Lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living

Paris Hilton considered as a regime of accumulation

Last week, John Boehner found himself in the position of having to defend tax subsidies to oil companies; he agreed that subsidizing the massive, and massively profitable, oil companies was perverse but, he pleaded, what about all the small, struggling oil companies? This is a particularly amusing instance of the appeal to an imaginary petit bourgeoisie, which you also see in claims that people getting paid half a million dollars are “small business owners.” This is, perhaps, a central feature of bourgeois ideology, which imagines that capitalism is based on individual “property as the fruit of a man’s own labour, which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity and independence” (Marx), rather than being a whole system of social production. This particular aspect of bourgeois ideology does seem to be undergoing a resurgence of popularity at the moment, perhaps as a kind of protective reaction to the increasing visibility of the structures of capitalism in the wake of the financial crisis. Read more↴