Saturday, January 5, 2013

Thesis 3 of 95: Make the World

Part of the blogging project about the 95 theses of the Cluetrain Manifesto 
To change the world, one has to change the ways of making the world, that is, the vision of the world and the practical operations by which groups are produced and reproduced.- In Other Words - Bourdieu, Pierre
To produce and to reproduce.

Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.

Earlier, I have both said that markets are conversations, and that conversations are becoming markets. Weird, huh? Now, I want to get all up in this Human Voice business. Conversations among humans, in whatever form, are the product of humans, and (as Mauss will tell you), humans tend to perceive products they made as a part of themselves, of their "humanity", if you will*. In this sense I understand the "human voice", the thing in the conversations (or markets) which "sounds human", as the felt exchange of humanity in an exchange of value between humans.

The human voice is produced, and is reproduced. It is a structured structure predisposed to function as a structuring structure, (that's right I'm getting my Bourdieu game on). Now, the conversations which create "The Human Voice" is nothing but a way of making the world. If Bourdieu is right, then we can change that way of making the world, or the human voice. Whichever thing suits you the best.

Let me explain what is meant by a "structured structure predisposed to function as a structuring structure". For this, I will borrowsteal Glen Whelan's example about the individual driver and the side of the road they're driving on. An example of a "structured structure" is road signs, traffic lights and the general flow of traffic. This "structured structure" predisposes the individual driver to (usually) drive on one side of the road (in Sweden its the right), because else they don't get any information, and risk crashing head-on into other drivers, and so  the (unthinking) individual becomes a "structuring structure". The structuring structures tend to reproduce the structured structures they derive from.

The Human Voice is structuring the Humans which are structuring the Human Voice. In the market of capitalism, the structured structure that is the Human Voice is first and foremost labor, or "socially necessary labor hours" (a point which I will most likely elaborate in the future), commodities, government, capital and the usual suspects. The structure structures us to act and make choices that tend to structure it, that is, we are products of it, we produce it and it reproduces us, to reproduce it again.

The market of conversation is emerging in this context. We are meant to speak in this Tone ( here comes the "conducted in a human voice" part). Although the market of conversation, as opposed to commodities, is in the process of changing this Tone, the Conversational market is maybe only a slight change of accent thus far. Maybe the consonants are starting to sound softer, maybe the vowels are dragging on a bit longer. The structured structure that I call Conversational Markets that is starting to emerge, is being structured by agents who have been structured by the capitalist structure (woah, did u get that?).

That is, the new way of exchanging value still largely appears as secondary and dependent no the value exchange of capitalism, and emerges out if it. It seems, though, to be quickly structuring us into being new forms of embodied structure makers, which are increasingly less fit to reproduce the old structure of capitalism.

It's getting a bit late for me to talk of these new Structures that are weakening the old, but I'm fairly sure you can imagine this for yourself..

Pheeeew. So what do we have here? What does it all lead up to? Well. I'd like to restate the quote in the beginning in terms we've been using on this journey thus far:

To change the Human Voice, one has to change the ways of making the Human Voice that is, the Sound of the Human Voice and the practical operations by which Conversations/Markets are produced and reproduced.
Got it? I hope so.

See you soon, thesis 4.
You can find the rest of the posts in this project over here.
*One of the most interesting instances of this is found in Anna Megis essay "Food as a cultural construction" about the Hua people, found in Food and Culture: A Reader.

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