Posted on October 02 2017
Not everybody who reads leather is into reading. Everybody who is into leather is a smart human being. Let me lay it down for you in a long and drawn out way.
Here is a cool guy, but I guarantee you've never heard of him
His name is Gabriel Tarde. He was one of a few voices who were critical of what would become the dominant mode of thought during the 20th century. He saw society as a collection of individual actors with their own dispositions. This is counter to what the boss at the time, Emile Durkheim thought. You might be able to blame Mr. Durkheim for what was perceived as collectivist, unified, and zombiefied society. You see, when we take a stance against mass produced leather and provide custom fitting for the individual, we're appropriating the old tech, with a bit of the new. Sure, there's a lot to be worried about when it comes to personalization, but that's not the reason leather works.
Here's another guy who had some similar ideas. His name is Lousi Althusser. In his famous essay on the ideological state apparatus, which he blamed for reproducing the relations of capitalism, he outlined his concept of interpellation. Now, Tarde was famous for describing a magnetic property in the organization of society. Althusser's work is an extension of the idea of interpellation.
See, when you buy a leather jacket, you've been interpellated into a vision of yourself and the future, which by buying the jacket you're consenting to. That's what makes brands so effective by the way. They are basically guaranteeing a magical property for you when you buy their stuff.
So when you buy a leather jacket, you're not just buying comfort and style. you're buying a lifestyle. you're buying this:
as in 'are you buying this? This guy thinks he's cool'. The trouble is, as far as anyone can tell he IS cool.
If you're thinking, oh not another one of those, slow down. I'm here to tell you that you can use this to your advantage. You're at war against a ton of different memes (medium video explaining the concept) competing for your mind. They need you to reproduce them. Buying for you, especially buying a custom leather jacket, positions yourself as a strong individual. The thing about memes is that you can't escape them. This looks like a condition of the social environment. It's cruel and heartless, I know, but we want you to thrive.
This is where the Japanese concept of Kaizen comes in. This video claims to teach you the true meaning of it.
It's not as complicated as this graph. this graph explains how kaizen works as a reproductive/generative force in personal development. We're going to do something slightly different with it. Here is the concept at its most basic: kaizen means continuous improvement, you should be doing something every day to move you towards your goals, the method encourages taking incredibly small actions, but making them a habit. For instance, if you want to do 100 pushups, you should start by doing one pushup a day. It then becomes easier, from that point, to do 2,3 or more pushups. Over time, you'll develop the strength to tackle the challenge of 100.
Taken together, kaizen and interpellation create a constellation of forces which ultimately draw you into the reality you're stuck in. If you're here buying a leather jacket, that means you're leaning a certain way, you're choosing a certain reality. Truth be told, I hate seeing someone who hasn't fully committed to their role. I especially have trouble seeing a leather jacket that was just purchased on the impulse towards something greater, as if the purchase was a temporary manifestation of an individual on a longer project. Buying and customizing a leather jacket solidifies the reality you've chosen. It makes the role you're stepping into more believable. I hope I've made some aspects of that role clearer through my posts.
Of course, you come from a different place, you're bringing your own style. I get that. However, you're probably after something like freedom.
We need the principle of Kaizen here to be able to conceive of the path to freedom, which a leather jacket is definitely on. Now, you can think of buying into certain realities like this:
Or like this:
Take one step closer to freedom, whatever that means to you. If you're here now, looking for it, take a chance. Freedom is worth it.
In summary, there was a cool guy in the past who was mocked into obscurity. Today, his theories have explanatory power. One day, a guy named Louis tried something similar to great effect. Now we have a way to understand the reproductive forces of capitalism, as well as the formation of identity. Tarde also laid the groundwork for what is know as quantum social science today. Finally, the principle of small action known as kaizen can act as a propelling force from moving between one identity to another, and giving us freedom from our existing future. Act now, before it's too late to change.