Wednesday, May 1, 2024

"Marx and Engels Meet The Jetsons"

Since it's May Day, a repost from May 2013:

We've looked at some aspects of Marx and Engels:
Karl Marx Dabbles in the Market (and rationalizes his success)
Karl Marx on Market Manias
Friedrich Engels: Global Macro With an Emphasis on Commodities

Here's more, from The Baffler:

Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit

A secret question hovers over us, a sense of disappointment, a broken promise we were given as children about what our adult world was supposed to be like. I am referring not to the standard false promises that children are always given (about how the world is fair, or how those who work hard shall be rewarded), but to a particular generational promise—given to those who were children in the fifties, sixties, seventies, or eighties—one that was never quite articulated as a promise but rather as a set of assumptions about what our adult world would be like. And since it was never quite promised, now that it has failed to come true, we’re left confused: indignant, but at the same time, embarrassed at our own indignation, ashamed we were ever so silly to believe our elders to begin with.

Where, in short, are the flying cars? Where are the force fields, tractor beams, teleportation pods, antigravity sleds, tricorders, immortality drugs, colonies on Mars, and all the other technological wonders any child growing up in the mid-to-late twentieth century assumed would exist by now? Even those inventions that seemed ready to emerge—like cloning or cryogenics—ended up betraying their lofty promises. What happened to them?...MUCH MORE
"...In the earliest formulations, which largely came out of the Marxist tradition, a lot of this technological background was acknowledged. Fredric Jameson’s “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism” proposed the term “postmodernism” to refer to the cultural logic appropriate to a new, technological phase of capitalism, one that had been heralded by Marxist economist Ernest Mandel as early as 1972. Mandel had argued that humanity stood at the verge of a “third technological revolution,” as profound as the Agricultural or Industrial Revolution, in which computers, robots, new energy sources, and new information technologies would replace industrial labor—the “end of work” as it soon came to be called—reducing us all to designers and computer technicians coming up with crazy visions that cybernetic factories would produce...."
HT: The Columbia Journalism Review's The Audit blog.

Marx on Politics

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, 
diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies."
-Groucho (source)
"Marx at 193"
...Groucho versus Karl: the great Marx debate
Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.
Karl Marx 
It isn’t necessary to have relatives in Kansas City in order to be unhappy.
Groucho Marx

The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.
Karl Marx 
Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.
Groucho Marx

The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.
Karl Marx 
In America you can go on the air and kid the politicians, and the politicians can go on the air and kid the people.
Groucho Marx
Is the color scheme a little too, as they say in Hollywood, On the Nose?