Voyou Désœuvré

Much as I dislike George Bush, I don’t think he’s actually a Nazi. Which makes it doubly odd that he’s such a fan of facist-sounding language (the one that really does my head in is calling America “the homeland”). It seems like a strange kind of cultural illiteracy: Bush adopts certain authoritarian tropes from fascism without quite knowing where they come from. Now, though, we have a much more entertaining version of a sort of similar thing: the Obama campaign’s Maoist æsthetic, which is reason enough to hope that Obama gets the nomination.

Why is Obama using a variant of the Freedom Road Socialist Party‘s logo? Why do posters made by his supporters so often use the two-tone woodblock stylings of 1960s third-worldism? Not, I fear, because Obama actually is a Maoist, but perhaps because of a similar kind of historical amnesia to that of Bush. In the case of the Obama campaign, the æsthetic comes from a vague memory of a time when revolutionary political change really did seem possible, which never quite rises to the level of actually knowing what that movement for change was actually about.


  1. matt, 8:55 pm, March 13, 2008

    sorry, was my comment deleted?


  2. Voyou, 2:57 am, March 14, 2008

    I’m sorry, i’m not sure what happened to your comment. I didn’t delete it, but i’m not sure what else could have caused it to disappear.

  3. Being a sleeper Muslim is the least of the freedom-loving world’s worries, 9:31 am, March 27, 2008

    […] Obama – The Sleeper Mao […]

  4. chris, 2:18 pm, May 28, 2008

    it doesn’t even look like the freedom road logo. freedom road’s logo looks like a star took a piss on some mountains.

  5. Billy, 8:36 am, June 6, 2008

    Huh. How disappointing–they aren’t even remotely similar. Talk about reaching.

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