Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

The Blindfolded Scaffolding Begins to Unfold

The Blindfolded Scaffolding Begins to Unfold We sense too little for the process of containment to unfold. Yet phenomenologists focus on early representations from the scaffolding for subsequent events in front of the now not-blindfolded infants. Infants looked at longer aspects of the psychoanalytic scaffolding: how reverie can be and is being a weird kind […]

Profit and the disposable population

The cleric Th. Chalmers, in the otherwise in many respects ridiculous and repulsive work… has correctly struck upon this point, ‘Profit,’ says the same Chalmers, ‘has the effect of attaching the services of the disposable population to other masters, besides the mere landed proprietors, . . . while their expenditure reaches higher than the necessaries […]

War, Waste, and the Myth of Progress

War, Waste, and the Myth of Progress In the introduction to One-Dimensional Man, Herbert Marcuse listed four authors — Vance Packard, C. Wright Mills, William H. White, and Fred J. Cooks — whose works were of “vital importance” to his analysis. In the text, he mentioned “the affluent society” several times, which, of course, was the […]

Never Mind Schrödinger’s Cat, Here’s David Bohm’s Dream

Never Mind Schrödinger’s Cat, Here’s David Bohm’s Dream I’ve had dreams of all sorts from time to time, but I don’t remember them too well. There was one dream that had a sort of philosophical content. I dreamt I was in a place that had a cat. I came into the room where this cat […]

Expressions that pass from hand to hand like sealed containers…

Expressions that pass from hand to hand like sealed containers… In Herbert Marcuse and Planned Obsolescence I undertook to develop a theoretical foundation for ‘planned obsolescence’ from Georg Simmel’s analysis of the “preponderance of objective culture over subjective culture that developed during the nineteenth century.” My intuition has proved to be uncannily prescient. Besides the indirect influence […]

Herbert Marcuse and Planned Obsolescence

Herbert Marcuse and Planned Obsolescence “Our whole economy is based on planned obsolescence, and everybody who can read without moving his lips should know it by now. We make good products, we induce people to buy them, and then next year we deliberately introduce something that will make those products old fashioned, out of date, […]

Writing about free time

“What they create [in their free time] has something superfluous about it.” I am finding it difficult to proceed with writing about free time because I am not having enough opportunity to talk out these questions with people in person. (Comments on Sandwichman’s post over at Econospeak is worth a thoughtful pause and and consideration…Dan)

The Arctic Hare and Walter Benjamin’s program for a proletarian children’s theater

The Arctic Hare and Walter Benjamin’s program for a proletarian children’s theater The hare was a child so badly treated and offended by the other people because he had such long ears that he went off to live alone. When he sees someone, he puts his ears back; for when he hears a man’s call, […]

How intelligence was distributed among the animals

How intelligence was distributed among the animals Illustration by Tom Seidmann-Freud In the beginning, none of the animals was endowed with intelligence. When they saw a hunter coming towards them who wanted to kill them, they stopped, looked at him, and were shot. So our Lord sent someone who put all the senses in a […]

Yet another one of those Matadors

Yet another one of those Matadors  Adorno’s metaphor of the “matadors of the culture industry” didn’t fall out of the sky. Nearly four decades earlier — sometime between 1931 and 1933 — he had written several short pieces, one of which was titled “Applause.”  I came across mention of it when I was looking to […]