Monday, June 27, 2005

The level of strangness has increased in the past week or so. Or maybe that is just my perception of it. Last week, Karl Rove (Bush's senior political advisor) came to NY to speak at a Republican fund-raising event, and attacked Democrats over their response to 9/11. The June 23rd New York Times report gives the details. Rove said, "liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for out attackers". Rove also said that because of Senator Richard Durbin's remarks about detainee abuse US troops have been put in greater danger. "Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the MidEast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals". So, liberals want to put our troops in danger, Mr. Rove? I could go on for pages and pages, but to deconstruct these comments misses the point. There are so many layers to the play of political discourse, it is impossible to really know what is happening. Everyone knows that "liberals" are not trying to put our troops in danger. I dont think Karl Rove truly believes what he says. The media, and the political discourse ( the same thing ? ) immediately jumped on the Rove story. Democrats lashed out, calling for Rove's resignation. The White House of course fully supported him, and he has not resigned. in fact, the story has been paved over. This story then got placed in a media context of skepticism of the war and generalized criticism of the administration, and the emphasis shifted to Rumsfeld, Bush, and Cheney. I read an article online somewhere which called Rove a red herring, and called for everyone to keep an eye on the situation. Well, I did. It is so strange how these things filter down in the media, and get absorbed into the whole mileu of strangness. ----- On the same day this story appeared, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision to extend the policy of imminent domain for "economic development". This means that it is now easier for homeowner's property to be seized by the government, and handed over to the highest private bidder if the development of this property serves the "public good". Justice Sandra O'Connor was among the dissentiing voters. ---- Again, on the same day, June 23rd, the Ny Times reported that "one of China's largest state-controlled oil companies made a $18.5 billion unsolicited bid" for UNOCAL, a large California based oil company. This is the first time something like this has happened, and testifies to China's increasing economic power. This has sent shiver through the business community and media. Are things being shaken up a bit? Is the illusion of the "end of history" crumbling? AGAIN, on the same day, it was reported that 4 car bomb blasts killed 17 people in central Baghdad. ------The acceleration of all processes is absolutely bewildering. I am reminded of Jean Baudrillard's notion of the "code", an interplay of signs, symbols, running this whole neo-capitalist cybernetic order. The "code" is not some conspiracy being run by the social engineers and politicians, but is an unwritten, self-sustained process of cybernetic control. It is writing itself as it proceeds. Even the political crypto-facists of advanced industrial capitalism are subject to it, though they are in considerably greater control than the masses. When the Karl Rove story broke, this was what came to mind for me. There is some goal which is striving for it's own achievment, and even Rove does not REALLY know why he is saying these things, regardless of the multi-layered logic behind such ridiculous political events. It is obvious that the Republicans and Democrats are the same. This was realized and written about decades ago by perceptive intellectuals, and has become a truism in many circles. But most people do not even know this material exists. It does not fit into the dominant discourse. Both parties play these back and forth games, and the public follows, thinking that political debate still exists in any real sense. But even those people feigning politics have no idea what is ahead, and are scrambling for control. This is why Karl Rove poses as a red herring, and the Democrats play their prescribed role as the noble opposition. Witness the involution, keep your eyes wide open. Or do I really believe this?


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