At a first glance brands would seem to be the opposite, or indeed the negation of ethics. Built on superficial sign values instead of substance; glitzy surfaces instead of depth, and vacuous promises in lieu of bounding commitments, brands are part of the edifice of post-modern consumer society that, as Zygmunt Bauman (2008) and many others before him have argued, tends to negate the very possibility of ethics.
The [students´] agitating makes me think of something that was invented one day, if I recall correctly, by my good, late friend Marcel Duchamp, ‘A bachelor prepares his own chocolate’. Take care that the agitator is not preparing his own chocolate. Jacques Lacan in 1969 [Lacan, 2007: 199]
The University of Culture, instituted by Humboldt, draws its legitimacy from culture, which names the synthesis of teaching and research, process and product, history and reason, philology and criticism, historical scholarship and aesthetic experience, the institution and the individual. (Readings, 1996: 65)
The Idea of communism, as Alain Badiou (2008: 98) explains, is an historical anchoring point ‘of everything elusive, slippery and evanescent’, a becoming-truth that negates capitalism, the institutions which support it and the ideology of ‘there is no alternative’. A communistic impulse is arguably present in all of us, an impulse for equality, self-determination and justice: an impulse that business and politicians capture in claims about fairness, inclusivity and now sensitivity to the environment.