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October 31, 2007

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hedda hopper

"The first paragraph, then, says that failure is inevitable because some people are stupid and unlucky and that successful societies have to keep these incompetents away from valuable resources."

But it is important to keep BLOGLIFE in mind, especially since all the rest of the time many professors are consumed with deciphering it...in this regard, many strides have been made in separating off the incompetent and innately unsuccessful from valuable BLOG ENTREE: to Wit, Mrs. Louella Parsons and I have, in a 2-year long campaign which I began and she joined me with gradually but eventually resolutely, separated certain alleged Purveyors of the Belief in Fully Competent Capitalists (with the occasional bow to failures by IBM, as if they had always hoped to do Microsoft a good deed...)from many important venues from which to set up cheap soapboxes. For this totalitarian program, we have enlisted the help of Famous Movie Stars, Important Bloggers Who are Successful Offline, and Cheap Poppers which make them so grateful they have been turned into Trolls at CPC this very Halloween! One of these Poverty Row Personnel even made an entry when it was merely Halloween Eve here but Halloween there--so that the real time effects of globalization have not been felt at any and all times of posting!

Very few of the slightly more normal bloggers have awarded either myself or Mrs. Parsons for the important work we have done to prove that If You Blog and Obsess About BLOG, You Must Bring Blog into all Serious Conversation--especially if you are into things like 'we can play here' and 'blog commons'. Otherwise, you are infantilizing BLOG CULTURE, and you might end up having to give it a BLOG PRIDE DAY once a year, if you don't bring it up in all conversations about how people have been 'separated from valuable resources!' It is extremely important to realize how Mrs. Parsons and I have marginalized Cobras and Cobraic Eunuchs so that, in case BLOGS have more power than I think they do or you do or less than you do or I do, we will have exercised a form of Preventive Medicine, and what do we get (excluding you and Clysmatics, our Friends and Patronessses)? We get Mild Apathy by bad-tempered little twits and twerps who aren't big-minded enough to appreciate how we have turned our swords into ploughshares through the explicit understanding of how Alfred Hitchcock stole the Janet Leigh Technique from Orson Welles!

Bob Allen

I note that this is a very technocratic way of looking at the world, that is in the sense technocrats seem to hold these views- I'm thinking of the Net savvy Ron Paulites, the neo Birchers et al. I think this is what Marx meant when he said "the more complex the work, the more grotesque the worker"- not in appearance, but in spirit if you will, this barbaric robot-like submission to ideology.

badiouian

Jodi, the rhetoric of natural selection is neither unique to neoliberalism, nor intrinsically fascistic.
What IS fascistic about this piece, or at least cruel and terrible, is the subversion of the natural selection rhetoric.
According to natural selection we need to be "separating incompetent or systematically unlucky people from the control of valuable resources." Im not saying this is the only way to view capitalism through a Darwinist lens, but let it stand for a moment. Far more disturbing is what comes next.
"While there will be political pressures to buffer folks from the consequences of economic folly or bad luck, it is socially dangerous to do so."
What this is saying is that beyond the fact that folks lose money NATURALLY we need to go back and punish them again UNNATURALLY. The market is cruel and darwinist, but not darwinist enough. This is equivalent to saying that we should go shoot the monkeys because theyre in the way of evoloution. Not the same as saying that, lamentably, the monkeys had to die because of the voracious, albeit evolotionarily superior homo sapiens.
I like your point about Bush and his junta being insulated, but be aware that some TRUE conservatives want accountability for Bush and his junta. And that according to natural selection, if Bush has the biggest dick, he sort of gets to stick it wherever he wants, even if the lower genuses of hipsters and academics object.
What you are pointing out is a little more subtle: if we are already going Dodo hunting and nuking the whales because you gotta nuke someone, then we are really not doing natural selection at all. We are doing human selection. And, if you were given the power to choose, the Dodos might still be around even as we might hear screaming from the oval office.

jdean

Badiouian--the article doesn't use a rhetoric of natural selection. It refers to successful societies. So, it's clear that this is a political/social choice.

badiouian

I read it as a Darwinist kind of rhetoric; even if imposed by societal choice. Especially the part about finite resources not being squandered on worthless people. Without that kind of attitude, why not?

badiouian

also at the end of the article he calls market corrrections an "ecological question."

Def a confluence of all the actors in capitalism which begins to resemble natural selection.

sixfootsubwoofer

Badiouian, I can understand why one would see a Darwinism here, and even if social or biological Darwinism was not explicitly used here, it is probably at the core of neoliberal ideology, and that has always troubled me. I think the trouble for me is that neoliberalism cannot be described as "survival of the fittest", at least here in the states. It's more of a struggle for resources, education, health care, etc, and less a question of survival in the strictest sense. This gives the neoliberal order more power in justifying their system. If things were truly at a level of bare survival, then we would be playing a totally different game, no?

"No matter how painful it is to be a loser, society is better off if the losers are dealt with, separated off quickly and securely. I wonder, does he mean that they should be shipped off to concentration camps, herded into ghettos, or exterminated?"

This is too hyperbolic, of course, but apt. I think that this writer is happy to keep these people in the gulags of the trailer parks and government housing they already inhabit. It seems neoliberal rhetoric has always been sustained by an unspoken endorsement of the kind of hedonism that has been available since the "sexual revolution", and the cultural revolutions of the 60s. IE, if you are not successful at business or intelligent enough to use capitalism to your advantage, you are always free to be poor and voiceless while enjoying the base pleasures of the body, to forfeit your discipline in favor of formerly forbidden pleasures like sex out of wedlock or homosexuality or whatever. I honestly believe that these neo-puritans have given up on the conversion of the populace and are only interested in ghettoizing the poor into camps of near-homo-sacers who will squander their drives on sex and drugs, having multiple children and continuing to drag down their own. Or use some bastardized form of consumer religion to keep them quiet. TWO choices, wow.

You're right, this is, and is almost always, a subversion of Darwinist rhetoric, and it's a cowardly, insidious one. Neoliberals should be called out on their misappropriation of Darwinist rhetoric at every turn, even when they fail to address it directly.

Oh, and that concept "systematically unlucky" is truly the most disgusting and stupid one the bastards are currently using. It should be attacked at EVERY utterance, and most public liberals have been sorely remiss in doing so....give us more, Jodi!!

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