What further implications for social thought might we draw from the “three estates” of logosphere, graphosphere, videosphere — the word, the press, the screen? It would be possible to tabulate a series of norms and functions inherent in any social collectivity, and map out the particular modes and forms that have answered to them in each successive age.

Thus, the symbolic authority for the logosphere is the invisible; for the graphosphere, the printed word; for the videosphere, the visible. Status of the individual: subject; citizen; consumer. Maxim for personal authority: “ God told me;” “ I read it;” “ I saw it on TV.”

Yet although these three regimes succeed each other in historical time, each asserting its own predominant forms and modes, it should go without saying that any one of us contains all the ages at once. Inside each of us there lies a calligraphic East, a printed Europe, a widescreen America; and the continents negotiate within us without losing their respective place. Each one of us is, simultaneously, God, Reason and Emotion; theocrat, ideocrat, videocrat; saint, hero and star. We dream of ourselves as standing outside time; we think about our century; we wonder what to do with our evening.

Socialism: a Life Cycle, Régis Debray

via A Note on the Time, Dexter Sinister

Nilas Andersen
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