The standardization of world culture, with local popular or traditional forms driven out or dumbed down to make way for American television, American music, food, clothes and films, has been seen by many as the very heart of globalization.— Fredric Jameson
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It is now easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism.
And this fear that US models are replacing everything else now spills over from the sphere of culture into our two remaining categories: for this process is clearly, at one level, the result of economic domination - of local cultural industries closed down by American rivals.
In a world in which stylistic innovation is no longer possible, all that is left is to imitate dead styles... Contemporary or postmodernist art... will involve the necessary failure of art and the aesthetic, the failure of the new, the imprisonment in the past.
The United States has made a massive effort since the end of the Second World War to secure the dominance of its films in foreign markets - an achievement generally pushed home politically, by writing clauses into various treaties and aid packages.
The visual is essentially pornographic, which is to say that it has its end in rapt, mindless fascination.
It is safest to grasp the concept of the postmodern as an attempt to think the present historically in an age that has forgotten how to think historically in the first place.
For when we talk about the spreading power and influence of globalization, arent we really referring to the spreading economic and military might of the US?
Utopia would seem to offer the spectacle of one of those rare phenomena whose concept is indistinguishable from its reality, whose ontology coincides with its representation.
If it is, in reality, capitalism that is the motor force behind the destructive forms of globalization, then it must be in their capacity to neutralize or transform this particular mode of exploitation that one can best test these various forms of resistance to the West.
Often, these downplay the power of cultural imperialism - in that sense, playing the game of US interests - by reassuring us that the global success of American mass culture is not as bad as all that.
The more worrying feature of the new global corporate structures is their capacity to devastate national labour markets by transferring their operations to cheaper locations overseas.
So is it always nationalist to resist US globalization? The US thinks it is, and wants you to agree; and, moreover, to consider US interests as being universal ones.
In most of the European countries - France stands out in its resistance to this particular form of American cultural imperialism - the national film industries were forced onto the defensive after the war by such binding agreements.
A further point is that, little by little, in the current universe, everything is slowly being named; nor does this have anything to do with the older Aristotelian universals in which the idea of a chair subsumes all its individual manifestations.
If everything were transparent, there would be no ideologies.
Insofar as the theorist wins, therefore, by constructing an increasingly closed and terrifying machine, to that very degree he loses, since the critical capacity of his work is thereby paralysed, and the impulses of negation and revolt, not to speak of those of social transformation, are increasingly perceived as vain and trivial in the face of the model itself.