Ariel Sharon and Stalin
foucault at eden.rutgers.edu
Thu Mar 23 00:51:33 MST 1995
Mr. Moellendorf's and Paul's (sorry, I deleted the letter with your
last name) discussion, in which I agree with Mr. Moellendorf's views, point
out, by implication the problem of being overly broad in defining class.
Marxists must be the ones to say that it is not the "who" but the
wherewithall of class with which we should take issue. Bill Buckley and all
the Boston Brahmin are nothing. The fact that property owners give them
advantage for their pretentions is everything. Race, gender, sexual
orientation, and cultural allegiance are only the letters of different
fraternities. People can associate with whomever they want as long as they
don't get any money - and the ability to make money - by doing it. Of course
we should point out that class distinctions are artificial and nonsensical,
but their importance as identifiers relies on the power that class
association - the economic power - gives the chauvinist.
In the ghetto, where life is difficult and dangerous, people group
together for protection. But the Crips and the Bloods are no more dangerous
than any other down and out, except for their guns and fists. Likewise, the
bourgeoisie are no more dangerous than their money. Capitalism creates the
cutthroat reality, the bangers and the board members are just a little more
willing to embrace that reality than the rest of us.
We marxists need to group too, but for stewardship rather than
rapine. There is a Chinese Buddhist saying that asks us not to hate the
tiger for his bite. Lions, after a little declawing and maybe some Xanax,
make excellent pets, even for us lambs.
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