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celebratedrecluse OP wrote

Will's points about the statue dethronements is interesting. while i support destroying religious structures, the material effect of making a demand (especially rather than direct actions) to do something like that as part of a mass movement is contradictory to the self preservation of that movement to a significant extent. what do you all think?


celebratedrecluse OP wrote

furthermore, mat's point that statue destructions are proceeding from superstructure towards material conditions, rather than occuring in the midst of changing material conditions and symbolizing those preexisting conditions, seems pretty accurate to me. that this conversation has become about moral debating over historical figures, rather than the material condtions around us now.

It is striking to me how the conversation was directed from:

  1. george floyd's death was unjust

  2. police brutality in response to demonstrations must be stopped.

  3. statues must be cancelled

what do you all think? Does the focus on statues and other monuments detract or enhance the ability of popular movements to make effective actions on this time?


celebratedrecluse OP wrote

Virgil's pushback was appropriate and I think there is definitely a chilling effect on actions as well as speech if you have racist or other oppressive symbology visible everywhere in public places


lastfutures wrote (edited )

I'm not sure how I feel about it because it's happening in the midst of cancel culture and seems to take that tone for the most part, which I don't care for. As in, I don't like the conversation being around deciding which historical figures were good or bad by our modern standards. It too easily falls into the daily spectacular narrative. That debate is uninteresting to me - all statues are shit, it's alienated history, alienated architecture, fuck the specifics. It's at its best when it's not a debate over historical figures, not a symbolic rejection of this or that bad thing. Destroy what bores you on sight!

On the other hand, people using protests as a way to change their public space to conform to their desires, even in this minimal way, is much more interesting to me than making reformist demands of public officials. If a protest is to mean much of anything, that's the goal imo. The carnival, the re-imagining of uses for public space, opening possibilities, etc. Toppling statues seems very much in line with that, as does burning things down and the autonomous zone.

The challenge these days (decades...) seems to be how to push that second bit without just falling into the first. I'm wary of anyone mumbling about superstructure or material conditions here, because they usually seem to be pushing a dichotomy that I don't agree with, a dichotomy that privileges the traditionally political, the economic or whatever. Sure, sucking people into superficial spectacular culture wars is an extremely effective form of social control right now, but so is the the closing off of possibilities and making it seem like nothing else is possible. If there's a way to win that, it seems to me that this physical incarnation - which implies that it involves the body, your local environment, daily life, etc. - has more potential. I don't see how '''material conditions''' are supposed to change without people imagining being able to change their city to suit their desires - and is the city not a material condition? How can you think freely in the shadow of a church?

This is me being an optimist about it for the moment, maybe because I'm no more optimistic about whatever alternatives these people want to suggest. If toppling statues is going to be co-opted & recuperated, then I don't see why the other tactics wouldn't as well.


hogposting wrote

Tearing down statues is fine, but overall it doesn't change anything significant. Even if you want to argue that a statue of Jefferson Davis or whoever is a slap in the face to every black person who walks by (and it is), removing it doesn't remove the white supremacist institutions that built it and kept it in place. You can give your car a fresh coat of paint and it won't go any faster.

The one great thing it does is provide a demonstration of the effectiveness of direct action.


Heywood_Floyd wrote

What I liked about the toppling of the cheapo, mass manufactured "unknown confederate" statues (and they did cast them in large numbers up in Pittsburgh) is that the metal was so thin the statues would crumple when they hit the ground.


Vulpes wrote

Does anyone else find the Cum Town hosts unlistenable? They're not as bad as Brandon Wardell (that one is far and away the worst Chapo episode), but that's not saying much.


LiquidHate777 wrote

I tried a CumTown episode here and there but I just dont like it. I like adam on cth tho, chemistry is good


lastfutures wrote

I find Stav hilarious and watch his other shows but I haven't listened to him on Chapo.