Never know what I’m going to come up with…
Just playing around with the GIMP program while listening to this speech on Karl Marx’s economic views:
[Dammit, the video was removed from YT and I can’t recall the name of the lecturer to replace it.]
Since being referred to as a “Cultural Marxist” by a stranger the other day, figured I ought to brush back up on what he put forth. I get how Karl Marx’s ideas might could translate in smaller communities where people grew and raised their own foods and largely provided for their own needs. But once we expand out into an industrial or, in today’s case, a largely post-industrial setup, many jobs created are tailored to providing for a major population, which entails breaking labor down into assembly lines for greater efficiency. And those kinds of jobs tend to be monotonous and unfulfilling, hence why they’re typically relegated to lower-class workers (and often for crappy pay). Indeed even Marx agrees, as I interpret what he’s primarily referring to as the sort of worthwhile labor that directly contributes value to our lives involves those tasks required to nurture our bodies. The forms of labor people find themselves trapped in today oftentimes are positions that wouldn’t exist if not for the economic machine of such tremendous scale that currently exists.
That consideration ties in with my own view that the work we do must correspond with creating value for ourselves and others, this being one necessary component if we endeavor to live truly productive lives capable of experiencing freedom. So long as we remain dependent on major corporations to provide us with everything we need to survive, we will always be expected to play this economy’s game, from start to finish (employee to consumer); it is those possessing power within that setup who decide pricing, not what’s posing as a supposed “free market” today. They possess the drive and apparently the ability (thanks to a lack of regulations enforcement) to monopolize and oligopolize and thereby set their own rules since real competition is actively stifled. Small businesses demolished in this process was no accident — it was necessary to forge the kind of society we have now, and we’d be fools to believe its growth will halt anytime soon.
The truth about capitalism is that it is a beast that will run and run and run so long as it can. The regulators of it were supposed to be us and our government, yet unfortunately our government was formed at the same time modern corporations got their start, so there was little wisdom at that time to draw up in the Constitution on how we might best manage what turned out to be a new economic and technological age, unprecedented and unpredictable 250 years ago.
Through the immediate colluding between monied interests and those working within government, fascism began to take shape in the 19th century. It had been coming long before the two world wars, and it’s here now, and it will be closer still tomorrow.
Citizens, in such a short span of time, have grown dependent on this way of life and many can imagine it no other way. We are locked into its narrative, chasing its fantasies, dodging its pitfalls where able, and worshiping its gods of money and usury and superficiality. Money is not the root of all evil, per se. The evil here appears to be in the conformist vision that aims to bend humans to fit the machine, even if it breaks us and destroys our quality of life and disrupts the social relations that make our lives worth living. And all for what? For power. For greed. For control. To suit the ambitions of a few who aspire to god-like status above all other human beings, and to serve whatever lunatic ideologies they operate with. But it is not they who concern me most. It is us who allow this to be.
That all said, there are plenty of spots where Marx and I diverge and head off in our own directions, as to be expected. But the lecturer is correct that Karl Marx posed questions that won’t easily go away or find resolution.