2017-4-16 16:12

Passage 6. A Tribute to the Dog
The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy.
His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful.
Those who are nearest and dearest to us,
those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name,
may become traitors to their faith.
The money that a man has he may lose.
It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most.
A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action.
The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us
may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.
The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world,
the one that never deserts him,
the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog.
A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness.
He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely,
if only he may be near his master’s side.
He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer;
he will lick the wounds and sores that come from encounter with the roughness of the world.
He will guard the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince.
When all other friends desert, he remains.
When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces,
he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journeys through the heavens.
If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless,
the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him,
to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies.
And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace,
and his body is laid away in the cold ground,
no matter if all other friends pursue their way,
there by the grave will the noble dog be found,
his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness,
faithful and true even in death.

Passage 7. Knowledge and Progress
Why does the idea of progress loom so large in the modern world?
Surely because progress of a particular kind is actually taking place around us
and is becoming more and more manifest.
Although mankind has undergone no general improvement in intelligence or morality,
it has made extraordinary progress in the accumulation of knowledge.
Knowledge began to increase as soon as the thoughts of one individual
could be communicated to another by means of speech.
With the invention of writing, a great advance was made,
for knowledge could then be not only communicated but also stored.
Libraries made education possible, and education in its turn added to libraries:
the growth of knowledge followed a kind of compound interest law,
which was greatly enhanced by the invention of printing.
All this was comparatively slow until, with the coming of science,
the tempo was suddenly raised.
Then knowledge began to be accumulated according to a systematic plan.
The trickle became a stream;
the stream has now become a torrent.
Moreover, as soon as new knowledge is acquired, it is now turned to practical account.
What is called “modern civilization“ is not the result of a balanced development of all man's nature,
but of accumulated knowledge applied to practical life.
The problem now facing humanity is:
What is going to be done with all this knowledge?
As is so often pointed out, knowledge is a two-edged weapon
which can be used equally for good or evil.
It is now being used indifferently for both.
Could any spectacle, for instance, be more grimly weird
than that of gunners using science to shatter men's bodies while, close at hand,
surgeons use it to restore them?
We have to ask ourselves very seriously what will happen if this twofold use of knowledge,
with its ever-increasing power, continues.

Passage 8. Address by Engels
On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon,
the greatest living thinker ceased to think.
He had been left alone for scarcely two minutes,
and when we came back we found him in his armchair,
peacefully gone to sleep—but forever.
An immeasurable loss has been sustained both by the militant proletariat of Europe and America,
and by historical science, in the death of this man.
The gap that has been left by the departure of this mighty spirit
will soon enough make itself felt.
Just as Darwin discovered the law of development of organic nature,
so Marx discovered the law of development of human history:
the simple fact, hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology,
that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing,
before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc.;
that therefore the production of the immediate material means of subsistence
and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people
or during a given epoch form the foundation upon which the state institutions,
the legal conceptions, art, and even the ideas on religion,
of the people concerned have been evolved, and in the light of which they must, therefore,
be explained, instead of vice versa, as had hitherto been the case.
But that is not all.
Marx also discovered the special law of motion governing the present-day capitalist mode of production
and the bourgeois society that this mode of production has created.
The discovery of surplus value suddenly threw light on the problem,
in trying to solve which all previous investigations,
of both bourgeois economists and socialist critics, had been groping in the dark.
Two such discoveries would be enough for one lifetime.
Happy the man to whom it is granted to make even one such discovery.
But in every single field which Marx investigated—and he investigated very many fields,
none of them superficially—in every field, even in that of mathematics,
he made independent discoveries.

Passage 9. Relationship that Lasts
If somebody tells you,“ I’ll love you for ever,“ will you believe it?
I don’t think there’s any reason not to.
We are ready to believe such commitment at the moment,
whatever change may happen afterwards.
As for the belief in an everlasting love, that’s another thing.
Then you may be asked whether there is such a thing as an everlasting love.
I’d answer I believe in it, but an everlasting love is not immutable.
You may unswervingly love or be loved by a person.
But love will change its composition with the passage of time.
It will not remain the same.
In the course of your growth and as a result of your increased experience,
love will become something different to you.
In the beginning you believed a fervent love for a person could last definitely.
By and by, however, “fervent“ gave way to “prosaic“.
Precisely because of this change it became possible for love to last.
Then what was meant by an everlasting love would eventually end up in a sort of interdependence.
We used to insist on the difference between love and liking.
The former seemed much more beautiful than the latter.
One day, however, it turns out there’s really no need to make such difference.
Liking is actually a sort of love.
By the same token, the everlasting interdependence is actually an everlasting love.
I wish I could believe there was somebody who would love me for ever.
That’s, as we all know, too romantic to be true.
Instead, it will more often than not be a case of lasting relationship.

Passage 10. Rush
Swallows may have gone, but there is a time of return;
willow trees may have died back, but there is a time of regreening;
peach blossoms may have fallen, but they will bloom again.
Now, you the wise, tell me, why should our days leave us, never to return?
If they had been stolen by someone, who could it be?
Where could he hide them?
If they had made the escape themselves, then where could they stay at the moment?
I don’t know how many days I have been given to spend,
but I do feel my hands are getting empty.
Taking stock silently, I find that more than eight thousand days have already slid away from me.
Like a drop of water from the point of a needle disappearing into the ocean,
my days are dripping into the stream of time, soundless, traceless.
Already sweat is starting on my forehead, and tears welling up in my eyes.
Those that have gone have gone for good, those to come keep coming;
yet in between, how fast is the shift, in such a rush?
When I get up in the morning,
the slanting sun marks its presence in my small room in two or three oblongs.
The sun has feet, look, he is treading on, lightly and furtively;
and I am caught, blankly, in his revolution.
Thus — the day flows away through the sink when I wash my hands,
wears off in the bowl when I eat my meal,
and passes away before my day-dreaming gaze as reflect in silence.
I can feel his haste now, so I reach out my hands to hold him back,
but he keeps flowing past my withholding hands.
In the evening, as I lie in bed, he strides over my body, glides past my feet, in his agile way.
The moment I open my eyes and meet the sun again, one whole day has gone.
I bury my face in my hands and heave a sigh.
But the new day begins to flash past in the sigh.
What can I do, in this bustling world, with my days flying in their escape?
Nothing but to hesitate, to rush.
What have I been doing in that eight-thousand-day rush, apart from hesitating?
Those bygone days have been dispersed as smoke by a light wind,
or evaporated as mist by the morning sun.
What traces have I left behind me?
Have I ever left behind any gossamer traces at all?
I have come to the world, stark naked;
am I to go back, in a blink, in the same stark nakedness?
It is not fair though:
why should I have made such a trip for nothing!
You the wise, tell me,
why should our days leave us, never to return? 





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