innards on death row: a return to dystopia and no-holds-barred radicalism?

Steven Shaviro plucks at my heart and worries my innards:

"The American people have said, in effect, that no sacrifice is too great, no price is too high to pay, when it is a matter of affirming the Values of bigotry, torture, xenophobia, ignorance, and general social corruption. They have pledged themselves to radical evil, transcendently, knowingly, come what may."

I'm with Shaviro on the magnitude of the scenario although with this post he does imply that Kerry would have staved off much of the future dystopia he alludes to. That is unlikely although it might have given us a common sense of hope. What is more disturbing, and where I agree with Shaviro, is that a percentile of the public have made a "moral" choice, that is sacrificed personal gain not for global betterment (peace, environment, etc.) but in favour of violence. In favour of the killing of the other, the elimination of difference, the eradication of struggle against fat hegemony. These are spiraling seeds of fascism--of the cult of fascism, of the aestheticization of apocalypticism, of the celebration of militarization, of the desire for self-immolation in favour of, as the title of Shaviro's post announces, "nothing." Nothing, the big transcendental zilch--in favour of the absent god. It doesn't matter if they believe, only that they believe someone else does, someone who can take care of that belief for them. This is the role of the priestly cast, the Church hierarchy and the source of its authority. And the long-term strategy is one of affect, as Abe has commented below: Bush "touched" people, even if they didn't believe, even if they weren't "religious zealots." What does this mean? It means these people will be looking to shift the blame of responsibility for their own demise to somebody else. That will mean the rest of us. And soon, the terror from this profound deterioration of life--if Shaviro is right--will occupy the blaring cultural machinations of American media. (Not to mention what will no doubt be increasing interventions of the US military as well). The world will be drowned out as the din of 2% of the world's population keeps the rest of us up all night. (But there is no rest of us: we are all in the same shithole now).

Dave Evans gets the vibe down:


OK, bad day, but you have a third option.....

and i don't mean voting Nader, suicide or fleeing to Canada

and it is revolution"

Not the revolution, perhaps. He's a little more off-kilter. But everything else. Check it. PT in da' house. Are we looking at another era of no-holds-barred radicalism? Unabashed weirdness as the no future cavalcade comes home to roost? Are the kid gloves coming off yet? Is that what we want? There's another strategy too... a kind of deflection, deferral, a Tai Chi like sidestep, a Buddhist disappearance. (Although one wonders if this already is the strategy of that 40-odd percent who didn't vote).

posted. Sat - November 6, 2004 @ 12:32 PM           |