[Marxism] Thoughts on twitter

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 20 23:41:21 MST 2017


I have to confess to AlmightygodsohelpmeMaryevervirgin (and the List) that
for some time I have been immersing myself in the world of twitter.  I keep
imagining Lou, my political superego, shaking his head in disapproval, but
there is something oddly compulsive about the immediacy of twitter.

And it is at times a strange experience, but I have been impressed by these
two articles
one of which Lou posted.  It is not so much the style of writing or the
content that made an impression on me.  They are quite light but the truth
that lies behind them seems to me to be very important indeed.  It may be
that I am channeling Paul Mason
and his Post capitalism and the famous machine
<http://thenewobjectivity.com/pdf/marx.pdf> fragment from Grundrisse here,
but I am convinced that we are definitely in a new era.

I think this because I remember the First Intifada in 1987 when Prime
Minister Rabin was reported here in Australia as saying something about
breaking the bones
<https://www.haaretz.com/news/broken-bones-and-broken-hopes-1.173283> of
the protestors.  I thought he was being metaphorical until 10 years later I
saw a Swedish film crew's footage of Israeli soldiers holding down a man
and breaking his legs with rocks.  Apart from the brutality, what struck me
about that was the time lapse between the atrocity and when I was permitted
to see it.

But in the last few days I have become a witness to the murder of Ibrahim
Abu Thuraya, the arrest of  the young and brave 16 year old Ahed Tamimi
and the arrest of 16 year old Fawzi al-Junaidi. The photograph
of Fawzi has gone viral it seems.  I myself counted 18 heavily armed
soldiers in the frame surrounding the boy.

It is not that I was unaware of the nature of Israeli colonial occupation.  I
have read enough and spoken enough about it.  But twitter has brought home
to me with great immediacy the haecceitas or the “thisness” of the
brutality. I have, as it were, become part of the “general intellect’ that
Marx spoke of.  I think here that all structures of exploitation and
domination rest upon a layer of dirty business (spying, assassination,
torture, felon setting etc) such as the IDF carry out on a daily basis.  In
the Information Age light is being shone on the dirty business in a way
that the Press Barons, such as Rupert Murdoch, can no longer prevent.

The result for me personally that thanks, perhaps, to the twitter
experience I have acquired, again perhaps, something of the kind of
knowledge <http://www.newmanreader.org/works/idea/discourse5.html> that
Cardinal Newman wrote of

Moreover, such knowledge is not a mere extrinsic or accidental advantage,
which is ours today and another's tomorrow, which may be got up from a
book, and easily forgotten again, which we can command or communicate at
our pleasure, which we can borrow for the occasion, carry about in our
hand, and take into the market; it is an acquired illumination, it is a
habit, a personal possession, and an inward endowment.



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