I’m feeling more and more that people in this society are becoming less and less capable of recognizing the distinction between individuals and larger entities. If you have trouble recognizing a distinction between Self and a larger Other, the patter just seems to make sense … because the various words and phrases kind of strike affective chords in your head that make you feel good. But they don’t have to add up to anything. I often compare the inflation of the notion of politics to the inflation of the Deutschmark in the Weimar Republic. If it can be everything, it’s not anything, right? It doesn’t give you purchase on anything.
The notion of collective action has just vanished; the notion of politics as a strategic activity directed towards influencing power has vanished; the lines between self-expression and purposive action in and on the world has just vanished. I know this sounds like an old man’s rant — and I guess it is — but I think that’s where we are. I think that tension between individualized acts and the #RaceTogether tag don’t seem to trouble anybody because they just don’t notice the contradiction.