Flick Harrison on Thu, 22 Dec 2016 14:20:12 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> the sun barely rises.

Maybe that’s why Trumpism so powerful at the moment; it doesn’t need to make sense in a time when sense is harder to make.  Like Futurism, Trumpism just needs to embrace the energy of the moment and charge into the bayonets with twitter-thumbs blazing.  If you destroy it, they will come.

The resistance needs to rapidly change its paradigm from the totalizing binary:

Military-Industrial-Complex / Western Imperial Corporate Democracy


People / Indigenous / Workers / Righteous Rogue States

Which has become outdated with the Arab Spring, the resurgence of Russian interventionism and the growing military confidence of China, the pan-Western coagulation of alt-rightism / illiberalism, the deadly split among Democrats (and the US left more generally) after the DNC revelations and loss of power, the refugee crisis, the absolute crisis of climate change, the unstable status of Turkey and Greece, among many other developments…  For god’s sake, Trump foreign affairs people see the neoliberals as “converts from the left to Reagan’s cause” nowadays, and when you think about Hillary’s place on the spectrum you can see their point; surely the old boundaries have become unrecognizable and useless.   i.e what are we to make of Russian / Israeli cooperation in the face of EU sanctions on Russia?!

We need to work with the more nuanced and permeable, and harder and harder to divide up rationally / consistently, constantly shifting:

Colour-Revolutions / Civil Society / Armed uprisings i.e. Rojava, FSA - the so-called people


Radical Islam ISIS etc - theocratic adventurism


Saudi Arabia etc / Neoliberals / Western-ctr-right / Israel - self-interested brutalism


ctr-left Obamism etc liberal democracy at home, conscientious military industrial complex corporatism abroad


Trump / Putin / White maleness / Illiberal Bloc / Syria / Hezbollah / Iran - similar to neoliberal block but a major rival for the same power


China (illiberal corporate unstoppable consumerism envirobrutal)


The left seems determined, as pointed out here earlier by eg Donatella Della Ratta, to force-feed all these power centres into a simplified paradigm wherein anything off-kilter is the result of “outside agitators” propped up by the CIA, or local anti-imperialist sovereignty asserting itself through righteous force… every RT description of colour revolutions uses this paradigm, it’s also what comes out of Corbyn’s and Sanders’ followers or at least their leftest flank every time shots ring out anywhere that matters.

Adam Curtis’ Bitter Lake takes us through the foolishness of such an oversimplified approach specifically vis-a-vis the Helmland incursion by British Forces in the Afghan war, and how their need to label everyone with a white hat or a black hat led to them being the most hated force in the region, everyone’s pawn but with no friends at all.  

Certainly Marxism, with its need to boil everything down to linear power hierarchies and economic determinism, faces a big challenge here… how did he approach the international imperial rivalries within capitalism?  Hell, any philosophy is going to be pressed for answers in the next period, even dumb dumb Trumpism is going to have to stretch to explain everything.  Or just not bother.

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