when Twitter became more abuzz with concerns of the “surveillance state” a few years ago, i noticed how concentrated this was among males of a left-ish variety, including libertarian, anarchist, and progressive types. as i like to do, i made some snide remarks toward this trend. first of all i find “surveillance state” to be a fetishization itself of what the state actually encompasses as well as somewhat limited historically. the state’s ability to carry out and reliance on gathering information has been institutionalized for quite some time thinking in terms of surveillance and infiltration of radical groups (eg COINTELPRO); as far as competition for capital goes, dealing in the trade of it has probably been more of a focus since the 70s.
the other day i got into a conversation (debate, whatever) with @Damn_Jehu (therealmovement on wordpress) which actually started out as an objection to what he had to say about Marx and Engel’s views on the supposed interests that the ruling class and working class(es) share. some further thought on this reveal a synthesis of two of my own posts that i’ve been trying to connect in roundabout ways.
it may seem pretty obvious to some, but i think that currently among the left, and i do not mean simply the celebrity left, there is theory being used and geopolitical currents being read that don’t always amount to admitting what class consciousness looks like in the struggle we see now in our immediate context(s). to be completely clear, i think that academic theorizing is pointing in a lot of different directions (and i don’t mean this in a purely pejorative manner, there’s a lot of great stuff being generated right now outside the platform institutional lib-left) with the absence of a larger media presence that Occupy …once occupied. that being said, it can be a confusing time for many people newly coming into left and radical thought who see a number of intriguing and useful ideas online but who find difficulties applying them in practice.
also posted on my tumblr blog in case you ever venture toward that part of the internet…
i really do hate the attachment of the word “-porn” to describe everything from scandalously photographed food to filtered images of galaxies and photos of cute animals, etc. i do have exceptions to my rule here — if we think of pornography in a very basic sense, of women being turned into dehumanized sexual commodities, i don’t think it’s a gross exaggeration to discuss how other forms of violence are commodified by the media that also largely affect women more than men globally.