“There is no natural situation on earth in which someone could ask this strangest of all questions: “Do you believe in reality?” To ask such a question one has to become so *distant* from reality that the fear of *losing* it entirely becomes plausible—and this fear itself has an intellectual history.”—Bruno Latour, Pandora’s Hope (via pragmatica)
There were no banks in the City until the mid-17th century, and even a century later, banking was under-developed outside London. But slave traders and planters badly needed credit. A slave voyage from Liverpool to Africa then on to the Caribbean, before heading home, could take 18 months. And each point of the trade - buying and selling Africans, buying and importing produce (mainly sugar) cultivated using the labour of enslaved people - involved credit arrangements. Merchants and traders in London, Bristol and Liverpool, bought the planters’ produce, so in effect, British merchants became the bankers of the slave trade.
Provincial banking emerged in the 18th century because of the need for credit in the long-distance Atlantic slave trade. For example, Liverpool merchants involved in slave trading later formed Heywoods Bank, which eventually became part of Barclays Bank. Other modern banking names, such as Lloyds, emerged in this way and inevitably had links to the Atlantic slave trade. The Bank of England was also involved. When it was set up in 1694, it underpinned the whole system of commercial credit, and its wealthy City members, from the governor down, were often men whose fortunes had been made wholly or partly in the slave trade. The Bank of England stabilised the national finances, and enabled the state to wage its major wars of the 18th century. These wars were aimed at securing and safeguarding overseas possessions, including the slave colonies, and to finance the military and naval means that protected the Atlantic slave routes and the plantation economies.
“Contemporary culture has eliminated both the concept of the pubic and the figure of the intellectual. Former public spaces—both physical and cultural—are now either derelict or colonized by advertising. A cretinous anti-intellectualism presides, cheerled by expensively educated hacks in the pay of multinational corporations who reassure their bored readers that there is no need to rouse themselves from their interpassive stupor. The informal censorship internalized and propagated by the cultural workers of late capitalism generates a banal conformity that the propaganda chiefs of Stalinism could only ever have dreamt of imposing. Zer0 Books knows that another kind of discourse—intellectual without being academic, popular without being populist—is not only possible: it is already flourishing, in the regions beyond the striplit malls of so-called mass media and the neurotically bureaucratic halls of the academy. Zer0 is committed to the idea of publishing as a making public of the intellectual. It is convinced that in the unthining, blandly consensual culture in which we live, critical and engaged theoretical reflection is more important than ever before”—Zero Books: About Us
“Then, too, on the telephone the other is always in a situation of departure; the other departs twice over, by voice and by silence: whose turn is it to speak? We fall silent in unison: the crowding of two voids. “I’m going to leave you”, the voice on the telephone says each second.”—Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse (via hegemon)
“The New Racism demands that accusers be empathic and telepathic. Accusers are expected to believe ANY action that can be explained by something other than racism should not be considered racism unless the accuser can PROVE racism by making plain the contents of the racist’s heart and mind. The New Racism wants the accused to not only forget history, disregard experience, discount psychology, and ignore custom, but to interpret racism as ONLY conscious, exceptional, individual, intentional, and overt.”—Son of Baldwin (via sonofbaldwin)
“Capitalist ideology in general, Zizek maintains, consists precisely in the overvaluing of belief—in the sense of inner subjective attitude [read: private opinion]—at the expense of the beliefs we exhibit and externalize in our behavior. So long as we believe (in our hearts) that capitalism is bad, we are free to continue to participate in capitalist exchange” (13).”—
Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There an Alternative?, Zero Books, p. 13
This is why I never let my students discuss their privatized ‘opinions’.