„Calvin’s theocentric irrationalism eventually revealed itself as the cunning to technocratic reason which had to shape its human material. Misery and the poor laws did not suffice to drive men into the workshops of the early capitalistic era. The new spirit helped to supplement external pressures with a concern for wife and child to which the moral autonomy of the introverted subject in reality was tantamount.“

—  Max Horkheimer, p. 34.
Max Horkheimer Foto
Max Horkheimer3
1895 - 1973
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„The capitalist world could not help giving birth to the socialist, but now the socialist world should not seek to destroy by force the ground from which it grew. Under the present conditions this would be tantamount to the suicide of mankind. Socialism should ennoble that ground by its example and other indirect forms of pressure and then merge with it.“

—  Andrei Sakharov Soviet nuclear physicist and human rights activist 1921 - 1989
Context: Without socialism, bourgeois practices and the egotistical principle of private ownership gave rise to the "people of the abyss" described by Jack London and earlier by Engels. Only the competition with socialism and the pressure of the working class made possible the social progress of the twentieth century and, all the more, will insure the now inevitable process of rapprochement of the two systems. It took socialism to raise the meaning of labor to the heights of a moral feat. Before the advent of socialism, national egotism gave rise to colonial oppression, nationalism, and racism. By now it has become clear that victory is on the side of the humanistic, international approach. The capitalist world could not help giving birth to the socialist, but now the socialist world should not seek to destroy by force the ground from which it grew. Under the present conditions this would be tantamount to the suicide of mankind. Socialism should ennoble that ground by its example and other indirect forms of pressure and then merge with it.

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Simone Weil Foto

„The reality of this world is necessity. The part of man which is in this world is the part which is in bondage to necessity and subject to the misery of need.“

—  Simone Weil French philosopher, Christian mystic, and social activist 1909 - 1943
Context: The respect inspired by the link between man and the reality alien to this world can make itself evident to that part of man which belongs to the reality of this world. The reality of this world is necessity. The part of man which is in this world is the part which is in bondage to necessity and subject to the misery of need. The one possibility of indirect expression of respect for the human being is offered by men's needs, the needs of the soul and of the body, in this world.

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„Reason is the life of the law; nay, the common law itself is nothing else but reason... The law, which is perfection of reason.“

—  Edward Coke English lawyer and judge 1552 - 1634
The First Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England, or, A Commentary on Littleton (London, 1628, ed. F. Hargrave and C. Butler, 19th ed., London, 1832), Third Institute. Compare: "Let us consider the reason of the case. For nothing is law that is not reason", Sir John Powell, Coggs vs. Bernard, 2 Ld. Raym. Rep. p. 911.

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„Morality is thus the relation of actions to the autonomy of the will, that is, to a possible giving of universal law through its maxims.“

—  Immanuel Kant German philosopher 1724 - 1804
Context: Morality is thus the relation of actions to the autonomy of the will, that is, to a possible giving of universal law through its maxims. An action that can coexist with the autonomy of the will is permitted; one that does not accord with it is forbidden. A will whose maxims necessarily harmonize with the laws of autonomy is a holy, absolutely good will. The dependence upon the principle of autonomy of a will that is not absolutely good (moral necessitation) is obligation. This, accordingly, cannot be attributed to a holy being. The objective of an action from obligation is called duty.

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„The only true lasting benefit which the statesman can give to the poor man is so to shape matters that the greatest possible opportunity for the exercise of his own moral and intellectual qualities shall be offered to him by the law“

—  Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury British politician 1830 - 1903
Context: We must learn this rule, which is true alike of rich and poor — that no man and no class of men ever rise to any permanent improvement in their condition of body or of mind except by relying upon their own personal efforts. The wealth with which the rich man is surrounded is constantly tempting him to forget the truth, ad you see in family after family men degenerating from the position of their fathers because they live sluggishly and enjoy what has been placed before them without appealing to their own exertions. The poor man, especially in these days, may have a similar temptation offered to him by legislation, but this same inexorable rule will work. The only true lasting benefit which the statesman can give to the poor man is so to shape matters that the greatest possible opportunity for the exercise of his own moral and intellectual qualities shall be offered to him by the law; and therefore it is that in my opinion nothing that we can do this year, and nothing that we did before, will equal in the benefit that it will confer upon the physical condition, and with the physical will follow the moral too, of the labouring classes in the rural districts, that measure for free education which we passed last year. It will have the effect of bringing education home to many a family which hitherto has not been able to enjoy it, and in that way, by developing the faculties which nature has given to them, it will be a far surer and a far more valuable aid to extricate them from any of the sufferings or hardships to which they may be exposed than the most lavish gifts of mere sustenance that the State could offer. Speech to Devonshire Conservatives (January 1892), as quoted in The Marquis of Salisbury (1892), by James J. Ellis, p. 185 Variant: The only true lasting benefit which the statesman can give to the poor man is so to shape matters that the greatest possible liberty for the exercise of his own moral and intellectual qualities should be offered to him by law. As quoted in Salisbury — Victorian Titan (1999) by Andrew Roberts

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„In 1834 the Government... did themselves high honour by the new Poor Law Act, which rescued the English peasantry from the total loss of their independence.“

—  William Ewart Gladstone British Liberal politician and prime minister of the United Kingdom 1809 - 1898
'Early Parliamentary Life 1832–52. 1833–4 in the old House of Commons' (3 June 1897), quoted in John Brooke and Mary Sorensen (eds.), The Prime Minister's Papers: W. E. Gladstone. I: Autobiographica (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1971), p. 55.

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