This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.
Neither the politics of persuasion nor a presentation of facts. (The forms of rhetoric used by republikans and demokrats, respectively.) Rather, we propose insinuation as our form of political communication. Insinuation does not build the party, it spreads like a virus that mutates as it interacts with every new host. It brings about revolutions, yet not a revolution patterned after the swift seizure of the state, but a path that follows the strange drift of aesthetic revolutions — sometimes sudden, and at other times, a slow drift.
By persuasion we mean the art of bringing someone to your side. In our world, the lines in the sand disappeared long ago. There are friends, enemies, allies, and foes inside every one of us. Some paranoiacs try to draw lines for the rest of us to follow, but the result is always the same: infighting descends and people start striking too close to home. Persuaders are Southern Gentlemen still fighting for the Glory of the South, or soldiers forgotten in the Pacific.
Alternately, with the presentation of facts we mean the naive believe that the truth sets you free. We curse the worn motto ‘speak truth to power.’ For, the question is not why truth works but why illusion is so effective. Cynically, we think that truth-speakers desire being right over being effective. Some of us may have been know-it-alls as kids, but now we are more pleased with winning than living in a world of sour grapes.
Next installment: Nuts and bolts of insinuation.
Additional resources? Down the Rabbit-Hole, Alice!
Müller: In our country [of East Germany circa 81], theater allows you to have five or eight hundred people together in one room reacting at the same time, in a the same space, to what is going on onstage. The impact of the theater here is based on the absence of other ways of getting messages across to people. Films are not as important because there’s so much control. They also require much more money than the theater. As a result, theater here has taken over the function of the other media in the West. I don’t believe theater has such a great in West German for instance. You can do anything onstage there, but it doesn’t mean anything to the society. Here the slogan of the Napoleonist era still applies: theater is the revolution on the march.