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The way in which these two practices contain each other is that it has always been possible to use the one against the other: to use racism-sexism to prevent universalism from moving too far in the direction of egalitarianism; to use universalism to prevent racism-sexism from moving too far in the direction of a caste system that would inhibit the work force mobility so necessary for the capitalist accumulation process.
Whenever I hear one of these old guard leaders on the other side talking about cutting taxes, when he knows it means weakening the nation, I always think of that story about the tired old capitalist who was driving alone in his car one day, and finally, he said "James, drive over the bluff; I want to commit suicide."
Because of his social position there are left no limits to the power lust of the modern capitalist. He can interfere with inconsiderate egoism in the lives of his fellowmen and play the part of Providence for others. Only when we take into consideration this passionate urge for political power over their own people as well as over foreign nations are we able really to understand the character of the typical representatives of modern capitalism. It is just this trait which makes them so dangerous to the social structure of the future.
The 'survival of the fittest' is beneficently inevitable; the capitalist is powerless against labor, unless the State... steps in, and helps him catch and fleece his victims. The old plea of despotism, that liberty is unsafe, reappears now in the mistaken notion that competition is hostile to labor.
To begin with, if man, since his origin, has always lived in societies, the State is but one of the forms of social life, quite recent as far as regards European societies. Men lived thousands of years before the first States were constituted; Greece and Rome existed for centuries before the Macedonian and Roman Empires were built up, and for us modern Europeans the centralized States date but from the sixteenth century. It was only then, after the defeat of the free medieval Communes had been completed that the mutual insurance company between military, judicial, landlord, and capitalist authority which we call "State," could be fully established.
That was a piece I did in 1963 with Konrad Lueg in a department store, in the furniture department. It was announced in some papers as an exhibition opening, but the people who came didn't know that it was to be a sort of Happening. I don't think it is quite right that it has become so famous anyhow. It was just a lot of fun, and the word itself, Capitalist Realism, hit just right. But it wasn't such a big deal.
Thomas Friedman dismissed the protesters in Quebec City as members of the "Coalition to Keep Poor People Poor." …The Coalition to Keep Poor People Poor might as well disband; its apparent goal is being accomplished in spades by pro-market forces. If the prospects of the world's poor improving their lot is one that supposedly upsets anti-capitalist protestors, they can confidently put their gas masks and get back to the shopping mall - global capitalism can be trusted to keep the poor in check without any help.