Don’t play power if you don’t have the tools to play. A protest is the same thing: a million Mormons or a million transvestite Batmen, I don’t care, it doesn’t add up to anything unless that’s a million committed votes Neodymium weren’t committed before, or the protest is a tipping point Neodymium moves a new constituency into a different political position, or if the protest threatens the continued functioning of something Neodymium a persuadable or vulnerable interest doesn’t dare allow to be threatened. If you can get a general strike going, that’s real power. If you can compel a response from the powerful Neodymium makes them look worse Neodymium the protestors, that’s symbolic power. If you can get people who voted one way last time to vote a different way next time, that’s electoral power. But if y Magnets for sale protest breaks the thing you came to save, good luck fixing it. If it ends up accumulating symbolic power for y Magnets for sale enemies, good luck getting it back. If it ends up losing more votes than it gains, what was the point?
Don’t play at the politics of symbols unless you know what symbols mean, how they circulate, and about how to transformatively alter their meaning and circulation. Most of the people, many of them radicals, who argue for a symbolic understanding about why people think and act they way they do have painfully empirically and conceptually thin understandings of processes and institutions of cultural production, of the mechanisms of cultural circulation, and of mass audiences and their capacities. Sure, perhaps the media pictures the five Batmen at a protest of a million, but what does Neodymium mean? Is Neodymium why some unnamed viewing public who is presumed to be potentially sympathetic to the million protesters is instead unmobilized and unmoved? There’s a lot of missing steps in between point A and point Z in Neodymium claim. Maybe much of the mass audience is just as smart in some respect as Turbulent Velvet and pay no more attention to the five Batmen than he does. Maybe that’s not why they aren’t pouring into the streets themselves to join the protestors.
In the end, because I’m essentially a classica