The Moment of Truth — April 24, 1999

Capital’s Big Tits And Violence

I’m mejeffdorchen and welcome to the moment of truth, the one cluster of electromagnetic fluctuations that delivers exactly what it promises.

The Russian literary critic Mikail Bakhtin wrote of the grotesque as the growth of body parts beyond their usual limits, the bursting or dropping off of those overgrown appendages and organs as if they were seed-pods, and the impregnation of the Earth by the seeds of those overgrown body-fruits, from which grow new grotesque bodies - the boundaries of body and nature dissolved, the sexual boundaries in particular, the fluids of Earth and vegetable and human and animal mingling in one gushing torrent of fertility, of hyperfecundity, blood semen water lava sap urine vomit all running together and hardening into shells cracking open to release a stampede of spiders and apes and melons and festivals and words.

Capitalist culture, particularly the culture of extreme capitalism, whose influence flows ever further and more vehemently out into the world, relies on the grotesque to turn its violent illogic into seduction. The promise of capitalism is abundance. The promise of extreme capitalism is hyperabundance. The byword of capitalism is “growth.” Everything grows. We grow the economy, economies grow, businesses grow, families grow, towns grow. Resources are liquid, fluid, they flow, they trickle down, they come as a rising tide that floats all boats, they flood the market. That which is successful swells to fatness and bursts, flinging parts of itself to the four corners of the capitalist Earth, seeds which grow and thrive on their own. Successful television shows launch spin-offs, successful movies give birth to toys and cereals, a hyperfecundity of merchandise. Not to mention information, a hyperfecundity of information, commercials, trailers, sequels, behind-the-scenes TV shows about the making of movies, commercials for the behind-the-scenes TV shows about the making of movies, infotainment shows showing clips from behind-the-scenes TV shows about the making of movies, advertisements for infotainment shows that show clips from behind-the-scenes TV shows about the making of movies. Superstars and the superwealthy whose supremacy confers upon them the ability to possess grotesque hyperabundance itself - Michael Jackson’s zoo, his fantasies come true, his many faces resulting from the splitting and mending of his skin and skull. Bill Gates’s overflowing influence, his ideas and desires gushing forth into the real world, Donald Trump’s monumental erections and wives and foolishness acted out in enormity, mass-publicized expressions of his stupidity as he erects himself, crumbles to dust, then resurrects himself as a phallus of supreme height. From such towers of Babel spout the torrent of babbling language that is the grotesque media culture of extreme capitalism.

Capitalism’s cornucopia is the phallus. Therefore capitalists are culturally men. Therefore, when a capitalist becomes a consumer - as he must in order to display the fertility of his enterprise - he gives himself fellatio, sucking the juice from the cornucopia. Therefore, the capitalist consumer - through his autoeroticism projected grotesquely into the world - engages in a homosexual act. But he is homophobic, so he must disguise his penis as something feminine, a feminine sexual projection he can suck: a breast. Under extreme capitalism, the breast becomes the enhanced, or “fake”, breast. The larger and more swollen, round, globelike, bursting the breast, the more ideally nonmale the female appears. The female under extreme capitalism must diverge from the male as much as possible, lest the capitalist reveal himself to be a homosexual in his extreme narcissism.

(Androgynous yet desirable women, who seem to present anomalies in this dynamic, are in fact merely pseudo-alternatives in a dynamic that is only cosmetically different from the norm. They are figures in a romantic sex drama about rebellion, and are possessed by young, rebellious capitalists who dare to flirt with revealing their homosexuality.)

The fake breast is the perfect product of extreme capitalism. It renders the woman, or worker, both the perfect consumer and perfect possession. Perfect consumer because she will pay for the alteration of her flesh in order to participate as a token, an emblem, of capitalism’s wealth. Perfect possession because the capitalist who possesses and displays her is clearly a success. And he is not a homosexual because everyone can see his sex partner’s voluptuousness, her cartoonlike curvy features, and see that she is as opposite from male as a human being can possibly be.

The breast is life, food, wealth, fertility, success - it is the capitalist’s most treasured fruit. The bigger, firmer, juicier, the better.

Capitalism must maintain the drama of limitless, ceaseless growth, not only in its cultural propaganda, but to its ruling institutions as well - that is, to itself. The media drama of bursting, ceaseless growth symbolized by the breast bursting beyond the limits of its clothing is fine for keeping the rank and file citizen participating in the excitement, but the investors, the capitalizers, are not so easily fooled. They know that growth can’t just go on and on. If it did, eventually all the bursting and flowing would level out to create an even coating of prosperity. Everyone can’t be a winner - life would stop. Thriving markets aren’t enough. There must be potential markets. There must be desire for growth among a population, not merely contented existence. Devastated, depressed areas must be found (or created) so that loans can be made and entrepreneurs can come in and speculate and discover the hidden wealth and develop it and send it different places and encrust a prosperity like growing crystals or barnacles on the hull of a wreck.

The changes in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia present a great opportunity. Wobbly, unstable economies can be crushed by war. A war-destroyed Europe is a thrilling prospect. Disguising war as a humanitarian effort is convenient. It helps justify military actions much of the world has come to be suspicious of.

A war to end acts of barbarism is a paradox. The waging of war is barbarism. It creates the opportunity for, rather than puts a stop to, crimes against humanity. It makes a space for repression of uncooperative intellectuals, it pushes the possibility of civil discourse on the economic future out of bounds, it wipes the landscape clean of any past values or coherence that might lead a region in unpredictable social directions. When a country is destroyed - economically, socially, infrastructurally - the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and all kinds of excited capitalists can rush in to guide the chaos toward its manifest destiny: its future as a mature capitalist democracy. Never mind that that future may never emerge. The point is to whip up excitement, get the monetary juices flowing, get the capitalists involved in the drama of building from the ruins, of squirting their fertilizing juices into the barren soil and making growth, growing the market.

Those who participate in and reap the rewards of the fertilization drama are the Darwinian winners in the fertility dance of capitalism. They win the woman with the grotesque breasts. This is their prize. Yet all must feel the possibility that one day they, too, might possess the grotesque breasts.

Men involved in the capitalist heterosexual psychodrama must be made to feel that the possibility exists for them to one day attain the grotesquely voluptuous female sex partner. That is, they must feel that they can one day succeed. When they do not feel this, there is despair. And when the prize is grotesque, the despair is grotesque. When despair is grotesque, the acting out of despair is grotesque. The acting out of despair is displays of grief and rage. Grotesque displays of grief and rage are violence, murder, and suicide.

But remember, capitalism must have losers. Extreme capitalism must have extreme losers. Their despair will be grotesque. Teenagers are grotesquely prone to perceiving themselves as extreme losers. Social ostracism is a threat to the teenager’s sexual self-image. Just as economic ostracism is a threat to the worker’s survival self-image. As the prize for succeeding becomes swollen to grotesque proportions, responses to the despair of those who perceive themselves, rightly or wrongly, as capitalism’s losers will become more and more grotesque.

What I am saying is, extreme capitalism’s grotesque survival drama, including both its outlandish promises of abundance for its Darwinian winners and its inherent requirement that there must be losers, encourages grotesque violence among those it terrorizes - those who feel themselves on socially shaky ground, be they those staggering on the socially shaky ground of a society whose national borders are changing, whose governmental institutions have collapsed, be they white men threatened by an increasingly pluralistic culture, be they adolescents who are easily terrorized in any number of ways, be they industrial and agricultural workers who see their economy shifting toward service and information - whoever the losers perceive themselves to be, extreme capitalism with its increasing disparity between rich and poor, its feverish excesses, encourages grotesque rage in those who feel marginalized.

Pamela Anderson is having her fake boobs removed. I can only tremble at the thought of how those orbs of saline, so worshiped by teenage boys and other sweaty participants in the capitalist sexual drama, how those spheres, as they fall away from the gaze of the capitalist media, as they plummet out of range of the camera, out of frame and out of fame and into oblivion, how their crashing at the bottom of the well of anonymity may shake the world.

Until then, I’m mejeffdorchen and this has been the Moment of Truth.