[Marxism] Social Mobility

Brett Castleberry bcastleberry1hsd at earthlink.net
Sat Jul 24 09:46:21 MDT 2004

>From the New Yorker:

"The pedicab is, no getting around it, a rickshaw with pedals. (In fact, the second-leading pedicab company is called Manhattan Rickshaw.) It offers, in a pointedly symbolic, Bertolt Brecht-meets-Barbara Ehrenreich package, both the eternal facts of capitalism—the capitalist proceeds from home to office by dint of someone else’s sweat—and the essential ironies of the post-industrial era: the more emancipated we seem to become from physical labor, the more physical labor is left for someone else to do. What Robert Reich has talked about for years, and John Edwards has talked about for the past several months—that the gap has widened between the wealthy few and everybody else—is, in the bicycle taxi, suddenly given a local habitation and a loud bell. The feeling is not even so much capitalist as feudal. You are the lord of the manor, being pulled through the streets on a sedan chair; he is Piers Plowman, in spandex shorts."

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