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69

Men of Doubt: Fortini, Benjamin, Brecht

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kind of cool I guess but no real takeaways

Leslie, E. (2018). Men of Doubt: Fortini, Benjamin, Brecht. Salvage, 6, pp. 69-82

74

The class struggle, which always remains in view for a historian schooled in Marx, is a struggle for the rough and material things, without which there is nothing fine and spiritual. Nevertheless these latter are present in the class struggle as something other than mere booty, which falls to the victor. They are present as confidence, as courage, as humor, as cunning, as steadfastness in this struggle, and they reach far back into the mists of time. They will, ever and anon, call every victory which has ever been won by the rulers into question.

from Theses on the Concept of History

—p.74 by Walter Benjamin 2 years, 3 months ago

The class struggle, which always remains in view for a historian schooled in Marx, is a struggle for the rough and material things, without which there is nothing fine and spiritual. Nevertheless these latter are present in the class struggle as something other than mere booty, which falls to the victor. They are present as confidence, as courage, as humor, as cunning, as steadfastness in this struggle, and they reach far back into the mists of time. They will, ever and anon, call every victory which has ever been won by the rulers into question.

from Theses on the Concept of History

—p.74 by Walter Benjamin 2 years, 3 months ago
80

The arcades, and the culture of consumerism these ushered in, is identified here as prerequisite of fascism, which cannot be understood without reference to capitalism, both in terms of its economic basis and in the way in which people are encouraged to conceive themselves, against all reality, as consumers and national masses, not workers and internationalists. At the same time, the arcades and other similar nineteenth-Century forms, such as railway stations, museums, exhibition halls, fizz with utopian promise, the promise of luxuries, of mobility, of knowledge. Benjamin is always alert to a dialectical switch in which the contemporary 'hell' of commodity production and capitalist society can be probed to reveal traces of hope, prefigurations of a communist society, but this is also the forging ground of a consumerist mentality that feeds fascism and an aestheticisation that amplifies the cultivation of myth. This is the ground on which fascism thrives. It goes both ways. Choices are to be made.

on Benjamin's Arcades Project. i really like the way this is written (esp the end0

—p.80 by Esther Leslie 2 years, 3 months ago

The arcades, and the culture of consumerism these ushered in, is identified here as prerequisite of fascism, which cannot be understood without reference to capitalism, both in terms of its economic basis and in the way in which people are encouraged to conceive themselves, against all reality, as consumers and national masses, not workers and internationalists. At the same time, the arcades and other similar nineteenth-Century forms, such as railway stations, museums, exhibition halls, fizz with utopian promise, the promise of luxuries, of mobility, of knowledge. Benjamin is always alert to a dialectical switch in which the contemporary 'hell' of commodity production and capitalist society can be probed to reveal traces of hope, prefigurations of a communist society, but this is also the forging ground of a consumerist mentality that feeds fascism and an aestheticisation that amplifies the cultivation of myth. This is the ground on which fascism thrives. It goes both ways. Choices are to be made.

on Benjamin's Arcades Project. i really like the way this is written (esp the end0

—p.80 by Esther Leslie 2 years, 3 months ago