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Thread: Generation Sell

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    On the left for sure, what point do you think that the right or conservatives decided that the primacy of politics rather than economics or vested (rich) interests being in charge rather than the statesmen was a good idea?
    You mean when the right decided that economic interests have primacy over politics and statesmanship? That's an interesting question, and I would say that form of the right(as opposed to the right that favored politics) kinda formulated as we know it throughout the 19th century. The form of right that favored politics was destroyed in WWII. So in some ways it was a matter of "last man standing".

  2. #22
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    I think you're both missing the point: it's not about selling a product, it's about selling one's self.

    It's not saying that feigning 'respect' by being overly-affable is restricted to people starting their own businesses, the author is trying to make the point that it's a cultural phenomenon that permeates everybody these days. The corporate ass-kisser is no different than the 'artist' trying to self-promote: everybody's nose is brown.


    What the author seems to be trying to debate is whether this affability, this 'niceness', this lack of egoism and negativity is as a result of people constantly marketing themselves or whether it's a reflection of a shift in our culture overall, and we're just becoming 'nicer'. Or maybe "less apt to upset people" is a better way of putting it. We're still just as apt to be ruthless behind people's backs.
    It’s possible I didn’t articulate my point well enough and I’m not seeing how my point isn’t clear, but I don’t see how what you’ve said here is much different from what I said myself. People need to sell a marketable 'self', regardless of whether they work for themselves or not (...so the shift towards being one's own boss isn't necessarily what's making people feign being 'nicer').


    Is this marketing mentality the RESULT of technology and a lack of privacy/space, or have we created the privacy-invading technology as a tool to help cultivate the marketing mentality in the first place? I think that's more to the point the author is making.
    The overall increase in connectedness (and general loss of space for a ‘self’ to exist privately) existed before the shift towards independent business. The invention of the telephone suddenly meant talking to people in other towns -> having a telephone in the house suddenly means connecting to people in other towns from your own home -> having a cell phone means anyone can reach you wherever you are, pretty much 24/7. Space to just be alone is disappearing. And there have been theories on how a cultural mentality favoring productivity has been slowly and progressively displacing power dynamics (between ‘self’ and ‘other’) and changing our relationship to a ‘self’ long before social networking via internet surfaced. Social networking sites in particular might flourish at present because they’re a handy medium for individuals to market themselves, but the whole lack of privacy/space came first. [I included Foucault’s Panopticism as an example in the previous post, but several social theorists have commented on the loss of private ‘space’, the inability for a person to maintain an organic ‘core’ in modern society, the ‘decentered subject’ of postmodern philosophy, etc. I'm ridiculously oversimplifying things here- but the disappearing relationship to 'self' started way before the recent burst in independent business.]

    Like I said, I agree that the move towards independent business adds a shady element of making it *seem* more like self-actualization (and in truth, it still has far more potential for self-actualization than working for someone else) when really a person is influenced into creating a ‘self’ most likely to sell whatever their producing…..but for the most part, yes, I believe the way the way we are pressured into shaping the ‘self’ into something marketable is “the RESULT of technology and lack of privacy/space”. Because there’s almost as much pressure to sell one’s ‘self’/create a marketable image to compete for jobs working for others as there is to work for one’s self.
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  3. #23
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    You mean when the right decided that economic interests have primacy over politics and statesmanship? That's an interesting question, and I would say that form of the right(as opposed to the right that favored politics) kinda formulated as we know it throughout the 19th century. The form of right that favored politics was destroyed in WWII. So in some ways it was a matter of "last man standing".
    I've read good accounts, of Germany at least, of how a struggling "political" conservative elite tried to control the national monied elites and industrialists, in the process securing the primacy of politics, but bit the dust when unable to secure the support of the working classes and capitalists simultaneously as the Nazis where able to.

    Even though they did in opposition suggest they would use a lot of socialist, ie state, appropriation tactics at the advent of their ascendency to power they where already saying that a Nazi economy was "organised" or "directed" as opposed to owned and managed by the state, Hitler went out of his way to say that just because a business man was not a good "national socialist" did not mean they where not a good business man and should not be interfered with. I know there's the argument that Otto and Gregor Strasser would have been a different story if they'd not been eliminated but I'm not so sure, I'm looking into that.

    In Italy it was already apparent and Mussolini had made it expressly clear that fascism was corporatism, with collusion from unions or workers reps, which of course would weaken any possible detractors or opponents of capital, eventually and surely also state or fascist ones.

    The grievance which formed the "social" or "socialist" aspect of each of their agendas, if its not considered purely pretext, was against finance but not private capitalism per se, even at that a particular part of finance, at least in the German context, which had more to do with racism.

    I think you go back as far as Bismarck, possibly earlier, to find right wing politicians asserting the primacy of politics or statesmanship, after that statesmanship becomes synonymous with doing the bidding of the wealthy vested interests, in the UK most of the conservative publishing since Thatcher has been real testamony to this, with the only exception being Ian Gilmour but know ones liable to remember there was a Keynesian opposition to monetarism from within Conservative circles or the opposition to Thatcher which attacked her for "selling off the family jewels", ie privatisation.

    The class struggles which Thatcher fought, plus the fortunes created through privatisation, which most of the time was rushed, virtually giving away public assets, I think in no small way provided the legacy which made the national and international crisis inevitable. The failure of any element what so ever to take on the Golden Geckos mean its inevitable its just a matter of time until it happens again too.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    It’s possible I didn’t articulate my point well enough and I’m not seeing how my point isn’t clear, but I don’t see how what you’ve said here is much different from what I said myself. People need to sell a marketable 'self', regardless of whether they work for themselves or not (...so the shift towards being one's own boss isn't necessarily what's making people feign being 'nicer').
    I was speaking of the statement you made about it seeming as though the author was implying that starting a business is at the heart of the problem. I didn't think the author was implying that at all, rather that it's a result or symptom of what is going on.

    Everything else you said I agreed with.


    The overall increase in connectedness (and general loss of space for a ‘self’ to exist privately) existed before the shift towards independent business. The invention of the telephone suddenly meant talking to people in other towns -> having a telephone in the house suddenly means connecting to people in other towns from your own home -> having a cell phone means anyone can reach you wherever you are, pretty much 24/7. Space to just be alone is disappearing.
    Interesting. I hadn't thought of the progression of telephone technology. It seems stupid that I didn't, looking back. I've spoken about the proliferation of 'smartphones' before (although maybe not on this forum) and how funny I find it that these devices aren't really telephones, they're portable internet access devices.

    (I think it's hilarious that the iPhone, the most celebrated of 'smartphones', has been lauded for its user interface and internet capabilities but as far as making and receiving telephone calls go it has a reputation for tinny sound, poor reception and dropped calls.)

    Like I said, I agree that the move towards independent business adds a shady element of making it *seem* more like self-actualization (and in truth, it still has far more potential for self-actualization than working for someone else) when really a person is influenced into creating a ‘self’ most likely to sell whatever their producing…..but for the most part, yes, I believe the way the way we are pressured into shaping the ‘self’ into something marketable is “the RESULT of technology and lack of privacy/space”. Because there’s almost as much pressure to sell one’s ‘self’/create a marketable image to compete for jobs working for others as there is to work for one’s self.
    I definitely agree with that last sentence, and I think it's something the author just barely glossed over.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    In Italy it was already apparent and Mussolini had made it expressly clear that fascism was corporatism, with collusion from unions or workers reps, which of course would weaken any possible detractors or opponents of capital, eventually and surely also state or fascist ones.
    Well the corporatism that Mussolini was referring to is quite different from what we commonly view as corporations. We have to keep that in mind.

    You bring up very good points, and the Continental "right" tended to over-emphasize the primacy of politics, wheras the English(later American) right tended to emphasize more commercial interests.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Well the corporatism that Mussolini was referring to is quite different from what we commonly view as corporations. We have to keep that in mind.

    You bring up very good points, and the Continental "right" tended to over-emphasize the primacy of politics, wheras the English(later American) right tended to emphasize more commercial interests.
    Absolutely.

    I wonder what caused that because the continent and anglo-saxon worlds both had reformation and protestantism, while the seperation of church and state in each could be in part a legacy in the one, the anglo-saxon world, it set the commercial, private sphere in many ways against the public, political sphere while in the continential context that didnt happen, there was a division but not the same ascendent class with more or less conscious interests apart from everyone elses and the state interest.

    Although that said most of the neo-liberals where Austrian as opposed to english, even if they linked with an earlier anglicised trend, ie Herbert Spencer, Hobbes and Locke.

    I agree that the corporatism was different to what that word is used to designate now, in the ROI they still talk about the local authorities as corporations, as in Dublin Corporation, which would be perhaps a municipality in the US context. Although municipalism is really, properly understood, synonymous with what Marx called commun-ism, after the communards and paris commune, ie paris municipality. Whether or not Marx was centralising or decentralising in his theorising what he meant is not what or how the word is used today.

    That said I'm still inclined to believe that Mussolini, Gentile et al saw the state as being in service of the capitalists provided they could manage a sembalence of a social dividend for their cadres.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Absolutely.

    I wonder what caused that because the continent and anglo-saxon worlds both had reformation and protestantism, while the seperation of church and state in each could be in part a legacy in the one, the anglo-saxon world, it set the commercial, private sphere in many ways against the public, political sphere while in the continential context that didnt happen, there was a division but not the same ascendent class with more or less conscious interests apart from everyone elses and the state interest.
    Well one major factor that could'ved played in this was mere geography. During the Middle Ages, perhaps even dating back to the Roman Empire, England was deeply connected with the continent. The Reformation had the effect of cutting it off from the rest of Europe. Now of course there are also Protestant nations on the continent, but of course by being on the continent itself they couldn't as easily cut themselves off from the rest of Europe, they can't withdraw behind a body of water to provide a natural barrier. Germany as case in point in the very center of Europe, so it had to face threats from all corners, so a strong predominant state would make sense in this context - wheras England was safe from such threats and could depend upon its naval forces for primary defense. That's why England has has traditionally been a naval power wheras Germany has been a land-based power.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Should we call it "Generation E-Type 3"?
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    Should we call it "Generation E-Type 3"?
    The funny thing is that Hudson and Riso talk about this in their profiles of Type Threes.

  10. #30
    Sniffles
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    Default Liberalism and the primacy of politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    On the left for sure, what point do you think that the right or conservatives decided that the primacy of politics rather than economics or vested (rich) interests being in charge rather than the statesmen was a good idea?
    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    You mean when the right decided that economic interests have primacy over politics and statesmanship? That's an interesting question, and I would say that form of the right(as opposed to the right that favored politics) kinda formulated as we know it throughout the 19th century. The form of right that favored politics was destroyed in WWII. So in some ways it was a matter of "last man standing".
    I've been rumming over this for quite a while, especially since it raises some interesting issues to delve into concerning the evolution of political ideals. I reread a note I made concerning Pierre Manent's point about how liberalism tends to oscillate between the market or the state as it's primary instrument. That's one thing that's often overlooked in much of political analysis these days, of how we're all operating under the same basic paradigms. Economically we're all Keynsians now, and politically we're all Lockeans as well.

    The two are not mutually exclusive, since actually the "free market" as we know it was born out of the massive growth of the state in the early modern period, as Karl Polyani famously documented. So it's pretty ironic when libetarians decry big government and speak in favor of market-based policies, yet fail to note that in order for these policies to be implemented would require government intervention in order to enable the market to do its work.

    To look at how the "right" became associated with the market as opposed to the state, we'd have to take a look into political history. Lockean liberalism is said to gained ascendency with the Glorious Revolution of 1688, with the Whigs predominating over the Tories. Of course the Jacobites were more extreme opponents of this settlement, and for our purposes tried to restore the primacy of politics within England. They failed, so Locke prevailed over Hobbes is one way to think of it here.

    Their failure to do so set the stage for what came next. We have to remember that Edmund Burke, the founder of conservatism, was a Whig not a Tory. That tells you something of the mixed-up nature of things, in the Anglosphere at least. The more formal alliance of the market and the right probably emerged under Disraeli, but the groundwork for such an alliance had already been in the works for some time - since at least the Glorius Revolution or even the English Reformation. The result of WWII established the predominance of this on Continental Europe as well.

    Some thoughts to consider.

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