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155

Building Power

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Williams, A. and Srnicek, N. (2016). Building Power. In Williams, A. and Srnicek, N. Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work. Verso, pp. 155-174

158

[...] With the Arab Spring, meanwhile, unity was forged through opposition to shared tyrannical opponents, bringing together a disparate series of groups. However, these recent experiences demonstrate that a unity built solely upon opposition tends to break down when the opponent falls.

good thing to keep in mind

—p.158 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek 2 years, 9 months ago

[...] With the Arab Spring, meanwhile, unity was forged through opposition to shared tyrannical opponents, bringing together a disparate series of groups. However, these recent experiences demonstrate that a unity built solely upon opposition tends to break down when the opponent falls.

good thing to keep in mind

—p.158 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek 2 years, 9 months ago
164

It has already been hinted at in earlier chapters, but media organisations are an essential part of any emergent political ecology aimed at building a new hegemony. The tasks involved in such a strategy demand a healthy media presence – creating a new common language, giving voice to the people, naming the antagonism, raising expectations, generating narratives that resonate with people and articulating in clear language the grievances we feel. It is these elements that provide the anchors for media narratives to be changed over time. Foundations and journalists are particularly well placed to make efforts at changing media narratives. It was no accident that the Mont Pelerin Society included numerous journalists among its members. This communication also has to be achieved in a way that resonates with everyday conversation. The jargon of academics is rightly deemed useless by most people. Leftist media organisations should not shy away from being approachable and entertaining, gleaning insights from the success of popular websites. At the same time, the left has typically focused on creating media spaces outside the mainstream, rather than trying to co-opt existing institutions and leaking more radical ideas into the mainstream. Too often, these news organisations end up simply preaching to the choir, pushing narratives that never escape their own insular echo-chamber. The internet has enabled everyone to have a voice, but it has not enabled everyone to have an audience. Mainstream media sources remain indispensable for this and will continue to do so in the future. Their ability to influence and alter public opinion through framing what is and is not ‘realistic’ remains surprisingly strong. If a counter-hegemonic project is to be successful, it will require an injection of radical ideas into the mainstream, and not just the building of increasingly fragmented audiences outside it. Indeed, one of the key lessons from the US experience with a basic income policy is that the framing of such issues in the media is central to its prospects of success. It is for these reasons that existing media organisations constitute a key battleground in the project set out here.

—p.164 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek 2 years, 9 months ago

It has already been hinted at in earlier chapters, but media organisations are an essential part of any emergent political ecology aimed at building a new hegemony. The tasks involved in such a strategy demand a healthy media presence – creating a new common language, giving voice to the people, naming the antagonism, raising expectations, generating narratives that resonate with people and articulating in clear language the grievances we feel. It is these elements that provide the anchors for media narratives to be changed over time. Foundations and journalists are particularly well placed to make efforts at changing media narratives. It was no accident that the Mont Pelerin Society included numerous journalists among its members. This communication also has to be achieved in a way that resonates with everyday conversation. The jargon of academics is rightly deemed useless by most people. Leftist media organisations should not shy away from being approachable and entertaining, gleaning insights from the success of popular websites. At the same time, the left has typically focused on creating media spaces outside the mainstream, rather than trying to co-opt existing institutions and leaking more radical ideas into the mainstream. Too often, these news organisations end up simply preaching to the choir, pushing narratives that never escape their own insular echo-chamber. The internet has enabled everyone to have a voice, but it has not enabled everyone to have an audience. Mainstream media sources remain indispensable for this and will continue to do so in the future. Their ability to influence and alter public opinion through framing what is and is not ‘realistic’ remains surprisingly strong. If a counter-hegemonic project is to be successful, it will require an injection of radical ideas into the mainstream, and not just the building of increasingly fragmented audiences outside it. Indeed, one of the key lessons from the US experience with a basic income policy is that the framing of such issues in the media is central to its prospects of success. It is for these reasons that existing media organisations constitute a key battleground in the project set out here.

—p.164 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek 2 years, 9 months ago
173

[...] A technical understanding of machines like these is essential to understanding how to interrupt them, and any future left must be as technically fluent as it is politically fluent. In the end, what is required is an analysis of the automation trends that are restructuring production and circulation, and a strategic understanding of where new points of leverage might develop.

this is like exactly what I wrote in my personal statement (and still believe), I feel so vindicated

—p.173 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek 2 years, 9 months ago

[...] A technical understanding of machines like these is essential to understanding how to interrupt them, and any future left must be as technically fluent as it is politically fluent. In the end, what is required is an analysis of the automation trends that are restructuring production and circulation, and a strategic understanding of where new points of leverage might develop.

this is like exactly what I wrote in my personal statement (and still believe), I feel so vindicated

—p.173 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek 2 years, 9 months ago