I don’t buy the intentionalist tone here, though I can imagine there being a natural attraction toward, and desire for, control emanating from the State which slowly leads us to the same place. Anyway, what I think’s important about this passage is that it illuminates the way the local cultures of a relationship, of a family structure, hell, of a religious cult allow shelter from the episteme-heavy, legibilizing and crowdsourced value systems of society. The Internet is a massive engine of legibilizing: details of one’s life can be, and routinely are, judged by complete outsiders who lack the local context within which they might make sense. In this way, the Net is a kind of (de jure global, de facto national) gossip engine for informally and socially policing from afar. There are benefits to casting light on destructive local cultures, but the loss of context makes faraway judgment dangerous; it becomes easy to misunderstand mutually beneficial & voluntary local contracts as abusive, or to project personal & typical preferences onto outliers. This is one of the benefits to “consent culture” ethics (by which I mean a state liberalism where anything non-coercive goes). It allows locals with non-typical preferences a leg to stand on, against the policing tendencies of a crowd or state.

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