Friday, January 8, 2010

Marx on the Animal/Human Distinction

Reposted from Kasama.

"We are all trying to understand more deeply the relationship between human beings and the rest of the planet’s living species. And we have touched a few times (too fleetingly) on the ethical questions for revolutionaries in viewing how animals are treated, industralized and consumed in this society. The following article raises some related questions by examining some little known passages in the writings of Karl Marx (one of the founders of modern communism).

Please share with us titles of other articles (including more recent/modern treatment) that could be shared on this topic — so that we can engage the ecology, ethics, and production transformations that communists and radicals should consider around the treatment of animals in both food production and the wild."

Mike E - Kasama

This article was originally published in Capital & Class, Issue no.72, Autumn ‘00. It appears on the Marx Myths and Legends site.

Marx on the Animal/Human Distinction: “The Creatures Too Must Become Free”
by Lawrence Wilde

The clarion call for the liberation of animals quoted in the title of this paper is cited approvingly by Marx in On the Jewish Question (Marx, 1975: 172). The words themselves belong to Thomas Münzer, the leader of the German Peasants’ Revolt in the early sixteenth century, and what attracted Marx was Münzer’s view that under the dominion of private property and money, nature is treated in such a contemptuous way that it is debased. Münzer had conduded:

“…all creatures have been turned into property, the fishes in the water, the birds in the air, the plants on the earth; the creatures, too, must become free.”
Read the full article at Kasama.

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