#28: Group Mind pt. 6: Suburban Holy War
(04/07/2021) We continue the examination of the post-materialist shift, and the emergence of increasingly niche subcultures, that we began in The World Is a Lot Like the Internet. In this episode, we examine its implications for projects of political transformation. Relying heavily on Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, we examine how traditional organizing strategies assume a level of social cohesion that has largely vanished, based as they are on mobilizing people who are already organized into structures like community churches and labor unions--entities that have experienced decades of declining participation. We search for political projects that have taken a psychographically targeted, participatory approach--an approach characteristic of the post-materialist shift--and find only very depressing cases. Arnold, therefore, proposes a collaborative effort to take what marketers know and apply it to revolution.
Bibliography for episode 28:
Berkowitz, R. A Game Designer's Analysis of QAnon. Playing with reality. Medium September 20 2020. https://medium.com/curiouserinstitute/a-game-designers-analysis-of-qanon-580972548be5
Bishop, B. & Cushing, R. G. (2008) The Big Sort: How the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart. Houghton Mifflin.
Chávez, A. How QAnon Conspiracy Theories Spread in My Hometown. During the pandemic, some of the people I grew up with got sucked into QAnon and the Q-adjacent "Save the Children" movement. The Intercept September 23 2020. https://theintercept.com/2020/09/23/qanon-conspiracy-theory-colorado/
Inglehart, R. (1977) The Silent Revolution: Changing Values Among Western Publics. Princeton Legacy Library.
Putnam, R. D. (2000) Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. Simon and Schuster.
Smucker, J. M. (2017) Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals. AK Press.
Tiffany, K. The Women Making Conspiracy Theories Beautiful. How the domestic aesthetics of Instagram repackage QAnon for the masses. The Atlantic 18 2020. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/08/how-instagram-aesthetics-repackage-qanon/615364/
Twenge, J. M. (2017) iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What that Means for the Rest of Us. Atria Books.