Friday, March 15, 2024

Irony and The Political


Irony and the Political

Peter Schultz


                  It seems to be a fact that the political and irony are closely related, even intertwined. Here are some examples.


                  “As late as 1981, when left-wing professor Marshall Berman finished writing All That Is Solid Melts into Air, he noticed how reticent corporate leaders were, seldom celebrating the intrinsic thrills and chills of capitalism. How ironic he wrote that in this modern time CEOs [were] obliged to appear to be reassuring antiradicals,” when, as Berman wrote, “Even as they frighten everyone with fantasies of proletarian rapacity and revenge, they themselves, through their inexhaustible dealing and developing, hurtle masses of men, materials and money up and down the earth and erode and explode the foundations of everyone’s lives as they go. Their secret – a secret they have managed to keep even from themselves – is that behind their facades, they are the most violently destructive ruling class in history.” [Evil Geniuses, 145]


                  “Such a colossal irony: after socialists and Communists in the 1930s and then the New Left in the 1960s had tried and failed to achieve a radical class-based reordering of the American political economy, the economic far right took its shot at doing that in the 1970s and succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest hope or fear.” [Evil Geniuses, 100]


                  “In all of this, financialization has done what people back in the 1950s and ‘60s and ‘70s worried and warned that Communists would do if they took over: centralize control of the economy, turn Americans into interchangeable cogs serving an inhumane system, and allow only a well-connected elite to live well. Extreme capitalism resembles Communism: yet another whopping irony.” [Evil Geniuses, 184]


                  Bill and Hillary Clinton protested that they were the victims of “a vast, right-wing conspiracy” of which they were parts! Now that’s ironic!



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