Viewing posts tagged primitive accumulation

Maximum Utility

The literature of terror is born precisely out of the terror of a split society and out of the desire to heal it. 
- Franco Moretti


People often compare the Borg, the cyborg gestalt from the Star Trek franchise, to Doctor Who's Cybermen.  Both races were conceived as humanoids physically augmented with technology, hence a certain superficial visual resemblance, particularly between the Borg and the earliest Cybermen, from 1966's 'The Tenth Planet'... which has just been released on DVD, if you want some way for this post to be halfway relevant to anything.

Borg
Cyberman
But the Cybermen were written by various different writers, under different conditions, with different levels of interest and different levels of knowledge of past depictions, over the course of nearly five decades.  The Borg, by contrast, were written by a small number of tightly associated people, under the aegis of a carefully controlled franchise, over the course of just under 15 years.  The two 'races' differ markedly in the circumstances of their production and in cultural profile.  As noted, the Borg's various appearances weren't separated by the same kinds of time-lags, and weren't a product of ...

Legless in Legoland

I've become mildly obsessed by this image:

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!"

How do you get a Lego figure to look traumatised by the death of the woman it loves, and the supposed deaths of its newborn children, and the loss of its legs, and third degree burns over all of its body?

And what kind of a culture is it that even tries?

(Of course, as Richard Pilbeam - who brought the image to my attention in the first place - remarked, the Lego figure does a better job than Hayden Christensen.)

It strikes me that, the more Lego tries to cope with reconstructing scenes from movies - especially from movies like the Star Wars  prequels or the later Harry Potter  movies, that are self-consciously 'dark' - the more it has to bring in elements of painful 'realism', i.e. scars on Anakin's face... but the addition of such features to the Lego aesthetic has an unfortunate effect... it starts to make it look like they're taking the piss, South Park  style, by representing things like serious injuries in crude, cartoon form.

This is particularly evident in the way the figure above simply has no Lego legs provided.  Is there any child ...

It was such a massive task to establish the Roman race

"The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalised the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief momenta of primitive accumulation. On their heels treads the commercial war of the European nations, with the globe for a theatre.

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Colonial system, public debts, heavy taxes, protection, commercial wars, &c., these children of the true manufacturing period, increase gigantically during the infancy of Modem Industry. The birth of the latter is heralded by a great slaughter of the innocents. Like the royal navy, the factories were recruited by means of the press-gang.
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With the development of capitalist production during the manufacturing period, the public opinion of Europe had lost the last remnant of shame and conscience. The nations bragged cynically of every infamy that served them as a means to capitalistic accumulation.  ...[I]t is trumpeted forth as a triumph of English statecraft that at the Peace of Utrecht, England extorted from the Spaniards by the Asiento Treaty the ...

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