A Starting Point | Consolidation

The coming series of stories will attempt to define a new logic of political interaction, rooted in the coordination of human activity over all else. The present moment, as our societies begin solidifying within the chaos of a global pandemic and cultural reckoning, has enabled a new mode of national self-assessment to emerge. It has revealed, perhaps more than any single event in recent history, the raw underbelly of the machine of governance as it functions around the world. The capacity to lead in an informed, intentional, and trustworthy way is one of the few things which doesn’t fall neatly within the rich/poor, developed/undeveloped logic which has defined the geopolitical arena for much of the history of the system. COVID-19 is a problem for which a solution cannot be purchased, for which projections of national cohesion can not coalesce effectively. The upside of that truth, however, is that it necessitates that observers look elsewhere for answers. It points attention at things like labor systems and healthcare logistics, which often operate much closer to the level of human beings. What can be said about one’s occupation when that work is divorced from the right to make the most beneficial health decisions for themselves? What does it mean when the metaphor of self-sacrifice for the sake of work surfaces in a way that is both intelligible and hyper-visible? Criticism of governmental responses are often over-attached to the policy decisions that certain leaders have co-opted — but the reality is that most of the national responses to COVID were inevitable and immutable. This was not a problem for which solutions could have been forged. The solutions were in-built into the systems from the start.

Most importantly, this series will intentionally avoid the totalizing predispositions of the majoritarian“movement”-based culture of post-
Enlightenment European thought. There will be no derision of “capitalism” as a central destructive global force in mis-responses to COVID, because so much of the intellectual baggage surrounding that theory and all of its adjacencies have no direct application in the complex world in which we now live. To desire a violent anti-Capitalist movement as predicted by Marx and his derivations misses the newness of our present moment. Algorithmic workforces, the return to home-based work, the augmentation and compartmentalization of health outside of the physical labor that those deemed “essential” must submit themselves to — all of these factors are distinct products of a present moment that cannot possibly be reconciled with the past and future as it was once considered. If we are to figure out the contours of this new system, if we are ever to create something new, we must fully accept that the old logics of global coordination have irreversibly passed.

To this end, I ask that my readers incorporate these ideas into their own perspectives with a clear mind toward synthesis. I can only make suggestions to what I perceive as truth in the world around me. I cannot tell you what I will write, what I hope to get out of this writing, who I might hope will read these works. In the end, the world is inescapably contingent. The only consistent mode for generalizing truth is to recognize that perspective is not something that should be seen as an end in and of itself. Biology begets psychology which begets experience which begets perspective. At every level of these interactions, there is a motion towards some internal consistency that feels salient and important to the viewer. If any of this feels overly complex, that it because it inevitably is. It inevitably reflects more on my own internal logics rather than some external logic which can be attached to any kind of truth in the world. I look forward to unpacking these thoughts as these ideas begin to coalesce through these publications.

Consolidation

I. On Compassion under Chaos

II. Cognitive Expense and Being-in-the-world

III. Against Averages

IV. A Screenless Social Media

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