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December 08, 2009



Re. your OD piece, I'd suggest it's a bit fatalistic (as you rightly accuse the Third Way of being) to 'wait and see' the outcomes of an election. Aren't we supposed to try and influence those outcomes by er, voting, on what we understand as the politics of the parties? I don't understand the politics of the Conservative party as remotely likely to lead to a diminution in the role of Tescos; though at least I do understand them as unlikely to be as antedilluvian as Blond's, when it comes to gender/sexual politics. For that I suppose we should be grateful.

Will Davies

That sentence is badly expressed. I didn't mean we should 'wait and see' whether the Tories win the election. I meant if they DO win the election, we should 'wait and see' if they are remotely serious about implementing any of Blond's ideas.

I suspect that they are not. But there is a limit to what Blond himself can achieve as a mere intellectual. Some on the Left seem to resent him for suggesting that the Tories could ever be anything other than the Nasty Party. It seems to me that he can be accused of naivete on this front, but it won't be his fault if the Tories win the election by speaking his language, while actually pursuing standard Thatcherite policies.

Pat Kane

Well here's the anti-tory abuse bit... Come off it, Will. As a student of Foucault, Deleuze and Latour, don't you recognise the construction of a new micro-disciplinary 'technology of the self' when you see one? Isn't all this Tory emphasis on 'character' embedded in 'localism' the familiar Third Way managerial reaction to the social, affective and incarnate excess of the informational multitude? God forbid that political economy should propose shorter working weeks/sabbaticals/flexicurity which support the growing autonomy of people. No, instead we have a foul stew of badly-substantiated behavioural economics (Homer Economicus) and Blond's frankly creepy body-politics. And you're supping all that with a long spoon. I really thought you were brighter and more progressive than that. Not impressed.

Will Davies

Pat - I've received this reaction frequently over the past couple of months, reflected on the whole thing and decided I'd mis-judged this. So I actually resigned from being a Fellow a few weeks ago. But thanks for being so, ahem, honest!

Pat Kane

Will, you're a true Keynesian, when the facts change, etc... Like you, been watching the reverberations of GWB (general well-being, Layard-driven) through all the political parties. Though whether the source is theology or evolutionary psychology, there always has to be some assertion of onto-conservatism about human nature involved. There's a bio-politics of scientific knowledge going on here. And you can come from different research on this, to support quite different social structures aimed at the general eudaemonia. See my paper on Potentiality, Play and Net on http://www.theplayethic.com/2009/11/play-potentiality-and-the-constitution-of-the-net.html In any case, all power to your analytic, we need it! best pk

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