Marx’s First Day On the Job

Karl Marx arrives for his first day of work in a factory, only to find that Adam Smith happens to own the factory.

Marx: You’re kidding me, right?

Smith: Sorry?

Marx: I’m taking on this factory job to, you know, unite with the proletariat and stuff, and I get landed with Adam Smith as my boss. This is just too perfect.

Smith: Um…

Marx: Well, I spend every flipping day inciting workers to unite against the bourgeoisie, and actually see that they are part of one big, sad, oppressed class.… Read the rest here

Kibbutzim Illustrating the Limits of Authority’s Power on Culture

I would like to examine where culture comes from. Plato argues that they come from education and government-organized social conditioning, and More seems to say that they come from leadership; it was, after all, Utopus that set the tone for a culture of acceptance and tolerance of different beliefs in Utopia. Marx, by contrast, argues that the economy is the root of all culture; every element of our culture and society is really a tool for and product of bourgeois power.… Read the rest here

The Power Of a Unified Nation

The revolutionary texts of both France and the United States focus on the injustices of the people have faced, and both appeal to the natural rights of man. One crucial difference between the two country’s texts, though, foreshadowed the ultimate success or failure of their respective revolutions: who the texts targeted as the barrier to the health of the nation. While the United States looked to the foreign, English King as the enemy of the people, France looked at members of its own citizenry as enemies of the country—a difference that proved destructive to France after its Revolution.… Read the rest here

The Ruler and the Ruled

At the surfaces of Plato’s and More’s two societies, their governments draw their power from very different sources. Plato’s philosopher-kings are given their thrones from other rulers, whereas More’s magistrates are either elected by a group of families, or nominated by those who were elected by those families. And so, there is an apparent division between their two governments; Plato’s philosopher-kings get their power from the ruling class, and More’s rulers are awarded their power directly by the people.… Read the rest here

The Library

The air felt as if it was not fresh, but rather someone else’s stale exhalations—someone who had studied here, and known people here, and been comfortable here. Here was the library, the massive belly of a campus that I could hardly navigate.

And so we sat down, the cold, dead air chafing against us as we tried to focus on our homework. There is a line in “Ulysses” by Lord Tennyson that refers to Ithaca as a “still hearth”.… Read the rest here