Alice Cooper as Presidential Candidate

Some may recall this bit of satire from the band 43 years ago — tricky Dicky was of course President. In the UK we had the perennial Screaming Lord Sutch, founder of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party taking the piss. The point is that perhaps it shouldn’t surprise one that that otherwise intelligent people of all political persuasions have such a blindspot regarding politics. They are rightly sceptical of junk “science”, charlatan “preachers”, product marketing hype, and so on and so forth but they leave their critical faculties at the door when it comes to politics. They do, though, seem to seek salvation via the “politics of faith“: that is, the explicit or tacit view that assumes that human power alone can achieve some preferred outcome, one that corresponds with a superficial “branded” view of their “moral” selves. In this sense, politics as a general enterprise, is a most vulgar activity setting aside the deep problems of unforeseen circumstances that few take cognizance of. Now this outlook doesn’t entail or recommend the minimal state or anarchy. It is merely epistemologically (and ultimately) morally prudential in preserving our complex liberal inheritance which is being deeply corroded, most notably by its ostensible “friends”: crypto-totalitarianism masquerading as “liberalism” and their complicitous fundamentalist counterpart, masquerading as “conservativism” both engaging in ritualized point-scoring. Speaking of which, the online epistemic claustrophobia across the political spectrum is now so oppressive that we may have lost all possibility of a veritistic consensus framework — far more insidious than the post-modern relativistic cultural wars of the mid-nineties. What a grim state of affairs! So here’s to food, booze and friendship.