Phil Graham on 25 Aug 2000 10:56:29 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] RE: <nettime> The New "Left" - OR why inequality ispoliticallyuseful

How, McKenzie, is "popular desire" any less abstract than "the workers" or 
"working people", as you put it? I'll tell you: "popular desire" dies much 
more quickly, and so offers many more corpses for the mouth in search of 

The following is from a previous Third Way author of the "left" on the 
importance, necessity, and ethics of propaganda; its role in expressing the 
desires and will of "the people"; and its relationship to gaining and 
maintaining power:


"Propaganda is a means to an end. Its purpose is to lead the people to an 
understanding that will allow them to willingly and without internal 
resistance devote themselves to the tasks and goals of a superior 
leadership. If propaganda is to succeed, it must know what it wants. It 
must keep a clear and firm goal in mind, and seek the appropriate means and 
methods to reach that goal. Propaganda as such is neither good nor evil. 
Its moral value is determined by the the goals it seeks. Propaganda must be 
creative. It is by no means a matter for the bureaucracy or official 
offices, rather it is a matter of productive fantasy. The genuine 
propagandist must be a true artist. He must be a master of the popular 
soul, using it as an instrument to express the majesty of a genuine 
political will.


Each situation brings new challenges. And each task requires the support of 
the people, which can only be gained by untiring propaganda that brings the 
broad masses knowledge and clarity. No area of public life can do without 
it. It is the never resting force behind public opinion. It must maintain 
an unbroken relationship between leadership and people. Every means of 
technology must be put in its service; the goal is to form the mass will 
and to give it meaning, purpose and goals that will enable us to learn from 
past failures and mistakes and ensure that the lead National Socialist 
strength has given us over other nations will never again be lost. May the 
bright flame of our enthusiasm never fade. It alone gives light and warmth 
to the creative art of modern political propaganda. Its roots are in
  the people. The movement gives it direction and drive. The state can only 
provide it with the new, wide-ranging technical means. Only a living 
relationship between people, movement and state can guarantee that the 
creative art of propaganda, which he have made ourselves the world's 
master, will never sink into bureaucracy and official narrow-mindedness.

Creative people made it and put it in the service of our movement. We must 
have creative people who can use the means of the state in its service."

Joseph Goebbels at Nuremberg -- 1934

I'm going to keep posting excerpts to remind Third Way propagandists of 
their origins, content, and ethics. Oh ... and their roots.

I, by the way, have never mentioned "the workers" or "the proletariat" or 
the "old ways" of anything at all. I despise party politics, political 
parties, and especially their bought and paid-for courtesans.


At 12:03 PM 24/08/00 -0400, McKenzie Wark wrote:

>Kevin has, as usual, added wise if slightly cryptic meat to the debate.
>In the larger scheme of things, rather than in a provocative paper for
>Melbourne Fabians, ethics was what i thought i was doing, particularly in
>_Virtual Republic_ and _Celebrities, Culture and Cyberspace_. The former
>is about minoritarian ethics, the latter about majorities. The ethical
>necessity of majorities in a democracy, for instance.
>A layer of the current political debate hovers around the
>critical/postcritical threshold, to be sure. Once you move to the latter,
>one is obliged (ethically) to deal with what working people actually say
>they want, rather than what critical theory says they ought to want.  One
>is thus also moving along another axis at the same time, the
>authoritarian/democratic axis.
>Which is why i've been writing about soap operas, game shows, pop songs --
>and the Labor party. All expressions of actual popular desire, and as such
>more interesting to me that the abstract theoretical constructs of old
>line leftism. The prolertariat, etc.
>To misappropriate Roul Vanegeim, those who speak about the working class
>without talking about actual workers speak with a corpse in their mouth
>cheers comrades
>On Thu, 24 Aug 2000, Propaganda wrote:
> > This debate between the forward and rearguard directions never really got
> > going at the Fabian Society conference. The gentle globalist Mark Latham
> > was too readily howled down by old guard. And the elders of the Australian
> > Labor Party didn't cock an ear to the really critical issues -- resting
> > instead on worn catch phrases.
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