This is something I feel like I need to expand on.
philosophy has an image problem of being seen a humanity, or a soft science, concerned with an abstract world divorced from material conditions; devising answers to future theoretical conditions instead of doing direct action, which usually allows those theoreticals to come to pass. think of the conservative boogieman of the liberal philosophy professor, cruelly denying that God exists to a former marine, who had laid body on the line for god and country, only to be beaten up or beaten in an intellectual duel or maybe there’s some epiphanic moment where God shows up, however abstractly, which proves the whole business of God being dead to be a waste of time at best and a cruel rejoinder at worse, even though God being dead isn’t, in and of itself, an argument, but shows a dialectical response between the enlightenment and the industrialized world, or a literal transformation of the Christian God from something “alive” to something “dead.” perhaps Islam had spooked conservatives into believing that the Christian God had been trending more towards its Abrahamic roots as a singular deity defined by covenants rather than ontological origins, bolstered by the fact that liberal elite college students, who clearly didn’t learn the lesson of Kent State well enough, were hurting ideological principles of the nation-state by denying the importance of its most crucial self-sustaining and self-determining moral authority: a benevolent, towards Americans, Christian God, that loves hard work and rewards true believers with eternal mercy for all deeds enacted in the service of the people, whoever those are in any given state. how could this college professor theorise that the axis mundi of foreign intervention not be morally sound by denying life to its arbiter?
What I’m saying is that theory is often realized as a kind of engine that produces realities synchronized with how things are or how they ought to be, better synchronized at that than actual first hand accounts of lived experience, at the very least in the case of american politics. a political cartoon is a kind of thought experiment, where the most basic and cut and dry versions of concepts battle it out with clear winners, a truth engine that “cuts through the bullshit” and shows how silly something really is. It is irresponsible to think of theory and praxis as being a spectrum, where activists and revolutionaries simply direct their lives towards a universal moral center, beamed to their brains largely independent from the entirety of history, and students sit in chairs and try to piss themselves off by thinking about what they would have to do if their dad was a cop, would it then be problematic to say that they’re class enemies, etc. This is largely because the entrenched ideological supporters of social hierarchies, as they currently stand in the capitalist anglo world, are already making full spectrum attacks on every aspect not totally subservient. the only people that gross simplifications of marxist thought help are the people who are already winning.
It bugs me to see this kind of stuff trotted out by people who should ostensibly know better, because they themselves are already the butt of jokes meant to belittle their disciplines. political theory charts are themselves a kind of political cartoon that try to explain action and reaction in terms of ideological directions; things are happening for x reason towards y reason, a mechanical approach that frowns at arbitrariness, ignoring the fact that politics, much like language, is a sort of affected overlay on top of a much more complicated set of personal and interpersonal relationships being played out at scale. I feel like creating these fictions for video game characters by trying to extrapolate material realities from their minor details ignores the most glaring thing, which is the larger material reality of why those fictitious worlds exist in the first place and then how “real” that further layer is. is a market driven economy really the logical endpoint and who does it benefit if we think of it like that? What is being reproduced in these worlds and how much of it is by conscious design and how much of it is by unconscious design? Pikachu isn’t a libertarian or a communist, he is a video game character, but the world he comes from seems to trend towards a particularly libertarian or hardline stalinist design because of its notions of champions born of hard work or happiness in slavery, which largely derive from the ontological limitations of designing game systems, a burden which decreases as the systems get more advanced, and you end up with Pokemon liberation plotlines derived from meta constraints, which then inform the meta constraints by moralizing them. it’s this sort of relationship between the meta, ideological goals, practical concerns, and ontological beliefs that make politics appear to manifest in places where they weren’t intended, because politics are being used as shorthand for the combination of all things that happen to encompass the ideas of theory and praxis, the abstract and the literal.
I just think it’s weird to be concerned with these theory obsessed marxists because they don’t help the revolution. You come across as someone who has some sort of stake in the future of marxism-leninism, because clearly you care about if it’s being done efficiently or not, so why do anything that’s inefficient, or even worse, unhelpful? Unless you sincerely believe that talking about Rosalina being a monarchist is some sort of lens to better understand the nature of the revolution to come. Anarcho punks did this kind of thing all the time, satire of the state and its media apparatuses. “I’ll see the peasants grovel, if they refuse to bow” - Rosalina. This kind of preoccupation with dominant culture as it represents itself, and not as a relation to dominant ideological and material practices, is less useful than the theory focused students so disdained earlier. It’s, at the very least, tedious.