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sologdin

sologdin

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Middlemarch: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, Reviews and Criticism (A Norton Critical Edition)
Bert G. Hornback, George Eliot
The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann, John E. Woods
Love in the Time of Cholera
Gabriel García Márquez
Cosmopolis - Don DeLillo Nutshell: one-percenter gets haircut, an event worthy of 200 pages.

The less looney toons sibling of [b:American Psycho|28676|American Psycho|Bret Easton Ellis|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348400564s/28676.jpg|2270060] (“the logical extension of business is murder“ (113)), this text, contrary to my intentions, was not necessarily the correct one to brainbleach the Ayn Rands that I’d read immediately prior hereto--though her mantra regarding self-made industrialists, who nevertheless are heirs to massive fortunes, is given mock heroic treatment here as “self made,” “ruthless,” “strong,” “brilliant” (72).

Slick colloquy on chrematistics, “the art of money-making” (77), an odd phrase, as though currency were created ex nihilo, in a randian fantasy, by the mere intellect of the industrialist. Therein we see that “money has lost its narrative quality” (id.), which readers of Marx will recognize as the always already absent presence of repressed political relations inherent in currency, via operation of commodity fetishism.

We see that “clock time accelerated the rise of capitalism“ (79), and “it’s cyber-capital that creates the future” via transactions at intervals of yoctoseconds (79): “time is a corporate asset now. It belongs to the free market system. The present is harder to find. It is being sucked out of the world to make way for the future of uncontrolled markets and huge investment potential” (id.). Part of the process is the integration of protests against capitalism into its structure: protesters “don’t exist outside the market. There is nowhere they can go to be on the outside. There is no outside” (90). The protest itself is a “form of systemic hygiene, purging and lubricating” (99). When a protestor intentionally self-immolates, dumb cappy grover dill can only complain “it’s not original,” “an appropriation” (100)--a nice emblem of the proto-fascism described by Herf in [b:Reactionary Modernism|1220628|Reactionary Modernism Technology, Culture, and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich|Jeffrey Herf|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348826536s/1220628.jpg|1209109] regarding insistent “authenticity,” which emblem reiterates here: “To pull back now would not be authentic. It would be a quotation from other people’s lives” (85).

Noted as “the hallmark of capitalist thought” is “enforced destruction” (92), a spectre from Benjamin’s ninth thesis on the philosophy of history: “old industries have to be harshly eliminated. New markets have to be forcibly claimed. Old markets have to be re-exploited. Destroy the past, make the future,” apt reference to capitalism’s continuous process of revolutionizing the means of production (92-93).

Recommended for persons undead living in a state of occult repose, waiting to be reanimated, those driven by thinking machines that they have no final authority over, and persons with asymmetrical prostates.