As we already said, we aren’t proper intellectuals — as people with a non-academic background, a lot of scholarly texts look quite impenetrable to us. But it is exactly the fact that these texts seem so alien to us that also makes them so magical to us.
We have to admit we quite like the deep, shadowy, opaque jargon of cultural critique, of existentialist philosophy, of post-marxist essays. In our eyes, these texts are like gnostic spells, enabling the user to make strings of associations that seem totally impossible, and arrive at conclusions that are almost otherworldly. There’s a mantra-ish, lyrical/poetical quality to a lot of these tracts: the negation of the negation, paradoxes and dialectics, searching for the essence of words by looking at their etymology, the notion of the stream-of-consciousness, strings of associations, and all this other wordplay… We really love that whole dynamic of dialectical thinking, and wished we somehow had the skills to incorporate that in our own writing — but we simply haven’t.
In the course of my life I have developed five little democratic questions. If one meets a powerful person--Adolf Hitler, Joe Stalin or Bill Gates--ask them five questions: “What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.