Social media platforms have been hailed as an opportunity to expand democracy. This is nonsense. They reinforce the hegemony of democratic rhetoric.
Social capitalism both materializes and commodifies democratic ideals and aspirations in ways that strengthen and support globalised neoliberalism.
The contemporary ideological formation of social capitalism fetishises speech, opinion and participation, rather than serving as an opportunity for progressive political and economic change.
The proliferation, distribution, acceleration, and intensification of social media result in a deadlocked democracy incapable of serving as a form for progressive political and economic change.
We think we’re active but our true position, as embodied in the fetish, is passive. This incapacity is linked to the left’s failure to challenge democracy and its unwillingness to reinvent genuine participatory forms.
When democracy appears as both the condition of politics and the solution to the political condition, then neoliberalism can’t be exposed as the violent ideology it is.