Philosophy, July 8th

“It is agreed, then, that, in Anarchism’s view, an individual has a right to stand aside and see a man murdered.” – Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book

“The surplus-value is his property; it has never belonged to anyone else. If he advances it for the purposes of production, the advances made come from his own funds, exactly as on the day when he first entered the market. The fact that on this occasion the funds are derived from the unpaid labor of his workers makes absolutely no difference. If worker B is paid out of the surplus-value which worker A produced, then, in the first place, A furnished that surplus-value without having the fair price of his commodity cut by even a farthing, and, in the second place, the transaction is no concern of B’s whatever. What B claims, and has a right to claim, is that the capitalist should pay him the value of his labor-power.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“Now, history is made, not by abstract individuals, but by acting, living, and passing individuals. Abstractions advance only when borne forward by real men. For these beings made, not in idea only, but in reality, of flesh and blood, science, has no heart: it considers them at most as material for intellectual and social development. What does it care for the particular conditions and chance fate of Peter or James? It would make itself ridiculous, it would abdicate, it would annihilate itself, if it wished to concern itself with them otherwise than as examples in support of its eternal theories. And it would be ridiculous to wish it to do so, for its mission lies not there. It cannot grasp the concrete; it can move only in abstractions. Its mission is to busy itself with the situation and the general conditions of the existence and development, either of the human species in general, or of such a race, such a people, such a class or category of individuals; the general causes of their prosperity, their decline, and the best general methods of securing their progress in all ways. Provided it accomplishes this task broadly and rationally, it will do its whole duty, and it would be really unjust to expect more of it.” – Michael Bakunin, God and the State

“For the perfection of an animal, in so far as it is an animal, is movement; in this sublunary world rest occurs to the transitory animal only by accident, that is through the necessity of matter, for lassitude and fatigue touch the animal only because it is in matter. The whole life and perfection of those animals which are not affected by tiredness and languor must of necessity lie in their movement; and their assimilation to their Creator consists in this, that by their movement they impart life to what exists in this sublunary world.” – Averroes, The Incoherence of the Incoherence

“The struggle between the capitalist and the wage-laborer starts with the existence of the capital-relation itself.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“This primitive accumulation plays in Political Economy about the same part as original sin in theology. Adam bit the apple, and thereupon sin fell on humans. Its origin is supposed to be explained when it is told as an anecdote of the past. In times long gone by there were two sorts of people; one, the diligent, intelligent, and, above all, frugal elite; the other, lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living. The legend of theological original sin tells us certainly how man came to be condemned to eat his bread in the sweat of his brow; but the history of economic original sin reveals to us that there are people to whom this is by no means essential. Never mind! Thus, it came to pass that the former sort accumulated wealth, and the latter sort had at last nothing to sell except their own skins. And from this original sin dates the poverty of the great majority that, despite all its labor, has up to now nothing to sell but itself, and the wealth of the few that increases constantly although they have long ceased to work. Such insipid childishness is every day preached to us in the defense of property. M. Thiers, e.g., had the assurance to repeat it with all the solemnity of a statesman to the French people, once so spirituel. But as soon as the question of property crops up, it becomes a sacred duty to proclaim the intellectual food of the infant as the one thing fit for all ages and for all stages of development. In actual history it is notorious that conquest, enslavement, robbery, murder, briefly force, play the great part. In the tender annals of Political Economy, the idyllic reigns from time immemorial. Right and “labor” were from all time the sole means of enrichment, the present year of course always excepted. As a matter of fact, the methods of primitive accumulation are anything but idyllic.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“But while admitting and affirming all this, Anarchism also maintains (and this is its special mission) that an increasing familiarity with sociology will convince both society and the individual that practical individual sovereignty – that is, the greatest amount of liberty compatible with equality of liberty – is the law of social life, the only condition upon which human beings can live in harmony. When this truth is ascertained and acted upon, then we shall have individual sovereignty in reality – not as a sacred natural right vindicated, but as a social expedient agreed upon, or we will even say as a privilege conferred, if the Open Court writer prefers the word as tending to tickle the vanity of his god, Society.” – Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book

“Who are right, the idealists or the materialists? The question once stated in this way hesitation becomes impossible. Undoubtedly the idealists are wrong and the materialists right. Yes, facts are before ideas; yes, the ideal, as Proudhon said, is but a flower, whose root lies in the material conditions of existence. Yes, the whole history of humanity, intellectual and moral, political, and social, is but a reflection of its economic history.” – Michael Bakunin, God and the State

“There were divers other minute circumstances to be observed, but, all of them of small importance and concern to the truth of history, though’ indeed nothing that is true can be impertinent: however, if any objection can be started to the truth of this, it can be no other, but that the author was an Arabian, of a nation but too much addicted to falsehood, though’ as they are at present our enemies, it may be supposed, that he has rather failed than exceeded in the representation of our hero’s exploits: for, in my opinion, when he had frequently opportunities, and calls to exercise his pen in the praise of such an illustrious knight, he seems to be industriously silent on the subject; a circumstance very little to his commendation, for, all historians ought to be punctual, candid and dispassionate, that neither interest, rancor, fear, or affection may mislead them from the road of truth, whose mother is history, that rival of time, that depository of great actions, witness of the past, example and pattern of the present, and oracle of future ages.” – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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