The Planetary Expansion of Capitalism

“From a Marxist perspective. . .”

I heard professor Burston’s raspy voice fade into a soundscape of clinking silverware as the guests began their first course.

Mother liked to invite rumpled intellectuals to dinner, particularly those who were against the very existence of our kind, the capitalists, the owners, the inheritors of the city’s fortune. 

“Money becomes the physicalized form of our daily enslavement to Capital,” he continued leaning back in his chair.

“Well,” she interrupted him, “L’argent n’a pas de maître.” (Money has no master), which she refused to translate, even after the prompting from my stepfather seated at the opposite end of the table.

In the few moments of silence before Burston responded, I recalled a time not too long ago when the debate between capitalism and communism had held real consequences; when human nature, morality, god, even our clothing choices were bound up in the ideological battle for the future of humanity.

And yet my side had won, still inviting the last disheveled believers to a meal at a table where they’d never have a seat.