Philosophy, July 30th

“We have now said enough to show that moral virtue is a mean, and in what sense it is so: that it is a mean between two vices, one of excess and the other of deficiency, and that it is such because it aims at hitting the mean point in feelings and actions. For this reason, it is a difficult business to be good; because in any given case it is difficult to find the mid-point – for instance, not everyone can find the center of a circle; only the man who knows how. So too it is easy to get angry – anyone can do that – or to give and spend money; but to feel or act towards the right person to the right extent at the right time for the right reason in the right way – that is not easy, and it is not everyone that can do it. Hence to do these things well is a rare, laudable and fine achievement.” – Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

“Under the conditions of accumulation, we have assumed so far, conditions which are the most favorable to the workers, their relation of dependence on capital takes on forms which are endurable or, as Eden says, ‘easy and liberal’. Instead of becoming more intensive with the growth of capital, this relation of dependence only becomes more extensive, i.e. the sphere of capital’s exploitation and domination merely extends with its own dimensions and the number of subjected to it. A larger part of the worker’s own surplus product, which is always increasing and is continually being transformed into additional capital, comes back to them in the shape of means of payment, so that they can extend the circle of their enjoyments, make additions to their consumption fund of clothes, furniture, etc., and lay by a small reserve fund of money. But these things no more abolish the exploitation of the wage-laborer, and his situation of dependence, than do better clothing, food and treatment, and a larger peculium, in the case of the slave. A rise in the price of labor, because of the accumulation of capital, only means in fact that the length and weight of the golden chain the wage-laborer has already forged for himself allow it to be loosened somewhat.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“To enter another’s state and join with the people in rebellion is not the mark of righteousness. To know the people are not loyal and incite them to rebellion is not the mark of love.” – Mozi, The Book of Master Mo

“Nature herself in times of great poverty or bad climatic conditions, as well as poor harvest, intervenes to restrict the increase of population of certain countries or races; this, to be sure, by a method as wise as it is ruthless. She diminishes, not the power of procreation as such, but the conservation of the procreated, by exposing them to hard trials and deprivations with the result that all those who are less strong and less healthy are forced back into the womb of the eternal unknown. Those whom she permits to survive the inclemency of existence are a thousand-fold tested, hardened, and well adapted to procreate in turn, in order that the process of thoroughgoing selection may begin again from the beginning. By thus brutally proceeding against the individual and immediately calling him back to herself as soon as he shows himself unequal to the storm of life, she keeps the race and species strong, in fact, raises them to the highest accomplishments.” – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

“But you must understand that the philosophers permit the existence of a temporal which comes out of a temporal being ad infinitum in an accidental way, when this is repeated in a limited and finite matter – when, for instance, the corruption of one of two things becomes the necessary condition for the existence of the other. For instance, according to the philosophers it is necessary that man should be produced from man on condition that the anterior man perishes so as to become the matter for the production of third. For instance, we must imagine two men of whom the first produces the second from the matter of a man who perishes; when the second becomes a man himself, the first perishes, then the second man produces a third man out of the matter of the first, and then the second perishes and the third produces out of his matter a fourth, and so we can imagine in two matters an activity continuing ad infinitum, without any impossibility arising. And this happens as long as the agent lasts, for if this agent has neither beginning nor end for his existence, the activity has neither beginning nor end for its existence, as it has been explained before. And in the same way you may imagine this happening in them in the past: When a man exists, there must before him have been a man who produced him and a man who perished, and before this second man a man who produced him and a man who perished, for everything that is produced in this way is, when it depends on an eternal agent, of a circular nature in which no actual totality can be reached. If, on the other hand, a man were produced from another man out of infinite matters, or there were an infinite addition of them, there would be an impossibility, for then there could arise an infinite matter and there could be an infinite whole. For if a finite whole existed to which things were added ad infinitum without any corruption taking place in it, an infinite whole could come into existence, as Aristotle proved in his Physics. For this reason the ancients introduce an eternal absolutely unchanging being, having in mind not temporal beings, proceeding from him in so far as they are temporal, but beings proceeding from him as being eternal generically, and they hold that this infinite series is the necessary consequence of an eternal agent, for the temporal needs for its own existence only a temporal cause. Now there are two reasons why the ancients introduce the existence of an eternal numerically unique being which does not suffer any change. The first is that they discovered that this revolving being is eternal, for they discovered that the present individual is produced through the corruption of its predecessor and that the corruption of this previous individual implies the production of the one that follows it, and that it is necessary that this everlasting change should proceed from an eternal mover and an eternal moved body, which does not change in its substance, but which changes only in place so far as concerns its parts, and approaches certain of the transitory things and recedes from certain of them, and this is the cause of the corruption of one half of them and the production of the other half. And this heavenly body is the being that changes in place only, not in any of the other kinds of change, and is through its temporal activities the cause of all things temporal; and because of the continuity of its activities which have neither beginning nor end, it proceeds from a cause which has neither beginning nor end. The second reason why they introduce an eternal being absolutely without body and matter is that they found that all the kinds of movement depend on spatial movement, and that spatial movement depends on a being moved essentially by a prime mover, absolutely unmoved, both essentially and accidentally, for otherwise there would exist at the same time an infinite number of moved movers, and this is impossible. And it is necessary that this first mover should be eternal, or else it would not be the first. Every movement, therefore, depends on this mover and its setting in motion essentially, not accidentally. And this mover exists simultaneously with each thing moved, at the time of its motion, for a mover existing before the thing moved – such as a man producing a man – sets only in motion accidentally, not essentially; but the mover who is the condition of man’s existence from the beginning of his production till its end, or rather from the beginning of his existence till its end, is the prime mover. And likewise, his existence is the condition for the existence of all beings and the preservation of heaven and earth and all that is between them. All this is not proved here apodictically, but only in the way we follow here, and which is in any case more plausible for an impartial reader than the arguments of our opponents.” – Averroes, The Incoherence of the Incoherence

“Thus, the original transformation of money into capital takes place in the most exact accordance with the economic laws of commodity production and with the rights of property derived from them.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“It is the characteristic of privilege and of every privileged position to kill the mind and heart of men. The privileged man, whether politically or economically, is a man depraved in mind and heart. That is a social law which admits of no exception and is as applicable to entire nations as to classes, corporations, and individuals. It is the law of equality, the supreme condition of liberty and humanity. The principal object of this treatise is precisely to demonstrate this truth in all the manifestations of human life.” – Michael Bakunin, God and the State

“Science, in becoming the patrimony of everybody, will wed itself in a certain sense to the immediate and real life of each. It will gain in utility and grace what it loses in pride, ambition, and doctrinaire pedantry. This, however, will not prevent men of genius, better organized for scientific speculation than the majority of their fellows, from devoting themselves exclusively to the cultivation of the sciences, and rendering great services to humanity. Only, they will be ambitious for no other social influence than the natural influence exercised upon its surroundings by every superior intelligence, and for no other reward than the high delight which a noble mind always finds in the satisfaction of a noble passion.” – Michael Bakunin, God and the State

“Sir, I am a quiet, meek, peaceable man, and can digest any injury, be it never so hard; for, I have a wife and small children to maintain and bring up: wherefore, let me also apprize, (though’ I cannot lay my commands upon your worship) that I will in no shape whatever, use my sword against either knight or knave; and that henceforward, in the fight of God, I forgive all injuries, past, present, or to come, which I have already received, at this present time suffer, or may hereafter undergo, from any person whatsoever, high or low, rich or poor, gentle or simple, without exception to rank or circumstance.” – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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