So I woke up this morning and felt even worse than yesterday. Isn’t this cold-thing supposed to go away? Maybe it is a result of me having not yet tried any onion-related treatments (I did buy onions, though). I also tried to remember what I ate yesterday. Chinese takeout and pizza. Seems like they are not putting enough vitamins in junk-food these days. Shocking. On the upside, however, I am able to remain heavily Nyquiled every night, which, at least for me, always results in incredibly vivid dreams (not always of the good kind). Last night I dreamt about sandcastles and I also seemed to be incredibly worried about what would happen to the sand-producing industry, now that all of Europe is banning smoking and public ashtrays do not need sand any more (yes, weird, I know–I already posted something to that effect somewhere else this morning–apparently at least my unconscious is funny). My apparent unconscious concern for the working sandman (if we want to interpret my dream as that–I would also be willing to go in the direction of sandman equalling desire to finally get a good night’s sleep, some displaced/overdetermined experience from yesterday, or, and thus might be the most disturbing interpretation, Sandman as in Freud’s “The Uncanny” in which case I shall be wearing squash goggles for the rest of the day–“ring of fire, spin about”–thanks E.T.A. Hoffmann!)–wow, long parenthetical interjection–so my concern for the working sandman will form the basis of of today’s post: February 21 as the publishing date of the Communist Manifesto.
The sad thing about the Communist Manifesto is that its over the top rhetoric that was supposed to rally the masses back when it was published is now the thing that drives the masses away from it. I would thus like to simply post some passages from the manifesto to remind people of how even over 150 years after its initial publication its criticism still not only rings true, but should inspire intellectual and scientific dialogue, rather than outright, idologically motivated, unquestioning and ignorant rejection. Here some passages:
“[The bourgeoisie] has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom–Free Trade.”
“It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst, i.e. to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.”
“[The bourgeoisie] has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons–the modern working class–the proletarians. In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e. capital, is developed, is developed, in the same proportion, the proletariat, the modern working class–a class of labourers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labor increases capital. These labourers, who must sell themselves piece-meal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.”
“The lower middle-class, the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all these fight against the bourgeoisie, to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle-class. They are therefore not revolutionary, but conservative. Nay more, they are reactionary, for they try to roll back the wheel of history.”
“Hitherto, every form of society has been based, as we have already seen, on the antagonism of oppressing and oppressed classes. But in order to oppress a class, certain conditions must be assured to it under which it can, at least, continue its slavish existence. The serf, in the period of serfdom, raised himself to membership in the commune, just as the petty bourgeois, under the yoke of feudal absolutism, managed to develop into a bourgeois. The modern labourer, however, instead of rising with the progress of industry, sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. He becomes a pauper, and pauperism develops more rapidly that population and wealth. And here it becomes evident, that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an over-riding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state, that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him.”
Two things that should seriously be discussed here regarding the persistent logic of capitalism and the populace’s reaction to it (and to its critique): 1) “revolution” being such as scary word in the US today (ironically, after this country was founded on a revolution), it should be noted that the bourgeoisie is really the revolutionary class; 2) that this bourgeoisie even within the logical paradigm of running an unjust and exploitative system cannot even get that right, meaning we need a continued openness regarding what indisputably forms the character of capitalism, namely that it is based upon central systemic and logical inadequacies and contradictions.
yours in global and sandy solidarity