Know Thyself

Nothing in Excess
 
HomePortalFAQMemberlistSearchRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Capitalism

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Lyssa
Har Har Harr


Gender : Female Posts : 8680
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:34 pm

Following excerpts from Derek Sayer's book 'Capitalism and Modernity', where he contrasts and compares Marx's atheistic and pro-enlightenment views with Weber's theist and anti-enlightenment views of Modernity.

Althought Marx's/Marxist conclusions are disagreeable, Marx's observations on Modernity still have relevance.

Quote :
"Marx is arguing, not that capitalism causes distinctively modern forms of sociation to arise, but that it is itself a distinctively modern form of sociation. A ‘mode of production’, he wrote in The German Ideology, is for him far more than merely ‘the reproduction of the physical existence of [...] individuals. Rather it is a definite form of activity of these individuals, a definite form of expressing their life, a definite mode of life on their part’ (and ‘as individuals express their life, so they are’) (1846a:31).
Marx is not claiming that in the pre-modern world individuals were any the less persons, but that for them individuality and social identity coincided: ‘a nobleman always remains a nobleman, a commoner always a commoner, a quality inseparable from his individuality irrespective of his other relations’ (1846a:78). Everybody is somebody’s kin, somebody’s slave, somebody’s client, and these relations establish individuals’ very being. Such sociality is internal to personal identity, and subjectivity is experienced as immediately social. Personal dependence is the groundwork of society and individual identity. ‘Society’, accordingly, does not appear as something which is separable from individuals; this appearance is itself an artefact of modernity. When the term ‘society’ is used at all, in fact, typically (and very revealingly) it refers to the haute monde, the personalized networks of the privileged. Capitalism, Marx thinks, changes all this.
ties of personal dependence, distinctions of birth, education, etc. (all the personal ties at least appear as personal relationships), are in fact broken, abolished. The individuals appear to be independent...appear to collide with one another freely, and to exchange with one another in this freedom. (1858:100)

The individual is now conceivable, as a subject, independently of social contexts. Social position concurrently appears as something ‘accidental’, as ‘only an external quality of the individual, being neither inherent in his labour nor standing to him in fixed relationships as an objective community organized according to rigid laws’ (1843a:80). It is this solitary individual—‘the individual’ in the abstract, without any distinction of, or reference to the ‘accidental’ particularities of concrete circumstance— who is the moral subject of the modern world. He is sanctified as such in the Rights of Man.

Marx argues that recognition of this ‘juridical person’, the abstract subject of the bourgeois order, is implicit in the very activity of commodity exchange. The act of exchange’, he says, is ‘both the positing and the confirmation’ not only of exchange values but equally ‘of the subjects as exchangers’. It is the ‘natural’ difference of the parties involved—their different products and needs—which motivates exchanges. But in exchange they, like their products, are ‘socially equated’ as equals.
The ‘personal limitation of one individual by another’ which formed the ‘groundwork’ of all previous societies is replaced not by substantial freedom, but by the ‘objective limitation of the individual by relationships which are independent of him and self-sufficient’ (1858:100–1).

Modernity entails ‘the atrophy of individual culture through the hypertrophy of objective culture’, offering ‘such an overpowering wealth of crystallized, impersonalized mind, as it were, that the personality cannot maintain itself when confronted with it’. One (paradoxical) consequence of this may be an ‘exaggerated subjectivism’; but, in Marx’s terms, this is a subjectivism without objective content (Frisby 1985:77–86).
‘Far from abolishing the “relationships of dependence’”, capitalism ‘dissolve[s] them into a general form’ (1858:101). Personal dependency is replaced by universal dependency.
The owners of commodities...find out, that the same division of labour that turns them into independent private producers, also frees the social process of production and the relations of the individual producers to each other within that process, from all dependence on the will of those producers, and the seemingly mutual independence of the individuals is supplemented by a system of general and mutual dependence by means of the products. (1867a:107–8 )
'The epoch which produces this standpoint, that of the isolated individual, is precisely the epoch of the hitherto most developed social... relations’ (1857:18).
People appear to be independent of one another because their mutual dependency assumes the unrecognizable form of relations between commodities."

_________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*


Last edited by Lyssa on Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr


Gender : Female Posts : 8680
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:35 pm

Quote :
"Class is itself a modern category. Class is a different kind of social relationship than its equivalents in the precapitalist world.

Marx himself used the term class to describe various pre-capitalist social groupings. As Maurice Godelier (1984) has noted, there are two usages of the word in Marx’s writings, a broad one (any relation involving the appropriation of surplus labour) and one that is historically specific.
The difference between the private individual and the class individual, the accidental nature of the conditions of life for the individual’, he maintains, ‘appears only with the emergence of the class, which is itself a product of the bourgeoisie’ (1846a:78)
Class, here, is distinct from estate (in the German, Stand), and this distinction is a critical one in Marx’s theorization of what is so new about the modern world.

Bourgeois power and proletarian powerlessness are founded in relations to property, in the modern sense.

What makes class different from estate—or from any previous form of social distinction—is that it appears as a ‘purely economic’ relation. But the very existence of ‘pure’ property relations is contingent upon capitalism’s ‘emancipation of private property from the community’ (1846a:79), its severing of property from its ‘former social and political embellishments and associations’ (1865a: 618).
class appears to be less internal or essential a component of subjectivity than is caste, or servility, or slavery—in sum, those relations Max Weber analysed in terms of ‘status’. It presents itself as a matter of mere ‘accidental’ circumstance rather than inherent being, as something which is extrinsic to the essence of personality.

"The political constitution as such is brought into being only where the private spheres have won an independent existence. Where trade and landed property are not free and have not yet become independent, the political constitution too does not yet exist.... The abstraction of the state as such belongs only to modern times, because the abstraction of private life belongs only to modern times. The abstraction of the political state is a modern product." (Marx, 1843a:31–2)
‘Feudalism...was directly political, that is to say, the elements of civil life, for example, property, or the family, or the mode of labour, were raised to the level of political life in the form of seignority, estates, and corporations.’ Subjectivities were correspondingly differentiated. Consistently with this, ‘the unity of the state’ appeared as ‘the particular affair of a ruler isolated from the people, and of his servants’ (1843b:165–6). To govern was seen as a natural attribute (and often represented as a divine right) of definite, socially located individuals.

Such rulers, from the king down to the humblest lord of the manor, did not partition their ‘public’ and ‘private’ selves. Monarchs ‘lived off their own’, taxes were farmed, noble birth conferred the right and duty to sit in parliaments, and so on. The same is true of the ‘aristocratic civism’ of antiquity. Graeco-Roman ‘evergetism’, as Paul Veyne (1987) calls it, whereby notables met the costs of endowing their cities with lavish monuments and provided the plebeians with bread and circuses out of their own pockets expresses a similar ethos. One consequence of this unity of ‘public’ and ‘private’ is what some historians of medieval feudalism have referred to as the ‘parcellization of sovereignty’—its dispersal throughout the multiple personal relations which made up ‘society’ (if that term has any purchase at all in this context). Another way of putting this would be to say that the very idea of sovereignty is a modern one which would have made little sense in the feudal world, except, perhaps, as an attribute of divinity, the only ‘all-embracing unit’ (Marx 1858:400) that was conceivable under such conditions of pervasive and acknowledged social differentiation. Thomas Hobbes, who knew what he was about, called the state ‘Mortall God’, thereby sacrilegiously marking an epochal transformation. Both Marx and Durkheim were to employ similar imagery.

The modern state doubly fractures this coincidence of the ‘public’ and the ‘private’. Sovereignty is consolidated in an apparently impersonal apparatus—‘the state’ which, like ‘the economy’, its conjoined twin, we can also only properly begin to conceptualize as an independent domain (and in this case make the object of ‘political science’) in ‘modern times’. Jurisdiction, administration and (by no means least) the right to use force are centralized. As Marx put it, speaking of modern France (and writing in idiosyncratic English), ‘the seigneurial privileges of the medieval lords and cities and clergy were transformed into the attributes of a unitary state power, displacing the feudal dignitaries by salaried state functionaries, transferring the arms from medieval retainers of the landlords and corporations of townish citizens to a standing army, substituting for the checkered (party coloured) anarchy of conflicting medieval powers the regulated plan of a state power, with a systematic and hierarchic division of labour’ (1871:483–4). Along with this goes a cultural revolution of equal profundity. The nation state itself becomes the embodiment of ‘society’, and the new basis of individuals’ public identities.

with the rise of the modern state, Marx argues, ‘a person’s distinct activity and distinct situation in life were reduced to a merely individual significance’, and ‘public affairs as such... became the general affair of each individual, and the political function became the individual’s general function’ (ibid.). It is the abstraction of individuality which is the ground of citizenship, the form of membership in a community which is characteristic of and specific to the modern world. Ideas of citizenship did, of course, exist long before capitalism, but within the ancient and medieval world they were indices of difference, allowing St Paul, for example, to escape a whipping because he had the privileged status of civis Romanus. Modernity, in extending the notion to all, changes its meaning. It is precisely differences that are abstracted from. This man, the member of civil society’, Marx concludes, ‘is ...the basis, the precondition, of the political state’ (ibid.).

Implicit in all this is a separation of the institutions of ruling from the persons of rulers whose most general expression, for Marx as for Weber, lies in bureaucracy. Like money, political power also becomes a ‘thing’, which we can think of as capable of being ‘captured’, ‘shared’ or ‘smashed’. Feudal bonds of fealty and homage, because of their intrinsically personalized nature, could never be represented thus.

Like Weber, Marx employs the analogy of the machine: the principles of bureaucracy are those of ‘passive obedience, of faith in authority, of the mechanism of fixed and formalistic behaviour’. Bureaucratic hierarchy, he says, ‘is a hierarchy of knowledge. The top entrusts the understanding of detail to the lower levels, whilst the lower levels credit the top with understanding of the general’ (‘and so’, he sourly adds, ‘all are mutually deceived’). ‘Authority is the basis of its knowledge’, and the claim to knowledge the basis of its authority (1843a:46–7).

Symptomatic of this is the use of examinations—the demonstration of ‘technical’ accreditation—as the method of entry into state service: this ‘“link” between the “office of State” and the “individual”’, says Marx, ‘is nothing but the bureaucratic baptism of knowledge, the official recognition of the transsubstantiation of profane into sacred knowledge (in every examination, it goes without saying, the examiner knows all)’ (1843a:51). By such means ‘administration and political governing’ become

"mysteries, transcendent functions only to be trusted to the hands of a trained caste, state parasites, richly paid sycophants and parasites, in the higher posts, absorbing the intelligences of the masses and turning them against themselves in the lower places in the hierarchy." (Marx, 1871:488)

State servants are salaried, and ‘in the case of the individual bureaucrat, the state objective turns into his private objective, a chasing after higher posts, the making of a career’ (1843a:47). Finally, and again as for Weber, bureaucracy has a dialectic of its own in which means usurp ends. As Marx puts it, ‘the bureaucracy takes itself to be the ultimate purpose of the state’, ‘turns its “formal” objectives into its content [and] comes into conflict everywhere with “real” objectives. It is therefore obliged to pass off the form for the content and the content for the form’ (1843a:46)." [Sayer, Capitalism and Modernity]

_________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr


Gender : Female Posts : 8680
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:37 pm

Quote :
"Rationalization, as the notion has emerged so far, in Weber connotes systematicity, consistency, method: whether as a cast of mind, or as the principle on which organizations are structured, it implies the exclusion of arbitrariness and above all of what he refers to as ‘magic’. Rationality amounts to the calculated application of rules. Its antithesis is ‘traditionalism’, which, Weber maintains, ‘lies at the beginning of all ethics and the economic relations which result’ (1966:260). Traditionalism is ‘the psychic attitude-set for the habitual workaday and...the belief in the everyday routine as an inviolable norm of conduct’ (1970:296). He famously illustrates a typically traditionalist economic attitude by the Silesian agricultural labourer who, having had his wages doubled, promptly halved his work (1966:260–1). This is Marx’s pre-capitalist world of ‘the traditional satisfaction of existing needs’ with a vengeance.
In the West itself, however, it is for Weber ‘a peculiar fact’ that ‘officially a theory was dominant which was...in principle strongly hostile to capitalism’. This ‘theory’ was, of course, Christianity. Both Catholic and Lutheran ethics were antipathetic to ‘every capitalistic tendency’. Not only did the Church abhor usury; ‘medieval economic ethics excluded haggling, overpricing and free competition, and were based on the principle of a just price and the assurance to everyone of a chance to live’, or in other words upon a substantive rationality. The origin of this, Weber argues—again powerfully echoing Marx’s characterizations of the pre-capitalist social world—was ‘repugnance to the impersonality of relations within a capitalist economy’. Where a master/slave relation ‘could be subjected to immediate ethical regulation’, ‘the relations between a mortgage creditor and the property which was pledged for the debt, or between an endorser and the bill of exchange, would [be...] impossible to moralize’ (1966:262–3). But despite this, for Weber, it was exactly Christianity—or more accurately, the Judeo-Christian heritage—which was to prove the decisive agency of western rationalization, the ‘switchman’ which pushed the dynamic of interest in a fateful direction. And within Christianity, especially consequential for capitalism was ascetic Protestantism, by which Weber means above all Calvinism, together with Pietist, Methodist and Baptist sects.
In his General Economic History of 1920, he argues that ‘great rational prophecy’—that is, the utterances of a prophet ‘who furnishes credentials in the shape of miracles and otherwise’—is a means of ‘breaking down the power of magic and establishing a rational conduct of life’. ‘Prophecies’, he claims, ‘have released the world from magic and in so doing have created the basis for our modern science and technology, and for capitalism.’ Ancient Judaism developed such prophecy to an extent not found elsewhere, and both Judaism and Christianity are (relatively) free of magic—particularly in Christianity’s Protestant form with its hostility to the doctrine of salvation by works. But the Eucharist already ‘sublimated magic into the form of a sacrament’ which is a means neither of guaranteeing salvation nor of evading damnation. As importantly, Judaism and Christianity, in contrast to the ‘ascetic religions of salvation of India’, are resolutely ‘plebeian’ religions—they do not, as Weber claims Buddhism does, reserve their higher ‘ethical precepts’ for ‘a thin stratum of monks’ who prophesy by example alone. Within the Judeo-Christian world (and again above all in ascetic Protestantism, which rejected the distinction between religious virtuosi and laity that remained central to Catholicism) ‘magic was suppressed among the population to the greatest possible extent’. It was ‘reduced to the character of something unholy, something diabolic’ (1966:265–7). God is not persuadable by trickery and hocus pocus, rather these demean His majesty.

One consequence of this (at least after the Reformation) is that His world becomes morally accessible to rational scientific enquiry; God’s glory is manifest in the laws of Nature.
A pertinent contrast can be found in Paul Veyne’s portrait of the deities of classical antiquity (1987:207–19): they formed part of the natural order of things, not its very principle. They could therefore love, hate, sin and be bribed, palliated and bargained with. This is not the ‘ordered and rational universe’ (Thomas 1978:786) which goes along with the Protestant conception of an omnipotent and omniscient Creator. Such divinities were capable of caprice.

This said, we should perhaps recall also that the ancient Greeks’ word for the universe, cosmos, means order, while it was a Christian mob who sacked the greatest scientific library of the ancient world, at Alexandria. Monotheism in itself has hardly proved everywhere to be a necessary, or anywhere a sufficient, condition for the development of a rational-scientific outlook. Such objections, however, if anything strengthen the case Weber and Keith Thomas make for the specific import for science of the Calvinist God. The post-Reformation admixture of religiosity and science produced some (to us) bizarre outcomes. Christina Larner (1981) argues, for example, that the great European witch- hunts were no survival of ‘traditionalism’, but an application of rationalized legal procedures intimately linked to modern state formation, while Isaac Newton himself, as Thomas documents, dabbled in alchemy and endeavoured mathematically to compute the date of the apocalypse. Both nonetheless were in Weber’s sense eminently rationalized, methodic endeavours.

Simmel argues a related case regarding Christianity. ‘A God of the Universe’, he says, has to be intolerant of the gods of others; ‘any allegiance to other gods is a positive infringement on the ideal claim He asserts by His absolute monopoly’. The Christian deity—an unprecedentedly militant, proselytizing version of the monotheistic conception not bound by any covenant with a specific chosen people—‘was the first to break through the exclusiveness of the social group, which until then had dominated all the interests of its members with its own unity of space and time’ (1959:68–9). This is a nice counterpart of the universal spacetime of a world history which Marx claims is first brought into being with modern capitalism. Although Simmel is speaking of Christianity in general, one might venture that it was the Protestant Reformation which gave to such a conception its most consistent form. Catholicism was (and is) far more tolerant of the religious observances—though not necessarily the beliefs—of others, often incorporating them syncretically into its own ceremonials.

Asceticism, he argues, is (formally) rational in that it prescribes ‘a definite, methodical conduct of life’. In medieval European Christendom ‘the monk is the first human being who lives rationally, who works methodically and by rational means toward a goal, namely the future life. Only for him did the clock strike, only for him were the hours of the day divided—for prayer’. The Church, Weber also remarks, ‘furnished officialdom for the early middle ages’ (the word clerk has the same root as cleric). But the Reformation transformed this ascetic ideal, decisively. In breaking with the ‘dualistic ethic’ of one code of conduct for religious virtuosi and another for followers, Protestantism took the methodicality of the monastery (and the convent) out into the everyday, mundane world—‘you think you have escaped from the monastery, but everyone must now be a monk throughout his life’ (1966:267–8 ). Protestantism thus ‘gave everyday worldly activity a religious significance’. Henceforth ‘the only way of living acceptable to God was not to surpass worldly morality in monastic asceticism, but solely through the fulfilment of the obligations imposed upon the individual by his position in the world’: and this changes everything (1974:80)." [Sayer, Capitalism and Modernity]

_________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr


Gender : Female Posts : 8680
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:38 pm

Protestantism, Capitalism, and Modernity

Quote :
"In the case of Protestantism, Weber argues, the consequence was that ‘the moral conduct of the average man was...deprived of its planless and unsystematic character and subjected to a consistent method for conduct as a whole’ (1974:117). In this novel ‘inner worldly asce-ticism’, an ethic no longer of rejection of the world but of conduct within it, we can begin to discern the outlines of the modern subject, Descartes’ cogito (or, come to that, Freud’s supposedly universal trinity of Ego, Superego and Id), eternally looking over the shoulder and into the conscience, monitoring the ‘I’ and its conduct. This is what Foucault (1988) has called a new technology of the self. Weber employed a remarkably similar language. He speaks, more than half a century earlier, of the ‘perfecting of the self’ (1968:272).

In the case of the Puritan sects ‘that conduct was a certain methodical, rational way of life which—given certain conditions—paved the way for the “spirit” of modern capitalism’. Premiums were placed on ‘“proving” oneself before God in the sense of attaining salvation’, and ‘“proving” oneself before men in the sense of socially holding one’s own within the Puritan sects’ (1970:321). As The Protestant Ethic makes clear, to prove oneself before God was not a magical means of attaining grace, but rather a method of confirmation that one was worthy of grace, which was in His almighty gift.

Wealth acquired morally, Weber (contentiously) argues there, perversely came to be interpreted as a ‘sign of election’ to those who had surrendered to the ‘magnificent consistency’ of Calvin’s doctrine of predestination. Only the saved, it was reasoned, would prove spiritually capable of living the kind of disciplined life which would reap them such earthly rewards. This doctrine, Weber contends, cannot but have have led to ‘a feeling of unprecedented inner loneliness of the single individual’ (1974:98–115). Simmel too remarks that ‘the God of Christianity is the God of the individual.... The individual stands before his God in absolute selfreliance’ (1959:67), and as we have seen, Marx also commented on Christianity’s ‘cultus of abstract man’. Might one perhaps extend this to suggest that the modern individual is constituted as so singular and isolated a subject by such means? Weber suggests that we indeed can.

Protestantism, he points out, expected of its adherents, not the recurring (and, he maintains, the ‘very human’) cycle of sin, confession and absolution accepted by the older Catholicism, but a continual ethical ‘probation’; ‘the God of Calvinism demanded of his believers not single good works, but a life of good works combined into a unified system’ (1974:115). The godly were perpetually on trial. Morality is thereby abstracted from all particularistic contexts, becoming an ontological attribute of the subject rather than of his or her discrete actions, and it provides the basis upon which this new subjectivity is unified. Weber contrasts an ethic of good works in which ‘particular actions [...] can be evaluated singly and credited to or subtracted from the individual’s account’, as exemplified in the Hindu doctrine of karma, Zoroastrianism, Judaism and (in its practice) Roman Catholicism, with what he calls the ‘ethic of inwardness’ characteristic of Protestantism. In the former, human behaviour is ‘more than a simple and uniform quality of personality, of which conduct is the expression’. A given action has to be located in terms of its intentio. In the latter, by contrast, individual actions are treated as being the ‘symptoms and expressions of an underlying ethical total personality’, and it is this total personality which becomes the object of ‘ethical rigorism’. The consequence is that ‘religious good works with a social orientation become mere instruments of self-perfection’ (1968:271–2).

This is a profound transformation, in which the ethical becomes, in the phraseology of the nineteenth century, a question of character, a core constituent of personal identity. The self thus constructed has the attributes Marx also ascribed to the modern subject: internal coherence and detachment from all social particularity, a ‘pure, blank individuality’ naked to the gaze of the allseeing God. Such a persona also becomes susceptible to improvement (which in the heroic phase of capitalism used to be written with a capital ‘I’): ‘a religious total personality pattern may be envisaged as something which may in principle be acquired through training in goodness’. Such training, it goes without saying, comprises ‘a rationalized, methodical direction of the entire pattern of life, and not an accumulation of single, unrelated actions’ (1968:272). The affinities between this portrayal of the Protestant personality and Michel Foucault’s exploration (1977) of how modern technologies of discipline work on a reorganized subjectivity are plain. The sect, for Weber, operated very much like a Panopticon.

The requirement of ethical consistency was reinforced by the obligation to prove oneself before one’s peers. In Catholicism and Lutheranism, moral discipline was exercised by the priest in authoritarian fashion, but in Puritan sects it was in the hands of the laity. It was enforced not through the ritual and public penances of ecclesiastical courts, but ‘through the necessity of having to hold one’s own; and...it bred or, if one wishes, selected qualities’. Demonstration of ethical fitness was both a condition of acceptance into the sects (unlike for the universal church, into which one is born) and something that had repeatedly to be proven if individuals were to ‘hold their own’ within them. The contrast with the Catholic practice of confession, for Weber, is striking: ‘confession of sins was...a means of relieving the person from the tremendous internal pressure under which the sect member in his conduct was constantly held’ (1970:320). The rite of confession was also, I would suggest, a means of reintegrating the acknowledged sinner into a position in a religious community accepted as subordinate. The Catholic hierarchy is patriarchal; the penitent confesses to a father. The internal pressure of the sect, on the other hand—if it was survived—cultivated, if not the sin of pride, then certainly a strong sense of individual self-worth, of moral rectitude: a standing among equals. The sects bred a ‘formalistic, hard, correct character which was peculiar to the men of that heroic age of capitalism’ (1974:166). Weber suggests that ‘the ascetic’s humility ...is always of dubious genuineness’ (1968:280). It is a telling insight, when applied to those who possessed, in their assurance of grace, the self-confidence to remodel the world in their own image.

Puritan discipline, Weber maintains, thus ‘put the most powerful individual interest of self-esteem in the service of this breeding of traits. Hence individual motives and personal self-interests were also placed in the service of maintaining and propagating the “bourgeois” Puritan ethic’ (1970:321), because ‘admission to the congregation is recognized as an absolute guarantee of the moral qualities of a gentleman, especially of those qualities required in business matters’ (1970:305).

A further consequence of this requirement of ethical probity was to break down the dualistic economic ethic of traditionalism: ‘the Godless cannot trust each other across the road; they turn to us when they want to do business; piety is the surest road to wealth’, Weber quotes (1966:269). Again we meet Marx’s motif of universalization, now as an internalized norm of ethical conduct. The benefits of such an attitude to ‘sober bourgeois capitalism’ are obvious enough.

For Weber the ascetic ‘will always demand of the world an ethically rational order and discipline, corresponding to his own methodical self-discipline’, and this may entail ‘a revolutionary transformation of the world for this purpose’—the purpose of ‘an unconditional subordination of the world to the norms of religious virtue’ (1968:281). The object of this discipline is elimination from everyday life of whatever is not godlike, and ‘the primary ungodlike factors were actually the average habitus of the human body and the everyday world, as those are given by nature’ (1968:275), ‘the spontaneous enjoyment of life and all it had to offer’ (1974:166). Marx’s attitude to nature, as something to be subdued, is worth recalling here: it evokes, albeit in a secularized form, the comprehensive ethic of mastery of the world, the flesh and the devil, that Weber is depicting. ‘Man’, Marx believed, ought to be ‘elevated’ as the ‘sovereign of Nature’, including human nature. Remember that he wrote these words in an apologia for European colonialism. For Weber, as for many others of his generation, such a Promethean vision raised Nietzschean perplexities. The price of such human mastery over circumstances and self (as Marx put it) may be the denial of the life force which is its source.

In the Puritanical disciplining of the body, according to Weber, we again witness the transformation of the ascetic impulse into a code of conduct within the everyday world: ‘celibacy was not required, marriage being viewed simply as an institution for the rational bringing up of children. Poverty was not required, but the pursuit of riches must not lead one astray into reckless enjoyment’ (1968:268). There is a far subtler transformation of sexuality here than is often recognized. Puritanism, as Weber portrays it, does not simply repress sexual impulse so much as routinize it, in ways which render particular constructions of human sexual identities natural, normal and moral." [Sayer, Capitalism and Modernity]

_________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr


Gender : Female Posts : 8680
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:40 pm

Protestant Rationalization of Marriage

Quote :
"Paradise Lost paints Eve’s beauty in language which is unashamedly sensual, and allows the parents of humanity to know one another before The Fall. Sexual enjoyment is not the fruit of eating from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge. Eve, Milton tells us, ‘as a veil, down to the slender waist/Her unadorned golden tresses wore/Dishevell’d, but in wanton ringlets wav’d’, and ‘yielded’ to Adam ‘with coy submission, modest pride/And sweet reluctant amorous delay’ (Book 4, 304–11). The two were soon ‘imparadis’d in one another’s arms’, he ‘in delight, both of her beauty and submissive charms’, to ‘enjoy their fill of bliss on bliss’ (ibid.: 497–507); ‘nor turn’d...Adam from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites mysterious of connubial love refused’ (ibid.: 741–3). Milton certainly did not consider these ‘rites’ ‘unbefitting holiest place, perpetual fountain of domestic sweets’, indeed he attacks ‘hypocrites’ who ‘austerely talk/Of purity, and place, and innocence/Defaming as impure what God declares/Pure’ (ibid.: 743–60). Certainly he was ‘advanced’ in this contention, and Weber cites more representative Puritan sources in which any physical enjoyment of sex whatsoever is seen as a sinful legacy of The Fall (1974:263–4). But Milton also considered ‘discipline’ to be ‘not only the removal of disorder, but if any visible shape can be given to divine things, the very visible shape and image of virtue’. It was the ‘axle’ upon which ‘the flourishing and decaying of all civil societies [...] are moved to and fro’ (quoted in Hill 1964:218). There is no contradiction here. Sexuality, like everything else, can be rationally ordered in a manner pleasing to God, that is Milton’s point. It is also Weber’s.

‘Inner-worldly and rational asceticism’, Weber maintains, ‘can accept only the rationally regulated marriage’ and must ‘reject every sophistication of the sexual into eroticism as idolatry of the worst kind’. What is proscribed is neither sex nor even its enjoyment as such, but a ‘consciously cultivated’ enjoyment, a ‘turning away from the naive naturalism of sex’ of the kind Milton celebrates. The essence of eroticism, which is why it is anathema to asceticism, lies in its ‘non-routinized’ character of proffering ‘a gate into the most irrational and thereby real kernel of life, as compared with the mechanisms of rationalization’. Through reducing sexuality to (what is claimed to be) its ‘natural and organic basis’ Puritanism integrates and controls it within a ‘new and progressively rationalized total life-pattern’ (Weber 1978a:607). Indeed, as in Paradise Lost, the sexual becomes susceptible to a positive moral evaluation: Milton calls ‘wedded love’—by which he clearly intends sexual love—the ‘sole propriety in Paradise of all things else’ (Book 4:751–2). For Weber, ‘this asceticism gathers the primal, naturalist, and unsublimated sexuality of the peasant into a rational order of man as creature’ (1970:243–50); sexuality too becomes a part of the seamless text of character, safely embraced within the wider ordering of the undivided moral personality. In The Protestant Ethic, he comments on how this vision prefigures the nineteenth-century medicalization of sexuality within a new discourse of ‘hygienic utilitarianism’. ‘For the Puritan the expert was the moral theorist, now he is the medical man’, but ‘the claim of competence’ with regard to determining ‘healthy sexuality ‘is [...] the same in both cases’ (1974:263– 4). The ‘natural’ locus of this reformed sexuality was, of course, the monogamous (and heterosexual) marriage, which finds its essential legitimation in ‘the thought of ethical responsibility for one another’ (1970:349–50). The explosive potential of ‘the greatest irrational force of life: sexual love’ (1970:343) is neutralized by this ethicization, its inclusion in ‘a category heterogeneous to the purely erotic sphere’ (1970:350), and the condition for this is the construction of a particular ‘unsublimated’ sexuality as ‘natural’; that is to say, Divinely ordained.

This rational ordering involved the submission of wives to the authority of their husbands, something that Milton also makes plain. Adam and Eve were each fashioned in ‘the image of their glorious Maker’, ‘though both not equal’:

For contemplation he, and valour form’d, For softness she, and sweet attractive grace, He for God only, she for God in him: His fair large front and eye sublime declar’d Absolute rule...
(Book 4, 292–301)

Eve accepts that her ‘beauty is excell’d by manly grace, and wisdom, which alone is truly fair’ (ibid.: 490–1). ‘My author and disposer’, she says to Adam, ‘what thou bidd’st/Unargued I obey: so God ordains; God is thy law, thou mine: to know no more/Is woman’s happiest knowledge, and her praise’ (ibid.: 635–8 ). But what has since been called the ‘companionate marriage’ also, says Weber, allows a new form of personal intimacy, which at its best (he instances the Quaker William Penn’s letters to his wife) may be ‘genuinely humane’, ‘a mutual granting of oneself to another and the becoming indebted to each other’ (1970:350). Despite its ‘prudery’, Puritanism can claim some ‘positive accomplishments’ in this domain. ‘Matrimonial chivalry’ supplants ‘patriarchal sentimentality, and through ‘the protection of her freedom of conscience, and the extension of the idea of the universal priesthood to her’ Baptist influences, especially, ‘have played a part in the emancipation of woman’. These doctrines were, Weber claims, among the first modern ‘breaches in patriarchal ideas’ (1974:264).

Around the subject, then, grows up a protective cocoon, a newly constructed (and highly valued) ‘domestic’ realm which is counterposed to the impersonal world outside, mitigating the existential loneliness of modernity. In some of Weber’s writings, notably ‘Science as a vocation’, this sphere of domestic sweets is also the last resort of simple human decency in an increasingly mechanized cosmos." [Sayer, Capitalism and Modernity]

_________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr


Gender : Female Posts : 8680
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:41 pm

Quote :
"In the same way, Weber tells us, Puritans were not hostile to sport, ‘if it served a rational purpose, that of recreation necessary for physical efficiency. But as a means for the spontaneous expression of undisciplined impulses, it was under suspicion’. Hence the significance of the struggle, in seventeenth-century England, over the Book of Sports (which allowed various profane amusements on the sabbath). Nor did ‘the ideals of Puritanism imply a solemn, narrow-minded contempt of culture’. But in so far as theatre, painting or literature—or ‘the enjoyment of the dancehall or the public house of the common man’—smacked of ‘idle talk, of superfluities, and of vain ostentation, all designations of an irrational attitude without objective purpose’ they were taboo; and ‘this was especially true in the case of decoration of the person, for instance clothing’ (1974:167–9). What are tellingly referred to in North America today as ‘leisure activities’ (among which the perfection of the self through physical exercises, nicely termed ‘workouts’, stands out; dieting, a practice now generalized within an organizing discourse of total bodily ‘fitness’ is arguably part of the same secular mortification of the flesh) were thus also deemed capable of rationalization. Implied is a cultural revolution of enormous systematicity and range, encompassing the minutiae of everyday life. Nothing was too trivial for such reforming earnestness, because everything had taken on a religious significance. This is a totalizing doctrine with far-reaching consequences for the individual’s conduct in its every detail. Actions are read as being symptomatic of character, and discipline encompasses, and unifies, the whole personality.

In this, others since Weber have pointed out, Protestantism foreshadows another seminal feature of modernity, and we return, from another vantage-point, to Marx’s (and Durkheim’s) equation of moral individualism and state formation. ‘From the late fifteenth century’, Christina Larner has argued, ‘the evangelization of the populace coincided with the development of what can loosely be called nation states.’ These required of their subjects ‘both ideological conformity and moral cleansing’: a revolution of the heart, rather than merely ritual obeisance. Post-Reformation Christianity, both Protestantism itself and the systematized Counter-Reformation Catholicism renascence which it provoked, was, she claims, ‘the world’s first political ideology’ (1982:35–6). Weber’s disciplined subject is the moral ground upon which modern forms of power are constructed, and, conversely, these in turn come to regulate what subjectivity is permitted to comprise. As Adam Seligman has pointed out (1990), the location of ‘society’ as the fount of moral authority is found first in the democratic and egalitarian Protestant sects (specifically, he argues, in the polities of New England). He portrays these as totalitarian in their behavioural demands on individuals. Weber’s observation, à propos modern capitalism, that ‘the Puritan wanted to work in a calling; we are forced to do so’ (1974:181) applies much more generally.

Marx touched on this, speaking of the way ‘“vocation, destiny, task, ideal’” are ‘set up as a standard of life...partly as an embellishment or realiz-ation of domination, partly as a moral means for this domination’ (1846a:472–3)." [Sayer, Capitalism and Modernity]

_________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr


Gender : Female Posts : 8680
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:43 pm

Quote :
"Weber by no means held that Protestantism ‘caused’ capitalism. The latter was for him the product of a long and very complex chain of contingencies, ably reconstructed by Randall Collins (1986). But it is, he maintains, the social ethic of ascetic Protestantism which ‘stood at the cradle of the modern economic man’ (1974:174), the subject of this very peculiar and intensely moral economy.

The affinities between the Protestant ethic and the ‘spirit of capitalism’ are legion. Protestantism, from Luther onwards, gives mundane activity religious significance. Work becomes a calling, the way through which one glorifies God. What matters is not what one does, but the spirit in which one does it. This, as the hymn puts it, ‘makes drudgery divine’.

In Weber’s words, Puritanism esteemed ‘labour in the service of impersonal social usefulness’ (1974:109); this is a democracy of toil. Time is similarly moralized: ‘waste of time is...the first and in principle the deadliest of sins’, since ‘every hour lost is lost to labour for the glory of God’ (and since it has moral value, it is minutely reckoned). This is not yet Benjamin Franklin’s maxim ‘time is money’; but, as Weber delicately puts it, ‘the proposition is true in a certain spiritual sense’ (1974:157–8 ). Work hard in your calling’ is the fundamental Protestant prescription, recommended by Baxter (together with a vegetable diet and cold baths) also as a reliable antidote to the devil of sexual temptation (1974:159).

Labour—that formerly despised activity and estate—is now a duty, from which the wealthy are least exempt. This is a ‘perfect’ middle-class morality, in terms of which both the idle poor and the idle rich are equally deserving of condemnation. If ‘begging, on the part of one able to work, is not only the sin of slothfulness, but a violation of the duty of brotherly love’, then ‘the superior indulgence of the seigneur and the parvenu ostentation of the nouveau riche are equally detestable to asceticism’ (1974:163). Hill (1961), Thompson (1968) and others have stressed that this capability of Protestantism to confer respect—and respectability—on the everyday activities of the ‘middling sort’ (and indeed, as with Methodism, of the ‘labouring poor’) was one reason for its widespread appeal in a society already moving in the direction of capitalism.

To be Foucauldian about it (but this is exactly the burden of Weber’s essay on the Protestant sects), the discipline of Protestantism not only restrains individuals, it also—and for the same reasons—empowers them; albeit, conveniently for capitalism, in differential and differentiating ways.

Protestantism’s ‘emphasis on the ascetic importance of a fixed calling’, Weber argues, ‘provided an ethical justification of the modern specialized division of labour’ (1974:163) and—where The Word was heeded (an accomplishment, I think, Weber sometimes far too readily takes for granted)—furnished the entrepreneur with ‘sober, conscientious and unusually industrious workmen, who clung to their work as to a life-purpose willed by God’ (1974:177). These days we have secularized the calling as the ‘career’ (as in ‘two- career family’), a designation which indissol-ubly marks the individual’s temporal passage through the world in terms of the (waged) labour he or she performs. This inscription of one’s place in the social division of labour as a moral signifier contrasts shockingly with ancient or medieval attitudes towards the distinctions of gentility. Not to work was formerly the badge of elevated status. Regarding capitalism’s inequalities, Weber says, the entrepreneur had ‘the comforting assurance that the unequal distribution of the goods of this world was a special dispensation of Divine Providence, which in these differences, as in particular grace, pursued secret ends unknown to men’ (ibid.).

God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform. What matters is that one has faith, and labours diligently in one’s appointed station, eschewing equally Giant Despair and Vanity-Fair. The story of Job provides the paradigm for virtuous conduct, a blueprint of character.

If labour is a calling, its fruits—property—are a trust. The entrepreneur is a steward of God’s gifts, labouring to increase them for His glory. The parable of the talents is emblematic here. The greater the possessions the heavier...the feeling of responsibility for them, for holding them undiminished for the glory of God and increasing them by restless effort.’ Such an attitude ‘had the psychological effect of freeing the acquisition of goods from the inhibitions of traditionalistic ethics. It broke the bonds of the impulse of acquisition in that it not only legalized it, but...looked upon it as directly willed by God.’ The Protestant idea of the calling ‘gave the entrepreneur a fabulously clear conscience’, so long as the profits of enterprise—a term, like ‘industry’ itself, that is deeply imbued with moral resonance—were not idly dissipated in vainglorious self-indulgence. Weber notes that ‘against the glitter and ostentation of feudal magnificence which...prefers a sordid elegance to a sober simplicity’, Protestants ‘set the clean and solid comfort of the middle-class home as an ideal’ (which again raises the question of women’s place in all this) (1974:170–1).

‘When the limitation of consumption is combined with this release of acquisitive activity’, he suggests, ‘the inevitable practical result is obvious: accumulation of capital through ascetic compulsion to save’ (1974:172). Marx’s competitive ‘“March, march!’” thus has its psychological counterpart in an orientation to action which is obsessive, a compulsion of a different sort. All in all, Weber concludes, Protestantism’s ‘religious valuation of restless, continuous, systematic work in a worldly calling...must have been the most powerful conceivable lever for that attitude toward life which we have here called the spirit of capitalism’ (ibid.), and in comparison with as ‘powerful, unconsciously refined [an] organization for the production of capitalistic individuals’ as the ascetic Protestant community, ‘what the Renaissance did for capitalism shrinks into insignificance’ (1966:270)

Once securely established, Weber argues, capitalism can dispense with its former religious underpinnings. Indeed, he maintains, the rationalization which capitalism brings in its train is in general subversive of all religious orientations to earthly conduct.

‘Economic ethics’, then, ‘arose against the background of the ascetic ideal’, but now, in the ‘age of iron’, capitalism ‘has been stripped of its religious import’ (1966:270). Weber’s portrait of ‘victorious capitalism’ is closely akin to Karl Marx’s in its characterization of a system which has become estranged from all human agency. ‘Today’, he contends, ‘material goods have gained an increasing and finally an inexorable power over the lives of men as at no period in history.’ Capitalism triumphant rests on purely ‘mechanical foundations’ (1974:181–2).

The valuation of the pursuit of wealth and the moralization of labour are still for Weber ‘characteristic elements of our capitalistic culture’. So, I would suggest, is his compelled and compulsive individual the continuing ‘subject’ of bourgeois society. Severed from the religious integument which once gave them meaning, these are the ghosts in the machines of modernity." [Sayer, Capitalism and Modernity]

_________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr


Gender : Female Posts : 8680
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:44 pm

Quote :
"
The essence of all such bureaucratic discipline is ‘the consistently rationalized, methodically trained and exact execution of the received order, in which all personal criticism is unconditionally suspended and the actor is unswervingly and exclusively set for carrying out the command’ (1968:28 ). Specifically, Weber emphasizes, ‘the discipline of officialdom refers to the attitude-set of the official for precise obedience within his habitual activity, in public as well as private organizations’, and ‘this discipline increasingly becomes the basis of all order, however great the practical importance of administration on the basis of the filed documents may be’. It is ‘the settled orientation of man’—that is, of modern ‘man’—‘for keeping to the habitual rules and regulations’ that is the foundation of this neue Ordnung (1970:229). Bureaucracy rests on the reorganization of habitus. Weber argues that such ‘mechanization’ is facilitated by a guaranteed salary and the opportunity of ‘a career that is not dependent upon mere accident and arbitrariness’; working in the same direction are ‘status sentiment among officials’, and ‘the purely impersonal character of office work’ (1970:208 ). The individual bureaucrat, unable to ‘squirm out of the apparatus in which he is harnessed’, is thus ‘forged to the community of all the functionaries who are integrated into the mechanism’ (1970:228 ).

Officials, whether employees of private businesses or state servants, undergo ‘thorough and expert training’. ‘Educational certificates’ are ‘linked with qualifications for office’, which enhances the ‘status element’ in the position of the official (1970:198, 200); ‘more and more the specialized knowledge of the expert became the foundation for the power position of the officeholder’ (1970:235). The system of rational, specialized, and expert examinations’, Weber maintains, ‘is increasingly indispensable for modern bureaucracy’, and ‘capitalism, with its demand for expertly trained technicians, clerks, et cetera, carries such examinations all over the world’ (1970:240–1). This valuation of technical expertise is radically different from the ideal of the ‘cultivated man’ which ‘formed the basis of social esteem in such various systems as the feudal, theocratic, and patrimonial structures of domination’ (1970:243)—an esteem which rested on the gentleman precisely not being tied to a career but being an ‘amateur’, one whose means gave him the leisure to cultivate the self in ways that would enhance the public good. Weber clearly regrets the passing of this ideal; in the famous words of The Protestant Ethic, modernity turns the world over to ‘specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart’; and ‘this nullity’, he scathingly writes, ‘imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved’ (1974:182). Within the developed bureau, there is no room for gentlemanly amateurs: where previously ‘official business was discharged as a secondary activity’, nowadays ‘official activity demands the full working capacity of the official’. Otherwise put, ‘office holding is a “vocation’” and ‘the position of the official is in the nature of a duty’ (1970:198–9).

In so far, Weber remarks, as this discipline appeals to any ‘firm motives of an “ethical” character, it presupposes a “sense of duty” and “conscientiousness”’ (which contrasts sharply with moralities of ‘honour’) (1968:29). The functioning of the amoral ‘machine’ of bureaucracy thus rests, paradoxically, on a striking moralization of the individual’s relation to it." [Sayer, Capitalism and Modernity]

_________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr


Gender : Female Posts : 8680
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:45 pm

Quote :
"Anticipating much subsequent writing on documentation as a critical modality of power, Weber highlights the fact that ‘the management of the modern office is based upon written documents (“the files”), which are preserved’, and associated with this is ‘a staff of subaltern officials and scribes of all sorts’ (1970:197). More recent work has stressed the ways in which individual identities (as, for instance, a voter, taxpayer, driver, married person or schoolchild—all of them statuses ‘licensed’ by such recording practices) are comprehensively regulated thereby. Philippe Ariès has remarked a very material connection between modern subjectivity and state documentation: it is impossible, today, to survive in the world without knowing one’s exact date of birth, something, for most people, which was rare before the eighteenth century (1962:15–16). Our date of birth has become part of our civic identity (and what used to be called the ‘ages of man’ are marked by institutional rites de passage, from kindergarten graduation to mandatory retirement). Weber himself places more emphasis, as we might expect, on the purely technical advantages that rationalized documentation brings to the exercise of power.

the honor of the civil servant is vested in his ability to execute conscientiously the order of the superior authorities, exactly as if the order agreed with his own conviction. This holds even if the order appears wrong to him and if, despite the civil servants’ remonstrances, the authority insists on the order.

For Weber it is decisive for the specific nature of modern loyalty to an office

that...it does not establish loyalty to a person, like the vassal’s or disciple’s faith in feudal or in patrimonial relations of authority. Modern loyalty is devoted to impersonal and functional purposes. (1970:199)

‘without regard for persons’ is also the watchword of the market and, in general, of all pursuit of naked economic interests. A consistent execution of bureaucratic domination means the levelling of status ‘honor’. Hence, if the principle of the free market is not at the same time restricted, it means the universal domination of the ‘class situation’. (1970:215)

the abstract regularity of the execution of authority, which is a result of the demand for ‘equality before the law’ in the personal and functional sense—hence, of the horror of ‘privilege’, and the principled rejection of doing business ‘from case to case’. (1970:224)

All of this is eminently consistent with Marx’s view that ‘individuals are now ruled by abstractions, whereas previously they were dependent on one another'...
He remarks ‘the sure interests of the bureaucracy for the conditions of maintaining its power’ via ‘the canonization of the abstract and “objective” idea of “reasons of state’”—an idea, he says, which is ‘specifically modern’ (1970:220).
Dependency on ‘mechanized petrification’ has become an integral part of who we are." [Sayer, Capitalism and Modernity]

_________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr


Gender : Female Posts : 8680
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:46 pm

Quote :
"He [Weber] comments too on the revival of the Tsarist secret police as the ‘main instrument of [Bolshevik] state power’ (1970:100), and grimly notes the cannibalism of revolutions: ‘the materialist interpretation of history is no cab to be taken at will; it does not stop short of the promoters of revolutions’. ‘Emotional revolutionalism’ is succeeded by ‘the traditionalist routine of everyday life’, and ‘the faith becomes part of the conventional phraseology of political Philistines and banausic technicians’. Sustaining revolutionary power involves thorough ‘depersonalization and routinization, in short...[a] psychic proletarianization, in the interests of discipline’, and ‘the following of a crusader usually degenerates... into a quite common stratum of spoilsmen’ (1970:125).

Weber himself, however, drew the supremely ironic conclusion that it is now above all capitalism itself, that vehicle of rationalization par excellence, whose continued survival alone prevents a monocratic bureaucratization of the whole of social life. And, he believed, this capitalism might not endure. It is unlikely to be succeeded by a New Jerusalem. Rather,

in all probability someday the bureaucratization of society will encompass capitalism too, just as it did in Antiquity. We too will then enjoy the benefits of bureaucratic ‘order’ instead of the ‘anarchy’ of free enterprise, and this order will be essentially the same as that which characterized the Roman Empire and—even more—the New Empire in Egypt and the Ptolemaic state. (1983:159)" [Sayer, Capitalism and Modernity]

_________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr


Gender : Female Posts : 8680
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Capitalism Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:49 pm

Lyssa wrote:
Quote :


Asceticism, he argues, is (formally) rational in that it prescribes ‘a definite, methodical conduct of life’. In medieval European Christendom ‘the monk is the first human being who lives rationally, who works methodically and by rational means toward a goal, namely the future life. Only for him did the clock strike, only for him were the hours of the day divided—for prayer’. The Church, Weber also remarks, ‘furnished officialdom for the early middle ages’ (the word clerk has the same root as cleric). But the Reformation transformed this ascetic ideal, decisively. In breaking with the ‘dualistic ethic’ of one code of conduct for religious virtuosi and another for followers, Protestantism took the methodicality of the monastery (and the convent) out into the everyday, mundane world—‘you think you have escaped from the monastery, but everyone must now be a monk throughout his life’ (1966:267–8 ). Protestantism thus ‘gave everyday worldly activity a religious significance’. Henceforth ‘the only way of living acceptable to God was not to surpass worldly morality in monastic asceticism, but solely through the fulfilment of the obligations imposed upon the individual by his position in the world’: and this changes everything (1974:80)." [Sayer, Capitalism and Modernity]


From this Weberian point of view, one could say, Sloterdijk is deepening that Protestant ethic via his 'You Must Change Your Life', where he presents self-training and co-Immunity as the way of the global future...

_________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr


Gender : Female Posts : 8680
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:35 pm

Daniel Bell wrote:
"The greatest single engine in the destruction of the Protestant ethic was the invention of the installment plan, or instant credit. Previ- ously one had to save in order to buy. But with credit cards one could indulge in instant gratification. The system was transformed by mass production and mass consumption, by the creation of new wants and new means of gratifying those wants." [The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism]

Daniel Bell wrote:
"The exuberance of life was summed up in a series of catchwords. One of them was "New." There was the New Democracy, the New Nationalism, the New Freedom, the New Poetry, and even the New Republic (which was started in 1914). A second was sex. Even to use the word openly sent a frisson through the readers of the press. Margaret Sanger, in 1913, coined the term "birth control." Ellen Key, the Swedish feminist, argued that marriage should not be a matter of legal or economic compulsion. Emma Goldman, the an- archist, lectured on homosexuality, the "intermediate sex." Floyd Dell celebrated free love, and many of the Young Intellectuals lived in ostentatious unmarried monogamy. And a third catchword was liberation. Liberation, as the movement self-consciously called it- self, was the wind blowing from Europe, a wind of modernism come to the American shore. In art it was the Fauves and cubism, shown principally in the Armory Show of 1913. In the theater it meant symbolism, suggestion and atmosphere, the acceptance of the n on - realist influence of Maeterlinck, Dunsany, and Synge. In literature there was a vogue for Shaw, Conrad, and Lawrence. But the great- est influence was in "philosophy," where the currents of irrational- ism, vitalism, and instinct, refracted through Bergson and Freud, spread rapidly in vulgarized form.

The "favorite doctrine of the Rebellion," as Henry May has written, was that happiness would follow complete instinctual self- expression. A simpleminded Freudianism declared that most of the Puritan evil in the world was due to self-control, and the way to freedom lay in the release of repressed sexual impulses. Henri Berg- son's doctrine of vitalism, presented in a poetic prose (in two years, his Creative Evolution sold as many copies in America as it did in France), became the basis for a popularized doctrine of the life force, a biological, purposive spirit which reanimated the universe. Syndicalism, which had become fashionable among left-wing intellectuals, was associated with the vitalism of Bergson through Georges Sorel, who was acclaimed as his philosophical disciple. Francis Grierson, whose work consisted of mystical and aphoristic essays ("a mixture of Carlyle and Elbert Hubbard"), was taken as a prophet of the age.

The Young Intellectuals, in their very attack on Puritanism and a crabbed way of life, preached an ethic of hedonism, of pleasure and play—in short, a consumption ethic; yet, ironically—or is it not the trajectory of such "rebellion"—the consumption ethic was to be realized less than a decade later by a capitalism that, without self- consciousness, called itself (was it in faint echo of the "rebellion") the "new capitalism."" [ib.]

Daniel Bell wrote:
"The Puritan temper might be described most simply by the term "delayed gratification," and by restraint in gratification. It is, of course, the Malthusian injunction for prudence in a world of scar- city. But the claim of the American economic system was that it had introduced abundance, and the nature of abundance is to en- courage prodigality rather than prudence. A higher standard of liv- ing, not work as an end in itself, then becomes the engine of change. The glorification of plenty, rather than the bending to niggardly nature, becomes the justification of the system. But all of this was highly incongruent with the theological and sociological founda- tions of nineteenth-century Protestantism, which was in turn the foundation of the American value system.

In the 19205, and in the 19505 and 19605, these incongruities were eschewed with the blithe assurance that there was a consensus in the society on the moral verity of material abundance. There was a vulgar effort in the crude boosterism of the 19205 (e.g., Bruce Barton's assertion that Jesus was the greatest salesman of all time.)

And in the 19505 there was the sophisti- cated rhetoric in the Luce magazines about the secret of productivity and the "permanent revolution" of change that was the contribution of the American economic system to the coming prosperity of the world. The singular fact is that Time, like the Reader's Digest, was founded in the ipzos, and both magazines were the vehicles for the transformation of values (the one of the urban middle class, the other of the small-town lower middle class) into the life-styles of mid-twentieth-century America. The genius of Henry Luce—and it is the sociological quiddity that the Auslander Luce, raised in China, not the United States, celebrates native values more than the native himself—was to take the traditional American values, the belief in God, in work, in achievement, and to translate these, through the idiom of the coming urban civilization, into the creed of American destiny ("the American century") on a world scale. He did this by fusing the nervous rhythms of the new expressive journalism, the language reflecting the new appearances, with the pace of urban life and the new hedonism. In this context, it is no accident that Luce's own magazine, his singular creation, was For- tune. (The impetus for Time had come from Luce's journalist colleague at Yale, Britton Hadden, the idea for Life from Daniel Longwell and other editors at Time.) American business was the dynamic agency tearing up small-town life and catapulting America into world economic dominance; and it was doing so within the language and cover of the Protestant ethic. The fact of transition is evident. The overt contradictions in the language and ideology— the lack of any coherent moral or philosophical doctrine—have only become manifest today." [ib.]

_________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr


Gender : Female Posts : 8680
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:35 pm

Daniel Bell wrote:
"The myth of Er is a vision of last things, reported by a slain warrior marvelously restored to life. But while the story is traditional—the fortunes of souls born and reborn—the chief point is that man's happiness or misery throughout eternity depends on his actions in this life. Thus, philosophical principles are joined with Orphic and popular mythology to show men how to escape from the cycle of generations.

In this revised conception, time is the present. Time is not subject to the domination of eternity, as in the sonnet of Petrarch, but to fate, or what the Greeks called moira. As is apparent already in The Iliad, moira means a "part" or an allocated portion—that which belongs to the gods, of heaven, sea, and the misty darkness. Moira thus turns out to be spatial, rather than temporal, of co-existing provinces, rather than past, present, and future.

The pessimistic mood of life which one finds so marked at the end of the fifth century B.C., and which deepened in the fourth as Greece, torn apart by incessant warfare, succumbed to the half- savage Macedonian king, finds its expression in the rise of theGod- dess of Chance. In any scheme of things which is bound to neces- sity, fate is always yoked to chance—chance not as probability or risk, as we think of it, but as tychism, an objective reality ruled by unknown forces. Thus, as men become more despairing, as they lose their "allotted portion" yet lack the sustaining inward principle to change their fate, the direction of their lives loses meaning and fate gives way to chance.

In the Hellenistic period (as against the Homeric) Tyche, as deified fortune, becomes the great goddess of the ancient world. In Oedipus at Thebes, the field of action is no longer bounded by fate but by chance. Since there is no sure knowledge and Tyche rules, argues Jocasta, it is best to live at random.

When life has grown arbitrary, one becomes obsessed with, and prays to, chance. "Such was the paradoxical ending," concludes Professor Bernard Knox. "The movement of more than a century of brilliant and searching thought is movement not forward but back io the starting point . . . from the Homeric Olympians to the god- ilcss Chance. But the circular progress is not on one plane; the point of return is on a lower level. The movement is a descending spiral."

Thus the trajectory—from an allotted portion to random action, from a spatial order to haphazard disorder.

For Vico, the source of knowledge is the principle of verum factum—"the true (verum) and the made (factum) are convertible." Thus, the condition of knowing is that of making; one can understand only what one has created. The promise of escape from the cycle of fate, then, is the ability of men to make their own history. There cannot be an immanent unfolding of a telic design, a deceptive "cunning of rea- son," or a marche generate of a class, but the cooperative effort of men to consciously direct their lives. The escape from endless recurrence is the plunge into a new kind of history.
The thread leads us, inexorably, to Marx, who believed that men

can make their own history, within the constraints of given historical possibilities. Marx begins with a double conception of human nature. There is, first, the natural or generic man, whose essence, or species-being, is biological: the need for food, clothing, shelter, procreation—the production and reproduction of the necessities of life. And there is also historical man, whose nature is emergent.

Through techne, man masters nature and, in the realization of this power, gains new needs, new wants, new powers in the growing consciousness of himself. History, thus, is open, and in leaping from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom, man will become superman.'

In this historicist view, man is defined not by nature but by history, and history is the record of the successive plateaus of man's developing powers. The difficulty with this view is that it cannot account for our continuing appreciation of the past, nor for the renewed use we make of it. If one believes that a specific historical substructure shapes the culture of an age (and what is historical materialism without that belief?), then how does one account for the quality of Greek art and thought, compared to that of today, and the persistence of the poetry the Greeks wrote and the philosophical questions they asked as relevant modes today? To say, as Marx did, that such thought represents the precocious childhood of the human race which we seek to reproduce "on a higher plane" (in other words, that thought has "evolved") begs every question.

The historicist answer is a conceit. Antigone is no child, and her keening over the body of her dead brother is not an emotion of the childhood of the race." [The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism]

_________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr


Gender : Female Posts : 8680
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:23 am

Gellner in keeping with the I.E scheme outlines the structure of the social evolution in the tripartite form and the shape taken in modernity:


Plough :: Sword :: Book

Production :: Coercion :: Cognition


Production:

Gellner wrote:
"Karl Marx himself, be it noted, was the bourgeois to end all bourgeois. He did indeed anticipate the shedding by mankind of the most deplored alleged corollaries of our neolithic work addiction, namely social stratification and coercion. But he wanted to absolutize and universalize the work ethic, by finally separating work from any reward and turning it into an end in itself, the ultimate fulfilment:

Marx wrote:
" . . . in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me . . . . to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner .. . without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic."

The division of labour would disappear (or, strictly speaking, its social enforcement and role ascription would disappear), but work as fulfilment would remain and indeed constitute our fulfilment.

The idea of work as its own reward is of course the very essence of the bourgeois spirit. We work because we like it, and despise those who work as a means only, or are constrained to perform work which means nothing to them, or do not work at all.

Basically, Marxism is a bourgeois wish-fulfilment fantasy: work is to be its own reward, life really is about work and finds its meaning in work, and the secret of history is that, appearances notwithstanding, it is determined, not by the patterns of coercion, but by those of production. That is where the action really is. It is only the faulty organization of work which engenders antagonistic relations between men, and their corollaries, coercion and socially instituted delusion. Work-oriented middle-class producers always wished all this to be true, but only Marx dared say that it actually was true. Production was always primary, even if producers themselves knew it not. The time would come when they would be alone with their freely chosen creative activity, and all constraints, coercive or superstitious, would be gone. Man would be alone with his work and at peace with his fellows. The destiny of the proletariat was to fulfil the bourgeois ideal of peaceful, self-rewarding and unconstrained productivity." [Plough, Sword, and Book: The Structure of Human History]


Coercion: - Modern Codification.


Cognition:

Gellner wrote:
"Platonism sees knowledge as an event in the world. The world, its permanent and sacred structure and its inherent values, validate knowledge. Although Platonism tries to establish the ultimate social auth- ority of Knowers, the authority of their special cognitive virtuosity follows from the ultimate nature of the world, assumed to be stable and definitively, finally, revealed to man. Cartesianism by contrast sees the world as an event within knowledge. Knowledge validates the world, and is independent of it. In a society which in the last analysis is built on and wholly dependent on the growth of knowledge, knowledge is not treated as sacred, and also confers no social authority. The difference could hardly be more profound, and its implications are boundless.

Platonism assumes that a definite, stable, norm-giving reality is there, hidden perhaps from some or from many, but nonetheless there, and sovereign. So knowledge, and morality as well, can be vindicated from within this fundamental constitution of reality.

Definitive legitimations are the hallmark of the Platonic style. The basic reality is attainable in a so-to-speak penetrative and global and final way, not by piecemeal and provisional sorties. Such access, however, is a privilege, linked to the status system of the society. Knowledge is sound if it leads us towards the absolute reality, and delusory if it does not. Men convey their moral worth by what they can claim to know. So, in the end, it is knowledge which is on trial, not reality.

All this of course enables Platonism to operate its fusion of fact and value, its joint buttressing of social, moral and cognitive hierarchies. This capacity it shares with the simpler communal, ritual-based religions, though it employs more sophisticated and abstract devices in the attainment of its end. By a procedure which seems brazenly circular to us Cartesians, sound knowledge is that which is possessed by morally sound men, and it is from the nature of ultimate reality that we read off the criteria of moral health, which then enable us to identify the trustworthy witnesses. They in turn reconfirm the message concerning the true nature of reality. The circle is complete, and with variations of detail it is repeated by most or all the codified belief systems of the agro-literate age.

Cartesianism inverts all this. The world is to be located within knowledge. The criteria of sound knowledge are independent of the structure of the world, and precede it. The same criteria would apply in any world, and they are in no way beholden to this one. We ignore and suspend this world whilst we formulate those criteria, much as any honourable juror would refrain from socializing with litigants while judging their case. Know first, live after. Do not allow yourself to be beholden to the world you investigate. No corruption, if you please. So the division of labour finds its culmination in the severe autonomy of knowledge. The cognitive judiciary at long last becomes fastidiously independent.

This strategy of cognition owes everything to the division of labour: all separate questions to be separated. The old world which had been beyond the reach of doubt, by contrast, secured its stability by linking all its facets in mutual support. The new atomization of evidence, the individualization of men, the separation of questions, the externalization (to society and to culture), so to speak, of the cognitive judge, are all of them mutually related.

Cartesianism is individualistic, and hence implicitly egalitarian. The principles of cognition, which sit in judgment on reality, are located in individuals, not in collectivities. Implicitly and explicitly, Platon- ism makes man, cognitively and otherwise, into a social animal, who cannot operate on his own. The key unit is not the individual, who is essentially incomplete. Society, not the individual, is the effective cognizing unit. The basic world- explorative strategy works in terms of the contrast between good and bad men: it is the goodness of good men which alone allows them to know truly, and they are required, as guides for the others. The complementarity and interdependence of men is specially deep and pervasive in Platonic visions.

In Plato's own works, the social and cognitive stratification, and its normative authority, are of course very firmly worked out. Of the great literate civilizations, Hinduism is the one closest to the Platonic blueprint.
Cartesianism, by contrast, stands for a kind of Robinson Crusoe stance in the field of cognition. A Hindu Crusoe would be a contradiction.

The new cognitive style implies a double declaration of independence, both of the self and of Nature. An autonomous self favours an orderly and independent nature, and vice versa. Human self-sufficiency and a mechanical nature go together. The separation of powers (itself an aspect of the division of labour) let natural inquiry and morals go their separate ways. Specialization, atomization, instrumental rationality, independence of fact and value, growth and provisionality of knowledge are all linked with each other.

Fully distinct activities become open to all men. It was an complete division of labour which divided mankind. Its culmination leads to a homogeneous humanity.

So enhancement of the division of labour in one sense means its diminution in another. When knowledge is the slave of social considerations, it defines a special class; when it serves its own ends only, it no longer does so. There is of course a profound logic in this paradox: genuine knowledge is egalitarian in that it allows no privileged sources, testers, messengers of Truth. It tolerates no privileged and circumscribed data. The autonomy of knowledge is a leveller.

This paradox will appear again in other spheres: the one society based on cognitive and economic growth, and hence on an accentuated division of labour, is at the same time more egalitarian, and less haunted by the social echoes of the division of labour, than were its agro-literate predecessors. The division of labour no longer casts its shadow over humanity in the form of deeply differentiated kinds of human being. In the newly emerging world, men do different things, but they are all done by the same kind of man, and in much the same spirit. More accurately, one should say: a mobile, unstable differentiation of activity, carried out on the basis of a shared literate high culture, leads to a greatly diminished differentiation among men.

What is contained in a concept is put there by us, by our optional definitions, which we can vary as we do our apparel. Concepts maketh man. Man, and not the nature of things, nor the deity, ordained them. They are human artefacts or conveniences, not supra-terrestrial imperatives. They do not descend upon us from on high. We replace them at will and in the light of their effectiveness; they are our tools, not our masters. They are subject to cost-effectiveness assessment. We can no longer be humbly guided by them, let alone deify them, or be commanded or overawed by them.

Man is no longer socialized by rituals highlighting some concepts and endowing them with a special aura. He is trained by sustained orderly education, instilling moderate respect for all concepts, provided they work tolerably. He is taught to distrust disorderly concepts, which fail to be linked to conditions of employment in a tidy or reliable manner. We can reformulate concepts to suit our convenience. We revise them just as we revise techniques. Neither concepts nor techniques are prescribed by our caste or station; and our caste and station are not prescribed either. An overtly pragmatic system of concepts mirrors an avowedly pragmatic and variable system of roles.

What it all amounts to is this: cognitive claims can be settled in two ways, and two ways only. They can be settled by our decisions and convenience; and they can be settled by empirical fact, independent both of our will and of our social order. Tertium non datur. The secularization of the world can hardly go any further. All this is contained in a seemingly dry, pedantic, scholastic theory of judgment. Thus only two kinds of basic legitimation of knowledge are possible; and one of them inheres in us, and the other, in nature. Our convenience, or blind nature, are the only two authorities which can validate our cognitive claims.

This theory reflects a culture which no longer accepts its own concepts as ordained from on high, but which chooses its own, and endows them with only a conditional authority. Neither ritual inculcation nor Platonic meta-theory sanctifies concepts any longer. Our convenience, and not any transcendent imperative, is our master. The fount of honour and of validity now lies within us, and us only. In fact, concepts, like men, come to be valued for their efficiency rather than their honour. External nature and the social order are now mutually independent, and neither can impose itself on the other. The independence and externality of natural truth is the complement of the human foundation of all authority." [Plough, Sword, and Book: The Structure of Human History]

_________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Satyr
Daemon


Gender : Male Pisces Posts : 12817
Join date : 2009-08-24
Age : 50
Location : Flux

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:27 am

Another nail in their community coffins.

_________________
γνῶθι σεαυτόν
μηδέν άγαν
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://satyr.canadian-forum.com/
Slaughtz



Gender : Male Pisces Posts : 718
Join date : 2012-04-28
Age : 25
Location : Brink

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:43 pm

In a multi-cultural society, who or what values will own the conscience of your authorities? Of your police officers and other state enforcers? What amount of humanity will they assign to you, the regular person, when you're only considered "Human", like every other criminal? What will distinguish you as a different kind of Human than them?

This is what is meant by multi-culturalism being the equivalent to money-value, because money will be the only distinction left with any social or conscionable credibility.

Multi-culturalism with Americanism/Globalism, is capitalism by negation.

One only has to look at what criteria is used today as supposedly 'neutral' or 'objective' in their argument to determine 'inequality'. They look at income by race, income by sex, income by sexuality, etc. to determine 'injustice'. The unquestioned common denominator for measurement is money/capital.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Impulso Oscuro



Gender : Male Aries Posts : 180
Join date : 2013-12-10
Age : 25
Location : Praxis

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Fri Aug 26, 2016 4:35 am

Slaughtz wrote:
In a multi-cultural society, who or what values will own the conscience of your authorities? Of your police officers and other state enforcers? What amount of humanity will they assign to you, the regular person, when you're only considered "Human", like every other criminal? What will distinguish you as a different kind of Human than them?

This is what is meant by multi-culturalism being the equivalent to money-value, because money will be the only distinction left with any social or conscionable credibility.

Multi-culturalism with Americanism/Globalism, is capitalism by negation.

One only has to look at what criteria is used today as supposedly 'neutral' or 'objective' in their argument to determine 'inequality'. They look at income by race, income by sex, income by sexuality, etc. to determine 'injustice'. The unquestioned common denominator for measurement is money/capital.

I recently witnessed disbelief when i pointed out the equal and egalitarian nature of Capitalism, through the ideal of "equality of opportunity" it is based upon. That while it might develop into a survival of the biggest, at its root, it assumes an equal start as to justify itself and sell hope.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Slaughtz



Gender : Male Pisces Posts : 718
Join date : 2012-04-28
Age : 25
Location : Brink

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:15 am

A thought on the two nihilistic poles of economic organization:

Radical Communism is the nihilistic destruction of memes.
Radical Capitalism is the nihilistic destruction of nature.
How?
Memes become the primary method of competition within Communism. Since the goal is to reduce violent conflict, memes become neutered.
Nature become the primary method of competition within Capitalism (quantity, flood the market with CONSUMER throw-away products, the perpetual extraction of 'goods' without the guiding principle of moderation - only maximization of profits). Since the goal is to reduce violent conflict, genes become neutered.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Lyssa
Har Har Harr


Gender : Female Posts : 8680
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:46 pm

I see things the other way.

Communism is a direct erasure of nature - a total secularization and collective blank-stating of individuality/individual past; and Rad. Capitalism is an erasure of nature's excess - culture, that is the overcoming of desire, now over-turned to the production of desire, production of subjectivity/identity as pure hedonistic desire.

_________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Capitalism Today at 10:03 pm

Back to top Go down
 
Capitalism
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» A JOYFUL EXCESS OF CAPITALISM

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Know Thyself :: AGORA-
Jump to: