Karl Marx: Nothing to Expect but a Hiding

He, who before was the money owner, now strides in front as capitalist; the possessor of labour power follows as his labourer. The one with an air of importance, smirking, intent on business; the other, timid and holding back, like one who is bringing his own hide to market and has nothing to expect but–a hiding.

                      –Karl Marx, from Capital

Chomsky: Power Used Wisely

(Image Credit: Duncan Rawlinson)

It is only in folk tales, children’s stories, and the journals of intellectual opinion that power is used wisely and well to destroy evil. The real world teaches very different lessons, and it takes willful and dedicated ignorance to fail to perceive them.

–Noam Chomsky, from a talk given at Tufts University in 2001

Eugene Debs: I am my brother’s keeper

(Eugene Victor Debs. Nov. 5, 1855-Oct. 20, 1926)

A little break from my usual poetry posting. Eugene V. Debs. Labor leader. Five time Socialist Party candidate for U.S. Presidency. Much of what he said still burns with his original intensity, and is as true today as when he said it:

Now my friends, I am opposed to the system of society in which we live today, not because I lack the natural equipment to do for myself, but because I am not satisfied to make myself comfortable knowing that there are thousands of my fellow men who suffer for the barest necessities of life. We were taught under the old ethic that man’s business on this earth was to look out for himself. That was the ethic of the jungle; the ethic of the wild beast. Take care of yourself, no matter what may become of your fellow man. Thousands of years ago the question was asked: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society.
Yes, I am my brother’s keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by any maudlin sentimentality, but by the higher duty I owe to myself. What would you think of me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death.
                                 –Eugene Debs, from his 1908 speech “The Issue”

Mitt vs. Obama–A Political Post!

(Image credit: http://www.justjared.com/)

I’m going to take a chance here with a political post. I know how divisive this can be, and I have no wish to start an argument. But I am a one-issue voter this year. Let me walk you through my penetrating analysis of the current political situation. Read intelligently, and then deal with it.

Here’s my issue. As a good Mormon, Mitt does not drink. This means that I stand no chance of being called to a Beer Summit at the White House should Mitt win the election–there will be no more Beer Summits. Sure, it’s a long shot with Pres. Obama that I will be called up to add my expertise at the next Summit, but at least with him there is a chance. And from what I understand, the last Beer Summit featured SweetWater beer, my favorite brand. I cannot vote against a man who showed such great taste and sensitivity–it would violate everything I believe in, everything that is great about America, land of the free and brave and thirsty. God Bless America!

**UPDATE**: I stand corrected–SweetWater did not play a role at the last Beer Summit. Treason! Whoever told me this should be thrown in prison for life. Evidently the Pres. drank Bud Light. Is a Beer Summit featuring Bud Light better than no Summit at all? I’m going to need time to consider how this changes things. Certainly Pres. Obama has fallen a few rungs in my estimation.