My beloved wife decided to buy me a typewriter. Not an old school one (expensive and always needing lot of careful maintenance) but a more modern electronic typewriter that can get the job done just fine. Why? Continue reading
The language of ideology, as Althusser prophetically noted, is everywhere. It is not only in the dominant institutions, but also in the small private components of our society, those “private institutions” which according to the neo-classical and liberal tradition should assure the plurality of voices and freedom of expression within society.
Within. That’s precisely the point. Not without. The redundancy of the contemporary debate on ideology has only the effect of poisoning the individual’s perception and to make inextricable a very simple and basic concept: ideology is a way of preserving and reproducing the status quo. More specifically, as Althusser always remarks, a way to reproduce the social relations that are at the basis of the particular mode of production of a given society. Ideology is a practical matter that has little to do with ideas or, at least, only a part of it actually has to do with ideas. Continue reading
Nothing is easier than to spend money, whether for pleasure or for need. Much harder is to earn that same money. Even harder it is to spend money we don’t own and the hardest it is to pay back the money we borrowed, whether for pleasure or for need. Either way, it is the possibility to spend that money that can make our day bright or miserable: buying food, paying the bills, sending kids to school, going on a vacation, buying a book, enjoying an evening out and so forth. Little daily actions that may change the overall perception of our existence: which food we can afford to buy, which school we can afford to attend, which cities we can afford to visit and which drinks we can afford to drink. Either way, it is all in the numbers that we see on the receipt of a grocery store, or in the balance of our bank account. Either way, we need those numbers to add up to what we need or desire.
One of the questions that I am frequently asked when my interest for Marx is unveiled is whether I am a communist or, if the inquirer is versed in some leftist reading, whether I still believe in the possibility of a revolution. Often I am asked what I think about Stalin and the gulags, if I support China and North Korea, and if I admit in light of the history after 1989, that communism is in theory a beautiful thing, but that in reality it is only a totalitarian regime not that different from Fascism and National Socialism. Once I am busted with a book of Marx, I am inquired why I don’t go and live in Cuba if, after all, communism is such a beautiful thing, and why I don’t give up using technology and the comforts that only a capitalist society can give me.