We’ve been in election mode for some time now. Elections are not a particular locale, nor a particular day in the calendar. They are more like a grid that affects the way we understand and perceive things. Everything is mapped back on this grid and gets warped as a result. The particular conditions of the elections today have elevated the usual level of bullshit.— Gilles Deleuze
As when Deleuze spoke these words thirty-one years ago, we seem to be in an interregnum. Deleuze was writing when, to use shorthand, Keynesianism was dead, killed by, more shorthand, May ’68, but it successor hadn’t yet had its full birth. Today, the form of governmentality commonly called neoliberalism seems to be exhausted, eluded by strategic worldwide refusals and irretrievable even by declared states of emergency and permawar. Its heir is not exactly apparent just now, but the current global financial crisis might help produce the successor.
Meanwhile, as America and the world wait for a message of some sort — and it really does seem more of a waiting than a suspension, though this acknowledgment doesn’t need to imply, as it does for some, nostalgia for a new revolutionary sequence — elections step in to fill the gap. The latest voting cycles, in Venezuela, France, Australia, and the eternal election in the United States (only seven months to go!), among others, are, because the governmentality that undergirds the election grid is so uncertain, both less “political” and more important than they have been in a few decades. And that, in 2008 in the United States, has also elevated the usual level of bullshit.