Saturday, November 05, 2011

please read this

via bill keckler's blog i read a very thoughtful piece by adam curtis on the bbc website about the current OCCUPY movements and 1960s revolutionaries titled dream on.


At 6:17 PM, Blogger John B-R said...

So if only the damned Frankfurt School hadn't told kids that capitalism eats its young everything would have been cool?

I don't really see what this article is telling you.

But the author is right about one thing: Boty really was beautiful.

At 2:05 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

agreed tht boty was a beauty. i dunno, read this as a cautionary tale that capitalism, particularly american styled capitalism, is difficult to get out of your head and one of the worries expressed by the OCCUPY movements is that once you codify your meaning that meaning can be easily coopted and marketed against the movement. but yeah, i see your point, john, that if only the '60s revolutionaries paid heed to marcuse everything would be just hunky-dory, and that is a bunch of crap.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger John B-R said...

Richard, sorry if I expressed myself poorly.

If I had said that "if only the '60s revolutionaries paid heed to Marcuse everything would be just hunky-dory", my comment WOULD be a bunch of crap. But that's not what I said. or meant to say, at least.

I read this article to say that the author preferred romantic revolution to the kind that recognizes, per Marcuse, "that capitalism, particularly american styled capitalism, is difficult to get out of your head." Marcuse's pessimism about the student movement was that he believed that the students thought it was too easy, that they were not really killing the fascist inside.

After 68, even staunch supporters of the students realized they hadn't gone deep enough; so that's what Deleuze/Guattari and Foucault and Derrida say too, by the way, that at the same time you kill the external fascist, you have to kill the fascist inside. Or else you've accomplished nothing. New boss, old boss ...

I don't think the choice is between romantic revolution, e.g., "Occupy" OR "Marcuse" (I put both in quotes because they stand for a type). I think it's a BOTH/AND. I LOVED what happened in Oakland the other day. I LOVE the Frankfurt School's critiques. We need both. The enemy is no simpleton, the enemy is pure evil, and (inside or outside) will not be brushed away.

My complaint with the article is that it seemed to me that the author was thumbs up to only one half the equation, and thumbs down to the other.

My feeling is if the kids had paid attention to their own impulses, and to Marcuse, and if Marcuse had paid attention to the student's impulses as well as to his own critique, things may have turned out much better. Or at the very least, not gone downhill so quickly.

You write about "the worries expressed by the OCCUPY movements is that once you codify your meaning that meaning can be easily coopted and marketed against the movement" - agreed absolutely - except everyone already knows what the demands are, really. They are codified, even if not in writing. I agree with them, entirely, even if they don't form any sort of consistency.

But I met a bunch of occupy people here at UCR (I was one of a group that invited them; they came from LA and Riverside). They don't seem to really know what they're up against. It's like the people in Oakland who were shocked that the police used violence against them.

I guess, all in all, I'm saying the author of the article you linked to seemed to feel that we needed to choose between OCCUPY and critiques of OCCUPY. I don't feel that way. And and and, not or or or, as Deleuze liked to say. *And* is the fascist killing word par excellence.

Again, sorry if I expressed myself poorly.

At 10:32 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...


just wrote you an email.

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Jim K. said...

around boston there is a complaint
that somebody took medieval lit.
and racked up 150K in debt and
why do they expect a job with that
or a loan

first instinct is to say...yeah, why
pay for what's useless

but take this dysfunction back 50
years....that degree would get a real corporate job...

heck, french lit. majors from
lib.arts were getting programming
jobs at DEC and Wang in 1980,
though...big dough
not now

when a company says (now) they
only want what they can use now
they list little details so nitty
as to be obsolete before you get
out of school...that's not real

what about someone who shows they
can learn?

the assumption that any buzzword
wanted should come from 2nd-ary
educ. is actually not realistic

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Jim K. said...

for pay pyramids and fast-deal
mgmt., people need to look at
their own investment money, how
the gambling urge feeds the
anti-competitive schemes

people changing their minds every
day about where their retirement $$
goes are driving a lot of this...
..the gambling trap

At 10:35 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...


you bring up an excellent point and something me and a coworker were talking about yesterday. my friend told me he'd been watching c-span book tv and there was an author whose latest tome evaluated what a degree is actually worth in the job market. science and engineering, particularly engineering, degrees get the big bucks while lib. arts degrees get you a job flipping burgers.

i told my friend that the criterias for what's needed in the job market is always changing. 10 years ago you could get yourself in hock for a computer science degree and expect to get a very good paying job. nowadays, those jobs are still available but not in any abundance.

my big beef: when the hell did colleges and universities become vocational schools? do we not go to school for an education? those very things like art, math, philosophy, literature, that elevate us and teach us to think critically? one can learn any job on the job. now, employers want a workforce ready-made for their needs but are unwilling to invest in their employees thru job training. instead, students rack up a shitload amount of debt in the form of student loans to get that training.

but my biggest beef is this question i used to get when i was in school: a writing degree? how can you do with that?


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