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Showing posts from July 12, 2020

Neoliberalism and privilege

Marx was the great theorist of the revolutions that ushered in modernity, and if one is seeking the genealogy of “privilege”, that elusive neo-liberal concept, he’s a good person to go to. Marx thought that the old hierarchy, the old social order, was largely determined by family and provenance (provenance being basically ethnicity, and religion), while the new social order – one that came in, symbolically, the bonfire of “privileges” – the casting off of the aristocratic governing class and the entrance of the bourgeoisie -was characterized, as a total social fact, by the exploitation of labor by capital. However, Marx’s model was ideal. It was an ideal that was being realized, patchily, in real time. All that was solid did not, really, melt into air. Moreover, with the elastic but handy notion of alienation, Marx had a conceptual tool to understand not only the affect of the new order of exploitation, but the existential effect of the undermining of “all that is solid”. As we

two poems: mallarme and chamisso

Two poems From Mallarme Male anxiety I can’t seem this evening to conquer your body, beast, in whom the sins of a people stir, nor pit a sad storm in your dirty hair under the incurable boredom of my poured out kisses. From your bed I want that heavy, dreamless sleep floating on sheets that have never known remorse such as you might have tasted after your black lies - you who know more of nothingness than the dead. For vice, gnawing my native nobility has marked me, like you, with its sterility; while as long as there lives in your stony breast a heart that the tooth of crime cannot tear, I flee, pale, defeated, haunted by my winding sheet afraid of dying when, alone, I sleep. Crematoria Dad said the crematoria were expensive to build and upkeep - they spend money on natural gas like it is going out of style. Two million BTUs - the cast alloy metal ovens the fire bricks, this is the down side. I said