“‘And what is it all for? What will come of it all? Here am I, with never a moment’s peace, either with child or nursing a child, always irritable and bad-tempered, a nuisance to myself and everyone else, and unbearable to my husband. So I shall go on for the rest of my life, producing a lot of unfortunate, badly brought-up, penniless children. Even now, I don’t know what we should have done if Kitty and Kostya had not invited us to spend the summer with them. Of course they are so considerate and have so much that we hardly feel uncomfortable about it, but it can’t go on for ever. They’ll have children of their own and won’t be able to help us. It’s a drag on them as it is. How is papa to help us — he has already almost ruined himself for us? So it comes to this: I can’t give the children a start myself, except with other people’s assistance at the cost of humiliation. At best, supposing I have the good fortune not to lose any more of them and manage to bring them up somehow — the very best that can happen is that they won’t turn out badly. That is as much as I can hope for. And what agonies, what toil, just for that—my whole life ruined!’ Again she recalled the words of the young peasant woman, and again they were abhorrent to her; but she could not help admitting that there was a measure of brutal truth at the back of them.”

— Dolly in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenin (tr. Rosemary Edmonds; p. 638 in ISBN 0140440410)



This coming week, our union—United Auto Workers Local 2865—has called a system-wide strike in protest of unfair labor practices (ULPs) by the university. Although particular grievances differ from campus to campus, in aggregate, they concern the university’s…

"But before this war, all of this gold was out here, in the sunlight, In the world. Yet look what happened." Goto Dengo shudders. "Wealth that is stored up in gold is dead. It rots and stinks. True wealth is made every day by men getting up out of bed and going to work. By schoolchildren doing their lessons, improving their minds. Tell those men that if they want wealth, they should come to Nippon with me after the war. We will start businesses and build buildings."

"Spoken like a true Nipponese," Enoch says bitterly. "You never change."

"Please make me understand what you are saying."

"What of the man who cannot get out of bed and work because he has no legs? What of the widow who has no husband to work, no children to support her? What of children who cannot improve their minds because they lack books and schoolhouses?"

"You can shower gold on them," Goto Dengo says. "Soon enough, it will all be gone."

"Yes. But some of it will be gone into books and bandages."

    — Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon (page 1070 in ISBN 978-0-06-051280-4)

“In any case, most people are too preoccupied with keeping themselves afloat to bother with visions of the future. Social disruption, understandably enough, is not something most men and women are eager to embrace. They will certainly not embrace it just because socialism sounds like a good idea. It is when the deprivations of the status quo begin to outweigh the drawbacks of radical change that a leap into the future begins to seem a reasonable proposition. Revolutions tend to break out when almost any alternative seems preferable to the present. In that situation, not to rebel would be irrational. Capitalism cannot complain when, having appealed for centuries to the supremacy of self-interest, its hirelings recognize that their collective self-interest lies in trying something different for a change.”
— Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, ch. 8 (p. 194 in ISBN 978-0-300-18153-1)