Void Manufacturing

“Turning and turning in a cell, like a fly that doesn’t know where to die.”

Archive for October, 2008

Zizek on the upcoming US election

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 30, 2008

 

Through the Glasses Darkly

What if the between-the-lines Republican message (don’t be afraid, there will be no real change) is the true illusion?

By SLAVOJ ZIZEK

Today, even the strongest advocates of diminishing the excessive role of Washington accept the necessity of a state intervention that is sublime in its unimaginable quantity.

When the hero of John Carpenter’s 1988 They Live puts on a pair of weird sunglasses that he has stumbled upon in an abandoned church, he notices a billboard that once invited us to a Hawaii beach holiday now simply displays the words:

“MARRY AND REPRODUCE.” Ad copy on another billboard — this one for a new color TV — says, “DON’T THINK, CONSUME!”

The glasses, then, function as a device for the critique of ideology. In other words, they enable him to see the real message lying beneath the glossy, colorful surface.

What would we see if we were to observe the Republican presidential campaign through such glasses?The first thing would be a long series of contradictions and inconsistencies: Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Brain, Buzzkill, Enemy, Spectacle, The Americans, The Bullshit Bailout | Leave a Comment »

Future War Technologies To Pacify Enemies

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 27, 2008

 

DARPA Engineering New “Home Invasion” Technologies

Just when you thought the Pentagon’s Dr. Strangeloves couldn’t design anything more devilish than they have already, new plans on the drawing board may help make the science of repression an ever-more lucrative market for capitalist grifters in the defense and security industries. Read the rest of this entry »

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A David Harvey joint

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 26, 2008

 

DAVID HARVEY

THE RIGHT TO THE CITY

We live in an era when ideals of human rights have moved centre stage both politically and ethically. A great deal of energy is expended in promoting their significance for the construction of a better world. But for the most part the concepts circulating do not fundamentally challenge hegemonic liberal and neoliberal market logics, or the dominant modes of legality and state action. We live, after all, in a world in which the rights of private property and the profit rate trump all other notions of rights. I here want to explore another type of human right, that of the right to the city. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Intellectuals & Power: A conversation between Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 26, 2008

 

This is a transcript of a 1972 conversation between the post-structuralist philosophers Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, which discusses the links between the struggles of women, homosexuals, prisoners etc to class struggle, and also the relationship between theory, practice and power (4,000 words).

This transcript first appeared in English in the book ‘Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: selected essays and interviews by Michel Foucault’ edited by Donald F. Bouchard.

MICHEL FOUCAULT: A Maoist once said to me: “I can easily understand Sartre’s purpose in siding with us; I can understand his goals and his involvement in politics; I can partially under- stand your position, since you’ve always been concerned with the problem of confinement. But Deleuze is an enigma.” I was shocked by this statement because your position has always seemed particularly clear to me. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Are we made of money?

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 24, 2008

Notes on the “Bailout” Financial Crisis

George Caffentzis

0. These notes on the political-financial crisis were written in the last month while many US financial corporations were, in effect, nationalized in response to the bankruptcy of several major investment and commercial banks. The notes have been prompted by the fact that there has been remarkably little political activity in the streets, union halls, retirement communities of the country demanding a resolution of the crisis in favor of the millions of workers who are now losing wages, houses and pensions.

Certainly not even the most compliant unions and the retirement associations were invited to participate in the negotiations that were carried on concerning the legislation.

Is this lack of attention to workers’ interests due to the “shock” tactics that the Bush Administration used to push the “bailout” legislation? Perhaps, but we also think that money and the financial sector of capitalism that deals directly with it have been inherently opaque to working class political analysis and action for more than a century. (The last time there was a self-conscious working class debate on a national level concerning the money form was the 1896 election when the fate of the gold standard hung in the balance.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Alain Badiou Interview from NLR: radicalism’s turnover rate, Sarkozy, Maoism, 1968, Politics as fashion…

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 20, 2008


 

ALAIN BADIOU

ROADS TO RENEGACY

Interview by Eric Hazan

One of the most striking aspects of Sarkozy’s rise to power was the support he attracted from Left renegades—from turncoats such as André Glucksmann. As someone who still wears his coat very much the same way round, how would you explain this strange phenomenon?

I think you have to put this in perspective, or rather look at it more closely. First of all, it would be better to ask: why so many Maoists from the Gauche Prolétarienne? Because it is among them that you find those who ‘went wrong’ in this way. Secondly, as far as I am aware, only a few rank-and-file activists in the GP made this about-turn. So, to give your question a slightly more technical character, I would say: why did so many people in the GP leadership take such a bad turn? Read the rest of this entry »

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Interview with Joseph Stiglitz on economic meltdown

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 18, 2008


[This interview published in: Berliner Zeitung, October 9, 2008, is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, link towww.berlinonline.de. Joseph Stiglitz is one of the leading economic experts of the world. The winner of the Nobel Prize for economics, is a former chief economist of the World Bank and advised US president Bill Clinton from 1997.]

Q: Professor Stiglitz, are you afraid? 

J. Stiglitz: I am not afraid but rather alarmed because of the financial crisis. A high degree of insecurity prevails. These are extremely risky times. For me, it is a kind of Deja-vu. It reminds me of my time at the World Bank ten years ago, when the Asian crisis broke out. The difference is only that people in Thailand and Indonesia were stricken at that time. Today Americans and Europeans are affected. Today’s crisis is four times greater than ten years ago. Read the rest of this entry »

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Depressing And Hysterical

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 17, 2008

 


Matt Taibbi and Byron York Butt Heads Over Whether McCain Deserves Blame for the Wall Street Meltdown

10/14/08 at 1:31 PM

James Lockhart before the Senate.

James Lockhart before the Senate.Photo: Getty Images

Every day (or close to it) until November 4, a series of writers and thinkers will discuss the election over instant messenger for nymag.com. Today, Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi and National Review‘s Byron York argue over the headwinds facing McCain, what Phil Gramm had to do with the financial crisis, and the importance of credit default swaps.

M.T.: So how are you feeling about McCain’s chances today?

B.Y.: I’ve just finished an article for National Review — the actual magazine — about the headwinds McCain faces. I was going to look at three, and then I started to list them. I stopped at ten. New Gallup numbers out today show that George W. Bush’s job approval rating remains at 25 percent, while his disapproval rating has ticked up to 71 percent. How hard is it to succeed a two-term president of your own party who is at 25-71? We don’t know because it’s never been done.

M.T.: Yeah, that’s a damned shame, too. I feel really badly for the guy. I suppose you think the media coverage is also a headwind? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Taibbi on Rove

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 15, 2008

 

The Return of Rove

John McCain has surrendered his campaign to the same political fearmonger who smeared him out of the race in 2000

MATT TAIBBI

Posted Oct 16, 2008 7:15 AM

Wayne Slater has known Karl Rove for 20 years. As the author of Bush’s Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential, he’s not easily shocked by the Republican strategist’s Gila-monstroid tactics. But even he’s been blown away by Rove’s latest political comeback. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jacques Ranciere interview 2007

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 15, 2008


 

Jacques Rancière and Indisciplinarity 

 

Translated by Gregory Elliot 

 

This is the transcript of an interview conducted with Jacques Rancière by Marie-Aude Baronian and Mireille Rosello from the University of Amsterdam and ASCA. A version of this interview was published in Dutch by Valiz (NL), in a volume of studies on Jacques Rancière that appeared in the Netherlands in late 2007. In this exchange, Ranciere discusses his position with regard to democracy, politics, film, literature, art and research. 

 I. Introduction 

 Q) How do you place yourself in the current French intellectual scene? 

 a) Le Magazine littéraire and Le Nouvel Observateur have recently  referred to you as a key figure in the contemporary French intellectual scene: how, briefly, would you characterise your ‘profile’ and your contribution to French thought? 

 I try to problematise the categories that structure diagnoses of our present and debates about it. Thus, I’ve attempted to rethink democracy by refusing both its official identification with the state forms and lifestyles of rich societies and denunciation of it as a form that masks the realities of domination.  Official apologists and Marxist critics basically concur in characterising democracy as a mode of government built on a society defined as a society of consumers.  In opposition to this dominant view I’ve reactivated the real scandal of democracy – which is that it reveals the ultimate absence of legitimacy of any government.  As the foundation of politics it asserts the equal capacity of anyone and everyone to be either governor or governed.  I’ve thus been led to conceive democracy as the deployment of forms of action that activate anyone’s equality with anyone else, and not as a form of state or a kind of society. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in The French | 2 Comments »

Sarah Palin can’t stop fucking

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 13, 2008

 

Sarah Palin: Operation “Castration”
Jacques-Alain Miller
translated by Jake Bellone with James Curley-Egan

 

Palin image


The choice of Sarah Palin is a sign of the times. In politics, the feminine enunciation is hence called to dominate. But be careful! It’s no longer about women who play elbows, modeling themselves on the men. We are entering an era of postfeminist women, women who, without bargaining, are ready to kill the political men. The transition was perfectly visible during Hillary’s campaign: she began playing the commander in chief and, since that didn’t work, what did she do? She sent a subliminal message, one that said something like: “Obama? He’s got nothing in the pants.” And she immediately took it back, but it was too late. Sarah Palin is not only picking up where she left off but, being younger by fifteen years, she is otherwise ferocious, slinging feminine sarcasm like a natural; she overtly castrates her male adversaries (and with such frank jubilation!) and their only recourse is to remain silent: they have no idea how to attack a woman who uses her femininity to ridicule them and reduce them to impotence. For the moment, a woman who plays the “castration” card is invincible. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Insanity, Spectacle, The French | 1 Comment »

Excellent Interview with Marxist Intellectual Istvan Meszaros from 1992

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 12, 2008

 

Marxism today: an interview with Istvan Meszaros – Interview

Chris ArthurThis is a somewhat abbreviated version of an interview published in the British journal Radical Philosophy (No. 62). The interview was conducted by Chris Arthur and Joseph McCarney in April 1992 and is included here with permission. Introducing the interview, the editors wrote as follows: “Istvan Meszaros left Hungary after the Soviet invasion of 1956. He recently retired from a Chair in Philosophy at the University of Sussex. He established his reputation in the English-speaking world with his widely translated Marx’s Theory of Alienation, (1970), which was awarded the Isaac Deutscher Memorial Prize. His work has been particularly well received in Latin America, and The Power of Ideology (1989), his most recently published work, was highly acclaimed both in Britain and abroad. Meszaros’ thought is characterized by a fiercely combative Marxism, and a socialist commitment undiminished by recent events. He is currently developing some original ideas about the theory and practice of the transition to socialism. His forthcoming book, Beyond Capital: Towards a Theory of Transition, will be published by the Merlin Press next spring.” — The Editors Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Zizek on the economic meltdown

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 12, 2008

 

Don’t Just Do Something, Talk

Slavoj Žižek

One of the most striking things about the reaction to the current financial meltdown is that, as one of the participants put it: ‘No one really knows what to do.’ The reason is that expectations are part of the game: how the market reacts to a particular intervention depends not only on how much bankers and traders trust the interventions, but even more on how much they think others will trust them. Keynes compared the stock market to a competition in which the participants have to pick several pretty girls from a hundred photographs: ‘It is not a case of choosing those which, to the best of one’s judgment, are really the prettiest, nor even those which average opinion genuinely thinks the prettiest. We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligence to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be.‘ We are forced to make choices without having the knowledge that would enable us to make them; or, as John Gray has put it: ‘We are forced to live as if we were free.’ Read the rest of this entry »

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Noam Chomsky on the economic meltdown

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 11, 2008

 

Anti-democratic nature of US capitalism is being exposed

NOAM CHOMSKY

Fri, Oct 10, 2008

Bretton Woods was the system of global financial management set up at the end of the second World War to ensure the interests of capital did not smother wider social concerns in post-war democracies. It was hated by the US neoliberals – the very people who created the banking crisis writes Noam Chomsky

THE SIMULTANEOUS unfolding of the US presidential campaign and unravelling of the financial markets presents one of those occasions where the political and economic systems starkly reveal their nature.

Passion about the campaign may not be universally shared but almost everybody can feel the anxiety from the foreclosure of a million homes, and concerns about jobs, savings and healthcare at risk.

The initial Bush proposals to deal with the crisis so reeked of totalitarianism that they were quickly modified. Under intense lobbyist pressure, they were reshaped as “a clear win for the largest institutions in the system . . . a way of dumping assets without having to fail or close”, as described by James Rickards, who negotiated the federal bailout for the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management in 1998, reminding us that we are treading familiar turf. The immediate origins of the current meltdown lie in the collapse of the housing bubble supervised by Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, which sustained the struggling economy through the Bush years by debt-based consumer spending along with borrowing from abroad. But the roots are deeper. In part they lie in the triumph of financial liberalisation in the past 30 years – that is, freeing the markets as much as possible from government regulation. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Brain, Buzzkill, Insanity, Poverty, The Americans, The Bullshit Bailout | Leave a Comment »

Interview On Venezuelan Workplaces with Carlos Lanz

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 8, 2008

Interview On Venezuelan Workplaces with Carlos Lanz

Carlos Lanz is an advisor to the Ministry of Education and former director of the Aluminum processing plant Alcasa, which was one of the first experiments in creating a socialist enterprise in Venezuela, in which the workers run one of the country’s largest and most important industrial state-owned enterprises.

Can you first just say your position?

I am now in the Education Ministry but I was until quite recently working centrally at the Aluminum plant at Alcasa.
 
I want to talk with you mostly, if it is okay with you, about that plant…

Yes, it has now had about two years experience, and is entering into a new phase of creating a socialist enterprise.  Read the rest of this entry »

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EXTINCTION

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 8, 2008

 

                                                      The beautiful Baiji, now extinct.
October 6, 2008
AFP 

Half the world’s mammals are declining in population and more than a third probably face extinction, said an update Monday of the “Red List,” the most respected inventory of biodiversity.

A comprehensive survey of mammals included in the annual report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which covers more than 44,000 animal and plant species, shows that a quarter of the planet’s 5,487 known mammals are clearly at risk of disappearing forever. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Animals, Buzzkill, Death, Dystopia, Ecology, Evil, Hell, Insanity, The End | Leave a Comment »

Shopping for the right thing to wear at the wrong end of a gun

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 6, 2008

 

In Mexico, shopping for the right thing to wear at the wrong end of a gun
Monday, October 6, 2008

MEXICO CITY: Exclusive clothing boutiques line Avenida Presidente Masarik here. A Burberry coat? A Corneliani suit? A Gucci scarf? Have enough pesos, and they are yours.

But tucked on a leafy side street in the Polanco neighborhood is a shop unlike the others, one whose bustling business says much about the dire state of security in this country. At Miguel Caballero, named after its Colombian owner, all the garments are bulletproof. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Essay on “Battle In Seattle”

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 6, 2008

 

Published on Saturday, October 4, 2008 by CommonDreams.org

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Marxism ages gracefully

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 2, 2008

 

The Communist Manifesto Turns 160

by BARBARA EHRENREICH

This year marks the 160th anniversary of The Communist Manifesto and capitalism–a k a “free enterprise”–seems willing to observe the occasion by dropping dead. On Monday night, some pundits were warning that the ATMs might run dry and hinting that the only safe investment left is canned beans. Apocalypse or extortion? No one seems to know, though the populist part of the populace has been leaning toward the latter. An e-mail whipping around the web this morning has the subject line “Sign on Wall Street yesterday,” and shows a hand-lettered cardboard sign saying, “JUMP! You Fuckers!” Read the rest of this entry »

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LEMMY!!!

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 2, 2008

 

 
Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister 
By Keith Carman   

Motörhead bassist/vocalist Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister is god, at least in the world of rock’n’roll. And these days he’s pretty much single-handedly maintaining the Holy Trinity of rock — sex, drugs and rock’n’roll — with a touch of class. He’s the kind of guy that even rock stars are nervous to meet. He’s seen the Beatles’ first television performance, was a roadie for Jimi Hendrix and his tour stories are the stuff of legend. More importantly, were it not for his gravelly throat, iconic handlebar moustache and grinding Rickenbacker bass delivering uncompromised, no-holds-barred rock’n’roll since 1975, virtually any band utilizing distortion and power chords today simply wouldn’t exist.

Even at 62, Kilmister refuses to slow down, touring in support of latest album Motorizer (SPV/Steamhammer) with long-time cohorts Phillip Campbell (guitar) and Mikkey Dee (drums). While Motorizer is Motorhead’s most accomplished and diverse effort in almost a decade, Lemmy understandably feels it’s no different than their previous 23 studio efforts. “Motorizer is a good album but then again, they’ve all been good albums,” he declares in his trademark to-the-point manner, replete with enigmatically dry British humour. “I hope people latch onto it. I advise everyone to buy two copies. You won’t be disappointed. Why not three? They make great coasters if you don’t like it.”

What are you up to?
We’re on tour with Judas Priest and Heaven and Hell. We’re in Oklahoma City.

What are your current fixations?
Women with three tits. You don’t get a lot of ‘em, y’know. You gotta look carefully. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bourbon, Drugs, Punk Rock, The Brits | Leave a Comment »

The Free Market Preachers Have Long Practised State Welfare for the Rich

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 2, 2008

 


The Free Market Preachers Have Long Practised State Welfare for the Rich

by George Monbiot
September 30, 2008
The Guardian

According to Senator Jim Bunning, the proposal to purchase $700bn of
dodgy debt by the US government was “financial socialism, it is
un-American”. The economics professor Nouriel Roubini called George
Bush, Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke “a troika of Bolsheviks who turned
the USA into the United Socialist State Republic of America”. Bill
Perkins, the venture capitalist who took out an ad in the New York Times
attacking the plan, called it “trickle-down communism”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Raymond Williams

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 1, 2008

    

 

Raymond Williams

Utopia and Science Fiction*

 

 

 

There are many close and evident connections between science fiction and utopian fiction, yet neither, in deeper examination, is a simple mode, and the relationships between them are exceptionally complex.** Thus if we analyse the fictions that have been grouped as utopian we can distinguish four types: (a) the paradise, in which a happier life is described as simply existing elsewhere; (b) the externally altered world, in which a new kind of life has been made possible by an unlooked-for natural event; (c) the willed transformation, in which a new kind of life has been achieved by human effort; (d) the technological transformation, in which a new kind of life has been made possible by a technical discovery. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Anarchy, Dystopia, Robots!, Sci-Fi | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

William Gibson Interview

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 1, 2008

Obama is preaching transcendence
Submitted by mute on Thursday, 4 September, 2008 – 14:10

 

ByUlrich Gutmair

When rivalry still openly reigned between the Obama and Clinton camps of the Democratic Party, Ulrich Gutmair spoke to Sci-Fi writer and pioneer of cyberpunk, William Gibson, about American politics, the online age and Voodoo Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Building Dwelling Thinking by Martin Heidegger

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 1, 2008

 

Building Dwelling Thinking by Martin Heidegger

  

 

Building Dwelling Thinking by Martin Heidegger

In what follows we shall try to think about dwelling and building. This thinking about building does not presume to discover architectural ideas, let alone to give rules for building. This venture in thought does not view building as an art or as a technique of construction; rather it traces building back into that domain to which everything that is belongs. We ask:
1. What is it to dwell?
2. How does building belong to dwelling? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Brain, Ecology, Poverty, The City | 2 Comments »

Cloud computing is a trap, warns GNU founder Richard Stallman

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 1, 2008

Web-based programs like Google’s Gmail will force people to buy into locked, proprietary systems that will cost more and more over time, according to the free software campaigner

Richard Stallman on cloud computing: “It’s stupidity. It’s worse than stupidity: it’s a marketing hype campaign.” Photograph:www.stallman.org Read the rest of this entry »

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“Screaming in the Roosevelt Room”

Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 1, 2008

 


The New and Improved Wall Street Journal

     
One of the key actors now absent from the scene in the financial and political opera currently being acted in Washington  and New York is John Mc Cain.  There is only one brief mention of  the Republican Presidential candidate in the Wall Street Journal  article entitled “Bailout Plan Rejected, Markets Plunge, Forcing New Scramble to Solve Crisis” and published September 30, 2008.
 
The article published today marks a significant political change from the position taken in  the Weekend Edition of  Rupert Murdoch’s new and improved Wall Street Journal.  Journal readers on the weekend were treated to a wild and funny story that featured “screaming in the Roosevelt Room” (in Bush’s Whitehouse).  According to “Monday Meltdown” story in the leading capitalist newspaper in the US it would appear that the misinformation machine of monopoly capital would like to forget John McCain for a while, but why? Read the rest of this entry »

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