Why be a lord of time when you are already a Criminal?
A Sequence of essays investigating the crimes we commit, and what we might do about it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

that pestulential light again

What is the world but a massive insect eye - where the same image is caught in a six billion different lenses, and composed across the differences tat the see?\ a world reflect - and refracted into tit bit, gossip, well known facts, gathering tales and social passions. A world full of its own optical illusion and distortions, its own believes and problems.
what else do we man by big phrase such as the world but this fact- what else but this collectivasion through language and intuition through dreams perhaps into soemthing akin to the mind.
and and yet - the trouble is that mind even in allegory is mad, really really mad - for it lacks the checks and a balances that create and infuse the finite- it lacks then the external rhythms that are simply imposed on its from an fixed and known outside. The mad world of our collective mind, no ability to tell virtual, created in the storm of gossip and the act of telling from actual events. the two are one. as no doubt they are in all our minds to a degree- but only to a degree. its answer is of course to create dark demons patorl its borders- figures, be they a mysteries hidden ENEMY or a missed conspiracy, or the idea of a environment destroyed or a God - js but something beyond the rumour, something. IT could all be about, - a dream perhaps?
These visions are curious affairs- real demons, that one does not know whether the are inside or out. Dark demons are then thought up, theorizes, they theory enters the mind and new demon, a new half outside,half inside world is created in the added refraction.
For what is the name of a demon but legion?
Philosophy spilts into political economy, which spilt is into politics, business and economy which which again and again. The new formations then partially, at times coagulating and then splitting again into new forms, in a and endless procession of new amorphous externals -in a mind quite mad.
But it is mad in another sense to. For our collective mind is like the most repressed and emotionally illiterate of humans. it cannot feel what and where ti should, but rather will endless loose and misplaced feelings: worries about jobs slip into racism, and worries about death into new agism or hysteria about the medical profession. Nothing is ever felt as it seems. Nothing is ever quite right or proper in this mind of ours.
And yet of course the feeling here are always indulged (and this is really part of why they are never what they seem): A good social feeling creates its own world - carries it with it if you like. the world it builds, and then lives in (and the demons that are the obverse of this feeling).We live then in a world of rehoused collective feelings: Feelings that forever become their own reality - their own truth, irrespective of the effects of that truth or wider reality or even other parts of the mind.
The very act of sharing the feeling leads to the demand of these parts of the mind to be special- too really really matter more than the rest - to be their own little distorted demon haunted world -
Finally the networks creating and informing this collective mind are very wobbly. The rules about what get listen to and what ignored are rather mobile and indistinct. Many thing that should perhaps matter in our sane moments get lost, while innanities spread. We end up in this chaos looking to a few pillars of sense- a few censors or believes merchants to short though the hubbub of possible important dreams and fact. The rules then for bleeding a story across the world are either hidden or merely random - and live in the consequence of that fact. The result of course is that the things that are built up into a collective minds are only a very very small part of all that is going on. There are always other truths out there- in the drivel and the gold. The mind exists then of a small part of its own register- it needs to ignore so very very much, and has no clear fixed way to do it. It might notice the trivial or it might ignore gold - without a rhyme or reason.
The world then has slipped from the nice straight forward, if vindictive and petty, idea of God into the spider eyes of man and all his demons good and bad - and our problem is ow how to live with the impure insanity that necessarily follows...

Friday, December 17, 2010

A brutal dilemma

It is one of the odd, sad things about being a human - we dont's half belief in our ability and right to see into the future. We forever confuse desire with truth, hope for actuality, impossibility for probability . What is more there really odd thing about this tendency is that we do it more when we we only half half a thing, and less when we know more. Take a group of people or a hal understood policies or glitzy product, and we give you a fantasy.
All of which is fine, but of course the real rub here is that society is pitched a little in the real and a lot in the fantasy - and where before that fantasy used to be all about the State or a God, it is now all about products, and sham politics. The problem then being that this move to a religion of stuff creates an actual tension with genuine reality. For without a box called Not normal actuality, the worlds of fanatasy and reality merge and fuse - a merging that is always haighly problematic as mere belif creates its own other shadow realities.
Politics becomes then almost entirely a shadow game where one attacks made up stories and virtualites, based of single examples and urban myths (the politics of witch burning is what wins general elections), while economics becomes dream of the never never crossed with moment of absolute brutal reality. The entire process is then infused with a myth of freedom and chose. we are told hat we can chose can change government and are in some some of control. Indeed in a senese this claim is critical to the system. Once it was made (say two hundred years ago or so) once freedom became what the system had to be about, then as freedom parsay is actually a contradiction in terms in a complex society, the argument had to turn of fantasy. we might then not all be free in realty, or might have in spite of that freedom radicially different chances in life and different abilities to influence our world, but that need not matter if in the shared reality we all live in we are free.
A politics of freedom and fantasy clearly run together- and look for those freedom issues to incarnate and agitate around - and societies are tuning on the way they are delivering the current collective fantasy - and how. The rule being that at some point or other the fantasy shops and the fantasy engine gets going: The unglamourous mass production or unscrupulous world of finance,of maniptualtve sphere of advertising cut and ret the fantasy: There aim not to manage or direct so much as endlessly produce in the shadows. .. They do not pull the string, but rather mange them, We live them in a society where glizty fame is the gaol, and its production must remain of camera.
Except that this getting is getting tricky. The system is a little too complex at the moment. There are too many glitzy and too much production. So much so that it is being at times all too visible, Banks and the environment, secretes and media lies, all are more visible than have been in a world where everyone in a sense does some production (what else is facebook/blogs but a fame machine, where we are all also producers). The dirt and the realties that infuse our loud demand for fantasy as raining on our party. This is a complex crisis as it is very plain that new dark fanatsies are build built to cope with this dissolutionment- fantasies about living in difficult times and needing to punish ourselves and others more. There is no simple revolution here- and no necessary productive crisis - but rather a darken of the fantasy just when one thinks it might ends or change or become something different .
Leading to the double of the left, how to stop this dark fantasy destroying too much of what actually we value, but also at the same time how to try to find other voices than fantasy and this production - how to use its revealing to be production. But the brutual dilemma is that these to run counter to each other. revel so much truth and the fanatasy goes very dark very quickly: Reveal none or hide the production process and nothing changes. The Left whose future depends on then revealing the destructive production of fake fantasies in order to critique capitalism at all, finds its caught, in either supporting the dream or ruining and possibly leading the way to nightmare (as has happened so often before) -a very brutal choice....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Judicial Murder

Well we do not kill any more- but the great lesson of society - that at some point one individual has to be sacrificed very publicly and possibly grizzily - to serve as a reminder or a threat for the rest of us. It keeps us all behaving. ore that than it forms the limit at which a state can burn itself on otherwise inchoate forces that surround it and genuinely threaten it. what else was a witch trial but the sate showing its power at a time of anarchy (thirty years war)?
The witch of the cosmic version of the conflict that ranging between sates. sates were fighting points confessional struggles in protracted series of violent and disruptive wars - wars that risked anarchy really spreading peasent revolution and the rest). A good witch trial sopped all that - all the fear all the hatred could be worked in a grizzly passio na paly where the shere desperation of the times could be expressed in terms of a voilent conflict of god and devil and in the struggle of neighbours. The connection was not direct so much as inhabited. witch trial always around made sense in the desperate time. A sense then that also burned the power of the judges on the minds of individuals and set limit to anarchy (or rather caught within a certain conflict).
in short even states really do not like chaotic forces. or better they like only the one - the officially sanctioned force the Market. This the one they have been forced to accept and (and actually partially created - fosture/foisture on humanity). The Free market is then a chaotic force that the state runs with and merges with - the two feeding each other - and so expanding to devour otherpossible threats. The free press has been devoured by the freemarket (that is global new organization).
This relationship was of course bought in blood - and written in part across a series of conflict from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth that saw the rise of the market as the force of globalization of the times ( a struggle that included of course the witch trials).
The point of course being that the state (or market) now do not want other chaotic forces coming along. they will take extreme measures: They have then been looking for a long time for a good public judical murder (well after fear failed). a murder to make sure we all behave online and do not do anything too radical (this even as they trumpet the freedom on the internet- by of which of course they mean the rights of the market to use it). What better then then the jucidal slaughter of a sight that sells tittle tattle (and that actually has said nothing one one not assume to the be the case- America has actually come across as a sane super power). No matter. A case like this becomes then a defining point - a state is burning it power- forcing the new powers to conform and behave o the old model. making itself felt.
It is of course right to do so (well from it point of view). The Internet is potentially as disruptive as the free market or the anarchy of peasent rebellion. The only question is - is the freedom on the internet actually powerful in bedded enough to survive as the free market survived the attacks of the state- it was too useful to crush? - or will it buckle and conform in the face of state power - as google has done in China but of course now (when the boot is on the other foot) in America Or what is far more likely will the state and free market attempt to devour it as they have devoured all other freedoms: that is will they comprehend it in their structure (verbal and conceptual) and so prevent it having any other life. This is a legal but also a conceptual battle. the question is then can the state-market model absorb the internet within its existing language and concepts: Watch then for the deployment by the state and the media of the arguments of identity, personal freedom and responsiblity - and all the language commericalism here, and the way via apps via the music industry it becomes the language of the 'other-net')

Make then no mistake- this a is a real conflict for our times.
so where do you line up?

Friday, December 3, 2010

the coagulation of corruption.

It is one of those games we all play: an irregular verb - I compete, you bribe they are corrupt. Corruptions is almost the necessarily consequence when one model of possible political future becomes the only model, and is impose willy nilly across the world. States like Afghanistan have never worked (why should it have to be one- it never as?) - and all that is likely to hold the hodgepodge of interests together are web of wide scale corruption - so that the corruption actually becomes the sate, and every one knows it. It is after all an old problem in philosophy - One invent rules that appear perfect (or not)- and then discovers the problem about rules is that they create a game, that might not by playable or that if it will will be also played to intern rules, to the rules minds make of the rules they are given. rules external fixed thing, even the ten commandments (which is surely the idealists model here) simply do not have to be followed- or if they are the following itself might be highly problematic and complex. to follow a rule is never simple. Likewise to break a rule is never simple either. Rules are not simply there to brea- one might break one rule to mend another- or to keep the spirit of the whole thing... The entire edifice of laws then turns on interruptation, corruption or lawyers - how else could it be different?
lopped into this fact are then several others. firstly once one has a rules one needs a person to enforce it or regulate it or at least note when it has been broken. in the perfect rule state that person is of course oneself. And yet Rules are often rather technical affairs, and so highly complex to enforce - and oneself rather biddable and possibly open to suggestions: Or again rules are very often about articulating complex relations on has with others, relations which would normally be pitched in other (in more violent or passionate ways)- and rules form merely a part of that pitching (and not necessarily a big part). Or finally many if not all rules are parachuted in from God knows where- are the result of some stitch up at sometimes between global powers, and make little sense in local situation or in other peoples cultural traditions. There is no reason to follow them all the more this is the care when the external powers themselves do not follow (or perhaps police) there own rules. Or (as is often the case) e they are too greedy, or maybe they do not care enough. to monitor what there own people are doing. Maybe they have invented the rules in another context, or as a reflection of their own power (and so nothing to do with other nations) - the permutation go on and on- but the upshot is the same the world is full of bodies of rules defined at one time and in one (all too political context, and which has almost no value or universal application.
In short the idea that rules are internal affairs collapses leaving one with the bodies that are meant to enforce these rules impartially as the answer. At which point of course one hits the deep problem with external rules themselves. They need to be enforced as a world within the world. Everything will have then to be comprehended within the rule book and in terms of it The rich complexity of life is then lost within a few targets and half jotted mantras. The result is the then pure nonsense - as rules become applied nilly willy or wherever and however: - a world where they simply be any simple answer.
This is of course the Genius of case law Case law allows rules to be applied, and then for everyone to watch and think about the application and change their practice. Law becomes then a living tradition - for everyone to know. and yet keeping this case law free from the influences needs a lot of hate and jealousy, and all directed at the same place. That is you need rivals struggling with each other, rivals who are determined to honour the tradition but critique one another. The trouble of course is that the manufacture of such a system of rivals in a bitter struggle according to certain rules is almost by definition a product of cultural tradition. That is what cultures (with the exams and the colleges, and their port and high tables) do. To try to impose it elsewhere is then always tricky, as local customs will move the rules elsewhere- : Or actually and far more tragically the mere fact that one is imposing a rule from without is enough to undermine the application of the rule kit itself. Everyone is liable to self-consciously apply the rules, and wire that self-consciousness into their application- a fact that actually breeds corrpution as people cease to live the part.
Rules then corrupt as they wander across the globe- and do so naturally, as local practice adapt as they adopt, the rules. more than that they are adopted self-consciously, an adoption that disrupts culture making different people powerful, and creating a hybrid of local custom and self conscious rule kit. To navigate this senseless union becomes always then tricky. one need to knows That is exactly what rule as are being applied where (local or international or hybrid). At which point another dynamic kicks in. for once the rules cannot make sense then it really becomes about who one knows...
and other dynamics then get working. Firstly the original enforces of the rule are not innocent here. they have after all taken rules from one of their domains and applied then across all the rest. It does not wrk for them either - they will the be just as generate transgressor - only their corruption will be mingle with genuine hypocrisy as well, as they focus one where the rules work and not and the money making areas where they do not... At the same time the actual problem will not be understood by the western powers who rail against the corruption while aiding its creation and of course to do business at all conniving with it. An ideology of the end of history and the triumph of the west is so strong strong, and so imperial, that any other world or voice always gets itself lost in the process.
At which point of course the world divides into a very complex sequence of patchworks, some Western rules are applied sometimes and some local, and between rule endless little acts of bribery and corruption. Acts the West joins in one and uses of course for their own benefit (although in this case they are of course absorbed under the expenses of big business). A complexity that is then reflected in business big and small and the way it these fragments of law allow to make (or lose) money. the very fragmentation of the sate becomes then the system itself (and oddly stable)
Corruption then is not really any criminal so much as the failure of one system to universalize across all domains an the across the world. does this really surprise us? What really? and are we sure that in condemning i we are not merely also critiquing other cultures form not being like us? Questions we need remember in the rhythm war - even when we condemn regime that certainly are corrupt and d enforce unjust rules on their people, regime - that and do indeed include ourselves once we are removed from the comfort zone of our western identity....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Leaks or history

It is a matter of rhythm which you say of corse. that is there the politics of war and diplomacy, necessarily two faced, if what keeps peace, or whether everyone actually knowing that people are not daffy, they have realized Cameron is ligtweight, China might not care for North Korea, and Saudi Arabia does not like the Shiite republic. A force has temporarily the face that states put up to the world, the rhythms that being a state, with is dynamics of nationalism - and hypocracies of commerce and democracy, but whtehr the icebergs of the states shatter into violence is another matter. It rathe depends one exactly where one thinks hmanity likes to pitch its political power. I mean states are the successor to Gods, and are so fairly deliberately. They see themselves and their action a semi-divine entity. that s beyond good and evil or simple comprehension - and certainly beyond emotion this entire edifice of global politics has then an element of Olympus about ti. Great god struggle across the face of the world. they set up alliances, pour in resources for a while: they even have special favourites - and all the while they have the same needy relationship with their humans. for they need to be worshipped to be a all - and the same dependence on chance (and oil). the same need that is to confuse themselves with the world of men
The deep rhythmic accord here is no doubt not chance. Why else do the ruling classes laud the classics so highly: In the d they see the template for the states.
And yet this quasi-divine sate has clearly come under rather a lot of pressure recently. Firstly from these kind of leaks- the moment that we realize (if we actually ever doubted it) that we are governed by humans after all. Secondly of course there have been those other leaks thats how exactly how corrupt the entire state is and how inefficent. It is less a divine body and more merely a way to have individuals on the make. The self appointed divine state is clearly under threat - from as it were an internal cancer, which corrodes their apparent power and their rights to command worship. N owonder sates call foul, and sar to use whatever they have to stop or limit leaks- any God would do as much.
But what we are left with is strange question.
in the end is democracy actually realizable and worthwhile. that is do we want these successor to God ruling the world as they do now? Our chance of the divine in the sate? Or do we want to pitch the pretensions of these Cod divinities? aand hw if they dies on us, how do we replace these Leviaithans without resorting to Behemoths of chaos? What is the world with out sham divinity really like? a world Hobbes knew and feared....A world that might now be different, might be better, but do you want to take the risk? Or do you want to pretend to yourself that you do, and yet not really? thatat is do you want merely to cricitise the sate or the gods without declaring them dead.
But if this last is true what does one do when the Gods wreak vengance to restore honour? Are we going to stand ? Or attempt to say something and so risk being caught up in the tempest of forces. The point being of course if enough of us say something (or even more laugh) at some point whether we say will stick - it will be something the God are listening to.
That is if we criticise Gods for Duck houses and not for the size of their claims (Cameron was actually the most greedy politics of the last parliament in terms of money paid)- then that critique sticks in the minds of our Gods, and they ensure we cannot make it again - one way or other (and will warp an entire system just to ensure that fact - the rules of nature or sense suspended for our foolish query). Do we want then to critique knowing that is the case. that is that what sticks is not sense but chaotic power to reverberate the powers of the gods themselves.
The death of God, Death of man and the Death of the the state, are three agonies crystalized together- a death agony that will one way or other reverberate through time; The screams of the dying forms the rhythm war itself.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The three rhythms

The dark saga of hope and dissolution that is modern capitalism - is clearly a saga in three acts - were each act each rhythms ossicalted between one inviduals mind and many minds: it is in me but also you and they...
The first act is the rules of the future - the world of endless prosperity we are surely all nearly about to have. This is a world which occupies many levels. there is confidence in far flung futures in the stars or global or envirnmental melt down - futures that then trickle back into or day o day futures, into what be believe is happening now. Our own confidence is then also always also a world of the future- a looking to the future we believe in... years, in the here and now. It is a truism that science fiction is always written about the present- but it is also the case that the present is always re-writting itself in it own future possibility.
The future is a world which is gloriously complex and complicated. No policy is every simple: it rather in its aspiration, and its fears plays across an entire register of the future and different possible futures to come. In acing then for the future one act in the here and now but with an eye of perceived threats, or joys or merely events. The future is then never simply resovable into a here or now. Forcasting the future is then complex as the forecast itself brings with it a time that is not directly realized - a time of myriad options, and are necessarily to be thought.
The second great rhythm is that of the past line, a great trend lien that collapes all the myriad of possible futures into a sequence of frozen events, and then allows judgement calls to be made and implication read in the light of those events. A move that then endless judges the remain of possibilities sorting out those that were mere dream or wild speculation from more possible realties (a distinction that it is all too easy to lose. a past that has of course its own deep resonances,differnet connection can be drawn between the same basic events alone pas lines, longterm trends and short terms trends can then be seen, as can gradual evolution or quick revolutions.
The past then is what ever politician fears- for they know that it is the impossible line in which they will be judged. A line made all the more difficult because how it is judges is in the light of the fact that it is always of the past. That is the judgement is always made in another time which reflects back upon itself and how it got there - looking to events then as if they were a narrative - and judging the judgement calls according to that narrative of that other time.
Finally there are the rhythms of the present. A here an now in which we actually live day of day. tis world is distinct again(and no more real). it is the world were events must fall or remain forever a mere fear or possibility. It is then the domain that when they do fall they always fall in a tranformationary experience and change everything. But do not happen the place in which then become mere myths and drift of into the kingdoms of possible delusions. More importantly it is the humdrum of everyday little choice free from pic pictures a humdrum that quiet builds it own world across its interaction: A world where its normality becomes then itself an impress.
A schemata then that is fundamental Heideggerian emerges. and yet with this partial difference. What Heidegger calls the Augenblick- the moment of revolution that takes you in the present from the future to the past, is a little bit more diverse and complex that that. for the Augenblick the point where one rhythm changes into another is not fixed - it is not one place one falling into - but it rather a complex transtion where many jumps of tense are possible.
In all these switches there are three or four basic methods. Firstly there are passions that lodge themsevles in one tense as they look into another. desire then lodges itself into both or either the pastor the presennts and erodes or moves towards the future. It then assumes a future is possible and translated directly or indirectly into another tense opening up possibilities in the past or the present, making things feel more real. The Greed of a property speculation is then written in the langauge of desire as it looks to an open future, and attempts to treat that open future as if it could be realized right here in the trends of he past or the wealth of the present. Desire might be defined then in this diagonal line drawn towards the future.
Secondly it is clearly possible that the rhythms of each each tense do invert from time to time. the future then translates into the past as mere empty dream and delusions - while the past becomes future as a tyranny of what must be done an no choice about it.A recession or depression swaps or a metalevel past for future. likewise it is very easily for the [resent to move into the future - and restrict possibilty (we must manages what we have), whole the futures tumbles into the present as some species of paranioa (the handcart to take us to hell). The past then swaps into the past as absolute tradition, and the past into the present as limited resources etc. Each tense need not its position as a tense, it can impose a different rhythm elsewhere- and will do so.
Thirdly it is clear that in all these rhythms wars we expect individuals to navigate us paths between these unreconcilliable rhythms. There role is then to map an impossible line looping up tenses defining point they tumble and change into one another. An exalted position we do not actually allow to most leaders of course (although we all dream we could and do if the right leader comes alone). Leaders then are meant to actually make the impossible possible and end the rhythm war - except of course we would actually for all our demands) never allow this to happen. a a paradox that has its own rhythm.
Finally between rhythm there lies endless domains of possible analysis and thought. we can create figures to capture them, or discipline to understand them. The future can be made real to the past and visa versa. New languages of translation of rhythms open out to us all - and in their constellations we are caught and defined or rethrown.

We caught in the the rhythms war of unreconcillable tenses whose endless conjunctions creates new possibilities rather than resolutions: A world which is rich, diverse, productive, and yet never simple....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Towards an Archy for the Internet

Just as we have given up on the ideal of the ancient Greek practice of having very many different states, each with their own unique constitution (for we all ought to be democracies now, even if many of us are actually oligarchies and tyrannies) - alone comes the internet- which clearly re-invents this multiplicity.
What after all are the 'great' dominant site (The Wikipedia, Google, Facebook etc) but an an ...Archy ;As is certain constitution, which loops individuals up one with the other and defines their relationships with each other.
Our Friendships our commerical actions, our every life history or family find their echo and are articulated upon the internet and different ways. It then echoes as a refrain what we do and articulates it in different ways.
A fact that is of course challenging to the status quo of our minds. What does it mean after all to be able after twenty years or so to refine our past, with its friends or music? what does it mean to be able to have world to flirt with? And how we live i world were one really can buy globally - what are ones loyalityes? Each great-site actually poses a question or perhaps runs an experiment, where in an action we are caught up changing or challenging our natures. We need be as we were, and the internet is how we change (although where this leads, butter, moth or merely perpetual puppea is never clear). A great pan-hellenic Experiment of the what the mind might be in new and shifting context - is being poured across these differing Archies.
Each archy puts in play and shares in differing our images. our talent, and ambitions but also our memories and feelings. more than that memory and feelings are incited to be shared. we become then a thing that bleeds across its own sharing- that that is invent or thinking about new feelings to share, and dreams of those feeling or talents actually resonating into others. we become a strange poet or prostitute of souls, articulating our bits (real or imagined) in the hope others might use them - and we turn ourselves into a celebof this or that constitution,
Here need a little caution, for there are other subtler element here. the networks that are created by the internet reflects also the global situation and bars of language and nation. A world where these bars need not be is opened up, but not necessarily inhabited (as yet or perhaps at all). their is clearly then a silent geography also in the internet- defining. our old way of thinking has not dies, is merely conjured anew in a slippery different landscape, where it need not be. and yet as that landscape echoes its actually usage and develops accordingly, it is likely enough that echoes of this nationism in relfection will linger for a long time.
More that that in a sense each of these great sites - are not just another clever application, but also actually define what the internet is for. Google or Facebook then defined actual use of the thing and carry on defining it. The point bring their are no clear rules about what the internet is for or even what it is: It is defined only in the way people use it (as library or marketplace or meat market or Porn library). In the best tradition of greece then, each of the great-sites are not merely a constitution, ways of looping people together, but also provide a template for a political type - and Archy. This template is at once unique to that site, but also but there- other sites might well look on it, and how it allowed change to seeps across the net , and react.
There is then that ancient greek feeling of possibility New sites emerge, and with it new uses, and we look always to the next site, the new constitution, the perfect program perhaps, and debate what it should be and how it will link individuals - the constitutions it will invent.
But as with the best Greek constitutions there are extra rules, defining how these sites operate (what they expect from their citizens) and how they compete. Sites will then not merely be about sharing between folk, but also must have some means of making those folk pay. Thy will then define in their means of sharing, a second stream, a means of wealth generation (or if they do not that itself is an issue). The idealism of the constitution is then tinged with the fact that the manner individuals are looped, the new way they might share anything or more often nothing in particular, must at some point itself be a money making opportunity: be that directly or indirectly- apps or Ads - what we do or what is done to us....
The Internet then is in the process of rethrowing something in our minds, and trying (and only partially slicing to pry open that something, and render it lucid to capitalism and making money. Likewise it is clear that the state has to recover itself in the internet, and find new ways to be important - to make us all safe or tax us or whatever. The Internet actually challenges the Post-Elightenment Capitalist-National consensus about what, who and how individual actually is. As persia rallied agianst greece then the government looks in fear at the internet. Finally in this list of old powers their are the exciting merchants of information (real or imagined)- the news-organization and publishers, who need to find ways of either fitting into some if not all of these constitutions (and even becoming an Archies in their own right)... Or else to must cosy up to internet companies in some manner, offering them something or else (finally) learning to do with out.
No wonder then the state lumbers about trying to make us fear for our very identity - and the capitalist bandwagon attempts to impose the Laws of copy write onto the new terrian. It has to - for an issue of survival of the old system in these new Archies.
but as they link together individuals, and so intent constitution each of the great-sites, become to a degree clonable. That is they learn from each other- and from the progression of sites. Here there is a clear odd enough process in play. for great-sites live and die by their twin abilities constantly define new ways of sharing information and looping individuals together or else being the dominant way by being the best or at leas the one everyone continues to use).
Great-sites then become established around one thing they do - and then clone there own principle, in the knowledge that others will be also cloning it, and bleed it across the internet: a search design, becomes a developer of ready to hand application, and then becomes a phone maker. The point being that the constitution are then open affairs - elements can be borrowed or lent- aspects developed. Sharing is never simple - it has many faces - and everyone can share (and is ever great-site will borrow elements of each other and attempt to make them their own, while diversifying what they do).
At the same time there is a real mass logic here. Certain application only work when very many people share them. more than that mass phenomena start to exist across the folk caught up together- sites generate then their own manner, their lifes as people join them. they further differentiate then in this sharing (and develop) Sites then that do not have the critical mass, however wonderful they might be simply loose out.
Their is a wonderful Pelopennsian total war being waged by the great sites of the internet. each have to continue expanding both what they do and who uses them in order that they survive: That is in order that other sites do not merely strip them of their constitution (and is clone their way to link individuals), and then run off with their citizens.
Running across these constitutions is another silent factor - an issue of landscape - the internet is defined by its codes and its neutralities. It only exists as it does as long as the number do not run out, and the freedom of what can be said and shared, but also how it is are preserved. Alter these and you have really changed the landscape for the net- changed what it is and what it will do and how it then evolve (which is not necessarily a bad thing). The Internet like Greece is caught up in the landscape that allowed it to be possible, change that landscape and everything might slip.
In Short i these days of ours, ti s clear the Internet is fast becoming to topic of interest in the fat world at least- as massive social experiment, what many up into it and actually quietly challenges many many things. the question will be then will this challenge be sustained, or will ancient Persia or merely the Rule of Empire prevail once again? And will the shifting archies themselves stablize into a number of shared established Aristoltian forms (he has six) - or wil lthe anrachy continue for the forseebale future at least.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The meridian Line

We all have them - or perhaps half a dozen of them.
that all nice- collective- Meridian line- that we think defines or ought to define normality.
It is the line that everyone ought to follow- that everyone would follow if we were not being led astray by...
The shifting complexity of the world, becomes rather easily resolved into a handful of collective viewpoint.
Further thought becomes unecessary -
It also goes without saying that such line in the shifting sand are necessary volatile and collective.
They need to be collective in that it is in the sharing the viewpoint - or at least in the imagination of another in ones head, in their reality in oneself - that the lines gathers its power and meaning - and passions.
It also follows that these meridians are divisive- and that is the point: that is they define a norm, which is of course not share in the welter of being. The norm becomes then a standard to rally to, and otherwise bewildering complexity and oddity or perhaps merely the press of possibility is rationalized and contained in quiet or stroppy loathing.
Us against the world - hey!

The trouble is then that Meridian are the stuff of gangs -a collective piece of certainty- and gangs sell newspapers, and create politics.
All of which is fine - what else is a nation ? what else have they ever been (for good or evil)? What else are the traditional lines of left and right, but a making sense and creation of very basic meridian lines.
How else are you going to have a state?
There is nothing wrong with meridians in themselves (beyond the fostering of gross but necessary simplification).
That is not really the trouble,
The problem is rather that there is a threefold complexity clearly emerging the rules and meridians.

1) Firstly the old meridians lines, which kept the world simple have spilt and become endlessly more complicate. We simply have then dozens of meridians, all quietly opposed, and gently or loudly loathing one another.
2) Meridians are becoming self consciously very stroppy - in the best evangelical way. This is a mixed curse. In times before when a median was easily dominant it was quietly oppressive. Racism, for example in all its forms simply was everywhere- and so it did not need to fight its corner: The only warrior meridians were self conscious minorities - who certainly fought and converted, and aimed to be the majority few. Meridians used to tend to be powerful - and quiet (or ill or good) affairs. In the current situation all meridians are under threat, and feel they need to make a fuss - as they always feel like those religious or social minorities. Our meridian lines have become the the battle ground for self appointed minorities - as we are all the rebels now.
3) And yet at the same time- we lie is a society where the appeal is always to the old logic of democracy, and the majority having sway. Each meridian line then needs to make its pitch as the majority- as - the consensus. It will look then for ways to prove that it does hold such sway -and will rationalize set backs in terms of paranioa, and conspiracy.
Meridians then wage war as if they were a minority, and yet do so in the guize and name of the majority.
They want it all ways .
The trouble of course that these self appointed minority are becoming powers because the old simply meridians have shattered. Governments simple assumptions then that the support is out there, has slipped, and the new meridian lines matter.
All of which raises the deep question of whether one can really govern in the name of a handful of meridian lines, and their violently oppositions? It might well not be possible- it is surely hardly desirable. And if one cannot what will follow not merely politically, but all our sanity. the point after all of these lines in the sand was not initially political so much as personal -they are how the locate ourselves in the choasmsos of modernity..
A rhythm war based of meridian lines, and their willful incomprehension of other point of view, is not the wisest of moves, and yet it appears to be where we are heading.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Here or there - the Rhythm war:

The Rhythm war of Change.

The war is everywhere- and very very brutal.
It gathers desperate events, placing them one against the other – making them matter, making them important. The changing cycles of nature are bound to a logic of nation states, and the desire to endlessly grow and have the possibility for change, and they all become the water wars. Or again the desire to endlessly grow ones state, and have the possibility to become ever wealthier (or at least to make good an ancient injustice), slips into a currency war, which looms over the entire system. Rhythm wars happened endlessly when w are making or ensuring other plans. That is when we are acting at on time to ensure one future, not forgetting that our actions have effects in lives far removed from our own – life’s where our actions will have a very different feel and power form the ones we attribute to them. As there philosopher Deleuze says we live in world full mini-universes, and personal cosmoses, each akin to a monad- and yet all these worlds impinge one upon the other, all constantly break each other, and force each the change in ways unlooked for or an wanted: In short the Rhythm war…
A war which has two deep strategies, two ways we endless try to understand how others impinge upon or world. The strategies fall roughly two old philosophical or theological debates: Strategies are either transcendental or immanent. Transcendental strategies work up imposing that land that is between us all, as if it were something real (if not actual). In Rhythm war is then held within a nexus of change, change than is deduced or understood in its actions – and which might (or might not) have laws or homogeneity of its own. rhythms are then all caught in a greater laws or power, one we must cohere within. The alternative view point insists that actually all rhythms and their effects one upon the other are immanent and emergent. There are no given rules, really none The uses rather emerge at the time and the place, in the conflict, and developed and change as it changes. One cannot then use the model of western developed to understand Eastern industrialization and can not assume that one model of thought must win.
Both these view point then insists the world is akin o an experiment (what else is a rhythm war but the insistence that all is experiment and changing). But the nature of the experiment is simply different. in the first transcendental account, what is being demonstrates is an underlying principles which is to be witnessed in the fall of an apple or the growth of a market. There are then ‘divine facts or rules at play. In the second experiment theories are merely caught as part of the system – caught within its exchange. They are not tested so much as belief in them is itself an effect, or rather changes everything. A theory is then not an explanation for much as an agent for change. In understanding and thing it, we allow ourselves to do or feel or believe more. We change then the position of our rhythm in relations everyone else. In both these strategies thought is linked to changing the world we are within. We open our minds to other rhythms, and gain the right to slip worlds. The only real debate is about the engine that takes between worlds. Can we understand it in a formal (if temporary) constructs - a genuine time machine. Or is the time machine merely the action of flipping itself, and the ideas that in thinking them allow us to change our fate and nature.
These alternate ways we situate ourselves between worlds might seem rather poetic and very abstract. And yet they are the stuff of political day to day life. The problem every politician faces, is that they only get elected by advocating one or other of these strategies. A strategy that is then made to make sense of their actions, but also of all the other actions in the word beyond their immediate concern. So that it is the role of the politicians and the language they sell to provide for a nation (or a ‘people’ or perhaps a localized landmass) a set of machines or threads to understand the rhythm war through. There are them two great moves one can make. One might talk about trusting a people to act and to think – one light then don the garb of the immanent mind (or at least say letting it free is the goal)– or one might talk airily about change and hope that lie between us all, that we all might believe in. both strategies are clearly in play at different point of the globe and the movement, and both a revealing their strengths and weakness, in the rhythm wars as it opens into our political world.
Taking the transcendental first, Obama was clearly is greatest modern prophet. A man who could paint a picture in words of a world that lay between all, and hope or dream we all could believe in and identify with. It did not really matter that this dream was not fleshed out, for the transcendental image of it was enough. It could come to pass – for we all had the dream. The trouble of course is that it never quite works that way. The manner in which one transcendental theory into the actual world is always at once open and difficult. One never gets the world one wanted, and never the political reforms. They get caught in the real politic of immanent life, and muddled up – and the problem that Obama and every politician then faces is what o do when it all goes not work out as it should in theory.
At which point philosophy fairly bubbles with rather a lot of models for understanding what happens, and the consequences of this failure- models that go right to the heart of what the transcendental might be, and how we might understand it. That is reasons why merely raising the manner of belief and change (or nationalism) is so very bad an idea. Theories that might be classified in two types, there are those that think that the transcendental change is beyond our nature, either because it is structurally separate or merely apriori to it: alternatively there are those theories that accept that we are transcendental in nature, and then go on to show why this fact itself makes for difficulties. All of which again is hopelessly abstract, and yet provides a structure to locate different explanations.
The classic example of the first of these options, a structural transcendental, is Marx. Marx suggested that it was the economy stupid that drove the entire show onwards. Our endless chatter about our aspirations and our hopes, of what we were going to change this or that was at worst codswallop, and at best merely a way of attempting in some garbled manner to understand the realities of the economic world in which we were all bound up. The economy defined then what we as individual could do, and how at a base level we ought to relate to one another. Our social position then set our limits to aspirations (including exact what we meant when we should have no limits). Politicians would then be judged not by the transcendental world they wished in impose upon the body politic but rather according to the realties of these great truth. If the economy stagnates then the politician is doomed, because one transcendental world, the economy, trumps every other. A reality that Obama probably understands rather well…
All of which explains why he is currently in difficulties no doubt – but not why those difficulties have lead to the rise of the rabid right. This fact is caught up by another rather more uncanny account of the transcendental - an account derived ultimately from Hume. Hume suggested that the real problem with arguments based upon passion, is that they carry their own truths. Passion impose upon a mind a glamour or intensity akin to actual reality (and its peculiar vividness), and yet lack realties universality. That is we agree there is theory that thing before us, because reality carries it own inner light (is different from dreams and is collective- we all see it there). We can then agree about the nature of the world. But passions? They are another matter, their light might lead us in many direction even as we feel them, and agree about there nature. We demand something somewhere HAPPENS, demand a change that is really real, and yet quarrel about what that change is. To promise a world that is somehow better, and open up the great myth of change everyone can belief in, and hope for the future, is to loose control of what that hope will be. For each and everything individual will take that hope into their own lives and live it or feel as they chose or more likely as groups them choose. It might then open out on many different sliding worlds, and become the stuff of rhythm wars. So that passions (and unlike perceptions) immediately open out on man worlds – and for us to feel the same thing is not for us to agree about anything. Emotive politics which conjures up the demonic passions is then a very dangerous form of politics for those passions bite back. A move that then warps ones own rhetorical and feeling it inspires so that they become quite different. Ones appeal to a nation and to change, can in the ears of pople who for deep seated (and possibly highly dubious reasons) dislike what one is (and the colour of ones skin); It becomes the a challenge. They must provide a counter vision or feeling – or perhaps better high-jack that sentiment and then portray the raiser of the feeling as the very who was trying to control ones mind (which is not absolutely false). For what else is the devil but the force that raises feelings in us we want, and yet does so in times and place or in a context we cannot countenance. What else is temptations but the inappropriateness of these passions?
But if the transcendental lies a little closer to home- what if it was enclosed within human hearts - Or minds? What if then change was something we all could understand? The trouble immediately is, Kant would suggest that such change is invariably of two very different kinds- o different takes of freedom. One might then understand freedom merely in terms of unloosening the bounds for a life, or one might understand it as something higher and better – the right to rethink what one is. The trouble is both of these two moves remain thoroughly transcendental, as to problematic in the application. To take the first change we might believing. A change which sees us fee ourselves from those forces (understood as government or perhaps economic circumstance) which are holding us back. The trouble is that these forces might be exactly the problem – and getting rid of them is likely to create endless problems not only for others but also for oneself. The appeal then to change or freedom pens out a Mickey mouse world where ranging against the day to day restriction we actually all face (and do so o that we might actually live in a society that is capable of doing stuff – which is government after all), becomes confuses with a wider fear of economic melt down and global shake up. Government becomes then easily blamed and ‘restriction’ seen as the problem, when the real concern is unwarily elsewhere.
However the alternative transcendental position is no less hard to navigate. Even if one can agree on the changes one seeks, on the transcended principle, how can one turn them into practical politics? Or better how can one do so in a world where a lot of people will reject the method (whatever it is) one chooses a fact that really matter as it is the method the means that create the ends (or at least allow for), whatever the transcendently rhetoric might say. We all want clinical excellences and merely get NICE (which is fine, but then is caught in the problem of being a government agency…) We want then one thing and yet once again get the other, and thought transcendental gets swept up on the rhythm war.
But what then happens if one simply gives up of the struggle to impose rhythm – that is if one runs with the immanent laws of rhythm production. A move that is fine is a way and yet always opens one out to a real dilemma. The philosopher Spinoza pointed out we share two quite distinct things. On the one hand there are great ideas which transform everything, running across societies and the world, making thing different – ethics of reasons and freedom, and the cohere to, and live through our live. These immanent constructions are what we are after in the bigger society we seek. And yet even if these forces were all there would be a problem, Spinoza suggests. For while these elements are ultimately compatible then tend to criss cross each other. Truths then break one another or at least transform ones understanding of what each are. One does to them for a simple axis of the known, and a manner of government. One rather simply has to accept that what this axis is and how it changes itself and so evolves throughout time (and so every truth or institution might radically change) reason does not then insulate one against the rhythm war- it merely makes one relaxed about it- but that might not make a state
The problem is worse because running parallel to these forces are much louder and stroppier feels was also share, feelings that then distort their truths and pull their realties towards this or that nosy concern. We start then with a high ethic about reasons and freedom, something nice abstract and say (and so sellable) and end up in competing claims and arrant selfishness which tend to advantage the stroppy and the wealthy. We tend then to give everything to those middle class elbows – and do in the name of freedom. In short the freedom to immanently generate rules transforms back into the ethics to the market place, and the economy - which after all is something at once in both worlds- transcendental and yet immanently create. The only alternative model is to limit the number of free individuals (Spinoza suggested only thirty or so) – individuals that then in their sharing allows all the rest of us to share. Well maybe – but the trouble is that this limit appears in the real world to impose suffering elsewhere (China obviously comes to mind here -).
In short the rhythm way imposes a semi-intractable problem for politics. It becomes rather tricky well to be frank impossible, to define where politics should be, and who it acts upon. It straddles world and rhythms and does not for all its talk of master and nationhood. Which of course catches in the real paradox and it is to government we look for answers in the rhythm war -and yet no government can provide such answers or even leadership – for they are riven as the rest of us. A fact that is likely to matter more and rhythm wars gather apace.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

And finally -part

Does it make sense to use the eighteenth century language of democracy and government to define how we run the emergent and complex world of today.
his is after all a world where in the guise of internet, shiny things, information, uses, natty programs and the desires they open up, create endless new permutation and complexities in having and being a government.
We then change slowly and quickly, a change that responds to government and buidl it into its actions.
a change that bind up nations and makes them unable to act as units.
Where then can one find a modern role for government in this world?
Doe the old paredigm do?
Or are we really going to have to find something esle- and if so how?

Part 5

Mythic pain

The trouble is with our country - the real trouble is-
tat we appear to have country body image disorder.
We see our rather prosperous, forceful and aggressive land, with its relatively strong government and limited abuse o human rights, and rich cultural background, as a poor victim in the world - endless corrupt and badly run governed - and always threatened.
the reason is perhaps two old.
We have a culture of assuming the past was better, be it our childhood or the nations history. All decisions were of course easier in the past (well they are from the present anyway), and all values more certain (again from the present).. The past is then ours as the present is not, - and we mourn it.
Secondly this nostalgia is particuliary and orchestrate to sell new paper, and raise hell. It becomes then a campaigning issue - a campaing that makes us feel bad about our country and ourselves o sell newspapers - or make good copy.
a fact we then seem to daffy to realize...

The problem of governing part 4

The is a clear battle raging fast and furious about who should be in pain.
we al know that something has gone wrong.
it is clear - and has been clear for long time; we had growth when we expected recession back in the 2000's (we did wonder why I remember).
We know then a model cocked up -and caught our greed in an supportable crystal that then imploded.
We were all responsible for the banking crisis after all.
Pain is coming our direction.
So of course we all duck- while trying to persuade others to stand up and be hit.
It makes good politics in the play-ground war, and good politics now.
We try then to persuade martrys to step forward, while rest of us hide.
and if of course if no one comes forward we then start to pus and josstle each other - forcing on group or other (usually the poor who cannot avoid being forced) forward and into the pain.
what of course we really really need is a cult of economic martrys - any volunteers?

Friday, October 22, 2010


The anarchist and the State:

It is one of those irregular verb – one to depress Hegel, and defy reason, a verb that sets up an internal and unsynthesisable dialectic – one that goes I anarchy-You state; We state-They anarchy. I assert my rights an individual, my independence while you lot drag me down. But at the same time elsewhere, I am part of the gang, fighting the dread monster of anarchy: Human both Leviathan and Behemoth. The point being that there is a strange wavy line, a line that at all point and parts of society we think state ought to each, and we really ought to be allowed to be on our own. The trouble with this line is that it is so indistinct and volatile. There are places where by long tradition – the line is always fixed. We ‘agree’ then that the army, is always in the we a state part of the verb – while the free market by and large aspires to be in the ‘I’ anarchy that is at least its jargon). But very many element of modernity slip between lines, and slip between classes. Many other arguments (for instance the facile one currently waging in Britain about fairness, as if anything a government does is fair) are really argument about where one draws this line. That is, where one helps out or navigates the state, and where one allows freer organization (as is the big society). The line is moving then around fairly much at the movement.
In a sense there is a reason for that. One of the very big differences between the political parts is that the Right are more comfortable on the lines they draw. They know there then the we’s and I's state an anarchy are draw There might be at times parochial extension of the state to include some welfare; or again there might be an extension of anarchy to extent the free market and its innovation into some matters of the state (big societies). But by large the lines are clear. The same of course is really not true for the left – who rationally cannot even readily agree who their 'we's are (is it the unions, the working class, or the country) let alone have sensible places to draw the at.
This last point in a sense was the point that straddled ‘New Labour’ and destroyed it. There was in sense no-good place for the party to draw its lines. The party talked then endless about responsibility as well as rights, but found no effective way to incarnate those responsibility. A fact that had of course disastrous effects- as neither government, individuals or even banks were responsible where they incarnated their greed – with the result that the global financial system nearly collapsed. ’New Labour’ wanted to have its cake and firmly eat it. That is it wanted to both allow for anarchy, and game the rights to demand individuals were responsible, at the same time as imposing the state -an impossible dream. But the line is not like that - however fast flowing it is, it is in its incarnation always clear which side an individual is on. If one extends and then retracts, one looks either ,mad or disingenuous.
New labour failed then in that it failed to sensibly incarnate liens for the sate and lines for the anarchist, leading to dodgy dealing, lack of trust and a perceptions (which was not true) that the state was muscling in, in the form of health and safety into anarchies,. It was then these perceptions that killed off new labour and created the current coalition of the others What is ,more the crazy line – and where one draws it is shot through with ideas of fairness or unfairness. Or perhaps better it is only the line that makes this argument of fairness make sense – for of course in the essence of society not to be fair. That is it is n the essence f society for have hierarchies, explicit and implicit, and to lauds certain talents irrespective of their vale in a highly complex society) and deride other societies. Likewise the point of money is to create inequities. The entire debate then about a fair society is on one level infantile. Or at best is merely a reaction to the fact that we know society is unfair, and dream of something else (in an open ended vapid way at least).
However if one talks of fairness, one an effect creates places to draw our line -our line that incarnated the dialectic of fair and unfair. One can the rail against the state and its unfairness in taxing or regulating the initials – onsets people free to be themselves. One incarnates the line so that it, is the name of a greater society, wipes out the state (or justifies a wipe out one was committed to anyway). Or alternative one can use the same language of fairness or not to demand that the states rights are respected, and individuals, be they cod classes such as bankers or the poor should not take the piss; that is they should not take more from the system that was somehow their birth right. We the state then gain the rights one only to fairness but to name the anarchies that threaten us. We therefore, in the name of being so very fair (to ourselves at least) have the right to create otherwise meaning categories such as befit cheats and rail against them as if they were a threat.
The lines then matter- as it defines the exact level we incarnate not merely the sate, but the enemies of the state. What is more than that it is the distinction in this line, between I-the-anarchist and they the anarchist that defends states from certain acts. That is we do not loose sight of the fact that multiple anarchy is threatening and risks everything, while personal anarchy (within rules) is something to be lauded. In a sense this is after all the point of the category individual. The individual at any age, marks the paint at which a personal responsibility (that is an individual anarchist) starts to have the rights to assert themselves against the state. It marks then the point that the individual and their anarchy matters against all the power of convention and the state’s the individual, what is more it is clearly the peculiar responsibility of the state to foster this individual, and cede them there rights.
The state will then have to harbour from this ‘We’ ) those individuals who actually deride from their I. The reason for this of course is that the asserting of that I actually keeps the state itself safe. That is it prevents the anarchists acting as inchoate mob or fast moving unit – a unit that can so easily destroy the state. It is one of the hidden secrets of the ideology of capitalism, that it forces all power potential anarchist into the ‘I’ role, and so undermine or delimits their power to act.
The line matters therefore. Our society is amalgam of two different takes of the sate and two very distinct anarchy a fact that no doubt makes the’ liberal democracy’, which one is told is the high point’ of human develop so very unreplicatable able across the world. Each element of the verb is simple to make and yet highly destructive in itself. The I- anarchist is therefore at a different place simply criminality. Likewise the We-state is merely an oligarchy. What created the ‘freedom’ or at least that difference we feel in the West to be real (right or wrong) is the very freedom of this line. Tat is it is the fact that we can be in two heads a once, both I and We, and so both an anarchist and member of society. What is more we are free to move then line around a bit, and incarnate differently at different times. A fact that s one is trying either to copy the system from outside, or if one is having it imposed upon one, is exactly hard to replicate. For it is a reasonless and unspoken tension in the system we have.
Were exactly one draws the lines, and creates enemies is always in seen a matter of taste. But even here there is clearly strange romanticism that binds all such construct together. Take then the I anarchist – you sate declination. In a sense this is an assertion of the individual over the collective. And yet this individual is never any individual, it is always the rights of the free thinker, the wheeler-dealer, or the genius over the right of the pack. To assert them the rights to individual anarchy, is to allow oneself ore rights than one allow others. A normal little act of selfishness perhaps. And yet on dressed up in a romanticism and the idea that one is in this assertion is somehow different and special – as we of course we all are to ourselves at least). What is being this assertion is in effect the rights of the world each of us create for ourselves in our own minds (independent of thus in this world), over the rights attribute to the world we feel others create for themselves (the objective them). To assert then the individual of the I anarchist is to assert the rights of a world and not a person – against heights of some collective world structure (which is always attributed and never itself real). It is therefore to create an emotive world in the here and now (my world), a world of some kind of creation (even is that is merely the right to feel), and points it against a mythic general world, a world of order which one critiques. The rights of the free thinker is asserted against here mere chattering classes; or right of the entrepreneur to wheel and deal (and occasionally break the law) are asserted over the rights of the rest of society.
Likewise the opposite move, the We-state: They-anarchy, has behind the romanticism of an idea we all in something together- we are sharing thoughts dream and ideal. What is more this creative we-share is conceived as necessarily having a certain value in and for itself. if we agree- if we share our dream, and like to each other knowing that we do, then this is enough, that sharing makes it valid. This feeling is slightly complex, in that it is both an internal and eternal construction. The we-share is the felt, and yet ought to describe something real. If it does no, it is always open to delusion. Indeed a curtains species of madness binds the I and the we together. – for the I share is mad (and imagines their friends, and so creates their paranoia). What keeps the we-saying actually same is then the genuine appeal beyond itself nature.
This appeal then has two affects of its own. On the one hand it strengthen very greatly the power each of the we-feel, and the romanticism that accomplish this power. If we are together genuinely then we are powerful, and feel ourselves to be such (the fact that we remain tiny force in the world is then occluded I the exhilaration of doing together). And the same time, the very fact of having share keeps the We’s rather simple. We have to share what can be easily shared, and nothing more. The result is then that ideas such s patronise or rally calls about the lights of labours, or the duties of employers, become very easy we’s.- and complex perhaps richer, certainly ones are lost on the way.
The bigger problem, in last two points, is, of course, that the glamour of the romanticism, the feeling we are together, is enough to make the rather simplistic creation (and the They anarchist thy create – the others), feel very important for themselves. The anarchist, the non-shares beyond our simple union then become also rather too easy to define. What is more once of course such outsides age defined (in abstract terms) It becomes next to impossible to change those terms, without having to renegotiate exactly the We-share. Interestingly enough the growth in tolerance over that thirty years has shown this move is possible but not easy, and have a habit of creating new prejudice elsewhere. That is the forces that created the three-anarchy do not go away, and other they ill eventually tumble into being (ones that might in man resects resemble the ones one ought to have left behind; hence our modern racisms about Muslims and asylum seekers).
Our society is therefore full of a strange shifting assemblage of states good and bad and anarchists. A whirled of attributed negatives and only quasi defined and fast moving positives. And yet it is a mistake to see the negatives here as simpler fantasy. The You-State and the They –anarchy are very real in the minds that create. As real as chairs or hiccups. They have a power rooted in the divide they allow. They are then political realties, even if the actual ‘truth’ of the matter is more complex. Indeed the very simplifications involved here in a sense are the point and creator the realty. The world is very big and difficult, and the dialectics of anarchy and state are one way we impose simplification upon it. We then assume it is real, in order that we can live a life. The realty is then in us, and is a product of our romantic (and ill aimed power. a fact that gives it all the reality it needs.
Anarchy and the state are far from opposites therefore in our current political system. On the contrary they are both rather vital pitched within what and who we are. They allow us to define not only who we are, and what we share, both also who we oppose. The advantage of this dialectic lies in that that even at its most selfish, the anarchist it creates a world and two an individuate assume matter; likewise the We-share, creates in definition a form (albeit too simple) of sharing. The dialectic then breaks with individual minds and forces (in a sense) to open . It does so at the coast of creating enemies, assuredly, enemies the government then needs to manage and control more than that who these enemies are is itself highly volatile and complex each age has its own economies of anarchy and state, companies that are themselves in flux. It is the odd power of our current system that it encompasses all this flux. A factor that founds not freedom so much as internal peace. A peace that endless managed the conflicts in our society, and prevents more that ritualized violent, and yet at the cost perhaps of creating violence (in the They-anarchists) elsewhere….

Friday, October 15, 2010

The all out Rhythm war : The battle ground

Bonfires of Democracy.

I have mentioned before in these essays and in others, the real trouble with our political society is that we live in at least hree democracies not one – and possibly always have. We inhabit then at once political, knowledge and capitalist democracies. Each of which forms of governance has their own very clearly constructions, and rules. What is the interesting about these differing democracies, is that they all at least partially mistrust one another, while actually needing to really upon each other. There are then very standard rules of alliance where two democracies attempt to gang up on the third to pull it this way or that. Shifting alliance, moving battles, intricate intrigues are then the norms in the relations between these different freedoms. And yet in recent times, the picture has been made a great deal more complex by the emergence at various different levels of new demi-republics. That is impure mixed forms, mixed constitutions that attempt to define new ways these three differing states coalesce. It is then as if the rules for the relationships between these different states are being taken out, slowly of the states control, and becomes something in their own right (in the same way the credit agencies, having ruined our economy how appear to rule it). So much so that to understand our three different republics, and their traditional battle grounds is not now enough. One also needs to grasp at the fast moving and far more free form and wild republics and free states that are now attempting to cease control of the traditional three democracies that make our state, moves that I will begin to chart some of the essays in this series. In this essay I will recap on the traditional democracies themselves, and the way each distinct democracy endless attempts to reform the others in their own nature.

First among the three are the rich plurality of democracies that accompany academic disciplines. Democracies where what in a sense knowledge and the ability to argue a case according to certain rules (that is to have and to scare certain thoughts) is king. It is the theories, explanations, ideas, that rather gather up individuals – and not the other way around. The trouble of course is with such democracies is that there is a fairly heavy price to contribute. One needs to be able to speak the language, own the jargon, and understand the rules of thought generation, to enter such little kingdom. The enormous advantage is that once one can, then the democracy becomes truly democracy in that it becomes all about thinking, arguing, and agreeing.
This high entry price traditionally has made these democracy be viewed with mistrust by political democracies, which value their freedom. A mistrust that cuts deeper than mere paranoia as if is always possible for these republics, to create ideas which destabilizes democracies or at least raise impossible questions for them. Democracies will then look one askance as science fiddles with the boundaries of life and death, and where babies come from, or will manufacture bombs to blow up the world. all of which is fine in its way. But then of course science washes its hands of the affair and expects or at least appeals to democracy to sort out the ethics and morals of production process. Thought does not then undermine democracy so much as make it a great deal more difficult. Or better perhaps, it operates upon political democracy’ to transform it into a reflections of it own complex plurality. It has then a tendency to ask political democracies very difficult questions, and create within it parties of opposing thoughts, and endless differed spheres, different ways the question will be asked. All of which is fine in its way. and the yet political democracy is something apart, something in its own right, and resents this transformation.
At the same time, it is one of the features of such republics is their appetite for money reflects their appetite for knowledge. It is quite literally bottomless as the more they are given the more then can use. Money is then called upon to reflect the medium of thought itself – it is to be bottomless. The real problem here is not that money cannot do this but that it can. Or at least it can appear to One can always print more money- and as one trusts in technological change and the possibility of endless wealth it opens up on, one will be tempted to do so The trouble of course is that if the confidence in this change dries up, then the entire edifice is likely to crash around our feet.
The second great democracy is the traditional political democracy. This poor old thing, was initially conjured forth at the end of the nineteenth century, in the name of a supposed politics of the eighteenth century, its echoing a notion of supposed ancient politics and even human nature. It arose then as the supreme political buttress for the rise of nation states. It was the proof incarnate that we really were all in this together. The nation that votes together should fight together (and be free together. And yet the system always a little ad hoc - in a sense it had to be. At the heart of it after all lay a complex double think. On the one hand every democracy claimed to be the great (and possibly only real) forcing house for freedom. Its great claim was it was where this were disused and decidedly everybody. Or at least by those properly interested to make such decisions. And yet at the same time was of course the place that defend when and when its citizens were free. What freedoms then had, and what they defied not, when they can discuss and when not. It was the group of individuals coming together to delimit freedom, in the name of another kind of freedom.
This leads then to a situation where free speech was of prime importance. Free speech, that is the ably to endlessly argue a case, to make an argument (even if it was going to be ignored or was rubbish) was the freedom that justified or allowed the curtailing of freedom elsewhere. We could the argument went all make our case, and so ought to accept the eventual outcome, in the knowledge tat e had lost the debate fair and square. Free speech then became the defining freedom, the touchstone which allowed suppression elsewhere. A move that exploited the fact that the world we speak is not the world we live or think. We are then frequently theoretically at least more likely to mouth extreme solutions or assume that individuals can be limited or persecuted in someway (asylum speakers or the poor to the bankers); and yet of course do actually like it when we are faced with the consequences of these action. Democracy therefore become all about managing and encouraging free speech n certain as - certain debates helping certain parties (and allowing certain policies). The role of the democracy as form of government was ironically then subsumed under the necessity to manage its shibboleth – endless free speech. A move than became all the more pronounced as the scope of what a nation can do in a highly complex world in which such nations, as units of sovereign power, makes little sense, became restricted. All a political class really can do is define what is debated about. A debate that is then accompanied by a number of abstract policies that arise out of such debates, and may or may not have the effect promised.
The deification of free speech had then the effect of forcing a democracy to expand. It was legally rather difficult to restrict who could speak. The neat little cliques of the nineteenth century gave way to the mass democracies of today. And yet this then of course creates the problem that if everyone can speak, then how does not tell who is qualified to do so? If all opinion matter then, how beyond mob and prejudice can one decide? This was then the traditional role of the Quango. The Quango or at least hose hat made any sense operate as an intermediate - A problem which science then makes all the harder to grasp.
Governments answer was to create the Quango. That is to create a body that was responsible not only for making expert decisions (and so protect knowledge from rampant ignorance but also to orchestrate debate The quango was then meant to encourage and then monitor public debate, and loop it make into knowledge and then act accordingly. The task then of democracy was outsourced to protect knowledge from the mop. Or to put it the there ways around, little kingdoms of democratic accountability, and the need to discuss with politicians, were created within the kingdoms of science. Science were then forced into a political orbit, and made (though having o mage a budget and make decisions) to confront the kid of problems politicians had to work with. It might not have made good government, but it made a suitable come uppance. To destroy then in that infamous bonfire is therefore to open up knowledge to the full glare of the mob – an interesting move to put it mildly.
At the same time it is clear that political democracies have a similar love-hate relationship going on with the economy. Ultimately it is of course a mantra of politics that the economy drives political futures. Or perhaps to be more truthful, the economy defines what kind of future we belief we are entitled to, and so defines what a politician can do, and claim the credit for. More importantly government needs people to have confidence in the political system was that it operates at all it must then restrict debate about whether money has value. No politicians likes then to confront business. And yet there are real conflict lines in that every business operates by attempting to manage information of it own account and in its way. Every large business at any rate seeks then to limit information (and so restrict what a government can do to it). Governments answer to this riddle is traditionally to praise smaller and medium size business, which are held up as the paradigm for moral purity (they are they business equivalent of free speech – the little guy),and then come to some of agreement, hugga mugga with large cooperation’s (bout tax etc) . This bargain has clearly survived its apparent demise in the recent economic turmoil, and is back to haunt us all.
Finally there is the complex world of business. Business has a treble democracy of its own. There is the part owning democracy of the shareholder, there is the consumer led democracy of people buying the product, and between them runs the current of finance. Business operates by then imposing elaborate hierarchies between these spheres – defining which matters when and how much.- and for how long. The flexibly then of the business model is than there is not single domain force. At times of wealth the shareholders will no doubt by all important. And yet at times of scarcity, they become a cash cow to finance the pursuit of business (that is new markets etc). Likewise finance at once haunts then entire body, and is therefore what needs to always be allowed for and considered, and yet also, is what is provided (by customer and owner), and what then merely follows these other desires. However there are certain blind spots integral in such a model, most notably the workers. In a world of financing they fit in merely as a cost of production limiting factor, and more a substantial reality in their own right. A fact of course that has own dynamics (and possible solutions).
Business classic looks upon the world as if it was a business. We are treated then to endless business gurus telling government wants what, and talking about Britain plc- as a poltical and business democracy were one and the same. Worse that that in this model business of course sees itself as prime share holder, I is after all what finances the whole show. It will there rather naturally assume that it has certain rights in respect to the entire show, and recent their limitation. A fact that political parties, which their constant need for finance can scarcely ever resist.
Likewise business tends to assume that knowledge ought to operate in the same kind of spaces (discreet companies) that business occupies. It ought then to be about generating finance (and ought to be financed as if it were a business). Moreover there is a tendency for business to assume that all learning ought to conform to the laws of copy write. Knowledge is then thought to open up on endless new business opportunities and be judged accordingly.
Each of these three states have very much their own laws and rules, and yet each to others, need to others. More than that they endlessly look to recruit one or other of the other democracies, in their efforts o comprehend the third state. Political democracy looks to finance to fund education, while business appeals to copywriter to protect it from free speech…there are then numerous shifting alliances, and shot gun weddings. And yet through all these conjunctions their remains the single, rather uncomfortable truth. These democracies imply operate on their own rhythm, and these rhythms are no simply and straightforward compatible with one another. They will rather create problematic conjunctions, and even spin off organizations – of which the Quango was only the first form or species. New organizations that actually serve to direct and focus the struggle (think here the business and politics around climate change, or the political and conceptual problems linked to large media organizations, ) The rhythm war becomes then a very reach turf war which constantly simmers and ripples through our society. What is more this conflict is clearly at once intensifying and broadening. It is becoming then a domain struggle of our times, and one this series will need to continually return to.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Scene 3 - Abstract Wars:

Case 3- The Abstract war.

Perhaps it is because society is so complex that it does not make any sense even to make sense of it? Or perhaps, is the ‘savages’ revenge on Durkheim. Be that as it may, one of the oldest ‘truths’ in sociology and anthropology haunts us daily, albeit with a novel twist of its own. This truth ran that Gods are merely expressions of social facts. They codify something about a society, reveal a truth and allow it to be articulated. They are then abstract engines that allow one to loop up unlinked points, and bind then into a single figure a figure that means something. A description or definition that can be applied to almost all our ‘known; facts’ about society. Asylum seekers or the deserving poor, are great abstract devices, concepts, which float above society, and which we pay lip service to meta-truth. They are not then the stuff of flesh and blood, so much as a way of saying something about society.
However at this point the problem with complexity kicks in. our society (as Durkheim would have point out at this point) is simply too complex for simple social facts to operate in (perhaps all societies really are), our great abstractions are never then simple truths made plan so much as massive highly abstract construction, upon which individuals are invited to project their own truths. They are then definition awaiting their meaning perhaps at other times they are coagulations of very many factors and facets, some actual, but many virtual. Thee fantasy element of these construction very often resolving around easily, lazy, and very self justifying truths. We imagine others, unlike us, and so capture our relations (and condemnation) of that other crew. All of which is dandy in its way. And yet of course it is the case that increasingly, in a democracy it is these abstractions that are the stuff of politics. One weaves or captures abstract quasi-divinities to capture. The rule being that those who can stitch together a ‘narrative’ or create a single abstract engine capable of straddling many different lives, and much experience, but also of moving that experience forwards, win power. The caution for power has become then a matter of creating engines for beating and transforming time.
These engines are curious, for at every point they deal with abstractions and not real truths. So that the very raw materials of these machines are themselves abstract. Take the great myth that somewhere in some council there are (EU) officials plotting the demise of Christmas or else of else of quaint rural customers, in a ‘Health and safety gone mad- athon. No matter that this narrative is simply not true. The reason why there are real health and safety concerns with many rural events is that too many people now turn up. We ( I mean the public) have ruined them. The problem is then that many a health and safety bod faces, is how to manage large numbers of people in very same rural communities: A real problem. Or, to give another example, restrictions on customs such as conkers are often enough mere urban legend or quite frankly lies. They never were true, or not in the way they are reported. But of course known of that stops a tale growing go into a legend, a legend that no doubt articulates a deeper truth. This truth has been the very clear drive over the last few years to create a reflective public. That is a public who do not merely feel things, but who are also open to how that feelings effects others. This reflexivity comes then has cost. It makes the act of feeling tricky. It makes one feel one is always regulated, And bingo, one is caught in a world of health and safety gone mad. All of which is no doubt good fine fun - the trouble is that governments then want to join it, and start to daftly talk about stopping a world that was never ever true in the first place.
The trouble is that almost all government policy is in danger of founding itself upon much myth. Take the current massive debate about cuts versus taxes and spending. Behind this is a truth that does not really speak its name. Over the past ten years or so the west has been inhabiting a complex (and global) lie. It kind of assumed that it was somehow entering into the final stages of capitalism. The stage in which we here lives in a kind of utopia, where the fact they we never really made very much, and that most (but not all) of us were doing not very productive jobs (which might be my own urban legend though), did not matter - for we were by nature wealthy. We then spun stores about being at the cushy end of history an end that was then no doubt supported by the fact that other nations, who were aware that we were living the life of Riley for relatively little effort, and so whose very envy bolstered our delusion -and it made us feel like we had got somewhere. What was rather about this life or Riley was that we endless inhabited not ingratitude so much as irrational. We simply then assume the luxury and worried about anything that questioned it. The trouble of course is that worry about oil and world resources has blasted apart this myth of the drones. We have discovered to our horror that we were not the end of history after all, but merely it stooges. Or perhaps it Eloi, The trouble is then how does one move beyond this end.
This is of course where new Abstract engines need to take over. The politicians associated with the old ones (the one that promises endless growth for not real effort) have been forced the stage. It is now the task politician to build engines to navigate just this collapse the conservatives are then attempting (and being helped in their attempt) to build one engine, which blames the entire situation on the Labour party (well that had claimed the credit for the previous growth). They endlessly and ad nauseam then refer to the golden legacy they left New Labour and the mess they then have inherited. All difficult decisions (on say defence) becomes another fault. Well maybe. The point is of course as all good abstract engine builders they are attempting to ensure that as much blame is locked in the past at possible. What goes wrong then for a while, they will claim is not their responsibility. This then opens out a future line where if anything goes right they can claim it as part in their narrative Their engine had defined and riveted down a past, and sealed what is ‘bad; which that past, in order to allow it to twist facts into a future. Which is then necessarily favourable for them and their struggles. They are then as good politicians building a future with an open ended possible present. Anything good they are ensuring is theirs by right, and anything bad is someone else’s’ fault. What else is the big Society but such a gambit. In effect this Coalition names not a narrative - so much as the machine from which endless narratives to delight the media can spawn?
The labour parties counter machine is a far simpler gambit. They gamble that the future is too dark for this move and too complex. That is if their ids another downturn, they will be able to break the myth that this was their fault, and pin the blame elsewhere. The problem with this strategy is that us very dependent upon events. If things do not turn out as labour dreams it will be very hard to rock back from this poison. In this sense at least the labour party is moving itself to the left. That is it is positioning itself into the leftwing comfort zone of simply assuming hat capitalism undermines its own reality. The trouble is then not that capitalism does not, so much as it never does in straight forward and predicted manner.
Both these moves are then attempting to create an engine that spins out the endless narratives (that is easily explanations) that the media constantly demand. A demand that of course (as other crimes have looked at) warps our system. Politicians are very aware that it is more important to spin narratives to the media, and effectively do their job for them, then it a bigger part of their job, than is the attempt to solve any social problems. Actually though this move in a sense is fair enough. The real trouble with our society is that it is become very complex (perhaps it always was) that it does not make much sense. There is peculating society a fairly abstract and clearly unjust system of rewards and punishments. Some individuals are then made wealthy and other poor. Some and penalised and others are not, Unfairness is simply the norm. This by itself is much of a much-ness. We are simply used that fact and yet we also claim that we want to lie in society that is to some degree fair. The answer to this impasse is to build yet another generation of abstract social machines. These machines come in two types. Firstly we create great meta-machines, which stigmatises poverty and then the invent a reasons why it is just that this group is poor (why they deserve it) or else treats poverty itself as a social disease to be treated (and not merely an effect of the system). That is we create a machine to make poverty into something. The second ruse to build quite different machines to create little acts of abstract fairness. Our strategy then is to build a machine which acts to create meta-fairness which run counter to rhyme or reason or the norms of society: such machines then demand that ‘all parents then should be given the same benefit’; or we all ought to have equal access to healthcare’. We then fight unfairness with stigmata or sacred cows. The trouble then if of course that these two machine in a sense runs counter to each other (or at least inform each other progress). The idea the of the undeserving poor becomes very easily spliced to the idea of people who are attempting to get more that their fair share of the benefits that run counter to unfairness itself. They are then condemned by both machines, and as such can be vilified. A vilification that ignores of course the basic fact that most peoples’ lives are more complex that the mere abstract construction of media and politician allows. The minute then that one starts to conjure with these abstracts, one necessarily creates new very deep unfairnesses.
The last or so has seen a three threefold attack upon fairness; machines in the name of ‘undeserving poor’ machines. The first simplest was of course the ending of universal childcare. This of course was a dog tag policy designed to ensure the Tories were seen to be unfair to all. It was then done in the interest of another abstract machine. It was designed to be unfair (and so allow other deeper unfairness to feel more nature). What was so interesting was that it is clear the Tories did not hold their nerve. They will then subtly rewards the ‘supports who they now threaten – or at leas the abstract idea of parenting these individuals cherish. What of course will remind though is the fundamental breach in the counter-unfairness move that is child benefits. Its very power lay in its being universal. We were all together, all in something. To cut it is then to cut off one group of society from the rest. On the face of it this is the wealthiest in society; yet as we all are endlessly encouraged to identify with this group, with the wealthy, is will gradually be the case that those who cannot so identify, namely the poor will be cut adrift. .
The second main front than was opened recently was then attack once again on housing benefit, which has been shapely reduced – creating endless new poverty and problems. – and in effect making the dividing line between those who own there own home outright and the rest, even more deep, for it is now something the state feels no obligation on mitigating.
Finally it is clear on of the deepest of our abstract machines of fairness, namely pensions, has been under attack this week. Pensions matter because they allow individuals who have no right to wealth in this society of ours, and yet who sees others wealthy to dream of that golden tie of leisure to come. They might never be rich (and they not be) but at least they will have time off. Hence the problem of pension of reform to reforms pensions is to risk conjuring with peoples’ hopes and despairs. For it removes the right we all have at the end (or towards the end) of our lives to live as if we too were of the leisured classes. This is of course a right that has of course in a world of increased property prices become all the more pronounced in relation to the rest of society. Giving the right to be lazy to long livers was then a deep answer to the problem of talking fairness while actually making inequity dilemma of society. People will allow for poverty now in the name of wealth to come. Remove that hope and one is in trouble, all the more so as it is likely enough (in spite of the current rhetoric) that the wealthy will escape full effects of these changes. It will then be the dreams of people who cannot make it any other way that are likely to be trodden on in the process.
These moves, which reject the abstract machines of fairness, do so in the name of modern avatars of two of the very traditional abstract machines of capitalism. Firstly there is that myth we all have about the wealth of society. We all over estimate the amount we as a society is earning ,and so stand up for the right of the wealthy we feel we might join over the rights of the poor. That is we all live in a world where in some dream or other we are all wealthy,. Politics becomes then very easily about that dream, and anyone who wants to actually deal with the real world has to run counter to that fantasy first (and so puncture our dream) - politicians long ago of course discovered one cannot get elected that way. Secondly the effect of the banking crisis and our failure to think of anything other than banking has in effect made us all bankers now. We are all being encouraged then to think like traditional bankers (well we own the banks) and harry those who we us money, and are not part of this our recovery. We then worry at those with overdrafts and the rest. Nationalizing the banks has then created not socialist utopia so much as a society of abstract bankers. The effect then of these two machines will be to rip through an awful lot of the traditional machines for fairness, they we sacrificed in the name f producing something. And the real problem we in the left have, is that these are two machines the left have historically been very bad at countering (the lefts only real answer is climate change ,and that machine is currently clearly undergoing ‘repairs’, as it was suspected of being too leftwing). A fact that will in all likelihood haunt the left for years to come – as all it can do is dream with Marx, that the “Dead will bury their own Dead’ and the left will learn (and not merely yearn) for a new poetry from the future. A hope the first expressed 160 years ago or so, and one the left is no closer meeting.