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[Xmca-l] Re: Bannon's actions as "shock event"



I think that if the immigration ban is designed as a "shock event", we need
to think of it more in terms the Kirov assassination or the Reichstag fire
or Kristallnacht rather than in terms of the attack on Fort Sumter. These
were essentially publicity stunts of no military value. Stockhausen was
right to see 9/11 as performance art: in all of these cases, the
perpetrators acted on impulse and had no clearer idea of the outcome of
their actions than their victims--probably a good deal less clear, given
that a lapse of empathy was a precondition of their ability to act.
Bannon's assertion that "real power" is when your "enemy" has no idea what
you are doing is just his usual Snidely Whiplash rewording of Trump's own
inanities (remember the "Secret Plan" to eliminate "ISIS"? "Healthcare for
Everybody", anybody?). The muppet show chaos is really just chaos; the
regime's reliance on reality-show plot twists and twitter to rule a vast,
complex country is just another sign that when you are unimaginative, the
mere fact that something is actual and real and immediate does nothing to
render it imaginible.

Similarly, I think that victory in the civil war was not due to Lincoln's
skill at rigging parliamentary coalitions but rather to the sacrifice of
half a million northern lives and an overwhelming historical superiority of
the Northern social system over that of the south. I don't think history
offers shortcuts to social transformations, any more than I think that
academics will ever be offered stable, tenured positions for thinking of
alternatives to the status quo by the status quo. This isn't pessimism:
quite the contrary. It seems to me that what it means is that academics do
have a role in exposing chaos as simply due to incompetence and conspiracy
theories as just cover-ups for screw-ups. Just as big social problems have
only big answers, small ones can have small ones (e.g. a Seattle judge
finding that there is no legal way to do things that are fundamentally
unconstitutional).

David Kellogg
Macquarie University

On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 4:55 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

> Richard and Alfredo
>
> I keep coming back to the question of how we, as academics, located in the
> system of higher education, researchers on the social creation of social
> inequality, ought to be re-orienting our research in light of the
> re-surrection of global nationalist/populism.
>
> So for me, its important to focus on concrete exemplars that might unloose
> this potential: "shock events' possibility not only for separating but for
> actually offering opportunities to re-organize and unite priorly separated
> forces."
>
> In a recent discussion at LCHC, this topic came up in terms of how to
> connect our research and our undergraduates to the life of the communities
> whose children do not make it to the university. Such an effort requires
> coordination of a variety of dis-articulated groups with a common concern
> about socially and culturally marginalized, econonomically stressed,
> communities.
>
> The challenge of engaging successfully in such work and satisfying the
> academic production requirements of their academic personnel committees
> seems a major challenge.
>
> Positive suggestions of how to meet this challenge would be warmly
> accepted.
>
> mike
>
>
>
> On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 10:33 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> wrote:
>
> > Thanks for sharing Richard, I had seen Richardson's analysis online. In
> > fact the amount of analyses in the media that this crisis is generating
> is
> > overwhelming, but also very encouraging and gives hopes towards
> > Richardson's notes on shock events' possibility not only for separating
> but
> > for actually offering opportunities to re-organize and unite priorly
> > separated forces. I wonder, if Lincoln managed without the web and the
> > i-phone, will it happen today?
> >
> > Alfredo
> > ________________________________________
> > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > on behalf of Richard Beach <rbeach@umn.edu>
> > Sent: 03 February 2017 00:28
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l]  Bannon's actions as "shock event"
> >
> > Here’s an interesting analysis of Bannon’s actions on banning immigrants
> > that’s related to Bakhtin’s notion of “eventness” and Roth’s (2014)
> > analysis of “events-in-the-making” associated with the experience of
> > unfolding events with unpredictable consequences. We still don’t know
> what
> > the fallout will be from attempts to implement this ban.
> >
> > >From Heather Richardson, professor of History at Boston College:
> >
> > "I don't like to talk about politics on Facebook-- political history is
> my
> > job, after all, and you are my friends-- but there is an important
> > non-partisan point to make today.
> >
> > What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with last night's ban on
> > immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries-- is creating what
> is
> > known as a "shock event."
> >
> > Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into
> chaos.
> > People scramble to react to the event, usually along some fault line that
> > those responsible for the event can widen by claiming that they alone
> know
> > how to restore order.
> >
> > When opponents speak out, the authors of the shock event call them
> > enemies. As society reels and tempers run high, those responsible for the
> > shock event perform a sleight of hand to achieve their real goal, a goal
> > they know to be hugely unpopular, but from which everyone has been
> > distracted as they fight over the initial event. There is no longer
> > concerted opposition to the real goal; opposition divides along the
> > partisan lines established by the shock event.
> >
> > Last night's Executive Order has all the hallmarks of a shock event. It
> > was not reviewed by any governmental agencies or lawyers before it was
> > released, and counterterrorism experts insist they did not ask for it.
> > People charged with enforcing it got no instructions about how to do so.
> > Courts immediately have declared parts of it unconstitutional, but border
> > police in some airports are refusing to stop enforcing it.
> >
> > Predictably, chaos has followed and tempers are hot.
> >
> > My point today is this: unless you are the person setting it up, it is in
> > no one's interest to play the shock event game. It is designed explicitly
> > to divide people who might otherwise come together so they cannot stand
> > against something its authors think they won't like.
> >
> > I don't know what Bannon is up to-- although I have some guesses-- but
> > because I know Bannon's ideas well, I am positive that there is not a
> > single person whom I consider a friend on either side of the aisle-- and
> my
> > friends range pretty widely-- who will benefit from whatever it is.
> >
> > If the shock event strategy works, though, many of you will blame each
> > other, rather than Bannon, for the fallout. And the country will have
> been
> > tricked into accepting their real goal.
> >
> > But because shock events destabilize a society, they can also be used
> > positively. We do not have to respond along old fault lines. We could
> just
> > as easily reorganize into a different pattern that threatens the people
> who
> > sparked the event.
> >
> > A successful shock event depends on speed and chaos because it requires
> > knee-jerk reactions so that people divide along established lines. This,
> > for example, is how Confederate leaders railroaded the initial southern
> > states out of the Union.
> >
> > If people realize they are being played, though, they can reach across
> old
> > lines and reorganize to challenge the leaders who are pulling the
> strings.
> > This was Lincoln's strategy when he joined together Whigs, Democrats,
> > Free-Soilers, anti-Nebraska voters, and nativists into the new Republican
> > Party to stand against the Slave Power.
> >
> > Five years before, such a coalition would have been unimaginable. Members
> > of those groups agreed on very little other than that they wanted all
> > Americans to have equal economic opportunity. Once they began to work
> > together to promote a fair economic system, though, they found much
> common
> > ground. They ended up rededicating the nation to a "government of the
> > people, by the people, and for the people."
> >
> > Confederate leaders and Lincoln both knew about the political potential
> of
> > a shock event. As we are in the midst of one, it seems worth noting that
> > Lincoln seemed to have the better idea about how to use it."
> >
> >
> >
> > Richard Beach, Professor Emeritus of English Education, University of
> > Minnesota
> > rbeach@umn.edu
> > Websites: Digital writing <http://digitalwriting.pbworks.com/>, Media
> > literacy <http://teachingmedialiteracy.pbworks.com/>, Teaching
> literature
> > <http://teachingliterature.pbworks.com/>, Identity-focused ELA Teaching
> <
> > http://identities.pbworks.com/>, Common Core State Standards <
> > http://englishccss.pbworks.com/>, Apps for literacy learning <
> > http://usingipads.pbworks.com/>, Teaching about climate change <
> > http://climatechangeela.pbworks.com/>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > > On Jan 26, 2017, at 10:16 AM, Helena Worthen <helenaworthen@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > On the subject of dividing, here is an ugly snapshot of the wedge
> > getting driven in — the building trades unions finding common ground with
> > Trump as a “developer.” The other deeply regressive unions are the prison
> > guards and police.
> > >
> > > http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/01/building-trades-allow-
> > themselves-to-be-played-like-fools
> > >
> > > I attend monthly discussion groups in the Bay Area organized around
> > readings from the magazine Jacobin. I like these because the other
> > participants are mostly 20s and early 30s, techies or grad students. Very
> > smart, very alert, very well-read and articulate. They are stamped,
> > however, with evidence of never having studied history. (Philosophy, yes
> —
> > which is interesting.) To many of them, the building trades and police
> > unions are typical of the political position of labor unions.
> > >
> > > So they see LIUNA leaders meeting with Trump and smear the whole labor
> > movement with it.
> > >
> > > H
> > >
> > > Helena Worthen
> > > helenaworthen@gmail.com
> > > Berkeley, CA 94707
> > > Blog about US and Viet Nam: helenaworthen.wordpress.com
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >> On Jan 26, 2017, at 9:26 AM, <lpscholar2@gmail.com> <
> > lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >>
> > >> Yes,
> > >> Today, the strategy of dividing, leaving us in disarray, is how i
> > experience the deluge of draconian executive ‘orders’ that  leaves me
> > spinning.
> > >> Leaves me questioning where to start.
> > >>
> > >> Exposing the disarray on the other side in concrete ways (Koch vs
> > Mercer) is a valuable addition to our ways of responding.
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> Sent from my Windows 10 phone
> > >>
> > >> From: Peg Griffin
> > >> Sent: January 26, 2017 8:57 AM
> > >> To: 'eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity'
> > >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Cambridge Atlantica site that Peg referred
> to
> > >>
> > >> At this point, Larry, I'm content to rise to as much concrete as I can
> > get near, until at least the late spring, to get at ideas and
> > contradictions, to keep moving and supporting so I'm in enough places to
> > and bits of the movement to find the productive places for me.
> > >> A mini-mission of mine right now is to get people to recognize the
> > divide among the big money folks in the US -- the Mercer father daughter
> > beat the Koch brothers within the Republican moneyed.
> > >> The other side works hard to divide us and take advantage of the
> > disarray, so why not pay attention when they are dividing themselves!
> > >> No use being a day late and a dollar short about who's who!
> > >> Maybe it's just that my great uncle was in vaudeville and showed us
> > three yammering nieces a super card game called "52 pick-up."  It's not
> too
> > good too often for too long but everyone once in a while it's not a bad
> > game.
> > >> PG
> > >> -----Original Message-----
> > >> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@
> > mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of lpscholar2@gmail.com
> > >> Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2017 11:02 AM
> > >> To: Peg Griffin; 'eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity'
> > >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Cambridge Atlantica site that Peg referred
> to
> > >>
> > >> Peg, Mike,
> > >> Reading these two articles on BigData and remembering how funding will
> > be given to academic research that slots into being verified (or negated)
> > through BigData is profoundly disturbing and leaves me with a sense of
> > inertia at the scope of the alienation involved in this manipulation.
> > >>
> > >> Using Simmel’s back and forth notion of the relation of (distance and
> > intimacy) and finding the proper ratio depending on the events  occuring
> > then the proper relation between distance and intimacy will be shifting
> in
> > scope in each historical era.
> > >> Will our response to the vast distance incarnated through BIgData
> > require intimate responses as counterpoint??
> > >>
> > >> If this is LIKE the 1930’s, do we have any answers from the past that
> > give glimmers of a way forward that can be responsive at scale to the
> > distancing of BigData?
> > >>
> > >> Sent from my Windows 10 phone
> > >>
> > >> From: Peg Griffin
> > >> Sent: January 25, 2017 5:39 PM
> > >> To: 'eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity'
> > >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Cambridge Atlantica site that Peg referred
> to
> > >>
> > >> And here's  a Guardian story https://www.theguardian.com/
> > us-news/2016/nov/23/donald-trump-cambridge-analytica-steve-bannon for
> > those interested in the post-election ties among the Mercers (father and
> > daughter), Bannon, Conway, and Cambridge Analytica.
> > >>
> > >> -----Original Message-----
> > >> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@
> > mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Peg Griffin
> > >> Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 7:43 PM
> > >> To: 'eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity'
> > >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Cambridge Atlantica site that Peg referred
> to
> > >>
> > >> Hee hee hee, Mike Cole, you rogue!  This is the official Cambridge
> > Analytica site https://cambridgeanalytica.org/ But Mike direct you to a
> > meatier sit about it!
> > >> Peg
> > >>
> > >> -----Original Message-----
> > >> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@
> > mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
> > >> Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 1:41 PM
> > >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > >> Subject: [Xmca-l] The Cambridge Atlantica site that Peg referred to
> > >>
> > >> https://antidotezine.com/2017/01/22/trump-knows-you/
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
>