martes, 29 de agosto de 2017

LAIR: Socialism, Marx & Fourier (August 30)

1. Excerpt from The Manifesto of the Communist Party by Karl Marx:

"The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. The East-Indian and Chinese markets, the colonisation of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally, gave to commerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid development. The feudal system of industry, in which industrial production was monopolised by closed guilds, now no longer sufficed for the growing wants of the new markets. The manufacturing system took its place. The guild-masters were pushed on one side by the manufacturing middle class; division of labour between the different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of labour in each single workshop.

Meantime the markets kept ever growing, the demand ever rising. Even manufacturer no longer sufficed. Thereupon, steam and machinery revolutionised industrial production. The place of manufacture was taken by the giant, Modern Industry; the place of the industrial middle class by industrial millionaires, the leaders of the whole industrial armies, the modern bourgeois. Modern industry has established the world market, for which the discovery of America paved the way. This market has given an immense development to commerce, to navigation, to communication by land. This development has, in its turn, reacted on the extension of industry; and in proportion as industry, commerce, navigation, railways extended, in the same proportion the bourgeoisie developed, increased its capital, and pushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages. We see, therefore, how the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product of a long course of development, of a series of revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange."

2. Excerpt from "The Capital" by Karl Marx:

"The circulation of commodities is the starting-point of capital. The production of commodities, their circulation, and that more developed form of their circulation called commerce, these form the historical ground-work from which it rises. The modern history of capital dates from the creation in the 16th century of a world-embracing commerce and a world-embracing market. If we abstract from the material substance of the circulation of commodities, that is, from the exchange of the various use-values, and consider only the economic forms produced by this process of circulation, we find its final result to be money: this final product of the circulation of commodities is the first form in which capital appears. As a matter of history, capital, as opposed to landed property, invariably takes the form at first of money; it appears as moneyed wealth, as the capital of the merchant and of the usurer.1 But we have no need to refer to the origin of capital in order to discover that the first form of appearance of capital is money. We can see it daily under our very eyes. All new capital, to commence with, comes on the stage, that is, on the market, whether of commodities, labour, or money, even in our days, in the shape of money that by a definite process has to be transformed into capital."

3. "Political Theory - Karl Marx"

4. Excerpt from "Letter to the High Judge" by Charles Fourier:

"Poverty is the principal cause of social disorders. Inequality, so much maligned by the philosophers, is not displeasing to men. On the contrary, the bourgeois delights in hierarchy; he loves to see the bigwigs decked out and parading in their best finery. The poor man views them with the same enthusiasm. Only if he lacks what is necessary does he begin to detest his superiors and the customs of society. This is the origin of social disorders, crimes and of the gallows, that sad bastion of the civilised order. It is easy to prove that all social crimes committed out of ambition proceed from the poverty of the people, from their efforts to escape poverty, from the anxiety which is instilled in society by the presence of poverty, from the fear of falling into it, and from disgust for the odious habits which it encourages.
For social science there is thus only one problem to resolve, that of the graduated metamorphosis which I have mentioned. By this I mean the art of raising each of the classes of civilisation to the condition of the class above it. Then indigence and discomfort will be eliminated, since the lower class will have become the middle class and will enjoy an honest comfort like our petty bourgeois who are far removed indeed from a spirit of sedition.[5] When the people enjoy constant comfort and a decent minimum, all the sources of discord will be dried up or reduced to very little. Administration will become child’s play, and in Harmony the government of the whole planet will be much less complicated than that of a civilised empire.To eliminate poverty it was necessary to conceive of an industrial system more productive than our own. Such will be universal harmony which will produce at least triple — yes, without exaggeration — at least triple the yield of the civilised system in a well-cultivated empire. Accordingly, while Harmony will greatly increase the wealth of the well-to-do, it will bring about an excessive increase in that of the people, to whom it will guarantee a salary or in old age a decent minimum below which they cannot fall. This beneficence will be all the more simple in that humanity will reproduce much less in Harmony than in civilisation."

5. Excerpt from "Of Education" by Charles Fourier:

"If civilized education developed in every child its natural inclinations, we should see nearly all rich children enamored of various very plebeian occupations, such as that of the mason, the carpenter, the smith, the saddler. I have instanced Louis the XVI, who loved the trade of locksmith; an Infanta of Spain preferred that of shoemaker; a certain king of Denmark gratified himself by manufacturing syringes; the former king of Naples loved to sell the fish he had caught in the market-place himself; the prince of Parma, whom Condillac had trained in metaphysical subtitles, in the understanding of intuition, of cognition, had no taste but for the occupation of church-warden and lay-brother.
The great majority of wealthy children would follow these plebeian tastes, if civilized education did not oppose the development of them; and if the filthiness of the workshops and the coarseness of the workmen did not arouse a repugnance stronger than the attraction. What child of a prince is there who has no taste for one of the four occupations I have just mentioned, that of mason, carpenter, smith, saddler, and who would not advance in them if he beheld from an early age the work carried on in blight workshops, by refined people, who would always arrange a miniature workshop for children, with little implements and light labor?
No attempt will be made, as is the case in existing educational methods, to create precocious little savants, intellectual primary school beginners, initiated from their sixth year in scientific subtleties; the endeavor will by preference be to secure mechanical precocity; capability in bodily industry, which, far from retarding the growth of the mind, accelerates it."

6. "El socialismo utópico"

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