Philosophy, July 17th

“You yourself, my lord, know the rank and fortune of my father, whose sole heir I am: if you think that a motive sufficient for venturing to make me perfectly happy, receive me immediately as your son; and though my father, prompted, perhaps, by other views, should be disobliged at the blessing which I have chosen for myself, it is in the power of time to work greater changes and alterations than human prudence can foresee.” – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

“Hence in every craft it seizes, manufacture creates a class of so-called unskilled laborer’s, a class strictly excluded by the nature of handicraft industry. If it develops a one-sided specialty to perfection, at the expense of the whole of a man’s working capacity, it also begins to make a specialty of the absence of all development. Alongside the gradations of the hierarchy, there appears the simple separation of the workers into skilled and unskilled. For the latter, the cost of apprenticeship vanishes; for the former, it diminishes, compared with that required of the craftsman, owing to the simplification of the functions. In both cases the value of labor-power falls. An exception to this law occurs whenever the decomposition of the labor process gives rise to new and comprehensive functions, which either did not appear at all in handicrafts or not to the same extent. The relative devaluation of labor-power caused by the disappearance or reduction of the expenses of apprenticeship directly implies a higher degree of valorization of capital; for everything that shorten s the necessary labor-time required for the reproduction of labor-power, extends the domain of surplus labor.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“Great difficulty would be caused by preventing boys under 18 from working at night. The chief would be the increase of cost from employing men instead of boys. I cannot say what this would be, but probably it would not be enough to enable the manufacturers to raise the price of steel, and consequently it would fall on them, as of course the men’ (how wrong-headed these people are!) ‘would refuse to pay it.'” – Karl Marx, Capital

“His statement is true, that we have to refer to the Law of God everything which the human mind is unable to grasp. For the knowledge which results from revelation comes only as a perfection of the sciences of the intellect; that is, any knowledge which the weakness of the human mind is unable to grasp is bestowed upon man by God through revelation. This inability to comprehend things the knowledge of which is, however, necessary in the life and existence of man, is either absolute – i.e. it is not in the nature of the intellect, in so far as it is intellect, to comprehend such a thing – or it is not in the nature of a certain class of men, and this kind of weakness is either a fundamental character of his disposition or something accidental through a lack of education. Revelation is a mercy bestowed on all these classes of men.” – Averroes, The Incoherence of the Incoherence

“Yes, I said, he lives from day to day indulging the appetite of the hour; and sometimes he is lapped in drink and strains of the flute; then he becomes a water-drinker, and tries to get thin; then he takes a turn at gymnastics; sometimes idling and neglecting everything, then once more living the life of a philosopher; often he is busy with politics, and starts to his feet and says and does whatever comes into his head; and, if he is emulous of any one who is a warrior, off he is in that direction, or of men of business, once more in that. His life has neither law nor order; and this distracted existence he terms joy and bliss and freedom; and so, he goes on.” – Plato, The Republic

“The transformation of scattered private property, arising from individual labor, into capitalist private property is, naturally, a process, incomparably more protracted, violent, and difficult, than the transformation of capitalistic private property, already practically resting on socialized production, into socialized property. In the former case, we had the expropriation of the mass of the people by a few usurpers; in the latter, we have the expropriation of a few usurpers by the mass of the people.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“In other words, when individuals or majorities, seeing that they are stronger for the time being than other individuals or minorities, suppose that they are therefore stronger than natural social laws and act in violation of them, disaster is sure to follow. These laws are the really mighty, and they will always prevail. The first of them is the law of equal liberty. It is by the observance of this law, I am persuaded, rather than by “an equal share in the transferable opportunities,” that the ultimate “intelligence of the people” will remove “every reasonable cause of complaint.”” – Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book

“Money is necessarily a thing which belongs to society. This is one of the great truths of civilization which has been generally overlooked. For this whole question of the rightfulness of interest turns on the question, “What is money?” So long as the people shall continue to consider money as a thing of itself objectively – why, there is no hope for humanity.” – Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book

“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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