McKenzie Wark on 25 Aug 2000 00:22:07 -0000

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RE: <nettime> The New "Left" - OR why inequality is politicallyuseful

Kevin has, as usual, added wise if slightly cryptic meat to the debate.

In the larger scheme of things, rather than in a provocative paper for
Melbourne Fabians, ethics was what i thought i was doing, particularly in
_Virtual Republic_ and _Celebrities, Culture and Cyberspace_. The former
is about minoritarian ethics, the latter about majorities. The ethical
necessity of majorities in a democracy, for instance. 

A layer of the current political debate hovers around the
critical/postcritical threshold, to be sure. Once you move to the latter,
one is obliged (ethically) to deal with what working people actually say
they want, rather than what critical theory says they ought to want.  One
is thus also moving along another axis at the same time, the
authoritarian/democratic axis.

Which is why i've been writing about soap operas, game shows, pop songs --
and the Labor party. All expressions of actual popular desire, and as such
more interesting to me that the abstract theoretical constructs of old
line leftism. The prolertariat, etc.

To misappropriate Roul Vanegeim, those who speak about the working class
without talking about actual workers speak with a corpse in their mouth

cheers comrades


On Thu, 24 Aug 2000, Propaganda wrote:

> This debate between the forward and rearguard directions never really got
> going at the Fabian Society conference. The gentle globalist Mark Latham
> was too readily howled down by old guard. And the elders of the Australian
> Labor Party didn't cock an ear to the really critical issues -- resting
> instead on worn catch phrases. 


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