Are we languishing in capitalist decadence?

Dantes-Divine-Comedy-009Stuart Jeffries at The Guardian:

If you want to understand modern capitalism and consumer society, argues the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, you'd better explore the ramifications of Dostoevsky's metaphor. “He recognised the monstrous edifice as a man-eating structure,” Sloterdijk writes, “a cult container in which humans pay homage to the demons of the west: the power of money and pure movement.”

Sloterdijk sees Paxton's spawn everywhere today – crystal palaces containing the one and half billion winners of globalisation, while three times that number are excluded, some with their noses up against the glass until security guards hose them down. “Who can deny,” he writes, “that in its primary aspects, the western world – especially the European Union – embodies such a great interior today?” Who can deny, either, that the internet realises in cyberspace Paxton's dream of immateriality and of abolishing distance? “Experience the Arctic and the Amazon without the jet lag,” goes the ad. “Trek with Google Maps.”

It's perhaps inevitable that Sloterdijk would be catalysed by Dostoevsky's metaphor. In his vast trilogy Spheres, published between 1998 and 2004, Sloterdijk wrote the metaphysical history of enclosed spaces including Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes and space travel, though not Apple's iCloud (it hadn't yet appeared to Steve Jobs in a dream).

more here.