Power needs culture

from Terry Eagleton’s new book: Reason, Faith and Revolution (Yale: 2009) p. 150

“Culture is what beds power down, interweaving it with our lived experience and thus tightening its grip upon us. An authority which fails to do this will loom up as too abstract and aloof, and thus fail to secure its citizens’ unqualified allegiance. If power is to win loyalty, it must transform itself into culture”

Eagleton is talking about culture with a small “c” here — norms and lived experience — but I think it also works in a way for big “C ” culture too: i.e. Art. Power has to find a way to translate itself into representation and communication if it is going to become part of a generalized way of seeing which then makes power normal, natural, inevitable and invisible. Does this holds true for counter-power as well?

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