Everything is fandom now

The title phrase and sentiment is taken from plagiarist & internet commentator Ryan Brodericks newsletter Garbage Day, but it might as well be one of the conclusions of an Adam Curtis documentary.

My childhood friend Matilda visited us in Gothenburg over the weekend, chaperoning her son who had a ticket to the three-day festival Way out West, and we binged most of Curtis series “Can’t get you out of my mind.” I still have the last hour of the last episode to go (“brevity” isn’t a word in his vocabulary I think), but the overarching theme of the disappearance of progressive ideologies is depressing and on point. What we’re left with after the fall of the democratic middle class & militant romantics, are fandoms jockying for position and angry people longing for a past that never were.

This is a recurring theme in stuff I’m reading as well as in conversations. It’s not so much despair as resignation. Despair would imply that you have a goal but have failed to attain it. Resignation is when you realise that your goal doesn’t matter. And resignation seems to colour the zeitgeist quite thoroughly right now – the only remaining optimists are the religious fundamentalists and accelerationist of different stripes.

One of the ideas I floated to my friends after the last election (which saw a right-nationalist government take over from the previous centrists) was that we ought to start a political party which only focuses on one issue. This in itself isn’t new – there are populist parties and movements all the time – but I’m interested in what issue might give the biggest progressive leverage regardless of the political colour one has to collaborate with.

Worst case scenario: What single-issue would make such a disproportional progressive impact that it would be worth to collaborate even with the most toxic idiots of the far right? You’re sitting at the negotiating table with a bunch of wannabe nationalist socialist romatics from SD, and if they give in on one issue you’ll lend them your support. What would that issue be?

Depending on if we’re doing this locally, regionally or nationally, the issues will differ. Right now I only have two suggestions: A complete ban on private car use in the inner city of Gothenburg (a local issue) or a hard limit on the salary for public employees (with countermeasures in place for attempts to subvert this via bonuses, etc.). Both would have huge knock-on effects, which on the face of it would be progressive (citation needed).

Do you have any other suggestions for one law, policy, activity or ordinance that would have a disproportionally progressive effect regardless of which political coalition is in power? I’m all ears, let’s do this! There’s only three years left and we probably need to make some research and print some leaflets!

4 thoughts on “Everything is fandom now”

  1. Cut the internet speeds down to a crawl and see all of us squirm

  2. Food taxes? Either nill on heathy and/or higher on unhealthy food…?
    Affects most of us…

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