Tuesday, May 01, 2007
There is something in human history like retribution; and it is a rule of historical retribution that its instrument be forged not by the offended, but by the offender himself. The first blow dealt to the French monarchy proceeded from the nobility, not from the peasants. The Indian revolt does not commence with the ryots, tortured, dishonoured and stripped naked by the British, but with the sepoys, clad, fed and petted, fatted and pampered by them.
Karl Marx, in an article written for the New York Daily Tribune, September 16, 1857
See, the point ole Uncle Karl was trying to make is that flaws in the system can be fatal flaws, but if they are of the system, they are likely forged by the system itself; not a by-product or an accidental side-effect, but something honest and crucial, without which the system does not perpetuate--or even cannot exist. And further, the promises built into the system that are then ignored, delayed or frankly unrealistic then become the trigger for that system's ultimate destruction. In this way, for example, the modern bourgeoisie seeped in and themselves enjoying easily mouthed ideals of democracy, freedom, equality and meritocracy in practice benefit greatly from the denial of all these things in full or in part to the wide majority of workers whose labor serves to enrich the owners of the means of production (the bourgeois themselves) at the expense of those at the bottom without whom the system of capitalist expansion is impossible and to whom all roads to a well-earned improvement of their station are not only so narrow, so treacherous but also well guarded and better hid.
This is the impetus for small actions that swell into ever-increasing larger ones that will eventually result in the inevitable, calamitous reconciliation of a paradox, a contradiction, a dialect of unmatchable--in both color and type--threads woven into the fabric of our culture and our society that can only mean the certain unraveling of the whole.
Or at least that's what it meant last year when millions of people took to the streets on May 1 to cry out for the rights and the needs of the alienated, alien forgotten and then went for some barbacoa.
But this year, even goat-meat tacos, I guess, weren't enough to keep the perpetual bus of inevitable revolution running. People are still coming out--there will always be a certain percentage of America's young people who will protest anything so long as there are math tests that can be missed--but in fractional amounts compared to last year.
I despair for ole Uncle Karl and his insisted-upon can't-miss revolution. I mean, he's been dead for almost 125 years and still the only places that really tried it weren't even really capitalist bourgeois democracies in the first place. Communism is in serious danger of becoming the Tony Mandarich of political philosophy. The only reason we shouldn't feel bad for Communism is because utopian theocracy will always be it's Ryan Leaf.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.0
Labels: snootchie bootchies