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Showing posts from December 5, 2010

three weeks that were heard around the world

It isn’t exactly the week that changed the world – but the astute observer must find the last three weeks fascinating. It has long been the case that the states within the developed world have encouraged, at one and the same time, the conditions for plutocracy and the advance of the protector state. It is a double movement that is only reflected in a distorted way in the issues about ‘deficits’ or ‘deregulation’ – since the plutocracy could only arise, as it were, in conditions that hid it from the social order, which had temporarily pivoted, after WWII, on ‘democracy’. Of course, this talk about democracy is loose – you will hear Americans go on and on about their ‘democracy’ without the least awareness that, up until 1965, America was anything but a democracy – it was, in truth, one of the world’s worst apartheid states. However, the very fact that myth disguised this fact is a significant indicator of the hegemony of the democratic reference. It has been clear for some time that the

Notes written in the Haifa coffee shop, Tangiers.

While the division between the city and the country has been noted as far back as Homer’s description of the race of Cyclopes in the Odyssey (“The Cyclopes have no assemblies for making laws, nor any settled customs, but live in hollow caverns in the mountain heights, where each man is lawgiver to his children and his wives, and nobody cares a jot for his neighbours”), it was Marx in the German Ideology first saw how the division functioned as a social structure: “The greatest division of material and intellectual labor is in the division of the city and the country. The opposition between the city and the country begins with the transition out of the barbaric state into that of civilization, out of the tribe into the state, out of the locality into the nation, and traverses all of history up to the present day (the anti-Corn Law League). – With the city we get at the same time the necessity of administration, the police, taxes, etc., in brief the community and thus politics in genera