I think the idea of the social construction of beauty – this idea that beauty is simply whatever culture or society says it is – is on the run. Of course, beauty does arise in a cultural context. No one ever denies that. But there’s also a natural response people have to it.
There’s never been a culture without poetry in the history of the world.
Scandinavia was awash with Maoism in the ’70s. Sweden had Maoist groups with a combined membership and periphery of several thousand members, but it was Norway where Maoism became a genuine popular force and hegemonic in the culture.
Next time you open the paper, and you see an intellectual property decision, a telecoms decision, it’s not about something small and technical. It is about the future of the freedom to be as social beings with each other, and the way information, knowledge and culture will be produced.
Party and ideology routinely trump institutional interests and responsibilities. Regular order – the set of rules, norms and traditions designed to ensure a fair and transparent process – was the first casualty. The results: No serious deliberation. No meaningful oversight of the executive. A culture of corruption.
However muted its present appearance may be, sexual dominion obtains nevertheless as perhaps the most pervasive ideology of our culture and provides its most fundamental concept of power.
The consumerist culture insists that swearing eternal loyalty to anything and anybody is imprudent, since in this world new glittering opportunities crop up daily.
All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.
Creativity is putting your imagination to work, and it’s produced the most extraordinary results in human culture.
Everything the Beats stood for was the opposite of the dominant culture today.