[iDC] IPF09 Conference thoughts

Pablo Das Neves Bicho pablodnb at gmail.com
Thu Dec 10 10:05:22 UTC 2009

Hello list,
just a message from an assiduous reader, the "guy" you mentionned is Guy 
Debord and not Guy duBord ( which in french would say "the guy from the 
border" or "the side-guy")

Saul Ostrow a écrit :
> /While the conjunction of culture and politics were elaborated and 
> critiqued advanced by *_Guy duBord_* in the Society of the Spectacle 
> has become connical -- the work of Daniel Bell the ultra-conservative 
> cultural theorist perhaps better demonstrates how the cultural sphere 
> under-capitalism is used primarily a force of social control. The 
> cultural contradictions of Capital, as Bell understood them  lay in 
> the fact that that if left unchecked, liberalism's unrestrained belief 
> in the value of a community of individuals committed to improving the 
> common good by social and cultural means would bring down western 
> civilization by unraveling the duplicity which forms the fabric of 
> capitalism's political economy. Bell formulated this analysis - cum 
> plan just as progressive workers allied with the civil rights, women's 
> and gay movements had successfully turned cultural demands into 
> political demands. Bell in turn radically proposed that this process 
> of cultural self-realization self-representation, expression, and the 
> nominal freedoms of cultural equality and emancipation could be used 
> to divert liberal labor and the middle classes from the struggle for 
> economic and political justice. For the good of "society" what was 
> needed was to detached the cultural domain from that of real politics 
> so that liberals might  safely (harmlessly), and systematically 
> examine the opposition between the symbolic desirability of bourgeois 
> ideals and how these antithetically are registered in the economic 
> domains. This could be done by sustaining the disenfranchised, liberal 
> middle-classes' ambition of one day gaining the necessary power to 
> improve the lot of the vast majority of the people most affected by 
> the desperate state of affairs created by the laws of Capitalism. / 
> /Reciprocally, Bell's strategy was for the Right to exploit the 
> inherent contradiction in the modern liberal cause, which by seeking 
> to resolve class conflict by cultural means further obscured and 
> strengthened class division along economic lines. What liberals fail 
> to notice is that the values they promoted are ideologically 
> consistent with the self-image of Capitalism, which in word and not 
> deed has traditionally promoted cultural development as a progressive 
> force in the struggle against backwardness. The irony of course is 
> that the advocates of cultural change are represented to those they 
> seek to help, as being a foolish, extravagant, and self-indulgent 
> elite whose concerns are detached from everyday reality.  This was to 
> result in the vast majority seeking relief in ideological models of 
> self, and well being circulated by the mass media and the culture 
> industry. Personally, I believe that this is what is replicated in 
> most cases both here and in the class room when we seek to engage in 
> theorizing cultural critique and its practices without the benefit of 
> self-reflexivity, which leaves them vulnerable to their subjectivities 
> and good  intentions./
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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