Etymology of Capitalism

Looked up Samuel Coleridge. Had died in his early seventies. Had been prescribed laudanum first for chronic ill health…. I had meant just to check how old Coleridge had been when he died but am now reading the full biography, and now reading the poem Kubla Khan, and now looking up Mount Abora, which is mentioned in Kubla Khan, and which doesn’t appear to have been a real mountain, though there is one with a similar sounding name at the border of the Central African Republic and what is now South Sudan. (I guess I didn’t realize the C.A.R bordered South Sudan, which seems very far east to be “central.”) And now looking up spelling of koan. (You are incorrigible, I suddenly recall my mother having said, but can’t recall what prompted her remark or what prompted my having recalled it — a “random thought.”)

Pondered: that my blog was not a thing but an anti-thing. Not only was it without positive value but was being used to serve the nefarious ends of Russian mobsters or some other gang. Indonesian click farms, Kenyan scammers. Like all things of non-positive value — with substance but no real presence– it was being exploited by Evil Powers. (Spinoza counsels us to try and form “clear and distinct ideas” of our passions to alleviate their influence. Did I have a clear and distinct idea about blogging? That was something I should do.) A more abstruse question: how did Spinoza’s “clear and distinct idea” relate to a poetic notion of the inner existence of things? (When one saw the inner existence of a thing one was passionate about what did that mean for the clear and distinct idea of ones passion?)

Looked up etymology of Capitalism. (Right-wingish Customer had said it was a Marxist term and that no true supporter of free markets would call the belief in free markets that, and I wished to investigate the claim.) My source said it dated from the French Revolution, though one could imagine it having been popularized by Marx. “Marx was also a terrible person,” had said the customer. “That’s said of a lot of figures with that kind of significance,” I replied, but looking up Marx in Wikipedia now I do find the entry itself rather suspiciously exculpating Marx of behaviors it doesn’t fully disclose. An irascible temperament brought on by chronic health problems exacerbated by immoderate alcohol and tobacco use, it mentioned. (Customer had alleged wife beating.)

The enduring koan of what to do with one’s blog. That koan to which the only response can be — stop thinking of this koan.

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