Thursday, June 28, 2007

Gollum, Santa Claus, and the Communist Manifesto

Yesterday I had to read The Communist Manifesto for the seminar I'm taking this summer. And, not to make light of the struggles of the proletariat or anything . . . but some of the passages struck me as entertaining if not humorous. Then again, it's possible that my notoriously strong coping mechanisms have kicked in, and that I'm finding humor where there is none, absolutely none. But, bear with me . . .

Modern bourgeois society with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer, who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells.

Spells and sorcerers and nether worlds -- cool! This is so the plot of the Lord of the Rings movies. Who knew that the Communist Manifesto was actually developed in Middle Earth? All I can say, is, what would Gollum say?

And . . .

Modern industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist.

When I read this, all I could think of was Christmas, and of Santa Claus working in his North Pole workshop. I think Santa Claus is the patriarchal master.

I feel like a bad person, but I think we should all be allowed to read between the lines every now and then.

1 comment:

Casey said...

Acts 2: 42-27. Got your New Testament with you? I used to giggle whenever someone seriously mentioned Marx, but I finally recognized that Marxism is a kind of religious reform... they called it "scientific socialism," so most people did not hear what was really being said. At the core of Marx is the idea that human nature can be changed... very unscientific. In fact, romanticism gave Europe Marx and (for some reason) gave American Emerson and Thoreau.

I'd say we lucked out.