Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Karl Marx

1818 – 1883 CE

A journalist, philosopher, scientist, and “true founder of modern sociology” and social science; both critics and followers rate Marx as one of the most influential people in all history with a profound impact on world politics, intellectual thought, sociology and economics. A philosopher for the poor and middle classes, he described the economic conflicts of interest that alienate and polarize society between the working classes and the plutocracy. Distorted, corrupted and used by Lenin, Trotsky, Mao, and many other totalitarians; appreciated, developed, and applied by progressive political parties, labour unions, intellectuals, and artists; he brought the scientific method into politics and social theory as well as a powerful alternative to the dehumanizing aspects of capitalistic industrialization. Though questionable in many ways, his work produced a practical and powerful balancing of economic extremes, the exploitation of labor, and the corruption of politicians by the rich. Though more known for his critiques of capitalism, he also appreciated its positive impact on increased productivity, technological progress, and scientific breakthroughs.

Eras

Sources

Das Kapital; Capital: Critique of Political Economy

Unlisted Sources

Critique of Political Economy, 1859

Crititique of Hegelian Philosophy, 1844

Herr Vogt, 1860

Introduction to a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law

Letter to Lincoln, 1865

Letter, 1856

Letter, 1868

On the Jewish Question, 1944

Reflex, 1917

Quotes by Karl Marx (29 quotes)

“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.”

Themes: Religion

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“It is a bad thing to perform menial duties even for the sake of freedom.”

Chapters: 72. Helpful Fear

Themes: Freedom

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“Slavery has existed in all nations since the beginning of the world. All that modern nations have achieved is to disguise slavery at home and import it.”

Chapters: 77. Stringing a Bow

Themes: Slavery

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“Social progress may be measured precisely by the social position of the fair sex”

Chapters: 3. Weak Wishes, Strong Bones

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“If anything is certain, it is that I myself am not a Marxist”

Themes: Egolessness

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“Private property has made us so stupid and partial that an object is only ours when we have it, when it exists for us as capital … Thus all the physical and intellectual senses have been replaced by … the sense of having.”

Chapters: 68. Joining Heaven & Earth

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“Everything great glitters, glitter begets ambition, and ambition can easily have caused the inspiration or what we thought to be inspiration.”

Chapters: 12. This Over That

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“ideas that revolutionize society keep an even pace with external conditions as they change and become obsolete”

Chapters: 48. Unlearning

Themes: Change

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“In spite of their fancy words, politicians only barter truth, love, and honor for wool, beet-root sugar, and potato spirit profits.”

Chapters: 17. True Leaders

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“war is robbery, commerce is generally cheating”

from Das Kapital; Capital: Critique of Political Economy

Chapters: 31. Victory Funeral

Themes: War Business

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“money may be dirt but dirt is not money”

from Das Kapital; Capital: Critique of Political Economy

Themes: Money

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“Perseus wore a magic cap that the monsters he hunted down might not see him. We draw the magic cap down over eyes and ears as a make-believe that there are no monsters.”

from Das Kapital; Capital: Critique of Political Economy

Themes: Deception Magic

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“The most violent, mean and malignant passions of the human breast, the Furies of private interest”

from Das Kapital; Capital: Critique of Political Economy

Themes: Greed

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“the 'productive' worker cares as much about the crappy shit he has to make as does the capitalist himself who employs him, and who also couldn't give a damn for the junk.”

Themes: Consumerism

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“The battle for democracy will not be won until the working class raises the proletariat to the position of the ruling class. Otherwise, 'democracy' will permit, condone, or even promote social and economic inequalities.”

Themes: Democracy

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“Religion is but the false sun that revolves around those who are not fully aware… it is the sigh of the oppressed, the kindliness of a heartless world, the soul of soulless circumstance, the opiate of the people.”

from Introduction to a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law

Themes: Religion

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“The writer must earn money in order to be able to live and to write, but he must by no means live and write for the purpose of making money.”

from Herr Vogt, 1860

Themes: Livelihood

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“The method of production of material things generally determines the social, political, and spiritual currents of life.”

from Critique of Political Economy, 1859

Themes: Economics

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“Capitalism will kill competition.”

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“I am not a Marxist.”

from Reflex, 1917

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“The imaginary flowers of religion adorn our chains. We must throw off the flowers, and also the chains.”

Themes: Golden Chains

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“Religion is the soul of soulless conditions, the heart of a heartless world, the sigh of the oppressed, the feeling of a heartless world, the spirit of unspiritual conditions, the opium of the people.”

from Crititique of Hegelian Philosophy, 1844

Themes: Religion

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“The emancipation of the Jews in its last significance is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.”

from On the Jewish Question, 1944

Themes: Judaism

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“Great social changes are impossible without feminine ferment. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex (ugly ones included).”

from Letter, 1868

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“All our inventions have endowed material forces with intellectual life, and degraded human life into a material force.”

from Letter, 1856

Themes: Technology

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“From the beginning of the titanic struggle in America, the working men of Europe felt instinctively that the Star Spangled Banner carried the destiny of their class.”

from Letter to Lincoln, 1865

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“Democracy is the road to socialism.”

Themes: Socialism

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“To see the dastardly, most miserable and meanest of blackguards described as Napoleon I was altogether too much. Bolívar is a veritable Soulouque.”

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“Lincoln is not the product of a popular revolution. This plebeian, who worked his way tip from stone-breaker to Senator in Illinois, without intellectual brilliance, without a particularly outstanding character, without exceptional importance-an average person of good will, was placed at the top by the interplay of the forces of universal suffrage unaware of the great issues at stake. The new world has never achieved a greater triumph than by this demonstration that, given its political and social organization, ordinary people of good will can accomplish feats which only heroes could accomplish in the old world!”

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Quotes about Karl Marx (7 quotes)

“Marxism is too uncertain of its grounds to be a science. I do not know a movement more self-centered and further removed from the facts than Marxism.”

Boris Pasternak Бори́с Леони́дович Пастерна́к 1890 – 1960 CE
Russia's greatest poet

Themes: Socialism

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“Considered purely as a philosopher, Marx has grave shortcomings. He is too practical, too much wrapped up in the problems of his time… It is only because of the belief in the inevitability of progress that Marx thought it possible to dispense with ethical considerations… Marx professed himself an atheist, but retained a cosmic optimism which only theism could justify… He hopes for little from persuasion, everything from the class war. He is committed in practice to power politics.”

Bertrand Russell 1872 – 1970 CE
“20th century Voltaire”
from History of Western Philosophy

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“The influence of Darwin is still greater than the influence of Marx... The basic phenomenon of our time is not Communism; it's the decline of religious belief, which has all sorts of effects on morals and even on politics because religion has been a tool of politics.”

Will Durant 1885 – 1981 CE
Philosophy apostle and popularizer of history's lessons
from Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time, 1968

Themes: Socialism

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“Just as Darwin discovered the law of evolution in organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of evolution in human history. Because he was an active revolutionist, he was the best hated and most calumniated man of his time… yet he has gone down to his death honored, loved, and mourned by millions… His name and his works will live through the centuries.”

Friedrich Engels 1820 – 1895 CE
Businessman-philosopher, political theorist
from Funeral oration for Marx, 1883​

Themes: Evolution

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“I am not a Marxist.”

Karl Marx 1818 – 1883 CE
from Reflex, 1917

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“Marxism is a flight from the magic of the person and the mystique of hierarchy. It distorts the character of western culture, which is based on the charismatic power of person. Marxism can work only in pre-industrial societies of homogeneous populations. Raise the standard of living, and the rainbow riot of individualism will break out. Personality and art, which Marxism fears and censors, rebound from every effort to oppress them.”

Camille Paglia 1947 CE –
Fearless and insightful status quo critic
from Sexual Personae (1990)

Themes: Socialism

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“Karl Marx made a man of me. Socialism made a man of me. Otherwise I should be like so many of my literary colleagues...”

George Bernard Shaw 1856 – 1950 CE
UK playwright second only to Shakespeare
from 80th Birthday speech

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