rate fetish: the price is right

…Leopards break into the temple and drink to the dregs what is in the sacrificial pitchers; this is repeated over and over again; finally it can be calculated in advance, and it becomes part of the ceremony. Kafka, Parables and Paradoxes

How did we get into this mess and how do we climb out? Do these events happen by chance? It has been argued by some that the Occupy movement has matured and radicalized since last summer’s protests, but has the discourse of social protest and its objectives actually, and ironically been working in tandem with the current financial structure and political establishment in the quest for tilting to the ideology of the social welfare state? Maybe all these captains like Bob Diamond, Blankfein are really straw men; focusing on the neo-liberal template seems to hide and seclude the colonial nature of the system complete with all the mechanisms and state apparatus which function non-democratically and no matter who is sitting  in the Oval Office….

Harry Joy photography. Read More:http://www.blackandwhitephotography.ca/harryjoy/content/AHJ_023_large.html

And those marginalized and disadvantaged seem even complicit in accepting their status and the parasitical behavior that often accrues to it. The new rash of “show trials” on the financial system seems to give the impression of dissenters and reformers maintaining the political status quo while marginally bettering the socioeconomic condition of those who seem to already benefit from it…

(see link at end) The day before he stepped down, Mr Diamond struck a defiant note in a lengthy memo to Barclays’ staff. “We all know these events are not representative of our culture,” he wrote. Alongside such assertions were statements that suggested Mr Diamond had not yet grasped the seriousness of the charges made against his firm. British and American regulators found that traders had frequently asked Barclays’ money-market desk to doctor the borrowing rates reported to the panel that set LIBOR in ways that favoured their trading book. In his memo Mr Diamond protested that “on the majority of days, no requests were made at all” and “the requests were not always accepted by the submitter”. This is rather like an adulterer defending his actions by saying that on some days he was faithful to his wife.

Mr Diamond’s sense of persecution is not unfounded. His rise to the top spot at Barclays (with his extravagant pay) was a provocation to British politicians, who want to quarantine retail banks from the racier investment-banking arms.Read More:http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2012/07/barclays-and-libor-scandal?page=2

—“By slaying the subject, reality itself becomes lifeless,” Adorno said, that is, merely appearance, as Debord would say. For Adorno the social result is pervasive indifference (including esthetic indifference), the final manifestation of alienation and dehumanizarion. But the capitalist spectacle, however life-negating as Debord argued, and reifying as Adorno said of the culture industry that produces it, is constructed of appearances, and if the spectacle can convince us that appearance is reality, implying that we can never experience anything but appearances ….Read More:http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/kuspit/art-and-capitalist-spectacle2-8-11.asp image:http://tranceworldnow.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/mae-west-quotes/

It’s hard not to take the LIBOR scandal as entertainment. Mass culture. It does recall the Adorno thesis that the logic of modern capitalism, its intrinsic nature is to de-skill labor and dumb people down, before starting a new cycle; crucially, it results in a world where the individual has great difficulty separating the real world and a parallel, illusory world which has been fabricated by the industry of culture. To Adorno and Max Horkheimer, this is a state of false consciousness which masks a reality of domination, even oppression under a capitalist system with the role of mass communication to spread consumer propaganda which shapes people into accepting their sort.

—The cultural industry creates predetermined ideologies and messages through art (radio, TV, music, film, and other forms of mass media) that socially control and condition mass audiences to obey the established social structure, which subsequently, maintains a capitalist economy for those at the top of Marx’s hierarchical superstructure. This process, in association with a political governing body moderating such norms/standards, is exemplified in almost every social structure. Through manufacturing the desire and need for ‘art’ and entertainment” the industry is able to assign ideological codes and meanings into these commodities. Through constant repetition and by creating an atmosphere of social influence and pressure through all mediums, the culture industry hypnotizes the unknowing masses, who are “helpless victims” to what is imposed on them.—Read More:http://www8.georgetown.edu/centers/cndls/applications/postertool/index.cfm?fuseaction=poster.display&posterID=3826 image:http://vintagevivant.com/2011/02/23/gangsters-molls-inspiration/

They are in part right; all these financial wheeler-dealers to use a less toxic description, are reflective of Adorno’s emphasis on sameness and homogeneity while at the same time not accounting for the present tendency of the “rebel sell” rampant individualism and unbridled diversity being used as market segmentation wedge. Also, they do not seem to account for the sometimes resistance that arises within the forms and institutions of pop consumer culture. But then, maybe all these rebels and personalities conform to the conventions of the genre as well. In short, as critics, witnesses and actors, all are striving for a semblance of authenticity which seems badly wanting….

—There needs to be a societal hierarchy and assigned social roles/positions in order for the system of cultural industry to function. This structure serves as a balance, suffering and success; there is this social desire for an opportunity – a planned opportunity. The idea of individuality thereby can be regarded as a myth, as we are instead, conditioned characters to serve a larger social role for a specific purpose. —Read More:http://www8.georgetown.edu



He believed that the enlightening role of reason had degenerated in late-capitalist society into mere positivism. Blind trust in the increasing domination of nature through technical progress and the elevation of economic sense to the ultimate goal meant that people were becoming the executive organs of capitalistic ends and objects of bureaucracy. These thought processes are reminiscent of Hegel and Marx – the suggestion of a strictly ideology-critical reflection, however, is anti-idealistic and oriented to the realities of human life: ultimately, the objective of critical theory is a fair society and a “reconciliation” of man and nature. This brought Horkheimer great popularity among the 1968 movement, as did his analysis of the correlation between capitalism and fascism. Fascism, he claimed, is a kind of perpetuation or upholding of capitalism by totalitarian means. Horkheimer said: “Anyone who does not wish to talk about capitalism, however, should also keep quiet on the subject of fascism.” Read More:http://www.goethe.de/ges/pok/dos/dos/wdp/ges/en3039673.htm

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