After the 80s the New Left found itself in a state of sloth and/or disability.It turned its head to every direction and found no reason except to rhyme with the past: ancient language, ancient tactics.They never ask what makes it ancient. And if they did, they would post the inquiry on the very devil that did. That devil is capitalist social media.
To be made ancient is not to be rendered without utility, but to made into a fraction of a broader range of consciousness, and waking life. It is to be exposed in a permeable glass caging, not on display but placed within the reference of relative time.
That is precisely what capitalist mechanisms of social media accomplishes.
Fame and Celebrity are socio-political materializations of Capitalism, also known as Social Capitalism. The relationship can be simply put: Dissent can not be popular within an authoritarian society without subjecting said society to subversion.
Social Capitalism is thus a tool of an authoritarian ecosystem, often used to maintain the status quo of a society or community.
It’s authoritarianism is most well present in the language it enforces: “likes”where we may just be expressing agreement, “friends” where we may only be searching for informative outlets, and “followers” where we are not looking join a cult and are only subscribers. The language informs the way we internalize actions we take on social media, and dictates what those actions mean to us without allowing or even acknowledging our autonomy in defining what our actions mean.
The only way this ecosystem could be truly democratic is if it welcomes constant socio-political revolutions & proactively promises more. This is an example of an anarchist society, in which there are “no gods nor masters” to dictate the status quo.
Well, what about idols?
Idols are also a symptom of fame and celebrity. Idols stunt the creative processes of an ecosystem.
In ecology, genetic variation is a key characteristic of a species that survives.In the same was a specimen houses its own variation in genetic code, so does a society or community. The “genetic code” of a society is multifaceted at BOTH macro & micro levels of material processes, as well as ideas, concepts, & theoretical developments, etc…
Let’s take social media platforms, for instance. Most award users with not only personal rewards such as validation, but also externals:
The most important and oft ignored reward one recieves as a Popular user of social media is VISIBILITY. Visibility denotes a user’s capability to reach other users, and in turn influence then for or against their opinions.
A key psychological concept at play here is rewarding Popular users, and their disciples, with a sense of belonging. Belonging is protected simultaneously by a sense of security, and the looming threat of not-belonging… eg. being shunned, or exiled.
This key psychological concept is what leads users to side with more popular opinions WITHIN a specific ecosystem…
Reminder: ecosystems exist at micro and macro levels, meaning they can exist in vacuums from other ecosystems, or like matryoshka dolls.
An example would be Leftist Twitter, where movements are rightfully homogenized yet refuse to further develop their foundation of theory.
In Leftist Twitter, there are Celebrities who often times repeat platitudes that can not be forsaken without the threat of exile. In other words, there is a monopoly of visibility/representation against the subaltern on social media that is not being addressed. If a dissenter OR outlier (ie someone who voices NUANCE) speaks directly to a Celebrity, that Celebrity has the POWER to dictate how the NUANCE is incorporated into the community — through either a rejection, a disparagement, or acceptance. Based on HOW they respond, ie whether or not their etiquette does not follow the established etiquette of the ecosystem… Their response will oft be seen by their disciples and many others, due to their visibility, and absorbed accordingly.
TLDR The Social Capitalists CAPITAL can b measured in visibility — a function of the # of DISCIPLES+the disciples FREQUENCY of USE of platform.
What makes this phenomenal is the material basis of this Visibility as a function… The HUMAN psychological need to belong with others.
Where does social cap. come from? Authority. According to Marx hunter-gatherer societies were communist. They were also not authoritarian.
And without authority, capitalism can not exist, meaning that there can be “no gods nor masters” without authority over “x” — whether that “x” be money, thoughts, or Visibility. Authority over Visibility on social media materializes in “draggings”, in subtweets, & in gossip digested in a self-righteous fashion.
Self-critique is a consensual process cancels out the toxicity of self-righteousness in providing the dissenter a way to save face, or redeem themselves, in an ecosystem, and for the ecosystem. By saving face, they can incorporate a critique and thus further variegate their own ideological “genetic” makeup. Nevertheless, the root of social capitalism in an interpersonal ecosystem can often be found in that ecosystem’s ideological foundation:
Does this ecosystem encourage critical thought and discussion or does it devalue variability?
Note that this is not an argument for the free speech Nazis hail, nor is it an argument against the “echo chambers” Nazis devalue. Because WITHIN an ecosystem, species (schools of thought) CAN SHARE GENETIC (ideological) TRAITS.
In an anti-authoritarian, anti-idol, anti-popularity ecosystem, the refusal to allow social capitalism a foothold would be the common thread.
Social Capitalism’s connection to Capitalism is a cultural and historical one.
It can NOT be said that ANYONE could be a social capitalists in societies that existed pre-capitalism, though there are “famous figures” often times, they were either Royalty, Authority, or dissenters who left pretty much permanent footprints in human history.
Difference between a social capitalist & what I’ll call a PATHFINDER 4 the sake of argument, is the the material basis of acquiring social capital. Pathfinders always left a historically material effect on society. Social Capitalists do not.
Social Capitalists ape pre-existing conditions laid within the foundational framework of their ecosystem. And what further distinguishes Social Capitalists from Pathfinders is social capital’s ability to hinder material variation in “genetic” makeup.
I also need to add that Visibility is strongly influenced by the ideological foundation the social capitalist capitalizes on, ie Visibility in a white supremacist ecosystem will never benefit non-whites, unless proximity is a variable accounted for in the framework.
I believe it is possible to subvert social capitalism by establishing a culture of self-critique and accountability. Otherwise, education on social capitalism is a must to prevent future authorities from monopolizing on an ideological framework / ecosystem.
A goofy aspect of Social Capitalism manifests in seeing an idea or image or brand mass produced in infinitely different ways (eg racism, except In Color!): mass produced hot takes and opinions… Sometimes stolen ideas/post formats (a personalized manifestation of corporate plagiarism) exists in socially capitalist spaces too, and is often reacted to in the same way by the original poster of said stolen media as would a corporation — though the deal, if it is ever met, is struck in social capital (eg. clout [”we lose followers for our misgivings’; the copyright can be protected when a social capitalist used their clout to drag others into exile.])
Who benefits most from social capitalism? Depends on the constituents of the ideological framework — the superstructure of its foundation.
In the case of America as an ecosystem, it is white supremacy, cis supremacy, white proximity, and by proxy, all white cishet peoples and assimilationists.