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Quotes About Marx

Quotes tagged as "marx" (showing 1-30 of 40)
Groucho Marx
“The only real laughter comes from despair.”
Groucho Marx, The Groucho Letters

Vladimir Lenin
“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”
Vladimir Lenin

Karl Marx
“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.”
Karl Marx, The German Ideology

Jarod Kintz
“The problem with Marxism is the proletariat isn’t going to rise up against capitalism and consumerism. The only time they’ll rise up is during a commercial break to either go to the bathroom or grab more beer.
”
Jarod Kintz, At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.

Aldous Huxley
“It is possible to argue that the really influential book is not that which converts ten millions of casual readers, but rather that which converts the very few who, at any given moment, succeed in seizing power. Marx and Sorel have been influential in the modern world, not so much because they were best-sellers (Sorel in particular was not at all a widely read author), but because among their few readers were two men, called respectively Lenin and Mussolini.”
Aldous Huxley

Friedrich Engels
“If there were no Frenchwomen, life wouldn't be worth living.”
Friedrich Engels, Collected Works 38 1844-51

Christopher Hitchens
“I think I have a very good idea why it is that anti-Semitism is so tenacious and so protean and so enduring. Christianity and Islam, theistic though they may claim to be, are both based on the fetishizing of human primates: Jesus in one case and Mohammed in the other. Neither of these figures can be called exactly historical but both have one thing in common even in their quasi-mythical dimension. Both of them were first encountered by the Jews. And the Jews, ravenous as they were for any sign of the long-sought Messiah, were not taken in by either of these two pretenders, or not in large numbers or not for long.

If you meet a devout Christian or a believing Muslim, you are meeting someone who would give everything he owned for a personal, face-to-face meeting with the blessed founder or prophet. But in the visage of the Jew, such ardent believers encounter the very figure who did have such a precious moment, and who spurned the opportunity and turned shrugging aside. Do you imagine for a microsecond that such a vile, churlish transgression will ever be forgiven? I myself certainly hope that it will not. The Jews have seen through Jesus and Mohammed. In retrospect, many of them have also seen through the mythical, primitive, and cruel figures of Abraham and Moses. Nearer to our own time, in the bitter combats over the work of Marx and Freud and Einstein, Jewish participants and protagonists have not been the least noticeable. May this always be the case, whenever any human primate sets up, or is set up by others, as a Messiah.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Friedrich Engels
“Thus, as far as he is a scientific man, as far as he knows anything, he is a materialist; outside his science, in spheres about which he knows nothing, he translates his ignorance into Greek and calls it agnosticism.”
Friedrich Engels, Socialism, Utopian and Scientific

Wilhelm Reich
“It is the fate of great achievements, born from a way of life that sets truth before security, to be gobbled up by you and excreted in the form of shit. For centuries great, brave, lonely men have been telling you what to do. Time and again you have corrupted, diminished and demolished their teachings; time and again you have been captivated by their weakest points, taken not the great truth, but some trifling error as your guiding principal. This, little man, is what you have done with Christianity, with the doctrine of sovereign people, with socialism, with everything you touch. Why, you ask, do you do this? I don't believe you really want an answer. When you hear the truth you'll cry bloody murder, or commit it. … You had your choice between soaring to superhuman heights with Nietzsche and sinking into subhuman depths with Hitler. You shouted Heil! Heil! and chose the subhuman. You had the choice between Lenin's truly democratic constitution and Stalin's dictatorship. You chose Stalin's dictatorship. You had your choice between Freud's elucidation of the sexual core of your psychic disorders and his theory of cultural adaptation. You dropped the theory of sexuality and chose his theory of cultural adaptation, which left you hanging in mid-air. You had your choice between Jesus and his majestic simplicity and Paul with his celibacy for priests and life-long compulsory marriage for yourself. You chose the celibacy and compulsory marriage and forgot the simplicity of Jesus' mother, who bore her child for love and love alone. You had your choice between Marx's insight into the productivity of your living labor power, which alone creates the value of commodities and the idea of the state. You forgot the living energy of your labor and chose the idea of the state. In the French Revolution, you had your choice between the cruel Robespierre and the great Danton. You chose cruelty and sent greatness and goodness to the guillotine. In Germany you had your choice between Goring and Himmler on the one hand and Liebknecht, Landau, and Muhsam on the other. You made Himmler your police chief and murdered your great friends. You had your choice between Julius Streicher and Walter Rathenau. You murdered Rathenau. You had your choice between Lodge and Wilson. You murdered Wilson. You had your choice between the cruel Inquisition and Galileo's truth. You tortured and humiliated the great Galileo, from whose inventions you are still benefiting, and now, in the twentieth century, you have brought the methods of the Inquisition to a new flowering. … Every one of your acts of smallness and meanness throws light on the boundless wretchedness of the human animal. 'Why so tragic?' you ask. 'Do you feel responsible for all evil?' With remarks like that you condemn yourself. If, little man among millions, you were to shoulder the barest fraction of your responsibility, the world would be a very different place. Your great friends wouldn't perish, struck down by your smallness.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!

Goenawan Mohamad
“Agama, sebaliknya tidak mengklaim untuk jadi petunjuk praktis pengubah dunia. Semangat agama yang paling dasar menimbang hidup sebagai yang masih terdiri dari misteri, memang ada orang agama yang seperti kaum Marxis, menyombong bahwa “segala hal sudah ada jawabnya pada kami”; tapi pernyataan itu menantang makna doa—dan mematikan ruh religius itu sendiri. Sebab dalam doa, kita tahu, kita hanya debu”
Goenawan Mohamad

Christopher Hitchens
“People spoke to foreigners with an averted gaze, and everybody seemed to know somebody who had just vanished. The rumors of what had happened to them were fantastic and bizarre though, as it turned out, they were only an understatement of the real thing. Before going to see General Videla […], I went to […] check in with Los Madres: the black-draped mothers who paraded, every week, with pictures of their missing loved ones in the Plaza Mayo. (‘Todo mi familia!’ as one elderly lady kept telling me imploringly, as she flourished their photographs. ‘Todo mi familia!’) From these and from other relatives and friends I got a line of questioning to put to the general. I would be told by him, they forewarned me, that people ‘disappeared’ all the time, either because of traffic accidents and family quarrels or, in the dire civil-war circumstances of Argentina, because of the wish to drop out of a gang and the need to avoid one’s former associates. But this was a cover story. Most of those who disappeared were openly taken away in the unmarked Ford Falcon cars of the Buenos Aires military police. I should inquire of the general what precisely had happened to Claudia Inez Grumberg, a paraplegic who was unable to move on her own but who had last been seen in the hands of his ever-vigilant armed forces [….]

I possess a picture of the encounter that still makes me want to spew: there stands the killer and torturer and rape-profiteer, as if to illustrate some seminar on the banality of evil. Bony-thin and mediocre in appearance, with a scrubby moustache, he looks for all the world like a cretin impersonating a toothbrush. I am gripping his hand in a much too unctuous manner and smiling as if genuinely delighted at the introduction. Aching to expunge this humiliation, I waited while he went almost pedantically through the predicted script, waving away the rumored but doubtless regrettable dematerializations that were said to be afflicting his fellow Argentines. And then I asked him about Senorita Grumberg. He replied that if what I had said was true, then I should remember that ‘terrorism is not just killing with a bomb, but activating ideas. Maybe that’s why she’s detained.’ I expressed astonishment at this reply and, evidently thinking that I hadn’t understood him the first time, Videla enlarged on the theme. ‘We consider it a great crime to work against the Western and Christian style of life: it is not just the bomber but the ideologist who is the danger.’ Behind him, I could see one or two of his brighter staff officers looking at me with stark hostility as they realized that the general—El Presidente—had made a mistake by speaking so candidly. […] In response to a follow-up question, Videla crassly denied—‘rotondamente’: ‘roundly’ denied—holding Jacobo Timerman ‘as either a journalist or a Jew.’ While we were having this surreal exchange, here is what Timerman was being told by his taunting tormentors:

Argentina has three main enemies: Karl Marx, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of society; Sigmund Freud, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of the family; and Albert Einstein, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of time and space.

[…] We later discovered what happened to the majority of those who had been held and tortured in the secret prisons of the regime. According to a Navy captain named Adolfo Scilingo, who published a book of confessions, these broken victims were often destroyed as ‘evidence’ by being flown out way over the wastes of the South Atlantic and flung from airplanes into the freezing water below. Imagine the fun element when there’s the surprise bonus of a Jewish female prisoner in a wheelchair to be disposed of… we slide open the door and get ready to roll her and then it’s one, two, three… go!”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Karl Marx
“Accumulate, accumulate! This is Moses and the Prophets!”
Karl Marx, Capital, Volume 1: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production
tags: marx

David David Katzman
“My biggest objection to Marxism has been the presumption that industry should exist at all. I think the unstoppable juggernaut which is global warming demonstrates that processing natural materials on an industrial scale is a suicidal practice.”
David David Katzman

Friedrich Engels
“The 'Manifesto' being our joint production, I consider myself bound to state that the fundamental proposition which forms its nucleus belongs to Marx. That proposition is: that in every historical epoch, the prevailing mode of economic production and exchange, and the social organization necessarily following from it, form the basis upon which is built up, and from which alone can be explained, the political and intellectual history of that epoch; that consequently the whole history of mankind (since the dissolution of primitive tribal society, holding land in common ownership) has been a history of class struggles, contests between exploiting and exploited, ruling and oppressed classes; that the history of these class struggles forms a series of evolution in which, nowadays, a stage has been reached where the exploited and the oppressed class—the proletariat—cannot attain its emancipation from the sway of the exploiting and ruling class—the bourgeoisie—without, at the same time, and once for all, emancipating society at large from all exploitation, oppression, class distinctions and class struggles.

This proposition, which, in my opinion, is destined to do for history what Darwin's theory has done for biology, we, both of us, had been gradually approaching for some years before 1845.”
Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto

Jaron Lanier
“The intentions of the cybernetic totalist tribe are good. They are simply following a path that was blazed in earlier times by well-meaning Freudians and Marxists - and I don't mean that in a pejorative way. I'm thinking of the earliest incarnations of Marxism, for instance, before
Stalinism and Maoism killed millions.

Movements associated with Freud and Marx both claimed foundations in rationality and the scientific understanding of the world. Both perceived themselves to be at war with the weird, manipulative fantasies of religions. And yet both invented their own fantasies that were just as weird.

The same thing is happening again. A self-proclaimed materialist movement that attempts to base itself on science starts to look like a religion rather quickly. It soon presents its own eschatology and its own revelations about what is really going on - portentous events that no one but the initiated can appreciate. The Singularity and the noosphere, the idea that a collective consciousness emerges from all the users on the web, echo Marxist social determinism and Freud's calculus of perversions. We rush ahead of skeptical, scientific inquiry at our peril, just like the Marxists and Freudians.”
Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget

Ernst Bloch
“Being doped is a pleasure you pay for. There was always opium there for the people -- in the end it tainted their whole faith. If the Church had not always stood so watchfully behind the ruling powers, there would not have been such attacks against everything it stood for -- although of course it may have been competing with them for the first place among the rulers, as in the Middle Ages. Whenever it was a question of keeping the serfs, and then the paid slaves down, the dope-dealers came unfailingly to the help of the oppressors.”
Ernst Bloch

N.T. Wright
“You see, the bodily resurrection of Jesus isn't a take-it-or-leave-it thing, as though some Christians are welcome to believe it and others are welcome not to believe it. Take it away, and the whole picture is totally different. Take it away, and Karl Marx was probably right to accuse Christianity of ignoring the problems of the material world. Take it away, and Sigmund Freud was probably right to say that Christianity is a wish-fulfillment religion. Take it away, and Friedrich Nietzsche was probably right to say that Christianity was a religion for wimps. Put it back, and you have a faith that can take on the postmodern world that looks to Marx, Freud and Nietzsche as its prophets, and you can beat them at their own game with the Easter news that the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
N.T. Wright, For All God's Worth: True Worship and the Calling of the Church

Friedrich Engels
“Competition permits the capitalist to deduct from the price of labour power that which the family earns from its own little garden or field; the workers are compelled to accept any piece wages offered to them, because otherwise they would get nothing at all, and they could not live from the products of their small-scale agriculture alone, and because, on the other hand, it is just this agriculture and landownership which chains them to the spot and prevents them from looking around for other employment.”
Friedrich Engels, The Housing Question

Jacques Monod
“One of the great problems of philosophy, is the relationship between the realm of knowledge and the realm of values. Knowledge is what is; values are what ought to be. I would say that all traditional philosophies up to and including Marxism have tried to derive the 'ought' from the 'is.' My point of view is that this is impossible, this is a farce.”
Jacques Monod

David Harvey
“Barriers to accumulation are perpetually dissolving and re-forming around the issue of so-called natural scarcities and on occasion, as Marx might put it, these barriers can be transformed into absolute contradictions and crises.”
David Harvey, The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism

David Harvey
“This is what the bourgeois political economists have done: they have treated value as a fact of nature, not a social construction arising out of a particular mode of production. What Marx is interested in is a revolutionary transformation of society, and that means an overthrow of the capitalist value-form, the construction of an alternative value-structure, an alternative value-system that does not have the specific character of that achieved under capitalism. I cannot overemphasize this point, because the value theory in Marx is frequently interpreted as a universal norm with which we should comply. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard people complain that the problem with Marx is that he believes the only valid notion of value derives from labor inputs. It is not that at all; it is a historical social product. The problem, therefore, for socialist, communist, revolutionary, anarchist or whatever, is to find an alternative value-form that will work in terms of the social reproduction of society in a different image. By introducing the concept of fetishism, Marx shows how the naturalized value of classical political economy dictates a norm; we foreclose on revolutionary possibilities if we blindly follow that norm and replicate commodity fetishism. Our task is to question it.”
David Harvey, A Companion to Marx's Capital

David Harvey
“Failure to recognize the historical specificity of the bourgeois conception of rights and duties leads to serious errors. It is for this reason that Marx registers...a vigorous indictment of the anarchist Proudhon... Proudhon in effect took the specifics of bourgeois legal and economic relations and treated them as universal and foundational for the development of an alternative, socially just economic system. From Marx's standpoint, this is no alternative at all since it merely re-inscribes bourgeois conceptions of value in a supposedly new form of society. This problem is still with us, not only because of the contemporary anarchist revival of interest in Proudhon's ideas but also because of the rise of a more broad-based liberal human rights politics as a supposed antidote to the social and political ills of contemporary capitalism. Marx's critique of Proudhon is directly applicable to this contemporary politics. The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 is a foundational document for a bourgeois, market-based individualism and as such cannot provide a basis for a thoroughgoing critique of liberal or neoliberal capitalism. Whether it is politically useful to insist that the capitalist political order live up to its own foundational principles is one thing, but to imagine that this politics can lead to a radical displacement of a capitalist mode of production is, in Marx's view, a serious error.”
David Harvey, A Companion to Marx's Capital

Michael Shermer
“As Karl Marx once noted: 'Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.' William Jennings Bryan and the Scopes trial was a tragedy. The creationists and intelligent design theorists are a farce.”
Michael Shermer

Slavoj Žižek
“Recall Marx’s fundamental insight about the “bourgeois” limitation of the logic of equality: capitalist inequalities (“exploitation”) are not the “unprincipled violations of the principle of equality,” but are absolutely inherent to the logic of equality, they are the paradoxical result of its consistent realization. What we have in mind here is not only the wearisome old motif of how market exchange presupposes formally/legally equal subjects who meet and interact in the market; the crucial moment of Marx’s critique of “bourgeois” socialists is that capitalist exploitation does not involve any kind of “unequal” exchange between the worker and the capitalist—this exchange is fully equal and “just,” ideally (in principle), the worker gets paid the full value of the commodity he is selling (his labor-power). Of course, radical bourgeois revolutionaries are aware of this limitation; however, the way they try to counteract it is through a direct “terroristic imposition of more and more de facto equality (equal salaries, equal access to health services…), which can only be imposed through new forms of formal inequality (different sorts of preferential treatments for the underprivileged). In short, the axiom of equality” means either not enough (it remains the abstract form of actual inequality) or too much (enforce “terroristic” equality)— it is a formalistic notion in a strict dialectical sense, that is, its limitation is precisely that its form is not concrete enough, but a mere neutral container of some content that eludes this form.”
Slavoj Žižek, In Defense of Lost Causes

Albert Camus
“Gli dobbiamo [a Marx] quest'idea che fa la disperazione del nostro tempo – ma qui la disperazione vale più di qualsiasi speranza – che quando il lavoro è avvilimento, non è vita, sebbene occupi tutto il tempo della vita. Chi, nonostante le pretese di questa società, può dormirvi in pace, sapendo ormai che essa trae i suoi mediocri piaceri dal lavoro di milioni d'anime morte? Esigendo per il lavoratore la vera ricchezza, che non è quella del denaro, ma quella degli svaghi o della creazione, egli ha rivendicato, nonostante le apparenze, la qualità dell'uomo. Facendo questo, lo possiamo affermare con forza, non ha voluto la degradazione supplementare che è stata, in suo nome, imposta all'uomo. Una frase, per una volta chiara e tagliente, rifiuta per sempre ai suoi discepoli trionfanti la grandezza e l'umanità che gli erano proprie. “Un fine che ha bisogno di mezzi ingiusti, non è un fine giusto”.”
Albert Camus, The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt

Adrienne Rich
“If you are curious and open to the life around you, if you are disturbed as to how, by, and against whom wealth and political power is held and used, if you sense there must be good reasons for your unease, if your curiosity and openness drive you toward wanting to act with others, to "do something," you have much in common with the writers of the three essays in Manifesto.”
Adrienne Rich, A Human Eye: Essays on Art in Society, 1996-2008

Albert Camus
“Egli [Marx] ha posto il lavoro, il suo avvilimento ingiusto e la sua dignità profonda, al centro della sua riflessione. È insorto contro la riduzione del lavoro a merce e del lavoratore a cosa. Ha ricordato ai privilegiati che i loro privilegi non erano divini, né la proprietà un diritto eterno. Ha dato inquietudine alla coscienza di coloro che non avevano il diritto di serbarla tranquilla e ha denunciato, con profondità senza pari, una classe il cui delitto sta non tanto nell'aver avuto il potere, quanto nell'averne usato ai fini di una società mediocre e senza vera nobiltà.”
Albert Camus, The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt

Revilo P. Oliver
“the gospel of St. Marx is just the old Judaeo-Christian mythology with the supernatural sanctions left out”
Revilo P. Oliver, Is There Intelligent Life on Earth?

Albert Camus
“Marx' bewering dat de mensheid zichzelf nooit voor raadsels stelt die ze ook niet kan oplossen, wijst er al op dat de oplossing van het revolutionaire probleem reeds in de kiem van het kapitalisme aanwezig is. Daarom moet men liever meewerken aan de uitbouw van het kapitalisme dan pogingen doen, te komen tot een minder geïndustrialiseerde produktie.[...] Van de ene crisis rollend in de andere, zal het verval van het proletariaat steeds sneller toenemen en zal het zich in omvang uitbreiden, tot de universele crisis het kapitalisme zal doen verdwijnen en de geschiedenis, door één laatste en heftige gewelddaad, niet langer geweld zal nodig hebben. Het rijk der toekomst is dan eindelijk aangebroken.”
Albert Camus, The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt
tags: marx

“There is one good thing about Marx: he was not a Keynesian”
Murray N Rothbard

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