bourgeois decadence

This picture is from Mortimer Chamber’s The Western Experience, a pretty generic “Western Civ”-type textbook for college students. The painting (“Many Happy Returns of the Day”) is by one William P. Frith, and is supposed to communicate middle class/bourgeois domesticity in 19th century England. Frith apparently painted a lot of upstanding family scenes with moralistic overtones. He was married to Isabelle and had twelve children. At the very same time, down the road, he and his mistress, the sweet Mary Alford (his former ward), sired seven more children. Was this a first sign of bourgeois decadence? Discuss.

alt-right fascists: fuck sjws. especially those ugly manhating lesbians

sjws: fuck fascists. especially those ugly transmisogynistic lesbians

it reminds me of what i read about ww2 where nazis were calling homosexuality a “degeneracy of sexual Bolshevism” and communists were calling homosexuality a “bourgeois decadence” and “capitalist degeneration”. always painted as a social disease and as a result of bad politics.

the norwegian maoist party from the 1970s, akp (m-l) was wild as hell
  • they banned their members from listening to rock and encouraged everyone to start doing traditional norwegian folk dancing. Kids and students from the age of 16 to 25 actually arranged “folk dance events” where they spent their friday evening dancing
  • alcohol was completely prohibitated at all meetings, summer camps and parties.
  • they opposed all kinds of “bourgeois indoctrination” from establishment institutions to the point where they refused to accept the free sandwiches and coffee at student electoral meetings and came with their own thermoses
  • they were constantly afraid of being watched, so during some summer camp events theyd have everyone hide when planes and helicopters flew over in case they were being filmed
  • students were eventually strongly encouraged (ie forced if u want to avoid being excluded from the party) to drop out of university/high school to “self proletarize” and join factories. There are loads of stories of 18 year old girls being forced to become factory workers to radicalise the 35 year old men working there
  • they opposed lifting the sodomy laws because “homosexuality was a product of bourgeois decadence” and would vanish after the socialist revolution. the gay members were shocked when this decree suddenly came from the central committee
  • they openly supported pol pot until the mid 80s, calling the vietnamese invasion “fascist imperialism against the revolutionary government of khmer rouge”
  • despite all of this, this was actually the largest maoist party in western europe with thousands of members who made a real impact on norwegian politics
Sexual diversity exists, not everyone likes to do the same things, and people who have different sexual preferences are not sick, stupid, warped, brainwashed, under duress, dupes of the patriarchy, products of bourgeois decadence, or refugees from bad child-rearing practices. The habit of explaining away sexual variation by putting it down needs to be broken.
—  Gayle S. Rubin, “The Leather Menace” [1981] in Deviations (133)

“Imagine judging the Greeks by their philosophers, as Germans do, using petty bourgeois Socratism to try to learn what Hellenism is really all about! They were the decadent counter-movement to the ancient, noble taste! Socratic virtues were preached because the Greeks did not have them.”

—F. Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, “What I Owe The Ancients,” §3 (edited excerpt).

Same-sex sexual intercourse was "alternatively viewed as a remnant of bourgeois decadence, a sign of moral weakness, and a threat to the social and political health of the nation."

Very low-tier anarchist discourse is criticizing current ML(M) movements due to previous movements characterizing queer sexuality as “bourgeois decadence”. While of course the oppression of queer folk is indefensible today, we cannot fall victim to the (very non-materialist) hindsight bias of holding past Communist leaders to the same standards as we would today.

It was only relatively recently that public opinion towards homosexuality and other non-heteronormative forms of attraction became less stigmatized. And while I would like to think that Stalin, Mao, and other people who held this homophobic view would think differently were they exposed to modern culture and aware of the struggles queer people face, I unfortunately cannot assume that they would have followed in the steps of, say, Fidel Castro and owned up to their mistakes. I would really like to think that Mao’s focus on criticism, self-criticism, and the Mass Line would have ensured that his attitudes changed were he alive later, but again…

This brings me back to one major annoyance I have with some critiques of Leninist politics: namely that because the names of specific theorists are included in the ideology (e.g., Marx, Lenin, Mao), the ideology itself is reducible to the attitudes, feelings, and uncritically-accepted theories of these people, as opposed to having stemmed from and developed from them (Maoism has certainly developed beyond the theoretical contributions of Mao himself). It makes one wonder what people would say about modern anarchism had instead been termed, say, Proudhonism-Kropotkinism-Makhnovism.

anonymous asked:

I do not understand this blog's ardent support of homosexuality. Such activity was criminalized in the USSR from 1933 onward. The same was true for I think all of the other Warsaw Pact countries. The DDR viewed homosexual behavior as "a remnant of bourgeois decadence, a sign of moral weakness, and a threat to the social and political health of the nation." Friedrich Engels also criticized sodomy in some of his works. You seem to be simply pandering to so-called progressives in the West.

anonymous asked:

What are your thoughts on "normcore" do you think can really be called a style since the point of it is seems to be to look as plain as possible

imo “normcore” is as much a style as any other mode of dress adopted by individuals seeking to express their dissatisfaction with popular trends & find acceptance within a social group of like-minded people who communicate their shared discontent through visual cues. “normcore” cannot be thought of as a total rejection of fashion frivolousness & consumption—-[i paraphrase fred davis, “fashion, culture, and identity” 1992] the only modes of dress which are truly impervious to the ebb and flow of the fashion machine are what you would call “nonfashion” dress forms, (e.g. tribal, religious, and fetish costumes of leather & rubber enthusiasts, etc.) these “nonfashion” modes of dress operate completely out of orbit of fashion’s gravity, & through indifference remain unconcerned with reigning popular trends. “normcore” is a deliberate mode of dress arising from collective boredom with the near innumerable flash-in-the-pan, & frankly vapid trends that pop up every day in our rapidly accelerating, polymorphic western fashion culture (i.e., an “antifashion”).

[quote from “fashion, culture, and identity”] “The reasons for anitifashion would seem overdetermined. In some part it is, as already implied, a perhaps necessary device for fueling the motor of fashion itself; that is, it helps garner the symbolic materials whence fashion can attempt its next move forward. But this can occur only after antifashion has displayed its wares, so to speak. The prior questions remains: Why these wares at this time in this place?”

the above thought is interesting to me—i see the emergence of an antifashion subculture like “normcore” to mean the beginning of a real overhaul in the world of western fashion & dress. “normcore” is a slice of neutrality, the calm before the storm, if you will.

davis goes on to define antifashion “presumes a certain democracy of taste and display,” meaning antifashion can only incubate in a democratic environment (like ours). in a democracy where people with “distinctive collective identities” are allowed to group together & combine their tastes, we see antifashion-fashions develop & take hold and over time become absorbed into the mainstream fashion system. davis states that a large amount of antifashion originates in democracies “with those whose location in the social structure permits a measure of irresponsibility and some temporary suspension of major institutional commitments.”  in other words, among those who can “afford” (whether financially or socially) to curate their dress to reflect their collective dissatisfaction with popular trend (a kind of modern-era bourgeois decadence type thing). if you apply this thought to individuals who are serious proponents of “normcore” style i think it rings very true—(however davis does mention that this type of antifashion originator holds much less power than groupings of racial, ethnic, minority, occupational, & otherwise socially deviant individuals).

davis defines 5 different types of (generally) overlapping varieties of antifashion, one of which is “utilitarian outrage”. by outrage he means “maxims & aphorisms decrying the vanities of egoistic dress and adornments”. this “utilitarian outrage” mode of dress values “simplicity, functionality, and durability” over wasteful & frivolous trends. he discusses women’s “modular/surplice” dressing (loose fitting, simply styled, single color separates [tops, tunics, leggings, jumpsuits, pants] which combined in different ways can create whole new outfits) & the many attempts to make this style catch in the market—“needless to say, despite comfort, practicality, and comparative low-cost, modular dressing has not proved particularly successful in the marketplace.” now replace the rather specific definition of “modular dressing” with “normcore style” (i.e. plain clothes, nothing too form fitting, basic fabrics, duller colors, totally non-confrontational in every way). i like to think about why has this “plain” style of dress not become successful? logically it makes sense to wear simple clothes that can transition from one season to another with ease, & hold up physically to wear, so what’s the problem?? the answer to me is very complex, and not something that is able to be defined by one psychological motive alone——why we choose to dress ourselves in specific ways is a result of an infinitely branching web of influences, desires, tensions, interactions, & ambivalences pulled from our experiences as individuals in the world at large.

so yes, “normcore” is a style whether people like it or not.

I began to understand that the city intellectuals of the world were divorced from the folkbody blood of the land and were just rootless fools, the permissible fools, who really didn’t know how to go on living. I began to get a new vision of my own of a truer darkness which just overshadowed all this overlaid mental garbage of ‘existentialism’ and ‘hipsterism’ and ‘bourgeois decadence’ and whatever names you want to give it.
—  Jack Kerouac, Vanity of Duluoz (1968)