Philosophy, July 2nd

“Here the worker finds the instruments of labor existing independently of him as another man’s property, hence economy in their use appears, from his standpoint, to be a separate operation, one that does not concern him, and therefore has no connection with the methods by which his own personal productivity is increased.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“Dr Aikin says, in a work published in 1795: ‘The trade of Manchester may be divided into four periods. First, when manufacturers were obliged to work hard for their livelihood.’ They enriched themselves chiefly by robbing the parents whose children were bound as apprentices to them: the parents paid a high premium, while the apprentices were starved. On the other hand, the average profits were low, and, in order to accumulate, extreme parsimony was needed. They lived like misers and were far from consuming even the interest on their capital. ‘The second period, when they had begun to acquire little fortunes, but worked as hard as before’ (for the direct exploitation of labor costs labor, as every slave-driver knows) ‘and lived in as plain a manner as before . . . The third, when luxury began, and the trade was pushed by sending out riders for orders into every market town in the Kingdom . . . It is probable that few or no capitals of $3,000 to $4,000 acquired by trade existed here before 1690. However, about that time, or a little later, the traders had got money beforehand, and began to build modern brick houses, instead of those of wood and plaster.’ Even in the early part of the eighteenth century, a Manchester manufacturer who placed a pint of foreign wine before his guests exposed himself to the remarks and headshaking’s of all his neighbors. Before the rise of machinery, a manufacturer’s evening expenditure at the public house where they all met never exceeded sixpence for a glass of punch, and a penny for a screw of tobacco. It was not till 1758, and this marks an epoch, that a person engaged in business was seen with a carriage of his own. ‘The fourth period,’ the last thirty years of the eighteenth century, ‘is that in which expense and luxury have made great progress, supported by a trade extended by means of riders and factors through every part of Europe.’ What would the good Dr Aikin say if he could rise from the grave and see the Manchester of today?” – Karl Marx, Capital

“I have heard that the gate through which the people are guided depends on where their superiors lead.” – Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang

“And the comparison of death with sleep in this question is an evident proof that the soul survives, since the activity of the soul ceases in sleep through the inactivity of its organ, but the existence of the soul does not cease, and therefore it is necessary that its condition in death should be like its condition in sleep, for the parts follow the same rule. And this is a proof which all can understand, and which is suitable to be believed by the masses and will show the learned the way in which the survival of the soul is ascertained.” – Averroes, The Incoherence of the Incoherence

“Political economy confuses on principle two very different kinds of private property, of which one rests on the producers’ own labor, the other on the employment of the labor of others. It forgets that the latter not only is the direct antithesis of the former, but absolutely grows on its tomb only.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“”Liberal” was first used in a political sense about 1815, to denote the advocates of liberty as opposed to the “servile” who believed in State-control. And yet the members of the club avowedly uphold State-interference in all things and dub the doctrine of laissez faire the creed of selfishness.” – Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book

“The traveler laughed heartily at this account of such an extraordinary trial, saying that notwithstanding what he had advanced to the disadvantage of such books, there was one thing in them which he could not but approve; namely, the subject they presented for a good genius to display itself, opening a large and ample field in which the pen might, at leisure, expatiate, in the description of shipwrecks, tempests, battles and encounters; painting a valiant general with all his necessary accomplishments, sage and penetrating into the enemy’s designs; eloquent and effectual, either in persuading or dissuading his soldiers, ripe in council, prompt in execution, and equally brave in standing or in giving an assault. One while, recounting a piteous, tragical story; at another time, describing a joyful and unexpected event; here, a most beautiful lady imbued with virtue, discretion and reserve; there, a Christian knight possessed of courtesy and valor; in a third place, an outrageous boasting barbarian; and in a fourth, a polite considerate gallant prince; not forgetting to describe the faith and loyalty of vassals, together with the grandeur and generosity of great men. The author may also shew himself an astrologer, geographer, musician, and well skilled in state-affairs; nay, if he be so minded, he will sometimes have an opportunity of manifesting his skill in necromancy and magic: he may represent the cunning of Ulysses, the piety of Aeneas, the valor of Achilles, the misfortunes of Hector, the perfidy of Sinon, the friendship of Euryalus, the liberality of Alexander, the ability of Caesar, the clemency and candor of Trajan, the fidelity of Zopyrus, the wisdom of Cato, and finally, all those qualifications which constitute the perfection of an illustrious hero; sometimes, uniting them in one, sometimes dividing them into several characters; and the whole being expressed in an agreeable stile and ingenious invention, that borders as near as possible, upon the truth, will, doubtless, produce a web of such various and beautiful texture, as when finished, to display that perfection which will attain the chief end and scope of such writings, which, as I have already observed, is to convey instruction mingled with delight.” – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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