Question: is it theoretically possible to become a propaganda writer without knowing it?
In an effort to learn a little more about what my sophist friends mean when they say that "identity is social," and stuff like that, and to draw them out, here's a short little imaginary dialogue:
Casey: Do you dig the image conjured by the title of this blog?
Unimportant Nitpicker (U.N.): Oh, I never noticed that--but yeah, it seems to reflect what you think about identity, right?
Casey: That's right, in a lyrical/inexplicable way.
UN: So you're not convinced that the Self is always already social, huh?
Casey: That's right. I've read a lot of books that have convinced me a of a certain way of understanding the world, and I'm having trouble seeing it your way. Have you heard Emily Dickinson's #822, for example? It goes like this. And you know about my long interest in Emerson. And to make matters even worse, consider the way Ahab (mad Ahab!) talks in Moby-Dick; he says: "Is Ahab, Ahab? Is it I, God, or who, that lifts this arm? But if the great sun move not of himself; but is an errand-boy in heaven; nor one single star can revolve, but by some invisible power; how then can this one small heart beat; this one small brain think thoughts; unless God does that beating, does that thinking, does that living, and not I." Or even Walt Whitman, uncle Walt!
There is that in me - I do not know what it is - but I know it is in me.
Wrench'd and sweaty - calm and cool then my body becomes, I sleep - I sleep long.
I do not know it - it is without name - it is a word unsaid,It is not in any dictionary, utterance, symbol.
UN: I think I've heard some of that before. That's fun literature!
Casey: So, my problem/question is that you seem to talk as if you know who you are, but I'm not sure you do, because you haven't told me. And are you sure you know yourself? Who are you when you decide to masturbate, or half-ass it at work, or skip a day of working out? And who are you when you decide what to eat for dinner? See, you're telling me that reality is social, but that implies a group of individuals. And I'm not sure we have an understanding of what "individuals" are.
UN: Okay, let me explain...
Part 3: Another huge government takeover, Obama? Cool.