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Re: <nettime> some reflections from australia on recent events here - th
Angela Mitropoulos on Tue, 28 Feb 2012 01:53:59 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> some reflections from australia on recent events here - the demise of zombie politics?


Martin,

I like zombie references, but George Romero's "Land of the Dead" 
characterises the condition of labour (not politicians or capital) as 
zombified? Isn't that a better approximation of the "return of dead 
labour"? In other words, in Marx's terms, "dead labour" refers to 
machines. In "Land of the Dead," I cheered when the zombies went on the 
rampage at the end. Yay zombies!

But there is a conservative version of this argument, which you've run 
with, but which is not the same thing.

The Liberal Party -- and other conservative commentators -- have for 
years now been depicting the current Prime Minister as a "robot." I find 
it remarkable that you echo those sentiments in an apparently 
anti-capitalist piece. There's an essay here, written some time ago, 
about to appear <http://tiny.cc/affect-robotic> you might find 
interesting. You can scroll down to page 8, for the robot bits, or read 
more about capitalism.

Your Crikey piece, while it doesn't explicitly single out Gillard, is 
not ultimately a denunciation of the Labor Party. If it really were, I 
would wholeheartedly agree.

But you talk about Rudd as someone with "individual faults" that pale in 
comparison to those of the Party, but never mention his politics. You 
laud him for his "ability to speak directly to the people," as if 
populism could be so easily distinguished from fascist understandings of 
the "special link" between Furher and The People. And you elevate him as 
someone who may "continue to serve as a catalyst that will more than 
likely see the continued transformation of the political system in 
Australia," even though his politics are far more conservative than 
Gillard's and have absolutely no connection to the occupy movements. 
That you celebrate someone who, along with the Liberal Party, denounced 
Gillard as a "childless, atheist, ex-communist" is incredible.

I would be happy if the Labor Party disappeared, it might open a more 
interesting and radical space. But I simply don't see that happening by 
criticising anyone with rhetoric borrowed from the neoconservatives, of 
which Rudd is one, and the Liberal Party under Abbot is certainly another.

I also find it peculiar that though you remark on the Labor Party's 
racism, you can be so very wrong about Polanyi, and Marx.  It is 
actually Marx who uses the phrase "double movement," but in a completely 
different way to which Polanyi understood it. For Polanyi, capitalism is 
bad because it destroys borders. Not so for Marx. 
<http://s0metim3s.com/2012/01/24/proliferating-limits/>

There are some more recent remarks on Gillard/Rudd here, including an 
addendum on the changes to welfare and the "Working Family" guff as 
something emanating from the Christian workhouse politics, of which the 
Rudd family are major financial beneficiaries: 
<http://s0metim3s.com/2012/02/27/gillard-rudd/>. Gillard is the one 
responsible for removing the Liberal Party's Workchoices (individual 
work contracts), not Rudd. That does not make her better on 
economic/work/welfare policy, necessarily, but it should tell you 
something about the differences here. If the workhouses of the 19th 
century were run by Christian missionaries, today they're in the form of 
workfare businesses run, well, by Christians. There is simply nothing 
anti-capitalist about them.

Angela

On 28/02/2012 9:30 AM, martin hardie wrote:

> after watching the so called leadership struggle here in australia
> over the last week i needed to purge myself of it on paper:
 <...>


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