Thomas Murphy Is On Fire

Thomas Murphy has been on top form on Twitter this past week in all sorts of ways. I felt like capturing some of these threads for posterity.


@owenhatherley took bizarre aim at the Ccru the other day, writing a truly banal tweet as some sort of takedown:

so many people who went to the University of Warwick who decided that various things (words! capitalism! jungle!) were ‘viruses’, when clearly the University of Warwick was the ‘virus’ and a pretty malignant one

Thomas was on hand to fill him in:

EVIL forces of malignancy OWNED by the acerbic wit of the nation’s premier soviet nostalgia tourguide and milquetoast psychogeographer. You see they talked positively about ‘viruses’,, but it was they who were the virus… how will the CCRU ever recover from this? [1]

“Kid you really think haunted computers are exciting?” he croaked in the guildlight, “check out this moodboard composed of the finest examples of post-war brutalist social housing…” [2]


Here he is with a truly blistering thread on the performative contradictions internal to leftist politics, particularly in this little corner of the internet. Here TM condenses what this blog has spent 1000s of words vaguely exploring into 9 incredibly precise tweets. Grumpy grad student “marxists” take note.

No surprise the exploding brain “Deleuze and Lyotard created neoliberalism” take comes from legacy tankies who think neoliberal statecraft was purely about deregulation, ignoring massive expansion of state spending on the military and police under Reagan/Thatcher and monetaryism [1]

The irony remains that the 90s control societ was the culmination of the post-war experiments in aping the fascist command economy (state as a macroeconomic relay station) amongst the Western bloc. That’s the kind of society the kiddies bandying around the term “neoliberal” want. [2]

If you identity as a communist or Marxist and support soft-socialist Keynesian dynamic stochastic equilibria, your political subjectivity is a performative contraction. [3]

The function of the academy is to produce generations of elites who support the current economic regime, be it under the guise of radicalism or conservatism. Critical theorists hate texts like Libidinal Economy and Capitalism and Schizophrenia because they illustrate this. [4]

“Desire is a part of the infrastructure.” [5]

These thinkers claim Marx as an idol but then treat him like a classical economist. The whole purpose of the critique of political economy was the abolition of economic abstracta (equilibria, price idealism etc.) and regrounding of the discipline on concreta. [6]

Marx: *cites mostly economists, engages with empirical data, constantly updates theories in accordance with the emergence of new financial instruments*

Critical theorists: Money—evil, like Satan, and also fake and lame. I h8 maths. Here are quotes from my favourite philosophers [7]

Characteristic that thinkers who are essentially one form of philosophical civil servant or another find this kind of thinking appalling—they’re simply protecting their self-interest. But it is the height of dishonesty for them to suggest their modus operandi is morally virtuous [8]

The sad truth is there are entire ideologies designed around criticism of the current MOP, which also prohibit and police any empirical or transcendental grasp of that process. One flails about, complaining about oppression, while enjoying a bourgeois life of scholasticism. [9]

I’ve got a few posts brewing on some topics featured here but I doubt they’ll be manage to skewer anything as resolutely as this.


Last but definitely not least, TM weighs in on the recent UBI debates, following on from the strangely memetic Andrew Yang and his desire to run for POTUS in 2020. (Sidenote: Nyx has also published a great post on this recently.)

Firstly, he quotes a tweet from @Outsideness:

Adam Smith on UBI: “… like him who perverts the revenues of some pious foundation to profane purposes, he pays the wages of idleness with those funds which the frugality of his forefathers had, as it were, consecrated to the maintenance of industry.”

TM:

“the democratic petty bourgeois want better wages and security for the workers, and hope to achieve this by an extension of state employment and by welfare measures; in short, they hope to bribe the workers with a more or less disguised form of alms” —Marx on #YangGang [1]

It takes mindblowing degrees of stupidity to encourage any model of governance where general livelihood depends on the mere charity of the state. As the populous becomes increasingly deskilled, dependent and uselss, their destiny will be left to the whims of technocrats. [2]

It’s reminiscent of the disgraceful dishonesty of the left acceleration crowd who are “Marxist” yet disregard his sustained, foundational criticism of Proudhonian socialism, in whose equalitarian model of distribution he rightly spots a tyrannical control principle. [3]

“The proletariat would lose all its hard-won independent position and be reduced once more to a mere appendage of official bourgeois democracy.” [4]

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