मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

समर्थ शिष्या अक्का : "स्वामीच्या कृपाप्रसादे हे सर्व नश्वर आहे असे समजले. पण या नश्वरात तमाशा बहुत आहे."

G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

सदानंद रेगे:
"... पण तुकारामाची गाथा ज्या धुंदीनं आजपर्यंत वाचली जात होती ती धुंदी माझ्याकडे नाहीय. ती मला येऊच शकत नाही याचं कारण स्वभावतःच मी नास्तिक आहे."
".. त्यामुळं आपण त्या दारिद्र्याच्या अनुभवापलीकडे जाऊच शकत नाही. तुम्ही जर अलीकडची सगळी पुस्तके पाहिलीत...तर त्यांच्यामध्ये त्याच्याखेरीज दुसरं काही नाहीच आहे. म्हणजे माणसांच्या नात्यानात्यांतील जी सूक्ष्मता आहे ती क्वचित चितारलेली तुम्हाला दिसेल. कारण हा जो अनुभव आहे... आपले जे अनुभव आहेत ते ढोबळ प्रकारचे आहेत....."

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Uninterrupted Capitalism Always Turns Che Guevara into Bikini Brand

MARC LACEY for NYT (October 9, 2007) says: “In fact, 40 years after his death, Che — born Ernesto Guevara de la Serna — is as much a marketing tool as an international revolutionary icon. Which raises the question of what exactly does the sheer proliferation of his image — the distant gaze, the scraggly beard and the beret adorned with a star — mean in a decidedly capitalist world?”

I read George Orwell’s Animal Farm, translated in Marathi by my father, when I was still in school. I cried when Boxer was taken away to the slaughterhouse. I did not understand that it was a parable for failed Russian revolution.

I still became passionate communist for good part of my college life. Lenin, Che Guevara, Castro, Mao, Ho Chi Minh became heroes. I particularly liked Anil Barve’s Marathi play “Thank you, Mr. Glad” based on the life of a surgeon-turned-Naxalite.

Then I experienced first hand violent labour union movement of Datta Samant at Mukand Iron and Steel, Kalwa from 1983-84 and Animal-Farm-style-pigs-like-union at Nocil (1984-87). (Nocil, a blue chip, was a much bigger company than Reliance Industries then). Later I also read about membership of Lenin and Mao of “Thirty Million Club”.

(Brad DeLong- “Call those political leaders whose followers and supporters have slaughtered more than ten million of their fellow humans "members of the Ten-Million Club.”… The twentieth century has seen perhaps five people join the Ten Million Club: Adolf Hitler, Chiang Kaishek, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao have credentials that may well make them the charter members of the Thirty Million Club as well–perhaps the Fifty Million Club.)

I was disillusioned with communism for life at the age of 27.

Graham Greene’s books gave a new pair of glasses for looking at communism. He says Catholics and communists are never indifferent to you and that is their chief quality.

It was not long before disillusionment came with capitalism too.

Greene has said: “The terrifying weight of this (USA’s) consumer society oppresses me”

Guardian (Chris Petit) reviewed Benjamin R Barber’s book “Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilise Adults and Swallow Citizens Whole” on June 23, 2007.

“…There are 24 million compulsive shoppers in the US. According to a study commissioned by Yahoo!, members of the My Media generation can, by multi-tasking, fit up to 44 hours of activity into one day. With desire propelled in excess of the speed of light anything is possible, hence the growing number of internet addiction disorder clinics in the US. Shopping also functions like pornography, another form of accelerated desire with an emphasis on repetition. For the first time in history, a society has felt its economic survival demands a kind of "controlled regression, a culture that promotes puerility rather than maturation"….

…Benjamin Barber fears that this process of infantilisation, combined with the associated practices of branding and privatisation, threatens democracy. Privatisation has merely privatised corruption and inequality without providing more adequate supplies or even turning much of a profit.”

Petit agrees but warns: “If capitalism continues uninterrupted, then the cure of self-restraint will become another commercial facet of consumerism, like weight-watching or dieting or healthy eating - just another giant business in its own right. “

Capitalism will simply swallow its proposed cure. We have to interrupt capitalism. How?

The New Yorker

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