Wary of the Carnival

I’m wary of the carnavalesque protests and marches that are “against everything bad and in favor of everything good” because, as we have seen throughout the past 20 years, they always serve as harbingers of some new and enormous triumph of neoliberalism (aka liquid capital.) Whenever they happen – Spain, Russia, US, etc – it’s a sign that fifteen minutes later some massive neoliberal triumph is about to occur.

It’s obviously not a coincidence. The active, engaged, progressively-minded part of the population displaces its energies into the realm of the consumerist, infantile, and disengaged pseudo-protests. The path is open for capital to sweep in because it’s clear there’s nobody there to stop it.


3 thoughts on “Wary of the Carnival”

  1. Interesting. Romanian protests tend to revolve around a specific issue but there’s definitely a carnavalesque feeling to it, and the vast majority of protesters don’t organize politically farther than showing up at said protests.


    1. Romania and Poland are still more nation statey than lots of other countries, so protests are more likely to be about specific issues, but the human infrastructure of a movement is missing (twitter flash mobs aren’t the same thing at all) and each new protest brings less and less coverage and has less and less effect on government policy.


    2. I’m not very familiar with Romanian protests. I know a lot more about the ones in the US, Spain and Russia. And the pattern is always the same: mass protests, great enthusiasm, fun slogans – and a bit later the most conservative, neoliberal forces sweep the elections. Mind you, I don’t think the protests cause this. I think they are an early symptom.


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