ads without products

Archive for September 18th, 2009

cross your fingers

with 4 comments

Henri Lefebvre in the second volume of The Critique of Everyday Life:

Up until now, one of the great paradoxes of the twentieth century has been that capitalist economy has apparently taken the form of a “pleasure economy.” Like a caricature of itself, this economy some times goes so far as to become organized waste. Since it conceals the economy of power while organizing, controlling and pulverizing pleasure, it is a form of mystification. In fact, as regards quantity and quality, it is very restricted. In a contradictory way it arouses many needs and desires, some artificial, the rest unsatisfied. Satisfaction is characterized by accident and contingency. It is “a stroke of good fortune”, a windfall, a happy piece of luck. In so far as the words mean anything, joy and happiness consist of a series of favourable encounters and chances. Freedom, so frequently exalted, is no more than the skill of making the most of luck and chance…. This explains the importance of luck and chance both in the highest theoretical thinking and in the ideologies some extremely unsophisticated people adopt and “live” on a practical basis.

The last line is a zinger. Sometimes it seems to be that the left-philosophical / theoretical tradition as a whole placed its chips on black when it should have been red, chance and contingency when it should have gone with the opposite of those things (patient waiting? slow building?). As a result, it learned only to dream permissible dreams, became fascinated by the very dynamics of a system that it would replace.

Written by adswithoutproducts

September 18, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Posted in lefebvre