Snarky Behavior

Bourgeoisie Bullshit

August 26, 2007 · 3 Comments

Riding the express train from Brooklyn to the Bronx this morning, I read an extremely esoteric essay by Edward Said in which he argued to classify William Butler Yeats not as an Irish nationalist (as he is traditionally considered), but as a British anti-imperialist. (Note: being an unemployed student before classes start affords me such worth-less-while luxuries).

Said said something about the bourgeoisie class of colonial socieities that got me thinking:

The great colonial schools taught generations of the native bourgeoisie
important truths about history, science and culture. And out of that
learning process millions grasped the fundamentals of modern life, yet remained
subordinate dependents of an authority elsewere than in their lives.

If this were true in an era of colonialization and imperialism, is it not also true in an era of neo-liberalism and globalization? If transnational organizations truly dictate an environment of free flowing global capital, assets, and (soon) labor, and we are enlightened, passive observers of this process, aren’t we all then the “subordinate dependents”?

Not to get too crazy/Marxist about this, but “globalization” as an evolving term COULD mean something entirely different than what we currently accept and define it as, and what it is trending toward.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • X~ // August 29, 2007 at 3:27 pm | Reply

    Most Irish did not benefit from imperialism. “We’re taking your land, but you can live in that sod covered hut over there. Oh, and you can’t speak your language, practice your religion and we can beat you whenever we want. Cheers.” yeats was about as aristocratic as it gets. If I recall from my Irish Literary Renaissance studies — in Dublin thank you very much — he was both Protestant and educated in London. He didn’t really get caught up in the hardcore Nationalist movement until he went all nuts over Maude Gonne and got caught up in the Easter Rising. I only skimmed Said’s article (hey Ed? White on read is really hard to read. just sayin’.) He seems to say that Ireland was much better off post-Britain. Not sure about that either, as lots of folks think that they let the Potato Famine happen and stood by as a million people died. Then again, he’s the smartypants Columbia colonialism expert professor guy. not me.

  • Jon // August 30, 2007 at 12:22 am | Reply

    Voltaire once said, “I hear the footsteps of people in the streets… I must find out what they march for, for I am their leader!” Seems like the kind of revolutionary Yeats was.

  • X~ // August 30, 2007 at 1:00 pm | Reply

    The kind that wanted to get into a girl’s pants. Er… bloomers.

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