Anton Jäger – Laboring Under an Illusion

Link to an edited transcript of an interview with Anton Jäger conducted by Doug Henwood:

“Laboring Under an Illusion”

It would have been nice to see a further elaboration on the issue of “status” with work and jobs — such as work to gain status or influence others — that is only mentioned in passing but otherwise this interview is informative and rebuts the silly autonomist, UBI, etc. arguments that have been floating around for the last few decades.

Slavoj Žižek – Ibi Rhodus, Ibi Saltus! Quote

“True freedom is not a freedom of choice made from a safe distance, like choosing between a strawberry cake or a chocolate cake; true freedom overlaps with necessity. One makes a truly free choice when one’s choice puts at stake one’s very existence—one does it because one simply ‘cannot do otherwise.’ When one’s country is under a foreign occupation and one is called by a resistance leader to join the fight against the occupiers, the reason given is not ‘you are free to choose,’ but: ‘Can’t you see that this is the only thing you can do if you want to retain your dignity?’

***

“[Martin] Luther saw clearly how the (Catholic) idea that our redemption depends on our acts introduces a dimension of bargaining into ethics: good deeds are not done out of duty but in order to gain salvation. If, however, my salvation is predestined, this means that my fate is already decided and my doing good deeds does not serve anything—so if I do them, it is out of pure duty, a really altruistic act . . . .

***

“What Protestantism prohibits is the very thought that a believer can, as it were, take a position outside/above itself and look upon itself as a small particle in the vast reality.”

***

“What this also implies is that the access to ‘reality in itself’ does not demand from us that we overcome our ‘partiality’ and arrive at a neutral vision elevated above our particular struggles—we are ‘universal beings’ only in our full partial engagements. *** [W]e should assert the radically exclusive love for the singular One, a love which throws out of joint the smooth flow of our lives.

***

“the true ethical universality never resides in the quasi-neutral distance that tries to do justice to all concerned factions. So, if, against fundamentalisms which ground ethical commitment in one’s particular ethnic or religious identity, excluding others, one should insist on ethical universalism, one should also unconditionally insist on how every authentic ethical position by definition paradoxically combines universalism with taking sides in the ongoing struggle.  Today, more than ever, one should emphasize that a true ethical position combines the assertion of Universalism with a militant, divisive position of one engaged in a struggle: true universalists are not those who preach global tolerance of differences and all-encompassing unity, but those who engage in a passionate fight for the assertion of the Truth that engages them.”

Slavoj Žižek,“Ibi Rhodus, Ibi Saltus!” PROBLEMI INTERNATIONAL, vol. 2, no. 2, 2018

See also Less Than Nothing (“every ethical and/or moral edifice has to
be grounded in an abyssal act which is, in the most radical sense imaginable, political, . . . [as] the very space in which, without any external guarantee, ethical decisions are made and negotiated”) and “Ágota Kristóf’s The Notebook Awoke in Me a Cold and Cruel Passion” and The Fragile Absolute and Critique of Cynical Reason

Matthew Stanley – Ulysses S. Grant: American Giant

Link to a review of Ron Chernow‘s book Grant (2017) by Matthew Stanley:

“Ulysses S. Grant: American Giant”

 

Selected quote: “To the extent that it overturns reactionary narratives and underscores the radical potential of the American past, Chernow’s Grant should be commended as a gain for truth. But his stress on the importance of political rights without discussion of how the market renders those political rights vulnerable (or even futile) is the primary shortcoming of liberal accounts of the Reconstruction era — and of liberal politics today.”

 

Bonus links: Democracy in America? and Golden Rule and Trade, Development and Foreign Debt and Review of Lenin

Wikipedia – A Tool Of The Ruling Elite

Link to an episode of the TV program “On Contact,” with Chris Hedges interviewing Helen Buyniski:

“Wikipedia – A Tool Of The Ruling Elite”

 

Bonus links: “Wikipedia: J’accuse” and “The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine” and “Evidence of Google Blacklisting of Left and Progressive Sites Continues to Mount” and “RYM Shitheads” and The Sublime Object of Ideology

Russell Mokhiber – Mark Worth on Corporate Compliance Fatigue and Being Fed up with the Monitor

Link to an article by Russell Mokhiber:

“Mark Worth on Corporate Compliance Fatigue and Being Fed up with the Monitor”

 

Bonus links: The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives and “The Problem With HR” (“At solving the problem, HR is not great. At creating protocols of ‘compliance’ to defend a company against lawsuits? By that criterion, it has been a smashing success.” — a good quote but other parts of this article seem unreliable for various reasons)  and …And the Poor Get Prison and Trouble in Paradise and The State and Revolution

Paul Street – Shameless Hypocrisy

Link to an article by Paul Street:

“Shameless Hypocrisy: Lessons of the Great Khashoggi Kill Story”

 

Street (following Herman and Chomsky) is wrong to suggest that this kind of journalism is hypocritical.  Rather, Domenico Losurdo has explained how this disavowed politics of exclusion is central to the kind of liberalism that these sorts of journalists adhere to.  See Liberalism: A Counter-History (“The political criticism that Losurdo directs towards liberalism is based upon a precise philosophical analysis: he exposes the lack of universalism in this train of thought: its inability to go beyond representing the special interests of the strongest classes.”).