4 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2019
    1. The position of machine products in the civilized scheme of consumption serves to point out the nature of the relation which subsists between the canon of conspicuous waste and the code of proprieties in consumption. Neither in matters of art and taste proper, nor as regards the current sense of the serviceability of goods, does this canon act as a principle of innovation or initiative. It does not go into the future as a creative principle which makes innovations and adds new items of consumption and new elements of cost. The principle in question is, in a certain sense, a negative rather than a positive law. It is a regulative rather than a creative principle. It very rarely initiates or originates any usage or custom directly. Its action is selective only. Conspicuous wastefulness does not directly afford ground for variation and growth, but conformity to its requirements is a condition to the survival of such innovations as may be made on other grounds. In whatever way usages and customs and methods of expenditure arise, they are all subject to the selective action of this norm of reputability; and the degree in which they conform to its requirements is a test of their fitness to survive in the competition with other similar usages and customs.
  2. Feb 2019
    1. This is not the first time that the US “common man” has embraced populism. Who said the following? “What are the real issues that exist today in these United States? It is the trend of pseudointellectual government where a select elite group have written guidelines in bureaus and court decisions… looking down their noses at the average man on the street … the auto workers, … the little businessman…” (quoted in Cowie: http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1919&context=articles) This was George Wallace, in 1972, the year he scored a victory in the Democratic primary in Michigan, due primarily to “working-class” opposition to school busing on the heels of white flight to the suburbs. His “populist” message of “anti-elitism”, “anti-crime” and anti-busing wasn’t openly racist, but that was its content. Dewey Burton, the young male symbol of the 1970s (white) working class followed for years by the US media (as told by Cowie, above) was not a racist in his personal attitudes, but his alienation from ossified New Deal politics within a Fordist economic model that provided “only” high-wage job security (and for fewer and fewer people) manifested itself in a form that is fairly indistinguishable from the suddenly new “revolt” of the white working class in the rust belt in 2016 – and this well before Fordism entered into its terminal crisis later in the 70s.

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  3. Sep 2016
    1. On a global scale, Debord not only views this as a way in which capitalism maintains the society it has created, but also argues that thepeople of anti-capitalist countries must question power instead of accepting reforms. Without the abolition of capitalism or any oppressive order, the working-class continues to struggle within the boundaries imposed on them by the system in place.

      I would like to discuss this further in class. I am just a little confused on how capitalism is oppressive to everyone. As mentioned in another comment, capitalism can allow lower class citizens to work their way up, but it is just very difficult.