Cultural Capitalism - A path towards decadence and despair

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Fared Gaderi
Cultural Capitalism - A path towards decadence and despair

Link: Cultural Capitalism

Quote:

On one level cultural capitalism might be defined as all the outward things which have come to characterize American ‘civilization' since the 1950′s, but it is much more, because as culture is rooted in spiritual and mental predicates, capitalism as we know it is itself a symptom of all that is modern - in which the aspirations of man are merely for temporal goals, namely the acquisition of more "material," and nothing else. In practical life, this means that for many, running the money rat race is an imperative to survive and make a meager living, while for those who are a bit better off is a competition for more possessions and trinkets. For the very wealthy, living in an existential impasse of confusion between need and want. This is the psychological corner stone of capitalism and consumerism driven by marketing and advertising: turning a desire for a product into an artificial need where enough is never enough - hence the need for ever more and more possessions and diversions. Rather significantly, we might note that while cultural Marxism is adapted to disrupt the social patterns in the West, cultural capitalism is aimed at disrupting developing or non-Western countries, and thus serves for a vector of imperialism. In this sense, it ironically fufills the Marxist pseudo-prophecy of societies needing to pass through a phase of "capitalism" before the socialist phase can be accomplished.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Interesting article, Fared. Thank you. I will have a closer look at it a bit later. Until then, welcome to babble!

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

A very muddle-headed, anti-Marxist rant from a reactionary religious source.

The self-styled "Chairman" of this blog, William van Nostrand, is a right-wing nutter who rails against "modernity" in the form of atheism, secularism, liberalism, feminism, Marxism, and yes, capitalism.

Not worth wasting time on.

Unionist

Quote:
... culture is rooted in spiritual and mental predicates ...

Oh really? Rooted in predicates. How would one sketch that metaphor?

Quote:
... the aspirations of man are merely for temporal goals ...

And women?

Quote:
For the very wealthy, living in [is?] an existential impasse of confusion between need and want.

Food for... something.

Quote:
This is the psychological corner stone of capitalism and consumerism driven by marketing and advertising: turning a desire for a product into an artificial need where enough is never enough - hence the need for ever more and more possessions and diversions.

How very profound.

Oh, I ventured into the full article, wherein this gem appears:

Quote:
... capitalism is merely the pseudo-antithesis of its much more deranged cousin of Marxism, since both ultimately reduce man to a mere “cog in the machine”.

I believe I've said enough.

Slumberjack

Hmmm....I'll have to give this a read at some point, as some aspects of it remind me of a thesis on post 70s feminism I happened across several months ago.

MegB

Anti-feminist, anti-Marxist crap.  Troll alert.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Rebecca West wrote:

anti-Marxist crap.

When did babble start cracking down on anti-Marxist crap? [img]http://archive.rabble.ca/babble/eek.gif[/img]

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

Rebecca West wrote:

anti-Marxist crap.

When did babble start cracking down on anti-Marxist crap? [img]http://archive.rabble.ca/babble/eek.gif[/img]

Laughing

Now that it's babble policy, I'm going to review all past posts and use "flag as offensive" as required.

 

Patrick Mahoney

Reading the first paragraph almost made me want to throw up.

The site linked in the OP is a right-wing hate site and thus has no credibility here.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I had trouble getting through that too...my favorite phrase was "the Freudo-Marxist welfare state". 

(as if fusing those two schools of thought wouldn't cause the head of every Marxist and every Freudian to explode).

Slumberjack

Haven't read the article as I originally mentioned I would do up thread, but managed to skim the first few topics under the 'culture' heading, and adjusted such intentions accordingly.

Jacob Two-Two

Not going to read the article, but no reason why it can't spur some discussion regardless. I think there's something to that notion of the "cog in the machine". I find both Marxism and capitalism are reductive as philosophies, essentially materialist and lacking in any apprehension of humanity outside of economic activity. You could say that's not their purpose, but I find both have the unspoken assumption of being larger than mere industry, with cultural pretenses that are wholely unsatisfactory.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Neither Marxism nor capitalism is a philosophy.

Slumberjack

What there is to be said of them both might take the form of philosophy, but we're not dealing with any of that here.

flight from kamakura
MegB

M. Spector wrote:

Rebecca West wrote:

anti-Marxist crap.

When did babble start cracking down on anti-Marxist crap? [img]http://archive.rabble.ca/babble/eek.gif[/img]

Actually, there have been several mod "interventions" over anti-Marxist/ socialist screed over the years.  I know babble isn't your flavour of left wing progressiveness, and we can't moderate this board  24/7 (I'm pretty sure no one would want that anyway), but we do our best.  This isn't something new or unique around babble policy.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And the poster who started all those threads with the "Riding The Tiger" links HAS been banned...and deservedly so...so how much more could the mods do on this particular situation?

Patrick Mahoney

Ken Burch wrote:

And the poster who started all those threads with the "Riding The Tiger" links HAS been banned...and deservedly so...so how much more could the mods do on this particular situation?

Ken, I'm not absolutely sure about this but I think the ADL and SPLC have places where you can report hate sites if you think it's worthwile.  They will investigate and if necessary work with the internet companies to shut them down or prosecute the owners.

Let be heard and not be silenced.  Make a report if you'd like & stand strong against hate!

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Yes, by all means let's give credence to the ADL by treating them as a trusted arbiter of what's anti-semitic and what isn't. Then we can all go and tap our heads against a wall until it feels better.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Patrick Mahoney wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

And the poster who started all those threads with the "Riding The Tiger" links HAS been banned...and deservedly so...so how much more could the mods do on this particular situation?

Ken, I'm not absolutely sure about this but I think the ADL and SPLC have places where you can report hate sites if you think it's worthwile.  They will investigate and if necessary work with the internet companies to shut them down or prosecute the owners.

Let be heard and not be silenced.  Make a report if you'd like & stand strong against hate!

OK...I'll check that out and report it if possible.

Gaian

Your welcoming style is sort of worn at the edges, MS. Probably, Patrick is trying to use the devices available in the real world to people who fight hate, whereas you are cutting to the quick in the manner we have learned hereabouts.

You could suggest that Patrick consult some threads on the subject in the politics threads.

I look forward to seeing Patrick's "ah ha", along the way. Many folks would have told you to bugger off with your snottiness, by now.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

"Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune." - Chomsky

Patrick Mahoney

Gaian wrote:
Your welcoming style is sort of worn at the edges, MS. Probably, Patrick is trying to use the devices available in the real world to people who fight hate, whereas you are cutting to the quick in the manner we have learned hereabouts. You could suggest that Patrick consult some threads on the subject in the politics threads. I look forward to seeing Patrick's "ah ha", along the way. Many folks would have told you to bugger off with your snottiness, by now.

Actually I wasn't saying that my way is the only way, but those are certainly viable options for working within the boundaries of the law.  Depending on the circumstances there are different things you can do.  For instance on facebook back when there were discussion boards I came across some posts about among other things, how blacks commit more crimes than whites, and Israel supposedly not having a right to exist. Utter trash that isn't even recyclable. Since back then most users were college students I made a few records of what was being said and informed that university's Office of Diversity about what they were saying.  Wasn't expecting a response but a few weeks later I got an e-mail from them thanking me saying that they had talked to the student and he promised not to say those things again.

In this case it is a private website so we can't take that route.  One way is to at least let those who monitor hate know about it, but as I said it's not the only way.

Gaian

quote: "In this case it is a private website so we can't take that route. One way is to at least let those who monitor hate know about it, but as I said it's not the only way."

You are a calming, much-needed voice here, Patrick.

Would you mind moseying over to the thread on International Politics and perhaps explaining just what is happening in Georgia on a couple of fronts? The Obama front, to begin with?

6079_Smith_W

M. Spector wrote:

When did babble start cracking down on anti-Marxist crap? [img]http://archive.rabble.ca/babble/eek.gif[/img]

That would depend on what you mean.

Presumably there is a difference between opposing Marxism, and taking a critical look at the goals of those who say they are promoting it. 

And presumably saying that one does not agree with someone's interpretation of it  is not the same as opposing it.

Nathaniel.Mossiblov

I think in some ways we can thank Marx for his groundbreaking analysis of capitalism and his many theories in regards to economics, especially his criticism of capitalism. Actually, his analysis was not terribly different from other theoreticians of history. As early as the 13th century the Arabic philosopher wrote similar things about social conflict, aristocracies, the laboring classes and the moneyed classes.

With that said, the above poster 6079_Smith_W does have a point in saying that there are those who purport to sympathize with the proletariat while simultaneously working against their interests.

 

6079_Smith_W

@ Nathaniel Mossiblov

My personal feelings; I don't consider myself anti-Marxist. Someone is a Marxist? Not my concern.

I should add that my main reason for posting was in defense of moderators who may not be quite as zealous as some might want them to be.

Nathaniel.Mossiblov

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ Nathaniel Mossiblov

My personal feelings; I don't consider myself anti-Marxist. Someone is a Marxist? Not my concern.

I should add that my main reason for posting was in defense of moderators who may not be quite as zealous as some might want them to be.

I understand you. I think that people were a little too harsh on the OP. I skimmed over it as well as the site, and while some articles go too far even a stopped clock is right twice a day.  I won't go so far as to defend anything over on that site, or even defend this one article.  But I think the general topic, "cultural capitalism" does present one or two ideas at least worthy of discussion.

Number 1, with regard towhat the author called "cultural Marxism," it's indeed true that it was an attempt to apply Marxism to cultural Analysis. Classical Marxist thought is primarily economic, and concerns itself with developing the "dictatorship of the proletariat" to drive forth a revolution of the masses. What Horkheimer thought was different from the Soviet line in that he thought because the Western European countries were relatively prosperous, revolution couldn't come from the proletariat. Because of that they made cultural "superstructure", rather than economic "substructure" the focus of the Frankfurt school's work.

Number 2, In regards to "cultural Capitalism" I think what was really meant is the ideas like consumerism, consumption, commercialism and the like.  And it's also not really "wrong" to point out that third-world countries face a lot of problems because of capitalist-cultural-imperialism.  For instance you have entire indigenous peoples whose way of life have been threatened due to the encroaching of the industrial world into their traditional living spaces, then forcing them to come into cities where they don't have any real prospects.

In short I do think that cultural Capitalism is problematic, just not the same way that the author of that article thinks.

 

6079_Smith_W

Yes, evidently the OP either had a clear intent, or didn't read far enough. I am sure we have all seen enough examples of both.