“I want to redefine culture as that complex of thoughts, attitudes, emotions, the whole realm of the immaterial world, that helps me to define the material world.”—big mike
In this episode:
00:00 A continued discussion of ‘culture’: why do we need to make a systemic cultural change? Why is it useful to think of culture as not just the concrete practices and materials of daily life, but also the way in which we think about those concrete things? What does it mean that our ‘culture’ is incredibly materialist, i.e. that we think about the world as if material exchange predominates over the immaterial?
17:26 How can we think more precisely about the distinction between the material (or infrastructure) and the immaterial (or superstructure) and how they interact, using Marx’s concepts? Where did the Marxists go wrong in prioritizing the material? What are some examples, historical and contemporary, of how impactful immaterial ideas are on how we think about material things?
30:00 Questions of practice: what happens when our ideas about how we want to live run up against the material limits of the world we live in now? How do we bring principles that are not of this world to bear on reality? Does it take a collective? Does it take an individual? A small group of heroes?
44:50 Turning towards the contemporary, how are public figures talking about change, if they’re talking about it at all? If they are, how are they (or are they not, to be specific) talking about changing our fundamental narratives?