Faith never makes a confession.
Hypostatized into a ritual pattern, Marxian theory becomes ideology. But its content and function distinguish it from classical forms of ideology; it is not false consciousness, but a rather consciousness of falsehood, a falsehood which is corrected in the context of the higher truth represented by the objective historical interest.
A faith in culture is as bad as a faith in religion; both expressions imply a turning away from those very things which culture and religion are about. Culture as a collective name for certain very valuable activities is a permissible word; but culture hypostatized, set up on its own, made into a faith, a cause, a banner, a platform, is unendurable. For none of the activities in question cares a straw for that faith or cause. It is like a return to early Semitic religion where names themselves were regarded as powers.
We always compare our labor with its results. We do not devote more effort to a given task if we can accomplish it with less; nor, when confronted with two toilsome tasks, do we choose the greater. We are more inclined to diminish the ratio of effort to result, and if, in so doing, we gain a little leisure, nothing will stop us from using it, for the sake of additional benefits, in enterprises more in keeping with our tastes.Man's universal practice, indeed, is conclusive in this regard. Always and everywhere, we find that he looks upon toil as the disagreeable aspect, and on satisfaction as the compensatory aspect, of his condition. Always and everywhere, we find that, as far as he is able, he places the burden of his toil upon animals, the wind, steam, or other forces of Nature, or, alas! upon his fellow men, if he can gain mastery over them. In this last case, let me repeat, for it is too often forgotten, the labor has not been lessened; it has merely been shifted to other shoulders.
There are two ways to aquire the niceties of life:1) To produce them or2) To plunder them.When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.
Life, faculties, production- in other words, individuality, liberty, property- this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.
It is the common failing of totalitarian regimes that they cannot really understand the nature of our democracy. They mistake dissent for disloyalty. They mistake restlessness for a rejection of policy. They mistake a few committees for a country. They misjudge individual speeches for public policy.
Today, as in the Gilded Age, we live in a world where a morality of personal responsibility rubs shoulders with a culture of greed and of flagrant social irresponsibility. Now as then, business has shed its collective responsibility for employees - just as government has for its citizens.