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Re: <nettime> Why I say the things I say
Brian Holmes on Tue, 8 May 2012 23:53:45 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Why I say the things I say


Long live Thorstein Veblen! The shining light of radical sociology on the Left.

On 05/08/2012 01:54 AM, Keith Hart wrote:

I think the main difference between Brian and me is that he wants to
engage personally with the politics of our moment in history and this
comes across sometimes as being myopic (which he is not), whereas I
want to get a sense of the global picture and that makes me rather
detached about the politics. I do think we are entering a period of
war and revolution that could be as long as the neoliberal phase...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Keith, you are generous in your assessment.

For the record, Mr. Myopic, aka "the Keyboard Revolutionary," is doing an extensive collaborative project on global political economy over the last hundred years or so. It's called "Three Crises: 30s-70s-Today." The first phase of it is archived, not on the campus of any university, but on the website of a little radical free cultural center:

http://messhall.org/?page_id=771

The idea of this and similar efforts is to eventually be able mount an autonomous challenge to intellectual complacency, from a position outside the Ivory Towerblocks of contemporary universities. We're not there yet -- it would take a whole network of similar efforts -- but the movement is growing. Note among others the archive of written texts and the bibliography and readings. Some food for thought and maybe even material for agitation.

Because of exactly the imperative for political engagement that Keith talks about, this first iteration of Three Crises is focused on the United States -- whose place as the hegemonic power of the 20th century makes that focus partially necessary anyway. However I do want to enlarge the focus of this work for its second iteration with Occupy Berlin from June 17-23 (yes, under the wings of the infamous Biennial). This will be a very intensive series of lectures and discussions on which Armin Medosch will collaborate.

One of the things I find so interesting is that right now our Euro-American "depression" corresponds with the BRICS' expansion. Just as, in the day, the American stagflation of the 70's corresponded with the rise of Europe and Japan to the status of equals or at least near economic peers of the USA. It is quite dfficult to enlarge the focus of political-economic analysis to global dimensions, and even more difficult to maintain a political engagement while doing so. But this is the challenge of our tumultuous times.

I am still interested in responses to the friend/enemy problem that I was raising at the start of this particular thread. Nicholas Knouf gave a very thoughtful answer that I'll respond after thinking about it for a few days.

best, Brian


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