On Popular culture - correction

Jurriaan Bendien J.Bendien at wolmail.nl
Tue Jan 14 11:15:09 MST 2003


Gary,

I referred to the campaign song of the SP and I translated: "Wie bang is
voor wat vreemd is (whomever is scared of foreigners) But this is not quite
correct, it should be "whomever is scared of what is foreign (or alien)",
i.e. it refers to xenophobia in general.

You don't need to acknowledge my writing, you know. I am not worried about
intellectual property rights anymore these days because I have been
plundered in that sense already, and anyway you can always write something
new. But nowadays I get very frustrated with language as such, and I don't
really want to write much more anyway, maybe you can guess why.

I just wrote stuff on the spirit of the moment, in between other
correspondence and preparing a text by my mother on her experiences of
growing up in world war 2 (that was a moving piece of cultural studies;
relatives who get shot, brothers who have to go into hiding, the house she
lives in gets bombed, she narrowly escapes being raped by a soldier -
approximately what Iraqis can expect in the future).

It is a bit sarcastic what I wrote about neo-liberalism, but I think on the
whole pretty close to the truth. Marx writes in his Comments on James Mill
that "The community of people, or the manifestation of the nature of people,
their mutual complementing the result of which is species-life, truly human
life -- this community is conceived by political economy in the form of
exchange and trade. Society, says Destutt de Tracy, is a series of mutual
exchanges. It is precisely this process of mutual integration. Society, says
Adam Smith, is a commercial society. Each of its members is a merchant. It
is seen that political economy defines the estranged form of social
intercourse as the essential and original form corresponding to man's
nature." And this is more or less exactly how Hayek conceives it as well.
Whereas for Marx, society comprises the sum total of social relations
between people (many of the relations of course take a reified form, that is
the point).

All the best,

Jurriaan












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