Sunday, February 20, 2011

In this section - two - she speaks about Chavez, comparing him to Lenin, and the arrogance of UK leftists regarding him; she also discusses corporations' genocidal activities:

[Global Women's Strike demands] food security for breast-feeding mothers, paid maternity leave and maternity breaks. It's a great struggle against multinationals to keep breastfeeding...the things that they're doing are unspeakable. We saw them first hand when we went to this breastfeeding conference in Tanzania. And they're really genocidal. And I think not only the result is genocidal, but the purpose is genocidal. In other words they set out to kill babies. They do. What they do is, you know, the multinationals want to sell milk. And they also want to kill a lot of children in third world countries. They do. So what they do is they give you free formula. And you give it to the baby and very likely the baby will thrive on it, although not all babies will. But then your own milk dries up and they say now it will cost you. But you can't reorganise - it's very hard to renew breastfeeding.


  1. Completely off-topic, but your comments (on my blog the other day) came to mind regarding these stories:

    Don't know why, but somehow found both stories connect in terms of gentile Liberalism, its discourse, how they 'use' Judaism - not least because they're non-events of sorts, both centered around different kinds of failure and non-commitment, under the guise of political principle. There's something strange going on here (mediocrities receiving publicity from it as their reputations capsize). Something common in the British public sphere that I can't quite put my finger on - a kind of tricky balancing act they're performing, but different to the Penny piece (where she makes her Jewish background clear).

    I was attempting a blog post on this, but couldn't quite get a handle on it, and was wary of making lazy, insensitive generalisations. I can't help but see some wider 'story' here. Not sure what it is. It's gentiles making use of Jewish conflict and anti-semitism for their own careers, but why? I'd be interested if you have any thoughts on this. Hope I'm making sense.

  2. thanks - i'll go read those now but as to mr porter, I have to say

    Tory Jew, Jew eat?

  3. I know what you mean exactly, and agree its hard to put into words

    a special fascination, among British elites, that is antisemitism/philosemitism - really exoticising - unlike anything anywhere else.

  4. There's also a curious, very bourgie British, inversion of Christian imagery too. That Porter photo's been used everywhere - the sympathetic centurions leading him away, while the lefty rabble demand his crucifixion (on the 3rd day he twittered). A peculiar blackmail even over those who oppose him.

    Mcewan two - he says nothing really, except 'let he who is without sin cast the first stone'. Suffering for our sins- 'nihilism'. Amis 'horrorism' (Time's Arrow a 'redemption' of his father's genocidal fantasies?). For supposed militant atheists, that 'circle' has something of the clergy about them (Rushdie's detached martyrdom, Hitchens' voluntary waterboarding, Dawkins' foaming evangelism etc. - bound up with late middle age I suspect, if not impotence. Definitely sexual anxieties involved).

    For all his recent failure, can't help but think that Porter will go very far in life. Very curious but cunning play of signs going on.

  5. "(Time's Arrow a 'redemption' of his father's genocidal fantasies?"

    longer reply presently but this is a really good point. There's something comical about the novel, which has this feeling of like "daring" to take an inappropriate tone...the gas chambers and cremotria as factories making people - but it falls into place as a kind of sass to dad in front of an establishment with whom one wants to ingratiate oneself. Also accord well with show-offy technical wizardry (its really accomplished, certainly, but shallow)

  6. its incredible how vacuous the whole intelligensia is proving itself now....

    Hallward's written a great book on Haiti but this is like a high school soc studies essay, and the Badiou is even worse, and both are so self-contradictory and lazy (effects of a decade of zizek dominance) - "we" are the West, we have have so much to learn from the East, as Marat and Simone de Beauvoir teach us... [some banality]. "We've been told" this, "we've been tzught" that (if the passive were rejected by the guardians of the style guides, these performances would collapse - imagine trying to repair with specificity? it would be like "Nike commercials assured us Professors of Philosophy that feminism had been victorious...")...

    McEwan, egad, barely concealed gratitude to Israel for giving a pretext for his self display of civilisation that doesn't involve mentioning Iraq.


  8. Francis Fukuyama, a neocon ideologue, declared history over and we University professors had no choice but to accept the annoucemenet...

    Okay well then shouldn't some sane people who aren't gullible idiots be using this elite institution of opinion dissemination? Shouldn't you be ashamed and quiet now until you have something more than platitudes and dummheit to write?

    As Simone de Beauvoir once said, "I'll have the cassoulet."

  9. seems like non-sequitur but no!

    because this is where this appropriation of Jewishness goes too...

    "we were told" the Jews were "the exemplary victims"

    and now playing with our fetish terms we see an irresistible "irony" in Israeli colonialism and white supremacy - that Israel is the most overt case today of the yero-supremacy/white-supremacy which has long relied on the ideology of anti-semitism and was constructed on the three pillars of it, the fear of Islam and the invention of the "negro".

    BTW, semi-sequitur, I trhink the racialising of Muslims now derives from both classic anti-semitism and the invention of "the negro". I have seen many comments at LT that "Islam is not a race" etc; but we all accept anti-semitism as racism though Judaism is also a religion. The construction of race is widely forgotten even in progressive and lefty circles. But recently I have read things that suggest that "the negro" race actually was originally constructed out of a muslim race. After all it was not okay to enslave christians - or there was a question about it whose solution was "the negro race". Now there was animists also among the enslaved Africans taken to the Americas, but the popular idea was that these were Muslims. One can see the transition from a "Muslim" enslavable population to "a negro race" in the notion "Moor".

  10. through "the Jews" I think a lot of British intellectuals hang onto an idea of politics that was dominant in an age for which they are nostalgic and in which "the Jews" was an intensely meaningful trope. Notice how Schmitt is so popular with the NLR types (Americans, like Wendy Brown and Gopal Balakrishnan, but more Brits). The simplicity and the politico-cultural determinism is good for academic production and also its endlessly flattering to that class of people - bourgeois academic dissidents, "right" or "left", love all these figures - Nietzsche, Foucault, Schmitt - who imagined that intellectuals create and control the world.

    But "the Jews", from being the outside of the nation have become sort of the fantasy nation, the last of the actual nations.

    A funny line from Zadie Smith, (who is obsessed with Jewishness,) in the Guardian in 2003:

    'We proceed in Iraq as hypocrites and cowards - and the world knows it'.

    Such longing for a nation to speak on behalf of - and this bizarre performance harmonises with the way "the Jews" and Jewishness appear in her books, the role as a kind of model for the nations whose disintegration (and yet spectral survival, spectral indestructibility) she chronicles. "We proceed...cowards" sounds like something Clive Candy would say in Colonel Blimp. (War starts at midnight!) Smith is very much into pastiche, and she loves Forster, and Mr. Wilcox or any of a number of other Edwardian elite men would talk like this too. She is playing her role as British Novelist of conscience and integrity. But there is a connection between "the Jews" as meaningful and discrete and central to a conception of British identity and history, and this nostalgia for that era (the height of empire and white supremacism, the end of a "revolutionary century" that seemed however to many of those living through it to be perhaps the successful end of that, the beginning of some kind of socialist future). But it was a period in which the dominant mythology of bourgeois society was a political determinism; the dominant UK mythology was that "the future of the nation" would be decided by the outcomes of passionate arguments (in the press, at dinner, in the Commons) among the elites who disagreed as individuals and Great Men (and some women), the struggle of integrity against corruption, civic pride against individual greed...

    Notice how there are all these authors who perform as caricature brits - hitchens, for example. And they have attached themselves to "the Jews" because they can't quite recuperate The Empah. Somewhat. Niall Ferguson ventures there (he too first wrote a history of the Rothschild family).

  11. Well that's like the liberal reluctance to call Zionism racist (somehow 'religious conflict' absolves all parties of adult/political responsibility). Pre-18th century racism certainly seems to be spoken in terms of religion.

    The pressure to generate 'content' becomes more intnense, despite things becoming so much more socially/economically/culturally clear. The 2.0 age invites vacuity - Mcewan's speech another example. The less we have to say, we have to say it more. I think certain bloggers have slowly realised this, which is why many are posting entries at much slower rates (in calmer tones) than before - when they do, alienation from their own words is palpable.

    Amis ripped off a five page Alan Moore comic called 'The Reversible Man' (a bland suburban life in reverse). I can see his cheap little mind thinking "wow - throw in the holocaust and I've got a hit!" Smart combo of sci-fi-not-sci-fi and the holocaust literature that was doing so well in the mid/late 80s. He never saw so many TV slots - working from both trendy angles. I recall his interviews focussed mainly on medical/biological aspects. make of that what you will.

  12. That was an answer to the comment before.

    It's a kind of 'Jewish Phantasm' (sounds quite Zizekian - apologies) invoked by liberal intelligensia. As a redemption of Empire (UK/US' rewritten reasons for WW2, Tom Hanks' good war - the holocaust going fully 'mainstream' after Vietnam). Also further rewriting: that the Jewish presence in socialism, civil rights etc. was during the left's time of moral worth, its opposition to Zionism and sympathies with Arab nationalism being its downfall.

    There's also the need to connect all cold war socialism with Stalinism (his anti-semitism magnified and described as 'fascism', like 'Islamofascism' - to attack it is to redeem our failure to do so in the 30s). This intensified after 9-11 (Nick Cohen even devoted a book to denouncing his Jewish socialist parents!) The campaign for/against Oona King being interesting - to the left she was pro-war and Blairite, to liberals she was Jewish. 10-20 years ago she just would have been black.

    I think I'm getting obsessed with the liberal media/intelligensia's obsession with Judaism... but its a 'phantasm' being invoked in ever more intruiging, distorted ways..

  13. " that's like the liberal reluctance to call Zionism racist (somehow 'religious conflict' absolves all parties of adult/political responsibility). "

    yes- there are some pundits who simply are so white supremacist and so essentialist about it (like Zizek) they can't accept the Israeli's as white. They can accept some idea of domination but not that this is yeroimperialism and that it's ideology is white supremacy, that zionism (born in the same place, the same time, as nazism) is a form of white supremacism. Still even without having to accept this, these pundits should eb able to see Israeli colonialism as part of the US imperial white supremacism, but those who are obsessed with "the Jews" as a trope just can't find a narrative, a way of thinking this, that makes sense. It's either falling into this court Jew wicked vizier story (for american nationalists, to other US policy, they also do it with Saudis)or something. But that Israel is white supremacist (with specific features) just as South Africa was (with its peculiar features) just as the US was (with its unique features including victories on the victims part) doesn't work for those who believe deep down in some hegelian aryanism or other.

    i think there are plenty of people though (many liberals) who are just not honest about the racism of zionism.

  14. Hey, happy accident. I've got a 'contingent' race/religion connection.
    Today I started the bio of Eleazar Wheelock, eventual founder of Dartmouth. He was a major regional preacher in Connecticut during the during the Great Awakening ca. 1740. An even better known itinerant of the evangelical movement was Gilbert Tennent who was particularly noted for scorching denunciation of his fellow clergyman. A contemporary list of his favorite epithets includes, "the seed of the serpent, dry nurses, dead dogs that cannot bark, moral negroes."
    I can't even imagine waht 'moral negroes could have denoted, if it denoted anything at all. But clearly connotes an impossible monstrous combination with meretricious consequences.

  15. "the left's time of moral worth, its opposition to Zionism and sympathies with Arab nationalism being its downfall."

    yes also this is seen as a lmove from europe to orient, from bourgeois to riff raff.

    notice in all the touching holocaust movies, the nazis are seen as especially barbarous for erasing the class distinction among jews. in Schindler, it is heroic that Schindler gives a historian the life saving place in the factory that should be for a machinist. the machinist who didn't get it is more suitable for extermination. not really a jew anyway - not a valuable jew - all yeshiva buchers.

    there is an appalling moment in Reds (otherwise a movie, for all its horribleness, that i love) featuring these caricature arabs...

    "There's also the need to connect all cold war socialism with Stalinism"

    I am looking forward to reading Losurdo's new book on Stalin. Bet it will never come out in English. It's interesting that plenty of people are ready to say "Jefferson's ideals are admirable" (biumllshit, if you can read) "even if his deeds were bad" and then try to impose his figure as honoured ancestor of left movements, but no one would say this of Stalin - notice that the ideals were better than Jefferson's at least even though the practise had as little to do with these ideals as Jefferson's had with equality and liberty.

  16. "that zionism (born in the same place, the same time, as nazism) is a form of white supremacism."

    Say that in NS or the Guardian, and hear cries of it being an insult to the six million. Or you can be Jimmy Carter - either nuts, or (if liberal) someone with an iconoclastic thesis. Its funny how black comentators on Zionism are clear about its racism, but somehow not 'entitled' to discuss it in MSM. Israel's a pathology too close to the hearts of white gentiles. As awkward as an all-black line up at the Grand Ol' Opry.

    "the seed of the serpent, dry nurses, dead dogs that cannot bark, moral negroes."

    - I think my blog may have a new subheading.

  17. Reds?

    I waited three hours for Woody Allen to show up, and gave up.

  18. "moral negroes" - wow

    religion and race - didn't those sethians and muggletonians like Blake "believe" (somewhat, in a certain way) that the ruling class was a seperate "race", descendants of Eve and the Serpent thru Cain, and that human beings were thus all the children of Seth (who was Adam's son)?

  19. "Its funny how black comentators on Zionism are clear about its racism, but somehow not 'entitled' to discuss it in MSM. "

    this is really an especailly bad thing because the immense hostility directed at black american critics of Israel and arab critics of Israel (even those who aren't interested in zionism as an ideology, just looking at the deeds of the state) is actually the source of some kind of lightweight antisemitism (Jews control the media type stuff) which is now actually causing strife in the US radical red left.

    This is one reason I think the left should be ferociously hard on old fashioned antisemitism when it appears under a left label, as with Zizz or the Hoares. At the rest of seeming oversensitive myself i think it's really important that white gentiles don't get away with antisemitic fabulizing and innuendo. I think one should kind of mark off all discussions of Israel and ME politics itself from this, but when there is antisemitic innuendo and vocabulary coming from white europeans about things unrelated to Israeli politics - when one gets it in discussions of Wagner or whatever - there should really be zero tolerance, also and especially for the recycling of the mythology but with European Arabs, Berbers and Turks in the place of Jews as we got from Baudrilliard and get from the "new philosophers" and zizz and others. I think this has to be called antisemitism really loud and punished with excommunication from left conversation.

  20. reds - yeah, the first time i saw it in my opinionated youth i hated it and was very angry about it because they had no right to make this crap out of those events! but later i developed a taste for this kind of movie and now i'd happily watch it of an evening while reading some hannah march mystery or whatever. i can also watch doctor zivago with pleasure, which once i considered absolute evil. i have no excuse. i know what this stuff is.

  21. "is actually the source of some kind of lightweight antisemitism"

    I'm afraid this may be the case in the UK at times, bound up as it is with class ("They used to be GOOD people - look how they talk now!" is a line that stuck in my mind). Opinions formed by experience of media and its paradigms.

    In light of above comments, its funny how blacks (no matter how christian etc) are assumed to be automatically biased in favour of Islam (Obama being a particularly bizarre example). It really is white civ to the right and black non-civ to the left when its discussed (a side note: terms of reference for China are notably different than they were for Japan. The idea of 'threat' is there, but in more polite tones). In media discourse, Israelis are never, ever described as 'asian' or 'eastern'.

    "Opinionated youth"? What changed?

  22. "really important that white gentiles don't get away with antisemitic fabulizing and innuendo" - when I was doing Palestine solidarity work in Texas, I made sure our group stepped up as the public critic when anti-semitism manifested itself. Meaning there and then largely the implicit variety in news and op-ed. Obviously, to document publically the distinction and the ability to distinguish between Zionism and Judaism. Funny, to, because there are so few Jews in Texas that we were often the first ones to speak out. But also because once we were out dealing with the public face-to-face, I was amazed at how widespread the "Jews run the media" kind of bias was among the older generation of Texans. First time I had encountered it as an endemic phenomenon. Hearing from a friend how as a child in school there she was viewed as something like a witch.
    No, no tolerance.

  23. The "running the media" meme seems to based on the old movie moguls, when entertainment was one of the few industries open to Jews. This explains away its Zionism now, before that it was its liberalism, racism, communism, 'loose morals' etc etc Reductive accusations from both left and right.

  24. it's not just all of that, it's that the mainstream Jewish community in the U.S. in particular has moved so far to the right in its defense of Israel that the community has no real way to deal with offering a communal response to fears of being scapegoated for the meltdown of the economy.

    where previous lefts have included more mainstream Jews, or mainstream Judaism has been more amenable to leftist politics, the situation was different, a lot less "Jewish Phantasm" and a lot more being able to point to people working at least as reformist types within the left-spectrum.

    but with the Jewish mainstream in Cold War against anyone who supports BDS, and with Wagner-Himmler-obsessed Zizek being hailed as some super-important "leftist," the primary emotions being promoted to Jewish left types who care about their Jewishness on any level are fear and hysteria.

    well until Egypt and Wisconsin. Pesach is going to be fun this year, what with the fresh fresh fresh reminders about the meanings of all that stuff about liberation from slavery and freeing the captive and so on.

    the Jewish labor movement has been dead since the Arbeter Ring endorsed the war in Vietnam, but maybe it might get revived...who knows?

    there's also been somewhat of a Cold War between mainstream American Jews and Israel over the Rotem bill and Zionism (the Peter Beinart article, the David Remnick interview, etc.)

    so there is a great potential for Anglophone mainstream Jews to break to the left, but there have been some ridiculous obstacles as well, not least of which is the "spectral"/"comical" figure of Zizek.

  25. thanks dot, excellent points.

    this conversation actually began over at kasper's blog

    with, taking off from a passing remark i made about laurie penny's plug of The Promise, this question of how zionism shifted so many centre-leftists and progressives to the right. Or perhaps it's that some major rightwing shift of the most socially progressive bourgeoisie, the "liberal establishment" itself, was engineered and choreographed around Israel and more generally around US mideast policy. One could think more specifically about the Israel that enjoyed US patronage and gained leverage with the fall of the Shah, how that politique was the lever that shifted a whole US spectrum (there was a depressing video i saw a while ago with Ali Abunimah, who is great, talking to Katrina Van den Heuval, and you just realize that VdH is in a milieu that has very strict limits; she's really no different from Remnick.) This affected mainly Jewish intellectuals in the US and France, but in Britain the real obvious cases are these special kind of exoticising philosemites they have, like Martin Amis and julie Burchill, who moved from some kind of centreleftism to far right field.

    It's funny Laurie Penny assumed Julie Burchill was Jewish, and managed to get lots of love from the radical left for her own kind of routine treacle "even handedness" lib zionist angst, by calling Burchill a "fat shouty Jewish" sumpin, and you can almost
    imagine Burchill confessing to having assumed Penny was gentile because, well, anorexia? stripping? we may safely call these goyish habits I think? and in the UK so such exchanges migght easily go.

    before i forget,

    There's an excellent line in the play 3 Hotels, (Jon Robin Baitz) which deals with exactly this baby formula genocide that Selma James talks about, and which Baitz father seems to have participated in as a Carnation exec in Brazil and South Africa. Baitz has such an exec of a fictional comapny say "we bring them the worst we have to offer...Booze, God, but especially people like us. We are the worst the world has to offer."

    anyway, more shortly -

    wonder what people thing of this:


    here's ali abunimah
    and kvdh and mark green

  27. " terms of reference for China are notably different than they were for Japan. The idea of 'threat' is there, but in more polite tones"

    speaking of media and control though...

    remember how nasty the antijapanese stuff in hollywood was getting in the 80s? and then Sony bought a studio and made themselves a presence and went into the software and they just said to the creatives and the players in hollywood you have to stop. we're not going to tolerate it. and people knew that was an employer,and it stopped.

    japanese - the "little brothers" of the aryan superfolkses according to such authorities as margaret mead and her hubbie (great book is War Without Mercy, John Dower; i don't think the "vermin" vision of people was every anymore more intense (not even in nazi propaganda about the undermen) than the american picturing of japanese as vermin in that era.

  28. "Hearing from a friend how as a child in school there she was viewed as something like a witch."

    that would have some advantages, i suspect?

  29. the activism of the nisei survivors of the internment camps and their children during the 1980s surely played some role, as it was major politics in California at the time.

  30. Until the first intifada at least, American liberal jews believed that Israel would have a civil rights movement, they had their black panthers, the Palestinians would have a civil rights struggle, they would win, American jews would shower israel wiht money for every advance toward a single secular state they made..."a normal country" - that's what the israeli left said then. And American Jews lied to themselves about Palestinians, and there was Munich, and scaweeness, but really trhey din't want to know on the one hand and they believed in the whole idea of social movements and that you could win tghem. The US advances on race, feminism, gay rights were inspiring examples. then the intifada and there were pctures on the front page of the times of boys bar mitzvah age looking just like little barmitzvah boys except in keffiyahs and with slingshots and they were facing down tanks. And people had to decide. My folks weren't zionists, my father very opposed but my mother always had a kind of sentimentl attachgment she wouldn't really admit, but this was really paingful. She walked around the house thinking up narratives to explain it in some way that would allow her to understand it (Jews acting like Nazis - she really couldn,'t take it in. But then she had to take it in. But a lot of people just found ways, things to believe - their parents are sick, have a cult of death, are sacrificing these kids like fanatics; they are the pawns of the Saudi royals; whetever. And decade after decade it got harder and harder, the stories had to get crazier and crazier.

  31. "the activism of the nisei survivors of the internment camps and their children during the 1980s surely played some role, "

    yes, true. but the clout of Japanese capital had significant effects I think.

  32. "and people knew that was an employer,and it stopped."

    Doubt we'd see a China version of Black Rain - from Ridley Scott (lord of racial fables - be interested to see how his adaptation of Man In The High Castle shapes up). And definitely a shut-down on whites playing Asians (apart from all those Israeli actors playing Islamic villains).

  33. RE:

    "Post-fascism does not need stormtroopers and dictators. It is perfectly compatible with an anti-Enlightenment liberal democracy that rehabilitates citizenship as a grant from the sovereign instead of a universal human right."

    Very interesting, and I can see it relating to the UK at the moment. Austerity measures are being sold as a state of emergency. The abolition of civice structures, from welfare to health & safety laws - very politely presented, and with more support than the left would care to concede (there's still enough people in relative comfort, which they mistake for citizenship). Tories regarding Human Rights legislation as a barrier to growth is particularly disturbing.

    The students were a 'test case' in many ways. It was containable - and they're young, educated and skilled, by no means from the bottom 10% of social class. Extending sans papiers status can be quite easy under the circumsatnces. The rehtoric is in place - read comments boxes in Guardian site to see how its become acceptable. Social division has become so deep that the poorer/non-white etc may not be aware of how much hostility is being generated against them.

    My own inarticulate rant touched on this a few weeks ago:

  34. that was a good rant;

    wallerstein is right i think; thirty years, forty years of transition has begun.

    the gang, the mafia scenario - like halliburton-dyncorp/Xe this kind of thing? they are busy busy getting more than title/ownership type control of resources, oil, water, the accelerated wdeapons advancements, robot armies and drones, etc...

    they have a jump, the lords of everyhing. but then what is happening suddenly in so many places, and the global solidarity, bursts on the scene zand makes you think its not impossible humanity could win. people are tired of all the compensations, tired of being anxious and insecure. we could have socialism maybe.

    you know all these constant msm alarms about how shallow and orful we are...Mean Girls, Cashmere Mafia, The Wire, (Weeds is the kindest vision of USAians on tv and its so racist and crazy), and this loatrhesome Suzanne Moore in the Guardian the other day is on about false eyelashes, and the usual complaint about the plastic surgery craze. First of all it has to be exaggerated - I see plenty of natural faces and bodies. Yes its a bad fad but when will these bourgeois reformers get tired of shrieking in the public square about women's vanity? This woman calls herself a feminist and does not notice she is shreiking about women's luxury and vanity in the piazza as the "austerity" intensifies.

  35. 'people are tired of all the compensations, tired of being anxious and insecure. we could have socialism maybe."

    I think the least likely place it could happen would be Europe, maybe elsewhere. Maybe the US, but not without being very violent.

  36. "the american picturing of japanese as vermin in that era" - not exactly the vermin treatment, but last week the "buck-toothed bastards' came to mind, and I was wondering 'Buck-toothed'? Where the hell did 'buck-toothed' come from?
    Had me thinking that I now work with students who were born in 1993, and that anti-Japanese propaganda of the 80s is not even a memory to them. In addition to the absolute impact of *japanese* direct investment, I think there has been vis-avis the Japan a relative impact from the normalizing influence of *all* foreign direct investment in the US.Not in the moveis so much, but in the more explicitly political forms of agitation, Japanese investment was really just the worst case of the general evil 'foreign' investment. NOw Republican legislators defend foreign investment. "Creating jobs."

  37. "wonder what people thing of this:"

    Too long to get all way through now.

    But my problem started with this assertion: THIS HOSTILITY TO UNIVERSAL CITIZENSHIP IS, I submit, the main characteristic of fascism.

    For two reasons.

    One, it projects the feature of contemporary right politics that he wants to discuss onto the historical fascist movement as an argumentative gesture to legitimize his analysis
    two, the projection oversimplifies historical fascism. My own vulgar bottom line, he isn't treating historical fascism as social process and social relations. He reduces it to a category with an essential feature.

    A recreational quibbler could suggest that the "post" in post-fascism represents the victory of democracy, since to me one of the features that did/does separate fascism from other right-wing movements is the explicit rejection of democracy. (And the German conjunction of anti-democracy with militant racialism pretty well defined it ideologically).

    Oops, now I had jsut gone back and revised and added a little, and now add more, that the reductive definition to the point I reached makes fascism sound like just an ideology.

    But I started to fade out about when he got to Bataille/Schmitt, so I'm going to have to try to go back again later.

  38. The 'buck-toothed Jap" was fuckin' everywhere when I was growing up (in the UK) and suddenly vanished from all sitcoms, adverts etc around the early 90s (there was interesting 80s period where they balanced the sadistic/silly stereotype). I used to think it was the WW2 generation retiring, but its pretty clear now how it was mainly business reasons. Although interestingly, German stereotypes also suddenly eased up with reunification (an influx of 'good Germans' in WW2 stories etc. Of course sports takes a few decades to catch up).

    I think 'post-fascism' is more about not attempting to suspend elections, officialy execute opponents etc? Enacting denial of citizenship through market/parliamentary means? For example, huge cuts in free legal aid that we're seeing in the UK. Or hardening conditions/extending periods by which immigrants can get citizenship. Or oppressing Muslims through 'religious hatred' laws. No overt promotion of increased state violence, but definitely a promotion of reducing protections from it. There may even be a perverse promotion of 'democracy' - like when said laws are the result of 'normal' people's (focus groups, letter writers etc) 'genuine concerns'.

  39. thanks, yeah, I was sort of looking at that take alongside hallward in the Guardian:

    As the philosopher Alain Badiou points out in a recent editorial, "once they cross a certain threshold of determination, persistence and courage, the people can indeed concentrate their existence in a public square or avenue, in a few factories, or in a university. In the wake of a transformative event, the people are composed of those who are able to resolve the problems posed by this event" – for instance, the problems involved in defending a square, or sustaining a strike, or confronting an army. Buoyed by the assertion of their hard-won power, the people of north Africa and the Middle East are currently inventing means of solving such problems at a rate that already defies any sort of historical comparison at all.

    This seems to me really creepy and at the same time comical in a number of ways. First - what is this rush now to come up with these transhistorical mystical rules, the flight from history and the concrete?

    Badiou says, and one has to wonder if he's kidding:

    Oui, nous devons être les écoliers de ces mouvements, et non leurs stupides professeurs. Car ils rendent vie, dans le génie propre de leurs inventions, à quelques principes de la politique dont on cherche depuis bien longtemps à nous convaincre qu'ils sont désuets. Et tout particulièrement à ce principe que Marat ne cessait de rappeler : quand il s'agit de liberté, d'égalité, d'émancipation, nous devons tout aux émeutes populaires.

    "We" ("the West") have to be the pupils of the participants of recent events in "the East" and not their stupid teachers. Then he goes on to interpret them, despotically, as if the participants are all mute and mere objects, and assign to them the role of embodiment or illustration, of the teachings of Marat. He transforms the insurrectionary population into basically passive vessels of french genius, spirit, mind; like Hallward and so many others, he erases the antecedent working class militancy in order to ensure the monopoly of meaning generating and history making to the gallery of european petty bourgeois heroes. The people are those who embody the wisdom and illustrate the precepts of the celebrity conduits and identifiers of their general will.

  40. The 'buck-toothed Jap" was fuckin' everywhere when I was growing up (in the UK) and suddenly vanished from all sitcoms, adverts etc around the early 90s (there was interesting 80s period where they balanced the sadistic/silly stereotype).

    some things that come to mind; Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Mamet's Spanish Prisoner, Gung Ho,

    and the really offensive _Lost in Translation_. Which was suddenly offering itself as okay in a very post-racism way. As if the stereotypes are bumped up to levels of elite art codes or something. Also _Up in the Air_ makes a case for this, and is one of many making this joke ("yes, its racist, but it's efficient!" racism - as stereotyping, "prejudices", racial profiling - is an efficient way of analysing situations.)

    Other People's Money (1991) had bad greedy possibly Jewish wallstreeter (Larry the Liquidator) representing financial innovation (danny devito); wholesome new england scandanavian mom and pop industry saved by Japanese technological innovation (airbags), those carrying the torch of "making stuff".

  41. Unfortunately all those films you cite are so utterly unmemorable, I can't even think of the examples.

    Apart from Lost in Translation (jeesus what an elite jerk-off that was) - namely the idea that May-to-December bonding can have a kind of metaphysical truth, when Asian-to-(white) American is existentially impossible.

    A lot of these hip rich kid movies are based on bonding that moves across lines (of wealth, age, gender, geography, even incest in a few examples); but other races are placed in the narratives as background chorus, or an obstacle to the Zen of the characters. I'm thinking of Wes Anderson in particular, but there's a whole 00s scene (often formed in the same social circles, if casting is anything to go by) that displays similar attitudes.

    It makes me feel like I'm watching a remote class talking to itself in some odd code. A similar experience to catching Soviet bloc animation on TV as a kid, and getting confused wondering where the gags are.

  42. Movies pretty much always have been the language of rich people, but there's been a shift in recent decades. There's more of a (remote) lifestyle fetishism (its products, its sense of identity), different to Woody Allen say (where Kafka or divorce wouldn't be too outside the experience of general audiences) or even someone like Pasolini or Fassbinder (when terrorism, homosexuality or fascism would be familiar concepts to even the casual viewer). The terms of cultural capital have changed. A lot of 'hip' US directors are very inward, and seem to appeal mainly to the consciously aspirational, desperate to crack their codes of cool.

  43. hipster racism

    hipster racism

    hipster racism

    hipster racism

    hipster racism

    hipster racism

    hipster racism

    missing from all the analysis of this that has been exploding in anti-racist web spaces since 2007 is that Zizek has been the prophet of hipster racism to a certain audience.

  44. Hipsters are the most 'elite' subculture I've ever come across, so it's no surprise whatsoever. May have a lot to do with marketized education and its stratifications, but I even wonder what that 'scene' does with/to its disabled people. Wasn't Vice magazine founded by some fascist fuck?

  45. thanks - yes zizz white male fans are still defending his racist and fascist screeds with "but he just doing it to shock liberals". Like liberals are shocked by his hipster racism and like it's then okay to abuse any unwilling victim one wishes if they were. this was ali alizadeh's excuse for zizek's incitement of violence against roms - he just wants to shock liberals! okay, well you could shock liberals, mr alizadeh, by letting zizek shit in your mouth onstage. that would really shock liberals and only volunteer participants would be affected.

    now if you suggested this in public to zizek and his fans, his defenders would really be shocked and they would also be angry about it. Because they don't want to do anything shocking they just want to behave like ordinary bigots and intimidate their critics by making new claims for the virtuousness of their barbarity. they would say you are sent into exile. you cross a line. you are not playing the game right. Shocking liberlas is the last thing they want to do as they are kinds of liberals (fascoid) and they are shocked by everything liberals are shocked by. They want to dispense racist intimidation, they want to dominate, to flaunt their white male supremacy and bolster existing hierarchies and congratulate themselves for their radicalism and courage siumultaneously. It's so transparent - yes I am inciting violence against Roma children as a courageous bold fearless act to upset Bill Clinton! The conman's misdirecting chatter is so creaky and obvious it would be amazing that it works except that it works not by fooling but by offering the conspiracy and alibi: what Zizek knows is that his shuffled pov cons work not because they fool people but because they give enough of a cover for the complicity, for people to pretend to be fooled in order to join in the enjoyment of abusing the weakest.