Snowden claimed surveillance capitalism can only lose on ethical grounds, not on how attractive the alternative superficially seems. What proves this wrong? What images, music, or media in general can I show socialist-curious friends that will have them say “that’s dope”.

Where to look? Bandcamp or SoundCloud for music. They’re both corporations but that’s usually where you’ll find the artists working furthest from surveillance capitalism, assuming I understand what you’re looking for. I’d conjecture that most artists are socialist in some capacity, but if you’re looking for counter-examples to the imperative of surveillance capitalism you’re going to need to look for the ones who are pretty much living in (in)voluntary poverty to do what they love. There’s many people like that

As a single example, I was really into a folk-punk artist called Pat the Bunny a few years ago who’s fronted several bands. Though, you can find him on Spotify as well. Spotify has a stranglehold on the music industry; it’s hard to avoid it

China Mieville’s novels might be relevant, if your friends are interested in reading. His novel The City and the City was made into a six-episode BBC drama, too. They’re both good. It’s subtly Marxist.

The spoiler below will spoil some of the novel. (The BBC adaptation makes the ‘twist’ a bit more obvious from the beginning.)


The novel is an engaging detective story. The setting is two ‘separate’ cities that exist in the same place, kind of one on top of the other. The inhabitants of each city have been taught not to see those of the other.

To me, this is an allegory of liberal society, whereby orthodox or mainstream thought prohibits thinking about Marxist thought and teaches people to completely ignore it even when it is directly in front of their eyes or ears. None of this political framework is made explicit in the novel or TV adaptation, so far as I can remember.

Either one could be a good work to discuss and prompt your friends to ask: what parts of society are we not supposed to think about in capitalism? Some might suggest terrorism, extremism, drug (ab)use, certain types of abuse, etc. All this can be hidden, depending on the time and place, but actually, all these can be discussed.

These are more like taboo subjects rather than prohibited subjects. For revolutionary Marxism, however, simply mentioning it in a positive way will be met with a mix of derision, disgust, anger, etc, and the speaker will be forced into silence, gas-light, have their mental capacity questioned, or otherwise be attacked. Following an analysis of The City and the City, you can probe these issues, ask why, and then say, ‘Is it worth us going straight to the source, reading what we’ve been taught not to read with an open mind, and making our own minds up?’:::

Noice! I’ll be grabbing that to look over.

The silence here is deafening.

Coming from Europe there’s a lot of stuff but not necessarily in English… America or UK never were that much into socialism so…

Recently Arcane, made from a french studio, is filled with political ideas about revolution, imperialism and much more (LGBTQ+) for instance.

On top of my head I can mostly think about all the YouTube channel I am watching.

Just yesterday even a channel like ClodFusion, witch is far from being socialist released a video about the wierd stop of General Motors EV in the 90s. Big argument against current capitalism.

PS: nothing to do with Snowden though… To the contrary of the what OP is asking most of artists are against surveillance. But in fact this is not about socialism, we can see some movements/ideas going for socialism AND surveillance.

I think you misread the OP. He’s not saying that he wants surveillance socialism. He’s saying he wants images, music, or media in general that’s attractive that he can point friends to as an alternative to the well-oiled PR machine that is surveillance capitalism.

Basically he seems to be asking for sites that don’t drone eternally about dialectic this and scolding that and instead incorporate socialism and socialist ideology into compelling works of art, is how I’m taking it. And I’m frankly interested in seeing some of that too.

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