David Thompson
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May 24, 2016

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Connor

See also, parasite.

"Our biggest tasks r 2 defeat the two ideological pillars of capitalism: 1) that we have to pay our debts and 2) that we have to have jobs."

They're not even trying to hide it any more.

David

They’re not even trying to hide it any more.

It’s curious how, when stated baldly, these allegedly egalitarian “theories” often suggest something between living forever in a squat or student house, with parental bailouts always on tap, and a caste system, in which those who designate themselves as having “neither the temperament nor the aptitude” for unglamorous work, or anything that’s too much of a chore, simply freeload on the unglamorous labouring of others, while self-determining how much of everyone else’s earnings they should be given.

You have to wonder what kind of mental and moral processes must have been broken in order to mouth this stuff unironically and without even a twinge of embarrassment. As rjmadden pointed out, if you replace the word ‘capitalism’ with ‘adulthood’ all becomes clear.

Where is my Ferrari?

And there I thought, this must be about a human she-dumpling from Facebook.

Atempdog

Imagine all of our delicate hand-wash-only radicals, all those little Lauries, self-determining how much wealth should be distributed their way

And then imagine what our precious new "leaders" would do to those how have the temperament and aptitude but aren't working hard enough, damnit.

Theophrastus

Laurie tells us about her personal politics, not just her politics. It's all about her and her pose. She wears her politics like a hairstyle or a piece of fashionable clothing.

I wonder if she's ever asked herself how the dirty jobs - eg sewer maintenance, refuse collection - would get done in her anarcho-communist utopia. Moreover, I doubt she would be in favour of gender parity in such roles. She'd prefer to leave such matters to men while she updated her FaceAche page.

Atempdog

I wonder if she's ever asked herself how the dirty jobs - eg sewer maintenance, refuse collection - would get done in her anarcho-communist utopia.

Oh, other people will work out the details for her. You know, people with the temperament and aptitude.

David

She’d prefer to leave such matters to men while she updated her FaceAche page.

But our self-declared “rebel” and “troublemaker,” our smasher of capitalism, can’t cope without Facebook.

Nikw211

people would be free to engage in whatever activities they found most fulfilling

And thus she betrays the complete and utter contempt the likes of all such people betray for anyone lower down the social and economic order … you know, the very same lower orders the lives of whom all the efforts of Miss Dreadful and her ilk are supposed to be aimed at improving.

It’s the idea that the ‘lower orders' would embrace menial and physical labour happily once they were no longer beholden to cigar-smoking top-hatted porcine Capitalists in pin-stripes with gold watch chains.

It’s all a hazy vision of lusty farm hands and ruddy-cheeked whistling builders happy to be allowed … to get up at 5 am every day to milk the cows or mend the roads or build houses pace George Monbiot:

    In southern Ethiopia, for example, the poorest half of the poorest nation on earth, the streets and fields crackle with laughter. In homes constructed from packing cases and palm leaves, people engage more freely, smile more often, express more affection than we do, behind our double glazing, surrounded by remote controls.

As you say, David, this is an image of

    … those who designate themselves as having “neither the temperament nor the aptitude” for unglamorous work, or anything that’s too much of a chore, simply freeload on the unglamorous labouring of others, …

They always lay the blame for their failure to get their ideas off the ground at the door of Mainstream Media - many of them are convinced that even the BBC is indistinguishable from Conservative Party HQ, for instance. Question Time is regularly pilloried by the far Left for allowing a Peter Hitchens or a Melanie Phillips onto their screens.

They don’t just fail because the ideas are bad but because their real motives - to be placed in positions of power and status over everyone else as recompense for their virtue and not their abilities (such as they are) - is just so nakedly transparent.

David

their real motives - to be placed in positions of power and status over everyone else

“Theorising” of this kind, and Marxoid politics generally, tends to appeal to certain, rather unpleasant, personality types.

Stuck-Record

Laurie's views about economics (snort!) Are extremely common in my industry, publishing. Well, certainly amongst the 'creatives'.

I'm commonly told by my fellow writers and artists that they should just be paid to work on whatever they want. Seriously. Grown men and women who believe that others should be forced to work at jobs they may possibly hate in order that other men and women can be allowed to live lives of leisure drawing and painting whatever they want.

I try to explain that they sound just like an 18th-century landowner explaining why his tenants should break their backs in the fields in order that he can study 14th century French chivalric ballads.

We need to come up with a way of describing these people. They are not progressive. They are, in fact, the new aristocrats. Their fury and rage comes from their subjects not being prepared to do as they are told.

Atempdog

We need to come up with a way of describing these people. They are not progressive. They are, in fact, the new aristocrats.

I suggest "daddy's little princess(es)", said term to include the males, not that that's original with me.

David

They are, in fact, the new aristocrats. Their fury and rage comes from their subjects not being prepared to do as they are told.

I think that’s what makes Laurie so unwittingly instructive. She has just about every pretension, every dishonesty, every neurotic tic of her type. Her casual sense of entitlement to other people’s earnings, and of belonging to a higher caste of Light Bringers, is a thing to behold.

David Taylor

Has Laurie given her opinion on what's happening in the workers paradise of Venezuela recently?

brinster

Laurie has no problem using the internet, which is fueled by CAPITALISM and originated by the US military, using her smart phone/tablet/computer to post on Twitter and Facebook, which, oh the horror, are products also provided by greedy capitalists. Ideologically blind. Hearing her name gets me queasy.

Stuck-Record

BTW, I'm in favour of starting a campaign to get the BBC to start an National left-of-centre newspaper in direct competition with the Guardian.

I'm sure there will be loads of articles in the Guardian supporting an end to their business.

I also want a 150 metre wind turbine erected on Hampstead Heath. Right alongside the Syrian refugee camp.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

“We need to be talking seriously about trauma,” says she. Because “it’s quite difficult for the left to talk about how its feeling.”

Indeed, so difficult that they never stop.

Burnsie

Has Laurie given her opinion on what's happening in the workers paradise of Venezuela recently?

I enjoy laughing at narcissistic assholes like Penny myself, and marvel at their infantile bromides and clueless self-absorption (thank you, David!), but it does turn serious when you can actually see the human misery caused when people like her manage to seize the levers of powers.

They will never learn and never change. Thus I root for their destruction, as they so passionately agitate for mine.

David

Indeed, so difficult that they never stop.

I was re-reading that thread and found myself laughing at, among other things, how the videoed meeting is hailed by those present as “a very good discussion,” when in fact no discussion as such actually took place. The “discussion” is just a series of pronouncements, unrelated pontifications and general status signalling by people who expect to be deferred to, i.e., not debated.

Oh, and the fact they consider themselves “an insurgent movement.”

Criticas

Going from Daddy's allowance to Big Brother's is not much of a step, which explains the appeal for the Upper Middle Class young adults. For the rest of us, this cartoon sums it up: http://randeastwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Socialism-Cartoon.jpg.

Criticas

Link not working, try this: http://randeastwood.com/2016/02/21/incentive-vs-disincentive-why-capitalism-creates-prosperity-socialism-causes-poverty/

R. Sherman

With distribution of wealth being based on self-determined needs . . .

Would Laurie care to explain how/why in a world of self-determined needs fueling distribution of wealth, some people, like oh, say, Laurie Penny, feel compelled to lecture us about the morality of our own self-determined needs and desire to manage those needs as they see fit, at the point of a gun, if necessary? Perhaps her sentence should read, "With distribution of wealth being based on Laurie Penny's self-determined needs while the rest of you proles bugger off, I would be free to engage in whatever activities I find most fulfilling and would no longer have to engage in work for which I have neither the temperament nor the aptitude."

WTP

What these people need is to find honest work where they make some actual effort to do something so that at the end of the day they can look at what they've accomplished and get some satisfaction. Because they don't actually do anything, virtue signalling is all they've got. Agree with comparisons above to landed gentry and such, but to me they are more reminiscent of the ultra religious types who basically can't do squat so they criticize what other people do. And if they can't provide constructive criticism, they invent rules of propriety or "divine" direction to drag the productive types down.

I know, I know. But still needs to be said again and again and again...preferably directly to their faces.

TDK

Has Laurie given her opinion on what's happening in the workers paradise of Venezuela recently?

Didn't you get the memo? Venezuela is not/never was socialist.

Honestly the rule is simple: the number of facts you know about a country is inversely proportional to the chances of it being a workers paradise.

Burnsie

The ruling Marxists in Venezuela "self-determined" their way to billions of the Venezuelan treasury. $14.8 billion in HSBC's Swiss bank alone. So actually this self-determination deal works really well. No wonder Penny likes it.

http://www.ibtimes.com/hsbc-leaks-venezuela-had-third-largest-amount-money-stored-swiss-banks-report-says-1811706

BackwardsBoy

"I suggest "daddy's little princess(es)", said term to include the males, not that that's original with me."

We here across the pond refer to them as "precious snowflakes," raised as they were to believe that they're oh-so-special and that each and every syllable they utter is beyond question. I personally call them "Mr. Rogers Kids." Not original with me either.

Darleen

people would be free to engage in whatever activities they found most fulfilling

Who doesn't have that freedom now?

would no longer have to engage in work

Ah! there's the rub ... freedom to engage in whatever one wants to do and have Other People pay for it, whether they want to or not.

Can't you see Missy Penny in a hoop skirt ordering her slaves about? That's her real goal.

jkrank

They are, in fact, the new aristocrats. Their fury and rage comes from their subjects not being prepared to do as they are told.

That brings to mind a snippet written in the early 80's by Frank Herbert in God-Emperor of Dune, and surely he was not the first to have noticed.

"Safaris through ancestral memories teach me many things. The patterns, ahhh, the patterns. Liberal bigots are the ones who trouble me most. I distrust the extremes. Scratch a conservative and you find someone who prefers the past over any future. Scratch a liberal and find a closet aristocrat. It’s true! Liberal governments always develop into aristocracies. The bureaucracies betray the true intent of people who form such governments. Right from the first, the little people who formed the governments which promised to equalize the social burdens found themselves suddenly in the hands of bureaucratic aristocracies. Of course, all bureaucracies follow this pattern, but what a hypocrisy to find this even under a communized banner. Ahhh, well, if patterns teach me anything it’s that patterns are repeated."

For the Emperor!

Spiny Norman

Burnsie,

The ruling Marxists in Venezuela "self-determined" their way to billions of the Venezuelan treasury.

In a capitalist system, those with money acquire the power.
In a socialist system, those with power acquire the money.

Overly simplistic, perhaps, but I don't think it's entirely wrong.

Ben

"Our biggest tasks r 2 defeat the two ideological pillars of capitalism: 1) that we have to pay our debts and 2) that we have to have jobs."

I literally have no idea if that's parody or not. I'd assume yes, but our esteemed host has provided numerous examples of people saying such things in all sincerity.

dicentra

We need to come up with a way of describing these people. They are not progressive. They are, in fact, the new aristocrats.

Brahmin
Mandarins
Special Snowflakes
Nobility
Our Betters

dicentra

What these people need is to find honest work where they make some actual effort to do something

They need to spend a year toting water for a remote African village.

Alone. No outside support from a United Nations agency or whatnot. Just go and be a member of the tribe: eat their food, wear their clothes, use their toilets, sleep in their beds.

Most of them wouldn't last a day, the spoiled little pukes.

David

I literally have no idea if that’s parody or not.

It’s not a parody. They’re intellectuals.

mojo

The ruling Marxists in Venezuela "self-determined" their way to billions of the Venezuelan treasury. $14.8 billion in HSBC's Swiss bank alone.

Indeed. Sure would be a shame if those oh-so-needy Marxists found that their nest eggs gad been forcibly redistributed, wouldn't it?

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...people would be free to engage in whatever activities they found most fulfilling...

Sometime in the future, Miss Penny addresses a crowd of fellow anarcho-commies that would barely fit into the seats and infield at Talledega...

Miss Penny: Comrades ! The comrades have determined we need to replace the bourgois iPhone with the pEoplesPhone, so let us engage in whatever activities you find fulfilling so that we may meet this glorious goal !

Crowd: (much cheering)

Miss Penny: Comrades, as you exit sign up for your fulfilling tasks !

Several months later Miss Penny again addresses the crowd...

Miss Penny: Comrades ! The pEoplesPhone project is progressing with glory ! So far we have 25,000 designers, 25,000 software engineers, 50,000 artists working on packaging, and 25,000 for marketing because it is fulfilling work, even if totally unnecessary with the only phone available !

We have only one setback, probably caused by reactionary wreckers and saboteurs, we need batteries, so everyone who will find it a fulfilling task to work in the lithium mines, please step forward !

Crowd: Makes bum's rush for exits...

Geezer

Link not working ...

Delete the period (full stop) at the end, and the link works just fine. Thus:
http://randeastwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Socialism-Cartoon.jpg

Jay

I googled 'anarchist party uk' (Mz Penny is not a member of any party despite her leanings) and fourth or fifth entry was the Libertarian Party!!! Since when did libertarianism morph into anarchy?

PS I always enjoy reading the incisive and articulate comments on your threads.

Geezer

Since when did libertarianism morph into anarchy?

There has always been an anarchistic streak within libertarianism. Some of us are anarchists, some minarchists.

If "that government that governs least governs best" is true, is it not also true that "that government is best that governs not at all"?

sH2

Imagine all of our delicate hand-wash-only radicals, all those little Lauries, self-determining how much wealth should be distributed their way,

But earning a living is such a drag, man.

Wanna buy a poem?

Darleen

If "that government that governs least governs best" is true, is it not also true that "that government is best that governs not at all"?

No. I can be at my healthiest by eating just enough to serve my body's needs, but it isn't true that then starvation would be best.

Outside of living by oneself on an island, whenever two or more people gather to live together, there is going to have to be some structure that all agree to in order to have a mutually beneficial living arrangement; including setting up some sort of arbitration rules when conflicts arise.

Think of that as nascent government.

Not having structure is the nightmare of anyone who first embarks on having roommates without thoroughly managing everyone's expectations.

David

Wanna buy a poem?

Is it a poem about how terrible capitalism is?

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Dicentra:

I prefer "Our Worses".

Monty James

I like the way Zman put it:

"I’m fond of pointing out that all you have to do is spend a little time with grad students at an elite university to understand why Mao sent these people off the rice paddies."

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

I apologize as this is a bit off topic, but this came to my attention, and yes it appears that Celebrity Studies is an actual "academic" journal, with conferences, and a PhD competition.

Grievance Studies are bad enough, but how the hell can you look someone in the eye and tell them with a straight face that you have, and are actually proud to have, a PhD in Celebrity Studies, or even teach the dreck ?

Today's readings come from TigerBeat, pages 12-33, and People, pages 24-88. What ? No, you cannot substitute the National Enquirer, but you may use the Femail section of The Daily Mail. No NOT Page 3 of The Sun.

Darleen

how the hell can you look someone in the eye and tell them with a straight face that you have, and are actually proud to have, a PhD in Celebrity Studies, or even teach the dreck ?

This is what happens when there is way too much government money in education.

Geezer

I can be at my healthiest by eating just enough to serve my body's needs, but it isn't true that then starvation would be best.

Who gets to decide? You? Or some Board of Nutrition? If your answer is You, are you an anarchist? If not, why not? Where do you draw the line?

Darleen

Geezer

Ever had roommates?

Geezer

Ever had roommates?

I have indeed. We worked it out among ourselves, without any intervention by outside forces.

Darleen

Geezer

No issues? No one flaking on paying the rent or utilities? Or moving out in the middle of the night after borrowing money? No one helping themselves to your food/shampoo/dvds/laptop?

My, you must have had utopia OR you all had made a contract based on shared & agreed to expectations plus what would happen if the contract was broken.

If the latter, you invoked limited government as arbitrator or enforcer of your contract.

Chester Draws

Ah, Minarchism. It'll never work in practice, and everyone knows it.

But they get quite angry if you suggest their pipe-dream is beyond fanciful. It's because it's never been tried "properly". People just need "persuading" properly.

Exactly the same way the far-left avoid the fact that their particular dream world also runs up against the immutable nature of humanity, in fact.

Ray

Has anybody asked Penny about Venezuela?

There will be a period of discreet mourning, after which Venezuela will be described as "a failed right-wing state".

Penny's opinions will be available then.

Geezer

No issues?

The trick is in choosing roommates. I was fortunate to have trustworthy ones.

Geezer

Ah, Minarchism.

I think there are three options:
1. Anarchism (no government).
2. Minarchism (limited government).
3. Totalitarianism (unlimited government).

Is there another option I'm overlooking?

Hedgehog

There will be a period of discreet mourning, after which Venezuela will be described as "a failed right-wing state".

I'm a bit more hopeful. What Venezuela needs is what Chile got to be cured of Allende. After which all the right-thinking people (i.e., the left-thinking people) will denounce the dastardly right-wingers who prevented this magnificent socialist experiment from succeeding.

WTP

The trick is in choosing roommates. I was fortunate to have trustworthy ones.

Which one can do if one has strict control of one's borders and is very limiting in the kind of people one interacts with. Like a strong religion or some such. Doesn't work so well with diverse populations. See socialism (again).

dicentra

Ah, Minarchism. It'll never work in practice, and everyone knows it.

It worked for about the first 100 years of American history, until the Progressives came along and decided that the Administrative State would be best.

With themselves, the philosopher kings, in charge, of course.

Plus promising security and the Four Freedoms, two of which had to be provided at someone else's expense.

Prolonged peace and prosperity affects society the way null gravity affects the body: inevitable loss of muscle and bone mass, which cannot be recovered until the pull of gravity compels the body to compensate.

Yup. We're about to become reacquainted with the reality of gravity wells and massive bodies.

Yay us.

Geezer

Which one can do if one has strict control of one's borders and is very limiting in the kind of people one interacts with.

I interact with many different kinds of people. But I don't choose them all to be roommates.

WTP

I interact with many different kinds of people. But I don't choose them all to be roommates.
I think you're missing the point.

Geezer

I think you're missing the point.

And the point is?

Rightofgenghis

Huh. I call them useless little fuckwits. It's sufficiently descriptive and pisses them off. Truth tends to do that to fuckwits.

David Gillies

I think au fond Penny Dreadful is all too aware that if she were remunerated according to the value she provides to society (instead of battening on some of the vast surplus value a capitalist economy creates), the most you'd hear of her would be some page 43A article about how her emaciated corpse was found on a patch of waste ground. She's not arguing in good faith, but staking a claim. The preposterousness of her ideas is a tactic.

banner

Penny never fails to come out with remarkable bullshit. To wit:

As more and more jobs are automated away and still more become underpaid and insecure, the left is rediscovering anti-work politics: a politics that demands not just the right to “better” work, but the right, if conditions allow, to work less.

I thought the left had actually given up on the struggle for better work. What's caused this?

This, too, is a feminist issue.

Ah yes. Presumably a racist issue too. Must be islamophobic too, somehow - everything always is....

Anon

One does wish that places like the New Statesman would oblige Ms Penny's desire to not work by, you know, not paying her.

Chester Draws

The first 100 years of US history.

If you think the wild west is an advertisement for good government, go for it. The actual people involved however chose to get proper governance.

As will everyone who has to suffer through actual Monarchism.


Looks lovely if you aren't the one who is being gunned down. Shite if you want to walk the street and feel safe.

Chester Draws

Monarchism. Auto correct obviously has a limited range of governance types in its store.

Chester Draws

Shit it's done it again. Minarchism damn it!

David

Preview is your friend. :-)

WTP

Heh...lost track of this thread...And the point is?. Sorry, you seem bright enough to get this without me having to spell it out. Governance and such amongst a group of people over which one has control as to who is in and who is out is a far, far simpler matter than governing as diverse of a group as 10,000 random individuals let alone an entire country of such.

...also, what Chester said. Though I'm more to err on the side of minarchism than creeping progressivism. Government is best which governs least. Ideally you have the smallest possible government needed to protect the rights of the individual from oppression. Each individual does have a responsibility to do as much as possible to protect themselves. A government of some significant power is still needed as backup.

Peterbegley

They seem to sincerely want to become the Eloi.

Geezer

The actual people involved however chose to get proper governance.

"Proper governance" cannot be achieved by a limited government? Only an unlimited government will do?

Geezer

And the point is, Part Two

I was talking about roommates. You seem to think I was talking about something else.

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