|Sascha D. Freudenheim on Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:07:05 +0100 (CET)|
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|Re: <nettime> January 23, Trump Question|
To answer the last question first, I don't know precisely, but impeachment won't start until the Republicans in Congress feel that they have an acceptable rationale lined up, one that will be unambiguously clear to the 60+ million people who--despite everything, despite overwhelming evidence of his incompetence, narcissism, and boorishness--nonetheless voted for Trump. Three days in, that rationale isn't there yet. But what really struck me in your email was--again--the obsession on this list and elsewhere with the idea that all of this signals the death of capitalism. This is hogwash. It's magical thinking. Just based on the march I attended in New York for four hours on Saturday: 99% of those people were not protesting capitalism. Sure, there were a few people carrying signs about the "corporate oppressor." (I counted three of them.) But most of those people seem to like the choices that capitalism offers them. They just want it better. Kinder and gentler if you will. And the march was four hours of one day. None of the people I know, anywhere in the world--and I have friends around the world--are looking to move to a system that offers a certainty of basic comforts with none of the benefits that also come with taking risks. Maybe you'll say "Well, that's all they've ever known." True. But I don't see any evidence at all that our society, or any other, is looking to put an end to the system of independent market-based decision-making that capitalism offers. Do they want fewer oligarchs? Yes. Do they want more basics provided based on the wealth that the capitalism provides (like healthcare)? Hell yes. But actually getting rid of capitalism--and Uber, and AirBnB, etc.--nope, don't see it. But, hey, maybe this group wants to start a Kickstarter campaign to fund Ending Capitalism. :) [Sebastian, apologies: you're not my target here. Heck, I don't even know you! You just triggered the outpouring.] Sascha On 1/22/17 9:48 PM, email@example.com wrote:
January 23, Trump Question So let me play the inverse of devil's advocate for a moment: Lets assume this is all on track. Market capitalism is coming apart, just like state capitalism around 1990. Ruthless financialization has finally broken the century-old bond between deterritorialization and reterritorialization, and what we're witnessing - in Brexit, in Trump - are simply the death throes of the reterritorializing forces, the moment when there is no more territory left, and not enough fuel. "Late capitalism" wasn't jargon, it was a correct attempt at periodization, all the time, and this is the end, a desperate final assault, of male white corporate oppression. Even the inverse devil's advocate will have to concede that death throes can last forever and cause immense collateral damage, and that the most likely successor to market capitalism is a mix of feudalism and fascism, but at the same time, there may be unforseen openings, and a sharp increase in willingness to take actual political risks. So lets assume that 2016 was just a ruse, a sick joke of history: once as tragedy, ten times as farce, and then this. As will become obvious in hindsight, Donald Trump (and the same applies to Boris Johnson) was a once-in-a-century occurence of blind luck, an absurdly fortunate constellation of dominoes. To have him take down two of the most insurmountable impediments to political change in the United States, the Bush and Clinton dynasties (plus destroy much of the establishment of both political parties, and maybe even paralyze a large enough faction of the Christian Right) with a single lucky punch, and then having to figure out how to impeach the guy, is going to reveal itself as a way more plausible path out of this mess than trying to achieve the same result the other way around.
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