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Re: <nettime> The insult of the 1 percent: "Art-history majors"
Newmedia on Sat, 5 May 2012 01:53:17 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> The insult of the 1 percent: "Art-history majors"


Ed:
 
> what I see in the words and actions of a Connard 
> is desperation and an identity crisis.

Yes, I think you are  right . . . well beyond Connard, the "ruling class" 
is in seriously bad  shape!
 
The *problem* with "neo-liberalism" is that GIMME MORE is not a  "class" 
cohesive or even satisfactorily motivating "prime-directive."
 
In an every-man-for-himself world, how does *society* organize itself and  
not just degenerate into hand-to-hand combat -- among the elites  themselves?
 
This lack of coherent cultural "purpose" has been a hallmark of the West  
since at least WW II, when it went through its last "rotation of the  
elites."  
 
If the goal is to eliminate the "authoritarian personality" (i.e. code for  
those who adhere to "traditions") and to generate a series of synthetic 
"images"  for people to rally around -- as first detailed by Dutch futurist in 
his  1953 "The Image of the Future" -- then what are you left with?   
Chimeras?  Memes?  Video-games?
 
If the "empires of the future will be empires of the mind" and  psycholog
ical warfare against "peacetime" populations became the primary  operating 
mode of the newly dominant elite, then eventually the lack of anything  
enduring must catch up with you.  
 
That *eventually* is now.
 
For a while, the "artificial" *global* conflict between FREEDOM (i.e. the  
CIA's 1950s/60s cultural Cold War) and WORLD PEACE (i.e. the Soviet 
response,  which after the mid-70s "purge" also became the CIA's mantra, as  
institutionalized by the 1984 launching of US Institute for Peace) could "hold"  
things together.
 
But all this has been off the table for 20+ years now!  What can  replace 
it?
 
Global War on Terror?  Not very successful as a popular meme in an age  of 
machinic (and mercenary) warfare.
 
China is stealing our secrets?  Replaying the "precious bodily fluids"  
argument of Dr. Strangelove and occupying the front pages of the NYTimes  
daily, this is likely to be heavily featured in the 2012 Presidential election  
and appropriately tagged as the global version of "blame the other guy."  

Save the polar bears?  In a world where the BRICS will add a *billion*  
people the middle-class (i.e. driving a car and not a motorbike) over the next  
10+ years and where the ideology of "globalism" has collapsed, everyone 
knows  that Kyoto isn't going to work. Now Stewart Brand has become an  
"eco-pragmatist."
 
The recognition that the US has no *strategy* and cannot rise above  
legislative deadlock is, after all, obviously the *fault* of those who are  
supposed to be "in charge" is now almost universal.  
 
So, like Trilat-honcho Zbigniew Brzezinski and the lead US correspondent  
for The Financial Times, the various "mouthpieces" all write their  
hand-wringing books . . . which no one bothers to read.
 
And this deep cultural incoherence is substantially amplified by the Net,  
since we are all living in nettime . . .
 
Mark Stahlman
Brooklyn NY
 

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