• those moments of existential hyperbole where you look at something and shamelessly invest it with so much reverence, meaning, and value that your contrived bewilderment by it so thoroughly masks your own shameless romanticization of naturellements actually succeeds for a long time in forestalling the dismal cynicism of acknowledging human tendencies: it is this, I strive, to accomplish doing in an intentional state of sobriety.
Some super intense clouds outside work today
Any science is based upon the special nature of that which it has made its object through its methods of objectifying. The method of modern science is characterized from the start by a refusal: namely, to exclude all that which actually eludes its own methodology and procedures. Precisely in this way it would prove to itself that it is without limits and never wanting for self-justification. Thus it gives the appearance of being total in its knowledge and in this way provides a defense behind which social prejudices and interests lie hidden and thus protected. One need only think of the role of experts in contemporary society and of the way economics, politics, war, and the implementation of justice are more strongly influenced by the voice of experts than by the political bodies that represent the will of the society.
"The representation of a social milieu onstage which compare to their own situation and status facilitates audience identification, which in bourgeois dramatic practice, turns out to be more a socialization than a psychologization of the stage.
The identification doctrine is in the first instance a social mechanism that functions to admit and exclude spectators. The mechanism can be exploited for pedagogical purposes.
The bourgeois is given an opportunity to enhance his social self-representation. [….] He learns, by understanding, what Erving Goffman terms the “presentation of the self in everyday life”. To accumulate symbolic capital, he requires guidance and models of behavior. He must learn ways to represent his professional diligence, his earnestness, the love he feels for and from his family, his morality, reliability, and so on.” — G. Gebauer & C Wulff, Mimēsis p167-168 (1992)
thewomanofkleenex: I believe this touches tangentially upon what you were musing the other day; however, what is being elaborated here is a social capital of another sort—that of an *ascending* class in 18th c. Europe which seeks new avenues of representation, and used the theater to do so.
Those symbols of class identification you identify—’tastes’, expressions of consumer choices, cultivations of particular habits etc—are signifiers, and as signifiers (as money is a kind of signifer of a particular universalized quantum of value) they function both to identify what *you* identify (self-represent) as, and which also operate as a kind of currency in the relevant social spheres.
So the question you posed to jakke—whether, in the context of the decline of other relevant, more conventional capital, this would ascend in importance—seems to me to be a resounding yes. (Partially, this is because I have not taken literally as jakke did the notion of “no growth” applying everywhere and to all sectors of the economy; in questions of your kind there is always a social subtext and implicit bracketing-out of what’s not considered relevant to the asker.)
My reason for this ‘yes’ is in my assumption that capital will exhaust all avenues it can in the pursuit of valorization, including in exceeding the boundaries of its own symbolic representation (ie money)—the establishment of which as a universally-recognized form I realise is a prerequisite to its spread in the first place. But at a certain point, under that condition, those avenues are likely to maximized, and as we see with examples such as Bitcoin and philanthrocapitalism (buying social capital among the public via ‘noble pursuits’ and exchanging it), I am somewhat certain that more abstract forms of capital will come to be used in the pursuit of that logic to its maximal extent.
In fact, the situation your question points to is already visible and has been in circulation for quite some time, but the question of whether it will gain in importance will probably be answered in reference to the balance of value of things like education, actual job availability, degree of social stratification etc and would vary from country to country. Ja?
Aaaaand I have a buyer for #17.
the older you get = the more depressing your “Summer Jams!!!” playlist becomes
my weekend begins tomorrow afternoon, and i’m about 75% sure it will also mark my 5th sunburn some time in the next 2 days
Piketty and Zucman have a new working paper out and it’s a really interesting and important read.
TL;DR is that more and more of the total economic output in rich countries is being accumulated as wealth in a way that hasn’t happened in over a hundred years. This is probably due to slowing productivity and population growth, rather than everyone waking up and deciding they want to save more money. Obviously has massive implications in terms of investment taxation and regulation in the long run.
But holy eff I cannot get over this graph that shows the distribution of US wealth over time. In the early part of that graph, human slaves are one of the single largest sources of wealth. Like, the proportion of total wealth from the ownership of slaves was higher than the proportional of total wealth from the ownership of housing during the housing bubble. And things worked this way for decades.
So by and large, this is how American wealth was initially accumulated - by kidnapping and imprisoning Africans and forcing them to work and claiming ownership of the output of the labour. Not even an exaggeration there. It’s just really jarring to actually see data on it.
I has a q
If all sections are going up equally, does that mean Americans are getting ‘richer’? This is mostly unrelated to anything involving inflation, ja?
Re-reblogging because I just realized that we’ve already acquainted ourselves with Piketty
so I’m sitting in the allergist/immunologist’s office and they don’t have kleenex here