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Showing posts from November 27, 2011

a note on perfection - Foigny, Rousseau

Foigny’s Terre Austral is a utopian Robinsinade before Robinson was conceived. Like Cyrano de Bergerac’s Voyage to the Moon, it mixes satire with libertine philosophy – of a kind – in such a way that text continually questions its own register. The narrator, Sadeur, who has the bad fortune to have been born a hermaphrodite in Europe, saves himself from shipwreck and lands in Australia – the land that is the polar opposite of Europe – only to discover a society of hermaphrodites who strangle those children that are born abnormally – that is, with one sex only. Somehow, these hermaphrodites have also perfected a form of parthenogenesis, which has the effect that every member of the society can enjoy a perfect solitude, save for the love they bestow upon their children. All, in this society, are equal. All are also naked. The narrator is, of course, shocked at these things, and in turn shocks the Australians by wearing clothes. All of which leads to threat to put him to do, and a series

Another day, another crisis

According to this NYT article , the OECD is playing its usual neo-liberal role in urging austerity on Europe. This, of course, is the end game of a long history of reaction going back to the seventies, when policy elites and the generation of 68 turned their back on 'socialism' and began the long work of demoralizing populations and installing financial regimes that deflated wages, raised credit limits to cover their unpopular policies, and inflated the compensation of the investor and managerial class to a Gilded Age level. Here's the deal: There's no such thing as an unsustainable government debt. The banks, of course, depend on the governments to enforce debt obligations, plus they depend on the governments to either give them money or loan them money at such low interest rates that it is the same (the U.S. 'capitalized" U.S. and foreign banks, hedge funds and the financial centers of corporations to the tune of 16 trillion dollars from 20008 to 2010 wit