The Spectre and The Whore

June 19, 2015 — 4 Comments

Male-prostituteSometimes, a mad-rush to fill a schedule on an online anti-Capitalist journal suddenly makes you write the most revelatory things:

When I first moved to Seattle, I was mostly homeless.  23, gay, new to a city, with only two friends to rely upon who lived in a suburb.  To find a place, I needed money, and to find money, I needed a job, and all the jobs were in the city, not the suburb.

I slept ‘rough’ many nights in those first few months.  Sometimes on a stranger’s couch, sometimes in an alley, often in a park, once in a while in a friend’s car. More often than not, though, I’d find myself trading sex for a place to sleep, not something I’ve ever admitted in public ’till now.

Yeah.  I did sex-work.

The piece is on the so-called ‘Sharing Economy,’ and how we’re all renting ourselves out, and many of us are also being pimped out.

And what’s the difference between a pimp and an employer?

Nothing.

It’s only class consciousness that unravels the ridiculous hierarchies we paste onto the different ways we sell ourselves to make a living.  Without class consciousness, you get into some awfully difficult dead-end discussions regarding who’s more oppressed, or who’s more to be respected.

One of the things I’ve noticed about very thoughtful people who don’t acknowledge class–they get into difficult contortions which cause their answers to intractable problems to sound shallow, even indifferent, no matter how much they really care and aren’t asses.

For instance, I don’t think the writer of this post is an ass.  In fact, he’s the only published ‘prosperity magician’ who actually admits the existence of poverty.  And his work on protection magic is very, very good.

But without class consciousness, his answer to the either/or conundrum of so-called ‘First World Problems’ is an unfortunate non-answer.  (By the way, please, everyone–right now: scrub that phrase from your lexicon.  The so-called ‘First World’ includes some of the most abject poverty on the planet…come care for the homeless with me and I’ll show you).

And as I’ve said elsewhere, Das Kapital should be seen as an alchemical treatise.  Marx’s description of crystalization of labor into value doesn’t use occult terminology only for poetic reasons.

And, of course, the real haunting spectre–and the only clear path out of that mess–is the revolt of workers (including the magic-worker, the spirit-worker, the sex-worker) against those who profit from our lives.  That is, our pimps.

4 responses to The Spectre and The Whore

  1. 

    “For instance, I don’t think the writer of this post is an ass. ”

    Thank you 🙂

    Poverty most certainly exists and class (as well as race) has everything to do with it.

    I was not trying to answer the question in this post about what to do about poverty or any other conundrum. Simply pointing out that problems are problems and while certainly the problem of “where do I sleep tonight” is far greater and immediate than “how do I make sure I have a comfortable retirement”, they are still problems that need to get dealt with.

    I am excited to find your blog and poke around.

  2. 

    I have been critiqued for statements, in my more radical days just freshly post-Ph.D., for calling myself an “academic whore.” The fili of medieval Ireland had no compunctions about admitting that they, too, are like whores at the crossroads, especially if they did not have a patron, and were willing to go wherever the money was (with the assumption, of course, that their patron would deal equitably with them and with everyone else, because SATIRE!). I have much the same view now, and the language I use on it is pretty much based in that viewpoint, e.g. my employers are fucking me in the ass, short-changing me for the transaction, and then expecting me not only to thank them profusely, but also leave their used condoms all over the floor and expect me to clean them up before I go home. Appetizing situation, isn’t it? Nope…

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