New Left Redux

Discussion in 'Politics' started by B_bxmuscle, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. B_bxmuscle

    B_bxmuscle New Member

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    Been re-reading some old New Left stuff recently. It really struck and how what those folks said then is even truer decades later. Just some examples:

    The Situationists: contemporary advanced capitalism as creating "the society of the spectacle" in which life is not lived, but "represented" through technology -- decades before the advent of "virtual communities", interactions at a distance via devices, 24/7 marketing, 24-hr tv networks. And ever notice how where-ever you go the same landscapes with the same layouts of malls, highways, franchises, fashions, sub-divisions reappear again and again? Life "represented" according to a uniform pattern.

    Herbert Marcuse: "the strains and stresses suffered by the individual in the affluent society are grounded in the normal functioning of this society (and of the individual!) rather than in its disturbances and diseases." Written in 1967 long before Prozac, etc, or the spread of psychological counseling or fundamentalist religion to cope with everyday life.

    Theodor Adorno back in 1944 in "The Culture Industry": Under monopoly all mass culture is identical, and the lines of its artificial framework begin to show through. The people at the top are no longer so interested in concealing monopoly: as its violence becomes more open, so its power grows. Movies and radio need no longer pretend to be art. The truth that they are just business is made into an ideology in order to justify the rubbish they deliberately produce. They call themselves industries; and when their directors’ incomes are published, any doubt about the social utility of the finished products is removed.
    (Update the technology and how much has change in over 60 years! seen American Idol or X-Factor lately?)

    Plus ça change............
     
  2. Smaccoms

    Gold Member

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    I must agree many individuals have lost sense of their own identity. Human Being's self-identities are personal and social. Without the proper contexts in each aspect, they lose meaning. I think current society attempts to create an illusion of meaning to replace the contexts which have been lost. It's better than nothing I suppose...or is that the very point?
     
  3. Satsfakshun

    Satsfakshun Member

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    I just read Michael Moore's new book Here Comes Trouble. He says he witnessed a murder in the 1980's. It was the murder of the middle class and it happened right before his eyes in Mexico. Reagan's commerce department held a workshop for factory owners to show them how to move their operations to Mexico. Now, in Reagan's defense, this was their plan to keep Mexico from drifting toward communism. On the other hand, they never thought through that such a move would look good (temporarily) on financial sheets the lots of comapnies and manufacturers would follow suit until there weren't enough people left in places like Michigan to support a growing economy. The result: stagnant wages, loss of spending power and collapse of our manufacturing industry.
     
  4. Satsfakshun

    Satsfakshun Member

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    I entreat you to read the entire section. Moore registered as a phoney parts supplier to GM and went to all the seminars "undercover."
     
  5. upone

    upone New Member

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    Much though we may look to the recent past, Max Weber outlined most of this in the late Nineteenth Century, the economics of it in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, and the politics of it in Politics As A Vocation.
     
  6. JustAsking

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    What Ross Perot called "that giant sucking sound", referring to the NAFTA agreement.
     
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