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91

All That Is Solid Melts into Air: Marx, Modernism and Modernization

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terms
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notes

Berman, M. (2001). All That Is Solid Melts into Air: Marx, Modernism and Modernization. In Berman, M. Adventures in Marxism. Verso, pp. 91-152

145

I have been arguing that those of us who are most critical of modern life need modernism most, to show us where we are and where we can begin to change our circumstances and ourselves. In search of a place to begin, I have gone back to one of the first and greatest of modernists, Karl Marx. I have gone to him not so much for his answers as for his questions. The great gift he can give us today, it seems to me, is not a way out of the contradictions of modern life but a surer and deeper way into these contradictions. He knew that the way beyond the contradictions would have to lead through modernity, not out of it. He knew we must start where we are: psychically naked, stripped of all religious, aesthetic, moral halos and sentimental veils, thrown back on our individual will and energy, forced to exploit each other and ourselves in order to survive; and yet, in spite of all, thrown together by the same forces that pull us apart, dimly aware of all we might be together, ready to stretch ourselves to grasp new human possibilities, to develop identities and mutual bonds that can help us hold together as the fierce modern air blows hot and cold through us all.

this is pretty and kinda accelerationist, weirdly

—p.145 by Marshall Berman 6 years, 2 months ago

I have been arguing that those of us who are most critical of modern life need modernism most, to show us where we are and where we can begin to change our circumstances and ourselves. In search of a place to begin, I have gone back to one of the first and greatest of modernists, Karl Marx. I have gone to him not so much for his answers as for his questions. The great gift he can give us today, it seems to me, is not a way out of the contradictions of modern life but a surer and deeper way into these contradictions. He knew that the way beyond the contradictions would have to lead through modernity, not out of it. He knew we must start where we are: psychically naked, stripped of all religious, aesthetic, moral halos and sentimental veils, thrown back on our individual will and energy, forced to exploit each other and ourselves in order to survive; and yet, in spite of all, thrown together by the same forces that pull us apart, dimly aware of all we might be together, ready to stretch ourselves to grasp new human possibilities, to develop identities and mutual bonds that can help us hold together as the fierce modern air blows hot and cold through us all.

this is pretty and kinda accelerationist, weirdly

—p.145 by Marshall Berman 6 years, 2 months ago

(noun) a sworn adherent / (noun) devotee / (noun) a devoted admirer / (noun) a devout or zealous worshipper / (noun) a staunch believer or advocate

145

Orpheus, Narcissus and Dionysus - and Baudelaire and Rilke, whom Marcuse sees as their modern votaries.

—p.145 by Marshall Berman
confirm
6 years, 2 months ago

Orpheus, Narcissus and Dionysus - and Baudelaire and Rilke, whom Marcuse sees as their modern votaries.

—p.145 by Marshall Berman
confirm
6 years, 2 months ago