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We are witnessing the paradoxical convergence today of an absolutely liberal paradigm in the economy with an unprecedented and equally absolute paradigm of state and police control.
— Giorgio Agamben
UPDATE, Dec 9: Subscriptions for Issue #4 have now closed. You can still pre-order the issue (without shipping costs) here.
Ian Bruff – Authoritarian Neoliberalism and the Myth of Free Markets
Currently, the unspoken assumption is that the fight against neoliberalism is synonymous with the fight against free markets. This means that, every time a politician of the right — be it Trump, Putin, you name it — says something critical about free markets, supporters of progressive and radical politics are on the back foot. How else could it be, if everyone seems to be in agreement about the need to limit and constrain markets? What is the point of the left in that case, apart from its asking for a “nicer” form of constraint on the market?
There is a surprisingly simple and liberating way out of this. Instead of tying ourselves in knots about how to oppose free markets when governments of all stripes seem to be doing just that, we could do something quite different. That is, call out neoliberals, both intellectuals and their proselytizers in politics and the media, for the fiction that they uphold. The rhetoric about free markets is just that: rhetoric.
Laurie Calhoun – The Drone Assassination Assault on Democracy
In the early years of the Drone Age, only named suspects or insurgents who posed a threat to soldiers on the ground were targeted with drones. However, President Barack Obama succeeded over two terms in office in normalizing the targeted killing of persons designated as state enemies on the basis of their patterns of behavior. In what are termed “signature strikes,” military-age males have been intentionally hunted down and slaughtered for such behaviors as carrying a rifle in a remote-tribal region or riding around in the back of a truck “in the manner of insurgents.” Allegedly “mortal enemies” have also been identified through drone surveillance by their manner of dress, whether they pray several times a day, and whether they stand or squat to urinate.
It is in some ways difficult to comprehend how President Obama, a brown-skinned American male, came to champion what is tantamount to a flagrant policy of racial profiling. Yet he opted not only to continue but to expand the use of signature strikes to cover more and more territories, including countries such as Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia, with which the United States was not officially at war when he assumed the presidency.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor – Black Awakening, Class Rebellion
The most significant development in Black life over the last 45 years has been the emergence of the Black political class. By the end of the 1960s, white political machines could no longer govern Black majority cities. The political establishment believed that Black elected officials could contain the Black rebellion and, more importantly, impose austerity in ways that white officials believed they no longer could. With some exceptional examples, this had largely been true before the explosion in Baltimore in April of 2015.
If Obama is the greatest example of the failure of formal Black politics to address the needs of ordinary Black people, there are hundreds of smaller, local examples of this same phenomenon. Black officials uphold a status quo that is institutionally racist and incapable of delivering the goods to Black people.
Source URL — https://roarmag.org/2016/12/06/subscribe-now-roar-issue-4/