This is why, according to Hersch, economic growth in our society, rather than reducing the frustrations of the middle classes has tended rather to exacerbate it. Only industrialization, in Hersch’s view, created unrealistic expectations because it permitted the population at large to enjoy many of the privileges that had once been reserved for the wealthy alone, like indoor plumbing, central heating, things like that. So people got this idea that oh, as we get richer, I’m someday going to be able to have all the things that wealthy people have today.
Many culture Jams are simply aimed at exposing questionable political assumptions behind commercial culture so that people can momentarily consider the branded environment in which they live. Culture jams refigure logos, fashion statements, and product images to challenge the idea of "what's cool," along with assumptions about the personal freedoms of consumption.
Carnival is a very ambiguous term, more often than not used by reactionaries. My God, if you need a carnival, today’s capitalism is a carnival. A KKK lynching is a carnival. A cultural critic, a friend of mine, Boris Groys, told me that he did some research on Bakhtin and that it became clear that when Bakhtin was producing his theory of carnival in the 1930s, it was the Stalinist purges that were his model: today you are on the Central Committee, tomorrow . . . With the dynamics of contemporary capitalism, the opposition between rigid State control and carnivalesque liberation is no longer functional. Here I agree with what Badiou said in the recent interview with you published in Il Manifesto: "those who have nothing have only their discipline." This is why I like to mockingly designate myself "Left-fascist" or whatever! Today, the language of transgression is the ruling ideology. We have to reappropriate the language of discipline, of mass discipline, even the "spirit of sacrifice," and so on. We have to do away with the liberal fear of "discipline," which they characterize—without knowing what they’re talking about—as "proto-fascist."
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