July 21, 2010

An unruly Behemoth

Neoliberal powers are anti-democratic and authoritarian. These powers are also not merely international in scope, and thus an eclipse of the traditional nation-state as well, but powers which ultimately enfeeble and control the political arena. To give you an idea as to how toothless ordinary democratic means and procedures have become, see the interview on DemocracyNow! with William Arkin, one of the WaPo reporters who wrote “Top-Secret America.” The investigative series addresses the enormous intelligence outsourcing since 9/11 to the private sector, and states: The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work. But, as also stated, these hidden networks form a political underworld – “the darkside” – of military, government, and private organizations.    

Yet none of this is all that new. See the following interview for criticism of WaPo for being late in recognizing the privatization pathology of the War on Terror. Also remember that the September 11 Commission recognized these kinds of institutional problems of the post-9/11 National Security complex in 2003-2004. Thus, are we experiencing more of the same? Surely this kind of reporting is rare - and it should be commended. But are we experiencing once again something Jodi Dean refers to in Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies, (Durham & London: Duke University, 2009) as “communicative capitalism” where “the standards of a finance and consumption-driven entertainment culture produce the setting of democratic governance” by pushing links, interviews, blogs, and "news" only to be recycled and memed without any adequate accompanying radical political project ?     

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