I’m a bit at a loss for words.
Today, to channel some of my own anger at the present state of politics, I read some of Wendy Brown’s book Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution. The book, which came out in 2015, was prescient in analyzing trends in political, economic, and social life, especially the neoliberal slide towards “info-tainment” in so-called political discourse. Since I can’t articulate my own thoughts today, here are some of hers:
This persistence of politics amid the destruction of public life and especially educated public life, combined with the marketization of the political sphere, is part of what makes contemporary politics peculiarly unappealing and toxic–full of ranting and posturing, emptied of intellectual seriousness, pandering to an uneducated and manipulable electorate and a celebrity-scandal-hungry corporate media.
I’m not sure Brown could have foreseen how much further this trend would go. And it is absolutely devastating that it has gone as far as it has.