This most recent post is...?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Palestine at the UN means.

Well it means a lot of course. How do we know? Because it is being taken so seriously. The powers that be say that it will change nothing. But then why worry about it so much? It is because the Palestinians are about to win a great victory. It will not happen in the space of the real. That misery will continue unfortunately.

But the Palestinians have taken charge of the space of the symbolic. They own it and can do as they like. Israel and the US cannot do one believes their gestures anymore. They can only fight and win (maybe) in the space of the real (which is why they say/hope that a new inttifadah will soon follow; that is the space of the real. They understand that and can work it. But the Palestinians have learned). But the other, symbolic space is out of their reach now, even for Obama, who is solid student of symbols.

The best play that the Palestinians can make now would be a purely symbolic one: go only to the UNSC and dare a veto. It is a game that they can win. (What effect that will have on the space of the real is another question but it may be substantial; what happens in the symbolic is more flexible than what can happen in the fixed space of the real. Think Virilio here: speedy politics wins).

There is no European crisis!

In keeping with the political axiom that nothing happens for long without someone making it or letting it happen, what is to be made of Europe today? For years Brussels has frankly been out of touch with the population. Now the EU leaders will use this (quite manageable) crisis to centralize their power further. The question is whether the people of Europe will take their politicians even less seriously than they already do, letting them spin off into orbit. That would be a wise citizenry indeed. Italy is the best example where the antics of the political class are pure theater for the Italian citizenry.

(Increasing power through crises is part of an obsolete trend discussed in political theory which centers on the outrageous work of Carl Schmitt and the state of exception).  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Obama's first campaign stump speech

The American Jobs Act proposed by Obama will not happen. It is DOA because the US House will never play along nor will McConnell unless it gets so watered down with Republican amendments as to be unrecognizable.

Obama knows this. Too wily not to. He has delivered a speech that has just enough meat in it for progressives and with enough pragmatics for independents. Welcome everyone to Campaign 2012.