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SOCIETY AND SELF URBANIZATION AND MASS SOCIETY

Daniel Bell: From The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism


the axial principle of modern culture - expression and remaking of the 'self' tension between a social structure which is bureaucratic and hierarchical and a culture which is concerned with the fulfillment of the self disjunction of realms alienation, depersonalization industrialism mass production of goods post-industrialism shift from manufacturing to services

capitalism is organized around the institution of property and the production of commodities legitimacy of democracy lies in the consent of the governed in modern society, democracy becomes ever more independent of capitalism the principles of the economic realm and those of the culture now lead people in contrary directions

Soviet communism is a state-directed society which has sought to fuse all realms into a single monolith Russian Revolution released an unprecedented burst of vitality and experimentation in all the arts (Kandinsky, Malevich, Mayakovsky, Bulgakov, Eisenstein, Pudovkin), but by the 1930s, it was finished the independence of artists was seen as an obstacle to the creation of the 'new man'

fundamental assumption of modernity, since the 16th century, is that the social unit of society is not the group, but the person The Western ideal was the autonomous and selfdetermining man economic realm the bourgeois entrepreneur free movement of goods and money cultural realm the rise of the independent artist, creating what pleases him rather than his sponsor the search for independence frees the artist of all conventions and finds its expression in modernism

these two realms became radically opposed: the bourgeois impulse became conservative, while the cultural impulse turned against bourgeois values Baudelaire: 'To be a useful man has always appeared to me as something quite hideous.' although bourgeois society introduced a radical individualism in economics, the bourgeois class feared the radical experimental individualism of modernism in the culture

the effort to find excitement and meaning in literature and art as a substitute for religion led to modernism as a cultural mode modernism is exhausted and the various kinds of post-modernism are simply the decomposition of the self in an effort to erase individual ego if one's secular system of meanings proves to be an illusion, some conception of religion will return

Marshall Berman: From All That is Solid Melts into Air

Marx - 'The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and turned the family relation into a pure money relation.' Marx's basic opposition open or naked vs hidden, veiled, clothed in most ancient and medieval speculative thought, the whole world of sensuous experience appears illusory (veil of Maya), and the true world is thought to be accessible only through transcendence of bodies, space and time the modern age, starting from the Renaissance and Reformation, places both these worlds on earth, in space and time, filled with human beings

the true world is in the physical and social world that exists for us here and now a new symbolism clothes become an emblem of the old, illusory mode of life; nakedness comes to signify the newly discovered and experienced truth for Marx, the bourgeois revolutions, in tearing away veils of religious and political illusion, have left naked power and exploitation, cruelty and misery, exposed like open wounds

Marx's hope is that once the working class people face the real conditions of their lives, they will come together to overome the cold that cuts through them the nature of the newly naked modern man may turn out to be just as elusive and mysterious as that of the old, clothed one, maybe even more elusive, because there will no longer be any illusion of a real self underneath the masks

David Harvey: From The Condition of

Postmodernity

Daniel Bell the organisation of space has become the primary aesthetic problem of midtwentieth century culture as the problem of time (in Bergson, Proust, and Joyce) was the primary aesthetic problem of the first decades of this century Jameson: postmodernism does not possess the perceptual equipment to match this new kind of hyperspace, because those habits were formed in high modernism space and time are basic categories of human existence

time in advance of itself type period of competitive capitalism discontinuity, contingency, qualitative change (Gurvitch's typology of social times) social theories (Marx, Weber) typically privilege time over space aesthetic theory, on the other hand, is deeply concerned with the spatialization of time modernity has tended to emphasize temporality, the process of becoming, rather than being in space and place

even the written word abstracts properties from the flux of experience and fixes them in spatial form any system of representation is a spatialization of sorts which automatically freezes the flow of experience and in so doing distorts what it strives to represent

Andreas Huyssen From After the Great Divide

many documents from the late 19th century ascribe pejorative feminine characteristics to mass culture (serialized novels, popular magazines, fictional bestsellers) many of these statements rely on the traditional notion that women's aesthetic and artistic abilities are inferior to those of men women may be providers of inspiration for the artist, but they should content themselves with the lower genres (painting flowers and animals) and the decorative arts

the gendering of an inferior mass culture as feminine goes hand in hand with the emergence of a male mystique in modernism, especially in painting Nietzsche's ascription of feminine characteristics to the masses is always tied to his aesthetic vision of the artist-philosopher-hero, the suffering loner who is irreconcilably opposed to modern democracy and its inauthentic culture for Nietzsche, Wagner, the theater, the mass, woman are all opposed to true art

in Gustave Le Bon's The Crowd (1895), the male fear of woman and the bourgeois fear of the masses become indistinguishable 'Crowds are everywhere distinguished by feminine characteristics.' the modernist artist constantly tries to fortify the boundaries between genuine art and inauthentic mass culture, and devalued forms are persistently gendered as feminine

Francis Fukuyama: From The End of

History and the Last Man

liberalism recognition of the right of the free economic activity and economic exchange based on private property and markets free-market economics or economic liberalism countries that protect private property and enterprise are liberal the only form of government that has survived intact to the end of the twentieth century has been liberal democracy

there is now no ideology with pretensions to universality that is in a position to challenge liberal democracy, and no universal principle of legitimacy other than the sovereignty of the people defeat of monarchism, fascism and communism Islam is a coherent and systematic ideology, but has virtually no appeal outside the areas that were culturally Islamic

''today we have trouble imagining a world that is radically better than our own, or a future that is not esentially democratic and capitalist'' possibilities for improvement: housing for the homeless, improving competitiveness, creating new jobs