By Jack Hanson
THE RED CHE Guevara t-shirt was always an essential item in any self-respecting liberal arts-radical’s wardrobe, but the market for consumer products aimed toward those with more refined philosophical tastes has always been lacking. Thankfully, that has begun to change. Next month, the luxury brand Hermès will release an homage to semiotician Roland Barthes in the form of a limited edition silk scarf, while the more thrifty philosophe can purchase a turtleneck inspired by French theorist Michel Foucault. For those who aren’t satisfied with these offerings, here are a few more products created with the stylish thinker, from a variety of income brackets, in mind:
1. Alexandre Kojève Ray-Ban sunglasses
If your implicit (and sometimes explicit) claim is that Hegel got history wrong in locating its end in himself and not you, you’ll want to look good while making it. Modeled on Kojeve’s own pair, these frames will give you the option of sliding them down your nose and fixing French finance ministers with withering glares, or else leaving them on and remaining coldly, brilliantly aloof. Best fit for those with angular faces and genius-level IQs.
2. Martin Heidegger Omega watch
Perfect for asking not only “what is the time?”, but, more to the point, “Who is time?” This uncanny (Unheimlich) timepiece will keep you facing up to death and living down any repugnant political ties.
3. Karl Marx Ikea office set
There may come a day when it’s possible “to hunt in the morning, to fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner…without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic.” But for now, let’s stick to what we’re good at. Set includes desk, chair, pen, and chains, the last of which may be lost.
4. Judith Butler Porsche and Mercedes performance parts
Given the central role of performativity in human life, you’ll want to be sure your foreign import sports car is performing to its maximum potential. Of course, what that potential consists in is nothing more than an internalized norm, the expression of which serves to make appear natural what is in reality wholly self-generating, but you’ll see results whether on the Autobahn, or just getting around Berkeley.
5. Jacques Lacan Ikea full-length mirror
God, does Ikea make a fine, affordable product, perfectly suited for exposing the illusory nature of a bounded self. Gazing at your own figure within a sturdy oak frame, you’ll have no problem reimagining that stage of cognitive development wherein your self-identity was totally fluid, an apt metaphor for the reality of consciousness.
JACK HANSON is a contributing editor for Partisan.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.