The paradox of a living polity is that power must move through it and be negotiated within it—but power must never congeal in the hands of this-or-that few. The hierarchical economy of literature congeals power. In the US, power congeals in New York. In Canada, it congeals in Toronto and Vancouver. In France, Paris, and etc. More disastrously, the centre/edge economies of publishing congeal power in patterns that reproduce enduring structural inequities.
The early Internet appeared to disperse power across an often unmarked geography. Blogs and publications emerged in every corner of the globe, a network of shifting, temporary nodes that kept power moving, flowing. But three decades in, the Internet has congealed into centres and edges, a structure of power that replicates the hierarchical, anti-political agenda of the neo-liberal markets that shape it.
The shut-down is not complete, and it might never be; it also might be reversible. Blogs have hosts who set the local rules and draw the lines of welcome or exclusion. If the blog host is an anarchist who believes that “as soon as you gain power, you disperse it,” the blogcan blossom into a functioning polity. It can be tiny or huge, involving few or many, but the public space opened by hosting a blog is enough to sustain a healthy polity of literature. DC’s Blog is such a space.
1 March, 2022