Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains:
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Civilization /
“My family has never engaged in trade,” said Lev, cracking everyone up. You had to know this drunkard Commie Jew, the only Commie I’ve ever known who needed no converting, having been born into a Commie family, to guess how ludicrously this pretense of being an aristocrat didn’t fit his rubicund pox marked face. Lev had hauteur alright, but it was Rabelaisian, Rasputin-like; not descended from the Hapsburgs.
I don’t remember what had triggered that remark from Lev, c. 1964 or ’65, when he still passed whether-slightly-or-very sloshed for a PhD candidate in physics at Columbia. I remember it vividly because Lev could be very funny, the funnier the worse his taste, and I remember it today because I awoke dreaming of economic complexities in our society. I intend, at my leisure, taking however long, to gather here and comment on some of those complexities: various types of economic paradox: the husband working for wages while the wife and children labor for love; the banker charging interest, the borrower not; the employer, the government, the bank holding your money, helping themselves to it, while you can seldom help yourself to the bank’s money or the government’s …
Lev’s joke consisted in his posing as one who would not soil his hands with trade: nor with manufacturing, farming, mining … and absolutely not with bureaucracy. The duke doesn’t soil his hands with any of those things because his family owns the fucking country. Gold is heaped on him just for breathing. Those who own the land collect rents: from everyone: from the landlords, from the manufacturers, from the military. (In feudal countries the owners are advertised by titles; in the US the owners are hidden; but follow the money and you’ll find the owners.)
I put this up as I develop it. Don’t assume it’s more than a fraction begun until I say so.
The boss docks you for being five minutes late but doesn’t pay extra for the hours you stay late. The military drafts you but you can’t draft the military. (One of my first political letters was to Johnson’s White House: Greeting. I told him that he’d just drafted my son and sent him to Vietnam. In exchange I was borrowing his Texas ranch for the weekend: stock Haig & Haig and lots of caviar, please.
2013 11 28 Happy Thanksgiving. This post was originally up probably by the early 2000s: I didn’t learn one of my favorite irony of rent stories till I was knocked down and jailed by the FBI in 2006. One of my first iron hotels before they spit me back out into the gutter was in Palm Beach, Gun Club Road. The fed rented beds from the state which rented them from the county. I was put, thank goodness, into the old mans dorm. Three guys there were accused of murder. One, my buddy Bob, was about as likely to be guilty of killing his wife as I was of the “extrusion” which the dolts wrote down as the “reason” for my arrest. Charlie was “guilty”: he said so: he called the cops to say he’d just shot the son-in-law who was threatening to kill him. The third sat among us and watched himself on TV every evening as his trial was reported. This clown, whose dealerships sold 5,000 cars a day, hired some turds to shoot his wife: ’cause in addition to selling his cocaine for him, she was moving millions off shore for her lover. But the creepiest inmate was the old man who owned the Gun Club Road land the jail was built on. He had to pay rent on his jail bed, $10 a month, I think; but the county/state had to pay him rent for squatting on his land: mega-bucks, I’m sure.