Today I Will Launch My Infant Son Into Orbit


Since Rami Ism

ail (and by extension, everyone else) was reliably informed (after he had the temerity to find an American setting for a game boring, gasp and shock) that there are only three games about America, and so obviously American culture is just so ignored and underrepresented in media, I have somewhat revised my opinions about Gramsci's "war of position" and how cultural struggle is approached.

It's clear that cultural hegemony is a real and immanent force that strongly gets into the heads of even "progressives" including nominal socialists. It's also clear, per Vonnegut, that the Power Of Art as a progressive force has been decidedly oversold. It's no surprise, then, that people have gotten disenchanted with the idea of cultural struggle.

The problem with counterstruggle has largely been that it has been pursued via eg "culture-jamming" on one hand, and Big Legitimate Art on the other, and both have the problem of usually not presenting either, a) a clear statement about capitalism or imperialism per se being the problem, or b) any kind of positive program or response. The abandonment of the war of position to Adbusters and the like has been a pretty serious negative impact.

Presenting any kind of clearly socialist response in any context, of course, is already being declared (per the current vernacular) "cringe" (and has been treated negatively even by vaunted socialists for the entire post-Soviet era at least); you can note that the SVB collapse was due to Tech Bros, but if you clearly state it was a failure of the capitalist system you can expect to get booed. From liberals, of course, that's expected. From nominal socialists, however, you can also expect to get static. After all, "everyone knows that," "you're preaching to the choir," etc, regardless of the content or the actual audience.

And that's why there's only three games about America. Revolutionaries should be used to being mocked and attacked for being such already, so that shouldn't affect what we do or the strategies we pursue. The near-complete abandonment of war of position (at least in the cultural realm) must be revisited, but we have to be able to firmly state both problems and solutions, and any cultural struggle also needs to be grounded in real material struggle, not just Saying Smart Words.

Posted by decay on Wednesday, March 29th 2023 at 8:50 pm PDT