A Graveyard for Lunatics: Another Tale of Two Cities by Ray Bradbury

By Ray Bradbury

Halloween evening, 1954. a tender, film-obsessed scriptwriter has simply been employed at one of many nice studios. An nameless research leads from the large Maximus movies backlot to an eerie graveyard separated from the studio via a unmarried wall. There he makes a terrifying discovery that thrusts him right into a maelstrom of intrigue and mystery—and into the dizzy excitement of the motion picture on the peak of its glittering energy.

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Nationalism was a regulating fact within this liberal model able to legitimize the public policies underlying competition within the global system. Those policies hinged on local hegemonic coalitions (alliances with middle-class and aristocratic strata) that backed up the dominant power of capitalist monopolies and kept the industrial working class in political isolation. Notable examples were the British and German regulatory systems, based on protection of aristocratic privilege and of Junker landholdings, and the French system, based on support to peasant farming and family-scale small business.

Such is the thesis o f Weber— Protestantism giving birth to capitalism. But it is not my reading of this historical process, in which I see rather a concomitant transformation, in stages, o f culture, the economy (mercantilism being already a transition to capitalist forms of economic organization), and politics (the absolute mon­ archy being already a negation of feudalism and historic compro­ mise among feudal and boufgeois interests). This reading, I maintain, is also that of Marx. It nevertheless remains the case that social theory can be called into question, though in a different way.

This model, to begin with, is dualistic: integrated in its three dimensions (markets for products, labor, and capital) at the national level, but curtailed and reduced to only two o f these three (markets for products and capital, but not for labor) at the global level. Accordingly, this duality manifests as conflict among nations within the global system and so compels the rhetoric o f rightwing anarchism to merge into that o f nationalism . M ore­ over, the economic determinist alienation at the source of the capitalist utopia we are discussing likewise leads to treating 36 S P E C T R E S OF C A P I T A L I S M natural resources as mere objects o f market trading, with all the consequences that follow from this reduction.

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