@voyou Thinking about what @libankerDC's "Orgies of Feeling" might say about Trump: https://blog.voyou.org/2020/09/12/trumps-neoliberal-melodrama/ 12 Sep 20 Reply Retweet Favorite

Trump’s neoliberal melodrama

Jon McNaughton paints Trump threatened by a crowd of Democrats carrying Mexican, European, and Soviet flags, while they stand on the US flag.

I recently noticed Elisabeth Anker’s Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom on my bookshelf, and that’s a title that resonates at the moment, as the emotional register of politics ramps up, especially in the US. But the book, although advancing a theory of melodrama as a general political mode, is primarily about the Bush administration, which a certain segment of liberal opinion is currently attempting to retroject as a period of reasonableness. This revisionism is probably itself a version of melodramatic politics, which, as Anker argues, requires positing history as a period of innocence to dramatize our current politics in terms of dastardly assault and heroic response to it. What’s interesting about re-reading the book now, though, is the continuity between the post-9/11 period and today, which I think shows some interesting things about supposedly post-neoliberal politics, and potential responses to them.

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