|FIGARO: Se a caso Madama||FIGARO: If perchance Madame|
|la notte ti chiama,||should call you at night,|
|dindin, in due passi||ding ding: in two steps|
|da quella puoi gir.||from here you’d be there.|
|Vien poi l’occasione||And then when the time comes|
|che vuolmi il padrone,||that my master wants me,|
|dondon, in tre salti||dong dong: in three bounds|
|Io vado a servir.||I am ready to serve him.|
In the brilliant trilogy of plays by Pierre Beaumarchais we see the character of Figaro degenerate from the freedom-loving “Barber of Seville” to the identured servant of the corrupt Count Almaviva. From the self-confident “Largo al factotum” who owns the streets of Seville, sets his own working hours, and does whatever he pleases; to the servile butt and cuckold of his feudal lord. How could such a thing happen? More importantly, could such a thing happen again? After this “Great Reset” that everybody is talking about, which one could also call the reinstatement of feudalism (but at a higher level of economic development), are we all doomed to become the serfs of giant corporations? Fed on bug-protein and veggie burgers; and at our master’s beck and call; while Il Padrone dines on real steaks in his Tower of Babel and has his lackey draw up tomorrow’s work schedules for the laborers?
Ukraine Shows The Way
“Head and hands need a mediator. The mediator between head and hands must be the heart!” (Fritz Lang, Metropolis)
People casually toss around the word “fascist” a lot, forgetting that it has an actual definition. Some people believe that the essence of a “fascist” state is the presence of a strong autocratic ruler, like Mussolini or Hitler. By some metrics, they regard Russia as a fascist state, because of the strong vertical government constructed by Putin and his team. By this same metric, Ukraine is definitely a fascist state. Even before the war, Zelensky had accrued insane amounts of power into his own hands, banning opposition parties, etc. Now he has achieved one more accrual: Zelensky’s Second Banana Andrei Yermak gets to decide who, among the political elite, are allowed to leave the country. Up until this point it was a considered a sacred right (among the elite) to have one’s wallet and go-kit ready at all times. You never know when you have to flee with the loot.
I have this piece from KP, the reporter is Alexander Grishin. According to Grishin:
Zelensky, along with his inner circle, is starting to feel the worsening of the situation around them, so he is undertaking ever new initiatives aimed to secure for himself the loyalty and obedience of all branches of power. More specifically, the power is accruing into the hands of Zelensky’s Advisor Andrei Yermak.
One such step, which is aimed at putting Parliamentary Deputies on a short leash, is the annulment of their diplomatic passports, which allowed them to travel abroad. Some 225 passports have been annulled. These allowed Deputies to travel freely and comfortably abroad, including VIP priveleges at airports, etc.
Well, on the surface this looks like fairly good reform aimed at inculcating discipline into these Deputies, since their acquisition of passports was only supposed to be a temporary thing, and then they were supposed to turn them back in after travel; which they never did, and just held on to them. In reality though, this “reform” is aimed at taming them, reducing their power, and accruing more power into the hands of Yermak. If Zelensky = Stalin, then Yermak = Beria. Oh wait, that’s Stalinism, not fascism. Different animal altogether, despite some surface similarities. (In the same way that a porpoise looks like a fish, since it has fins; but it’s not a fish.)
The Real Definition Of Fascism
I have for the edification of my readers this video (see below) by American comedian/political commentator Jimmy Dore. The video is entitled “Zelensky Steamrolls Workers To Pave Way For Mass Privatization”. Zelensky in his green tee-shirt is busy privatizing Ukrainian lands, public property, and even trade union assets such as spas and resort homes for the workers. And it gets worse: One of the proposed “shock and awe” reforms in store for the Ukrainian working class is this thing called Zero-hour contracts. It’s the thing that capitalists have always pined for, it’s their Holy Grail. It means that, basically, you are on call to the company 24/7 but have no guarantee of getting any actual paying hours. So, you can’t plan, say, a vacation or even a short trip with your family. Better not to even have a family. You have to stay near your phone and keep no more than an hour away from the workplace at all times. In case you get called to come in and work. One of the commenters to Jimmy’s piece explains how this system works:
Zero hour contracts are cancerous. We have them in U.K. A zero hour contract allows an employer to give no set ROTA or guide, you can’t plan ahead and make plans of your own – seemingly act like you can be called into work any day. Most employers give a maximum of 1 hour notice depending on your distance from work place, so they can call you up at 11am and ask you to come in for an 8-12 hours shift, if you refuse they can sack you on the spot. Even worse, you could go days or weeks without any phone call but you must act like you could get a call at any hour, sometimes even at 2am if a company has night shifts such as Amazon warehouses. Some companies will weaponise these zero hour contracts to lay off staff with no responsibility or liability – meaning you can’t sue for unfair dismissal.
You know what this reminds me of? Feudalism! The way that Count Almaviva could snap his fingers at any time of the day or night, or ring his little bell, and expect Figaro (or Susanna) to jump out of bed and come running to his bidding.
To turn respectable and dignified wage-earners into on-call serfs for the corporations: This is the big plan. As a serf, you will have no recourse, you are not allowed to form trade unions or bargain with your employer. The government is not a mediator between the classes: In any labor dispute, the government will always take the side of the corporations. This is the essence of real fascism. The other features, like the strong leader and so on, they are just cosmetic implants and don’t really matter. You may as well be ruled by invisible reptiles, it all amounts to the same thing.
Are there any Ukrainian workers left?
They are mostly in Europe or Russia. I hear loads of them here in London – especially in Lidl’s where most Slavs seem to like to shop.
Of course most of the more recently arrived adults are on zero hours contracts here.
Economic migrants one and all – and who wouldn’t be.
I reckon, if you have no other choice in life than to be a serf, maybe better to be one in London than in Kiev. At least you won’t be dragged off to join the army.
At some point it was said that the choice of capitalism over slavery had been because it was more profitable, apparently that is not enough and we are moving towards a hybrid, a form of technological slavery forcing us to live with less every day.
Well, according to Marx/Engels, slavery system evolved into feudalism, and then into capitalism. But I reckon it doesn’t always have to be that linear; and could also go backwards sometimes.
After I read Stowe’s famous novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (which I highly recommend to everyone), I came away with the impression that slavery is a highly profitable system, maybe even more efficient than capitalism in extracting profits from human sweat. The way she describes Simon Legree and his fool-proof method of making tons of $$$ from the cotton trade by working slaves to death; even the ones who cost him a good price on the market. In other words, she rebuts the pro-slavery talking point that “Once you purchase an expensive slave, it’s in your interest to take care of him and even coddle him.”
The only thing is, slavery system requires extraordinary amounts of violence to keep people enslaved. Whereas workers under bourgeois democracy capitalism happily grab their lunch pails and head off to the salt mines voluntarily!
if you found that book interesting i HIGHLY recommend this one:
and honestly anything by horne. it covers everything from the economics of slavery to the internecine feuding between european powers in the colonies to the invention of the concept of “whiteness” to the use of white slaves/indentured servants and the profound paranoia that defines the US to this day. also fun to find out there was ever a person named “alejandro o’reilly”.
i also wonder if you – as someone obviously knowledgeable about all things russian – have studied stolypin and his attempts at reform (since we’re on the subject of serfdom and such.)
That does look like an interesting book, I shall have to read. Regarding “white slaves”, Stowe covers even that topic. (She covers literally everything, which is why I consider her book to be a sort of Bible of American slavery.) Apparently certain “quadroons” and “octaroons” became so inbred at a certain point (even blonde hair and blue eyes), that they were visually indistinguishable from Caucasians, and yet legally were still slaves and could be bought and sold. This phenomenon started to blur the previously clear “color line” between free and slave.
Theoretically this would have been a threat to the system, but the Southern states didn’t care, they were determined to spread the slave economic system no matter what. Which is one of the factors that led to the Civil War.
Apparently a lot of Northerners were shocked at the optics of seemingly pure white women being sold in the markets to men who had clearly dishonorable intentions towards them. These same Northerners may not have cared so much about black women being treated that way; but whatever, it was a factor in the shift of public opinion…
Stowe was a master of propaganda, she used every talking point possible in her crusade against slavery. It is reported that when she finally got to visit President Lincoln in the White House, he greeted her with the words: “So, this is the little woman who started the big war!”
An essential book on slavery in the antebellum South is “The Mind of the Master Class,” by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese.
by Deirdre Nansen McCloskey
Growing cotton, further, unlike sugar or rice, never required slavery. By 1870, freedmen and whites produced as much cotton as the South produced in the slave time of 1860. Cotton was not a slave crop in India or in southwest China, where it was grown in bulk anciently. And many whites in the South grew it, too, before the war and after. That slaves produced cotton does not imply that they were essential or causal in the production.
They assert, for example, that a slave was “cheap labor.” Mistaken again. After all, slaves ate, and they didn’t produce until they grew up.
If you bought a slave, you faced the cost of alternative uses of the capital. No supernormal profits accrued from the purchase. Slave labor was not a free lunch. The wealth was not piled up.
Slavery was of course appalling, a plain theft of labor. The war to end it was righteous altogether—though had the South been coldly rational, the ending could have been achieved as in the British Empire in 1833 or Brazil in 1888 without 600,000 deaths. But prosperity did not depend on slavery. The United States and the United Kingdom and the rest would have become just as rich without the 250 years of unrequited toil. They have remained rich, observe, even after the peculiar institution was abolished, because their riches did not depend on its sinfulness.
That theory makes a lot of sense: Slavery was not required for economic development, it was just a “nice to have”. Stowe, god bless her heart, gets into that issue as well. One chapter of her book she devotes to a genteel debate between her “hero” Augustine St. Clare [who is the main voicer of the author’s opinions, he is also the father of the winsome Little Eva character]; and a pro-slavery spokesperson.
St. Clare discusses many of these same issues, of economics and so on, and then just goes to the emotional heart of the institution (I am paraphrasing):
Who wouldn’t want to own slaves? To have people at your beck and call? To have their lives in your hands, you can do with them whatever you want… To own a horse is a great thing, to own an actual human being, that’s superb!
It’s a rather horrifying speech, but I think it gets to the core of why people stubbornly fought so hard to keep this institution: Because, as the ruling class of this territory, the institution served their personal needs. They just liked owning a lot of people, it was convenient to them and it made them feel important. Even with all the overhead and inefficiencies, it seemed worthwhile to them, and they were ready to die to keep this institution going.
“After I read Stowe’s famous novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (which I highly recommend to everyone), I came away with the impression that slavery is a highly profitable system, maybe even more efficient than capitalism in extracting profits from human sweat.”
Basic Economics 5th Edition by Thomas Sowell:
The economic record of slavery, in general, as a source of lasting economic development is unimpressive. Slavery was concentrated in the southern part of the United States and in the northern part of Brazil—and, in both cases, these remained the less prosperous and less technologically advanced regions of these countries. Similarly in Europe, where slavery persisted in Eastern Europe long after it had died out in Western Europe,
I am born in SFRY, since 1996 I am naturalised Australian
Fair enough. Let’s stipulate that the system was profitable for certain individuals and groups, if not on the macro level. Stowe has whole chapters in her book where she describes the various types of people who make a fortune (like Simon Legree), or at least a living from slavery. For example, there were bounty hunters, whose job was to catch escaped slaves. Also, did you know that there were “whipping houses” ? These were institutions where the slave owners could send their slaves to be whipped professionally, for a fee. If they weren’t up to the job themselves and wished to outsource that particular function.
I suppose I should amend my statement to read something like: Stowe shows at a sociological level how various segments of society are completely integrated into, and invested in, the existence of the slave system. I mean, if you’re a whipper say (they were called “crackers” because of the cracking of the whip), and slavery gets abolished, then how the heck you supposed to make a living? This was one of the reasons why the “peculiar institution” persisted, even if it didn’t make economic sense.
Slavery does not make society or nation rich –it makes some individuals or groups rich.
According to the Global Slavery Index (GSI), there are an estimated 40.3 million slaves in the world today. This modern day slavery is in many instances not all too different from that in medieval times, as people are still being owned as property by others in some countries around the world.
Slavery still exists today. It’s a painful reality. Global estimates indicate that there are as many as forty million people living in various forms of exploitation known as modern slavery. This includes victims of forced labor, debt bondage, domestic servitude, human trafficking, child labor, forced marriage, and descent-based slavery.
Great comment, sad reality.
Now, Yalensis, I am following your blog religiously and will continue to do so. But you’re wrong about the so-called American Civil War, which was actually no such thing. A civil war involves the struggle between two factions for control of a national government. When the Southern states seceded, they were not trying to take control of the national government. They were just opting to make an exit.
I’m stunned that you regard “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” as the definitive source on slavery in the Old South. It is, after all, a work of fiction. And it’s not a very good work of fiction. American novelists generally cannot compare with Russian novelists. Melville and Twain are no match for Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Pushkin (himself a black man, and descended from someone brought to Russia through the East African slave trade). And Mrs. Stowe cannot even compare with Melville and Twain.
Mrs. Stowe wrote a “Key” which attempts to justify the basis in fact of her fiction. Accompanied by the “Key,” the novel has real historical value. But it is not a definitive source document. The testimony of freedmen after the war is at least of equal value. It contains many things which contradict Stowe’s general points. For instance, you will find over and over again the attestation of slaves who went to war with young white boys from their households. “I loved that boy and he loved me” is a recurring theme. Of course, in the “Key,” Stowe does not scruple to admit that there was sometimes real affection and devotion between slave and master. Does this justify slavery as a practice? Of course not. But it does place slavery in the Old South in its historical context.
That slavery was a cause of the war is of course obvious. But it was not the sole cause of the war. The Lower South, the Cotton South, seceded to preserve its economic system — which included slavery. The Upper South seceded because Lincoln called upon its citizens to fight the Lower South. The Southern states generally resented (as the Founding Fathers did) what they regarded as unreasonable taxation. In 1860, The South supplied 80 percent of revenues to the federal government and received only 20 percent of the benefits.
Since the Southern economy supplied 80 percent of revenues to the federal government, it’s clear that Washington was profiting from slavery at least as much as Richmond or Charleston. You will recall that slavery was legal in the nation’s capital not only before the war but throughout the war. Robert E. Lee freed his slaves before Ulysses S. Grant freed his own.
At any rate, the idea that the war was fought to free the slaves is ridiculous. It was fought to maintain revenues from the South. Neo-cons over here like to brag that America is the only country that fought a war to free the slaves. It’s nothing to brag about. Other countries in the Western Hemisphere freed their slaves without killing hundreds of thousands of people and turning half the land into a desert of desolation. That could have been done here, too, if freeing the slaves were actually the object of government efforts.
Incidentally, if you survey Neo-Confederate websites over here, you’ll find a high degree of support for Putin and Operation Z. Those first crushed by the American Empire respect all efforts to resist its incursions.
Thank you for your intelligent comment, Flammeus (“Flaming Sword” ?)
It’s true that “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is a work of fiction, however Stowe compiled much research (one of her primary sources was Solomon Northup’s 12 years a slave) and interviewed many runaway slaves from the underground railroad. She used several of the people she met as models for her characters. For example, the character of George Harris was based on a mulatto man she met on the underground railroad, whose primary goal in life was to travel to Europe and get an education.
Anyhow, I agree that the war was fought for economic reasons, and not humanitarian reasons. I also get your point that it was a war of secession, not a civil war per se. And it also created a very unpleasant constitutional issue; namely that no state henceforth ever has the right to secede from the Union. Which seems unfair to me. I mean, what is Hawaii wanted to leave? They should have the right.
You mention Mark Twain, and it is interesting, I read that he did not care much for Stowe and used every opportunity to denigrate her. Maybe he was jealous of her fame! I have read Twain’s main works (Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn), and they are good, but in my opinion they don’t hold a candle to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Well, of course “there is no disputing tastes” when it comes to art and literature! That’s just my taste, and I don’t impose it on anyone. But to me, Stowe’s characters come alive for me.
Of course it goes without saying that Russian literature is much greater overall than American literature. But American literature also has its great moments, and many excellent writers such as Melville, Heyward DuBose, Hawthorne of course; many other worthies.
LikeLiked by 1 person
“These are apocalyptic times, my dear sir, this is the Last Judgment. This is a time for angels with flaming swords and winged beasts from the abyss, not for sympathizers and loyal doctors.”
–Strelnikov, in Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago.” I’m afraid I don’t have it in Russian.
I always admired Strelnikov.
Сейчас вы представите записку Наркомпроса или Наркомздрава, рекомендующую вас как “вполне советского человека”. Сейчас страшный суд на земле, милостивый государь, существа из апокалипсиса с мечами и крылатые звери, а не вполне сочувствующие и лояльные доктора. Впрочем, я сказал вам, что вы свободны, и не изменю своему слову. Но только на этот раз. Я предчувствую, что мы еще встретимся, и тогда разговор будет другой, берегитесь.
Strelnikov ends his soliloquy with the sly warning to Zhivago: “I have a feeling that we will meet again, and then the conversation will be somewhat different. Take care.”
In my opinion, Strelnikov is being too polite, seeing as how the Doc is banging his wife!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Many thanks for this, Yalensis. I’m putting it on my Kindle for study and memorization. In light of recent events, I’m trying to restore and upgrade my half-remembered high school Russian. But I’m not prepared to tackle “Zhivago” in toto. This excerpt will serve me well.
At any rate, now you understand my user name.
I do understand, flammeus, and it is an excellent user name!
I will henceforth think of you as a seraphim.
forgetting that it has an actual definition.
Unfortunately: It seems there are as many definitions of fascism as there are definers of it. There are some commonalities, like the power of the state vs. the individual, the nexus between capital and reactionary policies to secure the power of the capital over the economic realm, and the capital securing the continuance of reactionary politics, but also differences in how the power is expressed, how far-reaching into the private realm that power is, the role of the military, the role or need of scapegoats, the extend of public welfare to avoid unrest (after all, for the privileged arian members of Nazi Germany, inclding he working class, there existed a network of social and medical services).
I think that while being a serf was probably not great, a medieval serf, at least is England, had a lot more legal and customary rights than a zero-hour contract employee.
It is more like slavery but without the capital investment.
That’s true. The English serfs may have had it good, especially compared to Russian and Ukrainian serfs. The condition of the latter only got harsher as the decades advanced. (This was called the “Second Serfdom” and peaked in the era of Catherine the Great.)
To the point where Russian/Ukrainian serfs had virtually no legal rights any more (they used to have some, but lost them), were not even considered human, could be separated from the land itself and sold separately. One should read Gogol’s “Dead Souls” to get a taste for this. Or any other classical Russian literature. A Russian serf on a wheat plantation probably would have cut off his own arm for the privilege of being as happy as an English serf! On the other hand, they still had religious holidays, so once in a while they maybe got a day off; so it wasn’t all bad.
The local psycho boss and his stooges successfully hired the whole nation to produce cannon fodder for the US war against Russia.
Probably the psycho boss reckons that for those not involved in the core production on behalf of third parties (ie cannon fodder ) a zero hour contract at home is kind of a blessing.
In my view fascism should be declined fascisms.
The more the ideological foundations are uncertain and hybrid ,and fascisms had small thought foundations, the more the course of fascist power management will be adapted to the contingent situation.
“Fascisms had small thought foundations…” that’s an excellent point. Fascist ideology is not really based on any deep theory at all. (Despite the fact that it does attract some intellectuals here and there.)
If I had to define fascism in a single sentence, it would be something like:
Kiss up, kick down!
Lamento disentir :
Toda la teoría de Confuncio es una teoria ” fascista ” .
Toda la teoria India de las castas es una teoria ” fascista ” .
Toda la teoría politica persa es una teoria “fascista”
Toda la teoría politica griega : de Heraclito, de Platon , de Aristoteles .. es una teoria ” fascista ” .
Toda la teoria intelectual de los neoplatonicos , es una teoria ” fascista ” .
En España tenemos la doctrina de Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, que inspiro en alto grado la posguerra civil , es una teoría ” fascista ” .
Aquí , una vez transcurridos diez años desde la guerra ( 1952 , en adelante ) , la sociedad era completamente ” fascista ” . Los matrimonios entre rojos y azules estuvieron a la orden del dia . La magistratura laboral muy rara vez sentenciaba en contra del obrero . Y el obrero , desde 1965 , pudo tener dos viviendas, un automovil, unas vacaciones en la playa . Casi todos los estudiantes por vocacion pudimos tener becas y estudios privados o semipublicos .
Como buen fascismo no se permitieron los partidos politicos sectarios contra una clase economica, un grupo etnico ….
Incluso los gitanos se integraron totalmente y vivieron y viven mejor que en cualquier otro sitio .
Solo es necesario preguntar a los / las turistas de Suecia, de Alemania, de Francia … por si era asfixiante, o no , el ” fascismo” en España .
Cierto es que las noches en Palma e Ibiza eran asfixiantes, pero asfixiantes de amor .¡ Ja, Ja, Ja ! .
La que entiendo es una teoria no fascista, sino rotundamente inexactas son la teoria marxista-leninista , así como la hipocrita teoria liberal .
Rusia experimentó ambas y solo puedo explicarlo por la ingenuidad del campesino y del buen ciudadano ruso .
( to be continued )
I want to say : ” I disagree . ¡ Sorry ! ”
I want to say : solo puedo explicarlo por la ” peasant´s ingenuity ” y del buen ciudadano ruso .
Is interesting. If I understand you correctly, Spanish fascism in the 1960’s mellowed and became more humanistic. That’s doesn’t surprise me. It’s the Hegelian dialectic at work. No society can stand to be so strained and stressed out all the time. Also, when the government is not under siege any more and all its real opponents have been liquidated, then it can afford to let its hair down and relax. People would become more content, apolitical, start going out to nightclubs, women would start wearing shorter skirts and listening to pop music…
I live in a “progressive” college town and as a result I have learned that anyone who is a conservative or a traditionalist is a fascist. If you don’t believe in the existence of 72 genders or that a man who wears a dress is actually a woman you are a fascist. If you oppose teaching children that’s it’s possible they were born in the wrong body you are a fascist. If you think drag shows for children are inappropriate you are a fascist. Meanwhile the people who see fascists everywhere are busy supporting actual fascists in Ukraine.
I live in a town where a third of the people are fascists, another third are anti-fascists, and the remaining third switch back and forth between fascists and anti-fascists. Based on the following questions and utterances, please determine the members of each group…
(logic puzzle joke, sorry…)
What I found:
What a sweet little scam!
There is something that bothers me deeply about his article, and that is the apparent absence of any knowledge or awareness of how it came to this development, a complete absence of realizing that Ukraine has for 8 years treated its citizens like enemies.
There might be some justification for Kiev to treat the members of the Donbas militias like that, but in no way was there any for the treatment they meted out with military actions leading mainly to the destruction of civilian infrastructure, civilian homes, and the civilians themselves.
A smart government would have not cut off payments like pensions, but helped Donbas and Lugansk by treating the citizens like such. They would have done everything to win them back, with appropriate legislation to acknowledge their rights to their language, and their control over their civil institutions, instead they alienated them completely by their actions, allowing Nazis to ride roughshod over them.
But whoever said Ukranians were smart? The proof they are not is in abolishing the independence they talk about so highly by turning control over to NATO.
And those fighters still have no clue what really is happening, dreaming about a Ukraine that left the building in 2014.
In 31 years of “independence” I can’t see even one thing that any of the Ukrainian governments did, that could be considered “smart” or make any logical sense. They just keep scoring “own goals” one after the other.
Estimado Yalensis :
Excelente en su referencia anterior de ” Der Müde Tod ”
Excelente en su referencia de ” Metropolis ” .
“El corazón tiene razones que la razón no entiende ” decía Agustin de Hipona . ( No comparto ese juicio ) . La razon o la sinrazón siempre va antes que el corazón .
Excelente su referencia de ” Le nozze di Figaro ” .
Pero….. pero….. pero …. Fígaro se pasaba de listo , Y sucedio su caida en las garras del Conde Almaviva .
No quisiera caer en pecado de pedanteria . Pero su actitud equivocada la entiendo muy bien como bien nacido español .
Esto está sucediendo a las clases proletarias y medias . Cayeron en el consumismo, en creencia que la tecnología los permitía ya la libertad y cayeron en su desprecio del sentido del deber . Y están a un paso del feudalismo / o de la esclavitud .
Insisto : El futuro está en Yuval Hariri o en Platón . O en ninguno de ambos .
¿ Tal vez Mad Max .
Platón decía . Mi teoría es perfecta . Si la practica no acuerda con la teoría, peor para la practica .
Estoy , absolutamente , de acuerdo .
Lo que entiendo bien , demasiado bien, es que las masas ( el 70-80 % ) de la población se desentendio de la idea del bien , una idea racional/intelectual/espiritual . Y se entregó completamente a la idea del objeto material . Asi sucede el consumismo . En España , en London , en Colombia ……… etc etc etc . Y , para lamento de los ingenuos , tambien en Russia .
( to be continued )
Thanks, Ortensio! I suspect that you are another Fritz Lang fan, no? His movies have so much power and feeling. One of those great artists, you could build an entire world just based upon his genius. Not unlike Eisenstein, his contemporary!
Me identifico con el cine de Bergman y con el cine de Dreyer. Pero el cine genial entiendo solo el de F. Lang. (Tal vez tambien el de Griffith y el de Eisenstein).
LikeLiked by 1 person
Lang + Eisenstein = the two gods of the early cinema!
Ortensio, Regarding Figaro, what is your theory about his fall from freedom into servitude? I suspect that a gambling debt was involved, but I am not sure. Must go back and re-read Beaumarchais in the original French, that will be a project for me. Last time I read him, I was just a teenager and didn’t know what I was reading… The third play of the trilogy is not as well known. I vaguely remember that the Countess Almaviva has borne Cherubino’s illegitimate son, but I don’t remember the rest of the plot.
I vaguely remember that the Countess Almaviva has borne Cherubino’s illegitimate son,
Or maybe he was born Cherubino’s illegitimate daughter and converted later 😉
That could very well be, there seems to have been quite a lot of cross-dressing on the Count’s estate.
(Okay, I get the hint, I need to go back and re-read Beaumarchais…)
Hint: count or countess …
Okay, so here is the scoop: Count Almaviva is married to Rosina (=the Countess). They had 2 sons together, the older one, the heir, died in a duel, the younger one is named Leon. Leon is in love with Florestina, a simple pupil of the Count’s assistant Bejars. Florestina loves Leon back.
The Count is not getting along so well with his wife (as usual). He is still brooding over a suspicion that she cheated on him 20 years ago, with the page Cherubino; and that she bore Cherubino’s son, just before Cherubino died as a soldier in the war. The Count suspects that Leon is in fact Cherubino’s progeny, which explains why he has never shown any affection for the lad. [All of this could be fixed in the modern era by taking a simple DNA test.]
Meanwhile, with some intriguing by Bejars, the Count discovers some secret correspondence between Rosina and Cherubino; and it is clear from the “love letter” that Cherubino in fact forced himself on the Countess. He raped her, in other words, after which she wrote a sternly worded letter to him, demanding that he make himself scarce. Which was the stimulus for Cherubino to march off to war and die in battle.
Amidst the various intrigues, there is some speculation that Florestina is the Count’s illegitimate daughter, which would make her ineligible to marry Leon, as his putative half-sister. But this turns out to be a lie, promoted by the villain, Bejars. Figaro figures everything out, as usual. In the happy ending, the Count and Countess are reconciled, and Leon is allowed to marry Florestina.
In Le Nozze, here is Figaro teasing Cherubino over his future military career:
My appolgies Yalensis, I (double) misread your original statement, and after doubling down still failed to notice my mistake! I didn’t notice the “e” on borne, and then, not knowing the characters involved, assumed you meant that the Count[“-ess”] was born as Cherubino’s son. I should have looked before I leaped.
Haha, that’s okay, BM. You have no idea how much I appreciate, that you even engage me on these silly opera plots! I love these discussions. It’s the the only thing that keeps me sane, nowadays.
Ortensio, you are right about the dangers of consumerism. It is good for people to live with dignity and enjoy a civilized life-style. But that means nothing if they don’t have culture. When people consume only garbage instead of high culture, that is what turns them into slaves and makes them easy to manipulate.
Here in the US the, “left” [cough] satirical laugh; the “liberals” [cough] sardonic laugh; the “Democrats” [cough] sneering laugh; the Republicans-[à-la-Cheneyesque] [cough] sarcastic laugh; the [National-Security-Agencies/3LA’s] [cough] scoffing laugh…yes, those in power, all define anyone who does not believe in a DC-based-unipolar-world as…FASCIST and…without a trace of irony, as simultaneously, enemies of the state.
This canard is enforced by impoverishment, incarceration, violence and war against those who question this false construct. And yes Martha, the people of DC are delusional, they hold mutually contrary beliefs as consistent doctrine, the only unifying thread in their warped theology is the eternal question, “will this benifet me”.
Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad…well, the Gods have certainly taken the first step with DC’s rulers.
the government-business alliance. In early modern European history, this was called mercantilism. In 19th-cenrtury America before 1865, this was called the American System. In the mid-1930s, it was called the New Deal. It was called fascism in Italy. Today it is called state capitalism.
The essence of fascism is the doctrine of the government/business alliance. Private property is maintained on paper, but control is transferred to the state, especially the centralized national state. The state sets the guidelines. The state establishes the economic sanctions. The state prohibits those activities that would seek to be independent of state control and direction. The black market is actively suppressed. Central planning is introduced at the level of the central bank. Once there is a war, central planning becomes dominant throughout the economy. The public is willing to submit to the controls, all in the name of winning the war.
By the end of World War I, the fascist mindset was established throughout the West. The businessman who had operated under wartime controls wanted something like that again. They resisted the idea of the reintroduction of open competition on the free market.
Interesting definition. According to that definition, the “trade-union” issue is an “optional” variable: the state can either tolerate or suppress, depending on the situation. For example, in the 1930’s New Deal, Roosevelt tolerated the formation of powerful trade unions, collective bargaining and even strikes were allowed.
But during wartime, the unions were suppressed, for obvious reasons: the military needed the industrial war machine to keep running 24/7 to produce planes, tanks, etc. Therefore, strikes were out of the question.
this opinion is interesting as well
Ludwig von Mises:
The Italian Fascists badly needed an economic program of their own. After having seceded from the international parties of Marxian socialism, they could no longer pose as socialists. Neither were they, the proud scions of the invincible Roman legionaries, prepared to make concessions to Western capitalism or to Prussian interventionism, the counterfeit ideologies of the barbarians who had destroyed their glorious empire. They were in search of a social philosophy, purely and exclusively Italian. Whether or not they knew that their gospel was merely a replica of British guild socialism is immaterial. At any rate, the stato corporativo was nothing but a rebaptized edition of guild socialism. The differences concerned only unimportant details.
Giovanni Gentile, a neo-Hegelian philosopher, was the intellectual author of the “doctrine of fascism,” which he wrote in conjunction with Benito Mussolini. Gentile’s sources of inspiration were thinkers such as Hegel, Nietzsche, and also Karl Marx.
Gentile went so far as to declare “Fascism is a form of socialism, in fact, it is its most viable form.” One of the most common reflections on this is that fascism is itself socialism based on national identity.
Fascism is socialism? I don’t think so!
Ludvig von Mises:
Interventionism seeks to retain private property in the means of production, but authoritative commands, especially prohibitions, are to restrict the actions of private owners. If this restriction reaches the point that all important decisions are made along lines of authoritative command, if it is no longer the profit motive of landowners, capitalists, and entrepreneurs, but reasons of state, that decide what is to be produced and how it is produced, then we have socialism even if we retain the private property label. Othmar Spann is completely correct when he calls such a system “a private property order in a formal sense, but socialism in substance.” Public ownership in the means of production is nothing but socialism or communism.
Either capitalism or socialism; there is no middle of the road.
…either private property in the means of production is permitted to function freely, or control over the means of production is transferred to organized society, to its apparatus of coercion, the state. It would have revealed that there can be no other alternative but socialism or capitalism.
State socialism (etatism, also conservative socialism) and its related systems of military socialism and Christian socialism aim at bringing about a society in which “the management of property is left to individuals,” but its employment is supervised and guided by the collective whole so that “formally property is private, but in substance it is public.” Some large enterprises are transferred directly to the state or community, all others formally remain in the hands of their owners, but must be managed in accordance with the plan of the authorities. Thus, every business becomes a public office, and every occupation an “appointment.”
Etatism, too, is genuine socialism, although it may differ in a few points from the socialism of the Communist Manifesto
I am not a historian. But frankly, when I read history, I fail to see any human society, since the very beginning, which did not have some form of government; and which government did not constrain individual property in some sense. I think the idea of people being completely free to own and manage property, without any restrictions, must be some kind of libertarian myth!
North American society was free between settlement in 1600 and American revolution 1775.
On average they were paying 3% in taxes. Only way to assess If you are free or not is how much government takes from you in taxes.
If you are Christian that should be less than 10% ( Christian God ask tithe, which is 10% ). once government start taking more than 10% — that government claim that is god.
Leonard E. Read, the founder of the Foundation for Economic Education in 1946, used to say that Americans live in a country in which various levels of government extract over 40% of their productivity, yet they call this system freedom.
“They don’t know the difference between freedom and coercion.”
Fascism is socialism? I don’t think so!
I really don’t know what I’m talking about on this subject, but my limited understanding is as follows:
Fascism is supposed to be a form of corporatism masquerading as socialism, in order to con the workers into supporting it. Otherwise it could not be a mass movement. Thus in Hitler’s Germany you had many quasi socialist features involving mass participation [and coercing mass participation], yet the ultimately important structures (which were presumably largely invisible to the masses) were the relations between the huge corporate conglomerates – who were the real power – and the government, who were subservient to the conglomerates. In nazi Germany, the real power was in IG Farben, not Adolf Hitler, who was in effect just a puppet, much like Joe Biden. IG Farben was the organisation comprising all the biggest industrial corporations in Germany (Höchst, Siemens, etc … I think there were about 40 members, but I can’t remember exactly) – and it was IG Farben who set all the major government policies, not Hitler. IG Farben had absolutely massive economic and political clout.
Aside: One of the policy initiatives of IG Farben was to set up a pan-european administration to govern all the territories that nazi Germany was intending to conquor. The plans for this were highly developed, and very detailed. Guess what – the structures they were planning to create for the pan-European administration were virtually identical to the structures of the EU as they now exist – the whole thing was planned in detail by the nazis as a means of corporatist government, including the EU parliament with no legislative powers and the EU Commission to make actual legislation by executive decree under corporate direction (but of course with different institutional titles to the EU). Furthermore, the actual EU legal structures were created after the end of the war by actual 2nd-level nazi German bureaucrats! In reality there is nothing non-nazi about the EU at all. Even the gradual evolution of the structures over time was planned by IG Farben, as a means of facilitating acceptance by ordinary people, so that they wouldn’t know what was coming. /end aside.
As far as I understand, the above (not including the aside about the EU) is by definition what fascism is – but as I say I don’t really know so maybe I am all wrong. If I am correct, then of course the US is a fascist state by definition, since corporate interests almost completely control everything.
The most important difference between the US and nazi Germany, of course, is that in nazi Germany the corporate power was almost exclusively industrial, whereas in the US it is almost exclusively finance [fake economic power based on printing dollars unrelated to the real economy] and the big internet corporations [also fake economic power hyped by the finance industry]. The economic power of nazi Germany was destroyed by bombing the industrial Ruhr zone and by robbing the German factories of their machines. The economic power of the US is being destroyed by “bombing” (mostly self-bombed via sanctions) the US dollar.
This is a great comment! Majority of working class people will instinctively gravitate to socialist ideology — hey, why wouldn’t they, since it promises them a happy lifestyle? — so fascist state has to dupe them into supporting the opposite of what they actually want.
I was born in The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
My parents combined work 45 there before we emigrate to Australia.
In those 45 years they succeed to own a car (yugo 45) furniture and clothes. Now in Australia they worked combined 25 years and own 2 bedroom unit, car and furniture and clothes.
what is difference?
in Yugoslavia taxes to support big government was probably more than 60% –no one know because they state claimed no taxes.
Fascism, communism, NAZI (National Socialist German Workers’ Party,) = big government, big taxes.
Everyone today following Mussolini’s ideology including China.
big government and big corporations work together.
some more on slavery from the book:
Economic Facts and Fallacies Sowell Thomas
In addition to its own evils during its own time, slavery has generated fallacies that endure into our time, confusing many issues today. The distinguished historian Daniel J. Boorstin said something that was well known to many scholars, but utterly unknown to many among the general public, when he pointed out that, with the mass transportation of Africans in bondage to the Western Hemisphere, “Now for the first time in Western history, the status of slave coincided with a difference of race.”
For centuries before, Europeans had enslaved other Europeans, Asians had enslaved other Asians and Africans had enslaved other Africans.
North Africa’s Barbary Coast pirates alone captured and enslaved at least a million Europeans from 1500 to 1800, carrying more Europeans into bondage in North Africa than there were Africans brought in bondage to the United States and the American colonies from which it was formed.18 Moreover, Europeans were still being bought and sold in the slave markets of the Islamic world, decades after blacks were freed in the United States.
One of the many fallacies about slavery— that it was based on race— is sustained by the simple but pervasive practice of focussing exclusively on the enslavement of Africans by Europeans, as if this were something unique, rather than part of a much larger worldwide human tragedy. Racism grew out of African slavery, especially in the United States, but slavery preceded racism by thousands of years. Europeans enslaved other Europeans for centuries before the first African was brought in bondage to the Western Hemisphere.
The brutal reality is that vulnerable people were usually taken advantage of wherever it was feasible to take advantage of them, regardless of what race or color they were.
That is an excellent point. thanks so much for stating it in such an intelligent and logical manner. The African slavery has “colored” [little pun there] the overall picture, to the point where it is impossible to talk about a real history of human slavery. I encountered this several times myself in online discussions about, say, Moor slavers buying and selling “white” Europeans; and people just didn’t want to hear about that, they wanted to believe that it was only whites who ever enslaved blacks. And that blacks/Africans had some special status as “victims” over the course of universal history (not just American history).
This was in the context of me trying to have intelligent discussions about the role of the Moor in European literature and art; the Moor being an image of power and dominance, not at all like the “Uncle Tom” figure of American slavery. In order to recognize slavery as a universal human phenemenon, we have to give up on the idea that it was race-based or color-based, except for that one exception in American history.
P.S. – looking at the bigger picture also negates the narrow “black nationalism” or “Pan-African” nationalism of such American writers as Ta-Nehisi Coates, whom I consider to be an uneducated dilettante.
Coates even admits he is uneducated, he had an unprecedented opportunity to study at the excellent Howard University, and threw it away (dropped out) because the professors there were trying to teach him some actual African history, and not the fantasy that he craved.
there are people making big money by that,
The race-hustlers among us by Thomas Sowell
The Race Industry tends to promote solutions that enhance the power of those in the Race Industry, regardless of whether the policies help the people the Race Industry claims to speak for. In some cases those solutions may actually be counterproductive, such as affirmative action.
And the people I cannot stand are the ones making a living off of racial paranoia and polarization. And it’s a very good living. Someone once asked me why don’t I try to convert Jesse Jackson to my view of the world? And I said, “I’m sure he makes ten times what I make, and how do you persuade someone to give up 90 percent of his income?”
Economic Facts and Fallacies Sowell Thomas
While slavery was readily accepted as a fact of life all around the world for centuries on end, there was never a time when slavery could get that kind of universal acceptance in the United States, founded on a principle of freedom, with which slavery was in such obvious and irreconcilable contradiction.
Most Southern slaveowners, however, were determined to hold on to their slaves and, for that, some defense was necessary against the ideology of freedom and the widespread criticisms of slavery that were its corollary. Racism became that defense. Such a defense was unnecessary in unfree societies, such as that of Brazil, which imported more slaves than the United States but developed no such virulent levels of racism as that of the American South. Outside Western civilization, no defense of slavery was necessary, as non-Western societies saw nothing wrong with it. Nor was there any serious challenge to slavery in Western civilization prior to the eighteenth century.
Racism became a justification of slavery in a society where it could not be justified otherwise— and centuries of racism did not suddenly vanish with the abolition of the slavery that gave rise to it. But the direction of causation was the direct opposite of what is assumed by those who depict the enslavement of Africans as being a result of racism. Nevertheless, racism became one of the enduring legacies of slavery. How much of it continues to endure and in what strength today is something that can be examined and debated. But many other things that are considered to be legacies of slavery can be tested empirically, rather than being accepted as foregone conclusions.
That is an excellent point. People confuse cause and effect: Racism causes slavery. In reality, it’s the other way around: Slavery causes racism. Just like you said.