Quote of the day: Hegel, pearls and the realities of the farm

One of the great consistent themes in Lenin’s works is agriculture, peasants, ‘down-to-earth’ parables and analogies … and farmyard shit:

Hegelian dialectics – that pearl which those farmyard cocks [insert names of philosophers here] could not pick out from the shit-heap of absolute idealism.

Lenin, Collected Works, vol 14, p. 243.

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A night with Engels

A typical evening for Engels while in Bremen (from a letter to his close friend and church pastor, Wilhelm Graeber):

The night before last I had a great booze-up in the wine cellar on two bottles of beer and two and a half bottles of 1794 Rüdesheimer. My prospective publisher and diverse philistines were with me … I can argue six such fellows to death at once, even if I am half-seas over and they are sober … They are dreadfully stolid people, these philistines; I began to sing, but they resolved unanimously against me that they would eat first, and then sing. They stuffed themselves with oysters, while I went on angrily smoking, drinking and shouting without taking any notice of them, until I fell into a blissful slumber (MECW 2: 484).

Or, the only way to read Hegel:

Now I’ll study Hegel over a glass of punch (MECW 2: 487).