humour me

June 22, 2011

The building blocks of materialism, it turns out, are immaterial:

“There is a physical relation between physical things. But it is different with commodities. There, the existence of the things qua commodities, and the value relations between the products of labour which stamps them as commodities, have absolutely no connection with their physical properties and with the material relations arising therefrom. There is a definite social relation between men, that assumes, in their eyes, the fantastic form of a relation between things.” -this was written a hundred and fifty years ago.

“The capitalist epoch is therefore characterised by this, that labour-power takes in the eyes of the labourer himself the form of commodity which is his property; his labour consequently becomes wage labour. On the other hand, it is only from this moment that the produce of labour universally becomes a commodity.”

“The bookbinding trade in the city of London employs very many young girls from 14 to 15 years old, and that under indentures which prescribe certain very definite hours of labour. Nevertheless, they work in the last week of each month until 10, 11, 12, or 1 o’clock at night, along with the older labourers, in a very mixed company. ‘The masters temps them by extra pay and supper,’ which they eat in neighbouring public-houses. The great debauchery thus produced among these ‘young immortals’ (()) is compensated by the fact that among the rest many Bibles and religious books are bound by them.”


June 15, 2011



The many points made good by the writing of John Stewart Mill on Liberty


Self-interest defined: Causes which influence men’s wishes in regard to the conduct of others ((…)) sometimes their reason; at other times their prejudice or superstitions; often their social affections, not seldom their anti-social ones, their envy or jealousy, their arrogance or contemptuousness; but most commonly their desires or fears for themselves.


((Mid-19th c. Britain)) Our merely social intolerance kills no one, roots out no opinions, but induces men to disguise them or to abstain from any active effort for their diffusion. With us, heretical opinions do not perceptibly gain, or even lose, ground in each decade or generation; they never blaze out far and wide, but continue to smoulder in the narrow circles of thinking and studious persons among whom they originate, without ever lighting up the general affairs of mankind with either a true or a deceptive light. And thus is kept up a state  if things very satisfactory to some minds, because, without the unpleasant process of fining or imprisoning anybody, it maintains all prevailing opinions outwardly undisturbed, while it does not absolutely interdict the exercise of reason by dissentients afflicted with the malady of thought.


((Linear-cyclical philosophy of history – “forgetting”– but what about “absorption” and practicing method — pedagogy)) We often hear the teachers of all creeds lamenting the difficulty of keeping up in the minds of believers a lively apprehension of the truth which they nominally recognize, so that it may penetrate the feelings and acquire a real mastery over the conduct. No such difficulty is complained of while the creed is still fighting for its existence; even the weaker combatants then know and feel what they are fighting for, and the difference between  it and other doctrines; and in that period of every creed’s existence not a few persons may be found who have realised its fundamental principles in all the forms of thought, have weighed and considered them in all their important bearings, and have experienced the full effect on the character which belief in that creed ought to produce in a mind thoroughly imbued with it. But when it has come to be an hereditary ((nearly spacial transfer when time is compressed)) creed, and to be received passively, not actively – when the mind is no longer compelled, in the same degree as at first, to exercise its vital powers on the questions which its belief presents to it, there is a progressive tendency to forget all of the belief except the formularies, or to give it a dull and torpid assent, as if accepting it on trust ((idol)) dispensed with the necessity of realizing it in consciousness, or testing it by personal experience, until it almost ceases to connect itself at all with the inner life of the human being.