Research Seminar December 24th: Daniel Strassberg - We Tell You What You Really Want: A History of False Consciousness

Research Seminar December 24th: Daniel Strassberg - We Tell You What You Really Want: A History of False Consciousness. The seminar will take place in Gilman 496 at 18:00.

20 December 2018

Daniel Strassberg 

University of Zürich

 

We Tell You What You Really Want: A History of False Consciousness

 
It is not enough to quit smoking. One has to understand that in the depth of one’s heart one does not want to smoke. One only smokes because one has a false consciousness. Although the word is hardly used anymore, the concept of false consciousness is omnipresent, usually linked to a critique of consumption: People desire the wrong things because they are seduced by advertising. Therefore, they have to be enlightened. The election of Donald Trump may very well be understood as a rebellion of those who do not want to be told anymore what they really want. False Consciousness was invented by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and joined the critique of consumption and seduction theory in the beginning of the 20th century. Its history shows quite an amazing exchange between its leftist (e.g. Critical Theory) and its rightist branch (e.g. Ludwig Klages).

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