Philosophy, July 9th

“The man who exceeds in fearing is a coward. He fears the wrong things and in the wrong way, and all the other similar qualifications attach to him. He also shows a deficiency in confidence; but he is more easily identified by his excessive reaction in cases of pain. Thus, the coward is a despondent sort of person, because he is afraid of everything; whereas the courageous man is in the opposite case, because confidence is the mark of optimism.” – Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

“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

“Last of all, a portion of the youth – those of the bourgeois students who feel hatred enough for the falsehood, hypocrisy, injustice, and cowardice of the bourgeoisie to find courage to turn their backs upon it, and passion enough to unreservedly embrace the just and human cause of the proletariat – those will be, as I have already said, fraternal instructors of the people; thanks to them, there will be no occasion for the government of the savants.” – Michael Bakunin, God and the State

“So much for antiquity. As for the universality of an error, it proves but one thing – the similarity, if not the perfect identity, of human nature in all ages and under all skies. And, since it is established that all peoples, at all periods of their life, have believed and still believe in God, we must simply conclude that the divine idea, an outcome of ourselves, is an error historically necessary in the development of humanity, and ask why and how it was produced in history and why an immense majority of the human race still accept it as a truth.” – Michael Bakunin, God and the State

“A part of the bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances, in order to secure the continued existence of bourgeois society.” – Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

“It is difficult for me to see any fraud in promising to pay a certain thing in a certain time, or on demand, and keeping the promise. That is what we do when we issue redeemable money and afterwards redeem it. The fraud in regard to money consists not in this, but in limiting by law the security for these promises to pay to a special kind of property, limited in quantity and easily monopolized.” – Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book

“Intelligence without liberty is a mere potentiality, a nest-full of unhatched eggs.” – Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book

“Had I been counted a fool by knights, or people of fashion, birth and generosity, I should have deemed myself irreparably affronted; but my being regarded as a madman, by bookworms who never entered or trod the paths of chivalry, I value not a farthing: a knight I am, and a knight I shall die, according to the pleasure of the Almighty. Some choose the spacious field of proud ambition; others take that base and servile adulation; a third set follow the paths of deceitful hypocrisy; and a fourth proceed in that of true religion; but I, by the influence of my stars, pursue the narrow track of knight-errantry, for the exercise of which, I undervalue fortune in the chance of honor. I have assisted the aggrieved, redressed wrongs, chastised the insolent, overcome giants, and overthrown hobgoblins. I am enamored, for no other reason but because it is necessary that knights-errant should be in love; and this being the case, I am not a vicious libertine, but a chaste platonic admirer. My intention I always direct to a worthy aim, namely, to do good unto all men, and harm to no creature. Whether or not he who thinks, acts, and speaks in this manner, deserves to be called a fool, let your graces determine.” – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Published by jim

Curator of things...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: