from SpliceToday Website
Despite the election results in France, people the world over are getting mighty tired of their technocrats.
You know the sort of 'crat I mean:
Back in the 1990s, the whole orientation could be summarized in two Clintonian words:
I'd call the technocrats
"philosopher kings" - Plato also argued that those who
know should rule - but really, it does not take a Socrates
to kill the SATs or the LSATs, only a privileged background and
enough resources for a good prep course.
That's the hope of "mainstream" politicians, whether they lean left or right.
Theresa May is next:
Let me set out some of the features of the sort of politician who's at risk of repudiation.
They're people who rose through hierarchical educational institutions by means of extreme conformity. They're people whose primary currency isn't cash money but pecking-order prestige:
The money follows as a
matter of course, and the power too.
That should be easy by their own account, and they've developed the "scientific" machinery of,
...to aid them.
They're always shocked
when it doesn't work, or when people somehow notice how repulsive
they are, how mediocre, how insincere, and how often they turn out
not to know what they purport to know.
You'd call it
international socialism, but people are making billions.
In the US it takes the
form, for example, of a generation-long merger of the Treasury
Department with the financial industry, as well as an ever-larger
educational/welfare state on which we all depend for our very
I call it "squishy totalitarianism," and I don't believe that it's clearly a phase of capitalism; I think we're after capitalism.
As I say, it's
characterized by a merger of state power with global capital in
multi-state configurations (NAFTA
the EU, for example). It has
represented the construction of a truly global hierarchy, which
meets every year at Davos.
An educational hierarchy, a hierarchy of expertise or rule by TED talk, is as much a system of exclusion and oppression as is any other such hierarchy.
All over the world right
now, there are a thousand reactions.
We're in a backlash of,
Simultaneously we're in a revival of classic Marxist-style leftism or socialism.
backward-looking, merely anachronistic.
In those conditions, you
can win from "the center" with 40 percent or less of the overall
popular support, perhaps by assembling a coalition with parts of one
side or the other, as Clinton with Sanders' socialists, or as
Theresa May will soon do with Brexiteers.
"Racialism," or the distinction of the world's people's systematically into races, usually arranged in a hierarchy, dates from the same period.
Liberatory or oppressive racial nationalisms, such as those of Marcus Garvey or even Hitler, combined these identities by powerful symbols into powerful political transformations.
Le Pen is
explicitly a repackaging of that whole thing, and Trump also
plays near this space.
There has hardly been a fundamentally new idea on the left since 1848.
They're still talking
about using the state to constrain the power or capital and
constantly flirting with supposedly benevolent totalitarianism, an
ambition to replace the corporate with state power, exercised by an
We live in a world of
wild national and race mixing, of a world information/industrial
complex, of the merger of political and economic power in different
configurations all over the world.
But I'd like to see a much more creative response from the right or the left, or a response that leaves the right-left spectrum behind.
I'd prefer not to reinstitute racial or gender hierarchies or start WW3, but I'd also prefer not to live in a classic socialist authoritarian megastate.