Collective Memory and Cultural Amnesia
Introduction to the December 17, 2017 issue of Other Voices

Diemer, Ulli
http://www.diemer.ca/Docs/RadicalDigressions8.htm#Dec172017

Publisher:  Connexions
Date Written:  17/12/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21804

Our society is obsessed with the short-term present. It devalues memories and the past. That's the nature of capitalism, especially the speeded-up hypercapitalism of today. The past is useless: profits are made by getting rid of the old and replacing it with something new.

Abstract: 
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Excerpt:

Our society is obsessed with the short-term present. It devalues memories and the past. That's the nature of capitalism, especially the speeded-up hypercapitalism of today. The past is useless: profits are made by getting rid of the old and replacing it with something new.

...

This ceaseless enterprise of social engineering works best if people can be made to forget that things once were different. Collective memories of unionized jobs with benefits, air you could breathe and water you could drink without being poisoned, times when you could live your life without being spied on by the government and the corporations - such memories are dangerous. It's best if people forget that such things ever existed.

Even more dangerous are collective memories of resistance - times when people got together, and fought for their rights, sometimes winning, sometimes losing. The very idea that things were different in the past, and could be different in the future, is perilous because it gives people dangerous ideas.

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