People sometimes think I have an unnecessarily dystopian view of the future. Brazilian development: favelas, palm trees, ten percent of the population owning seventy five percent of the wealth. To what alternative view could one realistically subscribe? It's possible to isolate, within the spectacle, a "vision" of exogenous "waves of progress": the specific basis of trickledown economics. I recall at university this being pushed as the dominant view: that which is actualised, the most modern, the most scientific. It's worth asking to what extent this view is accepted.
I don't pretend this is especially scientific, but I think the recent recent Republican contest in the U.S. approximately gauges assent to neoliberal ideas (against a limited pallette of alternatives) within a bloc of the population important for the manufacturing of consent: America's middle class. Support for Romney could be taken to more or less track approval of these ideas as explanation, narrative, packaging. Support for the other two main candidates would track dissent from this.
For no good scientific reason I'm persuaded that for most people Romney's very comportment radiates the "stable waves" of neoliberalism:
"your boss is a worker like you. He just works more productively. This work benefits everyone. You ought to vote for your boss"
(My paraphrasing. And I think it's right to stress this aspect of his campaign. It's surely a mistake to think Romney's neoliberalism is polluted in some way by a militarism in contradiction with it, or at another level, his mormon beliefs.)
I suspect the failure of these ideas to be adequately persuasive is testified to by thousands of now useless "America's CEO" mugs, caps and mousemats piled up in a warehouse somewhere in Michigan.
But what on earth can the platforms of McCain and Huckabee represent if they are obliged to depart from the dominant ideas of the dominant classes whose interests they aspire to serve?
Again, rather subjectively, McCain strikes me as a proponant of disaster movie rhetoric; the whole thing in The Towering Inferno, security guards improvising a useable system, the bourgeois system having melted into air. An odd relation with bourgeois civilisation and it's institutions, this imagination exceedingly pleased by the thought of setting up a control checkpoint in MOMA or the central library; making up a barricade from a Richard Serra installation or amid an Ice Age diorama: "The Museum's under control Maam". A reified pragmatism, basically.