Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mockus goes all po-mo

Ok, so we all knew Colombian presidential candidate Antanas Mockus has a background in math and philosophy, but who knew he'd turn out to be an avowed post-modernist too? Yes indeed, in a long interview in Spain's El Pais (spanish only), Mockus goes to great lengths to deconstruct the political dichotomy of "neoliberal" and "leftist," arguing that neither label suits him.

From the interview:
"Maybe I'm a bridge, maybe I'm someone heterodox with a vocation to pull together the fragments of various points of view. I have liquidated public entities, I have privatized, I have fired public officials and have been called a neoliberal. But I have raised taxes to an extent no neoliberal ever would, and I have defended public spending to promote equity. Labels are instructive but they can disguise many things. This might sound pretentious, but the new deserves a new name."
Might sound pretentious? Next thing we know he'll be quoting Derrida during his inauguration speech.

Ok, so it's not like he's the only post-partisan politician out there claiming to transcend ideological divisions. And there's certainly a nice ring to the notion that we should give up old ideological labels in order to simply govern pragmatically. But the belief that one has transcended ideology, to paraphrase the philosoher Slavoj Žižek, is the very imprint of ideological thinking.

Pseudo. Philosophical. Rant. Over.

1 comment:

  1. hey, no fair.
    he didn't say he can't be labeled at all, he just said that the neoliberal label can't really be applied to him.
    I don't think it's fair to accuse him of thinking he "transcends ideology"