Antimatter Marxism

For me, the most amusing feature of Clown World is that our Postmodern Marxists — the ones who can’t even spell “proletariat” — have proven that Karl Marx was 100% right. It’s a weird, antimatter kind of Marxism, but it’s the world we live in. Consider:

Marx argued that capitalism ends up making everything into a commodity (this is called “reification;” use it at least four times in six paragraphs if you want to ace your Soash 202 final). And by “everything,” he meant everything — art, love, beauty, friendship, all of it “is brought to the market, to be assessed at its truest value.” And he was right! The only thing is, “its truest value” turns out to be zero.

You can put the Mona Lisa on t-shirts, on posters… it should be a snap, with scanners and 3D printers, to turn out a plastic version indistinguishable from the real thing, right down to the smudges of Leonardo’s fingerprints (I hope I didn’t give just any aspiring art forgers an idea). So much for beauty, and as for friendship, well, who really keeps up with old friends anymore? Email killed letters, Facebook killed email, and we all know how Facebook works. “Gosh, Johnny was a great guy back in the days, but oh look, he posted a meme that is less than 100% condemnatory of Donald Trump. Unfriend!!!” Take it out as far as you please — if it isn’t totally in line with what you’re feeling right now, this second, then it’s useless, and into the trash bin it goes, because why not? It’s all just bytes and pixels.

See also: The current chimpout over statues, any statues, of anyone, anywhere. If it doesn’t make sense to you, read the above paragraph again. What could possibly be the point of a statue, any statue? It’s just some person who did something, as Ilhan Omar would say. There’s no point to having it up, and pulling it down feels good, so pull it down! The urge to destroy is also a creative urge, Bakunin said, and he too was right — since the Postmodern Marxist’s “life” is nothing but a constant act of self-fashioning, pulling down a statue is a small price to pay for a temporary virtue hit. Or — see above — it’s actually no price at all, because you could have a new statue up tomorrow, exactly like the original, for nothing.

Marx also said that capitalism reduces people to nothing but their labor. Again, he was 100% right, antimatter-style. Most of us have long suspected that lots of “jobs” out there are make-work. We even sensed it as kids. What could Mom and Dad possibly be doing all day, while we’re sitting in daycare or vegging out in front of MTV, that’s so all-fired important? I can’t for the life of me figure out what lawyers and CPAs do to keep themselves busy all day, to say nothing of the world’s customer service representatives. Hell, I was a customer service representative, back when high school and college kids could get boiler-room type jobs for summer work. The only real-world skill I learned was how to look busy for seven hours, given that I’d finished all my actual, productive tasks by 9 am.

That was thirty years ago. Thanks to the Kung Flu, it’s clear that “lots of jobs are make-work” really means something like “90% of jobs, at least, are make-work.” During the lockdown, I changed my insurance, got a routine physical, picked up some prescriptions, made some investments and liquidated some others, helped my sister’s kids with their homework, got a new pair of glasses, and, oh yeah, continued to work a full schedule at my bill-paying job… all remotely, without coming into physical contact with another living soul. So what earthly good are my insurance agent, my doctor, my pharmacists, my broker and banker, any teachers, my optometrist, let alone any of their support staff — receptionists, bookkeepers, back-office drones of all types?

Take it out a step further: What good am I, myself, under those circumstances, if I could still do my job 100% remotely? Surely I’m no exception to the attitude — already common before the Kung Flu, now nearly universal — that asks, “why can’t this be a smartphone app?” Answer: I’m not. I, too, could easily be a smartphone app.

If that ain’t alienation, so pure that Karl Marx must be getting a stiffie down in Hell, then buddy, nothing could be.

Draw what lessons from that you will. If you’ve actually read Marx, you know what his answer would be….

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6 thoughts on “Antimatter Marxism

  1. BadThinker

    I work in software/data technology. I saw a T-shirt once that said “I will replace you with a shell script.” The scary thing is that most modern office jobs *can* be replaced with scripts.

    Marx was just 100 years too soon – the assembly line alienated us from the work of our hands, but computers are alienating us from the work of our minds. I suppose the next step is for globohomo to figure out how to alienate us from the work of our souls. We’re well on the way there…

  2. Pickle Rick

    I argue that leftism ends up making everything political. And by “everything,” I mean everything — art, love, beauty, friendship, all of it “is brought to the commissars to be assessed at its truest value.”

    1. contrariandutchman

      And the commissars have a simple valuation scheme: everything is valued at zero, people, their art, their love, their beauty and friendship is worth absolutely nothing. And since false consciousness continues to make people think this is wrong and there is value there it must all be destroyed.

      1. Pickle Rick

        They do have a currency of a sort. Fear. They enforce discipline in the ranks through fear, not always of the Leninist/Stalinist physical variety, but fear of ostracism, or in modern wokespeak, being canceled.

        For us on the other side, the fear is for job, or being left alone from the online mob.
        Now, of course, there’s literal fear of a real mob.

  3. james wilson

    Tocqueville, 1835
    Democratic communities have a natural taste for freedom, but for equality their passion is ardent, insatiable, incessant, and invincible: they call for equality in freedom; and if they cannot obtain that, they still call for equality in slavery. Philosophic systems that destroy human individuality will have secret attractions for men who live in a democracy. 

    The more social conditions become equal and the less power individuals possess, the more easily men drift with the crowd and find it difficult to stand alone in an opinion abandoned by the rest. Men are much alike, and they are annoyed, as it were, by any deviation from that likeness; far from seeking to preserve their own distinguishing singularities, they endeavor to shake them off in order to identify themselves with the general mass of the people, which is the sole representative of right and of might in their eyes. 

    Princes had turned violence into a physical thing but our democratic republics have made it into something as intellectual as the human will it intends to restrict. The unity, the universality, the omnipotence of society’s power, and the uniformity of its rules represent the outstanding feature of all the political systems invented in our day. They recur at the heart of the strangest utopias. The human mind still pursues these images even in its dreams. 

  4. ganderson

    I’m genuinely frightened about what awaits us in the 20 Years or so I have left. The bad behavior of mobs we’ve had sporadically throughout our history, but what seems different is the way those in authority are unwilling to exercise that authority. I see my hometown burning, and no one lifting a finger to save it, monuments to great men torn down nationwide, not, for the most part, by the alienated underclass, but by the spawn of the privileged, miseducated in our elite universities.

    We are asked, neigh, demanded to mouth the most obvious untruths as if they were the bedrock principles of our civilization.. We have more nifty shit than any people who have ever lived, yet every day we descend further into barbarism, with our so called leaders clearing the path.

    I’ve banged on about this before, but those of us that grew up in the 50’s and 60’s really believed that the wonderland of our youth (and this was true throughout the west) was, to use a current phrase, “the new normal”. Guess not

    I suppose it’s ok, though, because “ we’re all in this together “.

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