“A man discovers what he is actually worth in this world when he faces society as a man, without…”

“A man discovers what he is actually worth in this world when he faces society as a man, without money, name, or powerful connections, stripped of all but his native potentialities. He soon finds that nothing has less weight than his human qualities. They are prized so low that the market does not even list them.”

Max Horkheimer, “The Latest Attack on Metaphysics”

“The more ideas have become automatic, instrumentalized, the less does anybody see in them thoughts…”

“The more ideas have become automatic, instrumentalized, the less does anybody see in them thoughts with a meaning of their own. They are considered things, machines. Language has been reduced to just another tool in the gigantic apparatus of production in modern society.”

Max Horkheimer, Eclipse of Reason

“Suppose that, at a given moment, a certain number of people are engaged in the manufacture of pins….”

“Suppose that, at a given moment, a certain number of people are engaged in the manufacture of pins. They make as many pins as the world needs, working (say) eight hours a day. Someone makes an invention by which the same number of men can make twice as many pins: pins are already so cheap that hardly any more will be bought at a lower price. In a sensible world, everybody concerned in the manufacturing of pins would take to working four hours instead of eight, and everything else would go on as before. But in the actual world this would be thought demoralizing. The men still work eight hours, there are too many pins, some employers go bankrupt, and half the men previously concerned in making pins are thrown out of work. There is, in the end, just as much leisure as on the other plan, but half the men are totally idle while half are still overworked. In this way, it is insured that the unavoidable leisure shall cause misery all round instead of being a universal source of happiness. Can anything more insane be imagined?”

Bertrand Russell, In Praise of Idleness

“I have never seen a class so deeply demoralised, so incurably debased by selfishness, so corroded…”

“I have never seen a class so deeply demoralised, so incurably debased by selfishness, so corroded within, so incapable of progress, as the English bourgeoisie. For it nothing exists in this world, except for the sake of money, itself not excluded. It knows no bliss save that of rapid gain, no pain save that of losing gold. In the presence of this avarice and lust of gain, it is not possible for a single human sentiment or opinion to remain untainted.”

Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England

“The purchaser draws boundaries, fences himself in, and says, “This is mine; each one by himself,…”

“The purchaser draws boundaries, fences himself in, and says, “This is mine; each one by himself, each one for himself.” Here, then, is a piece of land upon which, henceforth, no one has a right to step, save the proprietor and his friends; which can benefit nobody, save the proprietor and his servants. Let these sales multiply, and soon the people — who have been neither able nor willing to sell, and who have received none of the proceeds of the sale — will have nowhere to rest, no place of shelter, no ground to till. They will die of hunger at the proprietor’s door, on the edge of that property which was their birthright; and the proprietor, watching them die, will exclaim, “So perish idlers and vagrants!””

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property?

“A religion may be discerned in capitalism — that is to say, capitalism serves essentially to allay…”

“A religion may be discerned in capitalism — that is to say, capitalism serves essentially to allay the same anxieties, torments, and disturbances to which the so-called religions offered answers.”

Walter Benjamin, “Capitalism as Religion”, Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings

“Bourgeois society is ruled by equivalence. It makes dissimilar things comparable by reducing them to…”

“Bourgeois society is ruled by equivalence. It makes dissimilar things comparable by reducing them to abstract quantities… anything which cannot be resolved into numbers, and ultimately into one, is illusion; modern positivism consigns it to poetry.”

Max Horkheimer & Theodor W. Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment

“Human history is simply the history of the servitude which makes men — oppressed and oppressors…”

“Human history is simply the history of the servitude which makes men — oppressed and oppressors alike — the plaything of the instruments of domination they themselves have manufactured, and thus reduces living humanity to being the chattel of inanimate chattels.”

Simone Weil, Oppression and Liberty

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!