Kovacevic's ca. 100 quotations are now archived here.
(the images at both sides are screenshots of K's defunct site)
|On repressive freedom, from One Dimensional Man:
"Under the rule of a repressive whole, liberty can be made into a powerful instrument of domination. Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves. Free choice among a wide variety of goods and services does not signify freedom if these goods and services sustain social controls over a life of toil and fear -- that is, if they sustain alienation. And the spontaneous reproduction of superimposed needs by the individual does not establish autonomy; it only testifies to the efficacy of the controls."
(guestbook entry from a reader in Alaska, September 23, 2002)
The so-called consumer society and the politics of corporate capitalism
have created a second nature of man which ties him libidinally and aggressively
to the commodity form. The need for possessing, consuming, handling and
constantly renewing the gadgets, devices, instruments, engines, offered
to and imposed upon the people, for using these wares even at the danger
of one’s own destruction, has become a “biological”
Self-determination, the autonomy of the individual, asserts itself in
the right to race his automobile, to handle his power tools, to buy a
gun, to communicate to mass audiences his opinion, no matter how ignorant,
how aggressive, it may be.
Obscenity is a moral concept in the verbal arsenal of the Establishment,
which abuses the term by applying it, not to expressions of its own morality,
but to those of another.
If the worker and his boss enjoy the same television program and visit
the same resort places, if the typist is as attractively made up as the
daughter of her employer, if the Negro owns a Cadillac, if they all read
the same newspaper, then this assimilation indicates not the disappearance
of classes, but the extent to which the needs and satisfactions that serve
the preservation of the Establishment are shared by the underlying population.
If mass communications blend together harmoniously, and often unnoticeably,
art, politics, religion, and philosophy with commercials, they bring these
realms of culture to their common denominator—the commodity form.
The music of the soul is also the music of salesmanship. Exchange value,
not truth value, counts.
Freedom of enterprise was from the beginning not altogether a blessing. As the liberty to work or to starve, it spelled toil, insecurity, and fear for the vast majority of the population. If the individual were no longer compelled to prove himself on the market, as a free economic subject, the disappearance of this freedom would be one of the greatest achievements of civilization. [One-Dimensional Man, ch. 1 (1964).]
The web of domination has become the web of Reason itself, and this
society is fatally entangled in it.
It is generally admitted that the cultural values (humanization) and
the existing institutions and policies of society are rarely, if ever,
in harmony. This opinion has found expression in the distinction between
culture and civilization, according to which “culture” refers
to some higher dimension of human autonomy and fulfillment, while “civilization”
designates the realm of necessity, of socially necessary work and behavior,
where man is not really himself and in his own element but is subject
to heteronomy, to external conditions and needs.
On the "affirmative character of culture":
On "Flower power":
Here's one on memory, (Harold's translation):
"Vergangene Leiden vergessen heißt den Kräften vergeben, die diese Leiden verursachen - ohne diese Kräfte zu überwinden. Die Wunden, die mit der Zeit heilen, sind auch die Wunden, die das Gift enthalten. Gegenüber dieser Eingebung in die Zeit ist die Wiedereinsetzung der Erinnerung in ihr Recht als Mittel der Befreiung eine der edelsten Aufgaben des Denkens."
|To forget past suffering means to forgive the powers that caused that suffering - without overcoming those powers. The wounds that heal with time are also the wounds that contain poison. In opposition to this concession to time, the reintroduction of memory in its just/correct use as a means of liberation is one of the most noble tasks of reason/thought.|
The context may help: quoted as an epigram in an article
by Ursula Kastler in the Salzburger Nachrichten, on healing the trauma
of 9/11/01, one year later. The article begins: "Die Wiedereinsetzung
der Erinnerung in ihr Recht als Mittel der Befreiung: Menschen, die körperlich,
seelisch und sozial einen schweren Einbruch erleben, sind extremem Schmerz,
der Verzweiflung und Trauer ausgeliefert. Die Frage ist, wie kann der
Mensch das Trauma, das, was ihm unfassbar und schrecklich begegnet ist,
in sein Dasein einbauen?
On the future of left political activism:
MSN's Encarta on-line encyclopedia contains 2 quotations (full view only for subscribers) [link]:
"Make love, not war"
This slogan is sometimes attributed to Herbert (see the Haters' Page). I don't believe he coined the phrase, which emerged in the 1960s. Here's one reference I found:
Links to other quotations: