“We Already Know How Fucked Up the World Is” argues that one aspect of the current political mood is a sense that everyone, or at least most people, are aware of the injustices of racial capitalism. One common mode of political discourse is that of exposure. Activists and others seek to spread the word about the terrible things that the state is doing—about murders by police or about the effects of big pharma or the agricultural-industrial complex, for instance—on the assumption that knowledge of these things will make people angry and that people will then be motivated to cause change. Currently, though, there’s an abundance of knowledge, and of media, about how fucked up the world is. A variety of texts—memes on “Weird Facebook,” Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, and journalism about Dana Schutz’s painting Open Casket—register frustration with assumptions that the Left can create change through enlightenment.

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