Saturday 28 January 2017

Bits and Pieces: Vampiric Dystopia Edition.

"Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks." (Das Kapital, vol 1)

Marx sometimes described capitalists as "vampires".

More literate readers won't need this clarification, but I'll place it here anyway as a courtesy to upper-middle class, philosophically-minded bloggers, econo-poseurs, and bloviating professors of economics from Berkeley: he used that term metaphorically, only.

Well, it turns out that Marx may have been wrong on this.

At least that's what one would conclude, if one believes Jeff Bercovici ("Peter Thiel is Very, Very Interested in Young People's Blood", August 1st, 2016): Thiel -- Bercovici writes -- might be really intent on consuming other people's blood in his quest for eternal life and youth.


And the thing is, the high-profile Thiel was one of Donald Trump's influential supporters, never mentioned by the liberal leftish intellectuals.


This reminds me of an exchange I had a couple of years ago with an educated, middle-class, philosophically-minded Marxist (yes , there are those, too; lucky us).

Utopias and dystopias don't really trouble him. He is concerned with "understanding and changing the world we presently occupy": you see, things like that cannot happen in "the world we presently occupy". They are unthinkable.

Just like things like these:

1999: "Philosophers Suggest Slavery as Alternative to Welfare"

2011: "Debt-Hit Students Urged to Sell Their Kidneys"

Update (30/01/2017): I forgot the latest one:

2016: "The Right to Vote Should be Restricted to Those with Knowledge"

I can almost hear the attentive reader ask: "But, wait a minute, Magpie, if those things are unthinkable, how come people are thinking of them?"

The mysteries of philosophy, dear reader. Only educated, middle-class, philosophically-minded people can understand them.


Spare a thought for those selfless defenders of capitalism: theirs is a thankless job. Capitalism is completely fucked up.

29/01/2017. I suppose it is my fault my intellectual comrade didn't understand me: if I had explained the same things, but throwing in the word "commodification" I would have gained some credibility. Commodification like this:


You know, the kind of things that according to some intellectual Marxists cannot happen.

[*] Personally, instead of "vampire" -- with its literary, gothic, and romantic connotations -- I much prefer "leech". But I am just a working class grunt and my tastes are correspondingly prosaic.


  1. 'marx may have been wrong on this' i see ur trying to make friends w pokeys. very clever.
    - the oo

  2. It's the way of being popular, isn't it? :-)

    Marx said in 1863 "Gut mornink" to the lady at the library counter and it was afternoon! Afternoon I tells ya!

    Whiskey, tango, foxtrot, bang, bang, bang.

    Everything else he said and wrote and did after that is wrong, wrong, wrong. QED.