June 25, 2013

Social Text: Periscope: No War but Class War War appears as a lie. The actual life of capitalist societies is class war. There is nothing that is beyond this war. The tyranny of corporations, the degradation of the food supply, the exploitation of the workforce, the extortion of the finance sector - this is the actuality of capitalism. The production of "war" as an exception functions not only to support and extend the fantasy of a capitalist peace but also to occlude capitalism' fundamental quality of class war. Capitalism is nothing but class war. Requiring the permanent revolutionizing of the means of production, it demands and receives an ever-expanding arsenal for subjugation - the militarization of the police, enclavement of the ruling class, extension of the apparatus of surveillance, growth of the penal system. Police protect banks. Law serves creditors. Championing of the "right to work," governors demolish unions. The immiserated, indebted, and precarious are necessary components of our present capitalism, the contemporary reserve army of the un- and underemployed, the service sector, service class, servants and serfs in becoming. Someone's got to do that work. The indebted are doubly exploited as their futures belong to someone else. To the extent that their debts are packaged into asset backed securities (such as collateralized debt obligations), they become themselves the spoils of war, virtual serfs owned by one bank or another. via www.socialtextjournal.org
The Frontman: Bono (In The Name of Power) by Harry Browne – review Like Geldof, he inherited the social conscience of the 1960s without its political radicalism, which is why he has proved so convenient a front man for the neo-liberals. In fact, as Browne points out, he has cosied up to racists such as Jesse Helms, whitewashed architects of the Iraqi adventure such as Tony Blair and Paul Wolfowitz, and discovered a soulmate in the shock-doctrine economist Jeffrey Sachs. He has also brownnosed the Queen, sucked up to the Israelis, grovelled at the feet of corporate bullies and allied himself with rightwing anti-condom US evangelicals in Africa. The man who seems to flash a peace sign every four seconds apparently has no problem with the sponsorship of the arms corporation BAE. His consistent mistake has been to regard these powers as essentially benign, and to see no fundamental conflict of interests between their own priorities and the needs of the poor. They just need to be sweet-talked by a charmingly bestubbled Celt. Though he has undoubtedly done some good in the world, as this book readily acknowledges, a fair bit of it has been as much pro-Bono as pro bono republico. If Bono really knew the history of his own people, he would be aware that the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s was not the result of a food shortage. Famines rarely are. There were plenty of crops in the country, but they had to be exported to pay the landlords' rents. There was also enough food in Britain at the...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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