Monday, May 10, 2021

Looters again, and Elizabeth Bruenig, via a confused left/reactionary who was clearly making a crude version of Christopher Lasch's argument, and was mocked for it by people who should at least get the point.
Jacobin is not a cooperative; Aaron Maté is annoying but knows enough not to lecture Palestinian shopkeepers about socialism while Israel is liquidating the kulaks. Matt Bruenig doesn't like shopkeepers either [and even days later says nothing about Palestine]. Class politics is beyond Sunkara and Bruenig because they can't acknowledge their own.

Bruenig's wife feels pity for the junkie photographed shooting up in a subway car full of people. The junkie feels no need to hide from others. He's turning his shame into an aggressive act, or he's beyond it, fully asocial.  There's a reason streetwalkers don't ply their trade around schools.

Real communities are not communities of choice. Kids don't choose their neighborhood. The solidarity of neighbors, and unions, the brotherhood of gangs and cops against snitches and rats, is the same tribalism. Loyalty is a double-edged sword or it's pointless. 

For individualist liberalism solidarity is seen as a choice, a role: it's theater. The Bruenigs are more capable of pity for the lost than respect for those just above them with hard-won self-respect. To respect those they want to help is to open up a political relation between agents, and not the one-way authority of master to subject. That's the reason liberal technocrats can say nothing of substance about Palestine, preferring to talk among themselves about ideas. Even if they disagree with their Zionists friends, loyalties come first. It's the same with gentrification. But they can't admit to loyalty. Opposing it as an idea, they can't admit to a practice.
"I think there's something to be said for returning money to the old category of 'shit'".
"The contradictions of high art and money more than any other form of art were once tied to sin" [p.164]

"Loyalty is a double-edged sword or it's pointless." Nothing above is new, but that's concise.

I should have added this before. From 2010
Compare and contrast
One key to Germany's miracle is the mittelstand, as the family-owned small and mid-size manufacturing firms that dominate the economy are known. Last week, I visited AWS Achslagerwerk, a factory of one such firm, in the farmlands of Saxony-Anhalt, about two hours west of Berlin. As in many such companies, this factory turns out specialized products: axle-box housings for Chinese and German high-speed trains, machine tools requiring climate-controlled precision measurement. With annual revenue of 24 million euros, the factory has won a significant share of the world market, though it employs only 175 production workers.
Until Greece can find a way to disentangle the private sector from the family and find another way to allocate resources — free from the intergenerational, class and gender inequities of the family unit — no amount of reform will make a difference.

The European Union and the I.M.F. should forget about dismantling Greece’s (already puny) welfare state and increasing labor flexibility in the (already flexible) private sector. The public sector does need restructuring, but the resulting unemployment will only strengthen the dominance of the family. A better solution would be to create a real public safety net that would help free young Greeks from the supportive yet suffocating grip of their families.
Economics is an aspect of culture.

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