Curious how left-politically-oriented literary readings, like Josh's - now that Marxism appears finished for the most part as a systematic economics, and as a political movement - re-animate the Benjamin/Adorno term "messianic". As though there's a ratio between actual political conditions (since 1989) and the level of vague utopian-mystical emphasis in some literary circles.

I find these equations between "late-late-capital conditions" and changes in poetic style sort of tedious and depressive, or oppressive. Something a-historical and attenuated about them : general spleen about working conditions & politics gets larded with these pretentious comments on the latest poetic in-group fringe phenomena. "Late-late-capitalism" : how baroque, considering current conditions in India, China, and around the world : how utterly irrelevant as a descriptor.

For me Catholic Church doctrines on economics are more subtle & relevant, since the Church has had to find a way to balance things like Polish independence & Western capitalism, liberation theology & theology per se, and living & working conditions not just in the socialist & capitalist countries but throughout the world. This balancing act, along with the Church's longstanding tradition of concern for Labor, has filtered into its analyses. I certainly don't agree with everything they come out with, but I like the late Pope's criticisms of both capitalism & socialism; I like the notions presented in several U.S. & Vatican church documents on economics, which make a claim for both private property and economic justice.

Compared with certain populist & Catholic strains of economic thinking, a lot of American literary leftism comes across as effete & impractical. Yet according to these critics, whole schools of poetry are built on supposedly deep reactions of American poets to economic & political conditions. May be more rhetorical heat than light in those reactions.

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