- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 3, 2002

Marxist Martha?
"It's easy to dismiss Marxism as a 'failed theory' because of its economic failures, but Marx lives on. For he and his followers have provided us with a lot of the political language that we still use and therefore the terms in which we still think about politics. In a sense, we are all Marxists now. That this is the case is something we should all be reminded of by the alleged crisis of 'capitalism' suggested to so many distinguished minds by the accounting scandals at Enron or WorldCom or the alleged insider trading of Martha Stewart.
"[W]hen Mark Leibovich in the Washington Post says that the news from WorldCom is 'yet another body blow to our national faith in capitalism triumphant,' we have to wonder if the defenders of 'capitalism' shouldn't consider the dangers of using their enemy's vocabulary. For 'capitalism' is simply the socialist word for life.
"Or, to put it another way, this supposed 'system' of capitalism is simply the way things are, baby even under 'socialism,' as the inevitable black markets in socialist countries bear witness. To give this fundamental economic reality its socialist name, to call it an 'ism' and speak of that 'ism' as a 'system' implies that there is some alternative to it which is the cue for the socialist, who just happens to be the only person with a ready-made alternative that he has been tinkering with for well over a century, to step forward."
James Bowman, writing on "We're All Marxists Now," Monday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Families vs. terror
"Shortly after September 11, there began to appear an unusual number of paeans to family life unusual, at least, for the more fashionable precincts of New York City. The editors, pundits, and publicists who set the tone in these matters let the rest of us know that the proper response to the great loss of life and security was a return to domestic pleasures, to the things that 'really matter.' 'Lifestyle' articles extolled the comforts of entertaining at home and discussed worries of 'commitment-phobic' Manhattan singles, so jolted by the terrorist attacks that they were seriously considering settling down.
"In my own neighborhood, the Upper West Side, parents these days seem deeply grateful to their children for keeping them focused on the demands of daily life. School, birthday parties, and family milestones beat worrying about what terrorists might yet have in store for the city."
Lisa Schiffren, writing on "Lifestyles of the Rich and Infertile," in the July-August issue of Commentary

Lying about sex
"Kim Cattrall, who plays Samantha Jones in the TV series 'Sex and the City,' is sniffy about her over-sexed screen persona. 'In real life women want great sex as part of something more substantial: a partnership that comprises love, caring, and support, and provides avenues for growth and fulfillment on many different levels.'
"It's a warning to anyone hoping for a taste of the series' titillating scenarios that they are approaching [Miss Cattrall's new sex-advice] book in the wrong spirit. 'The book is not really about sex. It is about love. Loving means commitment to care for our partner, to be sensitive to his or her needs and desires, and to strive to bring out the best in each other.' Funny how 'Caring and the City' doesn't have quite the same ring to it. If you were feeling like sex when you opened this sex manual, Kim and [husband/co-author] Mark [Levinson] will soon help you with your problem.
"[M]ale lying is implicitly recommended by suggesting we follow the female sex agenda to get what we want. Could a man really be sincere when he says, as advocated here, 'I'd like to please you more but I may not be good at it, so I may need your help to find the best way of giving you more pleasure' or 'Well, I have this book and I'm really excited about doing some of the things with you. I think this will help me be a better lover with you'? Yeah, right."
Hugo Williams, writing on "When every man must be an artist," in Saturday's issue of the Guardian


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