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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: July ::
Re: Exploitation, Marx, and Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1378  Tuesday, 11 July 2000.

[1]     From:   Todd M Lidh <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 Jul 2000 10:12:44 -0400
        Subj:   Exploitation of Actors

[2]     From:   Sam Small <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 Jul 2000 15:54:39 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1369 Re: Exploitation of Actors

[3]     From:   Sophie Masson <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Jul 2000 09:49:02 +1000
        Subj:   Marx and Shakespeare

[4]     From:   Michael Meyers <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 Jul 2000 23:47:01 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.1369 Re: Exploitation of Actors


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Todd M Lidh <
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Date:           Monday, 10 Jul 2000 10:12:44 -0400
Subject:        Exploitation of Actors

Michael Meyers writes: "This disparity in pay between men and women has
been well studied.  It turns out that this disparity is because women
tend to prefer careers where there is an over supply of labor.  If one
compares men and women in the same labor market there is no difference
in pay."

I should add to this that a recent meta-analysis of these
equal-pay-for-equal-work studies indicates that no differentiation had
been made between workers who have been on the job for six months, six
years or sixteen years. Thus, for example, in many traditionally-male
professions average salaries are higher for men because there are more
men in senior positions.

So, when a study shows that men earn more, the finding is skewed by not
factoring for longevity. The researchers in the meta-analysis determined
that workers at the same job level earn equivalent pay.

Todd M Lidh
UNC-Chapel Hill

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <
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Date:           Monday, 10 Jul 2000 15:54:39 +0100
Subject: 11.1369 Re: Exploitation of Actors
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1369 Re: Exploitation of Actors

"The Arts" is entertainment no-one wants to watch.  Martin Scorsese once
said that he makes one film for the studio and one for himself.  Well,
Shakespeare did both every time.  The greatness of Shakespeare is that
he appealed to the high and low almost simultaneously - and in his own
time.  The fact that he made money, a great deal in Elizabethan terms,
means that people were prepared to pay money to see his work.  And in
answer to the various Communist/Socialists on the list, people freely
paying money for the goods or services they find of value is the basis
of real Democracy.  Capitalism wasn't invented by a Jewish scholar who
decided from his lofty intellectual height that the world ought to be a
mirror of his scientific imagination.  Capitalism evolved out of the
trading instincts of human beings over millennia.  It is highly complex
and unpredictable.  You cannot have a designer economy.  It is
impossible.

What makes people poor and exploited is their lack of political power
and information about their economic environment.  If you are vulnerable
you will probably be hurt.  If you leave the keys in your car it will
probably be stolen.  There is no cult of the future, be it Christianity
or Communism, that will guarantee otherwise.  In London, even in good
economic times, 80% of practising actors and actresses are unemployed.
The people of London just do not want five times more films or plays
being performed.

And a final retort to Clifford Stetner and others.  It always seems to
denote an insecure argument when images of grimy, pallid children are
offered as victims of an opposing intellectual position.  Think of the
tens of thousands of children debilitated and distressed when 20,000 of
their fathers and mothers were murdered by Russian and German Communists
because they wanted to escape the Socialist paradise.  You never hear me
arguing like that.  Goodness, I just did.

Love from London,
SAM

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sophie Masson <
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Date:           Tuesday, 11 Jul 2000 09:49:02 +1000
Subject:        Marx and Shakespeare

How can we take Marx seriously when he got just about everything wrong?
Leaving aside the millions of corpses his ideas have left in their wake,
the millions of lives corrupted and the brutalised societies left
behind, especially in Russia, what of the intellectual cul de sacs those
so-called ideas get us all into! Thinking that it was the 'industrial
proletariat' that would rise when Communist rebellions have _always_
happened in rural, peasant societies; thinking that somehow society must
be forced into planned production because to leave people to run their
own life and economy means nothing will happen; that the scum will not
inevitably rise to the top in such a controlled society; that the
private will not inevitably overwhelm the political..(Russian and East
German friends of mine said that was the last refuge for most of them,
though the State tried to reach its tentacles in too--in those countries
even private relations became suspect). This does not mean incidentally
that raw capitalism is a good thing--it patently has many ugly traits,
and the Industrial Revolution showed that clearly. But alas, Marx's
remedy was no remedy; knowing nothing about human nature or human
culture, without a trace of imagination or historical understanding, he
did not even see that true socialism would come about in an atmosphere
not of brutal repression and dictatorship, but by the slow evolution of
a society within a social compact, as the social democracies of Europe
have shown. Unionism owes little to Marx, it seems to me, and much more
to Ned Ludd; workers tend to favour conservative solutions; it is middle
class intellectuals who are happy to slash and burn the lives of others,
at a safe remove. Dickens did far more for the poor and oppressed than
any Marxist revolutionary, that's for sure!

By contrast, Shakespeare may well have had a supposed 'political agenda'
as Clifford Stetner points out--but I think his vision, far from being a
failure, is in fact the most liveable one, for it does not see people as
automata or pawns or units in some Five Year Plan. His experience and
observation of his own time, in Elizabeth's police state, and the relic
of a shattered medieval world, has very much of relevance for us, for he
sees clearly that we need both symbol and humanity in our political as
well as our personal lives. Kingship, or something like it, as in the
USA, nourishes that nexus quite well in many societies: the medieval
monarch was not just the anointed of God, but directly responsible to
his people. I don't see that a republic, which, let's remember, is as
ancient a symbol and system as the monarchy is, is necessarily a better
thing. It depends on the society.  Here, in Australia, there has
recently been a rejection of a proposed republic, directed and guided by
our lords and masters, the great and good of this world, in favour of a
retention of the constitutional monarchy, which, precisely because it is
not Australia, acts as a decentralising power, by nobbling nationalism,
by forcing even the Ruper Murdochs of this world to realise that the
ballot box is mightier than the biggest media empire, allows people in
fact to live their lives as human beings first. And guess which areas
voted most heavily against the republic? Yes, the poorest,most marginal
areas, the workingclass areas of the city, rural areas, etc(leading many
furious commentators to suggest that such 'no' voters were too stupid
and uneducated to really deserve the vote).  Which leads me to the idea
that Shakespeare is not only taking over Biblical-style status; he has
seen off, as it were, the ideologues not only of his own time but of
ours.

Sophie Masson
Author site: http://members.xoom.com/sophiecastel/default.htm

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Meyers <
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Date:           Monday, 10 Jul 2000 23:47:01 -0500
Subject: 11.1369 Re: Exploitation of Actors
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.1369 Re: Exploitation of Actors

The responses to this thread proves again the old line that Marx's works
are works of fiction -- since so many literature academics believe his
stuff, far more so than academics in economics or business.  *s*

Michael
 

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