All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of by Marshall Berman

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By Marshall Berman

"A effervescent caldron of principles . . . Enlightening and valuable." —Mervyn Jones, New Statesman.
The political and social revolutions of the 19th century, the pivotal writings of Goethe, Marx, Dostoevsky, and others, and the production of latest environments to switch the old—all have thrust us right into a smooth global of contradictions and ambiguities. during this attention-grabbing e-book, Marshall Berman examines the conflict of periods, histories, and cultures, and ponders our clients for coming to phrases with the connection among a freeing social and philosophical idealism and a posh, bureaucratic materialism.
From a reinterpretation of Karl Marx to an incisive attention of the effect of Robert Moses on smooth city dwelling, Berman charts the development of the twentieth-century event. He concludes that version to continuous flux is attainable and that therein lies our wish for reaching a very sleek society.

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He is straining to find a way for. the abundance of his inner life to overflow, to express itself through action in the world outside. Leafing through his magical book, he encounters the symbol of the Earth Spirit; and all at once, I look and feel my powers growing, As if I'd drunk new wine I'm glowing. I feel the courage to plunge into the world, To bear all earthly grief, all earthly joy; To wrestle with the storm, to grapple and clinch, To enter the jaws of the shipwreck and never to Hinch. [462-67] He invokes the Earth Spirit and, when it appears, asserts his kin­ ship with it; but the spirit laughs at him and his cosmic aspirations and tells him he will have to find a spirit closer to his real size.

Inkeles' essay is entitled "The Modernization of Man," and is meant to show the importance of human desire and initiative in modern life. But its problem, and the problem of all modernisms in the futurist tradition, is that, with brilliant ma­ chines and mechanical systems playing all the leading roles-just as the factory is the subject in the quotation above-there is pre­ cious little for modern man to do except to plug in. " to modern life, we find a surprisingly similar vision of what that life is like.

Quoted in Jencks, Morkm Mowmmts in ATchittcture, 208- 10. 25 The eclipse of the problem of modernity in the 1970s has meant the destruction of a vital form of public space. It has has­ tened the disintegration of our world into an aggregation of pri­ vate material and spiritual interest groups, living in windowless monads, far more isolated than we need to be. Just about the only writer of the past decade who has had any­ thing substantial to say about modernity is Michel Foucault. And what he has to say is an endless, excruciating series of variations on the Weberian themes of the iron cage and the human nullities whose souls are shaped to fit the bars.

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