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restaurants of the future

By Michael J. Smith on Thursday April 9, 2009 01:57 AM

A few days ago I aired my dislike of what I called "drafting the constitution of Utopia" -- the temptation many Lefties have (and not just Lefties, of course) to sketch out what things will be like after the Day of Jubilo.

By the merest coincidence, a few days later, on one of my lefty mailing lists, a much-valued correspondent dropped a reference to something old Doctor Karl Marx wrote, in the little-read afterword to the second German edition of Capital. I'm sorry to say it was new to me, but I'm glad to have it. Forgive the pedantry, but it's just too good; translation follows:

So wirft mir die Pariser »Revue Positiviste« vor, einerseits, ich behandle die Ökonomie metaphysisch, andrerseits – man rate! –, ich beschränke mich auf bloß kritische Zergliederung des Gegebnen, statt Rezepte (comtistische?) für die Garküche der Zukunft zu verschreiben.

"The Paris Revue Positiviste takes a fling at me because on the one hand I treat economics metaphysically, and on the other hand -- go figure! -- I confine myself to the mere dissection of things as they are, instead of recipes (Comte-ian ones?) for the restaurants of the future."

"Restaurants of the future" will henceforth be a recurring topic here.

Comments (10)


i prefer your translation father

cook shops has a quaint production
by artisans aspect

soft ware
of the workers' automats

Son of Uncle Sam:

Mr. Bumble:Well than law is a bachelor...

I lean the other way, OP-san. Unless I'm mistaken, "Restaurant" bedeutet "restaurant" auf Deutsch, and was a choice available to Herr M.

Garkueche means cookshop, and cookshops have an historically precise embodiment, per Deutsch-wiki:


I also think Marx meant to belittle Comte by restricting him to a cookshop, rather than a restaurant...


Comrade Dawson is absolutely right. I regretted "restaurant" as soon as I hit enter. Trouble is, "cookshops" isn't idiomatic in contemporary American English. What's the best current equivalent? Diners? Snack bars? Food courts in the malls of the future?


Guys I know
About as much german
As sid ceasar

I agree marx had
the comte-ites
To toy size
In mind

I just wanted
To vamp b4 I tossed in my
Workers automat

My common law son in law
Has a patent filed and pending
For a burger gun
Self loading self firing self grilling

We'll need machines like that
Behind the mass transit drive thru window

Mass transit drive thru??

Some what
like those old mail bag poles
Along the rail tracks
Awaiting a passing express
Only different


Hot dog stands?

Peter Ward:

Oh, well. Guess I'm more of a restaurant of the future enthusiast myself.


It's great fun. The problem that we don't know what people are going to want to eat in the future, and we don't know what ingredients will be available.

Son of Uncle Sam:

MJS- see in lil' Rhody hot dog stands became the past in the depression. People figured even if you can't afford real food, create an enviorment using waste products like marrow as a sauce,and grain wrapped w/ beef in a little leftovers intestines, at a mock diner( much different then the ones on Long Island, RI versions are availible for lease if a Health code inspector thumbs over the name in the phone book). Add raw onions (onions are cheap) and a bushel of bananas fist sized load of celery salt for a flavor you won't mistake for till breakfast. Then price it low (still $.90 and give it name that'll cause a buzz...= "New York System." This recipe of the past may have been ahead of its time. And if pork marrow sauce on a hot dog dosn't make anyone's mouth water... I wish you eight awesome nights this December. 'Cause it's deliciouse. These are Cook Shop. And if you remember in the archives I saw Nikki Kruschev fighting w. managment there. He told me if he ever saw Nixon again he'd send him to the gulag as Siberian Tiger food (which could easily make it into the sauce). I've been trying to get a chain going but Mass and Conn Health Code keep demanding I give up the recipe because of the RI Provisions reputation. Nelson Aldrich would be pissed god rest his sweet heart.

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