Saturday, November 27, 2004

No Sharing

Ever notice the Waffle House menu's insistence that Double Waffle is for "dine-in only, no sharing"? A common prohibition at low-end restaurants, it's also a small-print reminder of what capitalism is all about.

From enclosure to enforcement of intellectual property rights, capital's message is always No Sharing.

Products of intellectual labor, unlike land and waffles, can be shared by all without diminishing their use value for anyone, however. "Copies" are as perfect as "originals" for the most profitable products -- such as drugs and software -- in the age of mechanical reproduction, withering the aura of private property and making the revolutionary act of sharing and sharing alike irresistible. Capital, of course, tries to stop it, but, in doing so, it makes visible the "invisible hand" of the market, demonstrating that it is not scarcity but state power at capital's disposal that prevents us from having what we want -- even what we need to save our lives.

1 comment:

Mark D. Stansbery said...

However, I would bet that Waffle House is the most multi-racial eating establishment in Central Ohio, even the great United States. Long Live Waffle House! Don't ever share your hashbrowns nor waffles. Unless there is too much syrup.