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June 28, 2011

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Tartal Vignos

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/fashion/the-young-and-entrepreneurial-move-to-downtown-detroit-pushing-its-economic-recovery.html

The shock troops of neo-liberalism make safe another creative city! Ooops. Like most troops, they will eventually move out, whether they want to or not! Berlin? Ha ha ha.

Phil Cubeta

Recent census figures show that Detroit’s overall population shrank by 25 percent in the last 10 years. But another figure tells a different and more intriguing story: During the same time period, downtown Detroit experienced a 59 percent increase in the number of college-educated residents under the age of 35, nearly 30 percent more than two-thirds of the nation’s 51 largest cities.

For profit prisons, perhaps, can house some of the displaced inner city residents. Those who want good jobs and have a good work ethic can serve as prison guards, casino croupiers, or open thrift stores, pawnshops, and liquor stores. Beyond that there is a career open in the military. Education loans will be harder to get, state schools will struggle with lack of funding, but dumb and dumber are the intended audience for our public discourse.

People react to what they can see - the state of the neighborhood. What they don't see is the extraordinary and rapidly growing wealth at the top. Until we stop niggling about the guy next door making $50,000 and start thinking about the one making $5 mil running the payday loan operation for the Bank of Wealth Bondage, we are missing the point, and our rancorous complaints will only be encouraged by, for example, those who fund the Tea Party to keep the house and field negros, the white and the black, and the brown, the straight and the gay, the religious and the secular, the right and the left, fighting among themselves while those with the real wealth, in billions, walk off with the country and its treasures, not only financial.

Tartal Vignos

http://www.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nettime-l-1106/msg00072.html

tartal vignos

"What is going on in Athens at the moment is resistance against an invasion; an invasion as brutal as that against Poland in 1939. The invading army wears suits instead of uniforms and holds laptops instead of guns, but make no mistake – the attack on our sovereignty is as violent and thorough."

Not that I give a Schmitt, but wasn't sovereignty a primary concern of old Carl? Wikipedia:

"Schmitt defines sovereignty as the power to decide the instauration of state of exception, as Giorgio Agamben has noted. According to Agamben,[12] Schmitt's conceptualization of the "state of exception" as belonging to the core-concept of sovereignty was a response to Walter Benjamin's concept of a "pure" or "revolutionary" violence, which did not enter into any relationship whatsoever with right. Through the state of exception, Schmitt included all types of violence under right, in the case of the authority of Hitler leading to the formulation "The leader defends the law" ("Der Führer schützt das Recht")."

The Greek rebellion, in the above framing, is a conflict over who can delimit the exceptions, to the extent that it is characterized as conflict among sovereigns?

Phil Cubeta

Very interesting. The violence is perhaps now initiated by hedge fund managers. A recent editorial in the WSJ by a former hedge fund manager says that Greek islands and the Acropolis should be taken as collateral for Greek Sovereign Debt. When the debt is not paid, the islands and Acropolis will be owned by the fund manager who will likely sell them to China. They in turn will cut wages and benefits to Chinese levels. What the status of citizenship will then be for the Greeks on those islands is hazy. Presumably they are Chinese assets/liabilities carrying Greek passports, but exposed to Chinese rules, without protection of Greek law.

The state of exception is best compared to the Shock Doctrine as discussed by Naomi Klein, as Disaster Capitalism. The Chicago School has restructured Russia, Chile, now Greece, Ireland, and WI. Austerity measures they are called, meaning the immiseration of ordinary people in order to optimize returns for the owning class who, as the so called electorate wake up, are increasingly autocratic and brutal. The code name for this tyranny of capital is Freedom. The Freedom of Capital to place itself above constraint. The State of Exception then allows torture, and the rounding up of Subversives, deemed Terrorists, deemed nonpersons, or homo sacer, as Ambigen calls them. As nonpersons, or stateless persons as they were called under Nazi nomenclature, they can tried, sentenced, jailed, tortured or executed (not necessarily in that order) by secret tribunals in military courts.

"The law is hard, but it is the law," the Romans were told by the Emperor.

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