culture

Pier Paolo Pasolini interviewed by Louis Valentin (1970)

Maria Callas and Pier Paolo Pasolini on the set of Medea

A 1970 interview with Pier Paolo Pasolini, on the youth revolt of the sixties, culture, love, his film “Oedipus Rex”, the heterosexual couple, homosexuality, and more.

Pier Paolo Pasolini Interviewed by Enzo Biagi for the Italian television network RAI on July 27, 1971

A 1971 interview with a pessimistic Pier Paolo Pasolini, in which he discusses consumer society, the emptiness of success, television as an authoritarian mass medium, eroticism, the conformism of the intellectuals, and his enigmatic relation with the Gospel.

Corsair Writings - Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini

A collection of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s controversial articles and interviews from 1973-1975 on the “anthropological revolution” that transformed Italy during the 1960s and early 1970s, with its “development without progress”, “consumerist hedonism”, “false tolerance”, mass culture, impoverishment of language, neurosis, destruction of traditional peasant cultures (“cultural genocide”), “strategy of tension”, and phony anti-fascism, signaling the decline of the old fascism and the rise of a new, “permissive” fascism, a “Power without a face” that is the “worst kind of totalitarianism”.

Your Revolution Is Not My Revolution: Thirty Years After May ’68 – François Lonchampt and Alain Tizon

A complete English translation of a book first published in France in 1999, a post-mortem on May ’68, discussing the various ways that the most popular demands voiced in May were recuperated by capitalism in its post-1968 “revolution from the right” (Pasolini) and incorporated into a consumerist lifestyle of selfish hedonism, pseudo-individualism, phony libertarianism and permitted rebellion (the “triumph of situationism”) as part of the restructuring of the global workforce and the creation of a “new man”, concluding with a call for “a new civilizing phenomenon” and “a revolution of the spirit” similar to the movement led by Christianity during the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.

Technological society—mass society – Miguel Amorós

A 2005 summary of the author’s views concerning the defeat of the working class in the 1970s and 1980s, the role played by technology in this defeat, the rise of the “masses” (who cannot “distinguish between reality and fiction”) that emerged from the dissolution of class consciousness as subjects of consumer society under the new totalitarian or “fascist” conditions, the repercussions of these developments on ideology (not exactly “fascist”, but a “hodgepodge … of previous ideologies”) and politics (“managing the survival of the masses under catastrophic conditions”) during the last thirty years, and prospects for revolutionary critique and resistance.

Stupefaction – Encyclopédie des Nuisances

A 1985 article denouncing the fake “communication” disseminated by the mass media of our time that is really nothing but a unilateral flood of “information” or “socially harmful noise” in which nothing is called by its real name, as a force of stupefaction and for the creation of well-informed ignorance, where, amidst the generalized falsification of reality, “a view of the whole can never be formed”, and even self-evident truths “dissolve in the surrounding cacophony” in which they recede into the distance of unverifiable hypotheses, as exemplified in the endless media speculation concerning the Moro kidnapping.

Listen, Gamer!

Comments about a minor controversy other Karl Marx in a video game.

The decline of decadence - Malcolm Bull

From Nietzsche to Lukács, decadence was a matter of cultural disintegration and social atomization under pressure of capitalist modernity, but such talk has dwindled. Malcolm Bull asks whether the private languages of conceptual art are decadent or undecadent. And is the market a substitute communicator of shared values?

Vanishing points in working class culture – Miguel Amorós

Notes for a 2015 presentation of a book about the “Incontrolados” and The Friends of Durruti, discussing the “cultural genocide of the proletariat” inflicted by capitalist development and its “eternal present”, the suppression of historical memory, the rise of consumer society and mass culture, and the need for a “non-doctrinaire re-appropriation of the past” in order to build a new culture of resistance.

Rock for beginners – Miguel Amorós

A condensed social and political history of rock music, from its historical roots in Afro-American rhythm and blues, to its appropriation by white artists during the 50s, its commercialization during the late 50s, its rebirth as a dissident cultural phenomenon during the 60s, its relation to youth counterculture, folk music and political dissent during the Vietnam War era, the role played by the big festivals and drugs, its decline as a creative movement during the early 70s as it was totally commercialized and turned into a commodity serving the escapist and conformist imperatives of the dominant system, and its final eclipse by monotonous “dance music” and vapid “entertainment”.