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Archive for the ‘Capitalism’ Category

Economic Crisis and The Coming Insurrection

Posted by NT Wrong on January 5, 2009

“it isn’t the economy that’s in crisis; the economy is the crisis; it’s not that we can’t get any work, it’s that there’s too much of it; all weighed in, it’s not crisis but growth that’s depressing us. We must admit that for us the litany of the stock market rates has just about as much meaning as a Latin mass.”
The Coming Insurrection, by the “Invisible Committee” (2007): 23 (L’insurrection qui vient, Comité invisible).

Posted in Capitalism | 5 Comments »

Virgin Mary on Christmas Playboy Cover – The Borrowed Kettle – Too Many Excuses

Posted by NT Wrong on December 18, 2008

The December 2008 Mexican edition of Playboy features a woman draped in a religious looking veil, standing in front of a stained glass window, with the words ‘We adore you, Mary’ across the cover. The model’s name is Maria Florencia Onori. She appears completely nude within the publication, in various religiously themed poses. The magazine was released immediately before Mexico celebrates the Virgin of Guadalupe, and in the month of Christmas.

Playboy has made a number of responses: a denial, a shifting of the blame, and a ‘sincere apology’ for any offense caused.

A denial:

The image “is not and never was intended to portray the Virgin of Guadalupe or any other religious figure… The intent was to reflect a Renaissance-like mood on the cover.”
– Raul Sayrols, publisher of Playboy Mexico

A blame-shift:

“the Mexican edition of the magazine is published by a licensee, and the company did not approve or endorse the cover.”
– Chicago-based Playboy Enterprises Inc

An apology:

“While Playboy Mexico never meant for the cover or images to offend anyone, we recognize that it has created offense, and we as well as Playboy Mexico offer our sincerest apologies.”- – Chicago-based Playboy Enterprises Inc

The problem is the magazine has too many reasons.

Freud tells a story about a borrowed kettle:

“A. borrowed a copper kettle from B. and after he had returned it was sued by B. because the kettle now had a big hole in it which made it unusable. His defence was: ‘First, I never borrowed the kettle from B. at all; secondly, the kettle had a hole in it already when I got it from him; and thirdly, I gave him back the kettle undamaged.'”

This story is a favourite of Zizek’s. He has another good example:

“Do we not encounter the same inconsistency when high United States officials try to justify the attack on Iraq? (1) There is a link between Saddam’s regime and al-Qaeda, so Saddam should be punished as part of the retaliation for 11 September; (2) Even if there is no link between the Iraqi regime and al-Qaeda, they are united in their hatred of the United States–Saddam’s regime is thus very dangerous, a threat not only to the United States, but also to its neighbours and the Iraqi people; (3) The change of regime in Iraq will create the conditions for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
– The Universal Exception, 289

Of couse, there have been a number of other, also contradictory excuses offered by United States officials for the Iraq war. But there is no mention that war and securing oil are good business and smart political muscle-flexing. There was no mention from Playboy Enterprises Inc that controversy and sex sells porno magazines, either.

Posted in Capitalism, Religion & Society, War | 13 Comments »

Capitalism as Religion

Posted by NT Wrong on October 18, 2008

“A religion may be discerned in capitalism — that is to say, capitalism serves essentially to allay the same anxieties, torments, and disturbances to which the so-called religions offered answers… In the first place, capitalism is a purely cultic religion, perhaps the most extreme that ever existed. In capitalism, things have a meaning only in their relationship to the cult; capitalism has no specific body of dogma, no theology. It is from this point of view that utilitarianism acquires its religious overtones. This concretization of cult is connected with a second feature of capitalism: the permanence of the cult. Capitalism is the celebration of a cult sans rêve et sans merci (without dream or mercy). There are no “weekdays.” There is no day that is not a feast day, in the terrible sense that all its sacred pomp is unfolded before us; each day commands the utter fealty of each worshipper. And third, the cult makes guilt pervasive. Capitalism is probably the first instance of a cult that creates guilt, not atonement. In this respect, this religious system is caught up in the headlong rush of a larger movement. A vast sense of guilt that is unable to find relief seizes on the cult, not to atone for this guilt but to make it universal, to hammer it into the conscious mind, so as once and for all to include God in the system of guilt and thereby awaken in him an interest in the process of atonement. This atonement cannot then be expected from the cult itself, or from the reformation of this religion (which would need to be able to have recourse to some stable element in it), or even from the complete renouncement of this religion. The nature of the religious movement which is capitalism entails endurance right to the end, to the point where God, too, finally takes on the entire burden of guilt, to the point where the universe has been taken over by that despair which is actually its secret hope. Capitalism is entirely without precedent, in that it is a religion which offers not the reform of existence but its complete destruction. It is the expansion of despair, until despair becomes a religious state of the world in the hope that this will lead to salvation… The cult is celebrated before an unmatured deity; every idea, every conception of it offends against the secret of this immaturity.”
– Walter Benjamin, “Capitalism as Religion” (1921)

Posted in Capitalism, Justice | 2 Comments »

Capitalism, Middle East Invasions, Resource Exploitation, advertised as ‘Civilized Christianity’ versus ‘Terrible Islam’ – 1922

Posted by NT Wrong on October 18, 2008

This is a remarkable cartoon, albeit tragically still in 2008.

From radical leftist cartoonist, Arthur Henry Young (in Michael Cohen, “‘Cartooning Capitalism’: Radical Cartooning and the Making of American Popular Radicalism in the Early Twentieth Century.” IRSH 52 (2007): 35-58, 45).

The violence intrinsic to Capitalism continues unabated, and will do so until it is forcibly overthrown.

(click for a larger picture)

Posted in Capitalism, Islam, Justice, Religion & Society, War | Comments Off on Capitalism, Middle East Invasions, Resource Exploitation, advertised as ‘Civilized Christianity’ versus ‘Terrible Islam’ – 1922

America: Those You’ve Robbed Will Plunder You – Jeff Simmonds – ‘So You Say’ – An Anti-Prosperity-Gospel Prophecy for the Financial Meltdown

Posted by NT Wrong on October 10, 2008

    So, you say God loves you
    That’s why you live in prosperity
    God blesses you and wants you wealthy
    Somehow I don’t think that’s true
    Neither should you

    You’re only rich because someone else is poor
    Someone has to pay for your luxury
    It’s not God’s blessing, it’s inequity
    That makes your cup overflow
    And the Third World die

    You built your house with slavery
    You maintain your household with inequality
    One day you’ll fall and I won’t cry for you
    Those you’ve robbed will plunder you
    They’ll plunder you

Posted in Capitalism, Justice, Music | 2 Comments »