responsibility – responsiveness: trying to avoid the wrong answer

Waiting for the results from Turkey …

… whatever the outcome will be

… daily bread, the worries about securing it … daily routines of getting it – while the ‘big events’ are overshadowing every step, not necessarily all the time present, and still often enough hammering into the brain, shouting over the routines and the daily bread and the worries about securing it … – hammering louder than the footsteps of any individual on the asphalt; different things going through my mind, also my CV came up a short while ago – together with the hammering of the boot-bearing thoughts …

I was wondering if we are now moving back to the stage of considering to delete part of it, hide away what we did and what we have reason to be proud of …? Not that I am fearful, worrying in the strict sense = considering to delete, while being afraid of being deleted. But the need to think about this as being possibly urgently advisable makes me feeling uncomfortable.

What and how can we worrying warriors and warring worriers teach young people, the future to stand up if we live under conditions that nature such ideas …?
Let us hope, not for me, surely a bit for ‘us’ who do not want to stand there as spectators but especially for those to which we committed out selves, for ‘those future social lifes’

The Womb he crawled from

The womb he crawled from is still going strong.

We find these words in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, written by Bertolt Brecht. Most timely a reminder, findig ourselves at the doorsteps of the votes in Turkey and France. And while knowing about the meaning of highly emotional performances of a hate preacher like Trump, we should never forget that all this, what is called populism, has a very rational background, and a very rational meaning:

Man sollte nicht vergessen, dass die Funktion des Faschismus, entgegen seinem ‘irrationalem’ Diskurs,  darin besteht, das kapitalistische Geschäftstreiben ganz ohne ‘Bremsen’ sich fortsetzen zu lassen. In diesem Sinne trägt der Faschismus die kapitalistische, oder besser: bürgerliche Rationaliät zu ihrem Gipfel. Insofern die ‘Religiösierung’ der Gesellschaft dazu beitragt, diesem Ziel nahezukommen, gehört sie mit zu den Zielen faschistischer Politik.

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One should not forget that the function of fascism, not withstanding its ‘irrational discourse’, is to allow the capitalist system to unfold wither ‘barriers’. In this light, fascism, carries the capitalist or we may say even more precise: bourgeois rationality to its utmost peak. As fr as ‘religionisation’ contributes to rech this goal, it belongs to fascist politics.

Mehmet Okyayuz

And we should not forget, that all this is also including the ‘slow killing’ of all the ‘Me’s, who are Daniel Blakes‘, and where fighting back is about anger and understanding a system where life, becoming life in austerity – not only in Britain – is ‘consciously cruel‘; and were people actually begin to fight back, instead of accepting to be charitably crucified.

Populism – more than a political trend?

The debate on populism and he New Right surely needs considerations that go beyond political and institionalist considerations, not least looking at the political economy in which it stands and that stands at firm wall behind it. In preparation of a workshop later this year, organised by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation, I developed some reflections which surely need further elaborations but may be already at this stage worthwhile tobe read. The beginning goes like this.

The fundamental first question is if we can still speak of a political left and right. And a definitive affirmation is underlying the main argument of the following. The reason for raising this issue is not the general ‘totalitarianism doctrine’ but its specific resurgence based on the view of both, left and right, being populist-authoritarian – as such, the currently fashionable argument is actually not referring to any concept of totalitarianism in the normally suggested understanding. Instead, Dalio et altera insinuate that ‘[p]opulism is a political and social phenomenon that arises from the common man being fed up with 1) wealth and opportunity gaps, 2) perceived cultural threats from those with different values in the country and from outsiders, 3) the “establishment elites” in positions of power, and 4) government not working effectively for them. These sentiments lead that constituency to put strong leaders in power.’[1] They interpreted this as ‘a rebellion of the common man against the elites and, to some extent, against the system.’[2] There is on the other hand too little concern with more detailed analysis, i.e. an analysis that engages as well openly in the contradictory nature of the shifts in the political landscape, and the fact that we should not be simply concerned with ‘enemy bashing’ but instead – looking at the details – we have to move towards searching for concrete utopias as alternative.[3] In fact that requires also that the left fully returns to sound arguments, not denying any problems nor suggesting arguments on the basis of moral sentiments.

And the further elaboration – as far as it stands now – can be found here. Of course, start of a debate, not final statement on an issue.

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[1] Dalio, Ray et altera; Bridgewater Associates, 2017, March 22: Populism: The Phenomenon; Bridgewater. Daily Observations: 2; https://www.bridgewater.com/resources/bwam032217.pdf; 31/03/17

[2] Ibid.

[3] see in this context an interesting study, on Italy, problematising the background in the overall political patterns, past and present, not least issuing the secular changes of the political culture: The Economist. Intelligence Unit, 2017, March 24th: More fragmentation: back to the first republic?; http://country.eiu.com/article.aspx?articleid=265252810&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWVdJM1pUTXpZamMzTm1JMyIsInQiOiI0bzU0Tmlad2xyVlVqUms2K3diSVJxNUt1c1RVdU1SUzVsZzRTRWpvcEhFa0U5cnBVaFBvbUY1YVBhaDNzRFU0cW5lY1A4SHRZd1JOMHZVa3J0WWFTMDF2UGhYckxcL2QyUkZpRnBVNDZyaGdBUWF3N3FyZHE5VWowXC84R0xLXC9KMSJ9; 31/03/17; see in this context also Anderson, Perry, 2017, March: Why the system will still win; in: Le Monde diplomatique; https://mondediplo.com/2017/03/02brexit; 02/04/17; Anderson, meaning populist movements from>>>> the right speaks of ‘anti-systemic movements’

 

Congratulations

Congratulations Mr Trump …. , while living in interesting times, it is a good occasion to remember

“Remember, remember the fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.”

These are the first words, at beginning of the synopsis of the film V for Vendetta:
The film opens with a recitation of these words as a flashback sequence brings us to early 1600’s England. Guy Fawkes is captured and executed for his attempt to blow up Parliament, a plan he hoped would restore Catholic rule to a Protestant throne. …

It is worthwhile to remember ad to watch, indeed even if Mr Trump is not in Britain …

The Next Round?

I just heard/read the news from Istanbul. Sounds like another terrible round …, and still it is the old story? So they write:

— Ataturk Airport is “one of the most secure airports in the world,” CNN senior law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes says. But the airport has been “very overwhelmed for several decades with terrorism from PKK.”

— The White House issued a statement: “Ataturk International Airport, like Brussels Airport which was attacked earlier this year, is a symbol of international connections and the ties that bind us together.

It is difficult to make any “negative” comments in face of what is just a human tragedy. But still I am wondering if what I read should be easily translated into:
White House and Erdogan together against PKK and the others … – it is a worrying constellation and is a worrying constellation looking at it in the wider perspective of BREXIT, and some “progressives” now claiming we should habe more exits, return to localism …
And we in academia follow, pretending excellence, striving for rankings and serving leisure interests?