Eric Beck on Sun, 18 Mar 2018 22:17:45 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Troll factories in some shitty St Petersburg office?

On Sun, Mar 18, 2018 at 2:23 PM, Brian Holmes <> wrote:

This is the endgame of the neoliberal program for the total makeover of society, which began in the early Seventies with the Powell memo and the Trilateral Commission declaration on "too much democracy." I

Naw. Neoliberalism is not really an institution-conceived and -directed thing like you seem to think. To the extent that the term usefully describes anything, it would apply to a more or less improvised set of policy and political responses to both the economic downturn of 1973-82 and worldwide resistance and refusal. I know apres Harvey the left thing to do is draw a straight line from the Chicago School to Chile et al., as if all 'ruling elites' had to do was devise a program and administer it on the world. But that's bad history as well as bad theory and is closer to rightwing conspiricizing ("inter-elite conflicts") than Marxist analysis.

Does this bad theory matter ultimately? Probably not, but only because people resisting the current world tend to not care when intellectuals (or is it soothsayers?) notify them that the endgame is here. Just as the intellectual/philosophical reasonings behind neoliberalism came only after their policy tenets were implemented, so left conjunctural analysis tails popular movement, but usually does it poorly and misses the point.

It is remarkable, though, that you can write mellifluously about Russia and Trump and psy-ops etc., but end up not having a single word to say about the fact that the fascist US president and his coterie are working on many fronts with the Russian state and its offshoots on reviving a pan-Western traditionalism that is racist, sexist, antiqueer, and eugenicist. That stuff is less sexy than brainwashing is, but it hits people where they live and comprises the actual content that's being whispered into people's ears.
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