Ideological Rebranding

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I dunno whether this is the right term, but I'm talking postmodernism being twisted into "nothing is true", anarchy becoming synonymous with chaos, neoliberal economics somehow becoming a "conservative" position. Is there something inherent in each example which allows them to be so effectively misrepresented?

With postmodernism there's the difficulty factor which sends people looking for interpreters, but there's obviously more to it than that. You could probably chalk the conservative acceptance of neoliberal economics up to self-interest, but it's perhaps a tad simplistic.

Thoughts?
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
Information entropy. Ironically this type of semantic decay was foretold by post modernism.

With your three examples Id say all are fairly difficult to grasp, or cannot be so neatly summarized in a single sentence.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I guess the apparent power and influence of postmodernism and neoliberal economics need to be taken into account. There's an emotional component to any engagement due to how much people feel they've affected their lives.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Could we say that neoliberal economics became the (relative) conservative position, because the prior conservative position (relative to which neoliberal was actually liberal) was predicated upon monarchy? Identifying as the subject of a ruling power? And once that form of government gave way to a more liberal form, in an absolute sense, the spectrum shifted accordingly?


Or is the timescale off in this argument?


Just realized I was thinking of liberal economics.
 
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constant escape

winter withered, warm
I'm glad someone else started this, I've got a bad touch with starting threads apparently.

The "nothing is true" element I think is a reaction to the "School of Suspicion" type lessons that revealed how the apparently true wasn't necessarily true, and thus believing anything is a risk not to be taken lightly, no? Because we can only go with what is apparent, for the most part, at least.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
neoliberal economics were always conservative - a retreat from Keynesianism

it's only when they became associated with politicians and parties with liberal social positions that they came to be viewed as "liberal"

similarly, anarchy has always multiple associations, one of which was chaos - all against all i.e. Hobbes, nature red in tooth and claw, etc

which is a wrong - or least, hotly disputed - view of both nature, but persisted nonetheless
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
What were the earlier conceptions of anarchy? The kinda stuff circulating around Proudhon? Stirner? Bukarin? Were they all anarchists?

If I was asked to semantically distinguish anarchy from communism, I would say that the former lacked governance entirely, and the latter was, I guess, something of a peer-to-peer governance, without any transcendent or central expression of government.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
neoliberal economics were always conservative - a retreat from Keynesianism

it's only when they became associated with politicians and parties with liberal social positions that they came to be viewed as "liberal"
Maybe my understanding of neoliberalism's off, but don't free markets pose a threat to traditions, institutions and "old money"?
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
The thing that sparked the thread was Jacobin tweeting about the right adopting postmodern philosophy and the left having to return to the Enlightenment and people responding that the left and postmodernism never rejected it in the first place,

@jacobinmag
Alt-right conspiracy theorists have embraced postmodern philosophy. The Left should return to the Enlightenment to oppose their irrational and hateful politics.

Replying to
@jacobinmag
"Return"? Who on the Left ever left? The enduring value of the Enlightenment can be seen him how vehemently (and ridiculously) the Right in general and reactionaries in particular have condemned it over the last decades.

Replying to
@jacobinmag
The mistake is to think that major thinkers associated with the term postmodernism reject the notion of The Enlightenment whole cloth. Take Foucault, for instance, who upheld its values as ever-present to thinking the new. *If we get the cogito back, will we have the revolution?*

Replying to
@jacobinmag
This title is incoherent because it implies that postmodern philosophy is a complete rejection of the enlightenment and not a more enlightened enlightenment project. Also, Alt right conspiracies are not postmodern, they are almost religious in their cosmology and dogmatic in there belief the in the other of the other: the paranoiac position. The author does not understand postmodern philosophy.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
What were the earlier conceptions of anarchy? The kinda stuff circulating around Proudhon? Stirner? Bukarin? Were they all anarchists?
well, earlier long predates all those guys

there are two different but related things

one is the modern conception of anarchism, which begins - or is formalized by, at least - with people like Proudhon

the other is human societies living without rulers - that goes back to the dawn of time, up to the advent of sedentary civilization

(typical disclaimer about not idealizing pre-civilization human culture beyond saying it was probably much more egalitarian than ours)

originally in the 19th C anarchism and communism under the same umbrella i.e. "libertarian socialism" as an old synonym for anarchism

there was a big split in the 1870s

nominally they both believed in the ultimate goal of a stateless egalitarian society, the differences were over how to get there. and people's egos ofc.

there's also a kind of in-between tradition of anti-state communism that developed in the 20th C in response to Stalinism, the reality of the USSR etc
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
incidentally the piece of ideological re-branding that irks me the most is "libertarian"

from the libertarian of "libertarian socialism" to the libertarian of the Libertarian Party etc

see also, "anarcho-capitalism"
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
How do you distinguish between a neoliberal, an anarcho-capitalist and a right-wing libertarian?

(This isn't the set-up for a joke, it's a genuine question.)
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
Maybe my understanding of neoliberalism's off, but don't free markets pose a threat to traditions, institutions and "old money"?
free markets existed before neoliberalism

I'm not an economic historian, but I believe that threat was carried out to fruition in the 19th and early 20th C

look at what happened to the landed aristocracy, its supersedence by capitalists, the entire sweep of the Victorian era up to WWI

after WWII there was a Keynesian arrangement - in the developed world - up until the 70s

neoliberalism was a retreat from that into privatization, austerity, etc
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
Has postmodernism ever actually said that?
not in so many words, of course

it's a matter of different kinds of truth

there are no objectively true moral positions is different from saying there's no such thing as any true statement

you can see how it would be easy for reactionaries to misread or misuse postmodernism

especially with their long history of misreading and misusing thinking of all kinds to validate their positions

i.e. the relationship of the Nazis to what Nietzsche actually wrote

as @Linebaugh said, it's "semantic decay"
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
How do you distinguish between a neoliberal, an anarcho-capitalist and a right-wing libertarian?
they believe in different levels of state intervention in the market place

there's a spectrum running from "not as much" to "none, categorically"

also neoliberals tend to be much more in favor of state intervention in social issues than lib/an-cap types
 
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