Sunday, August 05, 2007
The dominant cultural paradigm in Britain now, and perhaps too in 1979, reflecting the coincident practices of the culture industry and the ideological bases of neoclassical economics, is the individualism of the atomised society. The credibility of this individualism as a realistic explanation of society depends on the absence of those features that were understood to characterise earlier versions of class society:
Saatchi and Saatchi's indefinite dolequeue presents a horrific accumulation of the indigent, reminiscent of the legendary breadqueues of the eastern bloc. But it doesn't so much ask the spectator to choose the most realistic response to the phenomenon of unemployment, as to choose the metaphysical system that retroactively presents this unemployment in the most acceptable way. Thatcher's metaphysics won the day.