Brexit as Conjuncture?: Developments in the Modes of Production and Politics

Brexit is being considered the most important geopolitical development in the UK this century. It has already been cemented as a great plebiscitary revolt that has smashed the establishment narrative, repositioning British politics and causing a sudden change in the way the general electorate understand politics and government. In this sense, Brexit can be seen as a conjuncture, splitting open the common sense of modern politics in a fragmentary and indeterminable way. The way this conjunctural effect has evolved in the referendum vote and the resultant Brexit can be seen as a development of the extent of neoliberal subjectivity in the UK, where the economy has become practically depoliticised, removed from political/social critique, which the Leave campaign and the vast majority of Leave voters accepted as a political norm, as polling data and campaign discourse showed. Brexit then is a conjunctural revolt of culture, developing a half-way house lebenswelt that is pre-nascent, unable to develop a fully explanatory critique of modernity due to neoliberalism’s enclosure of the economy as an unquestionable dynamic of modern life.

The full study is here: Brexit as Conjuncture Continue reading

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Charlottesville as a Microcosm

Charlottesville seems to have been the coming together of two groups who pine after political power and control. Both Antifa and the Alt-Right seem determined to control the cultural and societal apparatuses that inform the major narratives and discourses of the US, pushing their understandings to the forefront of media exposure. Thus both groups are trying to stake their own political power within the state structures of the US government and its subsidiaries, attempting to exist within the centralised organs of governmental control. With this we see the fundamental problem. Two completely opposed groups vying for socio-cultural recognition and fighting for scraps from the US government itself. The fact that both are trying to do this will inevitably lead to conflict like that seen in Charlottesville. There will never be a political system that will encompass both anti-fascists (and their narratives of white privilege, structural racism and anti-dialogic engagement) and the Alt-Right (and their narratives of White identity, ethnocentrism and cultural homogeneity). The violence of Charlottesville shows the innate tendencies of modern politics when there is no dialogic or deliberative arena in which to air grievances and construct debate. The views of both groups are so anathema that such an arena is not even theoretically possible. The simple reality is that these groups cannot co-exist, and will when possible chase after the illusive power of institutionalised governance and the control of social and industrial complexes. Continue reading

Interview with Chris Shaw

Originally published here by Millennial Transmissions: https://millennialtransmissions.wordpress.com/2017/08/18/interview-with-chris-shaw/

Chris Shaw is an independent writer and researcher that I became aware of through an address he gave to the Libertarian Alliance titled ‘The Libertarian Moment.’ He has his own blog, The Libertarian Ideal (‘for secession, decentralism, mutualism and organic tradition’), through which he espouses his unique and varied philosophical, political and economic views. Continue reading

For a New Libertarian

This is the kind of libertarianism that needs to be encouraged, something that is polyvalent and multi-faceted rather than the universalistic nonsense which pervades many libertarian forms of thought and understanding. This is why libertarianism should move beyond markets and a simple defense of private property to something more integrative and nullificatory, such as by recognising the importance of tribalism and civil society as the author does here. (by the blog author)


by Jeff Deist

https://mises.org/blog/new-libertarian Continue reading

The Libertarian Moment: Libertarianism’s Place in Modern Politics

I did a talk for the Libertarian Alliance where I outline the problems with libertarian political engagement and potential solutions that allow for libertarianism to be relevant and radical.

Here is the talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLmlUylfIOQ

And this is the transcript:

The aim of this talk is to look into the idea of a libertarian moment, whereby there will be a particular turning point in the political environment that will provide a pathway for libertarian policies and forms of governance. This idea is encapsulated in the statement, “many people are libertarians, they just don’t know it yet”. Looking in particular at the UK and its political context, as well as parts of the US political makeup, I hope to show why this moment has probably passed on by, and how libertarianism in its current guise has failed to mobilise on a social, economic or political front. From that, I hope to offer ideas and questions that may push forth newer conceptions of libertarianism that can address these failures. Continue reading

The Lumpenproletariat as Class Vanguard: Why Anarchists Must Attack the Left from the Left

by Keith Preston

The Lumpenproletariat as Class Vanguard: Why Anarchists Must Attack the Left from the Left

The conflicts between myself and the mainstream leftist-anarchist movement are well-known. When I am asked about the source of this conflict by outsiders to the anarchist milieu, my usual response is that what they are observing is a continuation of the historic battle between the anarchists and the Marxists. Fundamental to this conflict is a contending view of the concepts of state and class. For Marxists, the principal target of revolutionary conflict is capital. However, for anarchists it is the state that is the primary enemy. This difference was acknowledged by Friedrich Engels. Continue reading

The Irrelevance of This Election

This election has proved one thing, that radical change will never come through a duopolistic political system that sits on the steps of the state. The false paradigm of left and right may well be dead, but a new fallacious paradigm of social internationalism on the one hand, and paradoxical nationalism on the other, has been birthed. Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn represent two faces of the state, both centralising in their tendencies and utopian in their belief in state power. Both fundamentally lie within the centralising axis of politics, and thus have little to say when it comes to revolutionising the concept of work in relation to automation, when it comes to governmental and tax reform, and when it comes to developing alternative production processes. Continue reading

Foreign Policy and the Knowledge Problem

Many try to measure foreign policy by its stated humanitarian aims, seeing the variables of intervention as the best means for securing the livelihoods of particular subaltern populations. However such a view makes a massive assumption, that being the capability of states/militaries to aggregate the levels of on-the-ground social and cultural knowledge. This knowledge problem (generally identified with economic knowledge by Hayek) is not simply overcome by abstract reasoning that is related to things such as human rights or democracy. It can only be overcome by either a huge institutional and demographic shift amongst the effected populations (genocide, displacement, imposed borders, etc.) or by the integration of local populaces into mutualistic mechanisms of governance. Continue reading

Voting isn’t a Civic Duty

With the recent election here in the UK, we see the barrage of comments that regularly follow it. It entails saying something along the lines of “if you don’t vote you can’t complain”. A statement so stupid and banal that it doesn’t deserve the credit it is given. Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t vote. Frankly I don’t care either way, and I’ll only vote if there is a candidate in my constituency worth voting for. But what frustrates me about this statement is the equivocation of voting with some kind of existential meaning, as if voting is the apotheosis of civic or political engagement. Continue reading

Corbyn Sits Firmly Within the Overton Window

While much is made of Jeremy Corbyn’s radical proposals, making him out to be a member of the far-left, the bulk of his policies fit well within the wider the capitalist framework of politico-economic understandings. His support for things like financial passporting, piecemeal nationalisation and some form of freedom of movement are policies well within the Overton window of accepted political opinion, despite the radical rhetoric that surrounds them. The idea that these things are somehow at odds with capitalism is frankly laughable, and usually presented by individuals who view the machinations of socialism or communism as purely connected to the state. Continue reading