Love in a Time of Capital (Symposium) (Yale University) (May 8-9, 2014)

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About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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7 Responses to Love in a Time of Capital (Symposium) (Yale University) (May 8-9, 2014)

  1. dmseattle says:

    I am all for raising taxes on rich, for single-payer health care, for vigorous enforcement of environmental and labor laws — I am a liberal and I am for all good things.

    But I can’t stand the pomposity and pretense when so-called intellectuals use pointless words like “relationality” and “commodification.” Makes my skin crawl and it certainly does NOT give Congress any more reason to get off its butt and work.

    More BS, just like that nonsensical “Anthropocene Feminism” conference a few weeks ago.

    • zjb says:

      Oh, I don’t know. Intellectuals invent and use jargon to expand conceptual repertoire. “Relationality” and “commodification” are rather run of the mill by now.

      • dmseattle says:

        ūüôā Very true; it’s aging.
        But it is still jargon, cant — terms which discourage mass communication, which is the only way to change things unless one thinks that “students, workers and intellectuals” are going to rise up and take over the means of production and displace the running dog lackeys of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class.

      • zjb says:

        i can’t really disagree!!

    • dmf says:

      do you have a constructive example of a state-of-the art successful alternative method of how to move the masses and or congress to actually reform our current life crushing systems in a timely manner to share or are you just here to repeat the empty bellyaching rhetoric of so-called populist cant?

      • dmseattle says:

        NOTE: Somewhat repetitive below but I don’t have time to edit s

        That’s witty, dmf. As if ‚Äúrelationality‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúcommodification‚ÄĚ are effective ways to communicate with neanderthals (no offense) like Ted Cruz and Ron McConnell. And you think a populist (like Huey Long!) would even mention ‚Äúrelationality‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúcommodification‚ÄĚ? Sheesh. If you are going to criticize at least do it with some panache.As to effective ways — I don’t hear Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders using ‚Äúrelationality‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúcommodification‚ÄĚ and they are about the best we have.

        And speaking of which the very use of ‚Äúcommodification‚ÄĚ is an attempt to ‚Äúcommodify” — younger academics on the make use words like ‚Äúrelationality‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúcommodification‚ÄĚ in order to get ahead in their careers. They use obscure language as a way of “branding” themselves as trendy must-be-listened-to (and paid better) intellectuals who don’t use fancy-pants words.

        I am joking a bit about ‚Äúrelationality‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúcommodification‚ÄĚ but in fact the use of obscurantist language by academics is in fact very destructive as it separates the academy from ordinary Joe Sixpack guys (like me.)

        (You really see it in design/architecture talk where issues of the built environment can in fact be extremely amenable to popular control through zoning boards where people do have tremendous influence. But academic architects and “theorists” speak so that no one can have any influence — so they don’t have any, which is OK since they have nothing to say. You don’t even know who those people are because they are so rarified. You need a special handshake.)

        The use of “special handshake” language like ‚Äúrelationality‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúcommodification‚ÄĚ is a way for intellectuals to have their cake and eat it too. They get acclaim (and jobs) because of their “cutting edge” ideas but because they are obscure, they can be safely ignored by right-wing powers. “Let them in their play pen since they can’t be understood by anyone.” There is safety in obscurantism.

        If I were the Koch brothers I would be supporting academics who use language like ‚Äúrelationality‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúcommodification‚ÄĚ — for all I know, they do.

      • dmf says:

        I was referring to pomposity, intellectuals, and pretense (how do you assess their intentions/personalities?) you forgot to call them “elites”, the immensely complex and far-reaching problems that we have created with our technologies easily outstrip our social/psychological abilities to manage them and ourselves in relation to them.
        If good people like those valiant senators are all you have to offer as a solution than better to save your outrage and our time because they can’t even sway their fellow democrats/liberals in the congress let alone organize voting blocks that could get legislation passed (not that legislation would solve our problems but as I noted we don’t have any reasonable fixes at hand).

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