Permanent Revolution, Perpetual Crisis

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Permanent Revolution.
The reason the “abolition,” “defunding,” and reform agenda achieved so much visibility so quickly is that it perfectly embodies the disruption/permanent revolution logic that neoliberalism thrives on. The idea that institutions are “in dire need of reform” is central to the livelihoods of the managers, senior administrators, and consultants who make their living from reforming institutions and—ultimately—to the viability of the neoliberalised institution itself.

The reform agenda is also instrumental in demoralising those who work in institutions and making them comply with the neoliberal-managerial agenda. The justification for neoliberal reforms in the 1980s was that state institutions were “inefficient” and didn’t offer “value for money.” Market-based reforms (and mass layoffs and service cutbacks) were then enacted to “address” these supposed problems. The current assault on the legitimacy of a range of institutions—schools, universities, police, libraries and museums, the civil service, state borders—is part of the same neoliberal project of institutional reform and privatisation.

In the language of social justice, neoliberalism has found a powerful new vocabulary for representing its interests as moral necessities and demonising its opponents, just as the old justifications for reform were losing their cutting edge. Large, woke-washed tech firms and outsourcing companies will claim the ability to deliver state services to a diverse range of clients in a more responsive and respectful manner than the state ever could.

Anyone who opposes this new, turbocharged form of moralised neoliberalism will be branded with the predictable epithets, which will justify them being deplatformed and silenced.
Perpetual Crisis.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
My first thought on reading the first one is some of it sounds about right, but I think at least some of the institutions whose legitimacy they claim is currently under assault do need reform as they aren't working at present and just abolishing them seems impractical. I'm also wary of anyone complaining about "wokeness" and deplatforming as they often end up defending some pretty dodgy people.
 

beiser

Well-known member
"neoliberalism is about delegitimizing the state" sounds like a burning hot take to me, are these those anarcho-neolibs I keep hearing about?
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Delegitimizing the state, perhaps, but what about non-governmental corporations that are increasingly de facto governmental? That is, corporations that make decisions about what information gets disseminated, down which pecking order, and stays in the conversation for how long? Information governance as a higher order form of governance than corporal governance?
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I guess they're either run by the people trying to delegitimise the state who are acting more out of self-interest than ideology so aren't bothered or they eventually get delegitimised themselves and the process continues.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
This seems central to the theses opposed to the neoliberal/liberal/global/etc hegemony that seems to be taking shape, albeit not without resistance from reactionary local-first dinosaurs who weren't socially calibrated on the global schoolyard provided by social media, but rather a much more parochial setting, no?
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
I still sense a knot in my conception of ideology. Maybe ideologies are more or less distinct mappings of how meanings are arranged and systematized in the collective mind, but perhaps these arrangements exist more primally than our mappings of them as distinct ideologies.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
In that case, that-which-we-describe-as-neoliberalism is unfolding beyond our grasp of it, and our grasp is continually extended, but never enough - seeing as the map can only increasingly approximate the territory, especially when the territory is causally loop-linked with our mapping of it.

So what are we mapping out precisely? Trends, patterns, aggregations, distributions of meaning and values within the collective mind, the molar mind as compared to the individual molecular mind, running with @Linebaugh 's explanation of molar/molecular.

That is, the individual mind operates as a component in the social mind, but the precise role it plays in this larger picture is not necessarily immanently discernible, not necessarily predictable from within the system of the individual mind.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
I guess they're either run by the people trying to delegitimise the state who are acting more out of self-interest than ideology so aren't bothered or they eventually get delegitimised themselves and the process continues.
In a sense, the competition of ideologies involves some element of conduciveness to self-interest, but I suppose we run the risk of being too reductive there.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
True, but could it be that their power is becoming more and more transparent, ostensibly dwarfing the power of governments?

edit: I could be conflating QUANGOs with just private corporations there.
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
noun
derogatory•British
plural noun: quangos
  1. a semi-public administrative body outside the civil service but receiving financial support from the government, which makes senior appointments to it.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Yeah so different than what I mean, but then again the lines blur in correlation to power, no? Where are the current vantage points of the protean landscape, etc.

edit: and those who formalize what qualifies as what, are the ones seeking out those vantage points.

edit edit: the successful ones, that is.
 

beiser

Well-known member
not really any quangos in the US—maybe a couple, okay—but we mostly just have think tanks that swim in money and produce ideology with it instead running the state, and "contractors" that are given substantial state power without real cause, for basically ideology reasons. lots to write about contracting but i suspect this venue isn't charitable to the details, far too many numbers
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
probably something to be said for disaster capitalism here- some final form where were not violently shocked but slowly worked till exhaustion, that's what I take the 'return to normalcy' talk to be. and its self evident that the amplifying/commodifying of the fringe only serves to make the ideological center seem all the more necessary.
 
Top