Sascha D. Freudenheim on Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:07:05 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> January 23, Trump Question

To answer the last question first, I don't know precisely, but
impeachment won't start until the Republicans in Congress feel
that they have an acceptable rationale lined up, one that will be
unambiguously clear to the 60+ million people who--despite everything,
despite overwhelming evidence of his incompetence, narcissism,
and boorishness--nonetheless voted for Trump. Three days in, that
rationale isn't there yet.

But what really struck me in your email was--again--the obsession on
this list and elsewhere with the idea that all of this signals the
death of capitalism.

This is hogwash. It's magical thinking.

Just based on the march I attended in New York for four hours on
Saturday: 99% of those people were not protesting capitalism.
Sure, there were a few people carrying signs about the "corporate
oppressor." (I counted three of them.) But most of those people seem
to like the choices that capitalism offers them. They just want it
better. Kinder and gentler if you will.

And the march was four hours of one day. None of the people I know,
anywhere in the world--and I have friends around the world--are
looking to move to a system that offers a certainty of basic comforts
with none of the benefits that also come with taking risks.

Maybe you'll say "Well, that's all they've ever known." True. But
I don't see any evidence at all that our society, or any other, is
looking to put an end to the system of independent market-based
decision-making that capitalism offers. Do they want fewer oligarchs?
Yes. Do they want more basics provided based on the wealth that the
capitalism provides (like healthcare)? Hell yes. But actually getting
rid of capitalism--and Uber, and AirBnB, etc.--nope, don't see it.

But, hey, maybe this group wants to start a Kickstarter campaign to
fund Ending Capitalism. :)

[Sebastian, apologies: you're not my target here. Heck, I don't even
know you! You just triggered the outpouring.]


On 1/22/17 9:48 PM, wrote:

January 23, Trump Question

So let me play the inverse of devil's advocate for a moment: Lets
assume this is all on track. Market capitalism is coming apart, just
like state capitalism around 1990. Ruthless financialization has
finally broken the century-old bond between deterritorialization
and reterritorialization, and what we're witnessing - in Brexit,
in Trump - are simply the death throes of the reterritorializing
forces, the moment when there is no more territory left, and not
enough fuel. "Late capitalism" wasn't jargon, it was a correct
attempt at periodization, all the time, and this is the end, a
desperate final assault, of male white corporate oppression. Even
the inverse devil's advocate will have to concede that death throes
can last forever and cause immense collateral damage, and that the
most likely successor to market capitalism is a mix of feudalism
and fascism, but at the same time, there may be unforseen openings,
and a sharp increase in willingness to take actual political risks.
So lets assume that 2016 was just a ruse, a sick joke of history:
once as tragedy, ten times as farce, and then this. As will become
obvious in hindsight, Donald Trump (and the same applies to Boris
Johnson) was a once-in-a-century occurence of blind luck, an
absurdly fortunate constellation of dominoes. To have him take down
two of the most insurmountable impediments to political change in
the United States, the Bush and Clinton dynasties (plus destroy
much of the establishment of both political parties, and maybe
even paralyze a large enough faction of the Christian Right) with
a single lucky punch, and then having to figure out how to impeach
the guy, is going to reveal itself as a way more plausible path out
of this mess than trying to achieve the same result the other way


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