Monday, March 29, 2010

bookstore basics

My mind is watering, salivating, to digest the new-to-me used books that I purchased at my local bookstore, here in San Telmo. Walrus Bookstore, run by an American named Geoffrey and his wife, whom I have not met. Quaint and perfect.

The two books I picked up were none other than the Early Political Writings of Karl Marx and a couple of combo-shorts by Nietzsche. What before seemed like a task, an obligation for school, now feels like an opportunity. Already delving into Marx, making my heart swell with admiration, and hoping to draw from his ideas even more now than before.

Reading the Introduction was a moment of enlightenment -- an epiphanic eureka-moment. For so long, I have been trying to explain to people how Marx was not a Communist, invoking quotes from Capital and Political Economy. When reading Easton and Guddat's intro, who summarize the three earliest periods of Marx's pensive dialectic, I noticed that Marx often uses the term universal when explaining his Idea. As he describes: "the capacity of the universal class to be actually universal, that is, to be the class of every citizen", meaning removing the fictitious value of money, the value as an ends as opposed to a means, which would eliminate the current class-system. Marx's argument is that the obsession with money, materialism, alienates man from his potential, almost endenturing him as a slave to the system. He calls for a revitalization of human dignity. My heart swells and my eyes well-up.

Can he be considered a universalist? No. In all honesty, I don't even think he would have considered himself a Marxist -- ideologies act as a form of religion, alienating man from his true purpose. Eureka!

Do you ever have excitement bubble in your belly for sudden realizations? Perhaps not the belly, perhaps a flutter in the heart or a bounce in the step, a patter of a foot or a fist-pump in the air.

This fine piece of political prose has not only gained a permanent place on my bookshelf, but in my heart, a swell. Such is the importance of a basic bookstore principles.

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