1. robhorningtni:

    I think that’s well-put, and that the similarity between the terms is no accident; hipsterism is an especially salient iteration of neoliberal subjectivity, one that gains currency by being slippery and inarticulable. These concepts become normalized by becoming boring and frustrating to talk about. The apparent vagueness in the terms seems to make them unalterable. The struggle to define them reflects the stakes of keeping them amorphous, capable of absorbing more and more behavior, making the way of thinking they describe feel inescapable, natural.

    In a post called “We Are All Neoliberals” (just as no one is a hipster/neoliberal; everyone is), Jason Read argues that the inconsistent usage of the term neoliberalism hasblunted its critical usefulness, turned it into a euphemism rather than an analytical tool.

    the meaning of the word has been reduced to a few vague inclinations about the truly bad kind of capitalism held together by invocations of competition, markets, and individualism. It has become what Althusser called a descriptive theory at best, and at worse a way to speak about capitalism without speaking about capitalism. In the worse case it became the name for a kind of nostalgia for an earlier kinder and gentler capitalism, one that we could get back to as soon as the full impact of the recession was felt and people started really paying attention to Paul Krugman.

    When one looks at economic inequality or injustice or other forms of immiseration, one can drop in a “because neoliberalism” and bring the discussion to a futile close. The discussion can then dissolve into arguments about what that is supposed to mean.

    If we use such terms as neoliberal and hipster affectively, as ill-defined pejoratives, we inadvertently strengthen the ideology behind them. This is not only because vague terms help naturalize the phenomena they are in the process of organizing. (Read notes that “this paradox defines much reactionary, or conservative thought, which always declares some hierarchy or principle natural while actively working to produce it.”) It is also because they make identification and description of the problem seem sufficient. That is to say, hipster (or neoliberal) describes an ideology (or a rationality) more than it does a person, and applying it to people can just make them scapegoats.  

    So what is that ideology? Read, reviewing Dardot and Laval’s The New Way of the World: On Neoliberal Society in the aforementioned post, starts to trace their definition of the term, which they are anxious to differentiate from old liberalism, laissez-faire:

    Neoliberalism is not the simple matter of leaving the market alone, of deregulation. Competition is not something that just exists, it must be actively produced and cultivated. As Dardot and Laval write, “Competitive capitalism is not a product of nature, it is a machine which requires constant surveillance and regulation.” 

    Neoliberalism is largely about fostering competition among atomized individuals and suppressing any sense of collectivity within society. Its tool for doing this, by and large, is quantification: surveillance to yield measurements. By combining an expanded Taylorism with entrepreneurial conceptions of the self as an enterprise, these measurements can be used to make efficiency a requirement of more and more of one’s life, effectively turning it all into work. When measured and circulated, all forms of behavior can become “productive” — can be recast as a kind of value that capitalism can capture. By making the self an enterprise, “growth” becomes the only means to make the self continue to seem real.

    Of course, that surveillance is increasingly conducted through smartphones and social media, and through the passive collection of data assigned to individuated “users,” who are connected within networks as strictly discrete nodes. Surveillance articulates social networks (in explicit terms, in comprehensive archives) so that individuals are defined and isolated by the connections they make. This way, connectivity never leads to collectivity. The emphasis on efficiency and streamlined, mechanized social relations as a supposed form of convenience also reinforces this.

    As Read notes in the review, the ideal of competitiveness is used to inculcate subjects with an “infinite demand for performance”: always be striving, always be trying. Contentment is turned into weakness, lack of imagination, cowardice, failure, the hallmark of an anti-entrepreneurial loser. And the denigration of collectivity in favor of personal responsibility makes risk a purely individual matter, and all failures personal failures. Fail more, strive harder.

    Neoliberalist subjectivity, then, is about bringing a mentality of “winning” to every aspect of life — every little thing is a performance, a contest — while being forever discontented with the fruits of such success. The winning and losing is mediated by metrics, which induce one to assent to more invasive surveillance. The surveillance merely assures an audience for one’s performances and makes sure they are evaluated, given meaning. The metrics also overlay a veneer of objectivity to the endless evaluative process — numbers masquerade as a general equivalent. Neoliberal subjects want to “win” by amassing the most “human capital” across all the various dimensions of their lives, and they are invited to participate in the processes that harvest that capital as way of proving to themselves that it ever existed.

    Talking about “hipsterism” is one way of evoking that kind of competitive self-production. Complaining about it is a muted way of complaining about neoliberal demands on identity to be productive for capital. Bemoaning “inauthenticity” seems a veiled way of talking about how the value of that self-production feeds the expanding capitalist system rather than the transcendent ego of the individual agent. Read notes that quantified “modes of evaluation are seen to be at odds with the qualitative missions of such institutions”; the spontaneous critique of hipsterism is likely a reflection of that, expressing dismay at the qualitative “mission” of having a self being turned into nothing more than a scoreboard.

    The resilience of neoliberalism may have to do with how it allows criticism to be recast as opportunism: e.g., you are complaining about hipsters to score better than them on the same scale of distinction. You mock people for trying too hard, because it inflates the value of your effortful effortlessness. (See Prickett’s critique of this strain of Lana Del Rey’s critics; and Jennifer Pan’s critique of the criticism of marketing.) 

    Anyway, I’ve been reading Dardot and Laval as well as William Davies’s The Limits of Neoliberalism and Jamie Peck’s Constructions of Neoliberal Reason, and I hope to synthesize it all into something that might help make the term neoliberalism less obfuscatory for me.

    (via androphilia)


  2. "

    Sweden’s largest daily newspaper published an article containing grisly evidence suggesting that Israel had been taking Palestinian internal organs. The article, by veteran photojournalist Donald Bostrom, called for an international investigation to discover the facts.

    Israel immediately accused Bostrom and the newspaper of “anti-Semitism,” and charged that suggesting Israelis could be involved in the illicit removal of body parts constituted a modern “blood libel” (medieval stories of Jews killing people for their blood).
    The fact is, however, that Israeli organ harvesting – sometimes with Israeli governmental funding and the participation of high Israeli officials, prominent Israeli physicians, and Israeli ministries – has been documented for many years. Among the victims have been Palestinians.

    Nancy Scheper-Hughes is Chancellor’s Professor of Medical Anthropology at the University of California Berkeley, the founder of Organ Watch, and the author of scholarly books and articles on organ trafficking. She is the pundit mainstream media call upon when they need expert commentary on the topic.

    While Scheper-Hughes emphasizes that traffickers and procurers come from numerous nations and ethnicities, including Americans and Arabs, she is unflinchingly honest in speaking about the Israeli connection:
    “Israel is at the top,” she states. “It has tentacles reaching out worldwide.”

    In a lecture last year sponsored by New York’s PBS 13 Forum, Scheper-Hughes explained that Israeli organ traffickers, “had and still have a pyramid system at work that’s awesome…they have brokers everywhere, bank accounts everywhere; they’ve got recruiters, they’ve got translators, they’ve got travel agents who set up the visas.”

    As Scheper-Hughes describes it, organ trafficking consists of “paying the poor and the hungry to slowly dismantle their bodies.”

    Organ traffickers prey on the world’s poorest, most desperate citizens – slum dwellers, inhabitants of dying villages, people without means or hope. Traffickers promise them what seem like astronomical sums of money (from $1,000 to $10,000) – which they frequently don’t even deliver – in return for vital internal organs.

    For traffickers, human body parts are commodities, to be cut out of the bodies of the poor and sold to the rich. The organ “donors” receive no follow-up care and end up worse off on many levels – physically, financially, psychologically, socially – than even their original tragic situation. Sometimes they are coerced into such “donations.”

    In her Forum 13 lecture Scheper-Hughes discussed the two motivations of Israeli traffickers. One was greed, she said. The other was somewhat chilling: “Revenge, restitution – reparation for the Holocaust.”

    She described speaking with Israeli brokers who told her “it’s kind of ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. We’re going to get every single kidney and liver and heart that we can. The world owes it to us.’”

    Scheper-Hughes says that she “even heard doctors saying that.”

    For many years Israelis in need of an internal organ have gone on what experts call “transplant tourism” – traveling to other nations to obtain internal organs. Sometimes body parts are obtained from those freshly dead; more often from the desperately needy. While affluent people from numerous countries and ethnicities engage in this practice, Israel is unique in several significant ways.

    First, Israelis engage in this at an extraordinarily high rate. According to a 2001 BBC report, Israelis buy more kidneys per capita than any other population.

    Second, Israelis have the lowest donor rate in the world – one-fifth that of Europe, according to BBC. This is in part because there has been a widespread impression that Jewish religious law prohibits transplants as a “desecration of the body.” The Israeli news service Ynet reports, “the percentage of organs donated among Jews is the lowest of all the ethnic groups.”

    Third, the Israeli government has enabled the practice. For many years the Israeli health system subsidized its citizens’ “transplant holidays,” reimbursing Israelis $80,000 for medical operations abroad. Much of the remaining costs could often be obtained from government-subsidized Israeli insurance plans. In addition, Israel’s Ministry of Defense was directly involved.

    Scheper-Hughes discussed Israeli organ trafficking in detail in 2001 in published testimony to the Subcommittee on International Relations and Human Rights of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In her extensive testimony, Scheper-Hughes stated that although Israel had become a pariah for its organ policies, Israeli officials exhibited “amazing tolerance…toward outlawed ‘transplant tourism.’”

    She described an international syndicate which was “organized through a local business corporation in conjunction with a leading transplant surgeon, operating out of a major medical center not far from Tel Aviv,” and which had forged links with transplant surgeons in Turkey, Russia, Moldavia, Estonia, Georgia, Romania, and New York City.

    The chairman of the Brazilian commission, physician Raimundo Pimentel, was outraged at Israeli policies, pointing out that trafficking can only take place on a large scale if there is a major source of financing, such as the Israeli health system. Pimentel charged that the resources provided by the Israeli health system “were a determining factor” in enabling a network that preyed on society’s poorest populations.

    It is not rare for the “donor” to receive little or none of the compensation promised. For example, in 2007 Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that two Israelis had confessed to persuading Palestinians “from the Galilee and central Israel who were developmentally challenged or mentally ill to agree to have a kidney removed for payment.” According to the Haaretz report, after the organ had been taken the traffickers refused to pay for them.

    On occasion, people are coerced into giving up their organs. For example, Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, the alleged Brooklyn trafficker recently arrested in an FBI sweep in New Jersey, reportedly carried a gun. When a potential organ seller would try to back out, Rosenbaum would use his finger to simulate firing a gun at the person’s head.

    For decades numerous Palestinians and others have charged Israel with taking body parts from Palestinians they had wounded or killed.

    In her subcommittee testimony, Scheper-Hughes testified that toward the end of the apartheid period in South Africa, “human rights groups in the West Bank complained to me of tissue and organs stealing of slain Palestinians by Israeli pathologists at the national Israeli legal medical institute in Tel Aviv.”

    A 2002 news story from IRNA reported that three Palestinian boys aged 14-15 had been killed by Israeli forces on Dec. 30, their bodies finally being returned for burial on Jan. 6. According to the report: “shortly before burial, Palestinian medical authorities examined the bodies and found out that the main vital organs were missing from the bodies.” In an interview on Al Jazeera, President Yasser Arafat held up photos of the boys, saying, “They murder our kids and use their organs as spare parts.”

    Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are largely a captive population. Numerous reports by highly reputable Israeli and international organizations have documented a situation in which Palestinians have few if any real rights; Israeli forces have killed civilians with impunity, imprisoned massive numbers of people without benefit of trials, and routinely abused prisoners.

    Israeli authorities have conducted numerous autopsies of Palestinians without permission of their families, without even a semblance of public transparency, and without, it appears, accompanying reports. For example, the families of those who were taken while still alive are not provided with a medical report stating time and cause of death.

    A very small but significant minority of Israelis, including military officers and governmental ministers, hold extremist supremacist views relevant to organ extraction. In 1996, Jewish Week reported that Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh, a leader of the Lubavitch sect of Judaism and the dean of a religious Jewish school in a West Bank settlement, stated: “If a Jew needs a liver, can you take the liver of an innocent non-Jew passing by to save him? The Torah would probably permit that.” Ginzburgh elaborated: “Jewish life has infinite value. There is something infinitely more holy and unique about Jewish life than non-Jewish life.”

    — Israeli Organ Trafficking and Theft: From Moldova to Palestine - Alison Weir (via dialecticsof)

  3. Unsurprisingly, therefore, we find that 19th century liberal writers of
    different nationalities, faced with an increasingly articulate and organized
    working class demanding political representation, were spending
    much effort not so much in promoting popular democracy or advancing
    reasons to extend it, but in warning against the dangers it allegedly
    entails. Henry Maine was by no means alone. “In all countries,” wrote
    J. S. Mill (1862: 133),“there is a majority of poor, a minority who, in contradistinction, may be called rich… . [I]s there not a considerable danger lest they [the poor majority] should throw upon the possessors of what is called realized property, and upon the larger incomes, an unfair share, or even the whole, of the burden of taxation …?” And Benjamin Constant, one of the foremost French liberal thinkers of the 19th century, was even more explicit about the need to defend property from any democratic intervention by the majority, thus distinguishing in his Principles of Politics Applicable to All Representative Governments, between legitimate, economic freedom and illegitimate, political freedom:

    Notice that the necessary aim of those without property is to obtain some: all the means which you grant them are sure to be used for this purpose. If, to the freedom to use their talents and industry, which you owe them, you add political rights, which you do not owe them, these rights, in the hands of the greatest number, will inevitably serve to encroach upon property… . In all those countries which have representative assemblies it is essential that those assemblies, whatever their further organization, should be formed by property holders… . A nation always expects that men grouped together will be guided by their own interests. It is certain that the love of order, justice and conservation will enjoy a majority among property holders (Constant 1988: 215–216).

    While it is difficult to disagree with Constant that love of order and
    conservation, during his time as well as ours, are indeed sentiments
    close to the heart of property holders, his notion of “justice” was somewhat idiosyncratic (though not in a personal, as in a collective, class sense). It asserted, for example, that political rights be denied to those who work, while being the exclusive privilege of those who do not:

    Those who are kept by poverty in eternal dependence, and who are condemned by it to daily labour, are neither more knowledgeable than children about public affairs, nor more interested than foreigners in national prosperity … I do not wish in any way to wrong the labouring class. As a class it is by no means less patriotic than the others… . Yet the patriotism which gives one the courage to die for one’s country is quite different, I believe, from the patriotism which enables one to fully understand its
    interests. There must be a further condition [for voting] … This condition is the leisure indispensable for the acquisition of understanding and soundness of judgement. Property alone makes men capable of exercising political rights (214).

    Constant’s early (1815) endorsement of liberalism and representative
    government were already founded on the insurmountable difference
    between the elite and the masses, the former being free to vote, the
    latter free to work (as well as die for their country). It is not surprising
    that the concern of such exemplary liberal writers as Constant, Mill or
    Tocqueville, was primarily to defend minorities against the “tyranny of
    the majority,” the quintessential majority being the poor, the quintessential minority being the well off. About a century later, a leading fascist intellectual and politician, Alfredo Rocco, came remarkably close to replicating Constant’s arguments regarding democracy.

    Read More


  4. " The Supream Power cannot take from any Man any part of his Property without his own consent. For the preservation of Property being the end of Government, and that for which Men enter into Society, it necessarily supposes and requires, that the People should have Property, without which they must be suppos’d to lose that by entring into Society, which was the end for which they entered into it, too gross an absurdity for any Man to own… . Hence it is a mistake to think, that the Supream or Legislative Power of any Commonwealth, can do what it will, and dispose of the Estates of the Subject arbitrarily, or take any part of them at pleasure "(Locke 1988: 360–1; emphases in the original).

    By natural right, politics thus dutifully ends where property begins and, if the government mistakes its place, the propertied are entitled to avail themselves of force against the unlawful law. As Domenico Losurdo (1988: 249) observes, with regards to Locke’s position: “Even if mediated by the legislative power, the intrusion of those without property in the sphere of property is always an act of caprice and of plunder, an act of violence, and therefore an act which may be legitimately countered by the violence of the victim.” Parliamentarism and the rule of law were thus from the very beginning not the liberal end itself, to be defined, say, in terms of guaranteeing political pluralism; rather, they were mere means to an end, that of protecting capitalism. And means are by their very nature not absolute; they might change along with changing circumstances. T hat is why Locke himself, far from absolutizing parliament, at different times could and did envisage alternative political models. As C. B. Macpherson observed (1964: 261), Locke “was consistent throughout in wanting a civil authority which could secure the basic institutions of a class society. In 1660 this required the recall of the Stuarts and the doctrine of the magistrate’s absolute and arbitrary power in things indifferent; in 1689 it required the dismissal of the Stuarts and the doctrine of the Second Treatise.” Liberal doctrines are thus amenable to change, as long as class society persists.8 Rather than being limited by a political framework, liberal capitalism was in fact equipped with a built-in option to bail out of constitutionalism and revert to the rule of force, upon seeing its economic interests imperiled.

    - The Apprentice’s Sorcerer : Liberal Tradition and Fascism - Ishay Landa


  5. yumilao:


    Please reblog this as much as you can!!

    Reblog and share please!!!!!!

    (via yumilao-deactivated20140614)


  6. quoms:

    slimepunk (thesis) x health goth (antithesis) -> aloewave (synthesis)

    (via paxamericana)


  7. I got half of a jackfruit from a friend’s csa box. I don’t like it raw so I tried to make biryani with it and it’s probably going to be a flop. A time consuming exhausting flop.

  8. dopernose:


    Le Brun’s System on Physiognomy - Charles Le Brun (1670’s)

    (via 3liza)


  9. "A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him, and the world that makes him who he is: when I speak of writing, what comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or literary tradition, it is a person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and alone, turns inward; amid its shadows, he builds a new world with words."
    — Orhan Pamuk (via alighthouseofwords)

    (via globalwarmist)


  10. "

    About 11 percent of Mexico’s population lives in the United States, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Their remittances, which were less than $4 billion in 1994 when NAFTA took effect, rose to $10 billion in 2002, and then 
$20 billion three years later, according to the Bank of Mexico. Even in the recession, Mexicans sent home $21.13 billion in 2010. Remittances total 3 percent of Mexico’s gross domestic product, according to Frank Holmes, investment analyst and CEO of US Global Investors. They are now Mexico’s second-largest source of national income, behind oil.

    However, Mexico’s debt payments, mostly to US banks, consume the same percentage of the GDP as remittances. Those remittances, therefore, support families and provide services that were formerly the obligation of the Mexican government. This alone gives the government a vested interest in the continuing labor flow.

  11. dagwolf:


    Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) is a mainstream reformist NGO exerting total control over people’s participation in Mayday Chicago. Together with SEIU, their marshals pushed, bullied and blocked “certain” groups, called the police to kettle us, and then called the cops on our organizers who were trying to flyer at the march. In the video you will see Ze, an undocumented organizer who is under deportation proceedings, trying to pass out flyers denouncing immigration reform and the complicity of ICIRR in pushing for this horrible bill; he is then quickly grabbed by police. Anne Meredith was also arrested. We had been flyering heavily at the march and carried several banners against immigration reform. A large anti-authoritarian contingent arrived together and were immediately kettled when we started trying to march. cops pushing and restraining us said very clearly “they (meaning the orgs “in charge”) told us not to let you march”. that didn’t work, mostly because of too many people and too much movement, cops ended up tripping in their own bikes. A short while later, they grabbed Ze and Anne Meredith.

    this is bad. using the cops to discipline the march on may day? on any day? what the fuck.



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    Please love yourself and delete your blog.  I will be praying for you.

  14. sharpmarbles:

    Andrei Tarkovsky’s “STALKER” (1979)

    (via concepthuman)

  15. (Source: elizabethsmart, via moonratus)