FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Your Commie Horoscope

In “Stars Down to Earth” Theodor Adorno analyzes several years’ worth of 1950s Los Angeles Times astrology columns. Describing astrology’s distinctive blend of supranatural wisdom and banal advice, Adorno demonstrated how the column legitimized and dignified a historically specific type of social and economic organization, i.e. capitalism, as natural and timeless. Thus, countless horoscopes advise readers to work diligently in the “AM” while “enjoying” (pleasure should be purposeful) limited recreation in the “PM” (as if the 9-5 workday is a transcendent feature of the universe). Similarly, readers are regularly encouraged to defer to “higher-ups,” who deserve a special sympathy not granted to “equals” or “inferiors” (as if capitalist hierarchies and the putative benefits of ass-kissing are natural givens of life rather than politically structured injustices). Above all, the column encourages readers to conceptualize themselves as utilitarian “economic men,” encouraging them to conform to, rather than question, their hectic lives through adopting superior time management techniques – as though their anxieties result not from a given political-economic order but from their own individual irresponsibility.

Lest we think that Adorno’s study is dated, a Washington Post horoscope for Libra counseled last month:

No matter how many errands you have to run today, time and flexibility are on your side. Don’t hesitate to push yourself to take on more than you normally would – you’re underestimating your ability to juggle. Just don’t box yourself in and cut off any new opportunities because you’re afraid you won’t have the time, because if you rearrange one or two things, you definitely do have the time.

Given the pitiful paucity of astrology columns that are not infused with decidedly bourgeois ideologies, I have recently devoted some time to studying astrology. I have put my (admittedly nascent) training to use in order to provide an alternative column – a corrective, so to speak – that doesn’t pretend to be “neutral” (what is?) but instead explicitly embraces communist assumptions about the social phenomena that the stars, nonetheless, apparently help shape.

So here, dear reader, is your Commie Horoscope for the week of 12/23/2013.

***

Aries (3/21-4/19): If you feel like Jupiter has been playing tricks on you, Aries, you just might be right. You are indeed doing more at work, and this is because you have to generate more surplus value in the absence of all of your outsourced and otherwise terminated colleagues. Do not ignore your desire to walk off. But be strategic about it, lest your liberatory act backfire; try to organize a collective walk-out. Aquarius, Leo, and Taurus make powerful allies.

Taurus (4/20-5/20): Does your back hurt, Taurus? Why wouldn’t it? You work all day and then spend your so-called “free-time” on the internet (producing more profit for bosses, btw, whether your own or Zuckerberg). And I’ll tell you something else: Gemini’s back hurts too. Practice saying this to those who would have you work even more in order to pay for Christmas season junk: no, I am not cheap – but you, my dear comrade, have “dupe” written all over your face.

Gemini (5/21-6/21): Oh Gemini, they say you have two faces. I, however, see a dialectician. As such, listen to Hegel – as inverted by Marx. Do not merely singly negate your troubles; doubly negate them by destroying not only what torments you but their underlying structural causes as well! 

Cancer (6/22-7/22) Cancer, I encourage you to speak with Aries, Aquarius, Leo, et al. about some very frustrating goings-on at work (Mercury’s rise gives you, in particular, a headache). You’re not the only one who feels like you’re being exploited. The decline in the rate of profit and capital’s insatiable vampire-like need for expansion should, however, remind you to not merely blame your sleazy boss. Even if you had a wonderful master – I mean, boss – you’d still be screwed in the end. It’s the system, Cancer!

Leo (7/23-8/22): How the mighty have fallen, proud Leo. But what do you expect when you’re kicked off the land and reduced to a permanent state of insecurity and hand-to-mouth labor? Work or starve is a false “choice”; there are better ways to organize economic production. And that overwhelming debt? It’s not your fault. Consider blowing it off (applicable to others, too).

Virgo (8/23-9/22): Do you know what “retrograde” means, Virgo? As in, “Mercury is in retrograde”? It means that, depending on the circumstances, we all are inclined, from time to time, to act like reactionary asses. Just remember, language is historically produced and unless there was a revolution that no one knows about, “It’s just a joke” doesn’t convince anyone that you’re not being racist, or sexist – or, if you prefer, reproducing racist, or sexist, ideologies.  

Libra (9/23-10/22): They say you’re fair and balanced, Libra, but don’t lose your critical edge. Do you really think you should be fair to fascists? Do you really think you should respect opinions that are not only based on completely erroneous facts but function to keep you down as well? 

Scorpio (10/23-11/21): Oh sexy Scorpio, I’ll never call you a hedonist. On the contrary, you’re right to pursue pleasure.  Just remember that the commodification of pleasure is inseparable from its increasing utilitarianism under the dictates of profit. Capitalism is not only making you sick, it’s killing your fun.

Sagittarius (11/22-12/21): Find other fire signs like Leo and Aries. According to my readings, you (but not only you) are likely being threatened by your landlord – if not explicitly, then implicitly given the inherent power disparity characterizing the renter-owner relationship. This is a collective problem that necessitates a collective response. Leave the individualist indulgences to Holden Caulfield and other adolescents. 

Capricorn (12/22-1/19): You’re sick? Everyone’s sick. You’re tired? Everyone’s tired. You’re exhausted by looking for a job (or by having one)? The moon’s ephemeral conjunction with Jupiter suggests that, yes, it might be time to organize a general strike. Additionally, stick to your guns and abstain from the pressure to waste your time, money, and health on the toxic holiday binge-consumption going on all around you. And don’t forget, “market-ers” use the idea of generosity to promote greed – point that out at the office Christmas party. It’ll be a hit.

Aquarius (1/20-2/18): Do you know what’s happening to the oceans, water-bearer? Do you think recycling and “green” consumption is going to stop it? Get your head out of your ass, Aquarius; the system of production is predicated on infinite expansion and environmental ruination. It’s out of the individual’s hands. Only collective efforts can cure collective problems; it’s a categorical error to think otherwise.

Pisces (2/19-3/20): If I were you, I’d call in sick to work, but not before convincing all your co-workers to call in sick as well — indefinitely. Then, I’d do my best to convince your neighbors to join you in a rent strike. Possibly organize with Capricorn ally. Remember, Pisces, the true Christmas spirit entails the elimination of private property.

Joshua Sperber, your commie astrologer, is based in New York and can be reached at jsperber4@yahoo.com

Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and contributor to hygiecracy.blogspot.com He lives in New York City, and can be reached at elliot.sperber@gmail.com, and on twitter @elliot_sperber

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
Mel Gurtov
Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid
Thomas Knapp
Lame Duck Shutdown Theater Time: Pride Goeth Before a Wall?
George Wuerthner
The Thrill Bike Threat to the Elkhorn Mountains
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Selfhood and Her Ability to Act in the Public Domain: Resilience of Nadia Murad
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
On the Killing of an Ash Tree
Graham Peebles
Britain’s Homeless Crisis
Louis Proyect
America: a Breeding Ground for Maladjustment
Steve Carlson
A Hell of a Time
Dan Corjescu
America and The Last Ship
Jeffrey St. Clair
Booked Up: the 25 Best Books of 2018
David Yearsley
Bikini by Rita, Voice by Anita
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail