Friday, April 24, 2009

Civilization discontents

Further to the Ballard connected comments at Dark Patrons, this from a substantial essay by Terry Eagleton:
The kind of automated, built-in consent [advanced capitalism] seeks from its citizens does not depend all that much on what they believe. As long as they get out of bed, roll into work, consume, pay their taxes, and refrain from beating up police officers, what goes on in their heads and hearts is mostly secondary. Advanced capitalism is not the kind of regime that exacts much spiritual commitment from its subjects. Indeed, zeal is more to be feared than encouraged. That is an advantage in “normal” times, since demanding too much belief from men and women can easily backfire. But it is much less a benefit in times of political tumult.

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