The line between simple admiration and sleepwalking through the civic fanfiction of your own creation is precisely the point where you let this digital glamor manage to obscure the great power of its owner, where you find yourself crying out to be there. theirs side instead of making sure they are in place yours. It’s the rhetorical heart of Donald Trump’s famous tweet meme, with a picture of him pointing at the viewer, surrounded by a text that says “I’m not being chased, you’re being chased.” I’m just on my way. “There, Trump is actively trying to get his fans to over-identify with him, making them see his political misfortunes – he had just been fired – as his own.
It is almost certain that, regardless of what was said online, Ginsburg made his own decision about his tenure in the Supreme Court; unlike Trump, he also had no decency not to actively cultivate this fandom. But the constituency of feminists who believed too fervently in Notorious RBG were dissolving their own power to influence events by confusing Ginsburg mythology. It is easier to believe in the purity of your rights than to demand that you make a strategic decision that could have benefited millions. After all, one is more useful for social media culture than the other.
Not all episodes of civic fanfiction involve over-identification: many political fandoms are based on myths of divine power and transcendent power; see for example Trump or Jeremy Corbyn. Sometimes, however, the myth that they are “like you” is used. per powerful people, rather than imposing them.
The mythology of The famous RBG, well-intentioned as it is, is quite similar to the perverse vision of venture capitalist Marc Andreessen of himself. In the Ginsburg fantasy that some middle-class white feminists have, one of the most absolutely powerful women in the world was nothing more than a normal, ordinary professional lawyer, who was disorienting herself during the day. Meanwhile, billionaire oligarch Andreessen is actually a member of the “professional ruling class” or PMC.
At the Andreessen accounts: “In fact, I am a reputable member of the Professional-Managerial Class, the management elite of James Burnham, the‘ Category X ’of Paul Fussell, the bourgeois bohemian‘ Bobos in Paradise ’of David Brooks … the class of laptops “.
This rather strange mythology is a simple and overly effective way of obscuring power. Let’s put aside the unbearable bohemian self-esteem of Fussell’s “Category X,” which, if they ever looked for it, could provoke a vomit repulsion on the part of their 4chan fans. The point is to provoke a perverse empathy of Andreessen’s audience, to get them to relate to him and see in him whenever they wear a cord and work in a cubicle. They have the same job and, above all, the same orientation to power. Don’t pay attention to the fact that he has put $ 400 million into the oven of Musk’s Twitter offer, the kind of game that none of us will ever have the game to play.
Here Andreessen, who has no cult of personality of her own, tries to borrow from Musk’s glamor to obscure her own wealth and power. Arguing that Musk is no really member of the “elite”, he concedes to himself, and for this game he is playing with hundreds of billions of dollars. This is the almost contradictory move: to seem unthreatened to be related to the masses, while at the same time to seem heroic for doing things they could never do. Investing in the former helps to obscure the obscene power needed to do the latter. This is achieved by making online fans use their civic fan fiction to over-empathize with figures like Musk, to make their struggles their own, to imagine that it could be just as easily. they buy a major tech company on a whim. This is the bleak Bifrost between the image of “everyone” and the divine myth.