A lesson about the financial crisis from Planescape: Torment


Think of late capitalism (the capitalism of the financial crisis, however long you think it has been ongoing) as being like the Alley of Lingering Sighs in Planescape: Torment. The alley is crumbling, in horrible disrepair, but it is also pregnant; however every attempt to fix it, prevents it from being able to give birth. In order for it to transform itself, the repairs must be undone.

The jobs lost due to the collapse of large high street retailers cannot be undone by you (you-personal or you-plural) not shopping so much on amazon anymore. The old logic will always result in it being preferable to shop on amazon, the cracks will start to show again as soon as you’ve plastered over them. You need a new logic.

But of course, the world will not be transformed simply by allowing things to get worse and worse (this is the biggest load of bullshit historical materialism ever peddled: the revolution isn’t inevitable, look around you: stagnation is what is inevitable). The point is more that the repairs in fact fix nothing: the alley repaired (really repaired) is the same as the alley transformed.

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One Response to A lesson about the financial crisis from Planescape: Torment

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