I'm going to attempt to put two rabble articles together to start a conversation here. I think they are both very interesting.
First, In A Snail's Pace: In Praise of Slow, a featured book review this week.
Second, In Search of a Unified Black Culture, an article written by Tricia Hylton on February 23, 2006 about TRIOS, a way to conceptualize a unified Black culture.
Here is where the two seem to connect. In Praise of Slow (reviewed by Rebecca Silver Slayter) explores the pace of our lives -- how our lives are perhaps too fast. The review also tells us that the book examines the growth of FAST, or of human cultivation of fast culture and extreme time-consciousness.
Here's a quote from the review
There is an implicit connection between capitalism and obsession with speed: as workers began to be paid by hour worked rather than product or service rendered, and Benjamin Franklin stated famously and fatefully, “Time is money,” our world took a turn. Time has become the currency and capital virtue of the twenty-first century.
This quote, plus thinking back to Hylton's article made a little popping sound in my brain (not usually good, but in this case, good).
According to Hylton, the first part of TRIOS is time. Here is what she says about it.
The first element of TRIOS is Time. Cultures experience “time” in two distinct ways explains Jones. Some cultures treat time as a commodity while other cultures exist in fluidity with time. Those cultures originating from Africa embody the latter concept of time.
According to Jones, slavery introduced the conscious notion of time into our culture. He notes, “One of the most conspicuous losses of freedom impelled by slavery was the loss of [time] freedom.”
The time value of African culture, however, has not completely disappeared. Through the years, cultural behaviours characterized by sayings such as “Any time is Trinidad time,” and “Black people time,” have emerged as our way of reclaiming the time value lost in slavery.
So basically, there is a reclamation of time, something that was taken from Black culture brutally. But I think it is probably being taken from other cultures as well.
Here is my last quote for the posting, from the review again (I swear this is the last quote):
We visit less speed-obsessed countries for holidays, to restore to our minds and bodies all that speed has cost us, but often these are the very countries we trivialize as somehow less advanced, so faithful we are to the speed-equals-success equation.
It seems that speed can be added so well into the critique of capitalism. When I visualize the "West" (Western Europe, Canada, US...) I do think of people rushing around. It is the epicentre of capitalism. From there permeate ripples of speed, slowing down as they move out -- though these ripples also signify the poverty and near-slavery that results from the speed of the centre of capitalism on the countries not so "privileged" to be included in the centre.
What an interesting way to look at things.
Does anyone out there have more information on this slow v. speed or fluid v. concrete time examples? I think it's very interesting indeed.
Also, for the reviewer, if she's around, could you elaborate on what the book explicitly says about capitalism and speed? I know you mentioned an implicit critique.