"Art is to console those who are broken by life."
- Vincent Van Gogh (via umoron)
(Source: conor-broberst, via dahlium)
"Western Marxists therefore placed far greater emphasis on the importance of what Marx called superstructure—culture, institutions, language—in the political process, so much so that consideration of the economic base sometimes disappeared altogether. Unable to change the world, they concentrated on interpreting it through what became known as ‘cultural studies’—which established its own hegemony on many university campuses in the final decades of the twentieth century, transforming the study of history, geography, sociology, anthropology and literature…
That realm [of the superstructure] was defined far more broadly than Marx ever imagined. It encompassed any and every sort of cultural commodity—a pair of winklepicker shoes, a newspaper photograph, a pop record and a packet of breakfast cereal were all ‘texts’ that could be ‘read’. The critique of mass culture from early theorists influenced by the Frankfurt school was gradually supplanted by a study of the different ways in which people receive and interpret these everyday texts. As cultural studies took a ‘linguistic turn’—evolving through structuralism, post-structuralism, deconstruction and then postmodernism—it often seemed a way of evading politics altogether, even though many of its practitioners continued to call themselves Marxists. The logic of their playful insistence that there were no certainties or realities led ultimately to a free-floating, value-free relativism which could celebrate both American pop cultural and medieval superstition without a qualm. Despite their scorn for grand historical narratives and general laws of nature, many seemed to accept the enduring success of capitalism as an immutable fact of life. Their subversive impulses sought refuge in marginal spaces where the victors’ dominance seemed less secure: hence their enthusiasm for the exotic and unincorporable, from UFO conspiracy theories to sado-masochistic fetishes. A fascination with the pleasures of consumption (TV soap operas, shopping malls, mass-market kitsch) displaced the traditional Marxist focus on the conditions of material production…. No systematic critique of monopoly capitalism could be achieved since capitalism was itself a fiction, like truth, justice, law and all other ‘linguistic constructs’."
- Francis Wheen, Marx’s Das Kapital (2006), pp. 105-7. (via maoismfightsback)
"Marketing is the dominant type of work in 21st Century America, and journalism is slowly turning into marketing criticism."
- Steve Sailer (via whiteinnovations)