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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ladies' Paradise Lost: Digesting Emile.

Here, in an excerpt from Emile Zola's novel, "The Ladies' Paradise", we are given a glimpse into the uncensored voraciousness of the Capitalist's mind. The pure greed, shining hard and bright and inviolable as a diamond forged in the fires of earth's interior, lies unapologetically for all to survey.. To this mindset, this voracious maw, we are now told all must bow down and governments must fall, as the consumer knows all. Instead of protecting their citizens, now that they are held hostage to the forces of the market, politicians instead lead them right into the paddocks to be slaughtered:

"Mouret glanced towards the drawing-room, and in a few phrases whispered in Barren Heartland's ear, as if he were confiding to him one those amorous secrets men sometimes venture to reveal when they are alone, he finished explaining the techniques of modern business. Of supreme importance, more important than the facts he had already given, was the exploitation of Woman. Everything else led up to it, the ceaseless renewal of capital, the system of piling up goods, the low prices which attracted people, the marked prices which reassured them . It was Woman the shops were competing for so fiercely, it was Woman they were continually snaring with their bargains, after dazing her with their displays. They had awoken new desires in her weak flesh; they were an immense temptation to which she inevitably yielded, succumbing in the first place to purchases for the house, then seduced via coquetry, finally consumed by desire. By increasing sales tenfold, by making luxury democratic, shops were becoming a terrible agency for spending, ravaging households, working hand in hand with the latest extravagances in fashion, growing ever more expensive. And if, in the shops, Woman was Queen, adulated and humored in her weaknesses, surrounded with attentions, she reigned there as an amorous queen whose subjects trade on her, and who pays for every whim with a drop of her own blood. Beneath the very charm of his gallantry, Mouret thus allowed the brutality of a Jew selling Woman by the pound to show through;  he was building a temple to Woman, making a legion of shop assistants burn incense before her, creating the rites of a new cult; he thought only of her, ceaselessly trying to imagine even greater enticements; and, behind her back, when he had emptied her purse and wrecked her nerves, he was full of the secret scorn of a man to whom a mistress had just been stupid enough to yield. "Get the women", he whispered to the Barren, laughing impudently as he did so, "and you'll sell the world!"

Now the Barren understood. A few sentences had sufficed, he guessed the rest, and such gallant exploitation excited him, stirred memories of his dissolute past. His eyes twinkled knowingly; he was overtaken by admiration for the inventor of this machine for devouring women. It was very clever.

"You know, they'll take their revenge."

But Mouret shrugged his shoulders in a gesture of crushing disdain. They all belonged to him, they were his property, and he belonged to none of them. When he had extracted his fortune and his pleasure from them, he would throw them on the rubbish heap for those who could still make a living out of them.He had the calculated disdain of a Southerner and a Speculator."

And to this cabal of usurers and cutthroats, our Democratically elected governments the world over have offered us up for shearing. What could possibly go wrong?

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