[lbo-talk] voluntary simplicity as secularized calvinism (or, the Great Cat Massacre of the Rue Saint-Severin?)

Leigh Meyers leighcmeyers at gmail.com
Sun Mar 27 16:53:24 PST 2005

Great Cat Massacre of the Rue Saint-Severin ?

Ah... there it is! http://xroads.virginia.edu/~DRBR/cat.html

I was doing pretty well with it till about... here:

It was an easy jump from the sexuality of women to the cuckolding of men. Caterwauling could come from a satanic orgy, but it might just as well be toms howling defiance at each other when their mates were in heat. They did not call as cats, however. They issued challenges in their masters' names, along with sexual taunts about their mistresses: "Reno! Francois! " "Où al ez vous?-Voir la femme à vous.-Voir la femme à mod! Rouah! " (Where are you going?-To see your wife.-To see my wife! Ha!) Then the toms would fly at each other like the cats of Kilkenny <...>

And then the context..... just... sorta... nevermind.


----- Original Message ----- From: Tom Walker To: l b o Sent: Sunday, March 27, 2005 4:23 PM Subject: [lbo-talk] voluntary simplicity as secularized calvinism (or, howto achieve a state of grace by buying locally)

Kelley wrote,

>/ Good. I killfiled him. My experience with voluntary simplicity Chucklefucks
/>/ is that no amount of talking changes a thing.

Carrol wrote,

/>Tully silly politics, in other words, may be merely a
>bewitchment by bourgeois ideology, not any particular pathology on his
>own part.

A close reading of Tully's posts would suggest that "he" is a she. And a more careful reading of what she wrote would also suggest nothing particularly silly or chucklefuckish about her politics or ideas. In fact, she has been remarkably respectful given the gratuitous abuse that has been directed at her. Don't folks on the "left" have enough enemies without making new ones out of everyone that doesn't buy 100% what you happen to be thinking at this particular moment.

And by the way, Kelley's analysis of the secularized Calvinism of voluntary simplicity would almost be apt if it didn't rely on reductive interpretations of both historical Calvinism and voluntary simplicity. Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin's "Your Money or Your Life" could have been written by Benjamin Franklin, that original "secularized Calvinist" (according to Max Weber). But then it seems to me that much of the radical thought of the late 18th and early 19th centuries was essentially secularized Calvinism. So it sort of depends on how many political babies you want to throw out with that bathwater. Contrary to popular suspicion, Calvinism was not some devious capitalist plot hatched on 16th century Europe by 20th century corporate PR propagandists.

Bourgeois ideology? Bourgeous ideology???? Carrol, do you have any idea what bourgeois ideology signifies or doesn't signify? May we for a moment, perhaps, step back to the Great Cat Massacre of the Rue Saint-Severin and define our terms with a little less, shall we say, anachronism?

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