Now Politics: the Political Opinions of Thomas Sarebbenonnato

A Friend of the People Opposing Elites; Social and Political Commentary of Thomas Sarebbenonnato; Publishing and Contributing Editor, Jay V. Ruvolo [Copyright (c) Jay Ruvolo 2018]

CAPITALISM AND THE OBSCENE

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Without being a dyed in the cotton communist, it would be easy for me to say that virtually everything about Capitalism is obscene, what we mean when we say something is obscene, no matter how that definition has shifted over the millennia since the term obscene has referred to anything that should not be seen, at least in public. We do have our private obscenities, but then this is another essay. The etymology of the word ‘obscene’ is the Greek ob skena, which means, off stage. It was reserved for anything the Greeks thought should not be performed or shown on stage in their theater. All revenge in Greek drama was ob skena. No depictions of sex were on stage; this was obscene. I am not herein going to put forward anything akin to old Nazis diatribes about the decadence of wester bourgeois capitalist democracies. We can critique capitalism and contemporary democracy without being opposed to the civilization that has nurtured them or allowed them to suffer a mal-nutrition. And we do feed our institutions that then nourish society systemically.

I can say that everything about Capitalism is obscene without concluding that Capitalism is in itself evil. I am not going to venture an analysis of socio-economic systems. I do not assent to Capitalism being an evil, nor do I agree that it is invariably good, nor do I think that it is neutral and therefore virtually, if not actually, benign. Most of us think that when something is understood to be neutral, it is at least implied, if not predicated, that this thing is benign and only remotely possibly malignant. There are many who might like to conclude the neutrality of Capitalism, as if expressing the wisest assessment, but then this is born of America’s love affair with consensus. Yes, everyone is allowed to disagree and allowed to present opposing positions, only so long as they conform to the dogma that everyone must reach consensus in the end. What is is, though, whether I have formed an opinion on the moral state of capitalism or not. Can any ism have morality? Can communism be evil or good or neutral in itself? This is a question, one of several questions, that must be asked, as well as thought through, to determine whether capitalism is a good or an evil or neither or both. I will, though, refrain from concluding that what is is right. What is, is, and is whatever is is as it is when it is where it is however it is or becomes. This is true enough. The obscenity of capitalism lies in the ability for things other than just sexuality to be pornographic. Obscenity has always had some relationship with should and should not; what is to be seen and what is to be off stage, so to speak, if we pay attention to the etymology of the word ‘obscene.’ I do contend that words are never fully or far removed from their etymologies, and these etymologies remain, if in no other way, at least residually connotative in every context of use. [I should write more on this, although, I have to reserve that for what is upcoming. I will discuss this further only in one or more essays in the future. Seek the pages section for them. One must always look to the pages section of this website and not just the blog pages. I know that the inclination to do this might not be pronounced. I know that the way many have been taught to read, essays of one thousand or two thousand words, as might be found among the essays gathered in the pages section, could be daunting. I know that the essays I write require a different dedication than do the entries in the blog, the reading of which is foreshortened. Let us then try to stretch our literacy beyond what can be digested from the literary equivalent of the sound bite, or should we say, sound bit. Any assessment of information herein needs more than what is achieved by superficially skimming pages as waiters do with their crumb scoop over the table cloth after dinner and before coffee and dessert.]

I am also going to avoid saying what most ideological Capitalists like to assert, and that is that Capitalism is natural, more organic to humans and their interactive needs than any other socio-economic system. I cannot say something like this without cringing and imagining being in a Wall Street board room. I am not now, nor have I ever been, nor am I likely ever to be a communist; but I cannot agree that Capitalism is a more natural economic system. I have my problems with American Totalitarian Capitalist dogma, and I will not in reflex support it within these pages. It would be absurd for me to claim that Capitalism is a more natural economic system; it would be equally absurd to say that Communism is better suited at managing the needs of a People. Moreover, as concerns the obscenity of Capitalism, this is easy for me to assert. Capitalism does turn everything it touches or covers or finds itself in association with into pornography if it does not transform all relationships into forms of prostitution. We pretend that marriage in America is about love, when in fact it mostly about prostitution–a mutual prostitution of all interactions within marriage, including child rearing. I know how many hairs have begun to stand on end up ad down the arms of those who cannot entertain that anything like prostitution can be linked with raising children; but then I am not say prostitution as we understand this in its street-walker connotations and turning sexual tricks for favor or money. Yet there is something akin to prostitution in our understanding of marriage, and therefore, something like prostitution in all relationships that come from marriage or are fostered within it. The return of sexual favors for gain is not what I am talking about, but how everything in the market of commodity exchange has tainted all exchanges including the exchange of love and affection, friendship, and employer/employee relationships. Capitalism is thus a vice. Every Capitalist is one kind of pimp or another. On the real playing fields of Capitalism, there are only pimps or prostitutes. This is why the pimps on Wall Street have such contempt for us; wearetheir bitches.

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Written by jvr

May 24, 2019 at 11:27 am

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