Return of zombie ideas

Posted: 30 October 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

This weekend is the appropriate time for zombie ideas to return from the dead, to scare us out of our wits. Such as. . .

The idea that the rich need coddling.

Because the Obama administration hasn’t been business-friendly enough?

The idea that immigrant workers are stealing jobs from native-born workers.

Only because, in the absence of unemployment compensation, people become desperate for any opportunity to sell their labor power.

The idea that the new “elites are isolated from mainstream America and ignorant about the lives of ordinary Americans.”

Which makes them different from previous elites how?

The idea that “men are caught between an old-fashioned breadwinner ideal and an economic era that no longer delivers the family wage.”

Which has nothing to do with notions of masculinity and everything to do with increases in the rate of exploitation and the changing class structure of households.

The idea that economic growth depends on the irrational exuberance of entrepreneurs.

Because, under capitalism, “entrepreneurial ventures and consumer daydreams” are the only ways we can find out who we are.

The idea that ideas are what matter and materialism “has had its day.”

Only, of course, if you presume that ideas are not material, and materialism means economic determinism.

The only way to bury zombie ideas forever is to admit that the ideas and delusional behaviors of the current elites, which pits one group of workers against others and leaves the elites complaining that they’re not being coddled enough, have failed. They landed us in the current mess, without a way out, thereby undermining their role as elites.

So, let’s celebrate the Día de los Muertos, finally put the zombie ideas of the current elites to rest, and take seriously the plight of the living.

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