dialectics of nature

Der Schwarzwald (Black Forest) is a wooded mountain range in Baden-Württemberg, Southwestern Germany. It’s one of the most rural areas in all of Germany. It’s bordered by the Rhein valley, France, and Switzerland; highest peak is the Feldberg (1,493 m). The forest mostly consists of pines and firs. The main industry is tourism. Popular destinations include Baden Baden, Freiburg, and Calw (birth town of Hermann Hesse); the Titisee and Schluchsee lakes; the All Saints and Triberg Waterfalls, and the gorge of the River Wutach. Dialects spoken here are Alemannic and Swabian. 17 Michelin-starred restaurants are located in the region. 

anonymous asked:

dont know if you take requests but what if this scenario in which harry tells you like "we should live together" and you agree and then you get into sort of a fight cause you ask when he's moving in and he was like well won't you move in with me? (i mean his place bigger anyway) and she was "well im not gonna move out of my place that's next to my job/friends and move in to yours when you're gone all the time" it's angsty/fluff thingy

Ah I hope you like it! Thanks for sending in a request, have a lovely week x


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your-future-lesbian-girlfriend  asked:

can you rec some (easy) stuff to read by the green anarchist meme man ty

ok so i havent read everything by the ecology meme man but i have read quite a bit from him and his students. not everything i recommend is gonna be by him. this is just gonna be a reading list for him and communalism in general, so i apologize.

pre-requisites for understanding bookchin:

- The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and the other guy

- The Conquest of Bread by Pyotr Kropotkin

intro to bookchin:

- Communalism: A Liberatory Alternative by Marcus & Stephanie Amargi

- Our Synthetic Environment by Murray Bookchin (most people consider this book optional or unimportant, but I personally disagree)

beginner bookchin: 

- Post-Scarcity Anarchism by Murray Bookchin (probably the most important book he’s ever written)

- Social Ecology and Communalism by Murray Bookchin

intermediate bookchin:

- The Politics of Social Ecology by Janet Biehl 

- The Next Revolution by Murray Bookchin 

- The Murray Bookchin Reader by Janet Biehl (I couldn’t find a pdf of this, so here’s an audiobook, theres a section on Dialectical Naturalism at the end that might be too difficult for you, it was for me at first, revisit that after reading the advanced bookchin texts)

advanced bookchin:

- The Ecology of Freedom by Murray Bookchin (considered to be his magnus opus)

- A Philosophical Naturalism by Murray Bookchin (a short but difficult introduction to dialectical naturalism)

- The Philosophy of Social Ecology (could not find any pdf or audiobook for this, if you make it this far and feel that Bookchin is on to something and is correct, it’s about $20 on amazon)

communalism after bookchin: 

(could not find any pdfs or audiobooks for any of these)

- **Ecology of Everyday Life by Chaia Heller** (I HIGHLY recommend this book)

- Communalism as Alternative by Erik Eiglad

- Recovering Bookchin by Andy Price

- Anthropology of Utopia by Dan Chodorkoff

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

https://www.reddit.com/r/Communalists/

http://social-ecology.org/wp/

http://social-ecology.org/wp/category/social-ecology-journals/left-green-perspectives/ (Murray Bookchin’s newspaper!) 

And remember, people read and learn at their own pace, it took me months and months to read these (I havent read everything on this list admittedly) and I had to utilize the additional resources a few times before I got certain things. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right away, because I certainly didn’t!

caitlwnsnow  asked:

Supercorp :)

I love you for this friend! :)

who holds the umbrella when it rains
Lena for sure. I have a headcanon that when Kara first came to Earth she was really intrigued with the rain and different weather patterns being so vastly different from Krypton. Tiny Kara would love to run around during rain showers and jump in puddles (there was one time where she jumped very forcefully in a large puddle and Alex ended up looking like a drowned rat.). Plus Kara can’t get sick so Lena is huddled under the fanciest of umbrellas whilst Kara happily walks by her side, sometimes Kara walks under the umbrella too - it’s mainly just an excuse to have Lena pressed into her side.

who is the grumpiest in the morning
Kara but only because Lena works at really random hours so she’s used to getting up early. Though Kara’s responses are normally just sleepy mumbles and weak protests before she ends up falling back asleep with Lena kissing her cheek before leaving.

who worries more when the other is sick/hurt
I’m actually going to go with Lena for this one because whilst I do like protective Kara I feel like Lena has seen a lot of suffering and she’s had to put on a brave face but when she tells Kara she knew about her identity all along then she becomes incredibly anxious any time Kara has to go and be Supergirl. She hacked into the DEO once when the news cut off. It gets a little easier when J’onn decides to let Lena be part of the com system. Though when Kara got injured after Mon-El screwed up on one of their missions it took three agents and an anti-anxiety medication to get her to calm down.

who plays pranks on the other
Kara started it. She knows Lena never really got to partake in prank wars growing up so Kara makes it her mission to play as many pranks on her unsuspecting girlfriend and they are so goofy that Lena can’t even be annoyed. Though once Lena starts to prank her back it becomes clear that Lena has some very serious pranking skills. Winn hates it when the two of them team up against him.

who is always the first to suggest cuddling on the sofa
Pffft, as if you need to ask. KARA. Kara is the cuddliest of muffins and Lena was slightly taken aback by it at first, it took a while for her to relax enough to let herself be comforted. Everyone teases them at game nights because Lena sits in Kara’s lap with Kara’s arms around her waist constantly but Lena loves that Kara is a cuddler.

who insists on creating nicknames for the other
KARA. Kara learnt at a young age that humans like to give one another nicknames and because she never had any she insists on giving people nicknames and when she learns that Lena has never had one either? Well let’s just say that Kara gets creative with her nicknames: babe, honey, beautiful, honey bunch, baby, Lee and Leanie-bean you can pry that nickname from my cold dead have all been used frequently. Though Lena has a few more colourful ones of her own ;)

who drools on the other when they’re asleep
Lena? Maybe. Okay so maybe after getting used to how cuddly Kara is then Lena ends up falling asleep in Kara’s arms and yes occasionally she drools. She gets embarrassed because Kara says she finds it adorable “big tough ceo drooling on my shoulder” Kara soon shuts up when Alex threatens to show Lena a picture of 13 year old Kara with ice-cream all over her face.

who says ‘I love you’ first
Kara. She says it in Kryptonian and Lena cries. She sobs and Kara is so confused because she thought that humans liked to hear that and she just really wanted Lena to know how she felt. Lena cries because she still doesn’t understand how someone as wonderful as Kara could be with her because she’s “just a Luthor”. After Kara breaks down to Alex about the fact that Lena didn’t say it back, Lena gets a serious talk from the older Danvers - she expects the “how dare you hurt my sister” but what she gets is Alex comforting her and reminding her that whilst she doesn’t see herself in a positive light Kara 100% does and that Kara saying it in her natural dialect was incredibly important, that it meant Kara viewed Lena as her home. 

Old Basque Calendar

See how many names the months have in the different Basque dialects! Their names come from nature instead of gods (as the Roman calendar) and their meanings are so beautiful, you have no idea. Enjoy!!

PS. Fantasy writers of Tumblr, these may inspire you… We won’t tell anyone ^_~.

January:
Urtarrila (the acuatic month)
Ilbeltza / Beltzila (the black month)
Izotzila (the month of ice)

February:
Otsaila (the month of wolves)
Zezeila (the month of bulls)
Barantaila

March:
Martxoa - Martia (Latin origin)
Ostaroa (the season of lulls)
Epaila (the month of prunings)

April:
Apirila / Apiribila (Latin origin)
Opaila / Opea (the month of offerings)
Jorraila (the month of hoeing)

May:
Maiatza (Latin origin)
Loraila (the month of flowers)
Ostoila / Orrila (the month of leaves)

June:
Ekaina (the sun on top)
Bagila (the lazy month)
Garagarrila (the month of barley)
Arramaiatza (May again)
Errearoa (the season of fires)

July:
Uztaila (the month of harvest)
Garagarrila (the month of barley)
Garila (the month of reeds)

August:
Abuztua / Aguztua (Latin origin)
Agorrila (the dry month)
Dagonila

September:
Iraila (the month of ferns)
Agorra (drought)
Setemere (Latin origin)
Buruila (the month of ears)
Garoila (the month of dew)

October:
Urria / Urrieta (the month of water)
Lastaila (the month of hay)
Bildila (the month of harvest)

November:
Azaroa / Azila (the season of cabbages)
Zemendia
Gorotzila (the month of manure)

December:
Abendua (Advent)
Gabonila (the month of Christmas)
Negila (the month of winter)
Lotazila (the month of hibernation)

anonymous asked:

What do I say when someone pulls the "Communism won't work because of human nature" card?

Human nature is malleable and very dependent on environmental factors. Anyone who may have been chronicling human nature in the days of feudalism would have arrived at different conclusions when compared to today. At the very least, they would each probably assert some level of “humans are naturally predisposed to hierarchy”. But this is a flawed way of looking at the concept.

For most of humanity’s time on this beautiful blue rock, people lived in relatively egalitarian hunter-gatherer cliques. Far from the assumption that life was “nasty, brutish, and short”, people were able to maintain relative equality and cooperatism because private property had no been established – private property being a concept where OWNERS of land, facilities, resources, etc, unevenly profit off of USERS of those things; all differentiated from personal possessions that an individual can own and control by their oneself. Once agriculture and surplus developed, people began settling in specific locations and class society was born when certain people gained exclusionary access to the land and other sources of wealth.

In short, human nature is variable depending on a given society’s relations to the sources of wealth and the means of production: if a small class hierarchically controls those things and deprives most people of access and influence, then cut-throat individualism or submission to authority will be the name of the human nature game; on the other hand, if people collectively own and democratically manage the sources of wealth and the means of production, based on a principle of “if it affects you, you ought to have influence and access”, then you’re much more likely to see human nature as a concept rooted in cooperation, egalitarianism, and freedom from domination.

Hunter-gatherer societies were/are technically communist – classless, stateless societies where the sources of wealth and value were/are held in common by the people. To arbitrarily claim ownership over a swath of land larger than you could immediately till, would be to enter the beginnings of class society. Humans are capable of great evil in the name of class society and empire, but we’re also capable of great virtue and solidarity, and that best comes about when you have systems that actively nurture those traits (which classlessness does).

There is no one human nature. Environmental factors, access to resources, and relations to the sources of wealth overwhelmingly determine what the human animal is in any given instance. The sooner capitalism-apologists understand that, the sooner they begin to question the very framework through which we base class society (and the sooner they question the propaganda that insists “there is no alternative”; thanks for that one, Maggie Thatcher).

amazinghefi  asked:

I am the Bokuto soulmate angst and poly Semi/Yahaba anon. I hate myself. I love your writing style, it is so damn good. I'd like to request some funny Platonic fluff between Hinata and female friend. I am big on friendship

AHH, don’t hate yourself! Those ideas caused inspiration and created pieces I really enjoyed and so have others! So, thank you for that!

I hope you enjoy this one as well!


“About time you showed up,” her voice caused Hinata’s head to pop up to the living room from where he slipped off his shoes in the doorway. He hadn’t been expecting me her, then again he should of. It was Friday after all. “I almost had to watch the first movie with Natsu.”

He laughed at that, “You’re the last person that’ll expose Natsu to any form of zombies. Next threat.” And it was true. In some respects she was more protective of his younger sister than he was. Expect when it came to boys, then she was the worst enabler of their time.

“I already watched all three movies without you,” she tried again, laying herself over the length of the couch as he approached. Hinata gave little acknowledgement that she was there and plopped himself down onto her and the cushions below, he smiled when he heard the ‘oomph’ that came from her as he settled on top of her. “You really missed out,” she wheezed, hands attempting to push him off her.

They both shuffled as they each strived to reach some kind of comfort, eventually ending with Hinata seated upright with her legs draped across his. “Sorry I was late,” he spoke as he reached for the remote to start the already set up movie, “Kageyama and I were working on our WOOAH move.”

With the opening credits fading onto the screen, their eyes remained glued onto the television, easily falling into their usual routine of movie night Friday. “Is it better than the SHWOOSH one I saw before?” she questioned, Hinata’s dialectal sounds a natural thing to her vocabulary now in the many years that she has known him. While it had taken some getting used to, it might as well be their own personal language now.

“Oh, way better,” he quickly shot in, gaze no longer focused on the screen as they took on a new determination.

She hummed, foot nudging against his leg unconsciously, “I’ll be the judge of that.” She grinned when his head whipped around to face her, glad to see him return the smile just as widely. Because she’d never really tell him just how amazing he was, but then again, she would never really need to.

A Warrior’s Life

TITLE: A Warrior’s Life

CHAPTER NO./ONE SHOT: Chapter Sixteen

AUTHOR: wolfpawn

ORIGINAL IMAGINE:

Imagine Viking Loki coming to your village, raiding and pillaging, before deciding there is something about you that intrigues him and deciding to take you back to Asgard with him. There, you are forced to learn a new life and language, and though you hate what has happened to you, you learn that Loki is not as bad as you think.

RATING: Mature.

Loki watched as Maebh jumped down from the horse before it even had a chance to stop and ran over to an eagerly awaiting Nafi, who immediately wrapped his arms around her waist. Loki watched them as he dismounted his horse and collected Maebh’s one before handing over both sets of reins to the farmhand, before walking over to his son with a content smile on his face. “Wait, why did Maebh get attention before me?” he feigned hurt.

“Well, why did you take longer to get off your horse to get over to him?” Maebh countered sticking her tongue out at him in jest. Nafi let go of her and ran to his father who knelt to embrace his son. “How about I finish making that dinner?” Maebh headed straight to the house, leaving father and son alone outside.

“Father?” Loki looked at his son. “Will you do some training with me like Maebh does?”

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While commies are sitting around analyzing the “dialectical nature of history" and the “material forces that give rise to economic infrastructure and cultural superstructure”, I’ll be busy slicing Pet Rocks in my backyard with my neon green katana, chowing down on Guy Fieri’s patented S'mores Indoors Pizza. Late Capitalism® is truly a Liberty-Filled Wonderland™.

There is no such thing as either man or nature now, only a process that produces the one within the other and couples the machines together. Producing-machines, desiring-machines everywhere, schizophrenic machines, all of species life: the self and the non-self, outside and inside, no longer have any meaning whatsoever.
—  Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, “1. The Desiring-Machines”, 3

language headcanons:

  • by and large almost all living dragons speak Draconic, the earliest version of which was mainly developed by irritated Arcane and Light dragons who were sick of having to pantomine everything in their quest for KNOWLEDGE.
  • each of the deities speaks a tongue originally named after their element, ex. Earthshaker has Ancient Earth. They didn’t speak the same language and often still don’t bother because they can use their god powers or whatever to communicate their meaning directly to each other or other dragons. Particularly religious dragons study these languages in order to better/more respectfully speak to their deity. They also each have their own writing systems, making it extra annoying.
  • the various breed-specific dialects are descended directly from their associated element language, though most of these have faded from common use due to the spread of Draconic (the Coatl language, descended from Ancient Fire, being an exception)
  • there’s probably a variant of Draconic called High Draconic to be used by particularly annoying scholarly types that was developed specifically for ease of shorthand or writing in code
  • some clans speak varieties of Draconic that are mixed heavily with their deity’s language, commonly called Low [element]. While the written forms of these dialects are more or less understandable by everyone who can read Draconic, there are a lot of loanwords and, less commonly, slightly different grammatical structures that muddle up meanings a lot. 
  • a lot of scholars study Ancient Light/Arcane/Earth because they tend to have the most scholarly material, leading them to be associated with pompous ivory tower types (think Greek/Latin)
  • Ancient Water doesn’t have tenses, very rarely uses cause and effect, and puts their various parts of speech wherever they feel like. Pretty much everyone has agreed it is the most aggravating language to learn as a nonnative speaker.
  • Ancient Wind is the closest of the elemental languages to Draconic. This is because Wind dragons were most likely to spread out throughout the lands in their explorations and quickly adopted the seed language and mixed in their common vernacular, syntax, etc. Wind dragons have a reputation for absorbing languages due to necessity.

“If human nature were not base, but thoroughly honourable, we should in every debate have no other aim than the discovery of truth; we should not in the least care whether the truth proved to be in favour of the opinion which we had begun by expressing, or of the opinion of our adversary. That we should regard as a matter of no moment, or, at any rate, of very secondary consequence; but, as things are, it is the main concern. Our innate vanity, which is particularly sensitive in reference to our intellectual powers, will not suffer us to allow that our first position was wrong and our adversary’s right. The way out of this difficulty would be simply to take the trouble always to form a correct judgment. For this we would have to think before we spoke. But, with most people, innate vanity is accompanied by loquacity and innate dishonesty. They speak before they think; and even though they may afterwards perceive that they are wrong, and that what they assert is false, they want it to seem the contrary. The interest in truth, which may be presumed to have been their only motive when they stated the proposition alleged to be true, now gives way to the interests of vanity: and so, for the sake of vanity, what is true must seem false, and what is false must seem true.”

- Arthur Schopenhauer, “The Art of Controversy”, Parerga und Paralipomena (1851)

Emphasis

He doesn’t know to explain it without sounding like a prat. He tries to figure out how to tell her on the days leading up to the holidays, but every time he attempts, his words suddenly fail him. It’s not as if he’s ashamed, he’s proud of where he comes from, but how exactly does one tell their girlfriend that they’ve been misidentifying their boyfriend’s nationality? So, he doesn’t.

And with her hand in his, approaching his front door, he knows that she’ll have some questions eventually. Meeting his parents will be a dead giveaway. The knocker only hits the door once before it is swinging open, his mother enveloping him in her arms. “James,” she says, warmly. “I’ve missed you,”

“I missed you too, mum,” he replies, unable to keep the blush off his cheeks as he pats her on the back. And without him even noticing, the knut drops. 

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bynblog  asked:

Salam. Can you explain the differences between each dialects in Arabic ? i can't make a differences between Egyptian, Syrian, Moroccan, MSA, Gulf dialects, etc. Please explain. Matur Nuwun ("Thank You" in Javanese, my native language) :)

Wa ‘alikum as-salam wa rahmatuAllahi wa barakatuh :)

AGW, you gave me a mini heart attack. Do you realize how difficult this subject is? if I even try to explain it, this will go to no end… hahaha.

Here is someone’s attempt to explain this:

Mahaodeh:

This is a long subject, much debated and actually rather sensitive to Arabs. Learning fus7a (MSA and/or CA, Arabs actually do not distinguish between the two) is helpful because all written communication is in fus7a not in dialects as well as the fact that all Arabs speak fus7a although they only use it in writing and in formal settings (such as delivering a speech at a conference).
Arabs, regardless of the dialect they speak, find that their dialect is very close to fus7a although they are aware of the differences; non-Arabs may find that there is a bigger difference.
As for mutual comprehension, in most cases they understand each other very well; but Darjah (the dialect in Morocco and Algeria) are hard to understand by most others unless they speak very slowly and not use the loanwords from Berber and French. So basically an Egyptian understands a Syrian or Saudi very well and vice versa but all three generally find it hard to understand a Moroccan and in most cases they revert to fus7a to communicate. I wouldn’t call them languages, they are too close to be separate languages.
All dialects are based on fus7a - it’s not merely the common roots. The grammar in dialects is very much simplified, but the rules are actually more or less the same in all dialects (i.e., it’s basically the same simplification - dual form in verbs is omitted, inflictions for verbs and nouns are omitted…etc.) the difference, in my view, is mostly the accent (as opposed to dialect, it’s the “music of the language”) that creates the new dialect. Vocabulary is mostly Arabic in all dialects and almost all basic words are Arabic, but Arabic actually has an enormous vocabulary, so another difference is the choice of words that become common in one dialect and not in the other (one example is the word for “I want”: it’s أريد areed, بدي biddi, أبغى abgha, أبيabii, عاوز ‘aawiz and others in different dialects, all are fus7a and all mean “I want”, but each dialect has picked only one or two - naturally, the fact that all native speakers know fus7a helps in the mutual comprehension).
Dialects have more loanwords than fus7a, interestingly though, those loanwords can actually be pan-Arabic (example, tilfizyoun for TV, not fus7a but pan-Arabic) although sometimes there are loanwords that are specific to some dialects and not to others - as an example, Iraqi Arabic has a little bit more Persian loanwords than others and Egyptian Arabic has some Italian loanwords that don’t exist in others. Darjah (in Morocco and Algeria) are probably problematic for two reasons, one is the accent (they tend to omit more vowels than is allowed in Arabic) and the existence of quite a sizable amount of Berber loanwords that do not exist in other dialects.

Personally, I would advise learning fus7a for several reasons:
- It’s much easier to find a place to learn it, most places either teach basic words “to get by” in collequal or teach fus7a.
- You have plenty of resources, TV, News, Newspapers, Books…etc.
- Everyone understands fus7a (including little pre-school children because cartoons and children’s shows are in fus7a not collequal), you can add to that some Muslims whose native tong is not Arabic but they learn Arabic in school as a second language.
- You can always learn a dialect later. Dialects are basically fus7a with the grammar rules very much simplified, some letters are pronounced a little different, different preferences on which word to use for what and some additional loanwords. It’s much easier to learn a dialect after you learn fus7a, plus, you can learn more than one dialect.

And naturally, I agree. So AGW if you want to learn the language learn the MSA, if you’re just interested in dialects and want to differ them you just need to hear them more.. to be honest I can’t always understand all dialects not even gulf dialects from each other and I’m Saudi!

anonymous asked:

Louise, do you have any resources debunking the "horseshoe theory" or could you write about it if you get the time? I can't believe that people actually think that horseshoe bullshit is legitimate but I can't actually say why it's wrong lol.

i don’t know of any sources directly attacking it, so i’ll write a critique myself

the horseshoe theory, for those who don’t know, posits that the “far-left” (i.e. communists) have more in common with the “far-right” (i.e. fascists) than is popularly imagined. the more “extreme” your political views, the closer you come to going full circle. a visual representation:

External image

there are some very immediate problems with this.

first of all, the replication without criticism or reflection of a “far-left” to “far-right” spectrum with the “centre” being bourgeois liberalism is of course aimed at a naturalization of bourgeois society. liberal democracy in this context is the happy medium, and the only alternatives are a lurching towards “extremism”, which of course is always a bad thing since what’s “extreme” is what’s opposed to the ruling ideology.

the grounds fall away even more quickly from here on out. liberalism and fascism have a huge thing in common, which is that they both support the maintenance of private property, while communism doesn’t. the horseshoe theory is completely unable to explain this, except in terms of fascism favouring a “less free” market - which brings us to the next issue, which is that this is essentially a worldview based not on economics but on “the state”, and in particular the state as an abstract ideal. liberals favour a “small” democratic state in this ideal world, while fascists and communists both favour a huge “totalitarian” state that will dominate people’s lives. 

aside from the fact any theory of “totalitarianism” is based in reductionism, this means taking fascism’s centralization of capital against the workers as a sign of a “socialistic” tendency, which is complete nonsense since large private production is antithetical to socialism (and state ownership isn’t necessarily an indicator of socialism). this also means we have to take the richness of marxist theory, and in particular the trajectory from capitalism to socialism to communism, and flatten it completely turning marxism into an ideology which favours a permanent socialist state with complete ownership of everything. this gross caricature reveals the completely anti-dialectical nature of the horseshoe theory, which posits completely unchanging static relations in all things. this also means something like traditional conservatism, which is very much based in a pragmatic empiricist tradition, is impossible to represent.

things get more ridiculous when you try and apply the horseshoe theory to things beyond its reach, such as pre-capitalist modes of production, or ideologies not based in a conception of the state. anarchism in particular is usually “far-left”, yet this would mean it’s close to fascism, which is based on a powerful nation-state. 

the horseshoe theory is in fact idealist; any attempt to link it to forces of production or a conception of economics which isn’t something out of a kindergarten guide to ideology reveals its complete inadequacy in dealing with a belief system like marxism, which is centred not on the state but on class struggle as the motor of history.

horseshoe theory is also historicist - it can only conceive of “ends”, which is why it is incapable of grasping marxism or any other system which is anti-teleological

the similarities between liberalism and fascism are in fact enough to warrant a kind of “reverse horseshoe theory” if one wanted, but none of this is enough to deal with the fact that political spectrums are almost by nature idealist; this is a large part of why they’re so popular with libertarians, for instance.

so in conclusion, horseshoe theory is a massive distortion of actual material history and a retreat into bourgeois ideology of the most vulgar kind.

anonymous asked:

hey can you explain the idea of dilectical materialism? i get dialectical, and maybe i think materialism is what is causing me grief? idk how to combine the two either though

could mean a couple things depending on how it’s being used tbh.

one definition is basically that material operates and interacts dialectically, which then branches out into natural science and then it serves as the html of the universe. this is where you get a lot of the Laws Of Dialectics stuff and in particular a lot of emphasis on engels’ dialectics of nature and the idea that contradiction is inherent in matter and drives everything. this was primarily developed in the soviet union (and a bit in china by mao in particular, as he worked out his own views) so generally carries some sort of leninist connotation.

there’s also another meaning (that would more properly be termed “materialist dialectics”, as marx called it) which is more of employing dialectical method to understand something but assuming a materialist rather than idealist (in this sense, hegelian) starting point. this is basically marxs general approach in capital.

the former is more worldview-y and claims that the material world operates dialectically, the latter is about looking at the material world through a dialectical lens to see what can be drawn from that analysis. both often get conflated and are prone to dogma in their own ways but imo the difference between the two highlights the usual gap between marxists and marx (respectively), and in many ways, between marxists and marxians. the big difference here is that analyzing something dialectically doesn’t necessarily mean that it operates dialectically (doesn’t mean it doesn’t either).

this has been a big part of my push to get people thinking about marxism as a method rather than a set of answers. dialectical materialism is not incompatible with materialist dialectics but the one doesn’t necessarily follow from the other either, so it’s important in a broad sense to separate critical method from the answers that some arrive at through using (or misusing) the method.

because of this, i find it so absurd to talk about THE marxist theory of imperialism/class/etc because to act like marxism is a particular set of answers is, in my view, fundamentally anti-marxist. once you understand that, debates on the left become a lot easier to understand and you tend to see where people get confused and dogmatic for the sake of argument, the latter often in really dishonest ways.

3

10 Rewritten Ideas

The most memorable instances of Jenny Holzer’s Truisms series (begun 1977) appeared as single phrases on billboards, jumbotrons, and public marquees.  The fact that we’re accustomed to seeing the phrases in isolation might make us forget the dialectical nature of the series.  When we instead see the Truisms anthologized as a long list on a poster, we cannot help but notice the contradictions between many of the maxims.  Decades later, these collisions still allow for crucial tinkering and thought-production, as Holzer intended.  Here I present ten of my revisions:

1. “Total submission can be a form of freedom.”
Total freedom can be a form of submission.

2. Yes, “The new is nothing but a restatement of the old,” but also the reverse: History is nothing but a restatement of present ideology.

3. Alienation produces eccentrics, or revolutionaries, and everyone else.

4. If “unique things must be the most valuable” and “repetition is the best way to learn things,” then (unsurprisingly) the industrial reproduction of thought and belief in schools and through mass media cheapens the individual’s mind.

5. Everyone’s work is equally important commodified.

6. “Nothing upsets the balance of good and evil” + “Mostly you should just mind your own business” = Minding your own business maintains the balance of good and evil.

7. “Private property created crime.”
Crime created private property.

8. “Habitual contempt or disgust doesn’t reflect a finer sensibility,” yet “Disgust is the appropriate response to most situations” means that, just as humor can progressively lampoon the elite or oppressively stereotype the weak, so also disgust can either signify and reinforce regressive politics OR it can foment change when directed toward the status quo.

9. “You must know where you stop and the world begins”
You must know that all dualisms (mind/body, self/world, etc) are artificial and specious.

10. “Occasionally principles are more valuable than people,” said the man beholden to the shareholders.

Sasha Braus: Confidence and Character Development

I know we talk about Armin, and the confidence he gained throughout the series an awful lot, and it is very interesting character development, but the person whose development tends to be overlooked is actually the one whose is the most interesting: Sasha.

Let’s see; Sasha starts off as the slightly dorky kid, a bit goofy, but she’s also rather insecure. Like, look at her behaviour around Ymir; she goes along with Ymir’s demands, calling her ‘lord’ etc. and bowing to everything. She didn’t really have any need to do so, as I am ninety-nine percent certain that if she’d stood up to Ymir - who wasn’t really doing anything wrong either way, but who was making Sasha her servant for fun - nothing else would have happened. Instead, Sasha went along with it, and I think that stemmed from insecurity and desire to be liked and accepted. She even saluted Ymir and Historia - then Krista - during one of the dining room scenes. It shows just how little confidence she had at the start.

She’s also insecure about her accent, as we saw during the chapter in which she rescued the little girl from her village. Coming from a small community in the throes of famine, you can imagine that Sasha had quite a sheltered life. I have conflicting feelings here; on the one hand, her father seems like a fairly integrated part of the village. On the other, if Sasha really had grown up in Dauper then surely she’d have been recognised by more people when she joined up with the train of horses? It’s a possiblity that her father only began to get more involved with village life afterwards, but Sasha did always introduce herself as ‘from Dauper village’. Either way, I don’t think Sasha ever had much of a social life in and of itself; sure, she probably chatted to people her own age and stuff, but my impression of her past is that she never had any particularly close friends. This is based off only a few panels, but it seems to have been just her and her father for a lot of the time. Dauper probably experienced a high death toll during the famine, and was then repopulated with the refugees from Wall Maria; there seems to be a certain level of emnity towards the survivors of the Titan attack on Sasha’s part, which probably led to a slight disconnect between her family and the village.

Sasha’s a bubbly, sociable girl, but I think her father was her social support, rather than a large amount of friends or family. Though she probably wanted to make friends and has always been rather out-going, she also seemed a little in awe of the more outwardly self-assured girls like Ymir, who at least projected an aura of self-confidence, and Mikasa, for whom a lot of stuff is so effortless that she probably seems self-confident without even trying. That’s possibly why she’s friendlier with Connie than the others, though they all seem to have a relatively close bond, because Connie is a little more normal than the rest of them.

Sasha starts off as friendly and sweet, but there’s always a level of insecurity and awkwardness there; she tries to fit in more than be herself, and I think this is in part because she isn’t used to being around so many people of her own age. Her outward projection of goofy fun-loving foodie means that her lack of confidence and then her character development and the way in which she learns confidence is somewhat masked. It’s a gradual thing, which we don’t really notice until we go ‘woah, look at how badass Sasha’s become’.

I’ve always wondered why she never showed off her talent with a bow and arrow beforehand; while I doubt the army would ever have trained with them, because they’re useless against Titans and guns are a more effective crime deterrent, presumably the opportunity to practice aiming came up every once in a while and Sasha has pinpoint aim. Possibly she’d have thought a bow and arrow would seem out of place in the army, or maybe she didn’t want to have questions asked or something. But it’s fairly symbolic that her growth in confidence came after she picked up that bow and arrow to save the little girl.

Of course, there were other factors too; she made peace with her father, who always indirectly contributed to her insecurity - I am convinced he loved her and that their relationship was close, but we can’t forget that they clashed on several points, and she seems to have been waiting ages for her to tell her that she’s become a ‘fine woman’. 

But I think Sasha’s self-confidence comes from her accepting her past. She’s always spoken formally rather in her natural dialect and denied her roots. By picking up the bow and arrow - I’m discounting the hunting OVA here because that’s just a bit of fun for us fans really - the weapon with which she hunted when she lived with her dad in her village, she became more in tune with who she was and merged her former self with who she is now. It was an instinctive reaction, definitely, but she seems to have just continued along with using a bow just fine afterwards.

Her dad’s affirmation of who she’s grown into played a huge role in this, in my opinion. She’s become someone different, that’s for sure, and he’s proud of that. There no longer needs to be a clash between who she was and who she is now; there are more important things at stake, like protecting children from Titans and doing her job and her dad knows that and is proud of her for it. She’s reconciled with him and it does wonder for her confidence.

I don’t think Sasha necessarily ever had low self-esteem; she always seemed like she had a fairly good opinion of herself without being conceited, but just never appeared very secure in herself. It was more of a desire to be recognised outwardly by others rather than a need to be recognised by herself - very similar to Armin in that sense.

The scene when the gang are rescuing Jean and Armin is very telling; not only does Sasha show off her badass bow and arrow skills, she reprimands Mikasa and refers to the merchants as prey. She’s perfectly open about how she used to be and her roots now, and it shows in how she treats others. I’m not saying she automatically became a bitch and started snapping at everyone - because she didn’t even snap - but she gained the confidence to tell Mikasa, of all people, the girl who graduated top of the Southern 104th and who used Sasha as a bit of a butt monkey, albeit without intent to hurt her or cause offence, that she made a mistake.

While Armin’s  and Jean’s are the character arcs most people talk about, and that are stressed on the most in canon material, especially the anime - in my view - there’s no denying that Sasha’s is just as important and just as interesting.