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One says to oneself that there must be happy people somewhere. Well then! Unless you get that out of your head, you have understood nothing about [[psychoanalysis]].

[[Jacques Lacan]], Seminar III

Tumblr user erratticusfinch on [[liberalism]]:

q: How would you define liberalism?

a: it’s a few different things, because we’re talking about both an ideology and a system of governance, but here’s the big picture. the key category of liberalism is not freedom, nor is it equality. liberalism has formal versions of both but they’re mostly to secure the existence of private property (equality in exchange, freedom to contract).

liberalism’s key category is security. that is the common denominator running from Hobbes and Locke to Keynes and Hayek, a fundamental anxiety about the inherent insecurity of class society (or civilization, if you’re nasty).

here are some of the things [[liberalism]] is.

  1. charitably, it’s a worldview and political system based on an idea of endless progress. [[Adam Smith]] and [[J.S. Mill]] conceptualized it as an eternal twin spire of accumulation - of truth and wealth. its purported values are using the self-interested pursuit of one’s personal “Good” as a stabilizing social force; universal equality of moral personhood; consensual governance and the guarantee of certain rights; and efficient allocation of resources through a market system.
  2. uncharitably, it’s the organizational principles of global [[capitalism]], the developed descendant of [[Smith]] and [[Ricardo]]’s “science” of [[political economy]]. its actual values are security, property, aristocracy, and imperial chauvinism.
  3. structurally, it’s a legalistic form of [[aristocracy]] (“rule of the best”). instead of informal or arbitrary systems like honor and heredity, liberalism combines positive law (statutes, constitutions, judges) with markets, money, and state authority. this combination creates formalized, predictable results that guarantee the security of property, rather than relying on the arbitrary whims of a handful of egomaniacs who think God appointed them. the possibility for reform is built in to defuse instability. it is the tar pit in which we all reside, because we lack sufficient tools to avoid being ensnared; its dedication to procedural values (like formal equality), and its void of substantive content, means liberalism can consistently absorb parts of other political practices and patterns that would otherwise pose a threat, or force competing worldviews to fight them on liberal terrain.
  4. economically, it’s the political order that a nascent capitalism birthed to protect itself, the guarantor of private property. universal naked force for accumulating and hoarding wealth and power is ultimately inefficient because it paradoxically gives the repressed something to unify around hating. [[impersonal domination]] - more subtle forms of coercion by market forces, “invisible threads” rather than chains - and personal domination deployed primarily against internal or external enemies (of the nation, of the faith, of the social contract), is a lot more stable in the long term. meanwhile, constant expansion means there will always be new frontiers to exploit. the neutralization of [[class conflict]] is the ultimate goal here.
  5. psychologically, it’s a deep discomfort with the conflictual character of politics, and with the nature of power. fascists and other reactionaries resent liberalism because they think that wringing the blood out of the weak for the amusement and luxury of a ruling class can be achieved without the need for an impersonal bureaucratic machine [see the conservative-cum-Nazi [[Carl Schmitt]]’s critique that liberals treat politics like it’s a debate parlor]. ironically, this brutish desire to dominate is a lesson that fascists learned within capitalism’s absorption and reproduction of preexisting hierarchies and values along the lines of gender, ethnicity, ability, and religion.
  6. in the language of [[Tumblr]], it’s an enemies-to-lovers fic between the working class and the owning class.
  7. personally, it’s a whole heap of shit.

Why graphs in [[graph theory]] are called that: https://twitter.com/riceasphait/status/1542827225208209408 ?t=A5iuFYb2oH3jT9lT6_89vw&s=19

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