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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 8:52 pm 
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Ian Sales' incisive and probing questioning of Bruce Sterling in IZ 221 caused me to wonder what concrete and developed ideas lie behind Sterling's words. For Ian's claim that 'The Caryatids' appears to depict two 'chiefly capitalist supra-societies' elicited no concrete response.
Sterling's conceptually incoherent statement that '[t]he way we run the world today is just gone-it evaporated like the Soviet Union,' did not encourage me to expect precise answers. I was right. We read that Sterling's societies are not nations, multinational companies, or simple capitalist enterprises. These are not answers but evasions, since they offer no positive and definite descriptions.
I've been there before, indeed around 1965, when there was much talk about 'The End of Ideology' (book title), 'Post-Industrial society' (slogan), and, invented much earlier but persisting,
'The Managerial Revolution' (another book title). Such vaporous phrases and texts served as smokescreens for an aggressive phase of capitalism. They were intended to promote allegiance to big business in opposition to the largely anticapitalist countercultural ideas then popular. They glorified a growing system run by an elite of specially trained, ruthless managers (today called CEOs). Bruce Sterling continues this intellectual tradition with modern media tools.
Contrary to Sterling's assertions, many people are compelled to 'fret about the minutiae' of economic arrangements that erode their quality of life or intentionally kills them. They cannot accept such Pollyanna notions, which are in any case impalpable. Mr Sterling's comment that '[n]obody' frets much about 'power structures' or 'talks much about the past' offends me deeply: I must do these things quite often. I have no idea of what priviledged group he belongs to and of what sort of protected environment he lives in. How can he seemingly unreflectively believe such unreal things? Does he? Whatever the answers are, he is promoting ideas that forty years ago were at best misleading but which today are surely deadly.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:46 am 
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Sterling's a jetsetting commentator.

Not exactly one of the common people, is he?

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 11:15 am 
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Thanks, Blue Tyson. I appreciate that. It would be easy to tell Mr Sterling several things that I must 'fret' about in this real world outside LA (or wherever he lives and hangs out). But that would be too self-revelatory for this forum.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 12:51 pm 
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Now the bill's on the doormat, the financial experts' "new clothes" have been exposed, and we're all more or less in the sh*t (except those responsible for the whole mess), maybe we will all start taking more notice of power structures and history. That's always been the trouble with radical perspectivism, from Nietzsche down to Derrida and the postmodernists - maybe we do interpret reality through a culturally-conditioned lens, but at the end of the day a kick in the teeth is still a kick in the teeth.

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 1:13 pm 
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Right Mike. The problem is more extensive. Some people get kicked, others do the kicking, and others (another sort of kicker) provide the phony justifications for the second group. My text is about the third group.


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