Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Post Poly-Sci?

Interesting item here, relayed by Deneen:

The two primary features of the post political age are a politics completely drained of all its contents and ability or willingness to be used as an agent of change in social or economic policy, and its full integrations into the world of American popular, consumer and entertainment culture. To such an extent that there exists today a seamless web between our political, economic, media and consumer cultures wherein the modes and values of one are completely integrated and compatible with the others.

It should not come as a surprise that the dominant ideas and mores of popular culture have become the dominant ideas of our society. Popular culture is the breaker of customs, prejudice, tradition and relevant historical knowledge.

Well, yah--although there's a certain condescension underlying that assertion.

In the post political world the candidates who can best thrive in it have tremendous appeal to the economic elites; these candidates thrive in a system that does not dwell on issues and will never ask the question, "who has power and why", but simultaneously creates a social and media environment of stupefying distractions while destroying traditional social mores (under-credited as a source of much social solidarity). This can only benefit their continued rule of that society.

In such a setting our political choices like our consumer choices, regardless of the product, are primarily about what makes us more fulfilled and feel better about ourselves.

The writer can't be called a partisan, by the way:

His very presence, the color of his skin, the very strangeness of his name is the best guarantee of his betrayal of the expectations of the constituencies that will vote to elect him. Barack Obama is in short order a far more reassuring prospect for the continued dominance of the financial elite than another four years of neo-conservative rule which in an almost historically unique combination of greed, ill will, incompetence and stupidity have brought the country to the edge of disaster.

Deneen's take on that?

[Joe Bageant uses this to] explain the rise of Obama and why this signals the culmination of trends leading to a post-political, consumerist, individualist society in which both organized Labor (on the Left) and evangelical Christianity (on the Right) have been the losers, in spite of suspicions from opponents that they are the heart and soul of their respective parties

Umnnnhhhh. Maybe.

The unstated assumption is that few voters understand politicians. Very few. IOW, the vast majority of the electorate is naive, and actually swallows whole the projected media-images of the politicians.

IF that's true, yes, we have Trouble in River City. But I don't know if that's the case.

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