Seth Abramson @SethAbramson Attorney. @Newsweek columnist. NYT bestselling author of a book on Trump's Iran policy, Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, Professor. Jul. 06, 2019 1 min read

Our political discourse will not advance until smart journalists like those at the NYT understand, from those of us in academia who study cultural theory, that the postmodern dialectic no longer explains anything and we in fact live in the American Multiverse now—*many* Americas.

1/ *Stop* saying we have two Americas. You can't understand, describe, or explain what is happening in America—and you will never be able to—until you understand that cultural paradigms aren't merely intellectual exercises for academics: they're predictive as well as descriptive.

2/ There's no longer even *gestural* agreement *within* political subcommunities on America's past, present or future; or how to consume news; or the first principles that make a society; or even *how* to *talk* about virtual space or post-internet America. "Two Americas"? Jesus.

3/ The task now is to figure out how to form subcommunities—let alone a nation—when our conversations occur *across* digital spacetime continua. To give you a sense, the GOP has been working on a *very* primitive communicative technology in this vein for decades: "dog-whistling."

4/ Dog-whistling is dangerous/powerful precisely *because* it alters the frequency of an utterance to hit multiple continua at once. The GOP knows it's a weapon but doesn't fully know how to wield it yet—but they're learning. Meanwhile, the Dems speak a dead language: dialectics.

You can follow @SethAbramson.


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