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Meridian week 7 notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Neville Panthaki

1. How English Industrial Workers Lived by Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels, the son of a textile manufacturer, was born in the Rhineland town of Barmen in 1820 and was sent by his father to study business methods in England, his radical sympathies were strengthened by observing the conditions created by early industrial capitalism returning home, he then met the political migrKarl Marx in Paris, and they collaborated in writing The Holy Family (1844), followed by The Communist Manifesto in 1848 after taking part in 1848 revolution, both became exiles in England, where Engels worked in Manchester and supported Marx financially in 1870 he joined Marx in London, assisting him in research and organization of the international socialist movement after Marxs death in 1883, Engels prepared the final volumes of Das Kapital for publication his own works included The Peasant War in Germany (1850), Socialism, Utopian and Scientific (1880), The Origin of the Family (1884) Engels died in 1895 The Condition of the Working Class in England, a fierce indictment of everyday life of the new industrial towns was published in Germany in 1845, although not until 1886 in the US and 1892 in England based on personal observation and wide reading, it combines moral outrage and analytical power within the squalor and degradation, Engels sees the formation of a class that will eventually overturn the existing social order when society places hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet; when it deprives thousands of the necessaries of life, places them under conditions in which they cannot liveforces them, through the strong arm of the law, to remain in such conditions until that death ensues which is the inevitable consequenceknows that these thousands of victims must perish, and yet permits these conditions to remain, its deed is murder just as surely as the deed of the single individual that a class which lives under the conditions already sketched and is so ill-provided with the most necessary means of subsistence, cannot be healthy and can reach no advanced age, is self-evident atmosphere of British cities is so poor because 2 million pairs of lungs, 250 000 fires, crowd upon an area 3 to 4 miles square, consume an enormous amount of oxygen, which is replaced with difficulty, because the method of building cities impedes ventilation carbonic acid gas, engendered by respiration and fire, remains in streets by reason of its specific gravity, and chief air current passes over roofs of city; inhabitants lungs fail to receive due supply of oxygen, and consequence is mental and physical fatigue and low vitality for this reason, the dwellers in cities are far less exposed to sudden, and especially to inflammatory, ailments than rural populations, who live in a free, normal atmosphere; but they suffer from more chronic ailments manner in which great multitude of poor is treated by society today is revoltingthey are drawn into large cities where they breathe poorer atmosphere than in country; they are relegated to districts which, by reason of method of construction, are worse ventilated than any others; they are deprived of all means of cleanliness, of water itself, since pipes are laid only when paid for, and rivers so polluted that they are useless for such purposes; they are obligated to throw all offal and garbage, all dirty water, often all disgusting drainage and excrement into streets, being without other means of disposing of them; they are thus compelled to infect region of their own dwellings that dwellings of workers in worst portions of cities, together with other conditions of life in this class, engender numerous diseases, is attested on all sides; diseases include lung diseases, consumption, typhus, fever another category of diseases arises directly from the food rather than the dwellings of the workers, such as scrofula and rickets besides these, there are other influences which enfeeble the health of a great number of workers, intemperance most of all all possible temptations, all allurements combine to bring workers to drunkennessliquor is only source of pleasure, and all things conspire to make it accessible to them; drunkenness has here ceased to be a vice, for which vicious can be held responsible; it becomes phenomenon, necessary, inevitable effect of certain conditions upon object possessed of no volition in relation to those conditions all the tendencies to disease arising from the conditions of life of the workers are promoted by it, it stimulates the highest degree the development of lung and digestive troubles, the rise and spread of typhus epidemics another source of physical mischief to the working class lies in the impossibility of employing skilled physicians in cases of illness in view of all this, it is not surprising that the working class has gradually become a race wholly apart from the English bourgeoisie bourgeoisie have more in common with every nation than with workers in whose midst it livesworkers speak other dialect, have other thoughts and ideals, other customs and moral principles, different religion and other politics than those of bourgeoisie favourable side of workersmore approachable, friendlier, and less greedy for money, though they need it far more than the property- holding class; much less prejudiced, has a clearer eye for facts, and does not look at everything through spectacles of personal selfishness; faulty education saves him from religious prepossessions, he does not understand religious questions, does not trouble himself about them, knows nothing of the fanaticism that holds the bourgeoisie bound; practically he lives for this world, and strives to make himself at home in it; his want of religious and other culture contributes to keep the working man more unconstrained, freer from inherited stable tenets and cut-and-dried opinions, than the bourgeois who is saturated with the class prejudices poured into him from his earliest youth unfavourable side of workersdrunkenness, sexual irregularities, brutality, and disregard for the rights of property social war is under full headway, every one stands for himself, and fights for himself against all comers, and whether or not he shall injure all the others who are his declared foes, depends upon cynical calculation as to what is most advantageous for himself; it no longer occurs to any one to come to peaceful understanding with his fellow-men; all differences are settled by threats, violence, or in law-court in short, everyone sees in his neighbour an enemy to be got out of the war, or, at best, a tool to be used for his own advantage and this war grows from year to year, more violent, passionate, irreconcilable 2. All That is Solid Melts Into Air by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels Karl Marx was born in 1818 to a German-Jewish family converted to Christianity he studied in Bonn and Berlin, where he was influenced by writings of Hegel and became a radical democratic critic of the Prussian state as a political exile in Paris he began to develop his materialist conceptions of history, relating society to its economic foundations and mode of production; he took part in the German revolutions of 1848 1849 then fled to London, where he played a leading role in the International Working Mens Association later dying in 1883 (funeral attended by 11 people) first volume of his master work, Das Kapital, appeared in 1867 www.notesolution.com
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