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May 22, 2005 10:22 AM   Subscribe

It's exactly one week to The Referendum. Will there be a Europe this year or won't there? The European Union was more France's project than anyone else's; if the French suddenly say Non there's going to be lots of polyglot arm-waving and excitement. The media are all a-twitter, all the European ministers are breathing heavily, Libération, in the person of Jean Baudrillard, sees state fascism approaching (but then Libération always sees fascism approaching, it's their gig.) My magic 8 ball points to Oui. Oh wait, it changed its mind, now it says "reply hazy, ask again later."
posted by jfuller (30 comments total)

 
Since I couldn't find an English version of the Baudrillard piece to link to, here (in my best imitation-y2karl, it's -not-really-long-if-it's-tiny style) is one made by loving hands at home. mefi's Gang of Four Give Or Take A Few (I mention no names) should really cream in their coffee over this one. Consider it an early Christmas present from jfuller.


Sacred Europe: "No" is a defiant response to a hegemonic principle imposed from above.

By Jean BAUDRILLARD
Tuesday May 17 2005

The game is rigged. If the No vote carries this time, they'll make us vote again and again until Yes wins, as they did in Denmark and Ireland. (Thus, might as well go ahead and vote Yes right now...).

This leaves us at liberty to wonder at the blaze of No in April and at the reasons for this tenacious, silent dissent. Because only that is remarkable. The rebound of the Yes vote being nothing but an inexorable return to normality, only the No is a mystery. A No which is not at all that of its political defenders, whose political argumentation is just as ill-assorted as that of Yes. Moreover, the No never would have had enough political inspiration to set the polls aflame, and it is that [the tenacious, silent dissent, I think he means --ed.] which slowly ebbs under the pressure of Yes.

The most interesting, the only exciting thing in this phony referendum is the No which hides behind the official No, the No beyond political rationalization, because it is that which resists, and it must be a risky objective indeed that thus mobilizes all the energies, all the powers assemblled for the defense of Yes. That panicky abracadabra is a clear sign that there's a skeleton in the closet.

This No is obviously a reflex reaction, instinctive, to the ultimatum which has stood there since the very beginning of the referendum. Reaction against that coalition of good conscience, of Divine Europe, that which pretends to universality and infallible evidence, reaction against that categorical imperative of Yes, against which the promoters did not suppose for a single instant that a challenge might arise and need to be countered. This is thus not a No to Europe, it is a No to Yes, on unchallengeable evidence.

No one can tolerate the arrogance of an assumed victory, for no matter what reasons (which, in the particular case of
Europe, are nothing less than virtual). The game is decided in advance, and all we need is a roar from the crowd. Oui au Oui, Yes to Yes: behind that increasingly banal formula hides a terrible mystification. The Yes itself is no longer exactly a Yes to Europe, nor even to Chirac or the liberal order. It became a Yes to Yes, to consensual order, a Yes which is no longer an answer, but the main content of the question.

What we are forced to undergo is actually a test of Euro-positivity. And this unconditional Yes, by a reaction at once prideful and defensive, spontaneously generated an equally unconditional No. For my part I say the true mystery is that there has not been a more violent reaction, a still larger majority, for No and against that Yes-ification.

One need not even be politically aware to have this reflex: it is automatic return-fire against the coalition of all those on the side of Universal Good, the others being cast back into the dark shadows of History. What the forces of Yes overlooked was the perverse effect of this supercilious Goodness, and on that unconscious insight that tells us never to admit the rightness of those who already know they're right. Already, at the time of Maastricht and of April 22nd, the forces of political correctness, whether of the right or the left, did not want to know about this silent dissent.

Because this No is not, fundamentally, the effect of a "work of negation" or of critical thought. It is a response of defiance pure and simple, defiance of a hegemonic principle which descends from a great height and to which the consent of the people is only an indifferent consideration, even an obstacle to be overcome. It is obvious that for this Europe, designed following an abstract model which must be made real at any price and to which everyone is expected to adapt himself, for this virtual Europe, certified image of a world power, the people are only a mass to be manipulated, which one must harness to the project, willingly or by force, to serve as an alibi. And the powers everywhere are quite right to be wary of referenda and of any direct expression of political will which, in a framework of true representation, might very well turn out badly for them. It is thus the parliaments which, most of the time, will be charged with whitewashing the operation and endorsing Europe on the quiet.

But we are accustomed to this embezzlement of opinion and political will. Not very long ago, the war in Iraq took place thanks to an international coalition of powers against the expressed will, massive and spectacular, of all the populations. Europe is being built on exactly the same model. In fact I am astonished that the partisans of No do not make use of this striking example, of this great First Prize in total contempt for the voice of the people.

All this goes far beyond the episode of the referendum. It means bankruptcy of even the principle of representation, insofar as the representative institutions no longer function in the "democratic" sense, that is to say, of the people and of the citizens confronting power; just the opposite, of power towards underlings, by a feigned consultation and a circular charade of question and answer, where the question does nothing but reply Yes to itself. Yes to Yes.

There it is, in the heart of the political: the bankruptcy of democracy. And if the electoral system, already undermined by non-voters, must be saved at all cost (even before answering Yes, the categorical imperative is to vote at all cost), it is because it functions as the reverse of true representation, as the imposition of decisions taken "in the name of the people" even if, secretly, each of the the people thinks the opposite.

There is thus, behind the immediate abreaction to the "single thought" of Europe, incarnated by Yes, the liberal thought of a Europe which, even without making up any more rules for the game, has but one destiny: to expand and increase by successive annexations towards the image of a world power. There is thus, in the No of which we speak, in the refusal of this image of Europe, a foreshadowing of a liquidation much more grave than the intrusion of market forces and supranational institutions: liquidation of any true representation, at the end of which the populations will be assigned a the role of a figurehead, which is asked now and then for rubber-stamp approval.

As for the final result, a certain suspense remains: if all is well, in all liklihood the insolent hegemony of Yes which sufficed to generate the revulsive awakening burst of No, the recrudescence of the campaign in favor of Yes should logically generate a reinforcement of No. But it is not certain that this No, arisen from the depths of what one could formerly call the silent majority, can stand up against mass intoxication. It is a very good bet that we will once again set out toward rule by consensus, under the spiritual authority of the powers that be.

Whatever other results there may be, this referendum, jammed between Yes and No as between the 0 and 1 of numerical calculation, is only one adventure. Moreover, Europe itself is only one more adventure on the way to a much graver expiration date, that of the loss of collective sovereignty on the horizon of which another image beyond that of the passive or manipulated citizen takes shape: the citizen-hostage, the citizen taken hostage by the powers, that is to say, hostage-taking having become the face of terrorism, a democratic form of state terrorism.


-----
P.S. from yr. translator, I am pretty confident I have rendered the essence of what J. B. wanted to get across; but as for the details of expression, Ghod what fog. Whatever happened to clairté? Racine this dude isn't. We asserts that the translation is distinctly more Augustinian and French than the original. Oh well, it's good practice for our next project, rewriting Huis Clos in Alexandrines.
posted by jfuller at 10:23 AM on May 22, 2005


Moreover, the No never would have had enough political inspiration to set the polls aflame, and it is that [the tenacious, silent dissent, I think he means --ed.] which slowly ebbs under the pressure of Yes.

D'ailleurs, le non d'inspiration politique n'aurait jamais suffi à faire flamber les sondages, et c'est lui qui régresse lentement sous la pression du oui...

Moroever, the 'No' inspired by politics would never have been enough to set light to the polls, and it is this political no which is slowly giving way to the pressure of the Yes.

So not the 'silent dissent'.

But why did you spend all this time translating a text you dislike?
posted by TimothyMason at 10:44 AM on May 22, 2005


What exactly is on the ballot here?

I mean, france is already a part of the EU, correct? They use the Euro... what additional soverignity are they giving up?
posted by delmoi at 10:49 AM on May 22, 2005


It's about the constitution. Some commentators - here's one - think that a No vote will provide a very necessary jolt to the out-of-touch politicians and bureaucrats who have been running the EC. So do I, which is why I'll be voting No.

But what is happening here, as Baudrillard suggests, is that there is a general rejection of politics as usual. Much of this can be attributed to the political games of Jacques Chirac, coming after a long run of equally fetid political games by François Mitterand.
posted by TimothyMason at 11:02 AM on May 22, 2005


jfuller writes "Whatever happened to clairté?"

er, that would of course be clarté.
posted by clevershark at 11:27 AM on May 22, 2005


The opposition appears to be led by an interesting mix of right-wingers and political opponents of Jacques Chirac. The referendum itself is apparently being seen as more of a referendum on Chirac than one on Europe.
posted by clevershark at 11:29 AM on May 22, 2005


Well, leave it to France to get everyone breathing heavy.
posted by nervousfritz at 11:43 AM on May 22, 2005


Thanks for the translation jfuller, I appreciated reading that. As usual the French have something to say which applies to Democracy in general; as this essay does seem to rise into the space of the question of how brain-dead policies emerge from an intelligent discussion of a referendum.
posted by nervousfritz at 12:01 PM on May 22, 2005


To oversimplify:
- there's a left-wing "no" led by people who think that the EU is turning into a another US, what they call a "liberal" EU, ("liberal" in the continental Europe sense of the term of course). These people fear particularly the dismantlement of public services and "social dumping" (foreign workers with lower wages and less social rights).
- there's a right-wing "no" led by the usual bunch of eurosceptics and ultranationalists. For these folks, the candidacy of Turkey to the EU is the ultimate abomination.

Otherwise, lots of people are going to vote no because they're sick of Chirac.
The debates are still interesting though.
posted by elgilito at 12:02 PM on May 22, 2005


Why are economic clauses being written into the constitution? Isn't that really restrictive, in terms of future economic policy?
posted by jb at 12:07 PM on May 22, 2005


From: Why the EU Constitution is bad for Britain and bad for the US
By Charles Moore
"I would draw attention to the opening words of the two documents. The US Constitution begins, famously, "We the People…". The European Constitution begins, "His Majesty the King of the Belgians…". That gives you a fair idea of the different spirit of each document."

I think it's very likely that people will vote against an undemocratic , unpopular bureaucracy rather than vote for something that few have read and fewer have understood.
posted by Lanark at 12:08 PM on May 22, 2005


I can't understand why EU people are trying to put together such a strong federalism. 300M people is just too many to house under one government, even if they do speak the same language.

From what I gather, the US Constitution has it right: independent states with a federal authority watching over commonalities like interstate trade, navigation, and appeals courts (assuming the latter is actually in the constitution), with the bill of rights + 14th Amendment jurisprudence providing federal protection of minimum of individual rights, while the 9th and 10th amendments left everything else up to the more local states.

It's been said often, but the Busheviks are no true conservatives or 'federalists', what with their intervention in gay marriage, right-to-die, and medicinal marijuana.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:57 PM on May 22, 2005


I think it's very likely that people will vote against an undemocratic , unpopular bureaucracy rather than vote for something that few have read and fewer have understood.

You know, there's generally a democratic deficit in the enlargement of an empire. Expansion of a political territory usually requires levies and increased taxation upon the core members and capital and labor transfers to the periphery. Not to mention expanded military expenditures to defend ever-larger borders.

I'd wager that had most of the Empires of history bothered to ask their citizens in direct ballots whether they approved of expansion, anschluss, or ascession of various new territories, there would have been more than a few "No" votes.

Do you really think if every State in the US had had to conduct plebiscites upon the acquisition of entry of a new State that things would have proceeded as smoothly as they did? I understand that the United States delegates complete authority concerning enlargement to its federal Congress, removing the notion of popular, devolved assent of existing citizens almost completely from the process.

By contrast, the EU is quite very particular, thus far, about enabling its citizens, through national votes, to approve or reject the enlargement of or political reconstitution of the Union. In comparison to other empires of history, this does produce several hiccups along the way, but has managed to get this far. And it does have the welcome effect of sending politicians scrambling when their desires are rejected by a national population.

Finally, should an EU nation grow tired of the "undemocratic , unpopular bureaucracy", they can easily trade it in for some home-grown nonsense by unilaterally withdrawing from some or all of the EU political structure. Greenland, for example, withdrew from the EC in 1985. The Maastricht Treaty is really quite a relatively representative document, as far as empire-creating concordats go. Should a European country not wish to give up sovereignty to a federal system, there are a number of parallel European integration structures they can join or remain members of, such as the EEA or the EFTA. Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, for example, have elected to join or remain within these political structures without joining the EU.

It is my understanding that once within the United States, a State cannot decide to unilaterally secede, and any such attempts have been and will be resisted by the federal government. So it really doesn't matter how or why a State's population might vote in that matter: their wishes will be opposed by military force. I can't think of a more classic example of bureaucratic fiat overriding democratic wishes.
posted by meehawl at 1:01 PM on May 22, 2005


what meehawl said...there's plenty of opportunity to withdraw and/or effect change--in everything. Why is France against it now when it's been in on it from the beginning?

It's definitely going to be OUI.
posted by amberglow at 1:07 PM on May 22, 2005


His Majesty the King of the Belgians

It's also worth pointing out that this preamble merely invokes the supreme constitutional authority of each member State. Belgium, being "b", manages to get in early. Ireland, being a constitutional republic, gets a THE PRESIDENT OF IRELAND, the monarchies get their various Kings and Queens, and so on.

What's more notable is what comes immediately after the preamble, the opening, defining clause of the EU:

DRAWING INSPIRATION from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe, from which have developed the universal values of the inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law.

There's lots more of that kind of warm and fuzzy stuff, if you care to look, rather than getting your information 2nd-hand from the Telegraph.
posted by meehawl at 1:13 PM on May 22, 2005


It's definitely going to be OUI.

You are more sanguine than the polls. But do note that a rejection of the constitution is not the same thing as a rejection of the EU; very few of those who are calling for a NO vote would go down that road, although the National Front might. Moreover, most of the older members - and many of the newer ones - have learnt that it pays to be bloody-minded from time to time. A NO vote does not put the EU in any great danger.

As I said above, I'll be voting NO. I'm not against the European Union - indeed, I'm a lot more favourable than most UK politicians seem to be.
posted by TimothyMason at 1:28 PM on May 22, 2005


From Jonathan Steele's article in the Grauniad :

But a pause for reflection on how to produce a short, clear and eloquent constitution, not dominated by a particular economic ideology, will do no harm. Delay will not doom every institutional change proposed in the current text. Javier Solana, Europe's foreign minister- in-waiting, is already active in a virtually equivalent job and can continue. The council of ministers could endorse the idea of a European president, if it wishes. Europe will not go backwards, let alone collapse.

Going by past form, and past kerfuffles, I think he's right.
posted by TimothyMason at 1:36 PM on May 22, 2005


I find it rather disturbing that some people in the EU are sufficiently anti-science that they have managed to get an anti-cloning measure put into the Constitution.... There are a few other, odd, things guaranteed in the rights section as well.

I'm not European, but I'm generally pro-EU. A united Europe could accomplish amazing things, and would represent an economy at least as large as the US. But some of the things in the Constitution seem hard to take.
posted by sotonohito at 1:57 PM on May 22, 2005


...the Union shall aim at reducing disparities between the levels of development of the various regions and the backwardness of the least favoured regions.
posted by airguitar at 2:33 PM on May 22, 2005


"very necessary jolt to the out-of-touch politicians and bureaucrats who have been running the EC"

Er, but a jolt in what direction? Because the opponents to the constitution don't seem to have a very consistent alternative: you've got mad-eyed Trotskyites, the occasional fascist and a lot of people who are simply against "the establishment". Yeah, right, but what the fuck are you for?

I don't like the constitution much: to me it seems like blancmange cooked by committee. Moreover, I'm afraid it will never survive the gauntlet of referenda it has to go through. But it also looks like the only workable compromise.

And about the "democratic deficit": the biggest affront to democracy in the current EU is the wide power of veto of each member state. A system in which a tiny minority (say, Malta) can systematically block an initiative by the majority is simply not democratic. Yet, reducing the power of veto is denounced as a "loss of sovereignity" by the same people who denounce the "democratic deficit". Even if one could possibly argue that more sovereignity is lost by letting other countries have a power of veto on EU legislation that could be beneficial for your country (strangely enough, the "sovereignists" only ever think of their own country's right to veto, never of other countries').

As for all these referenda, they are also less than democratic. Any referendum on EU-matters should be EU-wide. And if there was a country with a negative result where the majority would be positive, it could be simply shown the door. That way people would vote about the EU, not about whether they like Mssrs Chirac's or Blair's latest hairdo.
posted by Skeptic at 2:34 PM on May 22, 2005


It is my understanding that once within the United States, a State cannot decide to unilaterally secede, and any such attempts have been and will be resisted by the federal government.

And yet the dream lives on.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:52 PM on May 22, 2005


I think the major problem is calling this thing a constitution, when it clearly is nothing like a decent constitution, at all.

It's just a bunch of edicts, some subsidiarity rights stuff and how the breakdown of voting should work with an expanded EU. When they called it a constitution they made an error, because it evokes certain feelings and thoughts related to rules of law executed from a "far off place" with no real political accountability.

Of course, it's a bit of fiction anyway, and there's lots of decent reasons to vote NO. And I'm not saying a simple PR blitz to rename the document would work. They will retask it, after all, it's not as extreme as Masstricht.

A lot of people I've spoke to, reasonable sound of mind and certainly middle of the road/left, are appalled by the rough-shod way this has been handled. I watch/read the news here and the level of skewed massive mobilisation for the YES campaign, and silly scare fear tactics, is turning people off.

A NO vote would not surprise me, and I hope it happens. Plus, it's a good kick in pants for Supermenteur.

my two centimes....
posted by gsb at 3:13 PM on May 22, 2005


TimothyMason:

> Moroever, the 'No' inspired by politics would never have been enough to set light to the
> polls, and it is this political no which is slowly giving way to the pressure of the Yes.
>
> So not the 'silent dissent'.

Thanks, I'll take your reading of the c'est lui pronoun reference. Fuller tips chapeau.


> But why did you spend all this time translating a text you dislike?

Oh, I don't dislike it, it was just a bit of a struggle. My French is more than a little rusty (and Babelfish might as well have been translating it into Sumerian, for all it helped.) I persevered and got through it due to intense curiosity about what an articulate, or at least verbose, Non guy might be thinking. It's not hard to understand the Yes crowd, after all. "Oui au Oui" is neither hard to translate nor one of those really difficult thoughts (e.g. "Can snakes sit?")
posted by jfuller at 3:27 PM on May 22, 2005


Lanark: "I would draw attention to the opening words of the two documents. The US Constitution begins, famously, "We the People…". The European Constitution begins, "His Majesty the King of the Belgians…". That gives you a fair idea of the different spirit of each document."

umm... actually the opening words are a Thucydides quote: "Our Constitution ... is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the greatest number."

And after that come the opening words of the preamble: "Conscious that Europe is a continent that has brought forth civilisation; that its inhabitants, arriving in successive waves from earliest times, have gradually developed the values underlying humanism: equality of persons, freedom, respect for reason,"

Here's a link to the text of the Constitution. It is my understanding that the preface not be part of the constitution, so it starts at the Preamble.
posted by Kattullus at 3:37 PM on May 22, 2005


Here's a link to the text of the Constitution.

That's an earlier draft. This is the current version, written during the Irish Presidency. The King of the Belgians, bless little Albert, does indeed get star billing. And the anthem is still going to be a riff on Ode to Joy.

Alex: No. No! NO! Stop it! Stop it, please! I beg you! This is sin! This is sin! This is sin! It's a sin, it's a sin, it's a sin!
Dr. Brodsky: Sin? What's all this about sin?
Alex: That! Using Ludwig van like that! He did no harm to anyone. Beethoven just wrote music!

posted by meehawl at 4:00 PM on May 22, 2005


The current preamble gives the impression of having been rehashed for the legal niceties rather than punchiness of reading. It does give a very poor impression for a federal document to wade in with a boring list of signatories headed by a king. Then again, you could argue that the US Constitution would have been improved by a bit of header information.
posted by raygirvan at 4:06 PM on May 22, 2005


amberglow:

what meehawl said...there's plenty of opportunity to withdraw and/or effect change--in everything.

Yes and no. Not being part of Europe is not a great option. And making changes is difficult, because many changes require unanimity of the 25+ countries in the EU. So of course people debate about what Europe should look like.

The EU is a maddeningly strange beast, more than an international organization (like the UN), and less than a federal state (like the US). And the constitution's 500 pages are near-impossible to read and comprehend. It's very very confusing, but at least the debates in France have been fairly interesting.

Imagine a national referendum in the US (has there ever been one, by the way?) where you're asked to vote yes or no on, not just the US Constitution, but the entire body of legislation voted by Congress in the past, plus a few new changes. How do you even wrap your mind around such a thing? And wouldn't there be hundreds of reasons tempting you to vote "No!"?

Maybe that's a misleading example. How about if there were a national referendum on a new version of NAFTA, that was way more complicated than NAFTA, and way more binding on the US in every way?

Why is France against it now when it's been in on it from the beginning?

That's complicated too. It's not just the US that's split down the middle in interesting ways. The last time there was a referendum in France on an EU treaty, for the Maastricht Treaty, the yes vot won by a hair's breadth, 51%.

Divisions include:
- the élites and people benefiting from globalization vs. ordinary people who feel threatened by increasingly open frontiers;
- centrists and moderates on the left and right vs. people on the extreme left and right;
- people who think the treaty is an advance vs. people who think it goes too far towards a super-state and those who think it doesn't go far enough.

It's definitely going to be OUI.

That's just silly. It's anyone's guess at this point. If you look at the polls, you'll see that the no vote is currently winning, and that the trend over the last month or two is worse than it was for Maastricht.

Note: At this point I favor yes, somewhat unenthusiastically. But I could still change my mind...

Skeptic:
Any referendum on EU-matters should be EU-wide.

Um, nope. The EU is not a super-state. Any member country would be very unhappy to have something imposed on them that they didn't freely choose. That's the trickiness of getting anything done in the EU...
posted by Turtle at 4:12 PM on May 22, 2005


Any member country would be very unhappy to have something imposed on them that they didn't freely choose.

My country had a yes vote to the constitution. We could just as well say that we would be very unhappy to be imposed an arrangement we wanted to change. But it's a sad testament to the current European mentality that the right to block is far more valued than the right to bring things forward.
posted by Skeptic at 10:26 PM on May 22, 2005


Well as a European citizen that didn't get a chance to vote (no) on the so-called constitution, I'm hoping France will block this. The idea that European unification must pass necessarily through this neoliberal manifesto (the third part) because it's the only one we got, is truly incredible.

Some arguments against this constitution from the left: Susan George, gives 5 (to me) rather convincing reasons to vote "no".

Physicist Jean Bricmont (of Sokal and Bricmont fame, co-author of "Fashionable Nonsense"), very clearly summarizes the debate on the left and celebrates the "NON" vote:
...In the discussions on the constitution, at least on the left, there are in general two types of argument: those who refer to the texts, who are for voting "no", and those who refer to Auschwitz and Le Pen, who are for voting "yes". To hear the latter, one would think that rejection of the constitution would lead us into war, if not genocide. This argument, which considers that peace depends on eliminating sovereignty, fails to note that there is more than one kind of sovereignty. Europe is seeking to create its own sovereignty, imitating that of the United States which has strong borders and troops deployed to the four corners of the earth. This creates the danger of endless war, as sooner or later people do not welcome armed missionaries. On the other hand, Switzerland is without doubt the most sovereign country in Europe, but it has never sent its troops abroad, never committed genocide nor started a war...
Also Bernard Cassen in the Monde Diplomatique argues that No is not a disaster, arguing against this European Constitution:
Imagine a model citizen, moved by civic duty to read a text before voting on it and making the time to do so. He/she has surprises in store. Not only is the document far longer than any national constitution, it is also worded differently. Many of its key terms are foreign to traditional constitutional language. In fact, most of its favourite words do not appear even once in the French constitution. Our reader might run the document through a computer. In 202 pages of the main text, there are 176 instances of the word bank and its derivatives. The word market appears 88 times, trade 38, competition 29, capital 23 and commodity 11.

Is this really a constitution? Much of it reads like a cut-and-paste copy of the statutes of the International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organisation. There are - the late pope and George Bush will be pleased to note - 13 references to religion, and 11 to terrorism.
posted by talos at 3:35 AM on May 23, 2005


Great links talos. I still think that because yucky leftists and yucky rightists (mostly the same who have been against every previous development of the EU) are against it, the constitutional treaty is probably OK. I sympathize with wanting to stick it to the EU Man, but really, he hasn't been all that bad, has he? And is this really the time and place place to do battle against non-representative bureaucracy? Oh I don't know anymore...

One radically un-American thing I've learned in Europe: design-by-committee can actually work. It ain't necessarily pretty or satisfying, but it can get the job done.

(And nice effort translating, jfuller, though Baudrillard is kinda full of it, just too clever by half, imho, so it doesn't actually matter if there's a few mistakes.)
posted by Turtle at 1:38 PM on May 23, 2005


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