Nov 29, 2021Liked by Rachel Donald

You talk about "will commission and search for similar books in order to mimic that same success" and "the whole industry—from creation to publishing to selling—becomes a simulacrum—a copy—or hyperreal"- and I very much agree with you.

*Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More* is a book by anthropologist Alexei Yurchak about the last Soviet generation before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Its second chapter literally has as the first part of its title "Hegemony of Form". He talks *extensively* about the ways in which the Soviet process (institutional, art, etc) would endlessly reiterate prior forms of Soviet discourse, and how this lead to an inability of internal analysis, stagnation, and eventually a process which he calls *hypernormalization.* There is an Adam Curtis doc "Hypernormalisation" which pretty creatively tries to apply that word/concept to our modern system.

Regardless though, the "hegemony of form" which he considers in terms of text, visual art, institutional activities (Komsomol, etc) is extremely like what you discuss in this article- it's fascinating (and also terrifying) to see this very obvious similarity between two very different systems (communism/socialism vs. capitalism).

You might consider reading at least its first few chapters. He writes also about the difference between "performative" vs. "constative" discourse which also applies to this discussion.

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