The Left today, in all its orientations and traditions, is caught into a theoretical and political cul de sac: apart from the repetition of old formulas and citations of various authors, as well as in the (re)invention and elevation of trivial figures into the guiding names of our struggle, the Left cannot provide a new vision for humanity. The Left is disoriented, the burden of the failure of the Communist experiments of the previous century and its (mostly) catastrophic outcomes weigh too heavily on our shoulders. In addition, the rise of right-wing forces and religious ‘fundamentalism’ is equally worrisome. The right wing or populist political parties, across Europe and elsewhere, are ruthlessly appropriating the discourse which traditionally belongs to the left and distorting it according to their own political agenda. The working class is, in this distorted perspective, divided into working people of particular countries, always potentially threatened by immigrants, low wages in neighbouring countries, global market competition, etc., instead of being a united class of people exploited by global capital, i.e. holding the “proletarian position”. The same goes for the religious ‘fundamentalists’ with their insistence on theocracy, who propose a return to the invented tradition, or even worse: the theological-religious struggle, instead of accentuating the emancipatory potential of religions, is becoming a struggle for dress and dietary codes. Against this, we should recall Mao Zedongs dictum: “Marxism comprises many principles, but in the final analysis they can all be brought back to a single sentence: it is right to rebel against the reactionaries.”.
- Henrik Jøker Bjerre & Agon Hamza, Editorial Note - Crisis & Critique: Democracy and Revolution Issue 1 (via foucault-the-haters)

It is the field of the problematic that defines and structures the invisible as the defined excluded, excluded from the field of visibility and defined as excluded by the existence and peculiar structure of the field of the problematic; as what forbids and represses the reflection of the field on its object, i.e., the necessary and immanent inter-relationship of the problematic and one of its objects.

[…] These new objects and problems are necessarily invisible in the field of the existing theory, because they are forbidden by it—they are objects and problems necessarily without any necessary relations with the field of the visible as defined by the problematic. They are invisible because they are rejected in principle, repressed from the field of the visible: and that is why their fleeting presence in the field when it does occur (in very peculiar and symptomatic circumstances) goes unperceived, and becomes literally an undivulgeable absence—since the whole function of the field is not to see them, to forbid any sighting of them. Here, again, the invisible is no more a function of a subject’s sighting than is the visible: the invisible is the theoretical problematic’s non-vision of its non-objects, the invisible is the darkness, the blinded eye of the theoretical problematic’s self-reflection when it scans its non-objects, its non-problems without seeing them, in order not to look at them.

- Louis Althusser, Reading Capital (via aidsnegligee)
Thus, wherever the monogamous family remains true to its historical origin and clearly reveals the antagonism between the man and the woman expressed in the man’s exclusive supremacy, it exhibits in miniature the same oppositions and contradictions as those in which society has been moving, without power to resolve or overcome them, ever since it split into classes at the beginning of civilization.
- Friedrich Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (via howtotalktogirlsdialectically)

(Source: goneril-and-regan)

Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires
- John Steinbeck (via stickyembraces)
All progress in capitalistic agriculture is a progress in the art, not only of robbing the labourer, but of robbing the soil; all progress in increasing the fertility of the soil for a given time, is a progress towards ruining the lasting sources of that fertility.
- Karl Marx, Capital  (via ecaudate)

(Source: daveomitchell)

Capitalist democracy is a contradiction in terms, for it encapsulates two opposed systems. On the one hand there is capitalism, a system of economic organization that demands the existence of a relatively small class of people who own and control the main means of industrial, commercial, and financial activity, as well as a major part of the means of communication; these people thereby exercise a totally disproportionate amount of influence on politics and society both in their own countries and in lands far beyond their own borders. On the other hand there is democracy, which is based on the denial of such preponderance, and which requires a rough equality of condition that capitalism repudiates by its very nature. Domination and exploitation … are at the very core of capitalist democracy, and are inextricably linked to it.
- Ralph Miliband
We should not say that one man’s hour is worth another man’s hour, but rather that one man during an hour is worth just as much as another man during an hour. Time is everything, man is nothing: he is at the most time’s carcass.
- Karl Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy (via revjalen)
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
The masses are in reality their own leaders, dialectically creating their own development process.
- Rosa Luxemburg (via fyeahrosaluxemburg)
If people do not actively combat a political regime which oppresses them, it may not be because they have meekly imbibed its governing values. It may be because they are too exhausted after a hard day’s work to have much energy left to engage in political activity, or because they are too fatalistic or apathetic to see the point of opposing the regime; or they may spend too much time worrying about their jobs and mortgages and income tax returns to give it much thought. Ruling classes have at their disposal a great may techniques of ‘negative’ social control, which are a good deal more prosaic and material than persuading their subjects that they belong to a master race or exhorting them to identify with the destiny of the nation.
- Terry Eagleton, Ideology: an introduction, p.34

(Source: itsworsethanthat)

A collection of Leftist quotations, sayings, and aphorisms.

Compiled by Euan and Brandon