Ed Phillips on Thu, 24 Jul 2008 20:49:05 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover

> Of course there is  military-industrial complex which tries to perpetuate
> itself, but it  is successful only because others at times believe its
> clumsy arguments.

There is indeed, Michael. Thanks for dialog-ing here about this about
this matter of...

If we are to seize the means of production of truth itself in
cyberneticscapes, it actually behooves, I think to ask not only what clumsy
arguments are believed, but rather why the sales job for a bizarre complex
that is directed at more and more excessive, spectacular, even arbitrary
displays of power that will never be used is so successful. Here the image
comes to mind of jet fighters that rotate on a dime. Something so insanely
exhorbitant in expenditure, flaming, flaring off, exploding in test after

I ask myself what it serves to reassure in a body politic that is
profoundly insecure.

We promise "security", and a nice comfortable home, and an aggregate 10%
return on your capital.

Here our comrade Sloterdijk-Diogenes is really helpful: Quaro Homines

As some kind of internet-cyberscape squatters I take us to be looking for
the human agency in all this madness and circumstance. The question, the
discussion now has a kind of squatter's right to lift up a lamp in the
midday to enquire into how our personal political economy has actually
siezed the means of the production of truth, the means by which a discourse
listens to itself, the way "govermentality" understands itself in a kind of
pidgin kynical nettime argot.

To keith hart, a kind of storimasta, that entering into dialogue is going
to look different than it is to you or Brian or I.

Brian keeps making some very fundamental points that I do not see mentioned
enough, and he is thinking "with" them:

1. Is to think in terms of geocapital and the nation states and Empire(s)
   as a complex interweaving, a totality.

Here the agents of capital and the agents of nation states act in the mode
of "on behalf of", in a kind of Empire that even as it exploits every new
market, to excesses of gain and destructive creation, has to understand
itself, to justify itself. 

Too much discourse is too focused on a "naive" nation state, too much the
kid blown away by the display, by the spycraft, the operations, by the
show, when the apologists openly discuss and attempt to liberalize, to
understand the very global order that they cannot quite map themselves even
as they hold the levers of power.

Some of these agents view themselves as charged with maintaining regular
prices and steady growth, to ensuring that world markets and economies are
following along on their business cycling just fine act as they say. They
fail spectacularly at times, and the prices reset.

We are in a completely unprecedented world that has seen and is seeing huge
shifts. Many of the institutions of the previous era of geoeconomics are
registering a profound shift. The dramatic rise of the central banks with
their portfolio rounding little offshoot sovereign wealth funds. The
presence of China felt everywhere.

The crisis in financialization is a child of surplus and a puncturing of
cultural inflation (of a set of easy-debt inspired valuations) at the same

Brian asked Keith about the "looters". My minds-eye flashed with a
headline: Dutch Pensioneers Accused of Looting.

Dutch pension fund (wrlds third largest) Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, in a
press release in which they mentioned their intent to move some of the 40%
of their portfolio that was invested in debt instruments (still bow tie
pension fund respectable banking investment) revealed that the reason the
only lost 5% this last half year is that well they had 13% in those evil
commodities and I think 9% in hedge funds, the kids with the naked shorts
in the global pool.

In the politics of global finance, the hedge funds are specialized,
politically incorrect exploiters of new markets in financialization.  There
is something of a homologue to the excessive expenditure on the security
state in the fact that the hedge fund niche emerged from portfolio security
and risk management. What begins as a a way to hedge up or secure
something, gets up on a monkeys paw and takes revenge on its creators,
cronos eats his own children. Structured investment vehicles, originally
mandated to hedge bank portfolios bring them down. The very same
broker-dealers are shorted down by their own trading arms. 

The agile security state gets bogged down in a quagmire of its own making
in afghanistan-pakistan-iraq-iran. What begins as Rummy's lite force
removal of despotry becomes the greatest sign up and organization of
feudal-peasant jihadis against global security state capital and the place
where the security state discovers its own powerlessness. The power is
eating itself in gruesome Goya fashion and here I cannot remove the image
of Kronos slurping in the ripped carcass of one of his children from my

In a game of endless deferral that is represented so perfectly by that
still most stable investment in big central bank treasuries, debt rises as
the perfect embodiment, even with its exessive self destroying aspects.
Witness the gobbling up of treasuries by China and the petrodollar states
in the last few months. Only a small percentage of their surplus goes to
commando capital investment, a small but no less important percentage.

And China piles up its own debt to its very bios.

This is most likely no end point, but a way stage in which the prosthetic
net kritik is called short, as stunned as the tourists were and are who
both walked around the world trade center towers stunned by their sheer
verticality and then even more stunned by their absence.

The amero-european housing bubble is a crisis in the ideology of "Home
Beautiful" and comfortable estrangement as our old friend
Diogenes-Sloterdijk might say. Stunning in rise and fall.

"You are blocking my Sun light" says the kritik to the Emperor.....

On Wed, Jul 23, 2008 at 12:02:51PM -0700, Michael H Goldhaber wrote:

> Brian,
> Rather than being naive, I think I was engaging in a kind of  
> shorthand, leaving out intermediate reasons.  Of course there is  
> military-industrial complex which tries to perpetuate itself, but it  
> is successful only because others at times believe its clumsy  
> arguments. Also, oil companies may indeed profit from invasions such  
> as of Iraq, but mostly because the threat of war helps increase the  
> price of oil, which would probably have gone up anyway. The threat of  
> instability in Nigeria, say, without any US intervention, increases  
> the price as well. So the military costs incurred by invading Iraq,  
> say, are unnecessary on that score. Even if the oil interests believed  
> otherwise, they would not have been able to invade Iraq if the public  
> were not convinced that reasons entirely unconnected with oil were at  
> stake. As for the argument that America's place in  the world economy  
> depends on our  having bases and a round-the -world military presence,  
> I think the examples I gave of the value to us of India and China show  
> that view is itself naive. Finally, countries like German and the  
> Netherlands demonstrate that having an imperial presence is quite  
> unnecessary for economic success.

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: http://mail.kein.org/mailman/listinfo/nettime-l
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime@kein.org