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Fr. 29

April 30, 2011

The narrative in Marxism is an oddly familiar one. The accumulation of historical and economic facts weighs on the subject, burdened beneath the evergrowing malaise and alienation of the capitalist superstructure. Revolution eventually comes, birthed from within this very structure, bringing with it new prophets and visionaries, leading through a period of proletarian dictatorship before the workers’ paradise is realized. In this place beyond the present world, the worker exists in a direct relationship with the worked, and the line between work and play blurs. Work becomes playful, and play takes on worked character.

The messianic structure of the Marxist narrative is hard to miss. Hopes are placed in some atemporal, nonspatial locale to which the efforts of the present are consecrated, acting as a means-structuring end of this social movement. One can only be suspicious of how much the Marxist messianic narrative is itself indebted to the capitalist and Protestant economic and historical structures. Moreover, one feels obligated to question whether the Marxist narrative is not itself some impotent, inefficacious byproduct of capitalism’s continued drive towards total alienation. It is unclear whether the movement has properly accounted for itself as the product of objective economic conditions, a vain material form.

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