Opiates and the Volk

Digging out old snippets I’d forgot I kept handy – clearly not that handy, but near enough to the top of my inbox that I could find them again by accident: here it is: – in Marx’s ‘famous’ quote, it is really noticeable that few people open up the quote to see what Marx said in context. There are several translations, but I will spare you my cod philology about the differences between volkes as masses or peoples etc. But see this in context and it looks quite remarkably different. Marx writes:

“Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions.”

So. there it is – I hope you agree that the opium looks a little different now, eh god-botherers.

And that’s also why we keep religion and politics for conversations at Parties. Currently cooking the books on several hot plates, so here also today’s earlier word dump on debates: cf, thinking about the electioneering piggy pollies in the primaries in the US and the Brexit-Smexit in the UK – the great political debate non-starter for small-fry (on cuisine and writing hors d-oeuvres). What is going on though? Both sides serving up braised spam or an inflammatory buffet of irradiated beef and biscuit, half-baked pyromaniacs and home-brewed arsonists across the table mess with even the most poultry offers to cauterize this combustible stew, while gourmet confectioners dine out on a smorgasbord of swill, a catered distillation of half-chewed gum fed to the gluttons of the press, all consumers malnourished on a formulaic diet of ill-digested ruminant crud, while the butchers of etiquette gnaw the bones of contention at the feast of the dead, garnished with an aroma of burnt offerings on a menu of left-over table scraps. A dinner party of despair, sandwiches without meat, potatoes or ham.