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“Capitalism vs. the Climate” “irony is not dead”

November 7, 2014

NYTimes Sunday Book Review: “Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’” by Rob Nixon emplores Klein’s metaphor of “Capitalism vs. the Climate”:

To call “This Changes Everything” environmental is to limit Klein’s considerable agenda. “There is still time to avoid catastrophic warming,” she contends, “but not within the rules of capitalism as they are currently constructed. Which is surely the best argument there has ever been for changing those rules.” On the green left, many share Klein’s sentiments. George Monbiot, a columnist for The Guardian, recently lamented that even though “the claims of market fundamentalism have been disproven as dramatically as those of state communism, somehow this zombie ideology staggers on.” Klein, Monbiot and Bill McKibben all insist that we cannot avert the ecological disaster that confronts us without loosening the grip of that superannuated zombie ideology. That philosophy — ­neoliberalism — promotes a high-consumption, ­carbon-hungry system.

NewAmericaMedia: “The Latinoamericanización of U.S. Politics” by Rob Lovato:

I wrote in an article today that our elections look more like The Walking Dead than ever – zombie politics. Zombie, as in they’re really heartless, lifeless policies and politicians that move by the momentum of their deadness. That’s extremely dangerous.

National Post: “The problem with The Walking Dead’s mindless zombie hordes” by Michael Lista details the history of zombie from Africa to Haiti to America and assails The Walking Dead for:

Its unselfconscious handling of a racially fraught metaphor, and its orgiastic embrace of violence, make it frivolous in its self-seriousness


Can a metaphor shed its political origins? In America, zombies have been an empty receptacle for so many of its anxieties: collective bargaining, consumerism, foreign invasion, pandemics. But what about slavery?

Noting that

The Walking Dead takes place in the American South, in and around Atlanta. One season sees the gang of survivors, headed by a white Southern lawman, holed up in an exquisite Georgian farm house. In another season, they expropriate a prison. Both are symbols of America’s historical inequities.


most disturbing of all is how in the zombie becoming the perfect villain — unnuanced, insatiable, and undeserving of empathy — it also becomes the perfect victim.

Violence against zombies is stripped of its sociological and political reality, and exists in a state of pragmatic self-justification.

The Walking Dead is a kind of libertarian fantasy, a moral wash into which ethical questions about violence dissolve in a bath of self-preservation.

Daily Reckoning: “Triumph of the Zombies” by Bill Bonner:

The newspapers reported that Tuesday was a big day for Republicans. But it was a bigger day for zombies. Red states…blue states…the zombies won everywhere. As you know, zombies do not produce; they take from producers. Politics is their method of choice.

Meanwhile, in The Star Tribune, John Kass (of the Chicago Tribune) writes about President Obama in article entitled: “The Talking Dead“, recalling:

before Election Day, with Democrats running from him as if he were a zombie

Obama is the president. So he’s the one blamed, and is the biggest loser.

Just then over the TV screen …a message flashed: “Dow, S&P close at record highs.” And a little voice repeated itself in my ear: Irony is not dead, irony is not dead, irony is not dead …

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