Christian Patterson (@christianizcool)
Everything is capable of being true, and nothing is true until the elites curate it into a narrative for you.
There’s about 6,000 tweets per second. 500 million tweets a day. That amount of pure information alone can be manipulated to show whatever someone wants.
You can make any presidential candidate seem like they have the most vile, evil supporters possible. You can make any presidential candidate seem like they have best, most smartest supporters possible.
You can make tweets express literally anything you want.
And that’s barely scratching the surface. In 2016, there were 39.2 million credit card transactions a day, and that number has surely gone up a lot since then. All of that information is stored.
Your entire google search history is saved. Not only is your current location tracked by your phone, but the data of all the places you’ve been is also saved. Everyone’s work and residence history is tracked and saved of course. There are companies like Clearview AI which scrapes the internet for data and compiles it all, to the extent that people can identify exactly who strangers on the street are, and many pieces of information about them.
Your emails are archived and trackable. Your direct messages are too. There’s over 47 billion pages worth of content on the internet. There’s about 150 million books. There’s numerous youtube videos that express
All of this is barely scratching the surface.
The structures of capitalism are designed to replicate themselves. In the information age, these structures have become even more stratified.
When you’re going about your life, you are constantly generating data for the capitalist class. You don’t need to perform labor to generate value for them anymore, you simply need to exist, which creates raw material for a machine to process, generating value for the capitalist class.
This means that the capitalist class continues to stratify class divides, by accumulating capital that’s not generated by labor, or at least labor in a conventional sense.
There is a debate around whether generating data in your freetime is labor, or if it’s raw material. I tend to see it as raw material, but I can see arguments either way.
But not only does this data make the rich richer, it also has a use value. It has both a repressive, and ideological use value, depending on what data they’re collecting and what they want to do with it.
This data is used to smear people’s character in court. It’s used to justify targeting, and entrapping people. It’s used to harass you and threaten you by the state. It’s used to drone civilians. It’s used to stage coups.
On the other hand, it has an ideological use value, which is even more visible. If you follow politics on twitter, the most aggressively ideological use of data in the past few weeks comes in the form of that classic “toxic Bernie Bro” talking point. They curate and decontextualize tweets that make us poors look like raging savages.
And even though rich democratic operatives are constantly whining about this, it’s a narrow sliver of the way data is manipulated in this election cycle.
Another example is the blatant tokenization of black people. Biden did well in southern states, mostly among black people. At the same time, black people obviously aren’t a monolith, and everyone, white or black, is more conservative in the south.
They’ve manipulated the talking points around this data to turn black people into mystics who magically divine the best candidate, and white people need to listen to their soothsayers.
This is, of course, insulting to black people because it reduces all of them to one thing, and it’s even more insulting because it reduces them all down to the most conservative part. But the skewed data points have been repeated by democratic operatives, and consequently constantly echoed by middle class democrat conservatives.
And all of these things are done all the time, everyday.
This is all the most basic description of how the state apparatus can create any narrative out of anything they want. So what’s the solution to this?
There’s basically one solution: having a firmly ideological worldview. Of course, everyone has a worldview informed by ideology, it’s impossible not to. It’s just, the people who only subconsciously have an ideology are the ones who are completely swayed by whatever the ideological apparatuses give them.
Which is to say, they have an incoherent, mishmash of bourgeoisie ideology that they’re completely unconscious of.
The left, whatever that may mean in the US, needs to commit to an informed, pirncipled anti-capitalist (for me, preferably Marxist) worldview. Because if they don’t, they will blow in the wind of mainstream ideology.
Not only that, but the right has a fairly unified ideological worldview. They have ideologues that offer actual alternatives to the status quo – they’re just typically fascistic, or violently capitalist. The left in the US loses because the democratic party subjugates any leftist energy, and nukes it with warmed over leftovers from the right wing ideologues.
We need to make the left, and liberals who are left-sympathetic, realize that they need to buttress their politics in ideology. It’s really the first step to a last hope for America, and the world in general.