Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Vote 4 Me, I'll Set you Free!

Pat Paulsen for President (1968)

...or "how critical cynicism can actually serve to help sustain an ideology"

The organisers of a political electoral prank or "stunt" sometimes "pretend" [engage in mere pomo irony, a knowingly hollow miming of the electoral process] in order to draw attention to the sheer poverty of the policies of competing election candidates, they nevertheless still believed in the underlying integrity of the electoral process itself, in democracy as Master Signifier, ie "If only we had better candidates, all would be well with democracy" etc. Their criticism amounts to a simple, modern variation of "The Emperor Has No Clothes" viz, "Political Candidates Have No Personal Integrity" : but the undressing of the King or the unmasking of politicians does not work - though not because their personality or charisma is indestructible, but because the unmasking only destroys their personality, their personal charisma, not the power of the symbolic place of the King or of Democracy —when we undress him, we realize that "he is not truly a king" or "he is not a worthy political candidate". . . and then endeavour to proceed in the search for a true one. [So in political fetishism, as with commodity fethishism, it is never enough simply to disavow the politician (or the commodity)].

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