baehr

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The Society of the Spectacle, “the shell as hard as steel” and false consciousness.


Guy Debord:

“The parallel between ideology and schizophrenia drawn by Joseph Gabel in his False Consciousness should be seen in the context of this economic process of materialization of ideology. What ideology already was, society has now become. A blocked practice and its corollary, an antidialectical false consciousness, are imposed at every moment on an everyday life in thrall to the spectacle ­­ an everyday life that should be understood as the systematic organization of a breakdown in the faculty of encounter, and the replacement of that faculty by a social hallucination: a false consciousness of encounter, or an “illusion of encounter.” In a society where no one is any longer recognizable by anyone else, each individual is necessarily unable to recognize his own reality. Here ideology is at home; here separation has built its world. “


 Weberian “Shell as hard as steel”or “the iron cage”:

“The habitation of a steel shell implies not only a new dwelling for modern human beings, but a transformed nature; homo sapiens has become a different being, a degraded being. A cage deprives one of liberty, but leaves one otherwise unaltered, one’s powers still intact even if incapable of full realization. A shell, on the other hand, hints at an organic reconstitution of the being concerned; a shell is part of the organism and cannot be dispensed with.”


#1 Guy Debord- Society of the Spectacle 

#2  Baehr, Peter. 2001. “The “iron Cage” and the “shell as Hard as Steel”: Parsons, Weber, and the Stahlhartes Gehäuse Metaphor in the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”. History and Theory40 (2). [Wesleyan University, Wiley]: 153–69.

In the 1994 Little Women movie (With Winona Ryder) I remember Jo gleefully writing her thrillers, and Professor Baehr asking her why she wrote ~those things~ and she’s like “Dude, they sell” and he’s all “But you don’t really want to write these!”  Well, Jo’s author did.  So suck it, Baehr.
—  Smart Bitches Trashy Books, regarding A Long Fatal Love Chase
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