"A SPECTRE is haunting Europe - the spectre of Communism."
Naturally this first line hooked me, and immediately I found myself turning the pages with a"A SPECTRE is haunting Europe - the spectre of Communism."
Naturally this first line hooked me, and immediately I found myself turning the pages with awe and utter fascination. Marx is a naturally prolific writer, and no one can deny his natural abilities to persuade the readers to agree with his arguments. Growing up in Canada, the mere mention of Communism was something of a taboo. No one is allowed to speak about it in public or even in academic settings. I was aware that there was an underground Communism party at my University Campus, but I was still ignorant of their arguments or the reason the hammer and sickle was ever apparent on the grungy brick walls across campus. After reading this book, however, I can now understand the appeal of Marx's words. There is a wave of electrifying energy in it, a call to arms to fight back against the bourgeois and the aristocracy. A cry for man and woman to band together, to create a union where they can unite under a common cause. There were points that I could agree with him, and see the failings of the Capitalist society, especially in our modern age. There were a few sections in particular, which immediately grabbed my attention. For instance, Marx wrote:
"The essential condition for the existence, and for the sway of the bourgeois class, is the formation and augmentation of capital; the condition for capital is wage labour. Wage labour rests exclusively on competiton between the labourers."
This argument brought forth two ideas: the question of the bourgeois existence and the issues with wage labour, or even the problem of minimum wage. I have heard lots of economists argue over the issue of minimum wage; the difficulties of raising it because it negatively effects businesses and mitigates their profits. I have even heard some Free Market economists argue that we should get rid of minimum wage all together, and let the employer choose the prices. This freedom would be beneficial for the "bourgeois" but what about the proletariat? Will they have any say at all? And would that not increase the level of competition between the labourers as they fight for high paying jobs? It would undoubtedly go against Marx's ideals, which believe that the proletariat should come together in a single union to propagate their own ideas.
The entire argument over Capitalism and Communism has been going on for centuries. Each side has their pros and cons, and even now when we look at the 21st century we can see how each country has benefited from their political ideologies. At the present moment, America is become less of a superpower and their "Free Market" is steadily turning into a Socialist regime. When property is steadily being taken over the State, taxes against the rich increase, and instruments of productions are gradually being taken up by the Government, you can only wonder where is the fine line between Capitalism and Socialism. Is there a way to balance between the two? And as the United States Government changes from the far right to lean over to the left, it makes you wonder about the future of the United States. We all know that the FED is printing out trillions of dollars for covid relief funds, and that they are slowly slipping towards the edge of inevitable bankruptcy (if the money printer continues to go), so what will happen when Communist China eventually emerges as the next world superpower? Does that mean that Marx's ideologies are right? Or do we as a society must admit that each ideology has their own merits, and that we cannot simply choose one over the other?
I suppose "The Communist Manifesto" got me thinking about the politics and the power of the Government. It made me think about the ever widening gap between "the half and the half not." The fact that homelessness is growing in the United States, or the fact that in my own hometown the housing crisis and inflation is only making things harder for those that are homeless or living below the poverty line. The Free Market is supposed to benefit everyone and we go around saying that we can live "The American Dream," but you have to wonder if there is a myth behind that Utopian ideology. In a world where there are billionaires flying up to space, and others so poor that they have to walk for miles for drinkable water, you have to wonder if Capitalism is the way to go? Are we simply kidding ourselves? Or is it a lesser evil to the ideas of Communism?
I will leave the final words of Marx, to display his true power when it comes to persuasive writing: "Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win."...more
Those are some of the words that come to my mind when I contemplate about this short story by Edgar Allan Poe. You can tell that he is in his element, writing in the style of suspenseful drama to keep the reader on pin and needles. If you are a fan of the classic "The Tell-Tale Heart" or "The Oval Portrait," I can assure you that you will enjoy this short read too.
The story begins with the narrator making an ambiguous confession, it is clear that his mind is a little unhinged. He begins the tale where he is a young man, innocent and kind to both fellow man and creature, but his nature begins to alter into something far more sinister. The reader observes his gradual degradation, the manner in which he treats his wife and his devoted black cat, Pluto, until it becomes clear that he has become something of a monster in his own household. How will this story end? You will have to read the book to uncover the truth? I can assure you that this story is not what you expect, and the last few lines will stay in your memory forever. A thrilling read, and one that I highly recommend to those that love Gothic horror or dark supernatural tales....more
I loved the concept of this book. The author, Nivedita Vedurla, challenges the reader to rethink their concept of money and their general relationshipI loved the concept of this book. The author, Nivedita Vedurla, challenges the reader to rethink their concept of money and their general relationship with it. The book central themes is to believe in manifestation (through the daily use of positive affirmations about money) and to challenge the reader to rethink their previous notions about money. I really enjoyed the part where the reader had time to reflect about their adolescence and their early encounters with money; the promotion of jotting these memories down in a notebook really helped. A lot of the ideas echoed another book I have recently completed called "Think and Grow Rich" by Napolean Hill. Money will naturally fall upon those that think positive thoughts about money and believe that they can attract it in ABUNDANCE. Whereas, if we have negative thoughts about money and believe that it is "evil" it will hinder our ability to generate it. Therefore, Vedurla's ideas about positive manifestation towards money echoed other books that I have read prior, so that is the main reason I listed it as a 4 star rating instead of 5. The shortness of the book also resulted in a four star rating, because I wished the author could go into more depth about the concept. All in all, it was a highly enjoyable read. I would gift this to a friend that wants to build a more positive mindset about money or simply in need of a good self-help book when it comes to personal finances.
I will leave this review with a small section of the book that left me pondering over the subject matter. I hope you enjoy it!
We all know we need money but the fact is, we all need money to have the life we have always desired. And the only possible way to achieve the dream is to erase the suggestions that claim money has negative aspects. Now, these beliefs have been rooted in our minds from generations, and removing them is quite difficult though not impossible.
I found an audio book of "The Dhandho Investor" online and thought I should give it a listen. After all, it has been listed in the top economic and fiI found an audio book of "The Dhandho Investor" online and thought I should give it a listen. After all, it has been listed in the top economic and finance books on Goodreads, so I thought it was worth a shot.
It is clear the author of "The Dhandho Investor" is a disciple of Warren Buffet, often quoting him and Charlie Munger throughout the book. Consequently, Pabrai echoes these famous investors principles, which is to find great undervalued companies with little downside and huge upside. The goal of an investor is to hold onto these companies for a long time, and slowly reap the rewards.
Considering I have been binge watching a lot of Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger clips on YouTube, I found "The Dhandho Investor" to be unfortunately redundant. Indeed, there is some original thought with special emphasis on Indians migrating from Uganda to America to slowly build profitable empires in the shapes of hotels across the country, but even still, it lacked a special quality that is often seen in other finance books by well known investors.
A few takeaways from "The Dhandho Investor" is the importance of ingenious ways to build capitals. The example of "Papa Patel" and family members of the same name pooling their money together to invest in the first hotel is a brilliant idea. I have witnessed similar acts where I currently live, since newly immigrants from India live in a large house together, invest in a company/business and slowly reap profits that will benefit the future generations. However brilliant this idea is for the Patel's, it is not applicable to most citizens that were born and raised in North America. I suppose the only benefit of reading this book is the reinforcement of Warren's ideas that it is important to find a sound company with a good manager, and then heap loads of cash into their stocks to eventually generate a large surplus of income in the future.
Recommend read for anyone that is interested in this investor, Mohnish Pabrai. If you have very little knowledge of stocks I would probably stay away from it, since the author uses technical terminology that investors tend to use when discussing the Stock Market and trading. A hopeful book for any new immigrants to the Americas, or those that want to find a clever way to generate income by pooling money together with other family members or friends. All in all, a somewhat interesting read, but one that I am happy to put down in favour of a better financial investment book....more
Just before bed I happened to stumble upon a free audio book of Lynch's "Learn to Earn: A Beginner's Guide tLet's talk about some late night reading.
Just before bed I happened to stumble upon a free audio book of Lynch's "Learn to Earn: A Beginner's Guide to the Basics of Investing and Business." I knew this was a book that I had to read, so I was more then willing to stay up all night to listen to the audio book. Peter Lynch's most renown book is "One Up On Wall Street," a book that is still coveted and placed upon my top TBR finance list. After reading "Learn to Earn," it is clear that I need to invest my time and hard earned money on other works by Lynch. The author writes in layman's terms, simple for the everyday man or woman to understand. The target market for "Learn to Earn," is young folks, specifically those in their late teens or twenties. He breaks down the complicated world of economics, explaining the jargon so that people can better understand the system. Lynch states the different avenues of investments, and more importantly stresses the importance of learning about the business that you would like to invest in. Therefore, here are the top four key themes of this book:
1) Invest early. As soon as you are of legal age, now is the time to set aside some money and invest it into the stock market. 2) Place most of your money into stocks. You can place it in mutual funds/bonds, but if you want the biggest return for your money it is better to make a much riskier move and dabble in the stock market. 3) Anyone can learn the stock market! The goal of Lynch's novel is to make it accessible for all. He even points out different ways to trade in stocks without the use of a broker. 4) Put America first! A great emphasis on American citizens reinvesting in the companies that were built and remain in the United States of America. Lynch liked to trump up big businesses like Coco Cola, Nike, Microsoft, and other popular fast food joints.
I was leaning towards a 3.5 to 4 stars because of the nauseating effect of American nationalism penetrating the pages. I know Americans like to state that they are "THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD," and Lynch is just one of many to proclaim it. All in all, it was a bit off putting for a Canadian, but perhaps it is because of the differences in our culture. I appreciated the historical background when it comes to Wall Street and the early settlement of banks. Personally, history lessons are always a joy to read, but could we take out the highly nationalist views that completely ignore the people that were settled there first (i.e. Indigenous people) or the people that helped make production more effective for the early settlers (i.e. black slaves)? The complete omission of the "other people" was hard to stomach when Lynch went through the history of Capitalism and its laws during the early formation of the United States of America. Sorry for being the Debbie Downer, but that is simply my own point of view. Anyways, this book is a good read for those that know very little about trading and how to read the stock charts. The author breaks it down into terms that are easy to understand. If I ever I have children, it will be a recommended read in their mid-teens or whenever they are old enough to legally buy and trade their stocks....more