But we cannot rely upon special favors granted by private companies (and quasi-monopoly collecting societies) to define our access to culture, even if the favors are generous, at least at the start. Instead our focus should be on the underlying quandary that gives rise to the need for this elaborate scheme to regulate access to culture. However clever the settlement, however elegant the technology, we should keep Peter Drucker’s words clear in our head: “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

Lawrence Lessig: TNR

But the true mental captivity of our time lies elsewhere. Our contemporary faith in “the market” rigorously tracks its radical nineteenth-century doppelgaenger—the unquestioning belief in necessity, progress, and History. Just as the hapless British Labour chancellor in 1929–1931, Philip Snowden, threw up his hands in the face of the Depression and declared that there was no point opposing the ineluctable laws of capitalism, so Europe’s leaders today scuttle into budgetary austerity to appease “the markets.”

Tony Judt, reflecting on Czeslaw Milosz’ Captive Mind, with perhaps a slight degree of relevance to the questions posed by Lessig: via NYRB

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