Ed Phillips on Thu, 3 May 2012 23:38:23 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The insult of the 1 percent: "Art-history majors"


Thank you for sending this on to the list with your thoughts. I'm
looking at the same phenomenon, but what I see in the words and
actions of a Connard is desperation and an identity crisis.

What happens to a shamefaced class of sclerotic
rent-seekers who want and get protection from any kind of
risk or even true labor but who also at the same time desperately need to
validate themselves as workers and risk seekers?

They fetishize a word such as "competition" and take on the airs of
a heroic capitalism that has mostly only ever existed and surely only
exists in this ever more technocratic big government oligopoly as
fantasy and fantasy only.

Scratch the surface of any one of these figures and you will find a
backdoor socialist. You will also, I gather, find quite a bit of
posturing and a denial of the truth that "heroic capitalism" is the
stuff of the sales effort. It is something you sell the wannabes on,
so you can collect a toll, a tax, or a rent, but any big player will
eschew any resembling a market to the degree that they can.

Any individual who takes it upon themselves to have the personal
luxury to never go to market, and to avoid a toll, tax, or a rent is
surely an affront and a provocation. It is a provocation. 

But it is a provocation because it in part gives the lie to the idea that
there is some "fiercely competitive" mechanism operating somewhere in
this sclerotic oligopoly. One condensed way of putting some of this
would be: The sales effort so desperately needs to lie to itself that
it calls itself fierce and competitive, and it tells itself that its
rituals and fetishes are labor or even innovation when it has lost
all sense of what labor or innovation is or might be.

Those kids at that table know more about risk and labor than Connard
will ever know, because his privilege has robbed him of that
knowledge. Does he know how impoverished he is? 

On Thu, May 03, 2012 at 01:43:01AM -0500, Brian Holmes wrote:

> Edward Conard works for Mitt Romney's firm, Bain Capital. He is part
> of the .01% and he is true to his class. A New York Times reporter
> interviewed him on the occasion of his soon-to-be-released book (which
> you should probably steal if you want to read it) called "Unintended
> Consequences." As usual, it declares that the superrich do us all
> a world of good, even though all they want is more for them. In
> Connard's case, he already has enough to crush us like flies. Check
> out his world view, as reported by Adam Davidson:

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