euler diagrams

[Image: A Euler diagram of a set labeled “means of production” containing two subsets labeled “Objects of labor: Raw materials, finished products, etc.” and “Means of labor” and the “Means of labor” set containing a subset labeled “Instruments of production: Tools, machines, etc.”]

The famous focus of communist theory is the ownership of the means of production. But what exactly is meant by the means of production? The means of production includes the means of labor, meaning things used to perform labor including the instruments of production (such as tools and machines), and the objects of labor, meaning both the input and the output of labor, the raw or intermediate materials on which labor is performed and the finished products that result from the process of production. In the capitalist mode of production the means of production are controlled by the bourgeoisie, a class of exploiters including capitalists, landlords, and bankers. The goal of Marxism-Leninism is to take control of the means of production away from the bourgeoisie and give it to the proletariat, the class of working people who have no capital and do not own the means of production under capitalism, forcing them to sell their labor to the bourgeoisie in order to be able to survive, thus establishing socialism, the first stage of the communist mode of production operating according to the principle “from each according to their ability, to each according to their contribution.” During socialism the rule of the proletariat is established over the bourgeoisie and the economy is planned to build the conditions for the final victory of communism, a society in which classes no longer exist that operates according to the principle “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.”

Euler diagram of African Organisations


UMA = the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA)

COMESA = the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa

CEN-SAD = Community of Sahel-Saharan States

EAC = East African Community

ECCAS = Economic Community of Central African States

ECOWAS = Economic Community of West African States

IGAD = Intergovernmental Authority on Development

SADC = Southern Africa Development Community

Terminology of the British Isles, by T.W. Carlson

This is my favorite Euler diagram.

Please note that this is emphatically NOT a Venn diagram.

Venn diagrams have their uses, to be sure, but they tend to be rather more utile than they are, shall we say, attractive. Venn diagrams, in short, are ugly.

Euler diagrams, on the other hand, are not only amazingly practical, but things of beauty and sites to behold.

How that bastard John Venn got everyone to give him all the credit for Leonhard Euler’s hard work, I’ll never know. He probably hired the same PR firm that Edison sicced on Tesla.

At any rate, today is Hr. Euler’s birthday: He was born April 15th, 1707; he would’ve been 306 today.

In honor of this fact, I would like to request that everyone reading this put forth a concerted effort today to make at least one reference to “an Euler diagram.” (“Euler,” by the way, is pronounced “oiler.”)

When, inevitably, someone asks you, “You mean Venn diagram?” you should respond with “No, I mean Euler diagram,” then slap them repeatedly about the face with a codfish, and then patiently explain to them the error of their ways.

The codfish, of course, is optional.

But it would be more fun.