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C. Wright Mills

„The first rule for understanding the human condition is that men live in second-hand worlds: they are aware of much more than they have personally experienced; and their own experience is always indirect. No man stands alone directly confronting a world of solid facts. No such world is available. The closest men come to it is when they are infants or when they become insane: then, in a terrifying scene of meaningless events and senseless confusion, they are often seized with the panic of near-total insecurity. Bur in their everyday lives the experience of men is itself selected by stereotyped meanings and shaped by ready-made interpretations. Their images of the world, and of themselves, are given to them by crowds of witnesses they have never met and never will meet. Yet for every man these images—provided by strangers and dead men—are the very basis of his life as a human being.“

C. Wright Mills, The Cultural Apparatus (1942, 1963²): https://culturalapparatus.wordpress.com/culture-and-politics-the-fourth-epoch/the-cultural-apparatus/



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