May 06, 2007

Why I'm Not A Radical « The Kugelmass Episodes In keeping with today's dwelling among passed (past) posts, I read this interesting one from Joseph Kugelmass (read the whole thing) Why I'm Not A Radical « The Kugelmass Episodes: Radicalism, with its dramatic gestures of alienation, has become a model for the entertainment industry. Its promises are deformed by advertisements that sell us the image of transformed lives, and by the escapist strain in Hollywood. Radicalism is the watchword for pushing the envelope, and forcing the moment to its crisis. The universal desire that something “different” or “miraculous” happen is radical to the core, as is the belief in destiny. In the academy, radicalism has produced an untenable extremity of critique. In political movements, it has led to divisiveness and a hysterical contempt for other people’s personal decisions and limits. Our lives are already striated by real, irreversible, involuntary change. Calling something like the Internet “radical” is pointless, because the word is actually inadequate. Radicalism is finally the rhetoric of defeat; ultimately, the entities that want the most change, the fastest, are corporations. I’ve seen a corporation turn an entire forest into a field of pampas grass in the space of a month; I’ve seen a handful of them re-form the whole business district of a town in a year. Corporations uproot populations and “create jobs” to take the place of native economies. They introduce new products, new technologies, new additives, new fertilizers, new markets, new kinds of international politics. An excess of history makes a corporation suffer. It...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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