Re: [OPE-L] The HM [Haunted and Mysterious] Conference

From: Ian Hunt (ian.hunt@FLINDERS.EDU.AU)
Date: Tue Oct 25 2005 - 20:22:04 EDT

Marx was clearly referring to vampire bats, who live off other
animals by sucking their blood: the analogy was intended to imply
that capitalists were parasites.

>  >  If capital is dead labour sucking living
>>  labour to grow as more dead labour, where's
>>  the problem in the analogy with vampires?
>You have not watched enough Gothic horror films.
>Vampires in literature and film are NOT dead -- they
>*UNDEAD*.    The vampire analogy that you, following
>Marx, are asserting would only work if the capital
>represented  _undead_ labor  and  when bitten by the
>vampire-capital workers become _slaves_ to capital.
>That, however, makes no sense if it meant to describe
>the exploitation of workers by capital.
>                        *******************
>It is worthwhile to recall that Bram Stoker began research
>for _Dracula_ in 1890 and published that book in 1897.
>This, of course, was decades after the first edition of Volume I
>of _Capital_ was published (1867). This suggests that the
>vampire that Marx was thinking of when he wrote the famous
>vampire quote was _not_ Dracula_.   It's also worthwhile
>noting that the Dracula Myth was (very!) loosely based on
>the legend of an actual historical character -- Vlad the
>Impaler, a Rumanian royal from the 14th Century.  It
>was Stoker, however, who transformed the bloody Vlad
>the Impaler legend into a _vampire_ legend.  Note further
>that the vampire legend is also associated with the superstitions
>that arose in Medieval Europe under feudalism and in that
>sense are cultural remnants of feudalism that survived into
>the modern bourgeois epoch.  For the analogy to work (no
>pun intended) wage-workers have to be re-conceived as
>*not* workers.
>In solidarity, Jerry

Associate Professor Ian Hunt,
Dept  of Philosophy, School of Humanities,
Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy,
Flinders University of SA,
Humanities Building,
Bedford Park, SA, 5042,
Ph: (08) 8201 2054 Fax: (08) 8201 2784

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