While Ubi was sleeping off his huge lunch on Monday on the beach in front of the Arabian Ocean, his smooth round belly rising and falling and the regular breath issuing from his open mouth with loud snores, Scheherezade crept in to the plus petit chambre behind the throne and cut the wifi connection here. Appararently her 1003rd Tale was not to her liking and she has grown peevish in her maturer years.
So you might like to consider a taxonomy of entrepreneurship during the interlude. Because of course not all entrepreneurs are the same; Pinky Cameron is one of a very particular kind, and we might like to know the sort he is the better to distinguish him from some of the others.
"Bourgeoisie was the old way of describing the genus", Scherezade says as she emerges from the little room, hitches ‘her’ trousers up and adjusts ‘her’ flies. Those more familiar with Est-Politik-Sprech might still prefer that word to entrepreneur
anyway. Slavov Zizek does in his last essay in the LRB (26 Jan 2012). The Revolt of the Salaried Bourgeoisie was its title, and the discussion was on the hegemonies
of power that arise through the “privatisation of the general intellect”; not
just the power exercised by professional classes (ie which continues to provide
their ample ‘fat cat’ opportunities to charge for everything on the basis of
scarcity), but also the power exercised through the world of ideas, including through
our computers and the worlds they inhabit. In other words, including THROUGH
Slavov was writing in the context of the emergence of a possible new class which inhabits and works in what could be called the “Life in Common”. It is the way of being networked according to Slavov (referring to the philosophers’ Hardt and Negri latest book Multitudes) which has arisen, this new domain of shared knowledge
and new forms of communication and co-operation. Like Ubi himself the domain is
called everywhere, but it should be distinguished from the global, which of course is entirely owned by the ‘fat cats’ these days. The Commons are open and inclusive, and composed of innumerable internal differences (so they are not like ‘the masses’ and so on). The Commons are also socially diverse (‘biopolitical’ is the posh word; meaning it is not just about economics, it is about everything – everything in life that is).
Ubi gives a sudden snort, and begins waving and grappling with his arms, muttering wildly and blowing kisses. He appears to have encountered a Devi Goddess in his dreams.
Here I am sunning myself for two weeks on the coast of the Arabian Sea with my old Russian friends. What we have in common is our sharing the dreamy delights of vacation time Asclepian style, but we have our other differences. For instance, I tried a novel conversation gambit on one of the Russian men this morning after
breakfast. Being more or less of the intellectual bourgeois type myself, I
shall call him Alexei, and myself Maxim to disguise our real identities.
Hello, says Maxim. Hello, replies Alexei. We are beginning in workable English as you can already tell, and Alexei continues with his familiar and very detailed explanation of his work as a genius of nuclear reprocessing material which of course Maxim has
heard from him several times before over the last few days.
When were you born Alexei, 1948, Maxim suddenly interjects.
I was born in 1951, Alexei replies after a pause. Maxim writes down the two dates on a blank piece of paper. Da, he says pointing at one of them, and then, Da, again pointing at the other and drawing a line between the two.
What is your first recollection of England? Maxim begins again smiling at Alexei. There is an even longer pause.
My first recollection of Russia was in 1956, Maxim continues still smiling. We lived near an aerodrome in the east midlands and one day on a walk with my father he pointed at the large grey jet aeroplanes lined up in a row on the tarmac on the other side of the barbed wire perimeter fence.
"Do you know what they are?”, my father asked me.
“No” I replied.
“They are bombers and they fly to Russia”.
What is your first recollection of England, Maxim asks again, but Alexei appears to have suddenly lost his command of English.
In the taxonomy of entrepreneurs, the Russians clearly belong to a different brand than I do, a brand where silence is also a valuable commodity. Call me Intellectual Bourgeoisie, but call them Survivor Bourgeoisie. They are of the Uncle Scrooge McDuck’s type, The Tougher Than The Toughies and I admire them! Comrades!
And superpink Pinky Cameron? What brand of bourgeoisie is he? He is of a very different breed than the Russian entrepreneurs. You see his kind out and about in cities and the countryside, usually dressed in tweed jackets and corduroy trousers. They are called the Antiquated Bourgeoisie. In literature they are the ones who always write for full effect (you know the novelists I am referring to and there is no need for me to name names!). In politics it is the same, only it is full effect speaking instead of writing. And they are addicted to the idea of leaving monuments after them, which they usually achieve in doing… as any kind of atrocious legacy will do.
In general they are also unaware that the imperium of Ukania ended fifty years ago (probably about the time of Maxim’s first recollection of Russia on the walk with his father). And so on…
…Ubi has awoken and in order to properly disillusion him says he wishes to conjure Cameron into his presence for an audience as soon as possible.
Say the magic words after me: