Tagged: National Populism

Fighting talk

Irony is always better than the narcissistic theatrics of armed struggle.

Affect theory is the new EST.

McSally didn’t reprimand Trump for bashing McCain when he supported her failed campaign for the Senate.

Worth remembering that McCain begat Palin, who begat Trump, who hates McCain.

$15K is pocket change. I can’t even believe Felicity Huffman is charged with a crime.

National populism will be short lived because of the low mental capacity of its leading demagogues.

Banya talk between Trump and Putin is covered under executive privilege.

Chichikov prefigured post-Soviet Russian leadership ethics.

Free speech champion Trump says speak your mind, just not under oath before Robert Mueller.

Made of stone

As any astute Marxist knows, the working class has not always been progressive (the example of their support for Brexit and Trump is the latest evidence). Also, this Marxist would know that the mode of production in capitalism does not stand still, but is constantly revolutionised. Consequently, the industrial mode of production (most highly rationalised by Henry Ford and Frederick Taylor) could only be a time limited affair. Moreover, the skills and aptitudes needed for work under these labour conditions would also have a relatively short life span. In other words, industrialism as a mode of production would never last forever; thus the towns which built themselves around a mode of production that would become obsolete are similarly doomed to go the way of weavers and steam powered locomotives.

This process of obsolescence was hastened by the battering down of “all Chinese walls” (Marx): not only were “foreign” markets opened to the mode of capitalist consumption, they were opened to mode of capitalist production (industrial production). If capital follows “cheap labour,” then it was also inevitable that industrial production (manufacturing) would migrate across borders to more hospitable climes for the maximum profit extraction/labour exploitation. The spirit of socialist internationalism, that workers of the world share a common plight and a common struggle, is thwarted by national populist tendencies. The effort to restore Chinese walls in the form of new Hadrian’s Wall against the EU or neo-mercantilist policies (Trump) is anachronistic.

Finally, there’s the issue of climate change. The romanticised vision of industrial production, which runs counter to the satanic mill, The Jungle, and the workhouse of its reality, does not comport well with efforts to curb the degradation of the environment. Here, one can turn to an auto-critique of Marx himself: his Grundrisse is brimming over with anti-ecological statements. In other texts (such as the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844), the great man holds that the essence of the worker is bound up with “his” ability to work on nature, i.e., to destroy nature. The worker’s alienation from nature (both internal and external) is premised on “his” loss of the object of labour in a system of private property; “his” alienation is not premised on the filthy waters, toxic air, and superheated atmosphere that results from “his” labour in industrial capitalism. It is not surprising that the states inspired by Marxist thinking (the old CCCP and DDR, and today’s China) were/are global leaders in pollution, no different from their non-Communist brethren in “the West.”

ddr-museum4-smog

Inhuman league

Yellow vests (gilets jaunes) are a creation of the GRU (like many European “populists”).

Jeff Beauregard Sessions preferred FBI agents covered in white 700 tc sheets.

Nancy Pelosi is the virtual POTUS.

What if boredom were an aesthetic principle?

What’s more perilous than masculine incompetence?

Has Fox News ever told the truth? About anything?

It’s the beginning of the end of digital journalism.

2018

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Looting museums to meet the emotional needs of the present is foolish and dangerous to art. To treat culture as property is philistine.

Nationalists instrumentalise art to embellish their power. Museums are a bulwark against such abuse of art.

National populism is an international menace.

Bernie Sanders will push 80 in 2020 and is damaged goods politically (dismissing southern primaries in 2016). Moreover, he should run as an Independent to avoid the charge of opportunism (i.e., using the Democratic Party when it’s convenient, ditching it when it is not).

Opportunism: After losing the nomination in 2016, Mr Sanders renounced his membership in the Democratic Party and was soon busy raising funds for his revolution on YouTube.

The nineteenth-century bases of industrial capitalism are no longer the leading edge of liquid capitalism (to paraphrase Zygi Bauman). The social disruption caused by AI and the “flexible” labor arrangements of the twenty-first century capitalist economy is not addressed by Trumpist and Sandersite ideas (neo-mercantilist protectionism and “socialization,” respectively), which remain locked in a nineteenth-century perspective of the nation state and labour-capital relations.

Consumers are primarily concerned about quality of service and consumer rights, not ethics and workers rights. The twist is workers are also consumers.

Smart twentieth-century Marxists used Freud’s work. Dumb ones didn’t.

Althusser liked Freud. Zizek is also cathected

Freud’s essay on group psychology explains the craving for the love of a strong leader among the populist masses.

Smart socialists are never motivated by envy. However, the dumb ones are.

There’s no litmus test for holding office other than being elected or appointed. To apply one to “wealth” is undemocratic and discriminatory.

If you like family dictatorships:

Hafez al-Assad 12 March 1971 – 10 June 2000
Bashar al-Assad 17 July 2000-

Putin aims to restore the glory of the Russian Empire. His ideology is neo-imperialism. Externally, he found a useful idiot in Trump, whom he plays like a balalaika. His investment in Brexit appears to be paying off as May and Corbyn unwittingly (or wittingly) do his bidding against the EU. Internally, the economic outlook for Russia remains bleak, as its leading exports — orphans, mail order brides, and political violence — have remained unchanged for at least a decade.

The civilised world will have to come to terms with the Black Hand of Donetsk sooner than later. One observes that what appear to be relatively small slights (see Pussy Riot’s stunts and WADA’s ban of Russian athletes) are more of an affront to his fragile ego than the threat of military reaction. Like Trump, Russia’s Eternal President can be played.

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I got no idols

I will never give up avocados. No virtue signaling here.

It has more to do with narcissistic self-hugging than practical politics.

When the professional outragetariat is put out of business.

Not if it’s pure and snortable.

2018: one of the worst years for film in decades.

What would Bentham do? I mean the full Bentham.

National Populism must be defeated wherever it pops up. Only barbarians ignore the rule of law.

In a true democracy, bad decisions are always reversible.

Offrande charnelle

Those who are put off by so-called “difficult” reading material are likely put off by other challenges in life. They settle for the facile comforts of easily digested pablum and shun the sublime pleasure of mastering aesthetic complexity.

It’s interesting that people blame books for their own intellectual deficiencies.

An affirmative embrace of inferiority is present in the judgment that a difficult book must be “pretentious.”

Savonarola, Cola di Rienzo, Mussolini, and now Salvini. Once again, in a moment of profound weakness, Italy has chosen fascism.

The bone spurs which kept Donald Trump out of the Vietnam War have prevented him from attending a ceremony in the rain at the Belleau cemetery.

Hwylio mewn cyfog

Western democracies have been around for two centuries. There’s no revolutionary force in existence of any sufficient weight, whether progressive or regressive (i.e., today’s gutter populism), to suggests there’s a threat of their demise on the near or distant horizon.

The endless stream of “end of this or that” columns (e.g., the end of liberalism, the end of neoliberalism, the end of the elite, the end of the state, the end of globalization, etc.) is a shopworn brand of political prognostication. It does show, however, the futility of ideology critique in the era of late capitalism and the worldwide culture industry (as per Adorno), whether immanent or transcendental.

The critical question is whether today’s forces of regression (e.g., Brexiteers in the UK, Deplorables in the US) are strong enough to undo all democratic institutions without facing significant resistance from the forces of enlightenment and reason.