• Books: Bury the Chains by Adam Hochschild, Endless War: Hidden Functions of the "war on terror" by David Keen, Capital Vol. 1, Tin Drum by Günter Grass, What is Islam? by Shahab Ahmed, Desiring Arabs by Joseph Massad, Spies, Soldiers and Statesmen by Hazem Kandil, La Condition Humaine by André Malraux, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Imagined Community by Benedict Anderson, Culture and Imperialism by Edward Said, The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon, The Richness of Life by Stephen Jay Gould, Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz, The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1984 by George Orwell, Noli me Tangere by José Rizal, Age of Extremes by Eric Hobsbawm, ذهنية التحريم لصادق جلال العظم, Karl Marx by Francis Wheen, وليمة لأعشاب البحر لحيدر حيدر, Candide by Voltaire, النزعات المادية في الفلسفة العربية الإسلامية لحسين مروة, Listen Little Man by Wilhelm Reich ..
  • Films: Alexanderplatz by Rainer Fassbinder, Clockwork Orange, Apocalypse Now, The Battle of Algiers, films by P. P. Passolini, Persepolis, Midnight Express, 1984, Papillion, Gangs of New York, Sophie Scholl, Life of Brian, Ivan the Terrble, Battleship Potemkine ...

Saturday, April 22, 2017

"[W]ith Macron the void is not in contradiction with fullness of content, even if at the present moment when he does have to show something to the outside world, the void is greatly preferable. For the substance is the oligarchy’s: this is the fullness of a class’s project to persevere, in the very moment that everything condemns it, testimony to an era that has perceptibly reached its tipping point. In these conditions, for the oligarchic substance to maintain itself in the face of — and against — everything else, it needed an empty candidate, a candidate who said nothing, for what truly had to be said would be too obscene to present openly: the rich want to remain rich, and the powerful to remain powerful. That is this class’s only project, and that is its candidate Macron’s raison d’être. In this sense, he is the spasm of a system pushing back its own death. He is its final response, the only way of disguising a continuity that has become intolerable to the rest of society, beneath the fakest of semblances of discontinuity, wrapped up in the competitive modernity in use among the half-witted columnists.

The situation has thus become so crude that even the most rudimentary instruments of thought are enough to succeed in explaining it with flying colours: on the one hand the mobilized class of oligarchs, on the other the bulk of society. Between the two, it is true, is the bracket of fantasists: the group of those dreamers of varying degrees of unrealism who tell themselves that they have a chance, if not to join the first bloc, then at least to stick close enough to it, even if only in their own imaginations, to have the impression of being with it. In reality this is a decisive population bracket, which allows the blurring of the violence of the basic antagonism. It allows the real domination by the oligarchy to be wrapped in the rags of democratic legitimacy. And these are indispensable. In consequence, this is the bracket toward which all the empty candidate’s efforts are directed, all his evacuations of his substance, all the heartening comedy of the "rupture," of the "anti-system," of the "freshness of life" necessary to covering up his real line, whose true slogan ought to be "More of the same." It is true that we cannot accuse "En marche" of itself being dishonest, for it prudently omits to say precisely what it is "On the Move" towards…

"Caught up in another flush of belief that he is Jesus, that is what Emmanuel Macron thinks, declaring himself the candidate of the great resolution — the candidate whose election will push back the Front National. This is a singular promise, indeed coming from he who not only already expresses, in his own person, all the historical causes of the rise of the far Right, but proposes to raise them to a higher point of perfection. Right on time, the second round polls give him a 60-40 victory over Marine Le Pen. There is no special reason to delight in this, however; rather, they are even reason for worry, when a simple comparison with Father Chirac’s 80-20 victory gives some idea of the loss over the last fifteen years. And allows us to anticipate that the next wave will come too, once the "dam" candidate is elected: for under his watch the water will build up even faster.

— Frédéric Lordon
Emmanuel Macron, spasm of the system

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The political economy of a long depression