|Much like B. B. Rodriguez, I only like mobs when I'm leading them|
Early posts in this blog extolled the concept of meme politics - the idea that a liberatory anti-capitalist political project could be spread through something like the Anonymous internet mob phenomenon which grew out of 4chan /b/, the asshole of the Internet, and secondary websites like Encyclopedia Dramatica.
Well, the future is here, and it FUCKIN' SUCKS.
Do you guys know about QAnon? That's pure meme politics of the type I used to foresee. It's also a bloodthirsty fascist braindeath cult, operated by grifters and exploited by mainstream political operators. (The latter is the classic relationship, of course: the original Nazis were despised by mainstream German conservatives as dumb thugs, but were cynically used to bash the Left with.)
The main problem is that meme politics are stupid politics, in its current form. It's effectively precisely because it destroys consciousness - it encourages people to switch off their minds. YouTube is a hive of conspiracy theories and fascism not just because of its algorithm, but because studies have showed what Chaos Marxism always understood - that people will believe absolute garbage if it's in video form with smooth graphics and creepy music, that they would reject if they saw it written on the page. ETA: Memes are aesthetics; Walter Benjamin said that turning politics into aesthetics was an essential point of fascism. You do the match.
Some wiseacre on Twitter was recently saying that QAnon in particular is something like the Snow Crash mind virus, creating a "human botnet" which will do whatever the signals tell it (or, for the real nerds, the Remote from the Faction Paradox universe). So, Q can tell someone "$30 grand and I'll instruct my minions to stalk and harass that café down the road which gave you bad service". Tell them that they're harvesting adrenochrome from babies in its basement or something.
(As I've said before, Anonymous didn't have to wind up in GamerGate, QAnon and similar fascist online mobs - but its anti-capitalist, anti-systemic leadership were taken out when Lulzsec was destroyed.)
So if Chaos Marxism still has a project, I suppose it'll be something like trying to create a vaccine (or a psychological anti-virus program) that will make socialist movements immune to meme politics. And it would have to be something like creating an intellectual culture in the movement, rather than some kind of individualist CBT thing.
Could memes be used to convey positive messages? Yes. But let's face it - it was always an elitist idea, the cynical idea of overriding people's conscious minds and appealing straight to the preconscious. Chaos Marxism now rejects that in favour of what Marx himself, as well as Sigmund Freud, wanted - bringing ourselves and the whole world to full consciousness, so we can no longer be worked like a puppet by cynical meme-lords.
Anyway, check out this lady, she seems to be working in a similar tradition.