Los Angeles grew into a kind of theme park of the soul, a carnival of transcendence offering esoteric sources of entertainment, transport, and commodified wonder...There is a gnawing absurdity at the heart of this mystic carnival, this tacky tinseltown of snakeoil simulacra
the modern West never really left the anthropological matrix. Instead, it used the conceptual sleight of hand of the Great Divide to deny the ever-present reality of hybrids, those “subject/objects” that straddle the boundaries between nature and culture, agency and raw material. " (p 16, commenting on Bruno Latour's We Have Never Been Modern)
a suit against Southern Pacific brought by the California county of Santa Clara was argued before the Supreme Court. The case became the occasion for a legal imbroglio that resulted in the stunning and epochal doctrine of “corporate personhood”: the notion that “artificial persons” like corporations should, like flesh and blood citizens, be covered by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Like Victor Frankenstein with his monster, the court had brought animism and agency to something that no-one had ever considered alive before. A new kind of entity was conjured onto the world stage: the corporate person, an egregore of enterprise, a golem of capital, technology, and law.
But I think there is something else going on as well, something that has less to do with demonizing people or positions than with trying to wrap the weird old prophetic imagination around distinctly inhuman features of modern economic reality.
one of the purposes of the cepholopod allegory in the first place is to imaginatively blend human agency (and responsibility) with a colossal and nohuman network of economic and technological powers, operations, and connections.