Andrew Norton, you are an intellectual peanut, and not even the yummy kind baked in wasabi that I buy as a treat. You are just the run-of-the-mill peanut that should’ve be been blended with vegetable oil and turned into Savings-brand peanut butter and which can only be bought in discounted ‘family’-size portions.
He is my list of your stupidities derived from your blog post:
1) a) Lucy and Mickler define democracy as an ‘idea’ and not a political institution. Can you comprehend this? If you actually have the book, then read
b) They argue that ‘teh Conservative Right’ always attempts to conflate this idea of democracy with a particular political institution.
c) You don’t have to have the intellectual generosity (or maybe capacity?) to even appear as if you understand their point…
d) …So You Write Capitalised Letters To Make Some Vague Point About What You Think ‘most people’ Would Recognise As Democracy, Or As You Write, “something everyone believes to be A Good Thing”. From my interpretation of your half-arsed commentary it appears as if you are saying the democracy resides in the political institutions of representative government (but it isn’t clear what you actually think or are arguing), which is precisely what Lucy and Mickler argue teh Right would say!!!! You are agreeing with them!?!?!!?
Fallacy number one: you do not speak for ‘most people’ and your voice is not the voice of ‘common sense’. Get over it. Speaking as some imaginary voice of common sense may make you feel better but it actually makes you look like someone who doesn’t think for himself. Surely you can think for yourself, so why write in such an unthinking popularist way? You deploy this rhetorical trick in your (non)argument to make it appear as if you are saying something that everyone would agree with when at the very least you are not saying anything, or at worst and more likely you are actually agreeing with those you are allegedly arguing against!!
(Some more complex points for those who actually want to engage with the intellectual argument which you may or may not agree with: 1)a) Democracy is not so much an ‘idea’ either but an event in the specific sense that Derrida uses the term (different from other philosophers although similar to Deleuze’s ‘pure event’). There is always a residual — a remainder — whenever ‘democracy’ as an event is enacted. It is this kernel that forces the entire democratic project to reimagine itself so it can become more democratic. This is why democracy is forever an unfinished work in progress (yes, PROGRESS, REMEMBER WHAT THAT IS?). b) Just as there is a conservative Right there is also a conservative Left (trade unions, etc). For their respective followers they work in an attempt to distribute resources unequally through political institutions. The very political institutions themselves favour this asymmetrical distributiuon, hence the ‘democratic’ institutions are essentially anti-democratic; they forever and continually reduce the multiplicity of the event of ‘democracy’ to some easily managed ‘politics of the image’ or what is worse an ‘image of politics’.)
2)a) Team America was a shit movie. The satire was obvious. However, the ambiguity of well written satire sometimes fools people. You were fooled by Lucy and Mickler’s comments about Team America. It was a warning to help guide readers through the rest of the book.
b) It was also a trap to trip up their enemies who would read the book either with no intellectual humour or a willed stupidity. Ok, is Miranda Devine actually a satirist? Think about it…
c) Yes, humanities academics write playful arguments, most of the time they are not playing with words, but playing with the stupidity of some readers by using words.
3) Yes, the point of p.58 undermines their entire argument. Andrew Norton, you must be a genius… to have found a single point that simply undermines an entire argument written by two established academics. Now, I ask myself the question, is Andrew Norton actually a genius to have found such an obvious and fatal flaw in an argument or does he suffer from such a dire intellectual poverty and he cannot understand the argument to such a degree that he believes that a single point will actually undermine their entire argument? Of course, he speaks in the voice of ‘most people’ and ‘most people’ in this world are clearly geniuses. Well done! (Wow, I am getting the hang on teh Right’s mode of rhetoric!)
(Again some more complex points: teh conservative Right has to deploy a multiplicity of operators to counter ‘democracy’ in action and reduce it to the easily managed images we are used to seeing in ‘politics’. The various commentators that Lucy and Mickler have singled out all participate in this project in DIFFERENT ways. There is no single argument or position of teh Right. Their anti-democratic hegemonic project is being fought on a number of fronts. That is why speaking in terms of teh Right and teh Left is another (albeit sometimes necessary) stupidity, because it already reduces a multiplicity of positions to two easily managed images of politics… Who is getting this yet?)