Wednesday, June 25, 2014

repeats for idiots, for the third time and for the thousandth.
Corey Robin writes again about "disruption" and the moral, philosophical, and esthetic culture of capitalism. I tried somewhere to remind him, without disagreeing, that disruption is a central tenet of modernism.
Now Eric Rauchway recommends Jill Lepore
The word “innovate”—to make new—used to have chiefly negative connotations: it signified excessive novelty, without purpose or end. Edmund Burke called the French Revolution a “revolt of innovation”; Federalists declared themselves to be “enemies to innovation.” George Washington, on his deathbed, was said to have uttered these words: “Beware of innovation in politics.” Noah Webster warned in his dictionary, in 1828, “It is often dangerous to innovate on the customs of a nation.”

The subtitle of of Robin's book is "Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin", and he won't shut up

Permanent Revolution and "disruptive dissensus". So fucking obvious

Above: Larry Gagosian by Robert Longo, 1979, and a tag I should have added awhile ago: The Pictures Generation
Torn between idealism and something other, the politics no more than a manifestation of confusion, honest in the sense that art requires honesty. Larry Gagosian posed for one of the figures in Men in the Cities; and I was there when Longo gave the fascist salute during a performance, with Rhys Chatham, at one of his openings in the mid 80s.
Longo's now married to Barbara Sukowa. I told the story to Hoberman somewhere.

Deleuze and Ranciere, neo-modernists as neoliberals. The poetry of insane technocracy is still the poetry of technocracy, because the answer to individualism and atomization is not more of the same.

The radicalism of Manet's Olympia is in the honest depiction of the boredom of a whore. Like Kafka, it's symptom and diagnosis, not cure.

update: Quiggin responds twice, mostly through an accident of timing.

Reverse engineering Ross Douthat
Corey Robin would say that this has always been the true function of conservatism. I’m more inclined to believe that a genuinely conservative approach to politics has some potential merit, not realized in actually existing conservatism
The 100 Years War
More fundamentally, despite 100 years of brutal and bloody evidence to the contrary, the idea that war and revolution are effective ways to obtain political ends, rather than catastrophic last resorts, remains dominant on both the right and the left.
Given the Robin and Rauchway quotes above it would have been better for Quiggin to call them out for their confusion, but Quiggin's as confused as they are, since to him art remains "an enemy of the people".  It's true for all of them, in varying degrees.

Various repeats below, with something new at the end.

It is indeed remarkable how all the places inhabited by the super-rich (Kensington, Mayfair, much of Geneva, the XVI arrondissement …) are really crushingly dull. At least little of real value will be lost when we burn them down.
 Bertram, again
I’m sympathetic, I really am, to the idea that people should work and consume less and that we should attend more to real life quality. But this doesn’t seem very realistic in my own life for two reasons: first, even if my employer were sympathetic (unlikely) I feel very hard pressed now to produce the level of research output necessary for me to stay competitive with other academics (not just in the UK, but elsewhere)…. Second, it is all very well Juliet Schor telling us to transition to a low hours/lower consumption economy. I’m cool with consuming less. The problem is that I, and just about everyone else, has taken out huge mortgages and bank loans to pay (in part) for the consumption we’ve already had. Hard to reduce the hours unless (or until) the debt goes away. Third, there was distressingly little discussion of the politics of this. 
Henry Farrell makes the case for ignorance.
MPAVictoria 07.09.13 at 5:58 pm
...Your impressions about how aristocratic they can be differ from mine. I have sat in on dinner parties where every single person there (besides me) arrived in an expensive German vehicle and listened to them complain about the gall of cashiers asking for 12 dollars an hour. So naturally your impressions made me curious.

Rakesh Bhandari 07.09.13 at 6:06 pm
Well that complaining does not seem very aristocratic to me, more petit-bourgeois.

Henry 07.09.13 at 6:09 pm
Rakesh – look up the etymology of the word aristocrat (‘aristoi’+'kratein’= …)
'Aristoi' - The best, the most noble.
SE: "Arguments for the nobility of greed are a recent development" 
Bertram: "If, by 'recent' you mean 1705, you may be right."
Lefebvre, The Coming of the French Revolution
The great majority of nobles either did not know how, or did not wish, to get rich. The great majority of younger sons had no desire to "derogate." They sought the remedy elsewhere, in a growing exclusiveness. Some held that the nobility should form a body like the clergy and be constituted as a closed caste. For the last time, in stating grievances in 1789, they were to demand a verification of titles of nobility and the suppression of automatic creation of nobility through the sale of offices. Likewise it was held that, if the king was to count on "his loyal nobility," he should recognize that they alone had the necessary rank to advise him and to command in his name; he should grant them a monopoly of employments compatible with their dignity, together with free education for their sons.
"The great majority of nobles either did not know how, or did not wish, to get rich."

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