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28 November 2013
…the road from the democratic ideal of the Athenian agora to the irresistible temptations of the shopping centre has shrunk the space available for the great demonic force of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: namely, the belief that political action was the way to improve the world.
Comment made by leftwing historian Eric Hobsbawm (1917-2012) on the depoliticization of electorates in consumer societies in his book “Fractured Times: Culture and Society in the Twentieth Century” published by Little, Brown in London in 2013.
The irresistible temptations of the shopping centre?
Come off it, Eric.
You obviously never went to Westfield.
And the belief that political action was the way to improve the world, was this really “the great demonic force” of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?
If so, it passed us by unnoticed, at least so far as the second half of the twentieth century is concerned.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
5.Ladder (21 June 2012)
6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.