JR Test Site News for 01-19-2018

“History! It’s the most fun you can have in school!”

How did the French Revolution embody the ideas of the Enlightenment? How did the Revolution contribute to French nationalism? “The essential cause of the French Revolution was the collision between a powerful rising bourgeoisie and an entrenched aristocracy defending its privileges.” Assess the validity of this statement as an explanation of the events leading up to the French Revolution of 1789. How did the changes in political power in the French Revolution from 1789-1799 reflect the social, political and economic aspirations of the bourgeoisie?Analyze the class conflicts that precipitated the French Revolution, the subsequent changes in political power and the resulting governments from 1789-1799.29. How were the values of the Enlightenment reflected in the different stages of the French Revolution?What reasons did members of different social and economic classes have to support or not support the French Revolution between 1789-1799?”The French Revolution lived up to its motto of ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’.” Assess the validity of this statement. Discuss three developments that enabled Great Britain to achieve a dominant economic position between 1700 and 1830.Identify features of the 18th century Agricultural Revolution and analyze its social and economic consequences. “The Romantic artist was inspired by his love of the French Revolution and his abhorrence of the Industrial Revolution.” Discuss this statement from the point of view of two different forms of art. Discuss the relationship between nationalism and liberalism in the continental Europeans revolutions of 1848. How did romanticism, nationalism and the Industrial Revolution affect government stability in mid 19th century England and on the continent?How did the Industrial Revolution, liberalism, romanticism, nationalism and the rise of the middle class combine to shape 19th century Europe?How did different patterns of industrialization lead to political, social and economic differences between Europe and England in the early 19th century?What factors in the first half of the 19th century lead to the rise of the middle class and the increasing isolation of England from the rest of Europe?Why was England able to institute social, political and economic reforms more peacefully than its continental counterparts?Contrast the impact of nationalism in Germany and the Austrian Empire from 1848-1914. To what extent and in what ways did the failure of reform and abortive revolution lead to the Revolution of 1917? Describe the economic, social and political conditions in Russia between 1881-1917 and how they laid the groundwork for the Bolshevik Revolution. How did feminist ideology and programs change from the period of the French Revolution to the beginning of the Second World War? Using the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917, discuss and analyze the nature and scope of the revolutionary tradition in modern Europe. Explain the origins and consequences of the “Price Revolution” which began late in the 15th century. Explain the role of the Agricultural Revolution in the early 18th century in the development of capitalism.

Keywords: [“Revolution”,”century”,”How”]
Source: http://docs.exdat.com/docs/index-134488.html?page=9

Theodor Adorno and “Negative Dialectics”

THEODOR ADORNO. AND. IDENTITY. Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno wrote their critique of the culture of Western civilization, Dialectic of Enlightenment during the Second World War. Perhaps it took the magisterial pessimism of Theodor Adorno in Negative Dialectics to articulate the true extent of the Fall of humanity outside the bounds of the Enlightenment. For some the experience in America was a satisfying one, for others, such as Adorno, his time in America was an “Exile.” Even though he became an American citizen, Adorno finally returned to Germany in 1949. If the Jews in Europe had been exterminated in the name of “Identity”-that is, they were identified as “The Other” through their yellow stars, then it was up to Adorno to explore the concept of non-identity. Later Jean-François Lyotard would use deconstruction married to Adorno to discuss the Holocaust in terms of what he called the differend and the forced silence of those who were outside the dialectic. For Adorno, the problems of the Enlightenment were caused by “Identity thinking”, or the subsuming of the particulars under general concepts or grand narratives. Like Benjamin who insisted on examining an object in its historical particularity, Adorno asserted that the danger of identity thinking could be averted through Negative Dialectics, which assesses relations among things according to the criteria the object had of itself. Adorno took up the Dialectic in order to negate the presumed progression from one term to the other. Most importantly, Adorno has eliminated the linear teleology of the Dialectic and once the possibility of progressive movement is negated within the constellation, the point of origin-Nothingness-is eliminated. The humanity of the Jews was “Forgotten,” because as Adorno said, “All reification is a forgetting” and even democratic countries produce forgetting through the culture industry. Throughout his career, Adorno never relaxed his hostility to “Affirmative cultures” and wrote Negative Dialectics, 1966 and explored the dark implications of Auschwitz for metaphysics and art. In Adorno and Horkheimer: Diasporic Philosophy, Negative Theology, and Counter-Education, Ilan Gur-Ze´ev wrote in 2005 that Horkheimer and Adorno broke with tradition and created a “Diasporic philosophy” which is “Nomadic.” Its starting point, he pointed out is the absence of truth. Such a world does not admit to contradictions that must be silenced by received wisdom or what Adorno called “Reified consciousness.” Reified thinking is almost a contradiction in terms for such a pattern of acceptance cannot change. In an abstract way that is also concrete and psychological, it is important for Adorno that one recognizes not just that which as been refused but also to come to terms with one’s guilt for having turned away from the contradictions within the dialectic. Adorno could foresee that the “Working through the past” would lead to exactly where it ended up twenty years after his death, in the “Historians’ Controversy.” His worst fears were realized when apologists attempted to “Normalize” the Holocaust and re-characterize it as part of larger historical patterns.

Keywords: [“Adorno”,”through”,”culture”]
Source: http://arthistoryunstuffed.com/theodor-adorno-and-negative-dialectics

JR Test Site News for 01-17-2018

Enlightenment and Its Critics by Nadia Bou Ali

The West Point of Capitalism

Writing to H. G. Wells in 1906, William James lamented “The moral flabbiness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess SUCCESS.” Alarmed by the devotion this deity elicited from his avid Harvard undergraduates, James diagnosed as “Our national disease” the “Squalid cash interpretation put on the word success.” Two years later, Harvard Business School opened its doors to its inaugural class of the divinity’s curates. Duff McDonald is savvier than James about the ways and ruses of the gilded goddess, but he leavens his remarkable history of Harvard Business School with a kindred outrage. A contributing editor at the New York Observer and a writer for Fortune, Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, and other periodicals, McDonald is one of the nation’s finest business journalists. In his sprawling and capacious new book he chronicles the nation’s most prestigious business school-sometimes referred to as “The West Point of capitalism”-with an engagingly ambivalent blend of admiration, effrontery, and cynicism. Tracing HBS from its exalted inception to its unabashedly mercenary present, McDonald provides a gargantuan case study in hubris and self-delusion. Like other business schools that were established at the time-Wharton at Penn, Tuck at Dartmouth, Sloan at MIT-HBS emerged from the crucible of the corporate reconstruction of American capitalism. As small proprietors were increasingly engulfed or eclipsed by corporations in the decades after the Civil War, economists and capitalists forged a new conception of business activity and education. In this view, HBS and other business schools taught the sophisticated, even recondite skills required for success in the brave new corporate world. While being transfigured into a “Profession,” business also morphed from the “Trucking and bartering” described by Adam Smith into a “Science” comparable to other bodies of knowledge with disciplinary protocols. At the same time, business leadership assumed a more mandarin, platonic countenance; more than a cadre defined by organizational prowess, it was seen to comprise the philosopher-managers of a prosperous corporate republic. As the school’s first dean, Edwin Gay, explained to trustees in 1909, “We believe there is science in business,” and HBS graduates would be men with “Breadth of view and an inclination for learning.” Harvard’s humanist ancien régime recoiled; business students, they feared, would pollute the groves of academe with their swinish avarice and careerism. As the literary critic John Jay Chapman scolded an HBS audience in 1924, it was “Vanity and ignorance” to think that a business school is anything more than “a school where you learn to make money.” But the sanctimonious fantasy of corporate management as the enlightened elite of capitalism persisted. Seeking to drape business in the raiment of professionalism, HBS employed the renowned “Case study” method-a compendium, as McDonald characterizes them, of “Sanitized versions of corporate heroism” that, in his view, impairs the ability of graduates to adapt quickly and deftly to changes in markets and technologies. In his seven-year stint at the helm of the war machine, McNamara supervised a carnage that claimed the lives of nearly sixty thousand Americans and millions of Vietnamese, a mass production of death and dispossession facilitated by the methods he learned at HBS. So was there really such a great metamorphosis? In his penetrating chapter on McNamara, McDonald attributes the war’s ferocious futility to the data-driven nescience of “Slide-rule commandos.” Oblivious to the elusive or unmeasureable-commitment, tenacity, or intrepidness, especially on the part of the Vietnamese-McNamara and his fellow technocrats of slaughter thought of war as a venture in statistical analysis, not unlike marketing at Ford.

Keywords: [“Business”,”HBS”,”War”]
Source: https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/west-point-capitalism

The Frankfurt School

Working at the Institut fur Sozialforschung in Frankfurt, Germany in the late 1920s and early 1930s, theorists such as Max Horkheimer, T.W. Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Leo Lowenthal, and Erich Fromm produced some of the first accounts within critical social theory of the importance of mass culture and communication in social reproduction and domination. Moving from Nazi Germany to the United States, the Frankfurt School experienced at first hand the rise of a media culture involving film, popular music, radio, television, and other forms of mass culture. Adorno’s analyses of popular music, television, and other phenomena ranging from astrology columns to fascist speeches, Lowenthal’s studies of popular literature and magazines, Herzog’s studies of radio soap operas, and the perspectives and critiques of mass culture developed in Horkheimer and Adorno’s famous study of the culture industries provide many examples of the Frankfurt school approach. In their theories of the culture industries and critiques of mass culture, they were among the first social theorists its importance in the reproduction of contemporary societies. The Frankfurt school theorists were among the first neo-Marxian groups to examine the effects of mass culture and the rise of the consumer society on the working classes which were to be the instrument of revolution in the classical Marxian scenario. The Frankfurt school focused intently on technology and culture, indicating how technology was becoming both a major force of production and formative mode of social organization and control. In the realm of culture, technology produced mass culture that habituated individuals to conform to the dominant patterns of thought and behavior, and thus provided powerful instruments of social control and domination. Victims of European fascism, the Frankfurt school experienced first hand the ways that the Nazis used the instruments of mass culture to produce submission to fascist culture and society. While in exile in the United States, the members of the Frankfurt school came to believe that American “Popular culture” was also highly ideological and worked to promote the interests of American capitalism. Freed from the mystification of high culture, Benjamin believed that media culture could cultivate more critical individuals able to judge and analyze their culture, just as sports fans could dissect and evaluate athletic activities. The Frankfurt School also provide useful historical perspectives on the transition from traditional culture and modernism in the arts to a mass-produced media and consumer society. Mass culture for the Frankfurt School produced desires, dreams, hopes, fears, and longings, as well as unending desire for consumer products. Thus, the Frankfurt school theory of the culture industry articulates a major historical shift to an era in which mass consumption and culture was indispensable to producing a consumer society based on homogeneous needs and desires for mass-produced products and a mass society based on social organization and homogeneity. Of course, media culture was never as massified and homogeneous as in the Frankfurt school model and one could argue that the model was flawed even during its time of origin and influence and that other models were preferable, such as those of Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer, Ernst Bloch, and others of the Weimar generation and, later, British cultural studies. The original Frankfurt school model of the culture industry did articulate the important social roles of media culture during a specific regime of capital and provided a model, still of use, of a highly commercial and technologically advanced culture that serves the needs of dominant corporate interests, plays a major role in ideological reproduction, and in enculturating individuals into the dominant system of needs, thought, and behavior.

Keywords: [“culture”,”mass”,”cultural”]
Source: https://pages.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/papers/fs.htm