Philosophy, July 21st

“It is no disgrace for a king to appease a man when the king himself was first to give offense.” – Homer, The Iliad

“As soon as this process of transformation has sufficiently decomposed the old society from top to bottom, as soon as the laborer’s are turned into proletarians, their means of labor into capital, as soon as the capitalist mode of production stands on its own feet, then the further socialization of labor and further transformation of the land and other means of production into socially exploited and, therefore, common means of production, as well as the further expropriation of private proprietors, takes a new form.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“Thus, in the highest antiquity, people loved their relatives and were fond of what was their own; in middle antiquity, they honored talent and talked of moral virtue and, in later days, they prized honor and respected office.” – Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang

“And now what is their manner of life, and what sort of a government have they? For as the government is, such will be the man.” – Plato, The Republic

“When machinery penetrates any of the preliminary or intermediate stages through which an object of labor must pass on its way to its final form, there is an increased yield of material in those stages, and simultaneously an increased demand for labor in the handicrafts or manufactures supplied by the machines. Spinning by machinery, for example, supplied yarn so cheaply and so abundantly that the hand-loom weavers were at first able to work full-time without increased outlay. Their earnings accordingly rose. This produced a flow of people into the cotton-weaving trade, until at length the 800,000 weavers called into existence by the jenny, the trestle and the mule were overwhelmed by the power-loom. So also, owing to the abundance of clothing materials produced by machinery, the number of tailors, seamstresses and needlewomen went on increasing until the appearance of the sewing-machine.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“When a person consumes the whole of his property, by taking upon himself debts equal to the value of that property, his property represents nothing but the total of his debts. And so, it is with the capitalist; when he has consumed the equivalent of his original capital, the value of his present capital represents nothing, but the total amount of surplus-value appropriated by him without payment. Not a single atom of the value of his old capital continues to exist.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“The liberty of man consists solely in this: that he obeys natural laws because he has himself recognized them as such, and not because they have been externally imposed upon him by any extrinsic will whatever, divine or human, collective or individual.” – Michael Bakunin, God and the State

“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

“The traveler laughed heartily at this account of such an extraordinary trial, saying that notwithstanding what he had advanced to the disadvantage of such books, there was one thing in them which he could not but approve; namely, the subject they presented for a good genius to display itself, opening a large and ample field in which the pen might, at leisure, expatiate, in the description of shipwrecks, tempests, battles and encounters; painting a valiant general with all his necessary accomplishments, sage and penetrating into the enemy’s designs; eloquent and effectual, either in persuading or dissuading his soldiers, ripe in council, prompt in execution, and equally brave in standing or in giving an assault. One while, recounting a piteous, tragical story; at another time, describing a joyful and unexpected event; here, a most beautiful lady imbued with virtue, discretion and reserve; there, a Christian knight possessed of courtesy and valor; in a third place, an outrageous boasting barbarian; and in a fourth, a polite considerate gallant prince; not forgetting to describe the faith and loyalty of vassals, together with the grandeur and generosity of great men. The author may also shew himself an astrologer, geographer, musician, and well skilled in state-affairs; nay, if he be so minded, he will sometimes have an opportunity of manifesting his skill in necromancy and magic: he may represent the cunning of Ulysses, the piety of Aeneas, the valor of Achilles, the misfortunes of Hector, the perfidy of Sinon, the friendship of Euryalus, the liberality of Alexander, the ability of Caesar, the clemency and candor of Trajan, the fidelity of Zopyrus, the wisdom of Cato, and finally, all those qualifications which constitute the perfection of an illustrious hero; sometimes, uniting them in one, sometimes dividing them into several characters; and the whole being expressed in an agreeable stile and ingenious invention, that borders as near as possible, upon the truth, will, doubtless, produce a web of such various and beautiful texture, as when finished, to display that perfection which will attain the chief end and scope of such writings, which, as I have already observed, is to convey instruction mingled with delight.” – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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