martin hardie on Tue, 28 Feb 2012 03:57:53 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> some reflections from australia on recent events here - the demise of zombie politics?

Hi Angela

Nice to hear from you

I take on board your zombie point and robots ... I will look ...but one
cannot deny the robotic manner of the current PM. Or at least a kind of
hectoring school teacher telling you what is good for you even if you don't
believe or want it...

I am I think wholeheartedly denunciating the Labor Party and I carefully
tried not to laud Rudd.
Hence the use of the word seems repeatedly. I had editors from a few
'political' and 'acedemic' 'news' sites ask me to remove the repetition of
the word seems ...
eg this one:

?The appeal of former Prime Minister Rudd may simply be that it consists in
the fact that he seems to speak directly to people? would be much better
rendered as ?The appeal of former Prime Minister Rudd may simply be that he
speaks directly to people.?

Maybe it would have been 'snappier' but I deliberately did not want to say
that it was so ... seems was used as an attempt to throw it all out in to
the ether

Since having it published ALP types have called me a wrecker for wanting to
flog Labor  etc etc ... the vindictive in some is quite revealing ... they
still hold true to democratic centralism and one even called Albanese a
sook ... the party has no time for moaners and sooks I was told.

Re Rudd's individual faults - what I am saying is that this is not the
issue, this is not about personalities but about the crisis of the ALP and
eventually all parties .... Maybe your aversion to Rudd has coloured your
reading. But seriously this was not intended to be a pro Rudd piece,
although he was the victim of the the 2010 coup which is an event which
says everything bad about the ALP that needs to be said.

I don't elevate Rudd as someone who may intentionally continue to serve as
a progressive voice, but that he has in his own inimitable style brought
things to a head. The crisis of machine politics has been on view for all
to see and Rudd has played his part in exposing that in away that it is now
on the table more than ever. The symbolic exercise in legitimation (to use
the Gramscian) of Arbib falling on his sword was testament to that. However
if I was forced to chose between the two candidates I would have to lean to
Rudd for the simple reason that he didn't engage in racist dog and didn't
propose the Malaysia solution. But there is much, if not most of Rudd that
i would disagree with (other than getting rid of Howard)

I do think Gillard deals in the Christian missionary working ethic as much
or even more than Rudd. Even if she doesn't attest to being  Christian her
rhetoric is very protestant work ethic.  It is the hard working family ...
to the exclusion of all those that are not hard working families or are not
from their 'sanctuary'.

And although you might say getting rid of work choices was good, the
Orwellian *Fair Work Act 2009* is not really something we should celebrate,
just ask the Qantas ground staff or the Victorian nurses for example. The
claims that Gillard is from the left of course are just ludicrous ....

The position we are in reminds me of the infaltionary role of neoliberalism
Foucault talked about in the Birth of Biolpolitics ....     - Allows a
practice of the general disqualification by the worst: whatever the object
of analysis, whatever its functioning, it can always be referred to
something that will be worse

So in the end and in summary I did not intend to celebrate either.

My point, maybe too subtly and hastily written (it was a 10 minute purge
after 5 days of TV) was that neither 'major' party nor their party unity is
ever going to be a progressive voice.

Finally, I didn't make any statements about Polanyi and Marx, I just stole
the zombie idea from someone's work on that. The piece was not about them
at all so I think that is all a side issue on your part. The comment to the
blog post was in response to people asking me where the zombie reference
came from.

love and kisses from rainy Geelong


On 28 February 2012 11:07, Angela Mitropoulos <> wrote:

> Martin,
> I like zombie references, but George Romero's "Land of the Dead"
> characterises the condition of labour (not politicians or capital) as
> zombified? Isn't that a better approximation of the "return of dead
> labour"? In other words, in Marx's terms, "dead labour" refers to
> machines. In "Land of the Dead," I cheered when the zombies went on the
> rampage at the end. Yay zombies!

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