The Irony of the Critique

The difference between representation and personification is the difference between realism and artistic license.

The reproduction of events in visual and aural mediums denigrate the significance of the event if the pursuit a repristinated representation. If instead, personification is the goal, the accusation of historical distortion falls to pieces. Yet the critique remains, that the commodification of historical and artistic events and creations by capitalist ideology (more specifically, Neo-liberalism as it is understood and practiced today) and market constructs dehumanize the very members of the society and events that they are supposed to represent. It leaves a question in its wake as well. Can the self and the other be successfully de-commodified without exploding the free market system in its entirety?

In other words, can we step back a pace and realize that the connected global reality that the digital Cambrian explosion has catechized us with is false, a plague in fact. Because in the new technological landscape, being connected contains no fundamental element intrinsic to humanity, to community. It doesn’t require attention or affection, love or conflict, touch or sight, it barely requires presence. Understood aright, the technological amenities offered up to us by the little gods of the digital age afford us the ability to create and curate our own vision and manner of apprehension of the world as it is and as it unfolds that is untethered to anything transcendent  and concrete that might challenge our visceral perceptions attempt at self-actualization.

Despite the fact that its very architecture (like all directed networks) entails fragmentation into separate spaces, the Internet presents itself as the unity and fullness of the global. Here, through our communicative interactions, the global is imagined and realized. The Internet thus functions as a particularly powerful zero institution precisely because it is animated by the fantasy of global unity. (Jodi Dean, Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies, pg. 51)

This should raise alarm…it does for me at least.

Just because they say it’s Kool-Aid doesn’t mean it’s safe.