********************  POSTING RULES & NOTES  ********************
#1 YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
#2 This mail-list, like most, is publicly & permanently archived.
#3 Subscribe and post under an alias if #2 is a concern.

The piece by George Lakoff on Trump’s twitter wars that is circulating at 
present has brought back to me debates that were held in Qld in the 70s & 80s 
when we activists were accused of playing into the hands of the far right state 
Premier Bjelke-Petersen. The latter banned street marches and when we held the 
marches and were arrested in our thousands, liberals told us we had walked into 
a trap.  Meanwhile they who were infinitely more intelligent than us did not 
protest at all.

Similarly Matt Zarb-Cousin (whom I admire) has tweeted that the appointment of 
the execrable Toby Young to the post of Universities Overseer is a “dead cat”.  
That is, it is designed to distract us from the troubles that the Tory 
Government is experiencing over the Brexit negotiations and the crisis in the 
National Health System.

I describe the arguments here as the manufacturing of dissent. Basically Lakoff 
maintains that reacting to Trump’s twitter feed is playing Trump’s game.  In 
this analysis Trump emerges as some master manipulator and we are the 
pathetically manipulated that allow him to get away with his true program.

I much prefer to see Trump’s tweets not as the work of a political genius but 
as provocations or probes from the enemy that test out our strength. As such if 
we do not respond then the enemy becomes emboldened.

Thr frantic restless quality of Trump’s presidency is due at least in part to 
the fact that he has been elected in what Reinhart Koselleck called a “saddle 
time”, that is a time when a new consensus is being forged in struggle. The old 
neoliberal centre is in terminal decline and it is very unclear at present what 
will replace it. So for me there is no master plan to trap and distract us, 
just a multitude of attacks which we ignore at our peril.


Full posting guidelines at: http://www.marxmail.org/sub.htm
Set your options at: 

Reply via email to