When is politics a Gothic thing, or is everyday life simply wracked by Gothic forces? Cosma Shalizi and Francis Spofford brood very darkly, in one of the most ambitious and terrifying posts I've read all month.
There is a fundamental level at which Marx’s nightmare vision is right: capitalism, the market system, whatever you want to call it, is a product of humanity, but each and every one of us confronts it as an autonomous and deeply alien force. Its ends, to the limited and debatable extent that it can even be understood as having them, are simply inhuman.
Then over to its modern creepiness:
The ideology of the market tell us that we face not something inhuman but superhuman, tells us to embrace our inner zombie cyborg and loose ourselves in the dance. One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry or running screaming.
But it's not just economics. There's also the state:
A bureaucracy, or even a thoroughly democratic polity of which one is a citizen, can feel, can be, just as much of a cold monster as the market. We have no choice but to live among these alien powers which we create, and to try to direct them to human ends.
And then, somehow, DeLong gets hopeful.
EDITED TO ADD: fine blogger Brad DeLong graciously noted that he quoted, but did not author, the preceding. Corrected above, with thanks and admiration.