Winter weltanschauung

3 February 2010

In the District of Columbia significant quantities of snow fall only on the weekend.  Invariably it has receded enough by the following Monday for the drones to return to work.  Even the weather is anti-worker.

It rather makes me wonder if Marx ever took into account how bad the weather is when planning the Revolution.  I suppose he didn’t plan it, really. He wrote books. He was like the Jack Ryan of international communism, but the pre-Hunt for Red October Jack Ryan. Would this make Engels James Earl Jones? I need to get clarity on this.

(This is a nonsensical phrase. People at work say it to me frequently. I will one day reply, “Sure, let me just go buy a little clarity from the pusher two doors over,” and be immediately sacked.)

Imagine that you’re the proletariat.  I’m not, but let’s say you are.

Are you really going to wear that? The proletariat, while dirty and frequently ill-mannered, are generally impeccably-dressed in situations of great political tension.  Have you ever seen a picture of Churchill addressing a crowd?  Bowler hats all around.  You’re in jeans.  I mean it’s fine, I guess. I just – whatever, your call.

So imagine. Proletariat.  What are the sort of situations likely to awaken you from your vodka-induced class slumber?  Famine sounds good.  Mass deprivation of a basic service like heating or electricity.  A major mutiny, perhaps, or a rout in a war. Perhaps a general breakdown in communication caused by the loss of critical air, road or rail networks.

And when would something like this happen?  Winter.

That hot dog is the mass-man

See nobody’s ever become a communist on their own. Some kind of shit has to go down first.  Now if this shit goes down on a lovely spring day – say May 11th, because the end of the month can get a bit hot but the beginning can be rather rainy and of course you have to adjust the time for your own area, like when Al Roker kind of uselessly drones on about the weather and then goes, “Now what’s happening in your neck of the woods!” and you get real information. In fact, I’ve changed my mind.  I think Marx is like Al Roker.

So the electricity’s gone, communications are breaking down and Al Roker’s all like, “Hey, let’s overthrow Matt Lauer and seize control of the means of production.”  And I suppose it sounds like a good idea, because whenever anybody says, “let’s XYZ” it generally sounds good. But then you actually go to do it and it’s not. Sure I’d like to check out the new restaurant. No I don’t want to go to Silver Spring. But Al Roker’s all, “Hey, come on, Silver Spring’s not that far” and so we go, and I’m a bit grumpy about it.

But then it’s cold. Maybe it’s still snowing. And the wind chill! And there’s “the forces of law and order,” as I once heard them described by a Russian colonel serving in Chechnya, and there’s really a lot of them. And Al Roker’s like “They have sliders!” but by then you just don’t care anymore. That’s what revolution is like.

A case study. Take England. England has never had a Revolution that wasn’t somehow queeny (both in subject and participants). Why? Elections are almost always in May. Just at that moment when the sun is shining, you’re emerging from the gloom and you can’t believe how badly the ruling class has misappropriated the capital provided for by the labor of the masses, they give you a chance to choose! Maybe a frivolous choice, to be sure, but it takes the wind right out of your sails because you immediately feel like you’re doing something. Why go all the way to Silver Spring when there’s a Fuddrucker’s in Friendship Heights? I think it’s a Fuddrucker’s.

In America the strategy is different. Elections in November lock in the choice just as the winter’s hitting hardest and frustration’s building, and then we don’t actually change hands until January. Used to be March but, I don’t know, fabulous advances in winter coats or whatever. By the time spring hits the new people have barely had a chance to get started and you feel bad making a fuss and this time they really might make it work. (They won’t, but the proletariat is not known for critical thinking.)

Not much fun, especially when Poland turned out to be closed for the season

This is where Russia went wrong. Russia was getting in the dead of winter (February) and they were getting their ass beat by Germany and there was a shortage of food in the cities and vodka was outlawed by the not-very-thoughtful authorities. No more czar. They got a provisional government and by November they blew so hard that nobody could imagine tolerating them through another winter. No more provisional government.

China probably fits my example too. I’m kind of lazy.

I think the lesson is that America will never have a revolution because all of the cities are too cold and there’s never any reason to do it in the Spring. The only real threat comes from the expansion of Virginia and their inability to plow those tiny country roads. That way lies danger.

But now a look at what’s happening in your neck of the woods.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: