Michel Clouscard  

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"Everything is permitted, nothing is possible"

"Philosophy has always battled marketing." --Apostrophes - Images de marque (1982), Michel Clouscard

"Although Michel Houellebecq's work is often credited with building on conservative, if not reactionary, ideas, his critical depiction of the hippie movement, New Age ideology and the May 1968 generation, especially in Atomised, echoes the "everything is permitted, nothing is possible" thesis of Marxist sociologist Michel Clouscard." --Sholem Stein

Neofascism will be the ultimate expression of libertarian social liberalism, of the unit which starts in May 68. Its specificity holds in this formula: All is allowed, but nothing is possible. The permissiveness of abundance, growth, new models of consumption, leaves the place to interdiction of the crisis, the shortage, the absolute impoverishment. These two historical components amalgamate in the head, in the spirit, thus creating the subjective conditions of the neofascism. From Cohn-Bendit (libertarian leftist) to Le Pen (French extreme nationalist), the loop is buckled: here comes the time of frustrated revanchists.” --Interview in "L'Evadé", n°9, French 141


"Le néo-fascisme sera l’ultime expression du libéralisme social libertaire, de l’ensemble qui commence en Mai 68. Sa spécificité tient dans cette formule : « Tout est permis, mais rien n’est possible. » [ Puis ], à la permissivité de l’abondance, de la croissance, des nouveaux modèles de consommation, succède l’interdit de la crise, de la pénurie, de la paupérisation absolue. Ces deux composantes historiques fusionnent dans les têtes, dans les esprits, créant ainsi les conditions subjectives du néo-fascisme. De Cohn-Bendit à Le Pen, la boucle est bouclée."--Néo-fascisme et idéologie du désir, 1973

"If Clouscard already made a name for himself, thanks to his thesis, “ L’Être et le code” in 1972, aided by the direction of the famous Marxist sociologist Henri Lefebvre, it was in the following year that his thought revealed itself to the public with “Néo-fascisme et idéologie du désir.” In this pamphlet against “Freudo-Marxism” (among which he classed Gilles Deleuze and moreover Herbert Marcuse), he delivered an analysis – imperfect but revolutionary – of Mai 68 and its consequences for French society."[1]

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Michel Clouscard (August 6, 1928 – February 21, 2009) was a French Marxist philosopher and sociologist.

Philosophical work

According to Clouscard, the "capitalism of seduction" with its libertarian liberal face arises from the very evolution of the capitalist mode of production. It testifies to a qualitative jump of the accumulated quantities which, at a certain moment, reach a libertarian structure of society.

With its libertarian face, liberalism achieves its own self-realization, until the inevitable catastrophe. Clouscard speaks then about neofascism.

Drawing up the inventory of fixtures of the liberal counter-revolution's consequences, Clouscard produced a philosophical work to think and propose the basis of a new social contract and to enable a progressivist re-foundation.


See also

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