In Spain, the very first operation against self-produced pornographic content by minors uncovered 110 kids between the ages of 5 and 13 who were filming themselves in pornographic ways and uploading the videos and images online. The motivation was always to get more likes and followers.

This is an example of the eager self-exploitation discussed by Byung-Chul Han. These children are not trafficked by evildoers or tortured by a totalitarian state to create terror. They have turned themselves into a means of production that creates profits for somebody else. And it’s all done completely willingly.

The only way to comprehend this is to ditch the outdated vocabulary of choice, freedom, free will, oppression and class struggle.


6 thoughts on “Self-exploitation”

  1. Choice, free will, freedom, always problematic, have become pretty meaningless terms for sure, and/or terms to blame people for problems they did not necessarily create (“You chose not to go to the dentist — you could have been late on rent to pay for it, but you chose to pay the rent and defer the dentist visit, so you have chosen this cavity — which you probably inflicted upon yourself, anyway, by eating sugar!”)

    I still think there is such a thing as oppression and some form of class struggle, though — although the forms they take are not simple at all (which is why the term intersectionality was invented, problematic though it is). I also think we’re still in patriarchy, and that white supremacy is real.


  2. I’m seeing Joe Biden critiqued for his approach to Central America. What is your opinion? Here’s an article by him from 2015.


    1. It’s a great plan, it’s the best thing that can be done, and… it’s not working. Because this can neither be broken not repaired from the outside. Central Americans need to get their shit together and until they do, you can pour trillions on the situation and it’s not going to do anything.

      I’d like to see a completely changed immigration system in addition to all this. Otherwise, we can keep waiting for change for a long time.


        1. Plan Colombia, ugh.

          The thing is that when C.A. gets things together, we intervene to destroy it. This has happened time and again. Not that C.A. elites haven’t been complicit but these countries are not really sovereign and that has been what the U.S. wanted. We intervened for Díaz and against Madero in the Mexican revolution, at which time we were already in Nicaragua training the famous national guard. And on, and on. The more you look, the more colonial it reveals itself to be, and given all the power we and ours wield there it isn’t entirely realistic to say “they should get it together.” Guatemala elected Arbenz, but we organized a coup; it was we who funded the contra war; etc., etc.

          We’d have to start thinking of the place with some respect, for starters.


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