Economically, the Middle Ages were still the time of “target incomes,” in which the typical reaction to economic good times, even among urban craftspeople and most of the protobourgeoisie, was to take more days off. It is as if the notion of the maximizing individual existed in theory long before it emerged in practice. One explanation might be that until the early modern period, at least, high culture (whether in its most Christian or most courtly versions) tended to devalue any open display of greed, appetite, or acquisitiveness, while popular culture—which could sometimes heartily embrace such impulses—did so in forms that were inherently collective. When the Land of Cockaigne was translated into reality, it was in the form of popular festivals such as Carnival; almost any increase in popular wealth was immediately diverted into communal feasts, parades, and collective indulgences. One of the processes that made capitalism possible, then, was what might be termed the “privatization of desire.” The highly individualistic perspectives of the elite had to be combined with the materialistic indulgences of what Bakhtin liked to call the “material lower stratum.”