After the second world war, a few privileged Americans developed a brilliant formula for building an unimaginably huge economy:
[Our economy] demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption. The measure of social status, of social acceptance, of prestige, is now to be found in our consumptive patterns […] We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced, and discarded at an ever increasing pace. We need to have people eat, drink, dress, ride, live, with ever more complicated and, therefore, constantly more expensive consumption.
~American retail analyst Victor Lebow (hat tip to reader Anna for this)
This is very-high-level marketing, and it has formed most of the developed world around you.
Using the television as their primary tool, very-high-level marketers have managed to create a nation of people who typically:
Why are Women Devouring Fifty Shades of Grey? - Gail Dines, professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College in Boston. (via mehreenkasana)
Having not read it that helps me to understand this craze a lot better
nice blend/picture of gender, power (wealth, violence, structure), patriarchy and popular culture
The current model of “class-mobility” reinforces separatism and a class-hierarchy because it posits that in order to escape oppression, one must become an oppressor – and universities do not merely mediate the boundary between professional and laborer, they teach the body of knowledge, the worldview, the values that mark a person as professional, as “belonging” to the middle- or upper-class.
Universities teach us to renounce our sense of identification with the poor; they teach us this by mainly ignoring the existence of poor people and by treating us as “other” when we do become the subject of discussion. Universities teach us not to care too much, because it will undermine our professional role. Universities teach that we are separate from where we came from, that we are “qualified” (which suggests our families and peers are not), that we are justified in having power over people, in speaking for the subjects of our study. Universities teach us that we are “too good” to wait tables and clean houses, with the implication that those who do those jobs are “not good enough” to deserve better.
Poor people tend to see university as a way out for their kids, but university is also a way in to the class of people whose success is premised on the oppression of the poor…For a kid to become educated meant that he or she would live an easier life that was premised on the oppression and invisibility of the very communities s/he came from.
-Megan Lee: “Maybe I’m Not Class-Mobile; Maybe I’m Class-Queer”, from the anthology Feminism For Real: Deconstructing The Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism. Quoted at Racialicious, March 8, 2011.
This spoke to me deeply. I’m not sure if I agree with every bit of it- and I certainly want to read the full essay- but it’s definitely opening up my mind.
“[Attorney general Anand] Ramlogan said citizens’ rights are not suspended during a State of Emergency, but rather the police’s powers are bolstered.
“‘It is not that your Constitutional rights are suspended,’ he said.”
— “Cops can arrest without charge”, by Andre Bagoo;
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, 23 August, 2011
“Ramlogan said the public’s constitutional rights have not been suspended in the situation.”
— “The war is on …”, by Gail Alexander;
Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, 23 August, 2011
“Ramlogan said in the last nine years the country was in an ‘undeclared state of emergency’ and people have used self-imposed curfews to stay safe.”
— “AG vows to make country safe again”, by Renuka Singh;
Trinidad Express, 22 August, 2011