Philosophy, July 23rd

“Owing to the extensive use of machinery and to division of labor, the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and consequently, all charm for the workman. He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the simplest, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him. Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for his maintenance, and for the propagation of his race. But the price of a commodity, and therefore also of labor, is equal to its cost of production. In proportion therefore, as the repulsiveness of the work increases, the wage decreases. Nay more, in proportion as the use of machinery and division of labor increases, in the same proportion the burden of toil also increases, whether by prolongation of the working hours, by increase of the work exacted in a given time or by increased speed of the machinery, etc.” – Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

“Jacob Vanderlint declared as early as 1734 that the secret of the capitalists’ complaints about the laziness of the working people was simply this, that they claimed six days’ labor instead of four for the same wages.” – 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

“For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors – between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.” – Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

“As for Ghazali’s objection, that a man knows of his soul that it is in his body although he cannot specify in which part – this indeed is true, for the ancients had different opinions about its seat, but our knowledge that the soul is in the body does not mean that we know that it receives its existence through being in the body; this is not self-evident, and is a question about which the philosophers ancient as well as modern differ, for if the body serves as an instrument for the soul, the soul does not receive its existence through the body; but if the body is like a substratum for its accident, then the soul can only exist through the body.” – Averroes, The Incoherence of the Incoherence

“Eden, like our Scottish republican on principle, is only wrong on this point: not the abolition of villeinage, but the abolition of the property of the agricultural laborer in the soil made him a proletarian, and eventually a pauper.” – Karl Marx, Capital

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

“This law is a logical, inevitable consequence of the animal origin of human society; for in face of all the scientific, physiological, psychological, and historical proofs accumulated at the present day, as well as in face of the exploits of the Germans conquering France, which now furnish so striking a demonstration thereof, it is no longer possible to really doubt this origin. But from the moment that this animal origin of man is accepted, all is explained. History then appears to us as the revolutionary negation, now slow, apathetic, sluggish, now passionate, and powerful, of the past. It consists precisely in the progressive negation of the primitive animality of man by the development of his humanity. Man, a wild beast, cousin of the gorilla, has emerged from the profound darkness of animal instinct into the light of the mind, which explains in a wholly natural way all his past mistakes and partially consoles us for his present errors. He has gone out from animal slavery, and passing through divine slavery, a temporary condition between his animality and humanity, he is now marching on to the conquest and realization of human liberty. Whence it results that the antiquity of a belief, of an idea, for from proving anything in its favor, ought, on the contrary, to lead us to suspect it. For behind us is our animality and before us our humanity; human light, the only thing that can warm and enlighten us, the only thing that can emancipate us, give us dignity, freedom, and happiness, and realize fraternity among us, is never at the beginning, but, relatively to the epoch in which we live, always at the end of history. Let us, then, never look back, let us look ever forward; for forward is our sunlight, forward our salvation. If it is justifiable, and even useful and necessary, to turn back to study our past, it is only in order to establish what we have been and what we must no longer be, what we have believed and thought and what we must no longer believe or think, what we have done and what we must do nevermore.” – 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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