[Marxism] Back to Basics: Economics Bourgeois, Proletarian, and Trying to Get Stuff Somehow

Jeff Rubard jeffrubard at gmail.com
Fri Sep 18 11:41:14 MDT 2009

An "anecdote": I was walking on a Portland street this morning, when I
came across a paper cup filled with a latte. I was going to pick it up
"for some reason", but a bright and shiny red-haired and balding young
man locking up his bike told me it was his. Reasonable enough, I
thought, certainly more than thinking something left out like that was
"for you" -- however, I "realized" that what had happened was his
thinking *exactly that* and "making it happen" -- the dispossession of
some more legitimate figure. I muttered a little bit about my "not
knowing how to do the bourgeois routines right", and then I understood
that was exactly what he was doing: a "traditional" variant on
Smithian economics, where "the invisible hand" of social forces beyond
one's control and one's failing to scruple regarding "the good things
in life" makes for a nice time. Of course this cannot be for the
"popular economist", since proletarian economics primarily revolves
around *discourse* and *praxis*; the latter referring of course to
labor, which is doing what you're supposed to do, and then staying out
of people's way "out of season".

However, one such as us must resist the temptation to "go into the
breach" of genuine work any time any old friend suggests we do: unless
one's speculation on society and economy is actually enabling a
genuine improvement in political representation, one is not directly
serving the needs of the working class, but "uneconomic" use of one's
"pneumatism" makes for an improvement in *moral clarity* in one's
environs: there are, actually, some things all people agree about --
though some lie about this, or lie to themselves about it: and it is
very worthwhile to "fix one's own wagon" above keeping the infernal
machine purring like a kitten, although there are limits to genuine
moral disinterest and too much moralism makes for a "new craze" you
can't get with -- "There's no reason to, since you've got it made.
Right? I guess not, huh". Talk, talk, tok, tick-tock, *et cetera* --
and let "CHiPS" fall where they oughta.

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