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3 cultural trends that will accelerate in 2023

2023-01-08 | Critique of ideology
3 cultural trends that will accelerate in 2023

1. Drugs, the deterioration of the neighborhoods religious morality

In the US, a health system that makes trauma operations unaffordable for a good part of workers and condemns them when accidents occur to a half-life based on painkillers, created the basis for what - through the games of pharmaceutical capital and large consulting firms - became the biggest opioid epidemic in the history of the country.

Attempts to repressively redirect the disaster, in which the drug cartels took on the role of first complementing and then acting as a substitute for the pharmaceutical companies, have only served to mutate the epidemic... for the worse, and in the process consolidate the mafias even technologically. The effects in working-class majority neighborhoods and towns persist and will continue to intensify, leaving a landscape of corpses and shattered lives in their wake.

But the effect of drugs in the deterioration of neighborhoods and the general social tone do not end with this Dantesque landscape. Nor in Europe, where drugs, apparently, do not play such a dramatic role in the decomposition of the spaces in which the working class lives.

What we are seeing in France is that, small-time dealers of recreational drugs in relatively common use among young people tend to become neighborhood bosses... and impose a morality tailored to their needs that subjects working women and their sexuality to objectification and dependency.

In the French case the morality of the hypocritical segregationist rigorism spread by the well-funded Muslim Brotherhood, fits like a glove to their needs for control.

Once again, the lumpen and the petty bourgeoisie, in this case the Islamist one, are revealed to be two branches of the same poisonous plant connected by a thousand paths not always visible from a distance, but evident in proximity. For the identitarian expressions of the petty bourgeoisie in the neighborhoods, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, this type of evolution signifies the consolidation of their hegemony and repressive power in spaces where they no longer receive contestation, not even in graffiti.

But make no mistake, this is not a reality limited to France or to the Muslim petty bourgeoisie grouped around political Islamism in Europe and North Africa. Practically the same phenomenon can be found, although with its own nuances and characteristics, around the emergence of evangelical churches and neo-Christian cults in Latin America.

And in Europe, even if what stands out in the official statistics of countries such as Germany or Austria is the loss of Catholics and Lutherans and the absence of believers at Christmas masses, the reality is that the alternative churches continue to grow on the basis of selling false community belonging and alienating morals as a solution to extreme precarization and its effects.

What to do about the degradation of our neighborhoods?

  • The degradation of the working class neighborhoods can only worsen globally with the crisis and the war economy. However, it is the absence of organizational responses undertaken by the workers themselves that leaves the field free for both the propaganda of the system and the various combinations of lumpen, politico-religious structures and petty bourgeoisie. Armed with a repressive and reactionary morality, they turn women and youth into their first victims.
  • It is time to start organizing in the neighborhoods as workers to collectively face the most immediate problems and unsatisfied needs.
  • Open the conversation up with friends and neighbors. The problem is not the form of organization (association, collective, etc.) and neither is it "being enough". The point is to get together. When there are useful proposals, it will grow.
  • Discuss with us your doubts and ideas to organize and to act. We are in the same situation as you and your comrades in our towns and neighborhoods.

2. Feminism and the War Economy

Ukrainian "female soldiers" held up as an example for feminism

Feminism revived in 2022 its old alliance with militarism and imperialist war. And it will continue to strengthen it even more.

This year we had already been presented with good examples of the old and sinister association between feminism and militarism. Examples ranging from the exaltation of Ukrainian "female soldiers" as feminists on the warpath to presenting camouflage uniforms being adapted to the female body as a social triumph, to the symbolic recovery of slave mythology through the Greek Artemis.

But if cheering the slaughter and encouraging Ukrainian women to immolate themselves for the nation were not repugnant enough, in the European rearguard feminism is now up to its head in the most anti-human muck of the war economy.

In France the pension reform uses as argument to lower everyone's pensions, that the aggregate of women pensioners receives less from the system. That the aggregate is less than that of men, forgets, just like with the famous gender wage gap, along with many other things, the small detail of the division of society into classes, which plays an essential role in the pensions of a generation in which the female petty bourgeoisie had not been massively incorporated into the business bureaucracy.

It does not matter, anything goes. And feminism will not miss its appointment with the measures that impoverish the workers. What does feminism do with a Green Deal that makes meat and dairy products prohibitively expensive? Feminism helps out by labeling their consumption as sexist. And Spain does not trail behind.

3. The invention of Generation Z


"Neo-Luddite", in reality Thoreauxian, youth club in the U.S.

With the new AI industry in motion offering spaces to invest huge masses of capital and a political crisis in the US openly associated with social networks, the discourse making its way in the Anglo-Saxon media on Generation Z, the generation that now is coming of age, emphasizes its distance from digital media.

The media presents them to us as supposed neo-Luddites who read the updated versions of a Thoreaux- style naturalistic individualism as if they were manifestos and swap the smartphone for a cell phone with no ability to run apps. They tell us that they buy second-hand digital cameras to avoid using a cell phone under the paradoxical argument that we are becoming too technological. And that they want to return to the old artisanal crafts to recover a relationship with materiality.

But while these reports point out in disgust at the consequences of socialization through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Whatsapp, American business press and conservative media reveal another side of the story.

According to them, the new workers in their early twenties lack not only knowledge of how to deal with digital technology, which after all, the media themselves say, can be learned on YouTube, but also basic job skills such as communicating results to bosses, talking on the phone or working in a team.

What is becoming increasingly clear in any case is that an entire and inevitably contradictory propaganda campaign is emerging to define the famous Z Generation around practices and values that are functional to an era in which technological investments turn from social networks and the Internet to AI and the Green Deal.

In the US, as we see, it will point to the old bourgeois individualist myths about Nature and solitude. In Germany, as in the latest Spiegel cover, there may even be attempts to revamp Marx to pass him off as a German environmentalist, forerunner of the new war economy measures and the protection of the vulnerable. Every place will have its particular effects. But one element will be shared in common everywhere: less virtual socialization and more songs to Nature in the name of a Green Deal which seems to be, together with war, the only beacon in the medium and long term of global capital.

Against the current

  • Major cultural trends are neither the spontaneous result of the evolution of society nor, exclusively, the product of propaganda campaigns launched by the opinion industry and the state. Some, such as those produced by the degradation of neighborhoods, do not even appear in the media. They are all, however, the result of a system that is increasingly antagonistic to life and human development.
  • We cannot follow any one of them with the hope of reorienting them. If anyone had any illusions about feminism and ever believed that it could in any way benefit working women, the veil should now be lifted: feminism has been and will be the first to call for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people and to serve as a cover for recruitment campaigns. And it is already first in line when it comes to justifying the attack on the most basic labor, pension and living conditions that go hand in hand with the War Economy.
  • When faced with feminism, the churches and mosques and their reactionary morals or the generational discourses of the media, we can only go against the current.
  • But going against the current is not an aesthetic attitude, it means promoting discussion and, above all, organization in our neighborhoods and workplaces. And to begin as soon as possible to organize ourselves to meet the most immediate and direct needs that emerge forcefully among our comrades and neighbors. Count on us and share your experiences, doubts and ideas for organization and action.