A kind of a "dangerous supplement", marked, scarred on a body, post-orgasmically, always, already in anticipation of (a) crisis OR for a desert avec 'agape'. Mindb(l)ogg(l)ing Noise. "Avalanche, would you share my last pursuit?" (Baudelaire)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Abraham Obama


Abraham Lincoln, Fragment on Government, 1840s


The invocation of a Marx vis-a-vis the future of the undoubtedly singularly historic election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the U.S.A. is as inappropriate an analytic tool as was the summoning of a spectre of Marx by the Republican scaremonger. America's center-stage politics are after all the politics of religiosity and deism, not of the trade-union or the radical squad - not anymore at least. The reinvigoration of politics, the attack on political dynasties and elites, the return to government that Obama's campaign and election effected is not a socialist turn therefore but an attempt to return to an idiosyncratic Americanism of the belief in the 'American Dream', the (primarily) topological messianism from Thoreau to facebook Mob-Wars to the (re)building of the Freedom Tower, perpetuated by the prophetic announcement even in its technological rendition of news-networks 'calling' elections, the naming, the logos of the father.

According to U.S.A.'s unique Abrahamic inheritance, government's "legitimate object (...) is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves in their separate, and individual capacities." Whereas whenever and in whatever they can do themselves, government must not get involved.It is this recent hopeless inability of people in the U.S. to do themselves "whatever they need to have done" that has brought up the question of the role of government within the specific context of the American democratic system. Unable to name a source for and of hope, unable to decipher a calling, no god to trust in, they turn their gaze to an analysis of the sign-ificance of the nature of hope. That is they return to the practice of naming, to the name itself. To the origin, the father: Abraham or A-ba-ra-ma or Obama. The Lincoln Center. It is from here, from the Abrahamic that this American re-birth stems. The crying and groaning the yelling and choking - the tears of High Fathers, Moses-figures of the civil rights movement like Jesse Jackson for example- were not but the stuff of labor. Of "labor which is prior and independent of capital" as Lincoln writes, of "labor which is superior to capital", yes, above and beyond capital and its analytics. A labor whose mid-wife was after all the Biblical grammar of podia and an a-dieu to the heroics of bondage - be them black or white.

5 comments:

Γ.Ι. said...

invocation of Marx vis-à-vis the future...

it had nothing to do with this, it was just an account of the elections from a Marxist (theoretical aka "not soviet") point of view..

and i didn't even mention revolution :)

Demetris said...

I used you as a closer to us example of the briefly noted 'cautions' towards Obama, influenced by a Marxist context of economics in relationship to his global outlook. Was that not what you were pointing to?

I believe it is not through the classical spectrum of political analysis that one must view the elections (be it Marx or Groucho) and in extenso their future but through the peculiar to and embedded in the U.S. religiosity.Otherwise we are missing the point of Obamania and all this elation. If a global change will be effected with and by Obama it will be through a renewed affiliation with spirituality Americana as this can be traced from the 16th to the 44th president. Check Obama's 5/11 Grant Park speech - who does he quote? Not to mention the 'God bless....' epilogue.

Βαρώνος Κόζιμο said...

I'm nitpicking here, but seeing Obama through through "U.S. religiosity", what does remain from the *singularity* of this historic event?

I agree that this relgiosity is in fact the context that Obama should be placed, but by dong so, aren't we essentially abandoning european tools and chosing instead to use U.S. political toolcase which is always (already?) used in their political discourse? I think that U.S.A. selfconsciously enough based on an apprehension of poltics as religion.

Or religion as (a sometimes) emancipatory politics, which would further stress the difference from european analytical frameworks.

Which is to say: i am unable to grasp the breathtaking singularity of what has happened.

Demetris said...

The singularity, undoubtedly, is the fact that there will only be one forty-forth president, namely Barack Obama. Regardless of analytic toolbox or race. The same person may as well be elected as the 45th president of the U.S.A. This will not take away form the singularity of any event. As far as the historic affiliations of the event itself I argue that they lie within the -agreed upon- context of idiosyncratic American political religiosity; yet not quite. Within it this return to Lincoln - and not to God, unlike previous return to God- and to Lincoln's contested politico-spiritual inheritance, is what transcribes this undoubtedly singular event as breathtakingly historic.

This return to government, via this singular event, the election of Obama as the 44th president of the U.S.A. appears to me as a return to literature, to callings and an aversion of the Atwaterian and Roveian numbers, the value-laden Born-Againisms nonetheless. If we are to remain gasping, the Karouzian chest in-tense, remains to be auscultated.

Βαρώνος Κόζιμο said...

*found* this today.


http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2008/11/17/081117ta_talk_wood

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