File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0111, message 143

Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2001 22:33:10 +1000
Subject: Re: [Fwd: re:  Ethics as a figure of nihalism]

Steve wrote,

> Hugh
> Good points and of course you are correct - in that only in the ongoing
> lived experience of being in a locality can you claim detailed knowledge
> and understanding of a place... But with the caveat that the
> rest-of-the-world knows more about the USA/American imaginary than a US
> subject can know about the rest-of-the-world simply because of the
> levels of documentation, media and lived experience that we have of the
> place. It is probably true that the representation of the USA is both
> more utopian and also more dystopian than the reality of the place - but
> the standard spectacle/image of the average american can be
> recognised as true.

Maybe.  But, by definition the standard is not a person.  The average
American has fractional offspring.

"In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social
superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no
social inferiors." (Russell)

Same in the U.K.?

> I am using the phrase 'specular' as a direct reference to both the >work
>Guy Debord 'The society of the spectacle' and 'Comments on the >society of
>the spectacle' but also  as a reference to N&H's use the of  the >term in
>Empire. '...the glue that holds together the hybrid  constitution is >what
>Guy Debord called the specatcle, an integrated and  diffuse ?>apparatus of
>images and ideas that produces and regulates public discourse and
>opinion...' (P321 empire).  The logic contained here is  that ?>communities
>and NGOs are substantive elements of the ideological and >repressive
>apparatus that help maintain the global and state apparatus.

Do you mean by NGO's the international agencies such as WTO,
World Bank, United Nations etc.. or people like the Greens, anarchists and
others who pestered them at Davos, Seattle, Genoa

> I like your definition of a 'real' community but living in the UK
> surronded by reactionary and racist communities which will all >meet the
>criteria listed below, how can this be accepted?

Accept my definition of a U.S. community like I accept your definition of
Spectacle.  I've heard of DeBord for years, but didn't read him.  What
others say about the Spectacle seems logical, and
the situation is much worse in the U.S. since the economic boom of the
'90's, conglomeration of C&E (Communications and Entertainment) corporations
into ever-larger giants, not to mention the storm of patriotism inspired by

> As a side question-> Have any NGOs openly criticised the USA >states
>operations in Afghanistan?

Haven't heard of any, can't speak for the pollsters.

> Have any communities openly criticised the USA states operations >in

No. Only heard of protests and demos in U.K.  - can't speak for the

Don't you have small communities in the U.K. similar to those we have in the

In the U.S. there is some kind of community at county level, state level,
and Federal level, but its not the same spirit, thing, phenomenom that  is
found in the local communities.

We might be better off without the "help",: supervision and taxes of the
Feds and the States, so long as a Firemen, Policemen and ambulances would
come help us in an emergency, and so long as there were dependable schools,
colleges, universities, for the young 'uns.

The E.U.and Russians could fight our wars in the East, the Chinese and
Japanese, along with the little Asian Tigers, could fight our wars in the
West, both converging on Afghanistan which is smack dab in the middle.


> hbone wrote:
> > Steve,
> >
> >
> >
> > Specular?? This doesn't seem to match your words about community.
> >
> >
> >
> > Main Entry: specular <>
> > <javascript:popWin%28%27/cgi-bin/>
> > Pronunciation: 'spe-ky&-l&r
> > Function: adjective
> > Etymology: Latin specularis of a mirror, from speculumDate: 1661
> > : of, relating to, or having the qualities of a mirror.
> >
> >
> >
> > You may know as little about community in America as I know about
> > community in the U.K, and are unlikely to find it in business travel..
> >
> >
> >
> > I think of community as experience with family and neighbor families,
> > the small town or
> >
> > village, and in the neighborhoods that make up the large cities.
> > Don't expect to find it in the Airport, a hotel, in Times Square, a
> > shopping mall,  a Walmart or Home Depot.
> >
> > There was an excellent reference on the Internet giving names
> > addresess, including e-mail addresses for three quarters of a million
> > non-profit organizations.  I was surprised to find about 30
> > organizations in my small-town postal zone and about the same number
> > in the small California town where my daughter lives.
> >
> > Non-profit organizations must file with the Internal Revenue Service
> > to avoid paying taxes on funds they raise through their community
> > activities.  Admittedly many of the non-profits are set up by
> > financial institutions to help wealthy persons avoid taxes, One
> > percent of taxpayers averages more than $1 million a year income, so
> > it's only logical for our politicians to reduce their taxes to
> > assure campaign funds, free plane rides etc. not to mention the
> > really lucrative deals that sometimes earn politicians a prison term.
> >
> >
> >
> > But the Internet system had problems, was shut down, after which,
> > private companies appeared with offers to sell the information.
> >
> >
> >
> > Real communities exist in church congregations, schools, clubs for
> > children's sports  and other children's activties, womens groups,
> > racial groups, civic groups who are concerned about schools, parks,
> > playgrounds, environmental activists, political activists of Republican
> > and Democratic parties, a dozen or so third parties.
> >
> >
> >
> > Most of the above are found in the largest cities.
> >
> >
> >
> > I imagine something similar exists in the U.K.
> >
> >
> >
> > As you and others have pointed out, Globalization, including export of
> > factories downsizing, outsourcing, and use of temporaries has had a
> > devasting effect on communities  in the workplace.  Still, they survive.
> >
> >
> >
> > regards,
> >
> > Hugh


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