Tag: populism

Reading the excellent Selected Exaggerations, a book of interviews with Peter Sloterdijk, I was struck by his remarks about taxation and the state in an interview from 2001. He bemoans the punitive taxation he claims exists in Germany, arguing that it reflects a broader domination of society by the state. German citizens are “punished for success” and the […]

An absolutely fascinating article from Arlie Hochschild, whose new book on the American right sounds like a must read: Traditional Tea Party supporters wanted to cut both the practice of cutting in line, and government rewards for doing so. Followers of Donald Trump, on the other hand, wanted to keep government benefits and remove shame […]

There’s an interesting extract in this Guardian article about the growing civil war in the Republican party, concerning the adoption of Trump’s tactics by aspirant politicians within the party: Trump’s refusal to support McCain and Ryan comes exactly one week before Ryan faces a primary challenge from the businessman Paul Nehlen, a candidate who has […]

I really like this framing by Zizek on pg 177 of his Trouble in Paradise. The discourse on ‘populism’ should be read through this lens: the bewilderment and scorn elites feel when this polite agreement breaks down. In this sense, in a democracy, every ordinary citizen effectively is a king –but a king in a […]

A really interesting section from Zizek’s Trouble in Paradise, analysing the challenging facing populist movements who have mobilised successfully around an imagined national unity. From pg 144: At a more directly political level, US foreign policy elaborated a detailed strategy of how to exert damage-control by way of re-channelling a popular uprising into acceptable parliamentary-capitalist […]

I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s been getting a little bit obsessed with Donald Trump in recent months. There’s certainly a risk of overstating the threat that he poses, such that a preoccupation with the man himself risks obscuring the systemic conditions that have facilitated his emerging status, but I’m increasingly convinced we’re witnessing what […]

From InfoGlut, by Mark Andrejevic, loc 3148: the deadlock of representation doesn’t simply foreclose the purchase of shared social representations, it simultaneously frees up the field for the proliferation of imagined narratives and counter- narratives. The result is a kind of bestiary of the imaginary: a familiarly disturbing world in which claims once relegated to […]

This week’s George Monbiot column in the Guardian is excellent. It paints a vivid picture of the full scale of corporate capture of the democratic process at a time when the Institute of Directors proclaims a “generational struggle” to defend the “principles of the free-market”: The corporate consensus is enforced not only by the lack […]

Quite a lot like this I’d imagine. I’ll never understand the contempt with which some on the left regard Owen Jones. I think this is great:  1) A statutory living wage, with immediate effect, for large businesses and the  public sector, and phased  in for small and medium  businesses over a five-year Parliament. This would save […]