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Re: <nettime> England leaves Europe
Brian Holmes on Sun, 26 Jun 2016 20:12:43 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> England leaves Europe

On 06/26/2016 11:30 AM, Keith Hart wrote:
> I live in Paris and have in-laws in Switzerland, so I pick up more than
> average doses of anti-City rhetoric. A major factor is that I spent a
> quarter century in Cambridge and have a good feel for the British secret
> state and its active wings in finance and espionage. I don't take my
> news from the standard sources. All of which adds up to a fabrication.
> But I was struck in your piece by how abtract and homogeneous your
> account was. I don't think capitalism comes in predictable slices. In
> pushing for an upbeat version of the story, you too were highly
> selective, as now in your response. It was perhaps the breathless
> rationalism that led me to produce an extremist alternative.

I gotta say I loves this! A conversation happens when people have truly different perspectives.

It may or may not be obvious, but breathless rationalism is an extremist reaction to the devastating cynicism of the Americans, whose outlooks, as a compatriot, I nonetheless cannot but share in part. Therefore I am always trying to see beyond the sea of despond that overwhelms everyone in my vicinity. You are right to acknowledge how we all live by fabrication.

The commentary from the global press and blogosphere reveals one thing: Brexit has provoked a near universal shudder of recognition that the old order is getting ready to shift. If the postwar liberal order had a constitution, it was forged in the secret deals that linked the financial establishment and their captains of industry to an original kind of synthetic state-form: the EU. Disavowal of that project is fundamental. Something like a new field of possibility opens up. But what's in there?

The ruse of History exists, and with it, all possibilities for speculation. Britain as piloted by its ruling classes through all kinds of reversals and shifts has always been able to draw a new figure of imperial power from the accumulated reserve of past experience. Shaxson's core idea that the "treasure islands" of transnational finance represented a bid by postwar elites to organize a new system of plunder after military decline is brilliant. Who can doubt that a new and as yet unthinkable attempt will be made to hoist the old ways to new strategic heights?

What do you think?


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