The National Society of Arts and Letters

High culture corrupts culture fakes (“The Guardian”, UK)

High culture – this consciousness of society. It includes works of art, literature, arts education, erudition and concepts that create a common framework and reference signals for educated people. High culture – a fragile thing, and it survives only if it is based on a sense of tradition, if it receives broad endorsement of the surrounding social norms. When these things disappear, and it happens inevitably, to the place of high culture by the culture of fakes.

Fakes depend on the agreement between the offender and the victim, who collude in order to believe what they believe, and to feel what they feel unable to. There are bogus beliefs, opinions fictitious, false knowledge and experience. There are also fake emotions that arise when people belittle the forms and expressions that may occur and the real feelings take root. It comes to the point that they no longer recognize and see the difference between true and false. A very important example of this – kitsch. Artworks from the category of kitsch – it’s not a reaction to the real world, and a fake, designed to replace it. However, their producer and consumer and begin to conspire to convince each other that their feelings and sensations of kitsch works deep, important and real.

Anyone can lie. Need only intention – in other words, a statement of something to defraud. But fake – it is nothing but a figment of some effort. To forge, you need the participation of people – and your including. Therefore, in a certain and very important sense, fraud can not conceive and plan, although it is carried out by a deliberate action. Liar can pretend he shocked when his deception is unmasked, as he created a community of trust around himself becoming a member. I think that the understanding of this phenomenon is inseparable from understanding how the high culture, and how it can be distorted.

High culture is interesting to us for the reason that we are interested in the life of the mind and the life of the mind we trust institutions, because it is a public good and a privilege. Even if you live a life fully capable of only a few, we all benefit from its results in the form of knowledge, technology, legal and political concepts and interpretations of works of art, literature and music that evoke human feelings and emotional states. Aristotle went further, calling the supreme goal of human thinking and leisure means to practice them. Only in thinking, he said, properly implemented our mental needs and desires. Kantians can say that in life through the world of the mind means we penetrate into the world ends. We leave behind the routine of instrumental reasoning and find ourselves in a world where ideas, artifacts and representations exist for their own sake, as objects of intrinsic value. And then we returned to the spiritual. It seems that this meant Friedrich Schiller in his ” Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man ” ( 1794 ). Similar views are at the heart of the German romantic views on the education and training : self- education as a goal and as a basis for university curriculum.

Life of the mind has its own inherent in her methods and dividends. It takes the truth, beauty and goodness, which together determine the volumes of reasoning and purpose of serious study. But each of these goals may be a fake, and one of the most interesting developments in our educational and cultural institutions in the last half century – is the extent to which culture and dummy dummy erudition displace their true species. It is important to ask why.

The most important way of clearing space for a fake intellectual erudition, education and culture – this notion of truth marginalization. At first it seems difficult. In the end, every utterance, every debate in nature seems to be aimed at clarifying the truth. How we can come to knowledge, if we care about the truth of what we read ? But it’s too simple. There is a way of conducting debate, which does not take into account the truth of the interlocutor, because the main thing here diagnose these words to discover ” where they come from,” and also reveal the emotional, moral and political position, underlying this choice of words. Habit ” get behind” the word comes from the opponent’s teachings about the ideology of Karl Marx, which states that in bourgeois society concept, mindset and worldview recognized and accepted because of their socio-economic purpose, but not because they are true. So, early Marxists dismissed the idea of ??justice, which sees the world through the prism of human rights and responsibilities, and defines the rights and obligations of ownership throughout society. They called it a specimen of bourgeois ideology. Ideological goal of this concept – confirm “bourgeois relations of production”, which from another perspective can be considered as a violation of the very requirements that are inherent in the idea of ??justice. Consequently, the idea of ??justice in conflict with itself and serves mainly to disguise the social reality, which must be understood differently – as a force under the command of whom are men, and not as a right to which they aspire.

Marxist doctrine of ideology exceptionally controversial, not least because it is tied to socio-economic hypotheses, in which nobody believes. However, it is stored in the works of Michel Foucault (Michel Foucault) and other thinkers, above all, in his work ” The Order of Things ” ( 1966 ), as well as his witty essays on the origin of prisons and asylums. It is an active exercise in rhetoric, full of paradoxes and historical forgeries that captures the reader some playful indifference to the standards of rational argumentation. Instead argument Foucault sees “discourse ” instead of the truth he sees strength. According to Foucault, any discourse seeking recognition, expressing, supporting and hiding power of those who lead. And those who from time to time aware of this fact, invariably are incarcerated as criminals, or in a madhouse like lunatics. Some inexplicable way Foucault himself escaped this fate.

Foucault with his theory reduces culture to the struggle for power and erudition – to arbitration in some endless battle between the oppressed and the oppressors. Shift of attention from the content of the statement on the force that makes it leads to a new kind of knowledge. It completely bypasses the issues of truth and rationality, and can even dismiss these issues as ideological in nature.

Pragmatism of the late American philosopher Richard Rorty (Richard Rorty) produces a similar effect. It explicitly contrasting the idea of objective truth, and the philosopher leads many arguments in favor of the fact that the truth may be subject to bargaining, and that as a result it is important to take sides. If the doctrine is useful in the struggle for the liberation of your group, then you have every right to dismiss the all alternatives.

Whatever we think about Foucault and Rorty, there is no doubt that they were smart writers and real scientists with a clear view of reality. They opened the way for the forgery, but they were not fake. Not so was the case with many of their contemporaries. Consider the following sentence:

“It is not just a situation ” in principle ” (the one that takes its place in the hierarchy of special cases with respect to defining the occasion : in society, in the economy ), not just the situation ” in fact “( whether it is dominant or subordinate to the stage under consideration ), but the attitude of the actual situation to situation, in principle, that is, it is the ratio of the actual situation makes ” kind “, ” invariant” – or the dominant population structure. ”

Or here’s another :

“It is the link between the signifier and the signified admits Eliza, which puts meaning into oblivion object relations, using the value of ” backlink “, which belongs to the value to clothe him in desire, aimed at the very nothingness, which it supports.”

These are the words of the French philosopher Louis Althusser (Louis Althusser) and the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (Jacques Lacan), respectively. These authors have grown by leaps and bounds revolutionary Parisian sample in 1968 and won an astounding authority, not least in America. There in the scientific literature references to them made ??more than Kant and Goethe together. However, it is clear that these proposals – complete nonsense. Their claims to erudition and profound knowledge they intimidate critics and keep a solid defense against their onslaught. They exhibit a special kind of academic Newspeak : each sentence is twisted as ingrown toenail – hard, ugly, aimed only at himself.

Fake intellectual invites you to enter into a conspiracy within his own self-deception, to join him in creating a world of fantasy. He was a genius teacher, and you an excellent student. Counterfeiting is such a social activity in which people share a veil to hide unwanted realities and incite each other to use their illusory power. Therefore, the appearance of fictitious ideas and bogus scholarship in our universities should not be attributed to some explicit desire to deceive. They come into force collusion opening space for propaganda nonsense. Nonsense of this kind is an application for recognition. He begs to answer : “God, you’re right, it is so.”

Undoubtedly the following: if you made a career in science, training in spreading absurd spell impostors and swindlers, putting them in strange sentences and phrases that are equally misleading and writer, and reader, you react with indignation at everything what I just said.

It might be argued that the expansion of knowledge and fictitious fictitious concepts have no special significance. Such things can be kept in the university, where they belong, and they do not affect the lives of ordinary people. But when we think about high culture and its significance, we do not usually think about the erudition and concepts, and about art, literature, music – on those areas that are only occasionally may be associated with universities, but will affect the quality of life and for the purposes of those people that are beyond the academic walls.

Consequences of fake culture comparable to the effects of corruption in politics. In a world of fakes the interests of society are constantly sacrificed to private fantasies and truth that can provide us salvation, remain unexplored and unknown. However, it is extremely difficult to prove, and I’m after a series of attempts lifelong found that I was only at the beginning.

This is an excerpt from the study, which is published in full in the new electronic journal Aeon, where daily leave material on culture, science and new ideas.