Philosophy, June 27th

“Every disposition has its own appreciation of what is fine and pleasant; and probably what makes the man of good character stand out furthest is the fact that he sees the truth in every kind of situation: he is a sort of standard and yardstick of what is fine and pleasant. Most people seem to owe their deception to pleasure, which appears to them to be a good although it is not; consequently, they choose what is pleasant as a good, and avoid pain as an evil.” – Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

“In so far as the labor process is purely individual, the same worker unites in himself all the functions that later become separated. When an individual appropriates natural objects for his own livelihood, he alone supervises his own activity. Later, he is supervised by others. The solitary man cannot operate upon nature without calling his own muscles into play under the control of his own brain. Just as head and hand belong together in the system of nature, so in the labor process mental and physical labor are united. Later, they become separate; and this separation develops into a hostile antagonism. The product is transformed from the direct product of the individual producer into a social product, the joint product of a collective laborer, i.e. a combination of workers, each of whom stands at a different distance from the actual manipulation of the object of labor. With the progressive accentuation of the co-operative character of the labor process, there necessarily occurs a progressive extension of the concept of productive labor, the productive worker. In order to work productively, it is no longer necessary for the individual himself to put his hand to the object; it is enough for him to be an organ of the collective laborer, and to perform any one of its subordinate functions. The definition of productive labor given above, the original definition, is derived from the nature of material production itself, and it remains correct for the collective laborer, considered. But it no longer holds good for each member taken individually.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“If there are few people who produce food, but many who eat, it is not a year of abundance. Therefore, it is said that if materials are insufficient, attention should be directed to the seasons; if food is insufficient, attention should be directed to use. The people of ancient times used the seasons production for the creation of resources. With this as the firm foundation for their use of resources, they were sufficient.” – Mo Zi, The Book of Master Mo

“But imagine one of these owners, the master say of some fifty slaves, together with his family and property and slaves, carried off by a god into the wilderness, where there are no freemen to help him – will he not be in an agony of fear lest he and his wife and children should be put to death by his slaves?” – Plato, The Republic

“I have always maintained that liberty is of greater importance than wealth – in other words, that man derives more happiness from freedom than from luxury – and this is true; but there is another sense in which wealth, or, rather, property, is of greater importance than liberty. Man has but little to gain from liberty unless that liberty includes the liberty to control what he produces.” – Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book

“From all that you have told me, dear brethren, I clearly perceive, that although you ought to be chastised for your crimes, the punishment you are going to suffer, is not much to your liking; on the contrary, you make this journey very much against your inclination: and perhaps, the pusillanimity of one of you under the torture, this man’s want of money, and that other’s scarcity of friends, and last of all, the partiality of the judge, may have been the cause of your perdition, in depriving you of that justice, your several cases intitled you to. Which consideration now operates within me, suggesting, persuading and even compelling me to shew in your behalf, the end and aim for which heaven sent me into this world, and made me profess the order of knight-errantry, by which I am bound by oath, to succor the needy and oppressed; but, because I know, that one maxim of prudence, is, not to do that by foul means, which can be accomplished by fair, I beseech Mr. Commissary and the guards to unchain and let you depart in peace: the king will not want people to serve him on better occasions; and I think it is very hard to enslave those whom God and nature have made free. Besides, gentlemen soldiers, those poor people have committed no offence against you; and everybody hath sins of his own to answer for. There is a God in heaven, who will take care to chastise the wicked and reward the righteous; and it is not seemly, that honest men should be the executioners of their fellow-creatures, on account of matters with which they have no concern. This favor I intreat in a mild and peaceable manner; and if you grant my request, will thank you heartily: whereas, if you refuse to do quietly what I desire, this lance and sword, with the valor of my invincible arm, shall make you do it on compulsion.” – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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