[Marxism] Meme

jeffrubard at mail.com jeffrubard at mail.com
Tue Apr 6 17:11:01 MDT 2004

> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2004 17:06:20 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Matthew Dubuque <mdubuque at yahoo.com>
> Subject: [Marxism] ASYMMETRIC PROPAGANDA TECHNIQUE? (cynical responses
> 	desired)
> To: marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu
> Message-ID: <20040406000620.40463.qmail at web40803.mail.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> Carrol-
> Yes, I agree, it isn't easy.  But it seems like a bit of a meme to me.  (A meme is computer science term for a type of idea that spreads like wildfire, similar to how a virus amplifies through a host).
> Monkey see, monkey do kind of thing.

In this sense "meme" is actually quite an old concept, employed by Destuitt D'Tracy in his 18th-century work *Elements d'Ideologie*, 
and in this sense it is rather radically anti-Marxist: that is to say, the "rupture epistemologique" worked by Marx had to with eliminating the "theory of imitative behaviors" (from whence a host of Cartesian concerns with knowledge of another's mind) from his core economic theory, allowing a "naturalized" history of the human race to mesh nicely with certain "obtrusive" features of ordinary exeprience.  In other words, it's a very dangerous idea...

> I am trying to strategize for asymmetric propaganda.  Psychological warfare among unequally matched sides.  (One side has the objective moral truth and the other side has the brutality)

and this is not, so figure your odds accordingly... 
> Banging on pots and pans is a way of amplifying your message through the system.

That is to say, not using the concept of "the system" if the ultimate upshot is not fuckshittery but personal well-being on
the part of yourself and others known or unknown.  Really, the danger of "Foucauldean" attitudes towards the construction of social life by "power" is in gearing one's understanding of society to a *gigantic* level; that is to say, having unspeakable practices and unnatural acts committed by shadowy men on a shadowy planet "tell" against the viability of basic practices of concern for self and other in those concrete situations which face you and I all the time.  I'm not convinced the truth is *always* funny, but indeed perhaps useful truths always have a strand of viability in some respect rather than "verity" without relief; on an authentically socialist understanding, humanistic concerns are very much not beside the point in considering what political actions can be conscionably taken in a given situation.

> Matthew


Sign-up for Ads Free at Mail.com

More information about the Marxism mailing list