Tuesday, October 19
In his 1978 essay "The Power of the Powerless" Vaclav Havel, at the time a Czechoslovakian dissident and playwright, wrote this about the totalitarian regime that worked to dominate and monitor the everyday lives of Czech citizens: "The whole power structure . . . could not exist at all if there were not a certain 'metaphysical' order binding all its components together, interconnecting them and subordinating them to a uniform method of accountability, supplying the combined operation of all these components with rules of the game, that is, with certain regulations, limitations, and legalities."
Our own contemporary words for this might be The Social Network, whose invention we witness on the screen as an act of heroism. Where the Czech apparatus repressed desire, ours encourages it: our own social networks are all about desire, sex. What is needed are Special TechnoCultural Investigators, mapping out in real time the Social Network's permutation into a "way of life." That life must be interrogated.
Components of the TechnoCultural Investigators:
1. Theorists to map out the Network's historical roots
2. Literary Technicians to translate and explain the architecture of the Network
3. Teachers/Professors to inculcate resistance into students and make it "attractive"
4. Disruptors to temporarily disable components of the Network to expose its blind spots
5. Artists and Writers to create alternative narratives to compete with the Network narrative
6. A strong cadre of leaders to enforce, with rigor, the disruptive idea behind the project