Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Plus ca change

'The rules were precise and invariable. Money attracted money, accumulating always in the same places, going by preference to the scoundrel and the mediocre. When, by an inscrutable exception, it heaped up in the coffers of a rich man who not a miser nor a murderer, it stood idle, incapable of becoming a force for good, however charitable the hands that administered it. One might say it was angry at having arrived in the wrong place, and avenged itself by going into a voluntary paralysis when possessed by one who was neither a swindler nor an ass...

'But it reached its real height of monstrosity when, concealing its identity under an assumed name, it called itself capital. Then its action was not limited to individual incitement of theft and murder, but extended to the entire human race. With one word capital decided monopolies, erected banks, cornered necessities and, if it wished, caused thousands of human beings to starve to death.'

- from Joris-Karl Huysmans, La-Bas (1891)

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