Society is Abstract

Our lives are ruled by abstractions, and they are almost always evil and oppressive. Nation, gender, race, “identity,” profession, whatever role one plays on a daily basis—all abstractions, with no reality outside of our beliefs. And the strongest and most oppressive of them all is the abstract principle of exchange, which makes one dollar equivalent to any other, and equates everything in the world through its dollar value. For an artist, a dollar is a particular thing, with a rip in it or a smudge or a crease that no other dollar has. A thing. But in our world, a dollar is an abstraction that overrides the particularity of every singular thing. Art has to stand against this completely, and that’s why a dash of positivism is good.

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