“Mankind, which in Homer’s time was an object of contemplation for the Olympian gods, is now one for itself. Its self-alienation has reached such a degree that it can experience its own destruction as aesthetic pleasure of the first order.”
Bullshit, of course they have something in common: they’re both subject to the hegemony of what Marx called “the coercive conditions of competition.” Ignorance of or failure to perceive this important fact leads to what can be called the “fake form” of revolution, or a form of revolution that doesn’t address the real issues of capitalism, namely an inherent lack of dignity and autonomy in the everyday labour of the human being, a form of revolution that simply replaces one form of oppression with another. A real revolution over or against (these terms of problematic) capitalism seeks to transcend the divisions that alienate one living being from another.
Steve worked 14 hours a day building beautiful guitars. Songs will not be sung because he died and will make no more. Thanks to the Republican Party’s theft of our national wealth, he barely eked out an existence with financial help from my husband and me. Money for health insurance? Don’t be ridiculous.
He was 63. He had to start Social Security early so he could afford to eat. He was too young for Medicare and too male for Medicaid. This nation does not recognize the years he spent working for others and making this economy grow, it only focused on the years he worked for himself, creating instruments of rare beauty.
When he had a pain in the butt, he had to wait until early in the morning of December 3rd to present himself at the ER of Highland Hospital, the Alameda County medical facility. There are guards at Highland, and a football field full of plastic chairs for the indigent to use while they wait treatment. He was sent home with a handful of Vicodin and a suggestion to follow up with a pulmonologist for the 3 cm spot the Xray showed on his lung. The soonest appointment was Feb 25.
He was in so much pain that he could not stand up for more than a few seconds at a time. He got Vicodin. And steroid suppositories.
His buddies came up with the $2000 a proctologist wanted to do an outpatient surgery. But the hospital wanted $20,000 for use of the room for the brief procedure because he was uninsured. Because the pain didn’t matter half as much as the profit.