Philosophy, June 21st

“But when a man begins to get older, he will no longer be guilty of such insanity; he will imitate the dialectician who is seeking for truth, and not the eristic, who is contradicting for the sake of amusement; and the greater moderation of his character will increase instead of diminishing the honor of the pursuit.” – Plato, The Republic

“The colonial system and the extension of the world market, both of which form part of the general conditions for the existence of the manufacturing period, furnish us with rich materials for displaying the division of labor in society. This is not the place, however, for us to show how division of labor seizes upon, not only the economic, but every other sphere of society, and everywhere lays the foundation for that specialization, that development in a man of one single faculty at the expense of all others, which already caused Adam Ferguson, the master of Adam Smith, to exclaim: ‘We make a nation of Helots, and have no free citizens.'” – Karl Marx, Capital

“Nevertheless, these are exceptions in antiquity. But as soon as peoples whose production still moves within the lower forms of slave-labor, the corvee, etc. are drawn into a world market dominated by the capitalist mode of production, whereby the sale of their products for export develops into their principal interest, the civilized horrors of over-work are grafted onto the barbaric horrors of slavery, serfdom etc. Hence the Negro labor in the southern states of the American Union preserved a moderately patriarchal character if production was chiefly directed to the satisfaction of immediate local requirements. But in proportion as the export of cotton became of vital interest to those states, the over-working of the Negro, and sometimes the consumption of his life in seven years of labor, became a factor in a calculated and calculating system. It was no longer a question of obtaining from him a certain quantity of useful products, but rather of the production of surplus-value itself.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“Therefore, entirely leaving aside all accumulation, the mere continuity of the production process, in other words simple reproduction, sooner or later, and necessarily, converts all capital into accumulated capital, or capitalized surplus-value. Even if that capital was, on its entry into the process of production, the personal property of the man who employs it, and was originally acquired by his own labor, it sooner or later becomes value appropriated without an equivalent, the unpaid labor of others materialized either in the money-form or in some other way.” – Karl Marx, Capital

My meaning, Sancho, is, that the desire of fame is a most active principle in the human breast. What, do’st thou imagine was the motive that prevailed on Horatio to throw himself from the bridge, armed at all points, into the depth of the river Tyber? What induced Mutius to burn his hand and arm? What impelled Curtius to dart himself into the flaming gulph, which opened in the midst of Rome? What prompted Caesar to pass the Rubicon, in spite of all the unfavorable omens that appeared? And, to give you a more modern instance, what consideration bored the ships, and let on shore, encompassed with enemies, those valiant Spaniards, in the new world, under the conduct of the most courteous Cortez. All these, and many other great and various exploits, are, were and shall be performed, in consequence of that desire of fame, which flatters mortals with a share of that immortality which they deem the merited reward of their renowned achievements: although, we catholic Christian knights-errant, ought to pay greater attention to that glory which is to come, and eternally survives within the eternal and celestial mansions, than to the vanity of that fame which is obtained in this present, perishable state, and which, considered in its longest duration, must end at length, with the world itself, which hath its appointed period. Wherefore, Sancho, our works must not exceed the limits prescribed by the Christian religion, which we profess. We must, in slaying giants, extirpate pride; get the better of envy by benevolence and virtue; resist anger with patience and forbearance; conquer gluttony and sloth by temperance and watchfulness; luxury and lewdness by our fidelity to those whom we constitute mistresses of our inclination; and idleness by travelling through all parts of the world, in quest of opportunities to evince ourselves not only Christians, but, moreover, renowned knights.” – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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