The Third International after Lenin

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"A desire to fundamentally understand the world"

Student serfs

by Beth Powell


My year eight History teacher was a small, yet formidable woman.“What is it?!” she demanded, wielding a ten pound note and flailing wildly. We sat, gormless, in our scarlet sweaters. “Money?” A brave offering from the back of the class. “No…” already exasperated “…what is it?! What does it meean?” she enunciated, clearly praying that elocution was the problem here. “Where does it come from?” After a while, some bright spark had an epiphany. Me. “Gold!” “No!” she spat, my ignorance too much to bear. Shrill. “It’s a promise. But what for?” her dragon eyes were set firmly on me. “Gold?” I stubbornly, foolishly, repeated. Despair! “We haven’t been able to exchange banknotes for gold for years!” “…It’s labour- WORK! Money is the promise of labour!”

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