In the world of consumers, the poor who are currently un-performing consumer duties are, purely and simply, ‘flawed consumers’ and flawed beyond redemption (and vice versa: those who cannot behave as the right and proper consumer should consider themselves, and are viewed by others, as poor). Affairs may hum up in the future, but by no stretch of imagination will the poor be called then to active consumer service. Investing in their survival means money wasted; it may be called for by charitable impulses or for the sake of peace and quiet – but ‘economic sense’ it most certainly makes not. Such investing will only prolong, with little prospect of ever stopping, the frownedupon procedure of withdrawing money from the commodity market – the only site where spending money does make economic sense â€¦ And so, in stark opposition to the society of producers, cutting down on collectively-funded lifelines for the (permanently) indolent is a question ‘beyond left and right’. The presence of the poor is therefore widely felt as an unredeemed and unredeemable liability. A sore in the eyes of consumers, they are chased out of the streets. A sore in the eyes of the politicians, they are chased out of the alltoo-visible statistics of social welfare expenditures into the much-less-visible statistics of business subsidies. All in all, it is not poverty that the wars are waged against, but the ‘problem of the poor’.
Marxâ€™s original insight about capitalism was that it was the most revolutionary and creative force ever to appear in human history.