Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Marxian in the bottle

Time for retro music:

Just a cast away, and island lost at sea-o
One lonely day, no one here but me-o
More loneliness, any man could bear
Rescue me before I fall into despair

You should be cool enough to know which song it is. But do you know what philosophical idea this song is closely related to?

Well, this is the answer: Marx' alienation. Remember the idea of surplus, division of labor, division of class etc. that in the end made labor alienated from theirselves, their work, and their society?

I woke up this morning, don't believe what I saw
Hundred billion bottles washed upon the shore
Seems that I'm not alone in being alone
Hundred billion castoways looking for a home

Thank God that we now have internet, emails, blogs, friendster and everything that make us not really alienated...

P.S. Other Marxian philosophy of The Police can also be heard in Synchronicity.


  1. alienation is different from solitary. to the contrary, following marx's argument, the internet, emails, blogs, and friendster will only increase alienation. because the internet, it could be argued, increases the separation between online and offline (presumably more natural) activities that leads to the objectification of relationships.

  2. Alienation? I think first of Kafka. Also of Salinger's Holden Caulfield and of that guy from the Fight Club - Tyler Durden (remember those scene with IKEA catalog?). I suppose I should've thought of Marx too.

    But I always think "Message in a Bottle" deals more with loneliness and maybe solitude rather than alienation.

  3. well, yes, Fight Club , Brad Pitt plays Karl Marx in leather jacket. So good.

    And roby, are you saying that blogs, emails, and friendster will lead to revolution? :-) --and the manifesto, then, goes: bloggers around the world, unite --. Cool :-)

  4. Interesting comment by Roby.
    Sounds like "Digital Divide" argument between those who have access to on-line and those who do not. But then is what is the natural state in nowadays? Is art-literate cool nowadays? Will blogging be something that most of all people enggage? Is having a clean water a must? Just some thoughts

  5. rizal - according to the economist special report on new media (4/20/06), we might be on the verge of a revolution on par with the renaissance. they compare blogs to guttenberg's printing press :D

    sjamsu - imo, it's different from the digital divide argument. it concerns, in fact, with those with online access.

    imagine that i was so addicted to the friendster so that my friendster profile was more real and meaningful to me and others. then, i was alienated. because my existence was defined by my friendster profile.

    alienation is about the separation of self and a product of self (e.g., friendster profiles, labor); it is the objectification of subjects.

  6. Ujang:
    it was the phrase "and island lost at sea" that led me to interpret the song as alienation, not just loneliness.

    if I'm correct, the chord is B#m F#m A E, isn't it?