Dec 3, 2007

The Quote Shelf

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Medieval text with Latin script A frequent feature on this site; feel free to comment on the quote or to supply a competing quote.

Hence Capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the labourer, unless under compulsion from society. -- Karl Marx, Das Capital, Chapter 10

3 comments:

historymike said...

BTW - those of you who are interested in what really motivated Karl Marx are advised to read Chapter 10 of Das Kapital.

Now, diehard Marxists would insist that Marx cannot be comprehended without a cover-to-cover reading of this weighty tome, but the tenth chapter contains a great deal of narrative that reads more like riveting journalism.

The first nine chapters are heavy on Marxist theory, and there are elements of this in Chapter 10 ("The Working Day"), but I think this is an excellent chapter for readers new to Marx to start with.

Also - reading and understanding Marx need not be equated with being some sort of cartoonesque, Red flag-waving communist. While I remain unconvinced that Marx and Engels solved fundamental problems like greed and authoritarianism, their works offer challenging analysis and valid criticisms of capitalism.

Besides, understanding Marx is critical to understanding post-1850 world history.

microdot said...

George Sand was a Marxist.
I read your quote and thought of the news I read of the Toledo family dying in a fire last week because Toledo Edison cut their power in their new home before they could get the red tape taken care of for a new account.

OFAC said...

"... and thought of the news I read of the Toledo family dying in a fire last week because Toledo Edison cut their power in their new home before they could get the red tape taken care of for a new account."

This is great example of capitalism in action.

Also, it's possible to have critiques of, or even be outright opposed to capitalism without defining yourself as a Marxist. Marxism is also a much broader political philosophy than what's characterized by it's most notorious Marxist-Leninist incarnations.

It's not a bad thing to question our economic system, especially at this time of year, when millions of Americans are merrily spending money on goods produced by slaves.