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.
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
In my previous essay I outline the conceptions of an idealised natural order of political and socio-economic authority consisting of overlapping platoons of varying organisational modes and jurisdictional structures. While an idealised type, this concept of a natural order is not a fully prescriptive universality, that prescribes particular hierarchical forms of governance upon the multiplicity of governmental forms. Rather, it is a recognition of the non-egalitarian nature of social life, and thus pushes against utopian ideals that take on a universal quality. It is a meta concept with varying degrees of applicability that presents the potential for new governmental forms to emerge, moving beyond both neoliberalism and egalitarianism which are themselves overarching abstractions that aim at the assimilation of heterogeneity and variety. Continue reading
Mass, the totality of people, goods and information, defines the modern world. Mass production, big data, the masses. Modern politics is focusing more on the masses than ever before, yet contradictorily polarisation increases and the masses become ever more fragmented and decentral. While production is nominally decentralised into global production networks, mass production continues in all facets, from material resources to consumer goods. Everything is total and categorisable, with any diminution seen as an aberration in the move to homogeneity. Continue reading
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 original intent of my website was to simply talk about libertarian theory, applying it to my interests and ideas as they evolved. There was no necessary coherence apart from what I was thinking about at the time. However as my ideas have developed further, delving into libertarian and non-libertarian concepts and coalescing around particular points that can be considered a general ideology, I think it would be best to provide a foundational document for my website that best explains its reasoning and understanding in short form. Continue reading
The post-politics of consensus infects the modern world of discourse, even with the recent rises of populism and the increasing inability to see legitimation flowing from a wide variety of peoples caught up in these post-political processes. Post-politics is the regimentation of democracy and the incrementalism of centralisation, constantly moving toward higher degrees of authority while trying to mask the naked political power that lies beneath. It is political violence wrapped in a velvet glove, that talks of the beneficence of taxation and the humanism of the state, anthropomorphising such structures as the innate figures of progress. When one questions the coercive nature of statism, a supporter of post-politics (normally self-identifying with the tribe of centrism) responds with the idea that consent is found through the ballot box. Continue reading
This study examines the ideational construction of independent central banks, understanding them as ideologically constituted socio-economic variables that are not some form natural progression toward a neoliberal economy. The concept of central bank independence (CBI) receives legitimation through a number of discourses and academic conceptions, combining with particular distributional coalitions and interest groups that form an integrated epistemic community of policy production and governmental regulation. Such an epistemic community does not develop naturally, but is constructed through particular historical understandings of the economy and polity, that promote a general framework favourable for CBI to grow and hegemonically stabilise.
This study looks at the issues surrounding the organisation of home-based workers, and how through new ideational and ideological lenses home-based workers can construct a household political economy that rivals the dominant hegemonic positions of neoliberalism and its discourses of marketisation, privatisation and precariatisation.
In the modern world, the existing structures of the state and capitalism are presented as the inevitable result of history and progress. A narrative is constructed which proffers one thing: there is no alternative (TINA). An unregulated “borderless global economy in which markets would no longer be locked into nation-states, but nation-states into markets”. An environment of global governance and nominal deregulation which produces a discourse of economic statelessness, where the state is there only to facilitate exchange and production through a legal regime of private property rights. TINA acts as a universalisable narrative where “no one must be allowed to escape from ‘global competition’” and the processes of commodification and marketisation must go unhindered. “Globalized capitalism, so called free-markets and free trade were the best ways to build wealth, distribute services and grow a society’s economy”. Thus a naturalness is given to the processes and structures of neoliberalism, suggesting they are processes inherent to human nature and the best means to achieve growth and economic stability. Continue reading