Friday, December 12, 2008

Tragedy, Farce

Surely, in the good state of California, we can note, now that Gov. Schwarzenegger has declared the imminence of a "financial armageddon", and given the disastrous state of the news industry, that the front-page and the entertainment section of the papers have become virtually indistinguishable. . .

This is why Schwarzenegger is the perfect front-man for his good (and goodly dead) friend Milton Friedman's ideology. As Naomi Klein makes clear in The Shock Doctrine, neoliberal restructuring has always depended upon the manipulation (and outright creation) of crisis conditions, has always depended upon the melodrama and hysteria of the disaster movie. This is not to say that conditions are not dire, nor is it to say that the new economy which will emerge from this crisis is likely to follow the lines of neoliberalisms past. Only that we are, indeed, under the spell of a disaster politics, and we should be mindful of the messages borne aloft by the waves of affect now pouring from our television sets.

The solution here is, of course, rather simple: Gov. Schwarzenegger should go back in time, Terminator-style, and undo the tax cuts that he and his Republican buddies pushed through during the fat years of the 90s and 00s. Oh yeah, and it's probably cheaper to help poor people with food and housing by some other means than putting them in jail.


brian a j salchert said...

Yes and yes. Trickle down
means drought at the bottom.

the unreliable narrator said...

Financial armageddon! I wonder if I can find a way to work this notion into my upcoming course on the post-apocalypse?

Starsdown is in my university's library and on my list to pick up for this weekend. Thanks for a smart blog and new things to ponder.