It doesn’t take much imagination to see that we are already living in the dystopia that some predicted five years ago, or a year ago, and that is probably too late for anyone to turn back. Surely, the corporations that now own a far greater share of the national wealth than they did a year ago have little interest in turning back—and more leverage to resist contrary proposals. We are all sick with the same disease, which is being pumped through our veins by the agents of a monopolistic oligarchy—whether they present themselves as the owners of large technology companies, or as the professional classes that are dependent on those companies for their declining wealth and status, or as identity politics campaigners, or security bureaucrats. The places where these vectors converge make up the new ideology, which is regulated by machines; the places outside this discourse are figured as threats, and made to disappear from screens and search results, using the same technologies that they use in China. The absence of a discrete ruling party apparatus either makes this new system weaker or stronger than the Chinese system. Again, I am happy to leave that question to the theorists. What I am gesturing toward is the totalizing push, the constraints on thinking and speaking, the uglification of everything, the all-around tightening of the noose.
The American system has its own special characteristics, of course. The Karens who are sick of working 70-hour weeks while raising gender nonbinary children via Zoom, have transformed the bleakness of their inner lives and the absence of healthy social connectedness into fuel for political movements that are funded by billionaires and manipulated by the Silicon Valley monopoly platforms whose consumer-end strategies involve a form of social fracking, which is how these unfortunate women wind up screaming racially charged epithets at birders in the middle of Central Park. Because politics can only provide the answer to personal problems in a healthy, functioning democratic society, which is not something that we have right now in America, it seems fair to imagine that the problems of these women and other people like them, of whatever gender, or sex, or whichever word the machines allow you to write in the grammatical spaces reserved for pronouns, will get worse instead of better. The only way out, as the older comrades have noted, is through accelerating the process of revolutionary change. Yet even then, there may be cracks that will threaten to bring the entire structure crashing down around our heads, comrades, which is why vigilance is necessary, and must be redoubled, until the utopian promise is made real here on earth, which history tells us never happens.
I don’t believe in revolutions. I live here now, with the cows and goats.
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor