Philosophy, July 12th

“Probably no agitation has ever attained the magnitude, either in the number of its recruits or the area of its influence, which has been attained by Modern Socialism, and at the same time been so little understood and so misunderstood, not only by the hostile and the indifferent, but by the friendly, and even by the great mass of its adherents themselves. This unfortunate and highly dangerous state of things is due partly to the fact that the human relationships which this movement – if anything so chaotic can be called a movement – aims to transform, involve no special class or classes, but literally all mankind; partly to the fact that these relationships are infinitely more varied and complex in their nature than those with which any special reform has ever been called upon to deal; and partly to the fact that the great molding forces of society, the channels of information and enlightenment, are well-nigh exclusively under the control of those whose immediate pecuniary interests are antagonistic to the bottom claim of Socialism that labor should be put in possession of its own.” – Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book

“Now comes Edgeworth and says that he meant by capital only the result of preparatory labor, which is as much entitled to reward as any other. Very good, say I; no one denies that. But this is not what is ordinarily meant by the “productivity of capital”; and Edgeworth, by his own rule, is bound to use words in their usual sense. The usual sense of this phrase, and the sense in which the economists use it, is that capital has such an independent share in all production that the owner of it may rightfully farm out the privilege of using it, receive a steady income from it, have it restored to him intact at the expiration of the lease, farm it out again to somebody else, and go on in this way, he and his heirs forever, living in a permanent state of idleness and luxury simply from having performed a certain amount of “preparatory labor.” That is what Proudhon denounced as “the fiction of the productivity of capital”; and Edgeworth, in interpreting the phrase otherwise, gives it a very unusual sense, in violation of his own rule.” – Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book

“Communal property – always distinct from the State property just dealt with – was an old Teutonic institution which lived on under cover of feudalism. We have seen how the forcible usurpation of this, generally accompanied by the turning of arable into pastureland, begins at the end of the 15th and extends into the 16th century. But, at that time, the process was carried on by means of individual acts of violence against which legislation, for a hundred and fifty years, fought in vain. The advance made by the 18th century shows itself in this, that now the law itself becomes the instrument of the theft of the people’s land, although the large farmers make use of their little independent methods as well.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“Of course, the pretensions of capital in its embryonic state, in its state of becoming, when it cannot yet use the sheer force of economic relations to secure its right to absorb a sufficient quantity of surplus labor, but must be aided by the power of the state – its pretensions in this situation appear very modest in comparison with the concessions it has to make, complainingly and unwillingly, in its adult condition. Centuries are required before the ‘free’ worker, owing to the greater development of the capitalist mode of production, makes a voluntary agreement, i.e. is compelled by social conditions to sell the whole of his active life, his very capacity for labor, in return for the price of his customary means of subsistence, to sell his birthright for a mess of pottage. Hence it is natural that the longer working day which capital tried to impose on adult workers by acts of state power from the middle of the fourteenth to the end of the seventeenth century is approximately of the same length as the shorter working day which, in the second half of the nineteenth century, the state has here and there interposed as a barrier to the transformation of children’s blood into capital.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“If we go on to consider money, its existence implies that a definite stage in the development of commodity exchange has been reached. The various forms of money (money as the mere equivalent of commodities, money as means of circulation, money as means of payment, money as hoard, or money as world currency) indicate very different levels of the process of social production, according to the extent and relative preponderance of one function or the other. Yet we know by experience that a relatively feeble development of commodity circulation suffices for the creation of all these forms. It is otherwise with capital. The historical conditions of its existence are by no means given with the mere circulation of money and commodities. It arises only when the owner of the means of production and subsistence finds the free worker available, on the market, as the seller of his own labor-power. And this one historical pre-condition comprises a world’s history. Capital, therefore, announces from the outset a new epoch in the process of social production.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“All objections urged against the Communistic mode of producing and appropriating material products, have, in the same way, been urged against the Communistic modes of producing and appropriating intellectual products. Just as, to the bourgeois, the disappearance of class property is the disappearance of production itself, so the disappearance of class culture is to him identical with the disappearance of all culture.” – Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

“Meanwhile, our passion growing up with our age, Lucinda’s father thought himself obliged to forbid me his house; imitating, in that particular, the parents of Thisbe, whom the poets have celebrated so much. This prohibition, added flame to flame, and wish to wish; for, though our tongues were restrained, they could not silence our pens, which commonly express the sentiments of the heart with more liberty, because the presence of the beloved object often confounds the most determined intention, and puts to silence the most undaunted tongue.” – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

“What I preach then is, to a certain extent, the revolt of life against science, or rather against the government of science, not to destroy science – that would be high treason to humanity – but to remand it to its place so that it can never leave it again. Until now all human history has been only a perpetual and bloody immolation of millions of poor human beings in honor of some pitiless abstraction – God, country, power of State, national honor, historical rights, judicial rights, political liberty, public welfare. Such has been up today the natural, spontaneous, and inevitable movement of human societies. We cannot undo it; we must submit to it so far as the past is concerned, as we submit to all-natural fatalities. We must believe that that was the only possible way to educate the human race. For we must not deceive ourselves: even in attributing the larger part to the Machiavellian wiles of the governing classes, we have to recognize that no minority would have been powerful enough to impose all these horrible sacrifices upon the masses if there had not been in the masses themselves a dizzy spontaneous movement which pushed them on to continual self-sacrifice, now to one, now to another of these devouring abstractions, the vampires of history, ever nourished upon human blood.” – Michael Bakunin, God and the State

“In the world, there is nobody who does not wish to foster what he loves and discard what he hates. Now when you hear there is a district with a brave knight in it, you must follow him and kill him. This is not loving bravery; this is hating bravery.” – Mo Di, The Book of Master Mo

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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