What are you reading?

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1020 on: February 06, 2019, 07:07:28 PM »
Even if you have read one good book in your life you will know what reading gives you incomparable pleasure. Sounds draft but when you go through one book in two nights and can live without food but not reading materials it does get to be expensive. There are three books i am currently reading, this book is written on the most successful captain of indian cricket team. I was recommended by a friends who share similar tasted in books and films.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1021 on: March 16, 2019, 07:29:58 PM »
I'm re-reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

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Space Cowgirl

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1022 on: March 19, 2019, 08:18:52 AM »
I'm re-reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

I love that book.
I'm sorry. Am I to understand that when you have a boner you like to imagine punching the shit out of Tom Bishop? That's disgusting.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1023 on: March 19, 2019, 10:13:29 AM »
I'm re-reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

I love that book.

It's such a tragic, darkly beautiful novel. Through all the darkness is a bit of light.

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BatteryStaple

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1024 on: March 20, 2019, 06:55:15 AM »
I'm starting the Malazan series.
Please save me from this enternal torment.

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Pezevenk

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1025 on: March 20, 2019, 02:51:58 PM »
I'm trying to read Being and Event by Alain Badiou. Shit is complex.
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Bullwinkle

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1026 on: March 26, 2019, 02:24:20 AM »
The last book I read was Contact by Carl Sagan.
And that was before the movie.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1027 on: June 15, 2019, 08:39:44 AM »
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance
"Deep Throat: Mister Mulder, why are those like yourself, who believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life on this Earth, not dissuaded by all the evidence to the contrary?
Mulder: Because, all the evidence to the contrary is not entirely dissuasive."

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boydster

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1028 on: August 18, 2019, 10:01:20 AM »
After a discussion in which The Dark Tower series came up yesterday, I realized I haven't ever completed it. So I picked up my copy of The Gunslinger today and I'm making my way through. I still need to get a copy of the last 3 books (that includes The Wind Through the Keyhole).

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Pezevenk

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1029 on: August 18, 2019, 12:58:01 PM »
Someone tried to explain to me once what The Dark Tower was about. I didn't understand a thing. Maybe he was just bad at explaining stuff.
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Space Cowgirl

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1030 on: August 18, 2019, 01:14:37 PM »
I loved it. I should read it all again.
I'm sorry. Am I to understand that when you have a boner you like to imagine punching the shit out of Tom Bishop? That's disgusting.

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Crouton

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1031 on: August 18, 2019, 01:24:24 PM »
After a discussion in which The Dark Tower series came up yesterday, I realized I haven't ever completed it. So I picked up my copy of The Gunslinger today and I'm making my way through. I still need to get a copy of the last 3 books (that includes The Wind Through the Keyhole).

I've read that series. But I think I read thinking of it as science fiction when i should have really accepted it as a sort of poetry.
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Crouton

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1032 on: August 18, 2019, 01:26:32 PM »
Reading the communist manifesto. Its, um, kind of ridiculous. I can almost see why conservatives freak out at the notion of communism.
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Pezevenk

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1033 on: August 20, 2019, 02:07:37 PM »
Reading the communist manifesto. Its, um, kind of ridiculous. I can almost see why conservatives freak out at the notion of communism.
It's not at all ridiculous if you live in mid 19th century Germany. Which part did you find ridiculous? Some of it is very irrelevant to today, but some of it is also very easily misunderstood today.
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Crouton

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1034 on: August 20, 2019, 02:36:14 PM »
Reading the communist manifesto. Its, um, kind of ridiculous. I can almost see why conservatives freak out at the notion of communism.
It's not at all ridiculous if you live in mid 19th century Germany. Which part did you find ridiculous? Some of it is very irrelevant to today, but some of it is also very easily misunderstood today.

I got half way through it and then decided that I didn't have enough knowledge of the world in which it was written to really judge it fairly.  But here's a few thoughts.

It mentions destroying the family as it's an instrument of oppression.  What the fuck does that even mean?  This one is so preposterous that I assume I must be missing something.

Many times he mentions that capitalism has made goods and service much cheaper.  But he phrases it like it's a bad thing.  It strikes me as out of touch with reality to not appreciate why making things we need to survive cheaper and more available is a good thing.

The world he describes is one I'm unfamiliar with.  America doesn't fit his description of class struggle all that well.  I feel that applying the Communist Manifesto on the society I live in is a lot like applying the ideas of Ayn Rand.  Rand's point of view might make sense in Russia.  It's nonsensical here.

This last point isn't really a criticism.  Looking at some of things Marx proposes, I think he sort of won.  The peasants have a lot of workplace protections and a social safety net that Marx seems to vaguely propose.  It makes me think that communism and capitalism really aren't mutually exclusive.

*edit.  Oh.  It also mentions abolishing private property.  How does that even work?
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 02:39:15 PM by Crouton »
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Pezevenk

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1035 on: August 20, 2019, 03:05:30 PM »


I got half way through it and then decided that I didn't have enough knowledge of the world in which it was written to really judge it fairly.  But here's a few thoughts.

It mentions destroying the family as it's an instrument of oppression.  What the fuck does that even mean?  This one is so preposterous that I assume I must be missing something.

Ooh that one freaked me out too when I first read it. But if you read some of the things Engels says about families and how the modern western family came to exist, it makes more sense and it's not as scary as it sounds. The family as used in Marx's and Engels' works is a specific structure, dependent on marriage (which is partly about passing down wealth), the children being viewed as instruments to gather wealth, subordinating the members to the authority of the father, etc. Marx does not mean he wants to destroy emotional ties between families or to split them apart or whatever. That's why he specifies it by clarifying that he is talking about the bourgeois family. And of course he also says that he is in support of social education as opposed to home education which is the standard today anyways (schools). In a sense Marx is saying that it is the bourgeoisie which is destroying family.

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Many times he mentions that capitalism has made goods and service much cheaper.  But he phrases it like it's a bad thing.  It strikes me as out of touch with reality to not appreciate why making things we need to survive cheaper and more available is a good thing.
Where was that specifically? Because he obviously doesn't think it is bad for things to be easily available, he is extremely supportive of ending scarcity in all of his writings. I don't really remember him saying something like that.

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The world he describes is one I'm unfamiliar with.  America doesn't fit his description of class struggle all that well.
Class struggle in modern America has been bluntened significantly compared to other countries, largely because of various ideological reasons. However it's not that it isn't there, it's just not as obvious, though it seems like it's getting more acute more recently.

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I feel that applying the Communist Manifesto on the society I live in is a lot like applying the ideas of Ayn Rand.  Rand's point of view might make sense in Russia.  It's nonsensical here.
Well, the CM is not exactly something you apply anyways, it was a text Marx and Engels wrote to rile people up for a conference of the communist party, it's not really a political program.

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This last point isn't really a criticism.  Looking at some of things Marx proposes, I think he sort of won.  The peasants have a lot of workplace protections and a social safety net that Marx seems to vaguely propose.  It makes me think that communism and capitalism really aren't mutually exclusive.
You're not wrong that a lot of things were won in subsequent years (which is why I said part of it is pretty irrelevant), but also communism and capitalism are obviously very mutually exclusive. The mode of production didn't change substantially, it's just that certain concessions were made.

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*edit.  Oh.  It also mentions abolishing private property.  How does that even work?
That's one of the most common misunderstandings. There is a difference between personal and private property. Your PC is personal property. Your toothbrush is personal property. Your books? Personal property. They're yours. No one will mess with your toothbrush. But maybe you own an apartment and you rent it to someone. Maybe you own a factory, or a farm, or a mine. These things are private property. They are capital, they are property which produces things and/or generates profit. This is the kind of property that will be abolished, because profit will be (eventually, in what Marx calls the higher stage of communism) abolished, and the people as a whole will control production and distribute resources produced from each according to their ability to each according to their need.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 03:07:08 PM by Pezevenk »
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Pezevenk

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1036 on: August 20, 2019, 03:29:26 PM »
Oh, also, you should read the rest, there is a part at the end of the second chapter where they actually do lay down some things that they believe should be done for starters in developed countries. The 3rd chapter is mostly about trash talking other socialists of the time who are not the right kind of socialists, but it's useful because it makes you understand how marxism differs form various utopian ideas, opportunism, etc. You can draw parallels to modern disagreements between various leftist movements.
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Crouton

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1037 on: August 20, 2019, 03:47:46 PM »
Oh, also, you should read the rest, there is a part at the end of the second chapter where they actually do lay down some things that they believe should be done for starters in developed countries. The 3rd chapter is mostly about trash talking other socialists of the time who are not the right kind of socialists, but it's useful because it makes you understand how marxism differs form various utopian ideas, opportunism, etc. You can draw parallels to modern disagreements between various leftist movements.

I'm thinking that I need something written for a more modern audience.  But I'll read the rest of it.

It goes on and on about the bourgeois.  I had to look up what exactly that is.  And I don't think that term even maps correctly to any economic class in America.
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Pezevenk

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1038 on: August 20, 2019, 03:54:57 PM »
Oh, also, you should read the rest, there is a part at the end of the second chapter where they actually do lay down some things that they believe should be done for starters in developed countries. The 3rd chapter is mostly about trash talking other socialists of the time who are not the right kind of socialists, but it's useful because it makes you understand how marxism differs form various utopian ideas, opportunism, etc. You can draw parallels to modern disagreements between various leftist movements.

I'm thinking that I need something written for a more modern audience.  But I'll read the rest of it.

It goes on and on about the bourgeois.  I had to look up what exactly that is.  And I don't think that term even maps correctly to any economic class in America.
Oh, "bourgeois" is a far more common word in Europe, I assumed it was the same in the US. It does map to modern economic classes. The bourgeois are the capitalists, the upper class, those who own the means of production, and more modern Marxists also lump in managers etc. The bourgeois are the company stockholders, the big landlords, the tycoons, the CEOs, the stock brokers, the bankers, etc. The petit bourgeoisie or petty bourgeoisie are the small business owners (and sometimes intellectuals, academics etc are also classified as such), the working class is, well, the working class, and then you also have the lumpen proletariat which is the destitute, the vagrants, the criminals etc, basically the margins of society.

Anyways, even though it is not intended for a modern audience the CM is a good place to start reading about the radical left because it is a very accessible way to get a very general picture of the orientation of marxism, but it's definitely not the place to stop.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 03:56:56 PM by Pezevenk »
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Pezevenk

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1039 on: August 20, 2019, 04:35:23 PM »
Oh, I forgot, Engels actually wrote a sort of FAQ for communism once, which clarifies some of the confusing things:
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/11/prin-com.htm#nb

Definitely read that one, it is short and it will help you make sense of the CM.
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Pezevenk

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1040 on: August 20, 2019, 04:38:50 PM »
Here is the bit about the family:

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What will be the influence of communist society on the family?
It will transform the relations between the sexes into a purely private matter which concerns only the persons involved and into which society has no occasion to intervene. It can do this since it does away with private property and educates children on a communal basis, and in this way removes the two bases of traditional marriage – the dependence rooted in private property, of the women on the man, and of the children on the parents.

And here is the answer to the outcry of the highly moral philistines against the “community of women”. Community of women is a condition which belongs entirely to bourgeois society and which today finds its complete expression in prostitution. But prostitution is based on private property and falls with it. Thus, communist society, instead of introducing community of women, in fact abolishes it.

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