lessons 2011 is that there is now no longer any difference between formal democracy and dictatorship; it’s simply a matter of degrees of repression.*
Post-Anarchy | Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters
Capitalism burns all around us, leaving behind the debris of a bankrupt financial and political system. The illusion of limitless economic growth and the endless utopia of consumption have been forever shattered. Now governments have only austerity and hard times to offer us. Yet their assurances are wearing thin. Our political and economic masters know that people no longer believe in them, and behind the calm visage of power there is fear, fear of the specter of insurrection, the old fear that has haunted the imagination of every regime. Doesn’t everything – from the statements of politicians to the market predictions of economic gurus, to celebrity reality shows – now have a slight air of desperation, as if the entire spectacular-capitalist system (a system which in any case no longer even believes in itself and probably never did) is terrified lest it reveal the nihilism behind its facade?
One of the lessons from these insurrections – and there are many – is that there is now no longer any difference between formal democracy and dictatorship; it’s simply a matter of degrees of repression. The power of the police, whose ghostly presence in the life of democratic states Walter Benjamin saw as devastating, is felt everywhere. What is the difference between Mubarak’s or Assad’s attempts to shut down social networking sites in Egypt and Syria, and Cameron’s threat to do the same in the UK?