The Strife between Workman and Machine

Today marks the day where Marx's influential and widely-read book Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Volume 1: The Process of Production of Capital (1867) was published 150 years ago: “But machinery not only acts as a competitor who gets the better of the workman, and is constantly on the point of making him superfluous. … Continue reading The Strife between Workman and Machine

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Disturbed Populations Stirring

“I do feel this period is kind of a turning point. […] The only question you can’t answer is how the population is going to react as they get slammed in the face--and they are getting slammed in the face. One way it could go would be like the building of the C.I.O., or the … Continue reading Disturbed Populations Stirring

The Independent Woman

“[L]aw no longer includes obedience among a wife’s duties, and every woman citizen has become a voter; these civil liberties remain abstract if there is no corresponding economic autonomy; the kept woman--wife or mistress--is not freed from the male just because she has a ballot paper in her hands; while today’s customs impose fewer constraints … Continue reading The Independent Woman

Althusser, The State Ideological Apparatuses

"In order to advance the theory of the State it is indispensable to take into account not only the distinction between state power and state apparatus, but also another reality which is clearly on the side of the (repressive) state apparatus, but must not be confused with it. I shall call this reality by its … Continue reading Althusser, The State Ideological Apparatuses

Marxism and the Woman Question

“Most marxist analyses of women's position take as their question the relationship of women to the economic system, rather than that of women to men, apparently assuming the latter will be explained in their discussion of the former. All see women's oppression in our connection to production. Defining women as part of the working class, … Continue reading Marxism and the Woman Question

Machinery and Modern Industry

“John Stuart Mill says in his “Principles of Political Economy”: “It is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made have lightened the day’s toil of any human being.” That is, however, by no means the aim of the capitalistic application of machinery. Like every other increase in the productiveness of labour, machinery is intended … Continue reading Machinery and Modern Industry

All the Good Stuff that Cannot be Measured

Yanis Varoufakis talks about the neoclassical economic tradition and its (futile and detrimental) attempt to quantify non-quantifiable phenomena. Such a debate has been raging on in the social sciences for quite some time, and continues today. Theodor Adorno and critical theory offers a important theoretical contribution to this debate (though such a rejection of the imperative … Continue reading All the Good Stuff that Cannot be Measured

Lukacs’ and Capitalist Alienation

“[man’s] own labor becomes something objective and independent of him, something that controls him by virtue of an autonomy alien to man. There is both an objective and a subjective side to this phenomenon. Objectively a world of objects and relations between things springs into being (the market). The laws governing these objects are indeed gradually discovered by man, but … Continue reading Lukacs’ and Capitalist Alienation

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

"The Puritan wanted to work in a calling; we are forced to do so. For when asceticism was carried out of monastic cells into everyday life, and began to dominate worldly morality, it did its part in building the tremendous cosmos of the modern economic order. This order is now bound to the technical and … Continue reading The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

The Project of Feminist Epistemology

“Sympathetic individuals who are not members of an oppressed group ... should realize that nothing they may do ... can make them one of the oppressed. For instance, men who share household and child-rearing responsibilities with women are mistaken if they think that this act of choice, often buttressed by the gratitude and admiration of others, is anything … Continue reading The Project of Feminist Epistemology