Sunday, January 23, 2011

Whose Crisis, Whose Diaster? (I)

Hey, I suppose a blog rounding-up various Facebook posts and miscellaneous discussions over the last month or so might be good. No guarantee I’ll keep this up “as a tradition”.

What does the crisis look-like to the bourgeois? I would posit that it looks like an avalanche of benefit with a few rough-spots. For example, the program of (Unite State’s) “state bankruptcy” provides a massive opportunity for speculative capital to profit from the further buffeting of US state’s bond prices.

The uncertainty of Greece’s situation was a cornucopia for the world’s hedge funds.

The state bankruptcy plan would double to the size of this casino while keeping the rules of the game about the same – ie, a game of “chicken” where the local government is ostensibly bullied into greater and greater austerity measures by speculative attacks.

I commented on The China Study Group’s blog concerning the various debates around the crisis. I think the debate is worth continuing and I look forward to any replies. One thing I’d say about using statistics to judge the crisis is that I’d rather use no statistics than a small sample of statistics that are probably wrong. This isn’t to say one should ignore statistics. A thorough read of Doug Noland’s Credit Bubble Bulletin can provide the reader a wide of range of statistics which are worth comparing against the single statistic Aufheben cite. But even this gives one just a “sense”. If some academic could do a detailed analysis accounting for all of capital’s mass, all the fake profits, all the hidden inflation and so-forth, it might show whether or not capital is really having a crisis of accumulation. Until then, it actually seems wiser to the judge the situation by capital’s behavior than by a simple look at the official figures.

Is crisis “good for us” or “bad for us”? Such a question means little. I believe it is something like a disease entering a terminal stage, where it must either be cured or kill the patient. What are the odds of one or the other? How could anyone expect anyone to know the answer.

More in a bit…

Friday, January 21, 2011

Final PDF Posted

Just a quick note to say I posted the final PDF of ASAN * here. I’m posting it on scribd so I thought I’d post here first.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


In response to adventure ...

Speaking roughly, we might say that the ingredients of adventure are challenge, mystery and transformation.

Currently, omnipresent cellphones and networks are corroding all of the concrete, specific mysteries of this society. Despite this, they leave almost everything more mysteries and opaque than before. But for simple questions you might ask someone, for facts about geography, weather, common knowledge and such, the mystery is just gone. The plot of most novels from before the 21st century would fall apart given just omnipresent mobile phones. Google maps, wikipedia and such would eliminate the rest.

Transformation is in just as bad shape, though not as obviously. However much a character might change, said challenge would face the same roiling, insane total world of capital. And so authentic transformation look done-for “in the small”. Challenge similarly.

So where does that put adventure? The classic plots which followed exemplary characters through illustrative adventures can no longer resonate with our condition.

I would posit that “adventures”, in the plural, are done. We have only the single adventure that we are all facing simultaneously – the total transformation of humanity. For capital, we are raw materials. Once this “raw-material-hood” was concentrated in mundane physical effort. Now, the “sharing” of our mutual social relations is important part of it. And so the singular plots of our individual “characters” are marginalized relative to what twists and turns the total plot of the total machine will take…

Of course this is all an extension and intensification of everything the Situationists discussed. But it’s still important to keep track of the various levels to which capital’s flood reaches.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hello Blog

First Post! ... and all. This blog is intended unify my rough BBS posts, ASAN drafts, Facebook posts and whatever else. Some people’s challenge is getting things written down. My challenge is getting what written into coherent, final form. Well, at least I know. The blog now being added to the site will thus range from long articles to short comments. It will include my personal musings and sharp polemics. Everything is subject to being updated for typos… Enjoy