P.E. Moskowitz, The Rigged Ouroboros of Discourse:

In believing the issues we face are systemic (true), and that there are no individual solutions to systemic issues (mostly true), we’ve jumped the gun to the point that it feels like any display of personal agency is viewed as pointless, or not-enough, or besides-the-point, or even downright impossible to actualize. We’ve (rightly) reacted to capitalism’s pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps mentality by saying that only collective change will change the world, but then, perhaps, gone too far into believing that means nothing we do individually really matters. Which, I think, is actually a sign of the way the internet has infected our brains.

Nowhere is this better evidenced than in the continuing debate over loneliness. People are arguing ad nauseam, saying, “no it’s not phones, it’s the fact that the world is more expensive.” On YouTube and TikTok, the idea of third places is now common fodder for discourse—we are lonely because there’s nowhere to hang out. (As I’ve argued, these things are part and parcel: society has become more hostile to public life and phones and the internet are enablers of that hostility). But, I think our discourse around these issues is a sign of our hostility toward the idea of personal agency, and the idea that the world is changeable.

It’s as if we’re collectively reinforcing the idea that nothing matters, that no individual action can help remedy our lonely world, by trapping ourselves in an online ouroboros of argumentation, waiting to discover the perfect solution to loneliness before anyone actually does anything about it. It’s like that perennial, “someone should open a queer cafe” meme. At some point, you just need to go to a Barnes and Noble and hang out with some queer people or whatever.