New York - Homeless Man Bill Watson stumbled into what he thought was a soup kitchen but was really a basement meeting of socialist professors and students from nearby Columbia University and learned that he is not only "useless," but is actually an impediment to realizing a just, social and economic order.
Bill took a vacant folding chair and sat in the circle, thinking then that he was at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and readied to regale the group with a particularly vile vignette from his glue sniffing days that would show the others in the group "just who was boss."
Instead, he found himself being held up "as the perfect exemplar of what Marx meant by the term 'lumpenproletariat'" by the Columbia sociology professor who seemed to be leading the group.
Watson said a girl looked up the term on her smartphone and told him an online dictionary said it meant he was:
The lowest stratum of the proletariat. Used originally in Marxist theory to describe those members of the proletariat, especially criminals, vagrants, and the unemployed, who lacked awareness of their collective interest as an oppressed class.
Watson said that pretty well described him and most of his friends.
Waston went on to say that he was actually worse. Saying that, thanks to the discussion he overheard, he "understood perfectly how the interests of all were the same" but "simply didn't care" and "preferred smoking hash and sucking down hooch to manning barricades in street battles with gendarmes."
Watson said that though he has no intent of "dedicating himself to the revolution," he still found the talk of the professors and students "quite enlightening."
"It really explained a lot," he said. "Apparently what I thought, reflecting on the world around me, was an inexplicable, mind-boggling, diabolical state of senseless, spiritual anarchy and chaos is really nothing more than the the capitalist class lashing out in the death throes of its oppressive system,' Watson said.
Saying that the middle class was "an illusion" and the state merely an instrument through which it can be "plied with favors like education and social security" in order to continue being the "guards of the system," Watson said it was merely a matter of "one, maybe two more stock market crashes" before the whole, corrupt edifice of the capitalist system "comes crumbling down." Watson warned vacationers to push up their travel plans. "The Europe of monuments wrought from the sweat of the toiling classes that you want to visit won't be there for long, " he warned.
"The middle class prosperity of the sell out socialist, welfare state has allowed the masses to live under the illusion that their interests are aligned with the spirit of decadent consumerism both exercised and propagated by the owning class," Watson explained, "but no more, or if more, not much more."
Watson went on to give the system "a couple of months, maybe as little as two weeks, if all socieities manage to crumble just right."
Watson said the middle class will be "sent down" to the level of proletarians, and once there, will realize "the true nature of the system."
"I expect many of these middle class types will become leaders of the revolution," Watson said.
He said as an aside that Hawaii "might weather the social storm and stay the same," and said also he might be willing to extend the perpetuation of the status quo to the entire South Pacific.
"People there live pretty idyllic lives," he said. "Like primitive socialism, minus all the desperate, subsistence-level misery."
As for everywhere else, a new order was being squeezed through the loins of history, Watson warned. He said its best to be "well-girded" for the change. Watson said the "vast preponderance of people are in the proletariat, and since it's more or less their revolution, all of them will be better off, at least that's what the professors said."
He went on to explain that some people are so messed up that even a unified global revolution won't help them improve.
Though "most personal and social problems are really the fault of the complex mechanics of the oppressive system," Watson explained that there are certain people in the world, like him, whose degenerative pathologies are actual character flaws and can in no way be attributed to either the capitalists, or their sick system.
"I'm like the guy who gets drunk and takes a leak on a squirrel's head in the Garden of Eden," Watson said. "Determined to be bad."
"No matter how benevolent a social order you construct, no matter how much total freedom it allows for individual self-actualization after the necessary temporary dictatorship of party leaders has come to an end, people like me will continue being alcoholic perverts and ne'er do wells simply because we are built that way," Watson explained.
Watson went on to say he "represented a danger" to the emerging new order and would eventually have to be eliminated.
"During the transition phase to real socialism, reactionary elements in society will point at the likes of me to argue that human nature is naturally depraved and fallen, that perfection is impossible," he explained. "I embody a threat to the idealized notions of human nature upon which the ideological foundation of their new system will rest."
"The only solution is to exterminate me," he said.
Watson went on to say that once he and other lumpenproletariats are eliminated, then a perfect, new order of "infinite intellectual and aesthetic accomplishment and psychological adjustment and sheer, never ending emotional bliss" will finally come into being.
Asked how the socialists will know which are "victims of the system" and which "are incorrigible and thus need to die," Watson said lumpenproles are pretty easy to identify.
"It's really just a Marxist way of saying the homeless," Watson said.
Asked what he's going to do until the time the middle class is "immiserated" and joins the proletariat in "destroying the current system," he said he sees no reason to change.
"I live my life pretty much like every day is the end of the World," the vagrant said.
Watson said the professors and students asked him to leave because he "stank." He said he did so slowly until the professor leading the group finally offered to pay him to go.
"He gave me twenty dollars," Watson said. "That buys a lot of Mad Dog."
Watson said he also got "some smokes."
"Two whole packs of Lucky Strikes," he said. "With free matches! Now that's a luxury."