Philosophy, July 4th

“Thus, a noble man’s exertions daily grow stronger, his aspirations daily grow higher and his accomplishments daily grow more flourishing. The Way of the noble man is this: when poor to display honesty and when rich to display right action, to show love towards the living and to show pity towards the dead. These are four matters in which there is no place for him to be false; they are matters on which he must examine himself. What is stored in his heart is inexhaustible love. What is manifest in his behavior is inexhaustible reverence. What comes forth from his mouth are words of inexhaustible refinement. If virtue extends to his four limbs, inheres in the flesh of his body, and is not abandoned, even to the extreme of age, he is indeed a sage.” Mo Di, The Book of Master Mo

“The immediate result of machinery is to augment surplus-value and the mass of products in which surplus-value is embodied. It also increases the quantity of substances for the capitalists and their dependents to consume, and therefore the size of these social strata themselves. Their growing wealth, and the relatively diminished number of workers required to produce the means of subsistence, begets both new luxury requirements and the means of satisfying them. A larger portion of the social product is converted into surplus product, and a larger portion of the surplus product is reproduced and consumed in a multitude of refined shapes. In other words, the production of luxuries increases. The products are also made more refined and more varied by the new world market relations created by large-scale industry. Not only are greater quantities of foreign luxury articles exchanged for home products, but a greater mass of foreign raw materials, ingredients and half-finished articles are used as means of production in the home industries. Owing to these relations with the world market, the demand for labor increases in the transport industry, and splits the latter into numerous extra subdivisions.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“But when he has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.” – Plato, The Republic

“In this in brief he shows that when it is said ‘such-and-such was without such-and-such’ and then ‘such-and-such was with such-and-such’ a third entity is understood, namely time. The word ‘was’ shows this, because of the difference in the meaning of this concept in the past and in the future, for if we assume the existence of one thing with the non-existence of another in the past, we say ‘such a thing existed without such a thing’, but when we assume the non-existence of the one with the existence of the other in the future, we say ‘such a thing will exist without such a thing’, and the change in meaning implies that there is here a third entity. If in our expression ‘such-and-such existed without such-and-such’ the word ‘existed’ did not signify an entity, the word ‘existed’ would not differ from ‘will exist’. All this is self-evident, but it is only unquestionable in relation to the priority and posteriority of things which are by nature in time. Concerning the timeless the word ‘was’ and the like indicate in such a proposition nothing but the copula between predicate and subject, when we say, for example, ‘God was indulgent and compassionate’; and the same holds when either predicate or subject is timeless, e.g. when we say ‘God was without the world, then God was with the world’. Therefore, for such existents the time-relation to which he refers does not hold. This relation is, however, unquestionably real when we compare the non-existence of the world with its existence, for if the world is in time, the non-existence of the world has to be in time too. And since the non-existence and the existence of the world cannot be in one and the same time, the non-existence must precede; the non-existence must be prior and the world posterior to it, for priority and posteriority in the moving can only be understood in this relation to time.” – Averroes, The Incoherence of the Incoherence

“‘Proletarian’ must be understood to mean, economically speaking, nothing other than ‘wage-laborer’, the man who produces and valorizes ‘capital’, and is thrown onto the street as soon as he becomes superfluous to the need for valorization possessed by ‘Monsieur Capital’, as Pecqueur calls this person. ‘The sickly proletarian of the primitive forest’ is a pretty Roscherian fancy. The primitive forester is the owner of the primitive forest and uses it as his property, meeting as few obstacles to this as an orangutan. He is not, therefore, a proletarian. This would only be the case if the primitive forest exploited him, instead of being exploited by him. As far as his health is concerned, such a man would well bear comparison, not only with the modern proletarian, but also with the syphilitic and scrofulous ‘quality’. However, Herr Wilhelm Roscher no doubt means his native health of Luneburg when he talks about a ‘primitive forest’.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“If, however, the means of life shall ever become so utterly divorced from human toil that all men look on all wealth as air is now looked upon, I will then admit that, so far as material enjoyment is concerned, Communism will be practicable (I do not say advisable) without violation of liberty. Until then, I must insist that a State will be necessary to its realization and maintenance.” – Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book

“To proclaim as divine all that is grand, just, noble, and beautiful in humanity is to tacitly admit that humanity of itself would have been unable to produce it – that is, that, abandoned to itself, its own nature is miserable, iniquitous, base, and ugly.” – Michael Bakunin, God and the State

“But the knight-errant, let him explore the most hidden recesses of the universe, plunge into the perplexities of the labyrinths; let him, at all times, not be afraid of even impossibilities; in the barren, wasteful wilderness, let him defy the scorching rays of the solstitial sun, and the piercing chilling of the nipping frost. Lions must not frighten him, phantoms must not terrify him, nor dragons dismay him; for, in searching after such, engaging with, and getting the better of all difficulties, consists his true and proper occupation. It being my fortune then to be of this last order, I cannot, consistent with that, avoid engaging in whatever I deem to be part of the duty of my calling; and for these reasons, though’ I knew, that encountering the lions was in itself an act of the greatest temerity, yet it immediately belonged to my profession: I am very sensible that true fortitude is placed between the two extremes of cowardice and foolhardiness, but then, it is better valor should mount eve to an over daring hardiness, than be debased to pusillanimity; for, as the prodigal is more likely to become truly generous than the miser, so will the over courageous sooner be brought to true valor, than the coward to be courageous at all; and in undertaking adventures, I assure you, Don Diego, it is much better to overdo than underdo, and much better does it sound in the ear of him to whom it is related, that a knight is daring and presumptuous, than that he is pusillanimous and faint-hearted.” – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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