but of extreme social, economic and spiritual vulnerability.”
Erin Harrington (Ibid)

“The cyborg betrays every patriarchal illusion, dragging the human into an alien future in which all its systems of security are powerless. This is the runaway autoimmunity of a humanity that is no longer itself…”
Sadie Plant (Beyond the Screens)

Whanki Kim

The horrors of the female body is what hides in plain sight behind the statutory rape sagas and cyber lynch mobs. And it is a staple of the budget cinema industry. And the target audience are teenagers, especially boys. And the cyborg, almost always a blond bombshell in heels (literally, nearly always) is both fantasy projection of those who own film companies and those who create the entertainments, and also an allegory of sorts about female estrangement and male condescension, and a fantasy implant regards the kitsch future built by AI.

As a side bar observation, in the light of what Harrington calls ‘gynaehorror’, is the evolution of statutory rape laws. The use of gender neutral language actually increased the female as victim paradigm (since the only party reporting sexual activity between minors are the parents of the girl, not the boy) the prosecutors overwhelmingly acted on information from parents, not the parties involved, who were minors (see Marcus Dwayne Dixon case from a decade back. Race cuts across all these dated repressive and misogynist concepts of sexuality). Also, the very idea of statutory rape harkens back to women as property, the lessening of a daughters value in marriage had to be compensated. The shift toward moralistic descriptions and prescriptions has meant that the female as victim paradigm now mystified by a culture that tolerates child labor and increasing food insecurity and homelessness, is inscribed in all registers of meaning between classes. Outrage comes from titillation in most respects, not from any legitimate compassion. And the indignation is always individualized, not granted a larger historical frame. Certain ‘victims’ get special attention. Certain perpetrators get special attention.

Again the numbers for consumption of porn and for prostitution suggest just a mind numbing and staggering degree of hypocrisy in western societies today.

To donate to this blog you can use the Paypal button at the top of the page. This will also go to help support Aesthetic Resistance on Soundcloud. The last podcast featured Cory Morningstar, and Hiroyuki Hamada and the one before that with Cory Morningstar, Hiroyuki Hamada and Molly Klein. And before that with Martin Epstein.


  1. Chris Semancik says:

    That’s exactly what I could stand of ‘your honor’- 15 minutes. Two rich white kids collide for some reason in the 9th ward of New Orleans and tragedy ensues. Just Incredible.

    I was always struck by the episode in Orwell’s down and out in London and Paris where he was reduced to pawning his suit or jacket. Now even luxury clothing items are largely of inferior quality.

  2. I need some explication of the following two sentences: “The coming demolition of capitalism is planned. The replacement order will be a kind of faux woke feudalism.” The Great Reset appears to be mostly a marketing device for the intensification of monopoly capitalism, imperialism and exploitation, but the “demolition of capitalism”? There are a lot of implications buried in those two sentences. What is “faux feudalism” and how could such a system arise without capitalism to drive it, and who would drive it?

  3. John Steppling says:
  4. I think there is a lacuna that we overlook in forecasting the fascist future and that is the rapidly declining possibility of profit, as the growing (in frequency and amount) trillion dollar giveaways to our corporate leaders make manifest. It’s not clear how our overlords will manage without money, literally, since it loses more actual value (in Marxian terms) with each passing handout.

  5. I don’t mean to quibble about what we call the next phase of oppression. For sure, some large premeditated transition plan seems to be steaming toward us. The concentration of wealth into fewer tiny hands has grown exponentially over this past year. And we “useless eaters” are growing in number, certainly portending more eugenicist wet dreams.

    But this is the plan, not the actuality, and the plan itself does not make much sense, which I think is your broader point. There is no next step beyond capitalism for capitalists because they are nothing without capital. What does all that paper wealth mean without an economic apparatus to legitimize it? They can try to “own” the world but they cannot physically possess it beyond their personal fortresses, so they are left with simply more intensified oppression. There will be more working class (and petit bourgeois) resistance to that repression, and to the schemes of the .000001% Great Resetters. We have to be smarter and flexible in our tactics, but it’s too way early to surrender to their fantasies. There are 7 billion of us.

  6. John Steppling says:

    both your comment and bruce’s are very interesting. And its something Ive talked about with others, and I think on one of the podcasts. At what point does owning everything mean owning nothing?

  7. A hypothetical question to ask is this: would Jeff Bezos prefer to live in a world in which he is worth $200b but the government tells him he can’t let the temperature in the Lehigh, PA warehouse reach 114 degrees F; or a world in which he is worth $100b, and he’s free to roast his warehouse employees at any temperature he wishes with no government oversight? It’s only speculation but I think he’d choose the latter. Ownership versus control, which kind of responds to the feudalism semantics.

Speak Your Mind


To Verify You\'re Human, Please Solve The Problem: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.