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Showing posts from March 30, 2008

Ilinx in Marx, ilinx r us

In the German ideology, Marx introduced a trope that he used quite frequently to think about the socio-economic relations that underlie capitalism: “Men are the producers of their conceptions, ideas, etc. – real, active men, as they are conditioned by a definite development of their productive forces and of the intercourse corresponding to these, up to its furthest forms. Consciousness can never be anything else than conscious existence, and the existence of men is their actual life-process. If in all ideology men and their circumstances appear upside-down as in a camera obscura, [Wenn in der ganzen Ideologie die Menschen und ihre Verhältnisse wie in einer Camera obscura auf den Kopf gestellt erscheinen] this phenomenon arises just as much from their historical life-process as the inversion of objects on the retina does from their physical life-process.” In my last post, I introduced the anecdote of the masked gamblers in the Redoute to make a number of points – one of which is that yo

the birth of financial capitalism from under the mask

I feel out of place Just look at my face... In volume 5 of Georges Daru’s classic Histoire de la Republique de Venise (doesn’t the mock scholarship of this beginning send a little frisson up your spine? LI is trying out a Poe like style – but hark, we are in the midst of a very non-Poe like parenthesis!), there is a description of the famed Redoute, Venice’s casino: “The most frequented of the places to play (cassins) was called the Redoute. This was an establishment not unworthy of the attention of the observer. In existence since 1676, it was a vast edifice consecrated to games of chance. Usually, there was sixty to eighty tables, where only the patricians could sit like bankers. They were in their robes, with their faces uncovered, while the other players were masked. but these patricians did not represent the bank in actuality: they were on the payrole of companies who associated for this speculation, that is to say greedy capitalists and even the Jews. They were on a yearly, or

vorovskoy mir

LI talked with my brother the other day about the shadow financial system. Hey, and then we added on a discussion of black helicopters … but I jest. Who needs black helicopters when you can watch them build a pipeline between the financial casino and the Fed without anybody lifting a hand… Casino, though, is the wrong word. Casino’s are businesses that work. They work because most gamblers lose. Thus, the house is never in the position to have a solvency problem. On the other hand, the financial system is a vast array of bets premised on the idea that you can have a Casino in which most bettors win. Sure, there are shorts, but the system justifies itself by claiming that spreading the risk around and swapping it allows all parties to win. In this world, a world that does generate amazing real money compensation packages for the Pigs (excuse me, IT)… the shower fungi that run it, winning and losing are vague concepts. So, today, we have a runup in the market because, ta da – UBS marked

imitatio all over again

I'm going to try to gather my thoughts together about ilinx, the mask of hyperbolic fear, and imitatio sometime this week. O Lord of the Flies, give me a second I can call my own! In the meantime, I'm reprinting this, which is about imitatio, since I want to work on that concept a little bit. Usually, histories of the radical enlightenment wind through the philosophers and the natural scientists. May LI suggest another path? A primal scene of resistance, no less – which, like all primal scenes, begins with the opening of the eye – although in this primal scene, there are only shadowy proxies for Daddy fucking Mommy. It begins like this: “Don Quixote raised his eyes and saw coming along the road he was following some dozen men on foot strung together by the neck, like beads, on a great iron chain, and all with manacles on their hands. With them there came also two men on horseback and two on foot; those on horseback with wheel-lock muskets, those on foot with javelins and swo

Dating Advice from LI!

The NYT is a mixed bag for LI readers this Sunday. There is the abstinence group article in the NYT magazine, which hangs its hook on the fact that the abstinence group in question forks over tuition at Harvard. I’d prefer an article about a group dedicated to abstinence from writing articles on abstinence groups, myself. It is one of those everyday reminders that the NYT is an incredibly provincial paper, all in all. The best thing in the paper is James Glanz’ article about the militias in Basra. It almost counterbalances the incredible load of bullshit dumped by Sabrina Tavernise on the innocent reader who desires some clue as to what is going on in Iraq. Think back to the glory days, when NYT journalists were wondering whether Chalabi would be prime minister, or whether the Iraqis would just, unanimously make him king. Tavernise accurately reflects the policy of disconnect and denial that obviously rules in the Bushian Green Zone. And talking about disconnect and denial – in the Boo