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One for your valentine card next year...:)

 

Let us assume man to be man, and his relation to the world to be a human one. Then love can only be exchanged for love, trust for trust, etc. If you wish to enjoy art you must be an artistically cultivated person; if you wish to influence other people you must be a person who really has a stimulating and encouraging effect upon others. Every one of your relations to man and to nature must be a specific expression, corresponding to the object of your will, of your real individual life. If you love without evoking love in return, i.e. if you are not able, by the manifestation of yourself as a loving person, to make yourself a beloved person, then your love is impotent and a misfortune.

 

Karl Marx

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In capitalism, owners together with about a fifth of the population who have highly empowered work decide what is produced, by what means, and with what distribution. Nearly four fifths of the population does largely rote labor, suffers inferior incomes, obeys orders, and endures boredom, all imposed from above. As John Lennon put it, “As soon as you’re born they make you feel small, by giving you no time instead of it all.”

 

Capitalism destroys solidarity, homogenizes variety, obliterates equity, and imposes harsh hierarchy. It is top heavy in power and opportunity. It is bottom heavy in pain and constraint. Indeed, Capitalism imposes on workers a degree of discipline beyond what any dictator ever dreamed of imposing politically. Who ever heard of citizens asking permission to go to the bathroom, a commonplace occurrence for workers in many corporations.

 

Capitalism’s ills are not due to antisocial people. Instead, capitalism’s institutions impose horrible behavior even on its most social citizens. In capitalism as a famous American baseball manager quipped “nice guys finish last.” More aggressively: “garbage rises.”

 

Michael Albert

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Any attempt to solve the ecological crisis within a bourgeois framework must be dismissed as chimerical. Capitalism is inherently anti-ecological. Competition and accumulation constitute its very law of life, a law… summarised in the phrase, ‘production for the sake of production.’ Anything, however hallowed or rare, ‘has its price’ and is fair game for the marketplace. In a society of this kind, nature is necessarily treated as a mere resource to be plundered and exploited. The destruction of the natural world, far being the result of mere hubristic blunders, follows inexorably from the very logic of capitalist production.

 

Murray Bookchin

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Racism, sociologists hold, is a scavenger ideology. It feeds on, absorbs, and utilises ideas from myriad contexts. It adapts, tacking on to notions of biological difference here, of sociocultural difference there, of citizenship elsewhere. It is about the accumulation of power and its extraction from a vulnerable social group that is deemed different. Essentialising and naturalising difference as eternal and unbridgeable, it dispossesses, excludes, exterminates or fixes its target social group in a relationship of subordination. It is a system of oppression underpinned by material interests and state power.
 

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Debt is the most effective way to take a relation of violent subordination and make the victims feel that it’s their fault. Colonial regimes did this all the time; they would charge people for the cost of their own conquest, via taxes. However, using debt in this way also has a notorious tendency to rebound, because the subtle thing about debt relations is that, on a certain level, they are premised on equality—we are both equal parties to a contract. This both makes the sting of inequality worse, because it implies you should be equal to your creditor but you somehow messed up, but also, makes it possible to start saying ‘wait a minute, who owes what to who here?’ But of course once you do that, you have accepted the idea that debt really is the essence of morality. You’ve accepted the masters’ language

 

David Graeber

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The most successful ideological effects are those which have no need for words, and ask no more than complicitous silence.

Bourdeiu

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The pupil is “schooled” to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is “schooled” to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work.

 

Lenin

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For Durkheim there is no difference in principle between the restraining influence of a policeman’s baton and an eyebrow cocked in disapproval. The fact that constraints upon behaviour vary a great deal in severity is seen as less important than the fact that they all share two crucial features: all are backed up by sanctions, and all have their source in collective life.

 

Frank Parkin

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The study of ideology is among other things an inquiry into the ways in which people may come to invest in their own unhappiness. It is because being oppressed sometimes brings with it some slim bonuses that we are occasionally prepared to put up with it. The most efficient oppressor is the one who persuades his underlings to love, desire and identify with his power; and any practice of political emancipation thus involves that most difficult of all forms of Iiberation, freeing ourselves from ourselves. The other side of the story, however, is equally important. For if such dominion fails to yield its victims sufficient gratification over an extended period of time, then it is certain that they will finally revolt against it. If it is rational to settle for an ambiguous mixture of misery and marginal pleasure when the political alternatives appear perilous and obscure, it is equally rational to rebel when the miseries clearly outweigh the gratifications, and when it seems likely that there is more to be gained than to be lost by such action.

 

Terry Eagleton

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The dominated apply categories constructed from the point of view of the dominant to the relations of domination, thus making them appear as natural. This can lead to a kind of systematic self-depreciation, even self-denigration, visible in particular, as has been seen in the representation that Kabyle women have of their genitals as something deficient, ugly, even repulsive (or, in modern societies, in the vision that many women have of their bodies as not conforming to the aesthetic canons imposed by fashion), and more generally in their adherence to a demeaning image of woman.

 

Bourdeiu

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Accumulation for accumulation’s sake, production for production’s sake: by this formula classical economy expressed the historical mission of the bourgeoisie.

 

Marx

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An oppressive system often seems stable because it limits people’s lives and imaginations so much that they can’t see beyond the limitations. This is especially true when a social system has existed for so long that its past extends beyond collective memory of anything different. As a result, it lays down terms of social life - including various forms of privilege - that can easily be mistaken for some kind of normal and inevitable human condition.

But this situation masks a fundamental long-term instability caused by the dynamics of oppression itself. Any system organized around one group’s efforts to control and exploit another is ultimately a losing proposition, because it contradicts the essentially uncontrollable nature of reality and does violence to basic human needs and values

 

Allan Johnson

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"Men think highly of those who rise rapidly in the world; whereas nothing rises quicker than dust, straw, and feathers." - George Byron

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The system is adept at turning our aggression on to one another. We condemn the rioters. The EDL condemns immigrants. My new rule for when I fancy doing a bit of the ol’ condemnation is: “Do the people I’m condemning have any actual power?” The immigrant capacity to cause social negativity is pretty slender. Especially if you live in luxury in Hollywood and the only immigrants you meet are Gabby, my Mexican second mother, and Polo who looks after the garden. It probably seems more serious if you’re in a council flat in Tower Hamlets. Still the fact remains that an immigrant is just someone who used to be somewhere else. Free movement of global capital will necessitate the free movement of an affordable labour force to meet the demands that the free-moving capital has created. The wrath is directed to the symptom, not the problem.

 

Russell Brand

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"it would be better for us to go down with Bolshevism than live in eternal slavery under capitalism." - Joseph Goebbels

 

I think this, coming from Goebbels personal diary, says quite a bit about capitalism.

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"Therefore, we repeat, state ownership and control is not necessarily Socialism – if it were, then the Army, the Navy, the Police, the Judges, the Gaolers, the Informers, and the Hangmen, all would all be Socialist functionaries, as they are State officials – but the ownership by the State of all the land and materials for labour, combined with the co-operative control by the workers of such land and materials, would be Socialism."

 

~ James Connolly

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 "Color is the first thing Black people in America become aware of. You are born into a world that has given color meaning and color becomes the single most determining factor in your existence. Color determines where you live, how you live and, under certain circumstances, if you will live. Color determines your friends, your education, your mother’s and father’s jobs, where you play, what you play and, more importantly, what you think of yourself.

 

In and of itself, color has no meaning. But the white world has given it meaning—political, social, economic, historical, physiological and philosophical. Once color has been given meaning, an order is thereby established. If you are born Black in America, you are the last of that order."

 

Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin

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"Capitalism is an inherently unstable system. I like to tell my students that if they lived with a roommate as unstable as this economic system, they would have moved out long ago. Capitalism is notorious for its ups and downs. We have a whole vocabulary to refer to them: booms and busts; recessions and depressions; upturns and downturns. When people have a lot of words for something, it’s because it’s a frequent phenomenon in their lives."

 

Richard Wolff

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"O God! If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell,
and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise.
But if I worship You for Your Own sake,
grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty.”

 

- Rābiʿah al-Baṣrī

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"Such is the source of excitement predominating in this part of society, and which has thence extended to the other parts. There, the state of crisis and anomy is constant and, so to speak, normal. Reality seems valueless by comparison with the dreams of feveredimaginations; reality is therefore abandoned, but so too is possibility abandoned when it in turn becomes reality. Thewholefeversubsides and the sterility of all the tumult is apparent, andit is seen that all thesenew sensations in theirinfinite quantity cannot form a solid foundation of happiness to support one during days of trial. The man who has always pinned all his hopes on the future and lived with his eyes fixed upon it, has nothing in the past as comfort against the present’s afflictions, for the past was nothing to him but a series of hastily experienced stages. What blinded him to himself was his expectation always to find further on the happiness he had so far missed. Weariness alone, moreover, is enough to bring disillusionment, for he cannot in the end escape the futility of an endless pursuit"

– Emile Durkheim - ‘Suicide’

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The capitalistic economy of the present day is an immense cosmos into which the individual is born, and which presents itself to him, at least as an individual, as an unalterable order of things in which he must live. It forces the individual, in so far as he is involved in the system of market relationships, to conform to capitalistic rules of action. The manufacturer who in the long run acts counter to these norms, will just as inevitably be eliminated from the economic scene as the worker who cannot or will not adapt himself to them will be thrown into the streets without a job.

– Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.

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The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.“ - Aristotle in Politics, Book One, Part X

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"Only in the Roman Empire and in Spain under Arab domination has culture been a potent factor. Under the Arab, the standard attained was wholly admirable; to Spain flocked the greatest scientists, thinkers, astronomers, and mathematicians of the world, and side by side there flourished a spirit of sweet human tolerance and a sense of purist chivalry. Then with the advent of Christianity, came the barbarians. Had Charles Martel not been victorious at Poitiers—already you see the world had already fallen into the hands of the Jews, so gutless a thing Christianity!—then we should in all probability have been converted to Mohammedanism, that cult which glorifies heroism and which opens up the seventh Heaven to the bold warrior alone. Then the Germanic races would have conquered the world. Christianity alone prevented them from doing so."

 

-Adolf Hitler 28 August 1942

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