Philosophy, July 14th

“It is in our dealings with one another that we act justly and bravely and display the other virtues, observing what is due to each person in all contracts and mutual services and actions of every kind, and in our feelings too; and all these are obviously human experiences. Some of them are even thought to have a physical origin, and moral goodness is considered to be intimately connected in various ways with the feelings. Prudence, too, is closely linked with moral goodness, and moral goodness with prudence, since the first principles of prudence are given by the moral virtues, and the right standard for the virtues is set by prudence. These moral virtues, being bound up with the feelings too, will also belong to the composite person.” – Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

“Capital, therefore, is not only the command over labor, as Adam Smith thought. It is essentially the command over unpaid labor. All surplus-value, whatever form (profit, interest, and rent) it may subsequently crystallize into, is in substance the materialization of unpaid labor-time. The secret of the self-valorization of capital resolves itself into the fact that it has at its disposal a definite quantity of the unpaid labor of other people [fremder Arbeit].” – Karl Marx, Capital

“A country that has no strength and that practices knowledge and cleverness, will certainly perish, but a fearful people, stimulated by penalties, will become brave, and a brave people, encouraged by rewards, will fight to the death. If fearful people become brave and brave people fight to the death (the country will have no match); having no match it will be strong and being strong it will attain supremacy.” – Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang

“So, if the intellect is divine compared with man, the life of the intellect must be divine compared with the life of a human being. And we ought not to listen to those who warn us that ‘man should think the thoughts of man’, or ‘mortal thoughts fit mortal minds’; but we ought, so far as in us lies, to put on immortality, and do all that we can to live in conformity with the highest that is in us; for even if it is small in bulk, in power and preciousness it far excels all the rest.” – Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

“Accept the fact that the achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness – not pain or mindless self-indulgence – is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values. Happiness was the responsibility you dreaded, it required the kind of rational discipline you did not value yourself enough to assume – and the anxious staleness of your days is the monument to your evasion of the knowledge that there is no moral substitute for happiness, that there is no more despicable coward than the man who deserted the battle for his joy, fearing to assert his right to existence, lacking the courage and the loyalty to life of a bird or a flower reaching for the sun. Discard the protective rags of that vice which you called a virtue: humility – learn to value yourself, which means: to fight for your happiness – and when you learn that pride is the sum of all virtues, you will learn to live like a man.” – Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

“Self-earned private property, that is based, so to say, on the fusing together of the isolated, independent laboring individual with the conditions of his labor, is supplanted by capitalistic private property, which rests on exploitation of the nominally free labor of others, i.e., on wage labor.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“In his great work, now out of print, “Trial by Jury,” Mr. Spooner shows how the practice regarding jury trial has been turned by usurpation from the original theory, until it has lost altogether the three features that made it most potent as a safeguard of individual liberty. These three features were: 1, that the jury must be chosen by lot from a wheel containing the names of the whole body of citizens of the vicinity; instead of from a selected panel; 2, that it must be judge, not only of the facts, but of the law and the justice of the law; 3, that it must decide, not only the guilt or innocence of the accused, but, in case of guilt, the nature and severity of the penalty.” – Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book

“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

“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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