David Garcia on Tue, 26 Nov 2019 11:51:03 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Morales Longa, Vita Brevis

Perhaps the opposite kind of equally insidious political appeal is the suduction of those who  
have mastered the art of 'getting away with it'. 

A famous example is the image of Boris Johnson as London Mayor in the run up to the Olympics 
stuck on a wire suspended high in the air ridiculously waving two union flags. With any other politician 
this would have been a PR disaster but for Johnson the image has come signify his impunity, his
apparent capacity to defy political gravity. 

The best description of his style is comes from his erstwhile rival David Cameron who called him
the “greased piglet that manages to slip through other people’s hands where mere mortals fail” 

The psychoanalyst and essayist Adam Philips argues that "whatever else, getting away with things is 
always a pleasure, however brief. We like to do it ourselves and we like to hear of other people who 
do it. We are impressed even when we are appalled.. " 

Although very different in style Trump (also Berlosconi) share this rogue male appeal that speaks to 
a collective fascination for individuals who “get away with it”.. those who seem to be able to break the 
rules with impunity (“..pro cake and pro eating it”). 

Paradoxically all the examples that spring to mind come from the right of the political spectrum. 
But there is no real paradox as what we see here is the new and radical split conservatism writ large. 

“stopping people gettting away something […] the restoration of prior authority is conservative. But 
getting away with something is also conservative of the status quo in so far as it is not an attempt to 
change the law but to elude it. … They would need to keep the world as it is, not to go on rebelling 
against it but to go on cheating it.” Adam Phllips (Missing Out.. In Praise of the Unlived Life)

Is this another way of defining neo-liberalism..?



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