Me and the Communist Manifesto

This is a section of a much longer piece on my thoughts on the Communist Manifesto.  I’m teaching the text in my EN 102 classes and I wrote a 18 page response to prove to them that their little 2 page responses are not only manageable, but a little lame.  Here for your reading pleasure.

Capitalism pushes its ideological slate on the world.  It has to, in order to exist.  The question is, is this bad?  Is this wrong?  The answer isn’t a yes or no one.  We’ll never know whether capitalism was an evil or not until we are all long dead.  But it disturbs me that America’s capitalistic system has caused the following.

-The English Language is the most important language in the world.

-People from other countries are daily affected by the domestic policies of this country.

-Japanese children wear blue jeans.

-I call a help desk in India when I need help with my computer, that I bought here, which was made in China.

Japanese children should not wear blue jeans.  They should wear whatever they wore before they were introduced to blue jeans.  A piece of their cultural identity has been lost because of economic trade decisions the United States has made.  And Americans complain about not having jobs.  Our corporations send jobs over seas because the United States gives no incentives not to.  And English is forced upon people just so they can be successful.  It is barely a choice.  I will never, ever have to learn another language if I don’t want to.  I have no motivation to.  My language rules this planet and that is a fundamental problem.  The world is becoming as diverse as papers tossed into a recycling bin.

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3 thoughts on “Me and the Communist Manifesto

  1. Why Japanese children wear blue jeans is an especially interesting matter as it serves as an example of the sort of commodity fetishism that transforms products into works of art and works of art into products. Behind the blue jean craze is a romantic advertising of ‘cool’ that reflects and shape the world of the individual through her relationship with the blue jeans. The blue jeans are no longer valued by use but rather by cultural criteria more associated with aesthetics – representations of images, feelings, even love. I think where we disagree in our interpretations of Marx is that I don’t subscribe to the idea that Japanese children should or shouldn’t be wearing anything in particular – I feel that attempts to transcend that sort of nationalism are a facet of Marx’s thought. The homogenization of global culture, the product of what some would term postcolonialism, does violence to history and threatens the stability of our future, but individuals must not be exploited by tradition, and, in my opinion, there is the potential for a plurality of worlds to peacefully coexist.

  2. I don’t want a world where I don’t have to speak a second language. It annoys me how much power this country has. Yes, we have some nice “things”, but I’m worried about the lack of a unique society. Marx was on the mark about some things, and was way, way, way off on others. But we can discuss this face to face…

    • Word… definitely on the let’s talk about it tip for sure. I study Marx as a philosopher and question the legitimacy of many ‘political’ interpretations of his work yet I do have some political concerns that his work addresses in an interesting way; in general I steer clear of the Communist Manifesto. I do feel his thought is generally illuminating and conjures much truth of many sorts. And I do feel similar on the continuing alienation of otherness as subject to postcolonial and postindustrial force – it is a matter of great concern. But hey, let’s grab a brew soon… nah mean?

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