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Lefebvre-The Bureaucratic Society of Controlled Consumption

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  • 1. Everyday Life in the Modern World The Bureaucratic Society of Controlled Consumption Henri Lefebvre
  • 2.
    • Contents:
    • - Coherence and Contradiction
    • - The Roots of Unrest
    • - A stroll through the land of make-believe
    • A few subsystems
  • 3. Key words: Consumption, Production, Material needs, Satisfaction, Bureaucratic society, Unconscious, Make-believe, Quotidian, Reproduction, Capitalist System, Publicity, Obsolescence
  • 4. ** Lefebvre: - Understand EDL through a philosophical perspective. - Criticizes the function of the society of consumption , which considers creative ability as unimportant . - Considers that the population must free itself from its quotidian. - Emphasizes that the population is unconsciously reproducing roles imposed on them by the dominant classes. - Stresses how capitalist system of production creates imaginary needs - Criticizes the bureaucratic approach.
  • 5. French Industrial Revolution Development of urbanization Acceleration of consumerism Evolution of modern capitalism Everyday life
  • 6.
    • Suggestions for realizing the possibilities of this society.
    • A whole perceptible to reason, which is incapable of becoming permanent, avoiding history and change
    • A specific cause, society ruled and administered by a class, the bourgeoisie, possessing the means of production
    • A form perceptible to understanding: exchange value with an unlimited capacity for expansion
    • A social structure, mediating between the base (organization and division of labour)
    • A coherent language answering at one and the same time the needs of practical experience
    • Specific contradictions
    Marx- Das Kapital:
  • 7. Categorization of Society: Functions= institutions Structures= groups and strategies Forms= Systems and channels, media of information, censorship etc.
  • 8. Today ideologies have changed and they bear names such as functionalism, formalism, structuralism, operationalism or scientism; they parade as non ideologies in order to merge more readily with the imagination; they disguise the basic fact- or factual basis- that everything stems from everyday life which in turn reveals everything, or in other words, that the critical analysis of everyday life reveals everything because it takes everything into account.
  • 9. - Everyday life, when properly organized, provides a closed circuit of (production-consumption-production), where demands are foreseen because they are encouraged. * The only way to stop the circuit from closing is to conquer the quotidian, attack it and transform it by making use of another form of strategy.
  • 10.
    • The history of everyday life:
    • Styles
    • Death of styles and birth of culture
    • The establishment and the consolidation of everyday life,
  • 11. “ Science should not be entitled to provide intellectuals, technicians and highly officials with a clear conscience- not an inconvenient commodity and highly quoted on the market- for there is nothing worse than a clear conscience that has been rationalized, institutionalized and bureaucratized by science ; we have no qualms in asserting that it is the rotten fruit on the tree of science.”
  • 12. Needs are seen as clearly defined gaps , neatly outlined hollows to be stopped up and filled in by consumption and the consumer, until satiety is achieved. Satisfaction-dissatisfaction , both states being produced by similar manipulations.
  • 13. * Obsolescence of needs should be taken into consideration, for those who manipulate objects to make them less durable, needs must become outdated and new needs take their place; this is the strategy of desire .
  • 14. * Productive power is such that it would now already be possible to achieve an extreme fluidity of existence, of objects, dwellings, towns and of “living” so that real life need not still stagnate in everyday life. Obsolescence uses transitoriness as a means of exploiting everyday life.
  • 15. Society has rational aims and pretensions however irrationality thrives and prospers like witchcraft, fortune teller, horoscopes etc. -Perhaps they hope in this roundabout way to adapt their desires, discover and orient them . -A zone of ambiguity is established half way between belief and make-believe . -Man’s adaptation to his desire is arrested mid way between the real and the possible, between experience and make-believe.
  • 16. -Escapism is inevitable between the contradiction of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. -Tourist organizations, institutionalism, programming, setting in motion of vast controlled migrations save satiety. -Festivals
  • 17.
    • Social make-believe
    • Womens magazines: experience and make- believe merge in a manner conducive to the reader’s utter bewilderment.
    • *** Advertisements inform about the structured and defined life style, which strengthen the connection of individuals with social life, which lead them to a symbolic consuming.
    • Ads and publicity lead us on what to wear, where to live etc.
  • 18. * Publicity is based on the imaginary existence of things; it evokes them and involves a rhetoric and a poetry superimposed on the art of consuming and inherent in its image.
  • 19. * As soon as the quotidian is presented as a system, it collapses and is seen to be meaningless, a collection of non-meanings, to which we try to append a meaning; indeed everyday insignificance can only be meaningful when transformed into something other than everyday life. It is not possible to construct a theoretical and practical system such that the details of everyday life will become meaningful in and by this system. -There is no system because there are so many sub-systems situated, as we have seen, not within a single system but at different levels of reality. -The only system sufficiently comprehensive to be worthy of the name is the system of substitutes , which upholds a system that only exist in words.
  • 20.
    • Sub-systems:
    • A distinct and specialized social activity ; objectives corresponding to this activity, classifiable
    • Organizations and institutions
    • Texts , that ensure the communication of activity, the participation of its organizing actions.
  • 21. -A car is not merely a material object with certain technical advantages, a socio-economic means and medium involving demands and compulsions. -It brings up a hierarchy, determined by size, cost, power, performance etc. -It is a status symbol, it is consumed as a sign in addition to its practical use.
  • 22. -Publicity describes objects intended for a specific use and possessing a trade value, in a manner such as to induce the consumer to buy. -To inform, to describe and provoke desire, promising happiness, the happiness of being a consumer.
  • 23. - Publicity represent a whole attitude of life. - Manipulates you on how to life, how to dress, how to exist; you are thoroughly programmed yet you still have to choose between so many good things.
  • 24. Gündeliklik , donuk bir yaşamsal gerçekliğin temsili değil, devingen yaşamsal deneyimlerin, sürekli eskime ve yenilenmenin, yabancılaşma yı ortadan kaldıracak farklı perspektifleri mümkün kılacak düşünme ve direnme biçimlerinin de döngüsel olarak yaşandığı bir yer ve karmaşık bir nesnel gerçeklikler alanıdır. Düşünce yoluyla eleştirilebilecek bir gerçeklik olan gündeliklik, eleştirel bakış açılarının ısrarcı ve sarsıcı gücüyle yaşamsal gerçekliği değiştirebilir. * “ Gündelik yaşamdaki devrim ”le kastettiği şey, bireyin kendi yaşamını bir yapıt olarak kurgulayıp yaşaması; gündelik yaşamsal deneyimin sürekli bir eleştirel tutumla zenginleştirilmesi ve gündelik pratiklere egemen kılınması durumudur.
  • 25. Modernlik , gündelikliğin durağanlığını ve açmazlarını damgalarken aynı zamanda telafi eder, kendini macera tutkusundan yoksun bırakmaz. “ Bürokratik olarak yönlendirilmiş tüketim toplumu” ise bu tutkuyu yinelenen ruitnler ve kalıplaşmış değer ve pratikler Içinde boğmuştur.
  • 26. *** Lefebvre’in önerileri -Dünyanın etik açıdan iyileştirilmesine odaklanır. - Gündelik yaşamın yabancılaşmamış ve yaratıcı etkinliklerin alanı olarak yeniden kavramsallaştırılması - Gündelik pratikler, toplumsal yaşamın yeniden üretiminde hayati bir öneme sahiptir. - Pratikleri medyatik baştan çıkarmanın etkisinden kurtarmak, direnme gücünü yeniden ayaklandırmaktan geçmektedir. - Medyatik sistem: buyurgan, yabancılaştırıcı - “ Dönüşmeyi, başkalaşmayı ” istemek gerekmektedir. - Düşünsel açıdan yeniden kurgulanmalı.