The great corrupter of thought is prejudice. Tariq Ali, as an old style socialist, would be sympathetic to Greece and the government of Mt Tsipras, and unsympathetic to those who lent Greece money. In The London Review of Books, he acknowledges the awful corruption in Greece. They spent a fortune on tanks in 2009 because the defence minister took huge bribes. But Ali chides the financial press for not noticing that the minister got jail for corruption while the corrupters only got a fine – the quantum of either is not revealed, but it does look like the courts were Greek. Then we get the German spray:
The EU has now succeeded in crushing the political alternative that Syriza represented. The German attitude to Greece, long before the rise of Syriza, was shaped by the discovery that Athens (helped by Goldman Sachs) had cooked its books in order to get into the Eurozone. This is indisputable. But isn’t it dangerous as well as wrong to punish the Greek people – and to carry on doing so even after they have rejected the political parties responsible for the lies?
Put to one side ‘crushing’ and ‘punish’ – does a country cease to be liable for its wrongs or debts just because it has had a change of government? This misconception underlay so much of the Greek response. ‘We are under new management that has a different ‘mandate’’. This was not a doctrine that the Greeks were keen to invoke in their claims against Nazi Germany.
Still, at least Tariq says something. Slavoj Zizek often misses out completely. A recent LRB piece headed Sinicisation started this way:
When Alan Badiou claims that democracy is our fetish, this statement is to be taken in the precise Freudian sense, not just to mean that we elevate democracy into an untouchable Absolute. ‘Democracy’ is the last thing we see before confronting the ‘lack’ constitutive of the social field, the fact that ‘there is no class relationship’, the trauma of social antagonism.
That is pure bullshit.
The Weekend AFT had a commercial challenger. In announcing its results, Telstra said:
Core acquisitions address specific capability gaps in our services, expand into strategic adjacencies and extend capacity and presence in specific geographies.
‘Adjacencies’ is going straight into the pool room. When a bowler went up for a loud appeal for LBW once, the late Richie Benaud quietly said: ‘That looks very adjacent.’