Philosophy, June 13th

“In the domain of political economy, free scientific inquiry does not merely meet the same enemies as in all other domains. The peculiar nature of the material it deals with summons into the fray on the opposing side the most violent, sordid, and malignant passions of the human breast, the Furies of private interest.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“Let us consider, on the other hand, the capitalist. He wishes to receive as much labor as possible for as little money as possible. In practice, therefore, the only thing that interests him is the difference between the price of labor-power and the value which its function creates. But he tries to buy all commodities as cheaply as possible, and his own invariable explanation of his profit is that it is a result of mere sharp practice, of buying under the value and selling over it. Hence, he never comes to see that if such a thing as the value of labor really existed, and he really paid this value, no capital would exist, and his money would never be transformed into capital.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“Mr. Charles Parsons, until recently the House Surgeon of the same hospital, writes in a letter to Commissioner Longe, amongst other things: ‘I can only speak from personal observation and not from statistical data, but I do not hesitate to assert that my indignation has been aroused again and again at the sight of poor children whose health has been sacrificed to gratify the avarice of either parents or employers.’ He enumerates the causes of the diseases of the potters and sums them up in the phrase ‘long hours. In their report, the Commissioners express the hope that ‘a manufacture which has assumed so prominent a place in the whole world, will not long be subject to the remark that its great success is accompanied with the physical deterioration, widespread bodily suffering, and early death of the workpeople . . . by whose labor and skill such great results have been achieved’. And all that holds of the potteries in England is true of those in Scotland.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“First, Wakefield discovered that in the Colonies, property in money, means of subsistence, machines, and other means of production, does not yet stamp a man as a capitalist if there be wanting the correlative – the wage-worker, the other man who is compelled to sell himself of his own free will. He discovered that capital is not a thing, but a social relation between persons, established by the instrumentality of things.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“From what I have said, I would have you infer, my precious Wiseacres, that there is a great confusion of pedigrees, and that those only appear grand and illustrious, whose representatives abound with virtue, liberality and wealth: I say, virtue, liberality and wealth, because, the vicious great man is no more than a great sinner; and the rich man, without liberality, a mere covetous beggar; for, happiness does not consist in possessing, but in spending riches, and that, not in squandering them away, but, in knowing how to use them with taste: now, a poor knight has no other way of signalizing his birth, but, the practice of virtue, being affable, well bred, courteous, kind, and obliging, a stranger to pride, arrogance, and slander, and, above all things, charitable; for, by giving two farthings cheerfully to the poor, he may shew himself as generous as he that dispenses alms by sound of bell: and whoever sees him adorned with these virtues, although’ he should be an utter stranger to his race, will conclude that he is descended of a good family. Indeed, it would be a sort of miracle to find it otherwise; so that praise is always the reward of virtue, and never fails to attend the righteous. There are two paths, my children, that lead to wealth and honor; one is that of learning, the other that of arms: now, I am better qualified for the last than for the first, and, (as I judge from my inclination to arms) was born under the influence of the planet Mars; so that I am, as it were, obliged to choose that road, which I will pursue, in spite of the whole universe: you will therefore fatigue yourselves to no purpose, in attempting to persuade me from that which heaven inspires, fortune ordains, reason demands, and above all things, my own inclination dictates: knowing, as I do, the innumerable toils annexed to knight-errantry, I am also well acquainted with the infinite benefits acquired in the exercise of that profession: I know that path of virtue is very strait, while the road of vice is broad and spacious; I know their end and issue is different: the wide extended way of vice conducts the traveler to death; while the narrow, toiled path of virtue, leads to happiness in life – not that which perishes, but, that which hath no end; and I know, as our great Castilian poet observes, By these rough paths of toil and pain, Th’ immortal seats of bliss we gain, Deny’d to those who heedless stray In tempting pleasure’s flowery way.” – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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