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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Philosophy folds for Obama

Posted by on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 5:56 PM

Writes Slavoj Žižek:

Noam Chomsky called for people to vote for Obama ‘without illusions’. I fully share Chomsky’s doubts about the real consequences of Obama’s victory: from a pragmatic perspective, it is quite possible that Obama will make only some minor improvements, turning out to be ‘Bush with a human face’. He will pursue the same basic policies in a more attractive way and thus effectively strengthen the US hegemony, damaged by the catastrophe of the Bush years.

There is nonetheless something deeply wrong with this reaction – a key dimension is missing from it. Obama’s victory is not just another shift in the eternal parliamentary struggle for a majority, with all the pragmatic calculations and manipulations that involves. It is a sign of something more. This is why an American friend of mine, a hardened leftist with no illusions, cried when the news came of Obama’s victory. Whatever our doubts, for that moment each of us was free and participating in the universal freedom of humanity.

Even philosophy cannot resist this "passing through" that is Obama.


Comments (9) RSS

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Obama will basically be a third term of Bush.

Unfortunately for him, Bush was able to be Bush with a slim margin of victory -- which has the upside of not making him beholden to that many people.

Obama on the other hand, owes his victory to numerous groups who expect a payoff the day after January 20th, 2009.

He who signs the check, wields the ultimate power.
Posted by John Bailo on November 18, 2008 at 6:36 PM · Report this
Bailo, you present a non-sequitur: Bush barely won, therefore not beholden to many groups. Obama has campaign donors, therefore beholden to many groups.

How does Obama winning by a bigger margin than Bush undermine the fact that Bush also had campaign donors, and that he let them run the White House? That's the problem of Bush - Bush being Bush meant turning the reins over to Cheney, and therefore Halliburton and Exxon-Mobil and the rest of their friends got whatever they wanted.

But under what circumstances could an electoral win in America be materially different? Obama's victory wasn't immaculate from shady donations, perhaps, but it's the cleanest there has ever been.
Posted by David on November 18, 2008 at 7:07 PM · Report this
Symbols matter.
Posted by flamingbanjo on November 18, 2008 at 7:24 PM · Report this
Why would anyone take seriously what Bailo says now, after every statement he posted before the election was rejected with a vengeance?
Posted by pete maravich's socks on November 18, 2008 at 7:38 PM · Report this
Chomsky's most interesting work was on linguistics. His deconstruction of American policies was where I discovered him in the 80s. His relevance for me now is low. I do like his anti-corporation stance though.

Chomsky, June 2008
Selective boycotts, carefully formulated, might have some effect. For example, boycotts of military producers who provide arms to Israel, or to Caterpillar Corporation, which provides the equipment for destroying Palestine. All of their actions are strictly illegal, and boycotts could be made understandable to the general public, so that they could be effective.

Now go order me and my girl some workboots so we can kick it in the bedroom. Who gives a fuck about ethics? When you're working hard to find the g-spot, you have to be a well-dressed hypocrite.

Posted by Must Eat Pussy on November 18, 2008 at 8:21 PM · Report this
Good use of diacritics. A nice strešica always makes my day.
Posted by slavic junkie on November 18, 2008 at 8:47 PM · Report this
We called election night "a rare moment of gratuitous happiness" where we were, indeed, free for a few hours to just be happy.
Posted by bdb on November 19, 2008 at 7:58 AM · Report this
#2 - "Bush being Bush meant turning the reins over to Cheney, and therefore Halliburton and Exxon-Mobil and the rest of their friends got whatever they wanted."

Looks like another desperate leftist attempt to smear Bush. Do you care to offer any proof?
Posted by Lord Basil on November 19, 2008 at 8:58 AM · Report this
@6: Excuse me dude, but that's a mäkčen.
Posted by slovak junkie on November 19, 2008 at 1:33 PM · Report this

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