June 11, 2016 § Leave a comment
For me the intellectual appeals to (rather than excoriates) as wide as possible a public, who is his or her natural constituency. The problem for the intellectual is not so much, as [John] Carey discusses, mass society as a whole, but rather the insiders, experts, coteries, professionals who in the modes defined earlier this century by pundit Walter Lippmann mold public opinion, make it conformist, encourage a reliance on a superior little band of all-knowing men in power. Insiders promote special interests, but intellectuals should be the ones to question patriotic nationalism, corporate thinking, and a sense of class, racial or gender privilege.
(from Introduction, p.xiii)
November 30, 2014 § Leave a comment
Unless an actor is satisfied to be a parrot or a monkey he must master our period’s knowledge of human social life by himself joining the war of the classes. Some people may feel this is degrading, because they rank art, once the money side has been settled, as one of the highest things; but mankind’s highest decisions are in fact fought out on earth, not in the heavens; in the ‘external world’, not inside people’s heads. Nobody can stand above the warring classes, for nobody can stand above the human race. Society cannot share a common communication system so long as it is split into warring classes. Thus for art to be ‘unpolitical’ means only to ally itself with the ‘ruling’ group.
— Bertolt Brecht
October 2, 2014 § Leave a comment
is it not the supreme and most insidious exercise of power to prevent people, to whatever degree, from having grievances by shaping their perceptions, cognitions, and preferences in such a way that they accept their role in the existing order of things, either because they can see or imagine no alternative to it, or because they see it as natural or unchangeable, or because they value it as divinely ordained and beneficial?
(Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, p. 28)