Marxissimus

Bei Kulla eine knappe aber konzise Kritik an einem Angriff des Gegenstandpunkts auf die Marxismusbücher von Michael Heinrich. Dabei folgt der Angriff einem bekannten und alten Denkmuster (das ich persönlich ‘Lukacs-Marxismus’ nenne, obwohl das unfair dem großen Herrn Lukacs gegenüber ist), das Kulla korrekt aufdeckt:

Hier scheint nun Heinrichs Argument falsch zu sein wegen des unerwünschten Schlusses, bei dem er “landet”. Auch im folgenden wird Heinrich dafür kritisiert, daß er “ganz auf der Ebene der moralischen Schuldfrage” bleibt und sie verneint; daß ihm “offenbar nichts wichtiger” sei, “als die ökonomisch Mächtigen aus der Schusslinie zu nehmen”; ja, daß er “die Kapitalisten” “entlastet”. Dabei haben wir es hier weitgehend mit Unterstellungen zu tun.

Heinrich weist lediglich immer wieder darauf hin, daß das Handeln der “ökonomisch Mächtigen” nicht schlimmer ist als das, was alle anderen tun, sofern sie das Funktionieren des kapitalistischen Systems aufrechterhalten. […]

Und was ist mit den Arbeitern? Die gelten dem GSP vor allem als “Opfer der Produktionsweise”. Von ihrem eigenen Interesse als Lohnarbeitskraftbehälter und Warenbesitzer – keine Rede. Von ihrer immer wieder demonstrierten Bereitschaft, die herrschende Ordnung zu verteidigen, ja noch zu verschärfen – kein Wort.

Bemerkenswert – und lesenwert (wenn auch schwerlich informativ) auch die auf die auf den Post folgende, außerordentlich knochenköpfige Diskussion.

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Cui Bono?

Jezebel on Vice Presidential Candidate Palin and on the difference between chosing A woman or FOR women.

Sarah Palin was selected by John McCain today to be the second woman in our country’s history to run for the Vice Presidency of the United States. She’s going to attempt the break the glass ceiling that Geraldine Ferraro first cracked back in 1984, which is a cool thing on some level. But it does raise the question raised by the primaries already once this year — is it more important to vote for a woman, or to vote for a candidate that represents the issues of importance to women?

Because — as EMILY’s List’s Ellen Malcolm notes — Sarah Palin is hardly the latter. She opposes reproductive choice and marriage equity. She’s a member of the group “Feminists for Life,” which is dedicated to eliminating reproductive choice in this country. She is a big promoter, like McCain, of so-called “consumer-driven” health care, in which the government would eliminate the tax breaks companies get for offering health insurance (and thus your company’s financial incentive to pay for yours) — despite the fact that, as Gloria Steinem pointed out, women are far and way the larger users of our health care system. No one yet knows if she supports the Lilly Ledbetter pay equity bill, but she certainly hasn’t spoken about it in the last year and, given that the head of her ticket opposes it, it’s a fair bet to say she wouldn’t fight for it.

Good Question

Joshua Henkin’s right on the money (emphasis in the following quote’s mine)

The [Blue Flower] won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1997 […]. There were a few grumblings at the time (Underworld had been the favorite in some circles), revived more recently when someone (one of the judges? I can’t remember exactly) suggested that The Blue Flower had been a compromise choice and that a smaller, less ambitious novel had won out over a book that swung for the fences. No disrespect meant to Delillo or any of the others, but The Blue Flower, though it comes in at just over 200 pages, is neither small nor unambitious. Would people have said the same thing if the writer had been a man?

Um, no (1)

Fêted writer Paul Verhaeghen writes

It’s just that the literature I care about sings in many tongues: It can be Brits with deep new roots in Japanese society, recovering Muslims investigating the human core at the heart of religion, women examining the true awfulness of masculinity, white Americans having a long hard look at our racism past and present, Jews writing about “passing”, Americans writing in French, Russians writing in English, or dying men turning back to stare unblinkingly into the void of life’s true evil.

Um, no. Since the books in question are David Mitchell Cloud Atlas, Salman Rushdie Satanic Verses, Donna Tartt The Secret History, Richard Powers The Time of our Singing, Philip Roth The Human Stain, Jonathan Littell Les Bienveillantes, Nabokov Pale Fire, Roberto Bolano 2666, the correct answer’s no, the “literature” you “care about” doesn’t really sing in many tongues, at least not in a nontrivial sense.
As far as that Rushdie phrase is concerned, that’s wrong on so many levels, I get bored just thinking about it. Dude, it’s almost like reading your novel.

Heel’d

Jezebel on new episodes of Tyra

Yesterday TyTy discussed sex tips and trends from around the world. An audience member asked a question about how she can get her vagina back to the way it used to be before she had her baby. (If you listen closely in the clip, the woman says she has an “8-month-year-old.”) So Tyra turns to some random woman from Italy to answer the question. The woman’s answer? High-heels.

Fear

Michael Cohen gives advice to Obama

Mr. Obama must convince skeptical Americans that he can serve as commander in chief and be trusted with the nation’s highest office. Change and relatively unknown candidates — not to mention ones with Hussein for a middle name — can seem scary. Therefore, it’s critical for Mr. Obama to orient his message of change in universal and shared American values. Just as Kennedy spoke in the metaphoric imagery of the American frontier and Reagan evoked Franklin Roosevelt and the “greatness” of America’s past, Barack Obama must continue to cast his personal narrative as a quintessentially American story of opportunity and the realization of the American Dream.