Psychopolitics

24 Jan 2023 08:42 - 01 Nov 2023 11:49
Open in Logseq
    • Today, we do not deem ourselves subjugated subjects, but rather projects: always refashioning and reinventing ourselves. A sense of freedom attends passing from the state of subject to that of project. All the same, this projection amounts to a form of compulsion and constraint – indeed, to a more efficient kind of subjectivation and subjugation. As a project deeming itself free of external and alien limitations, the I is now subjugating itself to internal limitations and self-constraints, which are taking the form of compulsive achievement and optimization.
    • Should has a limit. In contrast, Can has none. Thus, the compulsion entailed by Can is unlimited.
      • Instantly my mind turns to Whole Earth Catalog, which was the Bible of Can for a generation, and a huge influence on me in my youth. Weird to think of it negatively like this. Part of me wants to harrumph and throw the book across the room, what do you mean being against achievement and capability, what kind of attitude is that? But I kind of get what he's saying.
    • Although the achievement-subject deems itself free, in reality it is a slave. In so far as it willingly exploits itself without a master, it is an absolute slave.
    • As the entrepreneur of its own self, the neoliberal subject has no capacity for relationships with others that might be free of purpose. Nor do entrepreneurs know what purpose-free friendship would even look like.”
      • See anti-purpose. The tech work world is full of awkward relationships that are a mix of purpose and actual friendship, or attempts at it. God knows the latter are hard to maintain, I thought it was just adulthood as opposed to youth, but maybe its neoliberalism.
    • For Marx, individual freedom represents a ruse – a trick of capital. ‘Free competition’, which is based on the idea of individual freedom, simply amounts to the ‘relation of capital to itself as another capital...That is, Capital exploits individual freedom in order to breed: ‘It is not the individuals who are set free by free competition; it is, rather, capital which is set free.”
    • >As a mutant form of capitalism, neoliberalism transforms workers into entrepreneurs..... Today, everyone is an auto-exploiting labourer in his or her own enterprise. People are now master and slave in one. Even class struggle has transformed into an inner struggle against oneself.”
    • In the tech world, at least the SF Bay version of it, there nothing is more valorized than this kind of thing. Everyone is a 'founder" or aspires to be, and if they haven't started a company they are pushing some kind of method. It's almost the defining character.