Ask Marx and Engels

What can a book published in 1848 tell us about the current economic difficulties plaguing our nation? Things to keep in mind from the past eight years: decline in US quality of life, unregulated economic markets, lax credit lending, war-profiteering, and mass consumerism.

It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put on trial, each time more threateningly, the existence of the entire bourgeois society. In these crises a great part not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity – the epidemic of overproduction. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed; and why? Because there is too much civilization, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce.

-The Communist Manifesto

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Lexicon Zeitgeist

bowdlerize – to physically remove material from a book deemed improper, thereby negatively impacting the message of the literary work

Taken from recent headlines. I find censorship in schools to be a futile exercise. Banning books in schools does not prevent ambitious readers from getting them at public libraries, book stores, or even (scandel!) the internet. It is a repugnant practice that diminishes educational possibilities. It shuts the door on open dialogue.

Without further ado. Pretend that I am Jewish and practice the laws of Kosher.

As a faithful and practicing Jew I find Dr. Suess’ book “Green Eggs and Ham” to be highly offensive. All references to ham will be ripped out of the book before my first grade class is allowed to read the book. I have to bowdlerize this book to make it acceptable for others.

I will never claim to be a good Jew because, let’s face it, I love ham. Nor am I implying that Jews actually do this. But, bowdlerizing not only dimishes the literary merit of a work, but it impinges one’s beliefs of what is acceptable onto another.

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