Friday, October 16, 2009

Is Working



I've been writing a lot lately, if not always here. Some proof of this assertion: me in the NS on Charles Saatchi's utterly inconsequential, occasionally quite funny self-outing (leading to the side issue of: when forced at gunpoint between Saatchi and Bourriaud, what would you choose?) and in BD, attempting tentative first drafts of a critique of the new suburbanism, of which Geoff Shearcroft's Thames Valley celebration promises to be both one of the more interesting and, as they say in proper academia, 'problematic' manifestations.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Pop Fop said...

Very good article. I find you are quite adept in describing and criticizing the warmed over Thatcherism/Reaganism (which is now combined with a generic liberalism) so common with those in the 'creative classes' and youth subculture. It would appear that the new language of class warfare is couched in left-liberal language. Identity politics/Multiculturalism (which has it's roots in hardline Maoism more so than the Frankfurt School Marxism it is usually associated with via the Right)made it's peace with neoliberalism back in the 1990s. Basically it's the synthesis of cultural revoltion by the New Left since the 1960s with the ever worsening class stratification promoted by neoliberlism/"libertarianism". One reason the class war was able to be so one sided was the almost complete abandonment of class politics by most of the New (and now leftover) Left in the mid century in favor of identity politics.

2:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh dear... so many isms...
isn't left/right an outdated notion altogether ?

2:18 pm  
Blogger owen hatherley said...

isn't left/right an outdated notion altogether?

Oh dear indeed. I fear you may have found this blog by accident. Apologies for the inconvenience.

4:29 pm  
Anonymous Pop Fop said...

Uh oh, I guess I am being called out as a fascist for criticizing multiculturalism? Didn't realize that was such a sacred cow with the independent left.

I realized that my comment may have been a bit of a non sequitur so I wanted to clarify. For one, I like your writing, Owen, because you write about class in a contemporary context. Yes I believe that most of the Left has abandoned this in favor of various 'outsider identities' which is why the Left is a joke (while the Right continue to be complete turds). Such identities and posings are certain compatible with the ever changing face of capitalism. Meanwhile, most idiot-populisms of the day which either flirt or merge with nationalism now use the language of minority rights, indentity politics, ect. My original point is that the decontextualized middle class culture of adopting different poses and identities at a whim (since we're all isolated individuals according to the theory) is the same as multiculturalism in theory (surface individualism/style as basis for politics). Both are meant to destroy class politics and pretty much have.

12:23 am  
Blogger owen hatherley said...

I guess I am being called out as a fascist for criticizing multiculturalism?

Not by me guv, my snide comment was directed entirely at Anonymous above.

12:41 am  
Anonymous Pop Fop said...

Sorry I misunderstood where that was directed.

10:32 am  
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