Friday, June 20, 2008

We on We

We've been thinking a fair amount about the first person plural lately, having been asked several times who we are; having read and been entertained by Joshua Ferris' Then We Came To The End, though entertained in the way that much of ghetto pop life entertains, since the 'we' that talks in that book is decidedly anti-we, or it believes the constituent elements of that we are stronger and more magnificent than the collective which the pronoun proposes, which is what we mean when we call something anti-we.

We ourselves do not make a habit of blogging though, and had no intention of talking about our thinking about we, or the relative we-ness or various we's.

But then we wandered over (as we are wont to do) to Jasper Bernes's Little Red's Recovery Room, and the discussion therein of questions of internet/violence/revolution/distribution, with alas much finger-pointing and name-calling. We felt this discussion touched on our thinking about we, and felt inspired to wonder why the various folks involved (JB & JC on one side; SA and 'friends' on the other) didn't, you know, go there. Seems to us that the fundamental difference between changing how products are distributed (the SA position) v. how products are produced (the JB) is that the first imagines that the relations between individuals remain the same (this being what we like to call the Spine of How Stuff Works, or the Architecture of We): SA wants to change how we move stuff around by changing how we relate to stuff, a position which doesn't worry itself overly much that we still you know, relate to each other via stuff. Changing production, as we understand JB's take on it, would allow for a change in those relations-- the ones between people-- meaning that we would by necessity take different forms than we currently take. We're theorizing the collective here people. That, internet or no, violence or no, is what it's all about.

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