Today the weather turned, I put socks back on (with my sandals) and watched a documentary about Brian Eno, the ambient music composer, artist and music producer. It was fascinating to see the range of Eno's influences: management theory, game theory, adolescent rejection of Catholicism, a surprising range musical tastes, the precision crafts of his ancestors (restorers, clock menders…), art, and wider political concerns. This ‘Lifeworld’ (assumptions drawn from institutional, economic and cultural structures) distilled into his music and his art. Music that has neither melody, beat or rhythm, and yet music that can hold people in quiet appreciation for half an hour - an hour - four hours.
Brian Eno isn't to everybody's taste, but that isn't the point. The point is not to deny the importance of our 'Lifeworld' to our decision making, our preferences, and how we make sense of the world. A classic is the separation of Politics from Economics as though one was a technical issue and the other was an irrelevance indulged by idiots. Adam Smith and many of the Economists favoured by today’s neo-liberals presented themselves as 'Political Economists’, because they understood that competing interests were at the heart of Economics, and these competing interests had to be reconciled; which is the function of politics. To ignore the wider world would be to ignore the heart of Economics - what we value and why.
Similar separations can be found in the idea of the consumer, as if we are not talking about human beings, who also produce, have concerns about their wider communities and dream that things might be different. I suppose I'm arguing for the 'interconnectedness of things'. As for socks with sandals - connectedness cannot be justified in all circumstances (I was banned from leaving the house until I shed the socks).