Yiddishe Lebn; Wissenschaft des Judentums; Queens and sometimes queens; Zionismus des Geistes; Folk Music--even some shoutouts to my brothers and sisters and non-binary kin of all Jewish ethnicities, but usually this is Ashkie and Germanophone-centric.
because early Jewish texts grew out of an ancient capitalist-esque environment, and were therefore concerned with assisting both capitalists (ba’alim, owners, etc), and protecting workers’ rights. These texts were produced in fairly jewishly populated areas in which some Jews were rich and some weren’t; contrast this to eastern europe were basically every Jew was poor as shit. THE TALMUD AIN’T GONNA BE MUCH HELP IN THAT ENVIRONMENT.
SO As much as I’d like to think some rabbis were proto-Hegels/Marxs, THEY DO NOT COMMENT ON ENTIRE SYSTEMS OF POWER. Therefore, they do not really endorse any kind of right- or left-wing ideology, but kind of unconsciously support the status quo.
"The “Iron Front” is essentially a bloc of numerically powerful Social Democratic trade unions with impotent groups of bourgeois “republicans” which have lost entirely the support of the people and all confidence in themselves. When it comes to fighting, cadavers are worthless, but they come in handy to keep the living from fighting. Their bourgeois allies serve the Social Democratic leaders as a bridle around the necks of the workers’ organizations. We must fight! We must fight! … but that is only empty talk. With God’s help, everything will be settled ultimately without any bloodshed. Is it possible that the fascists will really decide to stop talking and get down to business? They, the Social Democrats, never so much as ventured on such a course, and they, the Social Democrats, are no worse than other people. In case of actual danger, the Social Democracy banks not on the “Iron Front” but on the Prussian police. It is reckoning without its host! The fact that the police was originally recruited in large numbers from among Social Democratic workers is absolutely meaningless. Consciousness is determined by environment even in this instance. The worker who becomes a policeman in the service of the capitalist state, is a bourgeois cop, not a worker. Of late years these policemen have had to do much more fighting with revolutionary workers than with Nazi students. Such training does not fail to leave its effects. And above all: every policeman knows that though governments may change, the police remain."
Trotsky, What Next?
In chapter six of Bava Metzia, page aעז, R’ Dosa (no relation to the delicious Indian dish), seems aware of the inherent instability of labor markets: when the value of labor falls, workers will always be screwed. This is the answer, corroborated by Rashi, to the פשיטא: “if workers complete a job [after quitting or being fired], they collect their full wages”; a point that seems so obvious it shouldn’t merit discussion. The point, however, is not obvious, due to the aforementioned market instability, which abets the willingness of employers to not pay workers full wages. If Dosa’s opinion were not included, employers would have had more leeway to oppress workers. It is naive to think that the Talmud and its contributers, who are, like everyone else, products of power dynamics, would not at times reference—unconsciously, perhaps— these underlying hierarchies. Dosa seems to be familiar with an ancient version of the master/slave binary.
Our support for higher education makes sense only if we regard this intellectual culture as essential to our society. Otherwise, we could provide job-training and basic social and moral formation for young adults far more efficiently and cheaply, through, say, a combination of professional and trade schools, and public service programs. There would be no need to support, at great expense, the highly specialized interests of, for example, physicists, philosophers, anthropologists and art historians. Colleges and universities have no point if we do not value the knowledge and understanding to which their faculties are dedicated.
Definitely worth a read if you’re a student or faculty member right now.
Despite the mention of physics (which I don’t really understand, because academic researchers are responsible for basically all advances in semiconductors and photovoltaics and meteorological forecasting, on both the theoretical and empirical levels) this is really an argument about the relevance of social science and humanities research.
It’s only the liberal arts and social sciences where you find “research” totally disconnected from the real world, where no one is interested in improving the lives of the general public in any capacity, but they are interested in jetting off to a resort in a desperately poor country to discuss what 19th-century German philosophers would think of the revolutions in North Africa. (That’s an actual example for which I’ve seen a call for papers on mailing lists, incidentally.) And actually engaging with the public is viewed really skeptically, as equivalent to selling out. Have you ever heard sociology grad students talk about the possibility that they’ll ever end up teaching at a community college? It’s like the absolute worst-case scenario is that they’ll occasionally have to descend from their lofty Academic Discourse and provide some service to the unwashed masses.
I’d suggest that research that doesn’t lead to improvements in the lives of the public (in terms of better technology or more effective policy or a better understanding of current events or whatever) is a really questionable funding priority for any university, especially a publicly funded one. And it’s up to the researchers themselves to demonstrate why their research matters off-campus, if they want to keep their funding. Otherwise, it definitely makes sense to replace them with primarily instructional faculty, and to put more emphasis on public service and professional schools.
Wtf is this? Science > humanities? The problem is not academia; it’s capitalism. It’s systems of power that keep academia irrelevant and unobtainable, that keep people lower class despite education (the US has low rates of class mobility). I thought we had moved passed dogmatic Marxism that derided all artistic and cultural endeavors as bourgeois. Shouldn’t we be asking for society to take academia more seriously, instead of vice versa?
I hate this stupid fucking photo!! There is NO DIFFERENCE between capitalism and greed/exploitation. I don’t understand how average Americans can support capitalism when most of them are clearly not landowning, labor exploiting capitalists. They’re librarians, construction workers, small business owners, maids and taxi drivers. Stop giving credence, however small and theoretical, to the very system that oppresses you. Read some fucking Marx, people.
Antagonist: “My father to ok his family out of Nazi Germany when he was a teen; they left with one suitcase each.”
Me (obvs): It’s great that your family had the resources to leave Nazi Germany. In fact, most German Jews did leave (my family left Germany before WWI) and fewer of them were killed, at least per capita, than Jews in other European countries. I guess those poor Polish Jews without money just didn’t have what it takes to survive.
Please never misconstrue the Holocaust to your means again. Always remember that there are people poorer than you who do not have the same opportunities; no matter how little your father had when he came here, there were others who had less and who died because of it.
And furthermore, when your father arrived (and before he arrived), he was probably assisted by numerous charitable organizations, both religious and civic. Don’t forget that either.