One of many dangers with acceleration rhetoric is that it creates the impression of what Filip Vostal calls a ‘mega force’, rampaging through society in a way that effects all individuals with equal significance. The reality is that existing resources shape our capacity to respond to acceleration in a way which means a problem for some can be an opportunity for others. This is why I find the concept of a super interest group so interesting because it highlights how well resourced agents can adapt to these circumstances:
We contend that the growth of Stand Your Ground laws is due to the influence of a particular type of super interest group — which we conceptualize as a sustained organisation. These organisations are financed well enough to provide resources to legislators and their campaigns across the United States, and act as policy experts, thus lowering legislator information costs substantially. Our theoretical intervention juxtaposes sustained organisations with single issue groups, like the National Rifle Association. These latter powerful organisations pursue policies within single issue areas (i.e., guns), but sustained organisations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) provide a one-stop shop for legislators across policy domains. Over time, this builds the sustained organisation’s reputation as a go-to corporation to provide trusted model legislation over many years. Finally, these organisations provide private membership where business deals and secret meetings can take place—potentially cutting out public input in the policymaking process.
It’s clear that ALEC has a functional advantage over competing agents who are seeking to influence the legislative process. The line of thought I’m keen to develop is that this advantage is best conceived of as chronopolitical, allowing them to act faster then their competitors across a broader range of contexts.
Categories: Distracted People