While we wait for release of new IPCC report it is ever more apparent that to avert climate disaster we need massive state interventionism, the like of which we have not experienced for decades, and we are not culturally/psychologically prepared for. /thread
1/ For a long time climate policy discourse was framed either as changes in individual consumption patterns or local areas (do you remember transition towns?) or multilateralism and action at global level. "Think global act local" or "planetary solutions to planetary problems".
2/ Fact that changes in individual consumption patterns is only an illusion (for how it may give a little help) has already been demolished (at least in the activist milieu). But idea that only planetary solutions will deliver us from global problems is more stubborn.
3/ Obviously you need to have global target and coordination among governments. But we need to accept that political power is not planetary (I know obvious, but not for some), and completely coordinated international solution is not realistic. Each country has to have a plan.
4/ Having a plan includes both mitigation (reduce emission) and adaptation (what you do for change in climate that is already been locked in). Each country has idiosyncratic needs at both levels: presence of alternative energy sources (wind and/or sun), prevalence of threats etc.
5/ Plan for Greece cannot be the same for Canada and you cannot expect that the solution for Greece or Canada will just come from international summits where targets are agreed. Targets often look like numerical anxiety-reduction exercises. You need plans, national plans.
6/ Plans and planning are in fact making a comeback in climate policy. Think about Johnson's ban on non-electric cars from 2030 & Biden's 50% electric car target by same year. Regardless of whether these are credible or hypocritical, sufficient or insufficient planning is back.
7/ Mostly this resembles "indicative" rather than "mandatory" planning, with the state setting rules for market rather than intervening directly in production. Yet, this clearly goes against neoliberal blueprint of self-regulating market.
8/ This is why many free-market economists are appalled even by these moderate and insufficient measures. And you can be sure also many citizens will be. We come from decades when it was assumed state should not meddle in your investment/consumption decisions. Now it has to.
9/ This leads to question of psychological/political preparation to this. We have seen during the pandemic how anti-contagion control (lockdowns, masks, vaccination) were deeply resented by sections of the public. You can expect this in redoubled form for climate policy.
10/ Only solution is ensuring these forms of state control are *democratic* rather than *technocratic*. Not enough to tell the public "we need to do this because experts say this"; rather "we need to do this bc we have collectively decided this availing ourselves of best science"
11/ This speaks more generally to challenges of neo-statism I discuss in 'The Great Recoil'. State as strong only as society/democracy is. Real risk is a technocratic statism engendering popular "hesitancy" which in turn only feeds authoritarianism (ecofascism) down the road.
12/ All in all, we can expect climate policy to be gigantic testing ground for our transition away from free-market dogma and that new political antagonisms on uses of the state will emerge at this level. Only *democratic planning* can deliver us from opposite evils.

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More from @paologerbaudo

7 Aug
If Italy is the country of the future, expect to have not just one rightwing populist party but two (Lega + Brothers of Italy). I struggled a bit yesterday to explain to foreign journalist why this is the case.
My sense is that there are 2 parties because of 2 main reasons: 1. territorial divides, 2. divides within the Italian bourgeoisie. Ideology also matters ("post"-fascism in case of Brothers of Italy vis-a-vis post-regionalist populism in the case of Lega). But not as important.
In terms of territorial divides despite Lega becoming national party its heartland still very much in the Po valley, and its free market policy reflects it. Brothers of Italy strong in Centre-South and more economically marginal areas. Its economic policy is more protectionist.
Read 8 tweets
5 Aug
The problem of Agamben and philosophical allies is not that they are Foucaultian, but that they are not Foucaultian enough! It is as if they have only read Discipline and Punish skipping the lectures at the College de France.
Discussing rise of political economy Foucault says that entire point of biopolitics is circulation, facilitating movement of people and things. Agamben and the like instead operate with a vision of government as confinement, using the concentration camp as paradigm of modernity.
For example vaccine passports are not about confining people at home. Much to the contrary they are about persuading them to get out of their homes, winning over their reluctance for fear of contagion. It is a means of circulation not confinement.
Read 4 tweets
5 Aug
We are moving from 'exopolitics' of neoliberalism (externalisation, outsourcing, offshoring, exports) to 'endopolitics' of postneoliberal era (reterritorialisation, isolationism, rescue-repair-recovery, domestic demand, insourcing, onshoring).

(The Great Recoil, Intro) Image
1/ Idea here is that we are facing a topological inversion in contemporary politics. Outwardness of high globalisation gives way to a countervailing trend. This is not just a moment of involution/backlash, but also of re-centering and internal re-organisation of political units.
2/ This trend is similar to many previous Polanyian counter-movements. Globalisation's expansionist drive was unsustainable politically (as shown by populist revolts) and economically (global supply chain disruption, stagnating domestic demand).
Read 11 tweets
4 Aug
History and ideology come in waves. After the socialdemocratic era (1940s-70) and the neoliberal era (1980s-2010s) we seem to be entering a new phase in the evolution of capitalism, in which the “protectivist” state takes centre stage.

(The Great Recoil, Ch. 1)
This is key to the overall approach/method of the book. What matters to politics is not just ideology (in the sense of specific left/right positions), but "master ideology" at any given historical time, broad social consensus on key issues.
When people referred to neoliberalism as "unique thought" they alerted to broad consensus cutting across centre-left/centre-right on benefits of free market, with disagreements on how it should be handled. Even anti-neoliberals ended up accepting some of neoliberalism's premises.
Read 12 tweets
3 Aug
Best way to read anti-vaxxers is as extreme coping mechanism: control mania as balancing response vis-a-vis a world out of control. When political control is eroded desires of control focus on the only thing one can still partly control: one's own body.
Anti-vaxx sentiment in this sense is similar to many new age practices: extreme diet regimes, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises. Shared aim is control over body and its functioning.
NIMB: not in my body.
Read 4 tweets
3 Aug
The contemporary ideological horizon is defined by the clash between Neoliberalism and Populism and the rise of an Interventionist Neo-statism which presents itself as a solution to this deadlock.

(From “The Great Recoil”, Chapter 1)
The assumption is that what is changing atm is the general ideological horizon on which various left/right views are positioned.
The basic idea notion here is that of ideological eras:
liberal > socialdemocratic > neoliberal > neostatist (?)
The return of the interventionist state was already apparent in the 2010s as the "phantom content" of various "populisms". Advocacy of hard borders on the right; recuperation of Keynesian economics on the left.
Read 9 tweets

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