Re: David Futrelle, “Marx on the Skids” [September 15]
Thanks for the stunning insight that Marx wrote Capital because he didn’t want to get a job. If you had actually read the book whilst you were posing, you would have noted that earlier concepts of “revolutionary proletariat” and “alienation” had all but disappeared in the mature work; you also would have noted that Marx envisioned socialism as a postcapitalist social form, that is, one that could occur only in a society that already had the means of production to make a transition to collective ownership tenable–not some fucking banana republic or feudal monarchy (like Czarist Russia); he had England in mind. Also, don’t you think it a tad pathetic that an antiintellectual (and clearly relativistic) intellectual like [Frank] Manuel sees fit to perform lay psychoanalyses on Marx, when the very groundwork for Freud’s own theories was provided by none other than Marx’s own concepts of commodity fetishism, ideology and abstract (read: unconscious) labor, indeed, by the entire project of the critique of bourgeois economy. That bullshit about the narcissistic psychopathology of the self-hating Jew (which I assume are equated) is the kind of thing I wish someone would say to me in person one of these days. As for [Forrest] Colburn, doesn’t it make sense that a resentful academic hack would choose to gloat over a dysfunctional third world by mouthing the official “failure” of Marxism, since, in order to write a book about the real forces which stripped those countries of self-determination, one would have to be a Marxist? One last thing: why are you writing for a shitrag like the Reader and clipping out cat-food coupons in your Sunday supplement; as one who understands history, why don’t you simply return to school and get an MBA?
David Futrelle replies:
How did you know about the cat-food coupons?