Thursday, November 24, 2005

Kidnapped Home

A taxi driver in Vienna said to the passenger he picked up at the airport, "Have you heard these new radio ads the Polish tourist board is running here? Come to Warsaw! Your car is already here."

Let's go to Socialism. Everything is already there.

(...In the case of the world market, the connection of the individual with all, but at the same time the independence of the conection from the individual, have developed to such a high level that the formation of the world market already at the same time contains the conditions for going beyond it.) Comparison in place of real communality and generality.

(It has been said and may be said that this is precisely the beauty and the greatness of it: this spontaneous interconnection, this material and mental metabolism which is independent of the knowing and willing of individuals, and which presupposes their reciprocal independence and indifference. And, certainly, this objective connection is preferable to the lack of any connection, or to a merely local connection resting on blood ties, or on primeval, natural or master-servant relations. Equally certain is it that individuals cannot gain mastery over their own social interconnections before they have created them. But it is an insipid notion to conceive of this merely objective bond as a spontaneous, natural attribute inherent in individuals and inseperable from their nature (in antithesis to their conscious knowing and willing). This bond is their product. It is an historic product. It belongs to a specific phase of their development. The alien and independent character in which it presently exists vis-à-vis individuals proves only that the latter are still engaged in the creation of the conditions of their social life, and that they have not yet begun, on the basis of these conditions, to live it. It is the bond natural to individuals within specific and limited relations of production. Universally developed individuals, whose social relations, as their own communal [gemeinschaftlich] relations, are hence also subordinated to their own communal control, are no product of nature, but of history. The degree and the unversality of the development of wealth where this individuality becomes possible supposes production on the basis of exchange values as a prior condition, whose universality produces not only the alienation of the individual from himself and from others, but also the universality and the comprehensiveness of his relations and capacities. In earlier stages of development the single individual seems to be developed more fully, because he has not yet worked out his relationships in their fullness, or erected them as independent social powers and relations opposite himself. It is as ridiculous to yearn for a return to that original fullness as it is to believe that with this complete emptiness history has come to a standstill. The bourgeois viewpoint has never advanced beyond this antithesis between itself and this romantic viewpoint, and therefore the latter will accompany it as legitimate antithesis up to its blessed end.)
(The relation of the individual to science may be taken as an example here.)

-Marx, Grundrisse, The Chapter On Money

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