historical-materialism

  • 1600s aristocrat: Can you point to one successful example of a capitalist republic in the history of time? You can't, and that's because democratic election of leaders goes against human nature. It might work on a small scale, but all notions of individual liberty are just idealistic pipe dreams. Any time it's been attempted on a large scale, capitalism has killed more people than feudalism ever could. We've already reached the end of history.
  • Radical peasant: *looks at the audience of the stage play like James from The Manor*
things i have observed about different fandoms

Harry Potter

  • your hogwarts house is more important than your name
  • so vast?? so old??? scary, kind of.
  • really old classic fics
  • used to have ship wars like all hell, and kind of still does??? but not really??? it’s better now
  • every other fandom has a harry potter au.
  • split into different sects that are practically whole different fandoms. there’s the marauders fandom, the golden trio/canon era fandom, the fantastic beasts fandom, the next gen fandom – they’re all like little umbrella fandoms under one great big potter net.
  • no one’s favorite character is harry potter.
  • they don’t talk about the cursed child.
  • will never die.

Hetalia

  • holy shIT this fandom is a minefield
  • a lot of teenagers??? like??? a lot???
  • an alarming amount of smut fic
  • i dont know a lot of this fandom is really immature and there are so many ship wars?? like??? 
  • ignoring actual historical material in favor of coddling your favorite character
  • the dub is one of the most quotable things i’ve ever seen
  • hetalia is very much a starter anime. a lot of people get into this anime as like a gateway drug and grow out of the fandom later on.
  • lots of bad fic, with rare absolute GEMS thrown in.
  • some fics are beautifully researched, intricate, historically accurate, and amazing. so much potential for fic in this fandom.
  • george devalier.

Les Miserables

  • frENCH
  • the main character is jean valjean
  • much of the fandom does not realize this.
  • les amis are love, les amis are life. jean valjean?? who??? javert??? who’s that?? fantine????? WHO THE FC U K
  • emerges from the deep once every few years when a movie or something else comes out.
  • The Movie Musical shot the fandom to new heights and launched a new era, but now has mostly calmed down???
  • also will never die. been around since 1862 and still going strong.
  • used to be eponine stans (eppyboppers) who hated cosette??? and usually shipped eponine with marius or enjolras. thank god that’s over.
  • literally everyone ships E/R.
  • even the actors ship E/R.

Homestuck

  • no
  • nOOOO
  • NOOOOO
  • dying??? (hopefully)

Haikyuu!!

  • sO MUCH GREAT FIC
  • oikawa tooru is universally adored
  • pretty much everyone ships the same things?? like obviously not, and there are so many great character dynamics and rarepairs, but ships like bokuaka, iwaoi, kagehina, etc. are so ingrained in the actual canon that everyone ships them a LITTLE bit, even if you ship the character different ways too.
  • you can ship anyone with anyone. literally. go fuckin wild.
  • everyone has normal hair except for the one owl guy.
  • incredible aus.
  • YOU SHOULD HAVE COME TO SHIRATORIZAWA

Yuri!! on Ice

  • EVERYONE SHIPS VICTUURI. IT IS AN ACTUAL CANON GAY SHIP AND IT IS GOLDEN.
  • at this point 90% of the fandom is just screaming over any new content they get b/c it’s all so great.
  • everyone under 20 gets shipped with yurio, and every one of these ships is somehow controversial.
  • fandom swings back and forth between wanting JJ to die in a fire or being ready to protect him to the ends of the earth.
  • sala or sara??? nobody can decide??? (spoiler alert: it’s sara, that’s a real italian name, sala is the word for living room.)
  • even the people who despise the dub can’t hate it THAT much
  • at one point the fandom hated chris, but now he’s just kind of the weird overly sexual uncle at the family barbecue
  • giaCOMEtti
  • kubo-sensei is a goddess
Hogwarts Houses as Leftists
  • Gryffindor: Radicalizing friends and giving passionate speeches to the IWW and shit. Super into the glorious ideals and image of socialism and is probably always carrying a red flag. Sings the Internationale and Solidarity Forever at family gatherings and parties. Will de-arrest you without a second thought.
  • Hufflepuff: Working in soup kitchens and spreading the good word through community service. "Meets people where they're at" better than the other three houses and comes off as the least pretentious. Digs full consensus at meetings and heavily emphasizes left unity. Most likely to form a cooperative or commune.
  • Ravenclaw: Writing tomes on theory and praxis and historical materialism. Probably has a small library of books on left-wing theory of all stripes and is always up for debate to win people over. Can often be really creative, formulating and drawing the propaganda posters and writing paragraphs of solid ideas on them. Sounds like a mix of a professor, a conspiracy theorist, and a wizard to the uninitiated.
  • Slytherin: Organizing black bloc and other forms of direct action. Always down to fight fascists and perfectly comfortable speaking out if they disagree -- in society and among other leftists. Probably has a sick punk or thrash band with deeply political lyrics. Often misunderstood -- tends to stick to their subculture but will immediately join the larger movement when push comes to shove.
We can't emphasize it enough: the tyranny right-wingers claim to oppose is already here and has been here since the founding of capitalism.

Capitalism is tyranny by the rich – by the capitalists, by the production autocrats, by the politicians who help facilitate it all. This system began through state violence and widespread expropriation of indigenous land, leading to the vast accumulation of property and capital in the hands of a small caste of elites. Capitalism today and all its problems and injustices cannot be separated from those original sins of systematic conquest. 

We are fighting for a world without this top-down bullshit, where people aren’t forced to sell their labor to powerful property owners or starve. We believe in a socialist system of economic democracy, where people come together and self-manage their workplaces and the larger economic goals. We presently have the capacity to free people from a bulk of the menial jobs capitalism forces on us – through automation and the active rejection of jobs that don’t provide for a tangible need in society, we could expand leisure time for all people, each person, by leaps and bounds. This is not just about cutting down inequality; this is just as much about human freedom and liberation. These values are two sides of the same coin. 

Now that Trump is president, we must abandon the neoliberal Democratic Party and move leftward towards ideas and solutions that can actually transform society away from all the aforementioned injustice. We must bring those disillusioned with the political and economic system into our fold – provide answers, organize, build a movement.

It is no accident that Marx should have begun with an analysis of commodities when, in the two great works of his mature period, he set out to portray capitalist society in its totality and to lay bare its fundamental nature. For at this stage in the history of mankind there is no problem that does not ultimately lead back to that question and there is no solution that could not be found in the solution to the riddle of commodity-structure.
—  György Lukács - History and Class Consciousness
One thing, however, is clear: nature does not produce on the one hand owners of money or commodities, and on the other hand men possessing nothing but their own labour-power. This relation has no basis in natural history, nor does it have a social basis common to all periods of human history. It is clearly the result of a past historical development, the product of many economic revolutions, of the extinction of a whole series of older formations of social production.
—  Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. I
There are many kinds of material affluence which spell the death of the spirit. Yet it is also true that you cannot be free to become what you want when you are starving, sorely oppressed, or stunted in your moral growth by a life of endless drudgery. Materialists are not those who deny the spiritual, but those who remind us that spiritual fulfillment requires certain material conditions.
—  Terry Eagleton
It is impossible at the present time to write history without using a whole range of concepts directly or indirectly linked to Marx’s thought and situating oneself within a horizon of thought which has been defined and described by Marx. One might even wonder what difference there could ultimately be between being a historian and being a Marxist.
—  Michel Foucault, Power/Knowledge
Raphael Samuel on historical memory
— 
“The historical discipline encourages inbreeding, introspection, sectarianism. Academic papers are addressed to a relatively narrow circle of fellow-practitioners. In thesis work, the problematic is likely to come from within. Often it is suggested by ‘gaps’ which the young researcher is advised to fill; or else by an established view which he or she is encouraged to challenge. …
"The Balkanization of the subject and the multiplication of sub-disciplines, a phenomenon of the last twenty-five years, has produced a crop of new specialisms, each with its own society, its schisms and secessions. Intended to take scholarly inquiry into hitherto untravelled terrain, and to create a space for subjects which have been ‘hidden from history’ in the past – as, say, women’s history, ‘folk’ medicine or occult science – it can also have the unintended effect of staking out proprietary claims to knowledge, and locking it up in academic publication and seminar circuits. …
"Behind such negativities lies the unspoken assumption that knowledge filters downwards. At the apex there are the chosen few who pilot new techniques, uncover fresh sources of documentation, and formulate arresting hypotheses. These are the practitioners of what Professor Elton calls ‘real’ history, the heavyweights of the profession, who bring their trained minds to bear on an apparently disorderly assembly of material.6 Their findings are rehearsed in academic papers, published in the learned journals, and amplified in scholarly monographs. Then at a lower level there are the textbooks, which relay the findings of higher research to the student public. Below them come the enthusiasts, ‘amateur brain surgeons’ as they have been disparagingly described; at best ‘antiquarians’ – the plodding accumulators of inconsequential facts – at worst the purveyors of myth. …
"All of this involves a very hierarchical view of the constitution of knowledge, and a very restricted one. Fetishizing the act of research while ignoring its conditions of existence, it takes no account of that great army of under-labourers, handmaidens and scribes who, in any given period, are the ghostly presence in historical work; nor yet of those do-it-yourself retrieval projects, such as barrow-hunting in the sixteenth century or family reconstitution today, which give new directions to writing and research, and create new landscapes for the historically minded to explore. So far as pedagogy is concerned, it allows no space for the knowledge which creeps in sideways as a by-product of studying something else: geography, for example, with whose fortunes history, ever since the Elizabethan ‘discovery’ of England,7 has been umbilically linked; or literature, with which – in the days when the great historians were anthologized as stylists – history was freely bracketed.”
- Raphael Samuel, Theatres of Memory: Past and Present in Contemporary Culture.
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“Tragedy of the Commons”

Owing to the specific qualities of their minds and characters, influential individuals can change the individual features of events and some of their particular consequences, but they cannot change their general trend, which is determined by other forces.
—  Plekhanov, ‘The Role of the Individual in History’, Theories of History, ed. Gardiner, pp.159-160
Articulating the past historically does not mean recognizing it ‘the way it really was.’ It means appropriating a memory as it flashes up in a moment of danger. Historical materialism wishes to hold fast the image of the past which unexpectedly appears to the historical subject in a moment of danger. The danger threatens both the content of the tradition and those who inherit it. For both, it is one and the same thing: the danger of becoming a tool of the ruling classes. Every age must strive anew to wrest tradition away from the conformism that is working to overpower it. The Messiah comes not only as a redeemer; he comes as the victor over the Antichrist. The only historian capable of fanning the spark of hope in the past is the one who is firmly convinced that even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he is victorious. And this enemy has never ceased to be victorious.
—  Walter Benjamin, “On the Concept of History” (1940), trans. Harry Zohn, in Selected Writings, vol. 4, eds. Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003), 391.