Agony but no Ecstasy
You’ll recognize the image here, it’s the “Creation of Adam,” a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The original was painted by Michelangelo around 1510. This crop is about 8 ft. by 16 ft., but it’s 68 ft. in the air so I imagine it doesn’t look that big. Mike thought it was just an ego boost for pope Julius II, and was not hot to do it, he’d rather be sculpting and building. So why did he? The pope, back then, was bigger than all the CEOs combined, if he said bend over, all anyone could ask was how high? Or was the money real good? We’ll never know.
In my homage, Mike’s X-ian godhead is conflated with a contemporary CEO. And he’s not reaching out to “give” Adam (laborers of both sexes) anything more than “The Finger,” the giving of which is ironically a denial. Surely as in Genesis 2, “…the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he [the godhead] took one of his ribs… [and] made he a woman.” The woman is a metaphor for the fruits of capital and labor’s collaboration. But there is no such collaboration, the CEO/godhead keeps her to himself, being omnipotent and all, as a self-granted bonus.
Karl Marx: “Capital [personified as the above mentioned CEO] is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.” and “Capitalist production, therefore, develops technology, and the combining together of various processes into a social whole, only by sapping the original sources of all wealth – the soil and the laborer.”
But that’s nothing new, way before Marx’s 19th cent. perspective, lords–see, the lord and god pun precedes my efforts–and the vassals were then, capitalists as well, only the names have changed. For some time now capital has been limited in its taking of Labor’s value, not by proletariat revolution–all those did was spawn personal tyrannies–but by representative democracies. And so fettered (as much Smith as Marx) both capital and labor have thrived. Today, 150 yrs. after Marx, this era seems to be at an end.
Corporations have grown bigger than those “by the people” governments, and have subsumed them. what appear these days as representative democracies are nothing more than divisions of very unrepresentative, undemocratic corporations. Political candidates are marketed with no more respect for truth than beer commercials; “Buy me and live better” is the slogan in both “cases” and true in neither.