One of the many ideas flowing out of the Italian economist Christian Marazzi is the becoming-rent of profit. The idea is this: Since the 70s, wages in capitalists societies have been pretty much stagnant. And yet, capitalists profits increased over this time. How did this happen? Instead of increasing wages, capitalist offered private indebtedness—credit cards, home equity loans, and so on. In a larger sense, this meant the financialization of the entire society. In a direct or personal sense, this meant you could only rent your wage increase—not own outright. The becoming-rent is now in every part of Post-Fordist life. Capitalist also rent finances, and, in the case of the Tea Party, rent democratic action and participation.

NYT— Among the thousands of demonstrators who jammed the Wisconsin State Capitol grounds this weekend was a well-financed advocate from Washington who was there to voice praise for cutting state spending by slashing union benefits and bargaining rights.

The visitor, Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, told a large group of counterprotesters who had gathered Saturday at one edge of what otherwise was a mostly union crowd that the cuts were not only necessary, but they also represented the start of a much-needed nationwide move to slash public-sector union benefits.

“We are going to bring fiscal sanity back to this great nation,” he said.

What Mr. Phillips did not mention was that his Virginia-based nonprofit group, whose budget surged to $40 million in 2010 from $7 million three years ago, was created and financed in part by the secretive billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch.

The fear is that the Tea Party, the becoming-rent of democracy, will become as universal as the renting of wages increases.