Self-Licking Ice Cream Cones

Naked Capitalism brings you the debate. Is a SLICC better understood as

A military doctrine or political process that appears to exist in order to justify its own existence, often producing irrelevant indicators of its own success.


“Solutions” that amplify, to a rentier’s profit, the very “problem” they claim to solve.

Or, I might add, is the main distinction between these definitions the stance of the analyst, either as a neo-liberal theorizer of bureaucracy vs. a Continental with a philosophic bent towards self-reflexivity and systems theory?

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2 Responses to Self-Licking Ice Cream Cones

  1. Jon Weinberg says:

    The two definitions aren’t just different in style or focus; they refer to different sets of things. It seems to me — since you asked — that if Strether wants to talk about “‘solutions’ that amplify, to a rentier’s profit, the very ‘problem’ they claim to solve,” he should come up with his own term rather than co-opting the one Worden invented. Strether has a good point about law enforcement fines (a system not covered under Worden’s approach), but why announce a redefinition of a perfectly good term with previously established meaning in order to talk about them?

  2. Sandra says:

    I’ve heard this one used to describe individuals, too, especially middle manager types who are always cranking out metrics to “prove” that their department is on track, or work is being done, etc.

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