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The fantasistic political ontologies which emerge under post-democracy

From Pity the Billionaire, by Thomas Frank, loc 1380. This is a summary of the populist right’s understanding of the structure of society:

America is made up of two classes, roughly speaking, “ordinary people” and “intellectuals.” According to this way of thinking, as we see again and again, either you’re a productive citizen, or you’re some kind of snob, a university professor or an EPA bureaucrat. Compared to the vivid line separating intellectuals and productive members of society, all other distinctions fade to nothingness. Between small-business owners and sharecroppers, for example, there is no difference at all, just as other Tea Party authors saw no real difference between Rick Santelli’s bond traders and “working people.”

I’m interested in understanding how basically delusional understandings of how the world work thrive under conditions of what Colin Crouch calls post-democracy.

A similar idea from loc 2100:

The unlikely Engels of this strange class war was a retired professor of international relations named Angelo Codevilla; his manifesto, “America’s Ruling Class,” was published in the summer of 2010 by the American Spectator and was issued a short while later in a longer version by that magazine’s book-publishing arm. There are but two social groupings that matter in America, the retired professor maintained, a “ruling class” that legitimizes itself as the nation’s intellectual superiors but that is actually defined by its control of the machinery of government, and a “country class” made up of nearly everyone else. The core of the idea was not new, but the bailouts and economic disasters of our own times allowed Codevilla to apply it in a new and uncompromising way. His indictment of the “ruling class” fell on anyone connected with government, Republicans as well as Democrats, both of whom were said to hand out economic favors to the connected. Big business was implicated too, insofar as it was in cahoots with big government; in fact, “the upper tiers of the U.S. economy are now nothing but networks of special deals with one part of government or another,” Codevilla wrote.

Categories: Fragile Movements and Their Politics Cultures Post-Democracy, Depoliticisation and Technocracy Thinking

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