Hobsbawm 1969 Introduction | Friedrich Engels | …
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Engels, Friedrich 1979 The Condition of The Working ..
Is it not sufficient to recall the names of the great Jewish revolutionaries of the 19th and 20th centuries, Karl Marx, Lassalle, Kurt Eisner, Bela Kuhn, Trotsky, Leon Blum, so that the names of the theorists of modern socialism should at the same time be mentioned?
Friedrich Engels | The Espresso Stalinist
How could these half converted believers ever dream to vanquish the 'Truthful' and the 'Faithful' of their own creed, these holy crusaders, who had gathered round the Red Standard of the Prophet Karl Marx, and who fought under the daring guidance, of these experienced officers of all latter-day revolutions, the Jews?There is scarcely an even in modern Europe that cannot be traced back to the Jews...all latter-day ideas and movements have originally spring from a Jewish source, for the simple reason, that the Jewish idea has finally conquered and entirely subdued this only apparently irreligious universe of ours...There is no doubt that the Jews regularly go one better or worse than the Gentile in whatever they do, there is no further doubt that their influence, today justifies a very careful scrutiny, and cannot possibly be viewed without serious alarm.
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everywhere barbarous indifference
Reading Questions for Tuesday, January 17
Visions and Conceptions: What Have Cities Been?
Important: you should take notes as you read and come prepared to discuss these readings.
H.D.F. Kitto, "The Polis"
1. Kitto starts by pointing to something awkward: we don"t have a good word to translate the Greek term "polis." Why not? Why don't terms like "city" or "city-state" work? What do they leave out?
2. "The polis is the only framework within which man can fully realize his spiritual, moral, and intellectual capacities…Religion, art, games, the discussion of things?--all these were needs of life that could be fully satisfied only through the polis…Moreover, [the Greek] wanted to play his own part in running the affairs of the community" (48). Does this help us to define the polis?
3. "The Greeks thought of the polis as an active, formative thing, training the minds and characters of the citizens" (47). Does this help us define the polis? Is this an idea that could in any way be used to help us to think about modern cities?
Lewis Mumford, "What Is a City?"
1. Over and over, Mumford uses terms from the arts to define cities: for instance, "the city creates the theater and is the theater" (94). You will find other instances. What does he mean? What is the point of talking about cities this way? Art or theater as opposed to what?
2. Mumford loves good cities, but he also worries that big cities create "the possibility of personal disintegration" (94). Why does he think this might happen? What does he say can be done about it?
3. "In the development of the city during the last century [the nineteenth century] we expanded the physical plant recklessly and treated the essential social nucleus…as mere afterthought" (94). What specific suggestions does Mumford make to counter this?
4. What is the "polynucleated city" (95) he foresees--and advocates?
Friedrich Engels, "The Great Towns"
1. Start by forgetting what you might know about Engels's later collaboration with Karl Marx and try reading him as an urban explorer. The first words here describe an experience of wandering through "towns" like London or Manchester and experiencing them as "a strange thing" (59). Against what background did these places appear strange?
2. "Everywhere barbarous indifference, hard egotism on the one hand, and nameless misery on the other, everywhere social warfare…everywhere reciprocal plundering under the protection of the law, and all so shameless…that one…can only wonder that the whole crazy fabric still hangs together" (60). How does it hang together, according to Engels?
3. "In such dwellings only a physically degenerate race, robbed of all humanity, degraded, reduced morally and physically to bestiality, could feel comfortable and at home" (66). What view of the modern industrial city does this suggest?
Louis Wirth, "Urbanism as a Way of Life"
1. Wirth was a sociologist. How can you tell?
2. Wirth"s most basic claim is that there is a distinctive "urban personality" that results from a specifically ?urban way of life.? What is it? As you read, make a list of the key characteristics. Are they negative, positive, or mixed?
3. What social conditions in the city give rise to this urban personality type? Again, make a list as you read.
4. Wirth uses the term "anomie," which he takes from the sociologist Durkheim, to sum up the effects of the city's "social disorganization" (100). If you don't know the word already, look it up. Think about this idea.
Le Corbusier, "A Contemporary City"
Don't miss the illustration in Plate 37, between pages 408 and 409 of The City Reader.
1. It has become fashionable to criticize Le Corbusier, but think of some of the conditions that might have given rise to his vision of the city. How, for instance, might it be a response to the Manchester described by Engels? What might be some other sources?
2. How would you describe the style of Le Corbusier"s imagination of the city? Think about his language and images. What are his views of technology and of nature? Think about what you see in Figures 1 (319) and 2 (324).