Alan Johnson and The Perennial American Hysteria? Or on Zizek The Magnificent

Professor Johnson may be British but he is adept at a faithful ventriloquism of the Cold War American specialty of hysterical anti-communism. And the thoughtful reader only viewed Rep. Alan West as just another No-Nothing political opportunist in the mode of the paranoid ramblings of the bourbon soaked Senator Joe McCarthy. Rep. West of the list of 80 Democrats who are Communists, although letting his statement represent 'evidence' rather than any actual 'proof'. Rep. West and Professor Johnson are allies in the fight against the resurgent Red Menace.
Although Professor Johnson in his latest essay titled The New Communism: Resurrecting the Utopian Delusion at his blog Ideals without Illusions at the World Affairs Journal manages to strike a tone of both respectable bourgeois intellectualism with a screeching nearly unhinged hysteria: this was no easy task but he managed to,somehow, make it work rhetorically. It is quite a feat and it is worth reading if only for an example of a specific kind of rhetorical pathology. A list of the culprits: Slavoj Zizek, Alain Badiou,  Michael Hardt,  Toni Negri, Gianni Vattimo, Alessandro Russo,Judith Balso, Alberto Toscano, Terry Eagleton, Bruno Bosteels , and the propaganda arm of the Communist Apologists Verso Books.
One must read it for his initial essay and his addendum in the comments section which for it's exhaustive intellectual completeness is stunning, for want of a better term. From my point of view Slavoj Zizek is the most visible of all the people that Professor Johnson names. He is both intellectually accomplished and in all ways the personification of the failed Communist Nostalgia that Professor Johnson rails against. Zizeck is polemicist, provocateur, intellectual gadfly even a stand up comic with a compelling intellectual dimension. He continually plays off the the concept of irony in all it's permutations and exploits to the fullest the practice of the dialectic.He is the most powerful in terms of public presence and he is utterly winning in his self-presentation.This makes him exceedingly dangerous as pitch man for the renewal of the political legitimacy of Communism.
Professor Johnson fails in his essay to address what might be the root cause of this destructive Communist Nostalgia that he inveighs against, which is so obviously the failure of Capital in it's unbridled Free Market iteration to deliver on it's own promised Utopia. And the Public Intellectuals that acted as apologists for that massive failure that has plunged the world, first into chaos and then to a bleak unending economic uncertainty.
Republicans, New Democrats, New Labor and the Party of Austerity are the real culprits of the political melodrama that has unfolded since the economic collapse of 2008, and the intellectuals who acted as mediators and explicators for an utterly corrupt political class, in hock to that very Capital. Read Professor Johnson's essay and meditate on the failure of Capital ,the rise of Zizek and his fellow travelers and the power of an exploitable hysteria.
Almost Marx              



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer.
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