a sullied view of the present. Materialism, Fordism and Decon.

death of communism (augen blick)

 

COMMUNISM is the exasperation of the bureaucratic cancer that has always wasted humanity. A German cancer, a product of the characteristic German preparationism. Every pedantic preparation is anti-human and wearies fortune. History life and the earth belong to the improvisers.

Zo also Spract Marinetti

It is a common opinion today that communism in the sense of the Marxist philosophical project, its antecedents and its precedents, has universally failed to establish the political terms of its continuing survival. That it has died a death of sorts, signified dramatically by the implosion of the east block and that its necessary not to say natural successor is the so called liberal politics of market capitalism. That society as a comprehensible object and as a phenomenon of human social existence has somehow given up its cohesive forces and become fragmented, non-functioning and redundant. That the nature of human groups, should they exist at all have, somehow, matured through this period of naive social community to be reborn as a fragmented collection of ever more independent individuals, psychologically isolated, yet consciously social in the pro-active sense of an ingenuous managerial administration. In the sense of a networking but atomized quasi-community of individuals.

Born of the radicalism of the sixties, the last social uprisings in the west, and prior to the so called velvet revolutions which witnessed the transformation of the former state capitalist economies of the east block, an atomizing and fragmenting tendency established itself within the social body of everyday life. By common consent, Communism, such as it remained at the end of the eighties, was finally and irredeemably dead. An extension of the autonomy of the self within the structure of a market economy had defeated its communist adversary, by a natural revolution of the historical and social wheel. The naturalness of this irreversible and providential transformation has been assumed, absolutely. Communism is now seen as a pre-existing and in a very real sense an antecedent structure, something we have finally out-grown.

It would be hard to deny that there has been a profound sea change in the nature of western culture since the end of the second world war. Emerging with the post-war beat generation as an echo of the anti-bourgeois sentiments of a renegade pre-war avant-garde , of DADA, of Surrealism, and focused upon the incomplete project of social communism, a new and palpable sensibility appeared towards the end of the ninteen-sixties, precipitated by the social and political context of the ’68 protests. New ideas of independence fostered a certain social fragmentation, which engendered, in turn, the creation of new oppositional and anti-establishment social groups operating outside universally accepted social norms.

narcissism and the social self (Geselslichkeit)

Perhaps Dylan’s prophetic phrase ‘…your sons and your daughters are beyond your command’ signifies the impending breach. Althgough famously eschewed, with some hindsight, as merely a temporary phase of a maturing and currently incumbent, liberal middle class, it portends, not a revolution by force or descent which it seemed to imply at the time, but rather the formation of a new narcissistic self; the occupant of an atomized and fragmented social world in which all material possibilities are simultaneously available; a world in which the satisfaction of these desires leads only to the perpetual generation of others. It insinuates in the strongest terms the final and desicive arrival of the Nietszchean nomad, a veritable Duc Jean Floressas des Esseintes of Huysmans prophetic Á Rebours and of Wild’s Dorian Grey. Neurotic, unsatisfiable, unfulfillable and restless.

 

hey there people I’m bobby brown:

they say i’m the cutest boy in town.

my car is fast, my teeth is shiney:

i tell all the girls they can kiss my heinie

here I am at a famous school:

i’m dressing sharp, i’m acting cool

i got a cheer leader here wants to help with my paper:

let her do all the work ‘n maybe later i’ll rape her

oh god i am the american dream:

i do not think i’m too extreme

and i’m a handsome sonofabitch:

gonna get a good job and be real rich.

Frank Zappa ‘The American Dream’

 

This is a narcissism which is very difficult to speak of in any transparent sense today, since it is now internalized within the consciousness of western culture and has come to be accepted as the ultimate, and in many ways, the terminating paradigm of an intrinsic consciousness at the end of the twentieth century. The so called ME decade of the 80′s, re-invigorated and focused the expansion of social narcissism giving it a clear political thrust and moral exoneration. The much daunted end of communism personified this complexity of intentions in the figures of Ronald Regan and Margaret Thatcher and reified it as the yuppie revolution. The notion of a social body was disfigured, not withstanding the de facto evidence of everyday life, to a point at which a British Prime Minister could unselfconsciously declare that there was ‘…no such thing as society, just a collection of individuals’.

Bearing considerably upon the philosophical inclinations of the late 19th. century philosopher Frederick Nietzsche a nihilistic anti-social individualism found increasing acceptance most significantly among the urban middle class. For example the eminent sociologist Georgi Simmel makes the following observation…

`The atrophy of individual culture through the hypertrophy of objective culture is one reason for the bitter hatred which the preachers of the most extreme individualism, above all Nietzsche, harbor against the metropolis. But it is, indeed, also a reason why these preachers are so passionately loved in the metropolis and why they appear to the metropolitan man as the prophets and saviors of his most unsatisfied yearnings.’

Nietzsche’s central philosophical tenet eschews hidden content of any kind, most particularly of the Kantian variety, making appearance and not substance the corner stone of its philosophical drive, affirming, as it does so, the absence of any reality beneath the surface of things. This philosophical trajectory has assumed gigantic proportions in the hands of neo-Nietzscheans such as Jean Baudrillard for example, who portrays the world as a play of hyper-real images and as a regressive chain of floating representations without source. Representations which are themselves representations in turn, irrevocably torn from their signifying origin.

The urbanist and social critic Richard Sennett sets the phenomenon of the narcissistic self into a broader historical perspective. Narcissism, Sennett argues has come about due to the erosion of public life since the end of the 19th. century, from four directions; paraphrased they are as follows:-

changes in the ideas of private and public space since the great revolutions at the end of the 18th. century, most particularly within an emergent bourgeois class.

19th century bourgeois privatization and the consequent fragmentation of the social mass as it became a primarily urban rather than an agrarian population.

The fragmentation of extended family structures with the increasing industrialization of the urban mass, the emergence of the nuclear family and with it a new psychology(Simmel) of the ameliorated and defendable family atom as a defense against the terrors of an increasingly de-stabilized and de-stabilizing society/economy.

The universal acceptance of the terms of an exchange economy dependent upon the dematerialization of all value into the terms of money trading. In this system enduring values were replaced by a code of immanence according to which the immediacy, the brute fact of things was taken as the irreducible ground of reality in and of itself.

Narcissistic individualism may have been prepared by the contexts Sennett describes but it garnered its enduring psychological force from the internalization of the Nietzschean philosophical agenda. From this perspective reality is as it appears at the surface -the brute undeniable fact of things. Denying the possibility of enduring values it proposes a stark philosophy of appearances. Reality is for Nietzsche, as it was to become for the major philosophical interests of the late twentieth century – primarily an aesthetic category.

The dislocation of self from the social body, is manifest most dramatically than in the arts, where the disingenuous image of the heroic Faustian Modernist as lone adventurer, has presided over the general ideological frame of production. The disappointment of the social ambitions of the Modernist project, engendered a slow disintegration and final amelioration of the erstwhile social commitment of the architectural profession, most especially at its avant-gardist margins. The consequences of this for architecture as a social project and as a political player, within a general discourse of social critique and cultural production, were not merely significant, but latently terminal.

In tandem with the rise of a social narcissism, a new economic territory was being drawn out, which revised the conditions of capital production throughout the West. Building upon the radical changes wrought by the Second World War ,an entirely unprecedented economic phenomenon was created. The consumer boom of the 50′s and 60′s, the extension of a war economy directly into the commercial sector, not only transformed the material living standards of the majority, it heralded, at the same time, a comprehensive shift in the social structure of Western capitalism. The political and numerical predominance of a proletarian working class progressively diminished, to be replaced by a greater middle class.

Corporate Fordism was the natural beneficiary, of a transformed, pre-war production line economics. It had grown out from the manufacturing sector, into new and burgeoning consumer markets. Its reliance on a Taylorist rationalization of production – the imposition of new levels of labour efficiency through time and motion studies – and upon forced economies of scale – the formation, by purchase, of large brand conglomerates and trading franchises – required a progressive rationalization of all functions of production throughout the economy. The war had been the catalyst to precipitate a revision of the mass production economy, opening new markets certainly, but forcing new levels of pricing and higher levels of competitiveness on established industries.

Corporate Fordism came fully charged with its own managerial ethic, paradigmatically hierarchical and bureaucratic. It was above all a rigid and centralized organization built around fiercely authoritarian relations. Architecture was an established service industry with its own ways of doing things. But in the face of an unprecedented expansion of the building industry, in the sectors of sub-urban housing, commercial shopping and office space it was forced to accede to radical revisions of its forms of practice and social organization. The acceptance of the new corporate Fordist terms was, of course, not negotiable. Internal competition exacerbated the pace of change guaranteeing accession and compliance. Unlike the heroic Modernist revision of architectural practice which was predominantly formal, this time the restructuring of capital markets marked an irreversible shift in the way architecture was done socially. This time changes in aesthetic practices and formal procedures proved insufficient to ameliorate it.

Managerial corporatism became the sine qua non of managerial structures throughout all sectors of the economy including the increasingly important service economy of which architecture formed a significant part. Within the profession itself, corporatism was initially embraced by the largest firms and with spectacular results; the largest practices ever assembled emerged during this period, SOM being only the most notorious. Booming success however concealed the seeds of dissolution. Although the economy ripped away, from post war expansion to cold war magnification the erstwhile successes of the profession concealed a malignancy. Its assumed Fordist constituents, professionalism, pragmatism and a strict centralized bureaucracy were absorbed, magically, into a trite formal pragmatism. Pragmatic functionalism, more of a managerial ideology than a demonstrable architectural style, although by now truly internationalist was also thoroughly prosaic, dehumanizing and cold to the point of alienation.

A price had been paid. Architecture had made its own diabolical Faustian agreement. Managerial and abstract, a product of administrative craft and disingenuous commercial plotting it permitted itself no self-disfigurement or internal critique whatsoever. The transmogrification of the independent bourgeois architect into the manager architect, coerced by the rise of a Fordist managerial class and a corporate managerial ideology, was now effectively complete. The compelling alliance of a critical avant-garde with a broader and more culturally informed professional body, the very root of Modernism’s popular success, was recklessly dissolved. A challenging, critical, and essentially oppositional avant-garde , which performed a campaigning and socially vigilant role was forcefully excommunicated from the holy circle of pragmatic builders, money managers and administrators. – real men of the real world. It had no alternative but to reinvent it self.

the pops (neurbegreflichkeit)

By the end of the sixties a popular social reconstruction was universally incorporated as a reactionary fragment of the radical left, most especially in the arts. But what postured as non-conformism and insurgency failed to precipitate any consequent changes in the social territories of capitalism. The expulsion of the avant-garde wrought dire consequences for the conditions of its own production. Without any supra-contextual referent, without that is, a productive social teleology, the avant-garde was free to float in a ocean of frenetic form making and wild idealisms. Socially directed research into the wider cultural or anthropological implications of architectural practice, typical of the work of the TECTON group, for example, or later, of the Independent Group -the Smithsons, and later still of Cedric Price, had maintained keen associations with material issues of the everyday. Unfettered by this necessity and ultimately spurred by the general narcissistic disposition of the post-beat generation, a brave new ‘Pop’ avant-garde took flight.

Paper architecture became a palpable aspect of the Pop generation at the end of the sixties. Born of pop art, of the beats, of the happening, of ’68 and of a shameless apolitical recuperation of the ideas of the Situationist International, it proved far less radical than its own dissimulating view of itself suggested then or now. Plug-in, demountable, de-territorialized, de-historicized, transient, nomadic, it marked out the antithesis of a monothematic, mono-functional Modernism, but only in vague outline. Fundamentally influenced by the radical movements of the period, it hastily exchanged any commitment to the active left and to a clear social teleology for a recuperating stratagem in which the seminal tendencies of the period, -the Smithsons, the Situationist International, Cedric Price, Archizoom were serially commodified as formal products for the burgeoning gallery market.

More intuition than calculation, more radical chic a than radical politics, Pop for all it self-propagandizing bravura initiated a latent architectural heterogeneity, a plurality of architectural possibilities and nuances which proved sufficient in themselves to destabilize the corporate modernist hegemony. It started the rot but from the comfort of a cutsey, tongue in cheek, parody of corporate modern. Its inverted alliance with the most radical tendencies of the new left, most especially with the S.I., -the manner in which it appropriated these ideas notwithstanding- left it precariously disconnected from any stabilizing theoretical ground. Anti-intellectual, apolitical and lacking any serious theoretical backbone, it managed, nevertheless, to establish a wide degree of popular support and thereby to unsettle if not to ultimately dislodge the status quo.

It would be entirely wrong however to perceive the Pop phenomenon, such as it was, as a mere consequence of revisionist avant-garde tendencies; merely the recuperating mechanism of bourgeois taste. The self -propagandizing, self-marketing ethic developed by these early gallery architects was to become an enduring feature of the operation of all marginal architectural production during the so called Post-modern period. Nevertheless it is Pop’s erstwhile commitment to a equivocating pluralism which marks it out as crypto-radical and as a harbinger of the changes to come; marks it out as a putative Post-modern tendency.

post-modernism

The publication of two seminal and highly influential books in the mid sixties and early seventies the much celebrated critiques of Robert Venturi-’Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture’ and of Colin Rowe/Fred Koetter-’Collage City’ aimed at demystifying and criticizing the hegemony of a formulaic and corporate modernism as it had established itself after the Second World War. Now seen as the first proposition, and in many ways, the seminal ground of what came to be known as Post-modern and as Post-modernism, both sustained an attack on the reducing singularities, of corporate Modernism itself, disavowing its centralized market strategies, in favour of a plural and historicist model of architectural form. Complexity, ambiguity, collage and fragmentation, were the formal modus operandi .

Forming the city from ideal fragments culled from an ethnocentrically western interpretation of architectural history and by means of an exclusively formalist exposition, this first phase of Post-modernism established a central plauralizing ethic. No more single aspect, tunnel vision Modernism. These singular visions, the so called meta-narratives of a Modernist ideology, disclaimed initially by the post-structuralist reformation in France, were progressively diminished and replaced by a comprehensive shift into heterogeneity, divergence and variance, terminating in a comprehensive muti-valency.

post-Fordism

To conclude that the well spring of Post-modernist thought, or indeed Post-modern architecture itself was a direct product of the speculations of these few architects and theorists would be a clear distortion. Demands for a broader cultural perspective, which might embrace peripheral, non-conformist and minority interests gathered pace from the mid sixties, evident initially in the areas of advertising and television. The seminal cultural critic Marshall Macluhan having exposed the political role of technological form – the coercive gloss of the technological media themselves over what they merely communicated- unwittingly marked the launch of a concerted hypostatization of the communicating media as a market catalysts. Demands for a greater autonomy for marginal interests, which constituted a serious political critique of the centralizing hegemony of western capitalism in general and of corporate Fordism in particular, were ameliorated by a further and more socially withering economic revision.

During the seventies the economies of west Europe, the United States and the Pacific Rim experienced the beginnings of a dramatic shift in their capital structures. In contradistinction to the centralizing tendencies of corporate Fordism, a more plauralizing decentralized economic tendency, what has come to be known as ‘post-Fordism’, gathered pace. Characterized by a precipitous decline in heavy industrial and manufacturing production and by a compensating expansion of the service sector, this was most importantly a supra-national shift in the way that economies interacted and affected each other. What distinguished this phenomenon most strikingly was the role of the new communications technologies and their relative acceleration and extension of conditions of exchange. Dramatically improved communications fostered greater market sensitivity and, by degrees, a progressive fragmentation of market production, catering for ever finer differences in consumer taste.

The city was now post-modern; entering a new ideologically and culturally distinct era. It was post-industrial; establishing new conditions of capital production. It was post-Fordist; revising the nature of capital markets from centralized to plauralized. It was above all Post-modernist in so far as it embodied the idealist liberal credo of the new economics; inclusive, simultaneous, contextual, democratic, anti-Communist, but above all multi-valent and plural. No longer an indivisible and singular ideological construct the city and its animating markets was now a collection of differences. And just as plurality became the slogan for a rapid shift into market fragmentation it was established within architecture as a re-invigorating revision of an ossified and alienating Modernism.

The Venturi/Rowe initiative assimilated the post-Fordist revision into urban and architectural terms. An exclusively apolitical and formalist assimilation, the new post-Modernist city was conceptually a city of complexity, collage and superimposition. Adopted as totems of an insinuated social engineering the ideals of an anti-Communist, liberal democracy were assumed to inhere in examples of Europe’s foremost architectural achievements. In a move of breathtaking naiveté, conceptions of an aggregated rebus of appropriate precedents, effectively a collage city of remedial urban tissue, was offered as a panacea for healing the ailing Modernist city. Its justifying argument; that an environment which conforms to the highest formal values so called, will subtend the highest social values. A guileless conclusion which conveniently forgets that the Greek polis required slave labour for its architecture and that it was used with open consent. An effective programmatic critique of the contemporary city, now in the throws of a post-Fordist economic revision, necessarily failed to materialize. A split in the protean Post-modernist ranks ensued.

But this was no political parting of the ways. The Po-Mo’s were not split on issues of political or social teleology but on issues of form and the themes of production. Two tendencies emerged, firstly Neo-Rationalism and then, belatedly in the late seventies, Deconstruction/ism. Whilst the later made a full blooded return to an architecture of the object, neo-rationalism hardened the initial Venturi/Rowe thrust. In the custom of anti-modern cultural pessimism, Rossi, the brothers Krier and the neo-rationalist tendency in general, tightened the formal tourniquet of a proscribing historicism from its inaugural position of regressive utopianism to a revisionary and prosaic, neo-classicism.

The popular view of Decon. portrays it as an heroic return to the concerns of Modernism proper. And to a certain extent this was true, but only of its formal interests. Its representative cohort Tschumi, Eisenman, Koolhaas, even Liebeskind who studied with Dalibor Vasilly and Zaha Hadid who studied with Leon Krier were effectively converts to and not authors of the new creed. In point of fact Decon. had no intellectual origin, in the sense in which Modernism morally opposed the excesses of nineteenth century plagiarism. What characterizes it most strongly as Post-Modern and as a surreptitious confederate of the Venturi/Rowe axis is…

firstly a formal dependency on historical reference such as the Suprematist and Neo-Plastic traditions, rather than upon any programmatic analysis of the immanent conditions of contemporary culture.

Secondly that it depended upon a formal and imaginative even arbitrary elaboration of extrinsic sources such as Chomsky, Derrida, Deleuze, Nietzsche among various others, as sufficient motive for subsequent production, obviating any thoroughgoing internal critique of its own means of production.

And thirdly, that it was exclusively formalist in its approach to the city, lacking any explicit political teleology or contemporary theory of the social body, beyond a vague assertion that novelty was itself intrinsically emancipating.

Contradicting a faith in the permanent values of the city as historical object there is a counter-faith in variance, invention and sheer difference. But this is merely the inverse of the same chronocentric obsession. Hypostasizing the past as primogenitor, neo-Rationalism indulged a reification of history as tectonic social memory. Deconstruction is merely its obverse impression. Constructing a proleptical futurism, of sorts, in which a presumed future is treated as already present, the quality of form and its novelty, were presumed to engender an emancipatory subversion. This disingenuous exchange of a chronological teleology for a social cause precluded any prospective closing of architectural ranks. Indeed it proved to be entirely unnecessary. When a liberative social freeson is assumed to be the product of a willful, even neurotic formalizing, no focused theoretical trajectory or critical alignment is likely to emerge.

Decon. had expanded the prospective PoMo product line adding crypto-Modernism to its neo-classical merchandise. It was however much more heterogeneous than its neo-Rationalist counterpart and necessarily so. In a more sympathetic embrace of the hardening conditions of post-Fordism, Decon. proliferated a series of neoteric architectural forms characterized by their specificity, exoticism and ir-reproducibility. “A designed environment of apparent chaos has to be predicated on precise technical control of the object…” the freeson of a formalized chaos does not subtend the social freedom it seems to embody, indeed according to the late Robin Evans the whole procedure is anachronistic, he continues ‘ … The greater the control, the greater the phantasm of release produced by it, an old formula for cathartic art that still applies.” (The Projective Cast pp105). Sheer novelty characterized an economy in which style was reduced to autographic inscription. The prescient term signature architecture, rudely but effectively, identified a lack of any shared principles amongst its disciples; of any united front, political or otherwise, and of any discernible or consistent theoretical centre. But then Decon. was always and already a result of the new economics, fiercely embodying a comprehensive fragmentation of architectural production. Its adherents, after all, were initially paper architects, dependent upon the economy of a virtual notoriety to supply what a lack of practical experience could not.

A reduction of the conventional distance between architecture and author abruptly followed. Without a shared teleology or allying credo, and shouldering the influence of a universal social narcissism, the two became inseparable. Architect and architecture fused into a single aesthetic object, completing a general collapse into commodity strategies. If the Post-modern had in fact materialized what Frederick Jameson refers to as ‘…the consumption of sheer commodification as a process…’, then Doconstruction/ism, as far as architecture was concerned at any rate, was its terminal reification.

Partly as a consequence of its inclusive and uncritical formalism, partly out of hubris, but mostly out of chagrin for it own lack of an intrinsic theoretical centre, Decon. played cultural hard ball with a gamut of extrinsic influences. After Heidegger, Derrida was its preeminent victim. But it was an elitist Nietszcheanism which was unconsciously insinuated. Whilst the construction of a working consensus amongst the Decon. avant-garde remained anathema, given its free market affiliations, competition in the sense of a formalist potlatch, a kind of bidding-up of the formal spectacle, prevailed as the ultimate basis of its cultural economy.

Charles Jencks in his almost provocative but essentially post-biblical defense of non-linearity ‘The Architecture of the Jumping Universe’ cites Eisenman, p. 80, speaking fictively. Jencks remarking on the formalist play of Eisenman’s superimpositional approach and in defense of Jencks’ own retort vis. ‘…But that surprise [read here formal freeson] is not what the client and society necessarily want from the architect…’, the fictive Eisenman is compelled to reply ,’…too bad, you are interested in control, I am interested in emergence’,

There is something hauntingly strange about this illocutionary side step. That Eisenman, fictive or otherwise, did or did not say this – although Jencks strains to suggest that his more than nodding acquaintance with the great man is sufficient to guarantee its authenticity – really makes no odds. What is pertinent here is what it implies of the Decon tendency.

Jencks’ Eisenman presumably infers by the vague term emergence, the serial production of ideas by means of formal devices, specifically, in Eisenman’s case, superimposition. The insinuated dismissal of a politics of coercion imputed by an implied disinterest in control, reduces the context

for the production of such ideas to one of relative isolation; beyond any will to control and thereby beyond politics or any covert will to power. But since power necessarily imputes an ultimate context, the full context of a dirty social economy, warts and all; denying it obscures this context, the full ground of social being; leaving architecture, detached from dirty reality, in a jargonized void of self-reflexivity without political substance. If architecture is not about control, then what is it about?

Jencks’ Eisenman is made to conjure up a pure/puerile economy of ideas, detached from the commanding perspective of any consensus teleology, and once one has removed the argument to liberal exegesis (I create therefore you are free). all that remains is an economy of self-presentation and of narcissistic solipsism; emergence or no emergence. This is surely the most extreme position of the Decon. inclination, as if control, or, more properly, some crypto-Nietzschean will to power, is a separable object sui generis and not itself, the very state of the manipulation of ideas.

An economy of ideas implies power.

‘There is no power-relation without the correlative constitution of a field of knowledge, nor at the same time any knowledge that does not presuppose and constitute at the same time power-relations.’ (Foucault, Discipline and Punish, London ‘77, p27.)

But this is not the most interesting issue. It is the denial of power which denotes a cynical disingenuousness. Set out as a toll-free zone of renegade individualism its terms of trade are faciod liberal; implying a free market of individual creative exchange whilst bootlegging an exclusive sectarian hierarchy by the back door. Jencks may be joking, but suspicion remains; his joke insinuates an aporia, a point of disappearance on the scale of the Nietszchean model, effectively announcing, ‘what I’m saying is the opposite of what I mean’. When Jencks ventriloquizes Eisenman he does so with a generalizing motive. That which claims the liberal freeson of a fragmentary and competitive disposition conspires, simultaneously, to divide the social body with an implied elitism. Such claims can never be socially cohesive since they harbour a covert agenda; a sectarian division of labour on the grounds of taste.

If there is indeed a palpable economy of ideas, it is one, which has at it centre a will to succession. S/he who commands the most, claims also, a moral superiority; a first place amongst equals. This is the fascoid liberal moment in the Decon. project; and this because these ideas, such as they remain at the end of the twentieth century, no matter how they may be tribalised, are firstly commodities; what is primarily signature is always and already NOT TO BE SHARED.

Deconstruction/ism, has bred the materially disengaged and politically weak architectures of the eighties and nineties. To a large extent, although it masquerades as a discrete phenomenon with its own identity, it is, de facto, merely a point along a continuous line of social transmogrification and cultural accommodation, subordinated ultimately to the material changes in the economic base.

The narcissistic identification of architects with their architecture fabricates a confederation of two singularly powerful late capitalist shibboleths; personality and commodity. This signature architecture remains well within the moral orbit of a neo- Nietszchean will to power ; a fascoid-liberal analgesic which fosters the passive view that within a culture of trading individuals aesthetic manipulation is sufficient, and from a moral standpoint, preferable, to achieve professional success without political risk.


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