Classless Society – Marx and Rihanna

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Marx and Rihanna

“. . . class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat . . . [and] this dictatorship itself only constitutes the transition to the abolition of all classes and to a classless society.”
Karl Marx, Letter to Joseph Weydemeyer (1852)

“There is no credible artistic expression associated with performer Rihanna’s simulated genitalia swipe and then smelling her hand during her halftime show at Superbowl 57… The lewd act appealed only to prurient interests.” quoting consumer complaint to FCC

I’ve been thinking about this post for months – long enough for its impetus to become somewhat stale.  The date (February 12, 2023) and nature of a specific event (Super Bowl half time show) plus contemporary attention deficit syndrome render it an odd subject for discussion four months later.

A newsletter from Doug Casey overcame procrastination.  Casey is a legendary libertarian, gold bug, stock speculator (that he vociferously distinguishes from gambling), disciple for international geopolitical risk diversification, sometime novelist and first rate-cynic about government generally and First World governments in particular.

In his May 18, 2023 newsletter, Casey discussed the high correlation among currency debasement, cultural degradation, collapse of republican or democratic governments and the rise of totalitarianism.  Doug Casey on the Rapid Cultural Decline and What Comes Next (

There have been a number of major turning points throughout history. Rome in the third century was one of them. It was a period of economic, political, and military chaos, aggravated by the social chaos accompanying the rise of Christianity. These things set the stage for the complete collapse of the old civilization in the West with the barbarian invasions after Adrianople in 378.

The Renaissance changed the nature of life in Western Europe starting in the 15th century, as did the Enlightenment in the 18th century. And, most important, in many ways, the Industrial Revolution overturned the pre-existing economic order starting in the early 19th century.

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We’re now undergoing our own Great Cultural Revolution. It’s much more serious than what the Chinese attempted in the ’60s. Why? Because a whole complex of destructive ideas have now captured the apparatus of most governments, academia, media, entertainment, charities, and large corporations. The public has been both subtlety and overtly indoctrinated for generations. It’s not easy to reverse a trend this large.

Marx believed that the rise and dominance of capitalism is a necessary condition precedent to its collapse, after which the rise of the proletariat perfects the process of creation of a classless society, ruled by the common worker in the best interests of the classless society.  There has never been a politically or economically successful Marxist state.  The rule of the common man has without exception been replaced or hijacked by totalitarian rule by a single dictator or small group.  The economy of a Marxist state has never been able to compete with market driven economies.  Deposition of the monarch, aristocracy, ruling party or oligarchy, supposedly as precursor to worker utopia, is always supplanted first by the party then by the dictator.

The dictatorship always exercises complete control over the culture, that becomes a tool in support of the party or dictator.  Centrally planned culture is no more successful than centrally planned economics.  There is a reason free expression and free markets, free thinking and free actions go together.

The United States, born of and formerly a bastion of political, cultural and economic freedom, stands on the brink of social, cultural, economic and political collapse.  It is an authoritarian state on a course toward totalitarianism.  The power of the permanent government bureaucracy and the rotating oligarchy has been accompanied by economic atrophy and cultural degradation. 

I’ve watched a total of two Superbowl games in my life:  The 1986 Bears win over the Patriots, because I was a Bears fan; The 2023 Chiefs victory over the Eagles, because AA friends had a Super Bowl party and I had never been to a Super Bowl party.  I don’t recall watching the 1986 half time show.  To me, anything other than marching bands is tacky.  I started watching the 2023 halftime show because I was talking to a friend who is a Rihanna fan. I continued watching for the same reason most people watch gruesome NASCAR crashes or football injuries. 

I have nothing against pornography – in the right time and place.  As a libertarian I don’t think any performance “art” should be illegal to possess or view (although the creation of pornography involving children or forced labor should be punished severely).  However, even soft porn is inappropriate for the largest audience broadcast event in the world of supposedly “family” entertainment.  I assume that the producers accurately assessed the taste of the American audience.  It is appalling.  The “music” had no discernable melody or harmony, the lyrics were repetitive, inane and crude, the rhythm lacked imagination or complexity, the dancing required physical skill but consisted entirely of sexual pantomime.   The performance was utterly without artistic merit.  It was a freak-show.  It had no class.  I.e. it was classless.  It was wildly popular with the live audience.

American popular culture is pathetic.  The lowest common denominator is low indeed.  It is consistent with a society that is in the last stages of collapse.

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