"The same-sex marriage agenda in the U.S. has been heavily critiqued by a wide variety of queer and trans activists because it fails to meaningfully address the key material problems facing queer and trans people, such as criminalization, immigration enforcement, poverty, health care access and homelessness, while it consumes enormous resources. It also has been a conservative shift in queer and trans politics, which has moved away from feminist and anti-racist critiques of marriage as a terrible and unfair way to distribute life chances and toward a conservative celebration of marriage as key to healthy families. This has happened alongside a right wing push in the U.S. to blame poverty on people’s failure to marry and to further cut poverty alleviation programs. In the U.S., after same-sex marriage is legal, queer and trans people will still face the same problems of a racist and violent growing immigration enforcement system, a growing wealth divide, and racist mass imprisonment. Some people who have immigration status or wealth to share with a partner will benefit, but the queer and trans people in the worst situations will still be facing the same dangers."
"So many of the TED talks take on the form of those famous patent medicine tonic cure-all pitches of previous centuries, as though they must convince you not through the content of what’s being said but through the hyper-engaging style of the delivery. Each new “big idea” to “inspire the world” and “change everything” pitched from the TED stage reminds me of the swamp root and snake oil liniment being sold from a wagon a hundred years past. As Mike Bulajewski pointed out in a Tweet, ‘TED’s ‘revolutionary ideas’ mask capitalism as usual, giving it a narrative of progress and change.’"
"Feminist genealogies can be described as genealogies of women who not only do not place their hopes for happiness in the right things but who speak out about their unhappiness with the very obligation to be made happy by such things. The history of feminism is thus a history of making trouble, a history of women who refuse to become Sophy, by refusing to follow other people’s goods, or by refusing to make others happy."
“Let me take the pro-gay marriage people and the religious people — I believe that there is a connecting dot there that nobody is looking at, and that’s the Constitution,” Beck said during a recent segment of his online talk show.“The question is not whether gay people should be married or not. The question is why is the government involved in our marriage?”
Still, Beck’s public renewal of his support for gay marriage comes at a politically significant moment for the GOP, which is working to reshape its message to appeal to a changing electorate. A Gallup survey released last week found that 53 percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing gay marriage, a number that has been steadily growing for the past decade.
Moreover, by couching his support for gay marriage in a libertarian framework, Beck makes the case for the right to look past differences on social issues in order to broaden their coalition to include all limited government conservatives.
“What we need to do, I think, as people who believe in the Constitution, is to start looking for allies who believe in the Constitution and expand our own horizon,” Beck said. “We would have the ultimate big tent.”
Oddly enough, Beck made these comments during an on-air talk with Penn Jillette, the talking half of the Vegas magician duo Penn & Teller, who is also a vocal libertarian and atheist.
From what I’ve read so far I’m pretty sure I disagree with Dean on a lot of points, but an interesting interview nonetheless. Saw a buddy at the coffee shop with his copy of the book today. Looks good. Gotta pick it up.
Oh Jodi. I love you, but holy hannah this just isn’t especially well argued, is it? There’s a problem that keeps popping up for me in all of Dean’s lectures and interviews around The Communist Horizon, and its this way that she, without any hesitation at all, completely collapses democracy into its (neo)liberal form and then tows that form as a kind of ahistorical inevitability. This is especially irritating since, as she hints in this interview and as she’s said quite explicitly elsewhere, much of her argument in The Communist Horizon relies on trying to undo the notion that communism is and only can be bureaucratic, Stalinist statism. There was a lecture floating around here a while ago where she argued that in the West (and this is true), Communism has been reduced to a kind of empty vessel—an ahistorical constant that is inevitably and inescapably totalitarian—that is simply filled with various contents at various historical moments in a way that justifies the fundamental assumption of totalitarian ends. No matter who is leading, no matter what the party form, no matter what the context, Communism, reduced to an ahistorical abstract, is bound to realize only its most authoritarian tendencies. This is a fair and accurate analysis. The problem is, she does exactly the same thing to democracy, fixing it in advance as something that will inevitably cement and shore up the resources of capitalist inequalities. Neoliberal democracy is simply the latest content shoehorned into that empty assumption, working to amplify the capitalist tendencies (allegedly) already at work within the form and theory of democracy itself. If we’re committed to a radical historicism in the analysis of communist governance, and to radical historicism as a general strategy of political critique, then it seems odd to suspend that commitment when it comes to a critical analysis of democratic forms, no?
Other than just being a not-so-strong rhetorical strategy, I think this equivocation is what ultimately undergirds her claim that democracy and communism are opposed and that the former, in the final instance, displaces the latter. And later in the interview, that equivocation rears its head quite clearly when she remarks that it is in fact the infrastructure of parliamentary democracy in Greece which has given Communism in the form of Syriza (also sort of lol at that claim that Syriza remains communist) an opportunity to show itself and perhaps even flourish in places. I just don’t think it’s accurate or fair to say that capitalism and democracy will always say yes to one another without betraying an ahistorical mode of analysis—or at the very least, a historicist analysis that only cuts in the direction of party Communism. And while I do like the rhetorical statement that Communism is the only thing that says “No” to Capitalism, I also don’t think that’s true. I don’t buy that the phrase “anti-capitalist,” which opens itself more to coalitional forms of struggle and resistance, doesn’t operate just as well. One might claim that Anti-Capitalism as a rhetoric still seeks recourse to “Capitalism” as its constitutive ground, but I’d argue that Communism does the same thing, even if not in name. What’s Communism, afterall, but a dialectical opposition to capitalist modes of production? Can there be a Communism without the constitutive outside of Capitalism? And if Capitalism is the constitutive outside of Communism, then Communism itself retains the trace of Capitalism in its very form, and can’t be seen as, I think, any more or less opposed to Capitalism than a phrase like anti-capitalism.
ALSO, that swipe she takes at Laclau and Mouffe is I think pretty weak. Like…”Look at Laclau and Mouffe! It’s almost as if they’re saying that class isn’t the essential plane of antagonism with which we must contend!” Well…yeah. That was like, their thesis. So probably. If I say “I disagree with a bunch of what Jodi Dean argues in this interview,” then I don’t think saying “your argument is invalid because you disagree with Jodi Dean” is an especially strong critique.
Okay. I need to shower and work on grad school apps. Also probably whisky.
"Tolerance as such is not the problem. Rather, the calls for tolerance, the invocation of tolerance, and the attempt to instantiate tolerance are all signs of identity production and identity management in the context of orders of stratification or marginalization in which the production, the management, and the context themselves are disavowed. In short, they are signs of a buried order of politics."
— Wendy Brown, Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire
The Conservative government has approved tens of millions of dollars in “economic action plan” ads this year even as it cites fiscal restraint to cut programs such as scientific research and environmental monitoring.
While Finance officials are refusing to disclose the budget for the current “action plan” media blitz blanketing Canadian airwaves, a Treasury Board document shows that cabinet approved $16-million in “economic action plan” advertising in the first quarter of this year alone.
That doesn’t include $5-million approved for a “better jobs” ad campaign, $8-million to sell Canadians on cuts to old age security, and $5-million to promote “responsible resource development” — the slogan given to an environmental assessment system that was cut back and restructured in the last budget. All the measures are promoted on the government’s “economic action plan” web site.
The Conservatives also approved $4.5-million for War of 1812 advertising this year.
In all, the federal cabinet has already approved more than $64-million in ad spending for 2012-13 — seemingly well on its way to matching the $83.3-million they spent in 2010-11, the last year for which complete numbers are available.
When the Conservatives came to office in 2006, they inherited a federal advertising budget of $41.3-million — a total they have doubled, and in one case more than tripled, every year they’ve been in power to date.
The ad spending comes as Treasury Board President Tony Clement oversees sweeping cuts to government programs in an across-the-board belt-tightening exercise.
World-renowned programs such as the Experimental Lakes Area are being axed for savings of $2-million annually, while the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy was cut to save $5.5-million.
Cindy Blackstock, the executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, called it “disturbing” that millions are being spent on government ads when First Nations children go to school in mould-ridden classrooms.
“I find these types of expenditures absolutely unacceptable to me, not only as someone who’s running an NGO and cares about the inequities that kids are experiencing, but also as a taxpayer,” Ms. Blackstock said in an interview.
“What I want to see is those taxpayer funds going into better health care, better education, helping children … not to the promotion of government agendas.”
The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat web site states: “The Government of Canada’s approach to advertising is guided by the principles of value for money, transparency, and accountability.”
The latest ad blitz trumpets government policy as the key to economic success, while directing viewers to a government web site for more specific information.