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1 From the Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism to the Creative Economy: Reflections on the New Spirit of Art and Capitalism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the paradox of the antagonistic symbiosis between the nineteenth-century boheme and bourgeois society and the contemporary paradox of the alliance between bohemia and capitalism. It comprises a question whether this change from an antagonistic to an affirmative relationship signals the emergence of new conception of art, which is explored in the light of question whether changing spirit of capitalism in the twentieth century can be related to comparable changes in artistic creativity. The chapter observes a comparable 'revolutionary' misunderstanding of this ambivalence, which in fact masked a fundamental change in the hitherto tense relations between artistic critique and capitalism, recognized by Bell only negatively in terms of dissolution of cultural contradiction between bourgeois asceticism and bohemian hedonism. The antagonism of capitalism and culture, art and technology disappears in the creative economy, just as the antagonism of bourgeois society and bohemian subculture disappears in the new cultural class.

Keywords: antagonistic symbiosis; bohemian hedonism; bourgeois asceticism; capitalism; creative economy; cultural contradictions



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