After all, if you do not resist the apparently inevitable, you will never know how inevitable the inevitable was.
The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas.
Economic power is exercised by means of a positive, by offering men a reward, an incentive, a payment, a value; political power is exercised by means of a negative, by the threat of punishment, injury, imprisonment, destruction. The businessman's tool is values; the bureaucrat's tool is fear.
America's abundance was created not by public sacrifices to the common good, but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America's industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages, and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance- and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way.
If the worker and his boss enjoy the same television program and visit the same resort places, if the typist is as attractively made up as the daughter of her employer, if the Negro owns a Cadillac, if they all read the same newspaper, then this assimilation indicates not the disappearance of classes, but the extent to which the needs and satisfactions that serve the preservation of the Establishment are shared by the underlying population.
In the pragmatist, streetwise climate of advanced postmodern capitalism, with its scepticism of big pictures and grand narratives, its hard-nosed disenchantment with the metaphysical, 'life' is one among a whole series of discredited totalities. We are invited to think small rather than big – ironically, at just the point when some of those out to destroy Western civilization are doing exactly the opposite. In the conflict between Western capitalism and radical Islam, a paucity of belief squares up to an excess of it. The West finds itself faced with a full-blooded metaphysical onslaught at just the historical point that it has, so to speak, philosophically disarmed. As far as belief goes, postmodernism prefers to travel light: it has beliefs, to be sure, but it does not have faith.
Latter-day capitalism. Like it or not, it's the society we live in. Even the standard of right and wrong has been subdivided, made sophisticated. Within good, there's fashionable good and unfashionable good, and ditto for bad. Within fashionable good, there's formal and then there's casual; there's hip, there's cool, there's trendy, there's snobbish. Mix 'n' match. Like pulling on a Missoni sweater over Trussardi slacks and Pollini shoes, you can now enjoy hybrid styles of morality. It's the way of the world -- philosophy starting to look more and more like business administration.
The justification of capitalism is not that the economy grows faster than it grows under any other system ... not that the goods pour forth. The justification of capitalism is that it is the only economic system consistent with the requirements of man's rational nature, that it protects man's rights and leaves each individual free to act ... based on nothing but his own uncoerced, rational judgment. That is the human mode of survival; that is what man's nature requires of him if he is to live on earth. The abundance of a capitalist economy is a consequence of its coherence with man's rational nature.
The people come to understand that wealth is not the fruit of labour but the result of organised, protected robbery. Rich people are no longer respectable people; they are nothing more than flesh eating animals, jackals and vultures which wallow in the people's blood.
At times there's something so precise and mathematically chilling about nationalism.Build a dam to take away water AWAY from 40 million people. Build a dam to pretend to BRING water to 40 million people. Who are these gods that govern us? Is there no limit to their powers?
A system is corrupt when it is strictly profit-driven, not driven to serve the best interests of its people.
What happens to people living in a society where everyone in power is lying, stealing, cheating and killing, and in our hearts we all know this, but the consequences of facing all these lies are so monstrous, we keep on hoping that maybe the corporate government administration and media are on the level with us this time.Americans remind me of survivors of domestic abuse.This is always the hope that this is the very, very, very last time one's ribs get re-broken again.
Even with all its positive attributes, capitalism in its imperialistic form is the most treacherous system mankind ever devised. It is driven by a selfishness that has an almost religious underlining to it.
I have dedicated my life to fight against the heinous rottenness of modern capitalism because it robs the laborer of this world's goods. But blow for blow I shall strike against Communism, because it robs us of the next world's happiness.
Colonial power, patriarchal power, capitalist power must always and everywhere be battled, because they never, ever quit. (Junot Diaz)
Greed is a contagious mental illness without which civilization as we know it would not have been possible.
Just like how most if not all poor boys look up to and aspire to someday be rich men, most if not all underdeveloped and developing countries look up to and aspire to someday be developed countries.
The world economy would collapse if a significant number of people were to realize and then act on the realization that it is possible to enjoy many if not most of the things that they enjoy without first having to own them.
In a democracy, there will be more complaints but less crisis, in a dictatorship more silence but much more suffering.
For if in careless summer daysIn groves of Ashtaroth we whored,Repentant now, when winds blow cold,We kneel before our rightful lord;The lord of all, the money-god,Who rules us blood and hand and brain,Who gives the roof that stops the wind,And, giving, takes away again;Who spies with jealous, watchful care,Our thoughts, our dreams, our secret ways,Who picks our words and cuts our clothes,And maps the pattern of our days;Who chills our anger, curbs our hope,And buys our lives and pays with toys,Who claims as tribute broken faith,Accepted insults, muted joys;Who binds with chains the poet’s wit,The navvy’s strength, the soldier’s pride,And lays the sleek, estranging shieldBetween the lover and his bride.
An ironic religion -- one that never claims to be absolutely true but only professes to be relatively beautiful, and never promises salvation but only proposes it as a salubrious idea. A century ago there were people who thought art was the thing that could fuse the terms of this seemingly insuperable oxymoron, and no doubt art is part of the formula. But maybe consumerism also has something to teach us about forging an ironic religion -- a lesson about learning to choose, about learning the power and consequences, for good or ill, of our ever-expanding palette of choices. Perhaps . . . the day will come when the true ironic religion is found, the day when humanity is filled with enough love and imagination and responsibility to become its own god and make a paradise of its world, a paradise of all the right choices.
Very well then! I'll write, write write. He let the words soak into his mind and displace all else.A man had a choice, after all. He devoted his life to his work or to his wife and children and home. It could not be combined; not in this day and age. In this insane world where God was second to income and goodness to wealth.
The capitalist and consumerist ethics are two sides of the same coin, a merger of two commandments. The supreme commandment of the rich is ‘Invest!’ The supreme commandment of the rest of us is ‘Buy!’ The capitalist–consumerist ethic is revolutionary in another respect. Most previous ethical systems presented people with a pretty tough deal. They were promised paradise, but only if they cultivated compassion and tolerance, overcame craving and anger, and restrained their selfish interests. This was too tough for most. The history of ethics is a sad tale of wonderful ideals that nobody can live up to. Most Christians did not imitate Christ, most Buddhists failed to follow Buddha, and most Confucians would have caused Confucius a temper tantrum. In contrast, most people today successfully live up to the capitalist–consumerist ideal. The new ethic promises paradise on condition that the rich remain greedy and spend their time making more money and that the masses give free reign to their cravings and passions and buy more and more. This is the first religion in history whose followers actually do what they are asked to do. How though do we know that we'll really get paradise in return? We've seen it on television.
The language of intrinsic human rights represented a significant advance beyond the previous language of world religions in terms of its universal applicability and its thiswordliness.
For thousands of years priests, rabbis and muftis explained that humans cannot overcome famine, plague and war by their own efforts. Then along came the bankers, investors and industrialists, and within 200 years managed to do exactly that.
Are we, intellectual sirs, not actively or passively 'producing' more and more words, more books, more articles, ceaselessly refilling the pot-boiler of speech, gorging ourselves on it rather, seizing books and 'experiences', to metamorphose them as quickly as possible into other words, plugging us in here, being plugged in there, just like Mina on her blue squared oilcloth, extending the market and the trade in words of course, but also multiplying the chances of jouissance, scraping up intensities wherever possible, and never being sufficiently dead, for we too are required to go from forty to the hundred a day, and we will never play the whore enough, we will never be dead enough
What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don't like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don't expect freedom to survive very long.
But a progressive policy needs more than just a bigger break with the economic and moral assumptions of the past 30 years. It needs a return to the conviction that economic growth and the affluence it brings is a means and not an end. The end is what it does to the lives, life-chances and hopes of people. Look at London. Of course it matters to all of us that London's economy flourishes. But the test of the enormous wealth generated in patches of the capital is not that it contributed 20%-30% to Britain's GDP but how it affects the lives of the millions who live and work there. What kind of lives are available to them? Can they afford to live there? If they can't, it is not compensation that London is also a paradise for the ultra-rich. Can they get decently paid jobs or jobs at all? If they can't, don't brag about all those Michelin-starred restaurants and their self-dramatising chefs. Or schooling for children? Inadequate schools are not offset by the fact that London universities could field a football team of Nobel prize winners.
If the surprise outcome of the recent UK referendum - on whether to leave or remain in the European Union - teaches us anything, it is that supposedly worthy displays of democracy in action can actually do more harm than good. Witness a nation now more divided; an intergenerational schism in the making; both a governing and opposition party torn to shreds from the inside; infinitely more complex issues raised than satisfactory solutions provided. It begs the question 'Was it really all worth it' ?
Pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader's greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honorable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.
Pick a leader who will keep jobs in your country by offering companies incentives to hire only within their borders, not one who allows corporations to outsource jobs for cheaper labor when there is a national employment crisis. Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.
Pick a leader who will not only bail out banks and airlines, but also families from losing their homes -- or jobs due to their companies moving to other countries. Pick a leader who will fund schools, not limit spending on education and allow libraries to close. Pick a leader who chooses diplomacy over war. An honest broker in foreign relations. A leader with integrity, one who says what they mean, keeps their word and does not lie to their people. Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the doctor, and the environmentalist -- not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist.
Just as layoffs were making a mockery of the team concept, employees were urged to find camaraderie and a sense of collective purpose at the microlevel of the team. And the less teamlike the overall organization became with the threat of continuous downsizing, the more management insisted on individual devotion to these largely fictional units.
[The] tremendous and still accelerating development of science and technology has not been accompanied by an equal development in social, economic, and political patterns...We are now...only beginning to explore the potentialities which it offers for developments in our culture outside technology, particularly in the social, political and economic fields. It is safe to predict that...such social inventions as modern-type Capitalism, Fascism, and Communism will be regarded as primitive experiments directed toward the adjustment of modern society to modern methods
At this point in history, our society tends to elevate and reward the specialist...This concentrated focus has brought some benefits...It may also be a modern malady. Specialization, when taken too far and allowed to define who and what we are, becomes limiting. It robs us of our wholeness and our self-sufficiency. It misses the big picture and confines us to a narrow zoom. And it leaves us at the mercy of experts.
Further, in the modern story, reality is that which is observable, measurable, and repeatable - the kinds of phenomena available, accessible, and verifiable to the five senses. Thus, reality comes to equal the scientific method. It should come as no surprise that in such a world the life of the spirit is ignored or marginalized (as well as a great many other nonmaterial things.) This view of life subsequently birthed in human beings a ravenous materialism as matters of the soul were ignored or reinterpreted within this tightly controlled version of reality. When the life of the spirit is ignored, people will seek to feed the hunger of a neglected soul with the only nourishment available: in our context, the consumptive acquisition of material goods.