Monday, March 12, 2007


One of my writing friends, an Ivy graduate who has worked for women's magazines, who has experienced and travelled the "glamorous" world, has become a Marxist. I feel challenged by the new direction in her mind: I don't have enough money to become a Marxist. She is not rich herself, but she is at last comfortable, happily married, and can afford to teach part-time -- the lot of many women in our field. She drives to her school as often as the fully-paid men professors do, but she earns much less. Is that why she became a Marxist? No. The reason she became a Marxist relates to her research on global wages paid to produce consumer goods for Americans. I told her that I had shopped at our beautiful department stores as a girl, at Dayton's, in particular. Now that Dayton's is no longer, and we have mostly Macy's, and the glamor of Dayton's is past, and I am poor, I go to Goodwill. As children, our mother brought our used clothing there; now I shop there. Call it "clothing recycling," and it works. I cannot afford to buy much at department stores, and this way, we donate old clothes and give money to charity for the ones we buy; I find wearable clothes, a little fashionable, without causing further manufacturing hardship overseas. Am I already a Marxist?

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