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Re: <nettime> Some reflections on global mapping
Ed Phillips on Fri, 4 Jul 2008 08:48:03 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Some reflections on global mapping


These are some important (to me) questions you are asking here and you
are asking them in the right way.

Elsewhere on brianholmes.wordpress.com you mention that both dialogue
with other interested actors and less than paranoid attempts to
understand how "governmentality" is operating or understanding itself
on its own terms is also a positive and even hopeful activity.

I wholeheartedly agree and I highly recommend that people read Brian's
blog. I don't know that I always comprehend Brian's articulate
mappings or that I even give myself the time and energy to fully work
through his thinking, but the little understanding I have managed to
wrangle is "something."

I can say that Brian is honestly doing the work of attempting to
understand and live, and doing it well. An important part of it is how
an "aesthetic" framing allows for reading across discourses.

At a meta-critical level, I don't really see enough effort in such
figures as Naomi Klein for example. Doug Henwood's review of her
latest attempts to understand geoeconomics are spot on see the
leftbusinessoberver.com. She is just not doing the work. 

She quite simply falls into the trap of personality as well as the
fact that she does not do even the most rudimentary economic homework.

A disavowal of the personality level of politics, and even dare I say
it of the state as personality seems to me to clear the ground for
understanding geo political economy quite a bit.

Remove the personality players (Obama, Mcain, Bush, Brown, Blair,
etc.), (Brown is perfect here) remove the Anglophone only empire idea,
and you begin to see why even though every local person should indeed
vote for the most liberal of Liberals available, "governmentality" is
effectively globalized. In short, the G8 is empire.

The mainstream left is a "I don't really want to know" population, an
example of which is France whose government quietly does the work of
the "war on terror", and whose populace can pretend that George Boosh
is some kind of unilateral madman.

Brian captures something of the ways that we want to be fooled, the
ways we don't want to know what is done in the name of "security." The
ways that much of what purports to understand the our present
condition only masks it further.

What is masked by the sheer mass of idiot facts? Or how does the mass
of idiot facts mask?

Examples do come to mind:

Sey Hersh in the New Yorker writes yet another piece about the war in
and with Iran. It is another access journalism feed from the Agency
and part of some kind internecine battle within the war on terror
masked as some kind of threat of conventional war with Iran. Page
after page says almost nothing. Quite simply what is masked here is
"politics" again. Politics and the ongoing urban, political war with
Iran masked as the threat of conventional war and covert operations.

It is not really important that Hersh is playing the agency's game,
that he is their tool. He surely knows it.

Is he so literal as to never want to ask or mention the larger
question of how Iran is also empire, also an enormous state apparatus
run and mobilized in a so-similar cynical way. Perhaps the only
difference is that Tehran is ironically enough less literal and more
politically savvy than Washington or London.

Politics is masked. What would fall under the rubric of politics is
masked.

Why and how?


On Thu, Jul 03, 2008 at 11:35:54AM +0200, Brian Holmes wrote:

> dr. woooo wrote this to me:
> 
>     re: Sovereign Wealth Funds and the current global restructure, I’m 
> struggling to keep up with it all, things move so quick now it seems, it 
> is nearly impossible to develop a ‘map’
> 
> Indeed, is there any point to it?
 <...>


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