Monday, May 4, 2009


Okay, sorry about that last post.  The title stands corrected.  Alex Ross was just talking about this in The Rest is Noise.  Apparently that word is translated as acquiescence or consent, but literally means "thinking as one". You'll have to follow the link to read the page as cutting and pasting for quotes remains mired in the dark ages despite Google's best efforts. 

At any rate, the reference is to The Baden-Baden Lesson on Einverständnis a bit of musical theater composed by Brecht and Hindemith in 1929.  Ross contends that pieces of this era set the stage for nazism in evidencing a German desperation for conformity and community in between the wars. Sometimes I wonder how much use there is in seeing the most recent period of American history as our own special version of fascism.  It's easy to argue that there has been an extraordinary rise of the corporate-state, and a sort of resonance of these two forms of power.  Call it corruption or the predator state or whatever you want.  Call it the mechanism of fascism.  Consumer fascism. I think of the core of this mechanism as being the spontaneous centralization of power -- everyone's incentives line up and we march off to our mutual destruction selling each other houses and SUVs.  Strange how the atomization of society and the total breakdown of trust can go hand in hand with this sort of mass movement.

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