Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A Hole in the Center

Recently an article by Michael Gerson published in the Washington Post, argued "American politics are radicalizing. The damage will last generations." (link here):
Simply put: If the response to Trump is a general radicalization of American politics, the damage will last generations. Somehow, in the midst of so much fanaticism, moderation must find a passion of its own.
Gerson decries so-called radical politicians, such as Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, for being too left of center on issues and accuses the former of antisemitism, as well. Gerson sees the alleged growth of support for the left as a direct response to the radicalization of the right.

While he sees the left and the right as dialectically pitted, resolved only by their synthesis in the "moderate" center, I see each as refractions of similar economic and cultural shocks stemming from the dislocations of neoliberal government. 

I've explored growing dispossession at this blog and in my published academic work.

Many other more important scholars than I have also followed this logic and have reached similar conclusions, as exemplified in Saskia Sassen's recent book on Expulsions published by Harvard University Press (http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674599222  ).

Radicalization is not some sort of pendelum that swings in a trajectory weighted only by its ideological opposition.

Radicalization is rooted in material experiences. People across many sectors of American and British society are experiencing declining expectations in health, social welfare, and economic mobility. Their children and parents are sicker. 

And residents of "first world" nations such as these are typically much better off than the growing number of people around the world who are expelled from their homes and livelihoods by environmental and political catastrophes, most of which are a direct result of human disregard for consequences. Dispossessed people grow everywhere and their plight is painful beyond my capacities to represent.

There is a song whose lyrics describing the run-up to civil war capture my argument for the role of dispossession, alienation, and displacement in fueling the violence of war:

Radicalization of popular opinion signifies a fundamental hole in the center. A black hole in the center.


  1. Dept of Homeland Security to Compile Database on Journalists and Bloggers

    Plans to track all websites. Twitter


  2. To the haters, that are mean to homeless people, poor people, dispossessed, disabled, inferred. It will happen to ypu! You will get cancer. Fascism, psychopathy, hate, dominate this terrible country, now.
    That is how rotten and degraded media and people, have become. Indicates right-wing psychosis and insanity.

    10 million homeless american women, children, elderly, disabled, infermed.
    The game of monopoly implicitly demonstrates how psychopaths can leverage, steal, kill with impunity. The murecan way.

    It will get worse in this chemical and radionuclide, saturated imperialist-shithole. All the mean fuks, that degrade, hurt, and villify the purposely dispossessed, will get cancer now, one way or another.

    Whether you die in the streets, from losing everything, after cancer treatments. When u lose yur families, 
    When you die on a bed, as the cancer eats out the already, diseased and accursed, brains and guts of the selfish rotten, hateful sacks of shit that u are, may the pain burn thru like an infinite inferno. 

    And when the most expensive immune and chemoherapies, will not help you, may an image of the people you spiton, hurt, scewed, tortured, laughed at, flash through your putrid little evil, compassionless brains, and tear yur body, and evil soul to pieces, before u croak.


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