Perpetuating the Myth: Eternal Capitalism

One sign of the instability of a hegemonic position is the need to keep reasserting it, such as ‘eternal capitalism’ in the face of its latest crisis. Since it expresses the core of human nature – self-interest, greed, the desire to acquire – it has and will always be with us. So Michael Onfray:

Is this the end of capitalism? Absolutely not. The key feature of capitalism is that it’s malleable. It has been through antiquity, feudalism, the industrial era, it has worn the guise of fascism and now it’s wedding itself to the ecology cause. After this latest event, it will take on a new form. It is indestructible and works like the Hydra of Lerne, cut off one head and another grows in its place. Is this the end of society’s obsession with money and credit? Not at all.

A nice concealment of the historical emergence of that specific mode of production known as capitalism.


14 thoughts on “Perpetuating the Myth: Eternal Capitalism

  1. It’s just like that argument that you can sometimes have over who was the first ever heavy metal band: first somebody says Black Sabbath, and then somebody else says some weird experimental West German band from the early 60s that nobody has heard of, and then there’s some metaller who says nah, nah, Beethoven. So predictable.

    1. The Who’s ‘Live at Leeds’ concert (Valentine’s Day 1970), towards the end, and without any intent (“it was wild and we were having a great time’) was the birth of heavy metal. Black Sabbath and miscellaneous German bands came afterwards…..

      1. Hmmm, interesting. Given that Jethro Tull won the inaurgural heavy metal music award in 1989 for ‘Crest of a Knave;, and given that the band formed in 1967, doesn’t that make Tull the first heavy metal outfit? Well, they weren’t quite playing bits of metal in ’67, but the ’89 result led to outrage from Metallica fans, to which Tull responded with a full-page ad in Bilboard. It contained a flute and bars of iron, with the caption, ‘The flute is a (heavy) metal instrument’

      2. Their repertoire at this point [the end of 1967] consisted of mostly blues covers (their interpretations of blues music). They enjoyed playing songs by Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and Iverson “Louisiana Red” Minter. Ian had also become comfortable enough with his flute playing to suggest playing Roland Kirk’s “Serenade To A Cuckoo.” He soon made an arrangement of it for the band to perform. By the end of January, 1968, a manager from the Ellis/Wright agency, Dave Robson, suggested to the band that they call themselves Jethro Tull.

        As you said, “they weren’t quite playing bits of metal in ’67”

        So Birmingham has primacy over Blackpool

        If you want pagan origins Birmingham is a stone’s throw from Tanworth – the capital of Offa’s Mercia.

      1. I was tossing up between using punk or metal as the example.

        I’d bet my last Rippilkoulu album that there’s some Finnish death metallers out there who claim ancient pagan origins, and view all of subsequent musical history through that dark lens.

  2. I’ve long said that Marx is like Herakles–but in terms of slaying various petty bourgeois monstrosities, like German Idealism, Proudhon, and so forth.

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