Am continually amazed at the truly fucked up and arrogant entitlement of the middle class Brit – especially those of that middle class which still claims some distant working class origin. It manifests in a unbroachable passive aggression as if the Empire continued, as it objectively does, for them by right of a trickle down inheritance. It almost makes one prefer the polite but honest nostalgia of the debauched ruling class in their sanatorium suburbs. They at least can be put to work as national treasures and relics. The spectrum of those from rich off shore fund pig fucker to arsehole self-regarding Wikipedia entry tending bureaucrats of the Arts constitute the real impediment to any sort of social transformation in the back of the queue Isles.
Bright side of the current reaction. The decline of the European powers was bolstered by the land grab that was the USA – basically the oppression of indigenous and slave Americans was invested in a temporary world domination culminating in the Marshall Plan and Marilyn (the famous Monroe doctrine of coca-colonisation). But the only America that can be made great again by incompetent boorish land speculator Trump will be his accidental spurring of central and south America towards cross border action. Take a longer view and recognise how the anti-colonial triumphs of the 20th Century will, no doubt in convoluted ways, deliver on the promise of the massive transformations (Russia, China etc) of populations and aspirations for justice in the 21st. The centre is real old and the periphery is on the up, dialectics is not just propaganda but recognition of patterns and analysis of historical shifts. Migration changes the world for the better, and claims to any other outcome are myopic idealism, racist self-harm and stalling of the inevitable.
(On inadvertently hearing The Donald on the radio).
What if: the digital humanities represents a wanna be elaborate theoretical effort with a retrograde political conception and naïve economic complicity – an intellectually restrained class bought off with moderate comforts one step above the austerity imposed by upon the majority lower tiers by a cynically corrupt ruling class.
Was reading and discussing with a comrade Dinesh Wadiwel about his stuff on animals in Marx, and took up discussion of the bit from Capital 1867 edn , cited by Endnotes 2, on animals as general equivalent (dropped in subsequent editions). This since I am giving a talk on related themes: Marx, Animals, India, a certain rhinoceros, in Senegal this Saturday.
But then I did a search of the phrasing (english trans of 1867 edn from Value Studies by Marx <download here>). There, discovered a bit of suspect website scrubbing.
Let me put it neutrally, and let the people decide <the people know I have nothing against Zizek, except for my polemic in Pantomime Terror, that is: (see here)
I can’t call it “climate change”, as that seems too soft – this is not a change of weather, its capitalist polluting bastards and a barometer cannot measure the vicious exploitations underpinning value extraction.
Against descriptive abstracto-clerical abstentionism,
Down with soft-time precariosectionallerationism,
Forget hard core solidarnozaprojevognosticism,
Exotico-vanguardianistas running remedio-databurst
In reeducational therastuparative ontoantileninburgola deepspair
Willi not teleseparational ultranarcolexcptospirational
waste-maskarting for debt-breath-dream-hole tuckffeory,
There unreally else no-one to kick out the codewebs,
Only youblamemetruly now. mthanks. uuu uuu.
I mean, the term is a problematic one, given by Spanish, Dutch, British colonists – first given by Mathew Flinders writing in prison in Mauritius – terra australis incognita, and this name, Australia, proposed by Macquarie and authorised by the Admiralty. Why accept what those pirates had to say? Flinders adopted the phrase somehow from the Spanish “Austrialia del Espíritu Santo” (Southern Land of the Holy Spirit) – and sure it was holy in some sense, but certainly not incognita, nor nullis, as we know well. The Dutch preferred New Holland, but that is equally problematic, and given that they also used Austrailis, with no disrespect to the Dutch, why do we follow their ascription (and while we are at it, surely New Zealanders should get about to changing their name as well – Aotearoa (Māori: [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]), is the obvious candidate). But what to rename the Great Southern Land? I am not going to propose we adopt anything from the Italians either, despite the very welcome migration of good cofeee adn pasta to Carlton etc., but in Latin, auster does connotes south or place from where the hot wind comes. It also had an earlier sense of East, and indeed the prefix aus can mean to shine or burn, ausre means dawn, if we look to the cognates: Greek eos “dawn,” auein “to dry, kindle;” Sanskrit usah, Lithuanian ausra “dawn;” Latin auster “south wind,” usum “to burn;” Old English east “east”.
Since other countries on independence from the colonial powers had no problem changing their names – Sri Lanka from Ceylon, Taiwan from Formosa – I think there is a case for renaming Australia in recognition of the potential for mass inward Chinese migration, perhaps New Tibet would be something to have in mind, lets call it Newbit. Or how about in recognition of the pomo linguistic muddle that we clearly have here around names, we could use Nomgolia. I like that because as a mostly arid country we have the potential to appeal to the Chinese as a migration destination option that would something like southern Mongolia. Well, sadly the racists won’t accept the argumentation that relies on China to populate the great expanses of the Murray basin, clearly we need to explore some indigenous names. Myself, coming from Melbourne, I like Yarra. We could name the country after a great river, apparently a koorie word for water, or waterfall, misheard by the early settler-colonists as a name for the river – yarra yarra they said, and pointed to the waterfall. So we could elevate that error as the name for the country in appropriate recognition of the early mistakes of occupation – a kind of sorry name gesture would not go astray. And after all, the droughts and flooding rains routine did leave some of the early error-making trekkers padding around in the desert begging indigenous folk for water – Burke and wills for example, set off to cross the country south to north, starting from the banks of the Yarra in 1860, died trying to get to Mount Hopeless on the way back (see the statue by Charles Summers, pic by Adam Carr).
I am proposing, as executive member of the Australian Government in exile, founded 1994, Manchester, now also with an office in Hsinchu City, that we have a referendum (that’s a fancy word for guessing game) on a new name.
My preference is for Nomgolia, but I would also accept Yarra Yarra. What do other people think?
[addendum: yes this was a Halloween post, but after all the pics of folks I know dressed in Halloween garb – adults I mean, not just kids – I wonder why it did not occur to me that we should just apply for US statehood. Especially as ex-glorious-leader Abbott crowed about so much in the UK this week, ever closer all the way ties. On Abbott’s overseas tour – does anyone know how he is getting back to Australia? – now is a good time to stop his boat, or plane, or broomstick]