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Friends, This Is It: Today is the Day We Take Up Arms

By Petr Knava | Miscellaneous | December 18, 2019 |

By Petr Knava | Miscellaneous | December 18, 2019 |


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There’s a beautiful little book by these two mega-bearded, tweed-wearing German units—one of whom was famously a pub-crawling, chain-smoking, throwing-rocks-at-lamp-posts, absolute chonk unit—that opens up with some very famous lines, one of which is:

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

Sexy stuff, huh? I know. That’s why my day is never complete without a drunken, Martin-Sheen-in-Apocalypse-Now-esque meltdown in which I strip down and empty a pilsner over the top of my head until the tears run together and mingle with the amber liquid and I collapse onto the floor and caress the laminated copy of the Communist Manifesto there, cooing to it simultaneously sadly and affectionately until I fall asleep.

While I slumber there, mildly acidic drool doing nothing to taint the protected pages, the book’s intro continues, as the words rise up out of the page and are daubed across history:

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

And then, a little bit later, this incandescent bit of poetry:

The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

And then, finally, a few paragraphs later:

All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

On that note, here is a thing!

There is a no more sacred ritual upon this goodly green (for now) earth than the communion of a creature with their Great Emptying. On the other side of things, there are few lower, more base phrases in the English language than ‘improved employee productivity.’ This downward-sloping toilet abomination, birthed from the diseased Grima Wormtongue brains of a British startup called ‘StandardToilet’, is fortunately just a conceptual sketch. For now. But don’t you fret, just like those wrist-bands that Amazon patented which aim to track every single movement of their warehouse employees, this thing which aims to defile the sacred with the most profane will likely come to fruition sooner or later.

There’s something so incredibly depressing yet exactly on a par with our current age about that sloping toilet. About its precision-engineered 13 degree slope, designed mathematically to just about allow a human being to perform a vital bodily function while not letting them get too comfortable lest they stay just a tad too long and thus fail to donate every last available ounce of their life energy and spirit to a mega-parasitic figure Jeff Bezos-type somewhere.



Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.


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