Bourgeois vs. Proletarian culture

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Bourgeois vs. Proletarian culture

Post by Isakenaz on Tue May 31, 2011 4:42 am

One of the curses of the 'chatbox' is that excellant questions tend to get asked on there, thus excluding those who are not logged on at that stage or prefer not to use the chatbox at all.
I know the archives exist for those logged on to check back and see what was discussed, but they have a shelf life, and once that has expired the discussion is gone.
Sometime yesterday, one of our members, 'Godfaesten', asked a good question and one that deserves to be thrown open to discussion by all. The question was, and I reproduce it here hopefully with his blessing;

Being Socialists, do you think Marx's idea of bourgeois vs. proletarian culture is relevant? And if so, how would we reconcile it with our nationalism, I mean what is a nation if it doesn't have some sort of culture?

Please think about it.
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Re: Bourgeois vs. Proletarian culture

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Tue May 31, 2011 5:14 am

I understand Marx opinion on the subject, and my own interpretation is that he in some way separated the general culture of a country, from the "culture" that the rulling elites try to identify themselves with, and convince the working class that THAT is the cultural values to keep and protect.

For a simple comparison, we must need to look no futher than to the typical religious reactionary in europe today, and the way he tries to argue that "christianity" and the catholic church are part, and even responsible for the "cultural identity" of europe. Of course, such arguments disregard the whole renaissance, and the fact that the working classes were never that actively involved in the "structure" of catholicism as an organization. Any religious beliefs and even traditions could be carried out without the church apparatus, but of course that doesn't serve their interests, so they by all means keep the working class constantly "threatened" that their way of life is fully dependent of the keeping of such elites.

Now, the 5'o clock tea in the UK, the caffes in rome, the cheese in france, none of that needs, or is dependent of the burgeoise, nor it isn't any threat to a socialism revolution.
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Re: Bourgeois vs. Proletarian culture

Post by GF on Tue May 31, 2011 7:01 am

Isakenaz wrote:One of the curses of the 'chatbox' is that excellant questions tend to get asked on there, thus excluding those who are not logged on at that stage or prefer not to use the chatbox at all.
I know the archives exist for those logged on to check back and see what was discussed, but they have a shelf life, and once that has expired the discussion is gone.
Sometime yesterday, one of our members, 'Godfaesten', asked a good question and one that deserves to be thrown open to discussion by all. The question was, and I reproduce it here hopefully with his blessing;

Being Socialists, do you think Marx's idea of bourgeois vs. proletarian culture is relevant? And if so, how would we reconcile it with our nationalism, I mean what is a nation if it doesn't have some sort of culture?

Please think about it.

Ha, you make me feel like a priest. But anyway, go right ahead, I'd love to see what others have to say on it.

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Re: Bourgeois vs. Proletarian culture

Post by Metal Gear on Tue May 31, 2011 7:47 am

Aside from Marx, basic observation makes it clear that while there may be a difference between overall bourgeois and proletarian cultures, culture is obviously also stratified by other things, such as nationality. Obviously the proletariat speaks different native tongues, practices different religions, etc.

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Re: Bourgeois vs. Proletarian culture

Post by Admin on Tue May 31, 2011 9:40 pm

In the Third World, many socialists herald peasant culture as a genuine expression of the national culture. This is due to the fact that those areas of a country are the most isolated and thus the least influenced by bourgeois cosmopolitanism. On a theoretical basis, Marxists tend to support the creation of a uniquely proletarian cosmopolitanism. On a practical basis, however, Stalinist, Maoist, et al. orders tend to follow the aforementioned Third World socialist model.

Of course, in the West, that sort pro-peasant culture approach is somewhat problematic, as the rural cultures are reactionary in ways that transcend their Third World counterparts. (I attribute that to the West's imperialist status and history.)
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Re: Bourgeois vs. Proletarian culture

Post by Isakenaz on Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:30 pm

Interesting, but how do we differentiate between bourgeois culture and that of the proletariat? Especially as most culture is history based and history is essentialy the preserve of the bourgeois, deals only in passing with the working-class, and then usually from a borgeois perspesctive.
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Re: Bourgeois vs. Proletarian culture

Post by Celtiberian on Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:27 pm

I don't believe the bourgeoisie necessarily has a culture that is easily distinguishable from that of the proletariat. Consider the well-known example of the House of Medici. They were obviously instrumental in the ascent of Italian Renaissance, but the various artists associated with the Renaissance were not exclusively from bourgeois backgrounds. Likewise, the Catholic Church commisioned a number of artists who contributed to projects that are hallmarks of European culture (i.e., the Sistine Chapel, etc.) The same can be said of the former aristocracy. 

The connoisseurship observed in the bourgeois and aristocratic classes is the result of their greater wealth and, thus, increased leisure time to devote to the arts. They've also been able to afford an education which imposed in them an appreciation of the fine arts. But again, the actual painters, sculptors, authors, and musicians the wealthy appreciate(d) were/are from a plurality of social classes.

The things that are easily identifiable as being aspects of bourgeois culture, in my opinion, are cosmopolitanism and conspicuous consumption. This, too, is the result of their immense level of disposable income.

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