Thursday, April 5, 2018

Creeping Totalitarianism Predicted in the Contradictions of (Neo)Liberal Governance

Everyday, I shake my head when I read news stories addressing growing mercantilism, cold-war sabre-rattling, de-regulatory fervor, and rising cultural xenophobia globally.

In 2008 I published a book examining the historically specific development of neoliberalism and neoconservativism across 20th century America Governmentality Biopower and Everyday Life

That book was described in a book review by Choice as "prescient" for its account of the conditions of possibility for the financial crisis. However, what I think was more prescient is the description of the conditions of possibility for totalitarianism in the US arising from the contradictions in neoliberal government and the ascent of neoconservative power in the nation. Trump represents a low-brow inflection of the neoconservative ethos.

Here are a few excerpts describing how the conditions of possibility for totalitarianism are encoded into neoliberal and neoconservative logics and practices of government:

In our current era of generalized anxiety, exacerbated by the threat of terror and xenophobic projections, we see an unraveling of particular kinds of liberal governmentalities [i.e., liberal logics and strategies of rule], especially those historically constituting a private realm of existence for self-governing subjects and those that promised certain types of protections through juridical processes such as habeas corpus.

New technological strategies for monitoring corporeal and dividuated (data-defined) populations, coupled with the imperatives of accountability and security, lead to new panopticons of surveillance. Simultaneously, xenophobic projections converge with precautionary risk management, fostering conditions that facilitate abdication of liberal protections and juridical processes. Suspension of liberal governmentalities produces overt and repressive expressions of sovereign power....

...In the American popular imagination, deviant, risky, irrational, illiberal others require application of sovereign apparatuses. The deterritorialization of risky persons—their circulation across geographic spaces—heightens fear and demands limitless technological and personal surveillance. Intensified surveillance further amplifies fear, rendering populations vulnerable to authoritarian seductions impinging against liberal freedoms....

...Totalitarianism and fascism take hold when populations organized around common articulations of national or racialized identity are mobilized by fear and anxiety.

Yet, even while liberal rights are stripped, the liberal imagination cannot readily come to terms with creeping totalitarianism. The banality of many domestic sovereign technologies, as illustrated by computerized surveillance, mystifies the consolidation of sovereign power (see Arendt, 1963).

I WILL BE UNPACKING THESE THOUGHTS over the next few blog posts.

1 comment:

  1. Things like rense and alex jones betrayed a lot of people. By 2015 both were outlets for hate spewing racism. Rense has the kkk, david duke and neonazis.alex jones like fox is a pure white nationalist, gop, propaganda outlet. Of course they want corporate totalitarianism to rule.

    They were prepping people , for trump with targeting tactics from crooked cambridge analytica owner and stock cheat mercer. Brietbqrt was pouring dark money into nazi sites. Enenews trolls forced out any antinuc activists and the ringers that were there a long time started adgitating for arming japan w nukes and spewing crap about korea. True wolves in sheep cloting. They went out of their way to campaign for trump and still do. Trump thenuc guy who is pushung fuku food in america and elsewhere. What a dark place the world is. Now they are pushing to close the va. The va is the only basic health source for millions of americans especially wit no restrictions for preexisting health conditions. The va gets meds for pennys on the dollar because of their huge buying powerfrom drug companies. They turn aroundand sell meds for 10 to 15 dollars tovets. The vets are getting a great deal and the va system is profitable. It uses the money to fund other programs. Moat if not all veterans are atomic veterans.

    Some of the things on enenews are bots petending to be good cop bad cop. Repetitive there 24 hours a day. Siting the heritage foundation or talking cloaked violent rightwing militia garbage. Pure crap


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