All posts tagged: Capitalism

i-Solation

  By Saswat Pattanayak The association of loneliness with personal is based on a lingering myth. Far from being an individual symptom, loneliness is an inevitable outcome of an individualistic society. It is a state of being that prevents a person from exercising class prerogative and realizing revolutionary potential. And to that extent, loneliness is in fact a politically disempowered experience. Normalization of loneliness therefore typifies capitalism without reference to its deliberate construction. Instead of recognizing it as a contradiction within the irrational class society, it is glamorized, iconized and in many instances mourned as an aberration, as individual failing. From the suicides of celebrities to abstract artistries, select group of achievers are exalted for leading the lonely lives. The abandoned in love is sympathized, the Devdas is romanticized, the raw emotions of the jilted are exemplified. Reactionary arrangements of conservative ethos thrive through the cries of lamenting souls, the deep nostalgia of the good old days making the lonely present ever more miserable. The future appears cynical, pessimistic; its tone contemptuous and promises wry. A sense …

The Market

  By Saswat Pattanayak Real man Farhan Akhtar prevents violence against women on behalf of the Delhi Police, Al Gore makes millions to save the planet from temperature gain, Amnesty International recruits Peter Gabriel to be their conscience, Aishwarya Rai counters Polio and HIV/AIDS, Unicef heralds Aamir Khan as the expert on child rights, and Narendra Modi hires Amitabh Bachchan to spread ‘Khushbu Gujarat Ki’. And we lesser mortals, legends in our own minds, emulate our stars and wait for our moment to go viral on Facebook and Youtube, while these corporations churn out billions in our name via offering us a supposedly free platform. Even Michael Moore, the multimillionaire activist, sells a few more copies at the Left Forum. Rape won’t happen again, wail our criminal leaders on our television screens; while change.org gives us a marketable online page to cry justice. From activisms against capitalism to advocacies by corporations, from revolutions on the streets to enactments on the television sets, from underground coalitions of committed comrades to publicized hobnobbing of social media elites …

Radical Roots of Gangnam Style: Psy, Kim Jong-Un and Challenges for the Fascist Standards of Sexy

By Saswat Pattanayak Psy has surpassed every artist in history by attaining one billion views, but that alone is not instructive. The measure of greatness in Park Jae-sang remains in his consciousness-raising about capitalistic contradictions and imperialistic warmongering in undiluted terms. In a Eurocentric world dominated by the disturbingly unifying English language, where American narratives grip past and the present times, it is easy to wonder why a Korean wields such an influence. The answer is as easy: why not. After all, Korea is like no other. It indeed is the center of the universe – the site for contestation of ideologies. The country that sparked the Cold War and divided not itself, but the world into two. Who can better define its historical role than the most savage of chroniclers, Winston Churchill: “The importance of this bloody place lies in the fact that it has led to the re-arming of America.” Korean resistance against the imperialists led to Truman’s NSC 68 – the most significant document outlining American ambitions to control the world. In …

Rape Culture and Capitalism: What is living and what is dead

It is necessary to fight for women’s rights, but why should the drive stop at the borders? Those of us who refuse to adequately acknowledge the protest movement in Delhi by citing the relative silence in Gujarat and North-East also commit similar fallacies when we fail to protest against abuse of women elsewhere in the world.