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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Drones and the Logic of the Post-Neoliberal Moment

Posted by on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 10:04 AM

CNN:

How do you protect some of the world's rarest large mammals from rampant poaching in an area about six times the size of Manhattan? Conservationists in Kenya believe the answer could come from the skies.
Nestled in the shadow of the majestic Mount Kenya, Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a 90,000-acre game reserve boasting a wide array of wildlife, including the endangered black and white rhinos, elephants, leopards, lions and chimpanzees. Since late 2009, it has also been home to four of the last seven northern white rhinos left in the world.
A Marxist critic can't help but see the sudden prevalence of drones in so many seemingly unrelated social domains as not a mere accident. This prevalence must be the expression of a solution to the shape or character that our historically and economically determined moment has assumed. What the drone reveals is that policing now connects domains that were established by and distinct in previous moments that, as a whole, form the 400-year development of a form of social reproduction that was initiated in Europe after the Islamic age of the Mediterranean and has since been urbanizing and globalizing the human condition. Each moment in this development presents new solutions for control and new weapons for the controlled...

 

Comments (17) RSS

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Karlheinz Arschbomber 1
Please, PLEASE, Charles - fix the title, with the bogus apostrophe. Signature American illiteracy -- apostrophe for plural nouns. Thank's!
Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arschbombe on January 31, 2013 at 10:07 AM · Report this
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psbirch 3
yeah -- the grocer's apostrophe in the headline is problematic.

Also, there's an idiom conflict in the opening sentence after the quote:

"A Marxist critic can't help but see the sudden prevalence of drones in so many seemingly unrelated social domains as a mere accident"

Taking out the parenthetical clause, this sentence reads:

"A Marxist critic can't help but see the sudden prevalence of drones as a mere accident"

I believe the remainder of the paragraph implies the opposite -- that the Marxist critic cannot *dismiss* the sudden prevalence of drones as a mere accident.
Posted by psbirch on January 31, 2013 at 10:18 AM · Report this
4
Text reads like it was made with the random post-modernism essay generator.

Clip looks like it was made with the random SyFy channel movie generator.

Why does he need an oxygen mask to fly a remote control plane?
Posted by GermanSausage on January 31, 2013 at 10:20 AM · Report this
5
Drone's? You're a writer. You should fucking know better.

Go back to school.
Posted by hey guys on January 31, 2013 at 10:27 AM · Report this
lark 6
Good Morning Charles,
I'm afraid I got lost in your comment. I don't think I understood it.

It appears from the CNN snippet that drones can be of use in preserving endangered species by spying on potential poachers. I find that very useful and benign. I would have thought satellite technology was already undertaking such activity, that is monitoring both the critters and potential poachers. But, I reckon it's quite expensive. If these drones can be of service (for all of us BTW) in preserving endangered species then so be it. I see no issue with it from either a Marxist or Capitalist viewpoint.
Posted by lark on January 31, 2013 at 10:36 AM · Report this
warreno 7
'What the drone reveals is that policing now connects domains that were established by and distinct in previous moments that, as a whole, form the 400-year development of a form of social reproduction that was initiated in Europe after the Islamic age of the Mediterranean and has since been urbanizing and globalizing the human condition.'

--

This is, quite literally, incomprehensible.
Posted by warreno http://www.nightwares.com on January 31, 2013 at 11:04 AM · Report this
psbirch 8
The revision, "A Marxist critic can't help but see the sudden prevalence of drones in so many seemingly unrelated social domains as not a mere accident" resolves the conflict, but the double-negative makes for a belabored parsing of the sentence, especially as the use of 'help' works against the use of 'accident'. Again, removing the parenthetical clause:

"A Marxist critic can't help but see the sudden prevalence of drones as not a mere accident"

Alternatives that may allow a more straightforward understanding:

"A Marxist critic can help seeing the sudden prevalence of drones as more than a mere accident"

"Marxist criticism can help to see the sudden prevalence of droves as more than a mere accident"

Also, "accident" is pretty lonely there at the end of the sentence. Making "accident" modify a signifier of historical perspective might make a stronger segue to the remainder of the paragraph, i.e., "accident of history", or "accident of circumstance", such that the full line might read:

"A Marxist critic can easily dissemble the sudden prevalence of drones in so many seemingly unrelated social domains as more than a mere accident of convenience. It is the expression of the shape and character our contemporary solutions to historically and economically determined crises have assumed. What the drone reveals ... "


Posted by psbirch on January 31, 2013 at 11:10 AM · Report this
9
Charles, you are the worst.
Posted by spoons on January 31, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this
psbirch 10
@7 Some punctuation in there might help, and/or replacing the over use of homonyms ('that', 'form') with words more distinct from one another in their meaning:

"What the drone reveals is that policing now connects those domains established by and distinct in previous moments of history. The development of such connections, as a whole, charts the 400-year development of a method of social reproduction, initiated in Europe after the Islamic age of the Mediterranean, that has since been urbanizing and globalizing the human condition."

Of course, now that I've scanned that out the "400-year" phrase don't quite jibe with the use of 'since', which implies a thing once developed now exerts influence but is not still developing, which is against the notion that the use of contemporary use of drones is further extending and modifying that previous development.

Otherwise, I thought the original paragraph fairly coherent in form. You may perhaps have been distracted by Charles's style of using double descriptives -- "established by and distinct", "urbanizing and globalizing", "the shape or character", "historically and economically" -- which I believe he is fairly effective in employing for a more oral tone in his writing.

Posted by psbirch on January 31, 2013 at 11:31 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 11
Ok, this one is a total tear-down and redo.

I don't think it can be salvaged.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on January 31, 2013 at 11:36 AM · Report this
sirkowski 12
@4 Charles Mudede doesn't exist. It's just an automated script connected to the post-modernist generator.
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on January 31, 2013 at 11:37 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 13
Obviously we need to arm and train large mammals how to use field artillery.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 31, 2013 at 11:38 AM · Report this
14
Tonderai is the Stranger's Affirmative Action hire. He don't need to write good.
Posted by Stranger'sWorstNightmare on January 31, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
blip 15
I initially skimmed this post (as I do any time I encounter a huge block of text with minimal punctuation, especially ones that begin with "A Marxist critic can't help but see..."). The point I took from it is that people are using modern warfare technology to police behavior that long pre-dates it.

But after reading through it carefully I have no idea what the hell is going on here.
Posted by blip on January 31, 2013 at 12:34 PM · Report this
16
I really wish the Slog author filter still worked
Posted by Reader01 on January 31, 2013 at 2:45 PM · Report this
17
Go home Dad, you're drunk.
Posted by Doodah on January 31, 2013 at 3:38 PM · Report this

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