Thursday, February 28, 2013

Marxism for beginners

If you want to learn something else about Marxism, here you have some more information: 

- You can start reading the following post I wrote last year. It includes information about dialectical materialism, class struggle, Marx´s conclusions about private property and how it alienates people and his opinion about women´s submission and need for emancipation:

- On the following link you can read the book Marx for beginners, written by a Mexican cartoonist called Rius in 1972. Rius used cartoons to explain the main ideas of Marxism, making them easier to understand:

If some of you is interested in reading this book in Spanish, I can lend it to you.

- This is another link  from the Marxists Internet Archive, which includes different websites to start reading some Marx´s selected texts:

- This is a video I´ve found, made by a high school student, which explains in a very simple way some concepts developed by Marx and Engels, like the surplus concept and how extreme differences of wealth lead to impoverishment and cyclical crises in capitalism. This student based her video on Sophia´s World (El Mundo de Sofía), a book of Philosophy for teenagers. She made a really good work and you can draw inspiration from her work to do your projects: 

And finally, this is a Marx´s quote about the oppressed and the oppressors and their role in society:

- Karl Marx and his wonderful views on society

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Scientific Socialism or Marxism

Hello classmates!!
Today we have started the class very tired because it was the first class of the day. Paqui has started seen the journals of Juan and Mónica and she has said that the Juan´s journal is very incomplete and has a lot of mistakes. Then Paqui has told to us the different parties in that time like the GOP (Grand Old Party in the USA). Paqui has put Monica´s journal and she said that the photo of Paris Hilton was wrong because she has to put Warren Buffett (The richest man in USA).

We have started with a new point: The Scientific socialism of Marxism.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles were two men that studied the capitalism and wanted to change the rules. The main ideas were:
-Class struggle and proletarian revolution.
-Proletariat impoverishment.
-Trust in industrial workers only.
-Surplus value.
Marx was the theorical man and Engel was the practical because he had to work in his industry. After that, Paqui has explained the Class struggle between the bourgeois and the workers. Then she has shown to us a scheme about the Proletarian Revolution and someone has asked her that what was written in the libs of that scheme.

Paqui said that the actual goverment gave some rights to the people to keep silence them, this is why the communism has disappeared in most of Europe except in France, Germany and Spain.
After the Organization of workers, we´ve discussed about the date of the exam by voting but Paqui became angry with us because we were speaking so high in all at the same time. When the bell rangs, Paqui said the day of the exam (18-02-2013).


Suitable-  Adecuado
GOP-  Grand old party
Biased-  Partidista
Reward-  Recompensa
Class struggle-  Lucha de clases
To foresee-  Predecir
Impoverishment-  Empobrecimiento
Alienation-  Alienación
Surplus value-  Plusvalía
Common goal-  Fin común
To run a business-  Dirigir un negocio
Welfare State-  Estados del bienestar
To own-  Poseer

Bye Bye people and study for PE´s exam!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A quote to think about

This is a quote to make you think in these depressing and conformist times. His author was Eugene Debs, a USA activist who fought to improve the lives of the group he belonged to: workers. 

If you want to learn more about this extraordinary man, here you have a link to a post I wrote last year:

Monday, February 25, 2013

18th February journal (delayed)

This is Juan Iniesta´s journal. He should have written it one week ago, but according to his version, his computer broke up and he couldn´t do it. That´s why I´m copying literally the text he has sent me. 

The last Monday in social sciences most of us have arrived late and Paqui has became angry.

After that we have learned that the Second Industrial Revolution starts in the second half of the nineteenth century then appeared the publish limited companies, there were a lot of innovations :new invents, new ways of organization… .

In this revolution some of the most important invents were:

                         DYNAMO                                            TRANSFORMER


INCANDESCENT BULB                                            IMPROVEMENTS IN TRANPOT

The most developed industries were the metalwork industry and chemical industry .the way of organiced the work change too( mass production and taylorism)  the best example of mass production was in the ford’s car factory which take the prices of their cars cheaper and change the conception of a car. There are too ssome changes in Industrial concentration(vertical and horizontal).

Ford’s factory

With all these innovations the industries made more products which are cheaper .in the other hand the working conditions were awlull ,they stated exploting natural resources  as they are ilimitted ,they contributed to the increasing of pollution (the balance between population and resources broke up).

There was a massive emigration from the country side to the cities (acceleration of urbanization process).                                                                                                                                                                                     

Glossary of the day:

Shares _ acciones en bolsa

 Profitable _ rentable

Discredit _ desprestigiar

Concrete_ hormigón

Producction line _ cadena de montaje

Mass production_ producción en serie

Paymeant in installments_ pagar a plazos

Oil_ petroleo

Stack exchanges market _bolsa

Stack holder_accionista

Monica´s Journal

Today in Social Sciences, we have started  the class asking Paqui our doubts about the project. Then Paqui has explained us the way of correcting the projects and she has said that if we have doubts we have to go during the break time not in the class.
Then we have continued with the last point which we studied last day.Fernando has interrupted Paqui, to tell her that he saw her ho channel on youtube. Paqui has said  that she didn´t have anything on it. And she also has said that she only has time to correct some journals. Gemma has asked to Paqui if she could change the date of the project, but Paqui hassaid she couldn´t. After that Elena has asked for the date of the exam, and Paqui has answered her that we have to decide on the day, but outside and we have to tell her on Wednesday.  She has become a little bit angry because we were interrupting her all the time. After  five minutes of discussion about the date of the exam we have continued with Luddism. We have checked what we studied last day. Paqui has asking us questions.
Afterwards we have continued with the next point which refers to the “Political Ideologies”. We have copied this scheme on our notebooks.

Paqui has said that the first ideology which we will study was  SOCIALISM. She has written the definition on the blackboard.


SOCIALISM: Ideology based on the idea of making the means of production collective (property of society).
We can distinguish two branches : UTOPIAN SOCIALISM and SCIENTIFIC SOCIALISM.
Enrique Pérez didn´t understand the definition of socialism very well, so he has asked to Paqui and she explained it to him better.


Paqui has changed Fernando of place, because he was speaking. We have continued studing the propositions. We have to copy this on the notebook:

PROPOSITIONS based on collective property and the idea that human are good by nature and willing to cooperate. All this  propositions failed.
Paqui has asked us if we think that we are good people from nature. She has said that people aren't good from nature. This was one of the reasons utopian socialism didn't function.
We have seen some propositions of some people some of them are philosophers.

·         ROBERT OWEN: He owned a cotton fabric factory, he worried about his workers and created a model community called New Lanark. He tried to extend his project to the USA, but he failed.

·         COUNT OF SAINT SIMON: He considered the kings, nobles and clergy to be useless and parasitical groups. He promoted the abolition of inheritance and he trusted in progress through industrialization.


·         CHARLES  FOURIER:  He created the phalanstéres: communities formed by 1,620 people, where every worker could choose the activity they wanted to do. All the pharantéres failed.

Isabel has said that she couldn´t see, so some people have asked Paqui to make the text bigger with the zoom, but she couldn´t. Fernando couldn´t seeeitherand she has said to him to sit with María. At the end she has been able to make the text bigger with the zoom of the screen .

Paqui has continued explaining us the tree propositions. She has spoken about Warren Buffet, but I couldn´t copy what she said because she was speaking very quickly, so if you want to know something about him, you can search on google.Enrique Manzanares and Roxana have asked some questions about this man.
We have spoken about Paris Hilton and we have said that she is very rich and she doesn’t need to work. Her family is also very rich.

Here you have a link with information about Warren Buffett :

Paqui has given some examples to explain the theory of Chares Fourier better .

For homework we have to read the information for the Anarchism.

Here you have two links to last year posts about what we have studied today.


Willing to: dispuesto a
Useless: inútil
Parasitical: parásito
Activist: activista
Sick leave: baja por enfermedad
Charities: caridad.
Of age : mayor de edad
Come into age: llegar a la mayoría de edad.
utopian socialism: socialismo utópico
Phalanstère: falansterio

I am sure that I am going to have a lot of spelling mistakes. jaja

See you.

Friday, February 22, 2013

JOURNAL 22/02/2013

Hello everybody!!!

Today during the break time, some people have been talking with Paqui about the projects. When the bell has rung all the people have come to the class and started asking her about the projects at the same time and I haven't been able to listen anything. Paqui has said that the next unit is short.
After we have reviewed what we studied last day about the new class-based society:
-High bourgeoisie
-Middle bourgeoisie
-Petty bourgeoisie
Later, we have seen some images about the working and living conditions of workers during the Industrial Revolution, the conditions were very dreadful. People were very tired and they didn't rest so they were vulnerable to illnesses (the workers used to work between 12 and 16 hours a day and they could only rest one day per week)

                                                                  Working conditions   

After this we have started the 3rd point of the unit about the Labour Movement:
-First protests:Luddism
  Workers destroyed the machines, because they considered them responsible for their bad working conditions.  Captain Ned Ludd  was an imaginary figure invented by the workers who signed the threat letters to the factories' owners.

-Class consciusness
  Living and working together made the workers become aware of their situation and start organizing   themselves to improve their working conditions.
-First workers' association
  Mutual Benefit Societies: they helped workers in case of illness or unemployment. Workers paid monthly fees to cover these situations. Trade Unions: Associations of workers of the same profession (trade) created to improve the working conditions of their members. Declared illegal until the Combination Acts (1824). The Tolpuddle martys (1632) were condemned because they created a farmers' union.
Trade unions

-Chartist movement
 Political movement that demanded political rights for the workers. They presented a chart to the Parliament of the UK with their demands. They didn't get what they wanted.

Paqui has said that if you don't protest what is unfair you won't change nothing. And she also has read a quote from an image, "Class consciousness is knowing which side of the fence you're on".
She has explained that Australia was like a prison to the United Kingdom's citizens because the most dangerous people were sent there.
At the end Paqui has said that for homework we have to do exercise 12.

-civil servant -> funcionario
-servant -> sirviente
-clerk -> oficinista
-dreadful -> horrible
-Luddism -> ludismo
-put the blame on / blame -> echar la culpa / culpar
-sentenced to death -> sentenciado a muerte
-class consciousness -> conciencia de clase
-to bother -> molestar
-fence -> valla
-Mutual Benefit Societies -> Sociedades de socorros mutuos
-monthly fee -> cuota mensual
-trade union / union -> sindicato
-vindication / claim -> reivindicación / demanda


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

La Fageda: a sustainable and socially responsible business

Today we have talked about the consequences of the industrial revolutions and some of the problems appeared derived from producing with the only purpose of making profits. But there are also companies which show that economic profitability, respect to the environment, sustainable growth and social responsibility are not opposite concepts and can coexist. La Fageda is one of these companies. Mentally disabled workers  produce high quality organic yoghourts and other products, like jams. If you want to learn more about La Fageda, here you have a recent documentary called Una fábrica con sentido. It was broadcasted on La 2 three weeks ago: 

This is the link to a shorter report,  broadcasted in 2009: 

Here you have some information in English, published in the Harvard Business Review: 

And this is a PowerPoint presentation La Fageda prepared in English, explaining what they do: 

20th February 2013


At first, I wanna say two things, one is that both times I've written the journal have been on wednesday, and the other thing that Fernando (we call him fish) was late. Then Paqui was complaining because her computer didn't start working at time. 
Today, we have learnt the consequences of the Industrial Revolution:

-Positive consequences: More people could have access to cheaper products, slow improvements of the living and working conditions of workers (due to workers' organization)

-Negative consequences: 
  • Pollution
  • Mass production led to consumerism: people not only consume what they need, but new necessities are created as well. Some producers work according planned obsolence, to sell more products.
  • Unsustainable development: balance between people, environment and resources broke up.
  • Acceleration of urbanization process: cities were not ready to receive big amounts of people.
  • Cyclical crises: main consequence- unemployment.

Class-based society:
-High burgeoisie
-Middle burgeoisie
-Petty burgeoisie
-Proletariat/workers (obliged to work to survive).

And now, other things that happened in class:
Some people didn't know who Emilio Botín:

Emilio Botín is the richest person in Spain.

Paqui said that we are materialist. Then Paqui asked us to say a sustainable company. Javi said Endesa and Paqui laughed. Paqui said that she watched on TV (Salvados) that one sustainable company is a yoghourt factory: La Fageda.

Carlos Rivas said that cow's farts are polluting. Paqui laughed but said but it is true.
Paqui remembered us that fired is not the same as burn, Fernando Marcos thought that Godoy was burnt.
Also Pilar complained about the work, she said that is impossible to do it because we can't meet everyday to do the work.
Paqui asked us if someone has told us something about next year's bilingual programme, because she doesn't know how it will be.

And finally, today's GLOSSARY:
  • Shanty: chabola
  • In the long term: a largo plazo
  • Consumerism: consumismo
  • Planned obsolence: obsolescencia programada
  • On purpose: a propósito
  • Disposable: desechable
  • Sustainable: sostenible
  • Profits: beneficios
  • Awful: horrible
  • Business cycle: ciclo económico
  • Compensation: indemnización.
I hope you like this journal, and I think I don't forget anything. BYE!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Some videos to summarize the Industrial Revolutions

Here you have them:

- Turning points in history:  Industrial Revolution:

- Coal, steam and the Industrial Revolution, from the Crash Course of World History: 

- Industrial Revolution Overview, by the United Learning website:

- Why the Industrial Revolution happened here, a BBC documentary:

The History of Banking

Yesterday we talked about the development of banking as one of the consequences of the Industrial Revolution. Banking activity appeared in Mesopotamia and started developing as an economic activity in the Middle Ages, but it really became important since the Industrial Revolution. As we studied yesterday, banks assumed different roles, such as facilitating payments, lending money to the people who wanted to start a business or investing directly in a certain business. Central banks also appeared in the 19th century. They tried to have the monopoly of creating money. In fact, they create material money (banknotes), but private banks also create money with their activity of borrowing  and lending money. The lack of control of these activities has been one of the reasons of the crisis we are going though nowadays. 

If you want to learn more about banks, here you have an interesting animated  documentary called Money as Debt. It was written and filmed by Paul Grignon, a Canadian filmmaker

If you prefer, you can watch the Spanish version  (El dinero es deuda) on the following link: 

This is another interesting video about how money is created: 
Money Creation

Friday, February 15, 2013

15th February

Hello everyone!!!
At first as we hadn’t got class since one week ago Paqui has remained us  what we have studied before the holidays such us the transport revolution or the first industrial revolution.
Then Paqui has asked  Raquel to correct the exercise four of the book which was about the principles of the economic liberalism or free market economy. After Raquel has read her exercise, Paqui has explained all about the economic liberalism.
After that Juan has asked Paqui about who was the person who have to make the journal today and I have answered “me” and Gema has said silence please but she has said that in Spanish.
Then Paqui has written  the development of capitalism and also on the blackboard. Many students have asked Paqui what the should  copy the contents of the blackboard or the slide of the Powerpoint presentation.

After that Miguel has said Paqui that the ethics teacher said that the rich people work more because they wanted to get more money and Paqui has said him that it depends because Bill Gates is a very rich person and they don’t work anything.
Then Paqui has said something about an Italian bank and bankia but I couldn’t listen it because I was copying the slide of the power point and some people were talking about Urdangarin.
Then Paqui has written the development of the banks and also Paqui has given  the exercise seven of the page 31 for homework. It is about the main inventions and the energy sources that led the Second industrial revolution and the new industries that developed in this period.

Also as all the days that we have social sciences class we have copied some words in the glossary but today we have copy a lot of words such as:

·        Economic liberalismàliberalismo económico
·        Budget àpresupuesto
·        Vehicleàvehiculo
·        Toad transportàtransporte terrestre
·        Wealth of nationsà riqueza de las naciones
·        Free market economyàeconomia de libre mercado
·        Law of supply and demandàley de la oferta y la demanda
·        Means of productionà medios de producciones
·        To provideàsuministrar
·        Shareàaccion bursatil
·        Interest rateàtasa de interes
·        Ethicsàetica
·        Investmentàinversion
·        To enlargeàexpandir, ampliar
·        Inverteràinversor
·        To investàinvertir
·       money lenderàprestamista
·        Lend moneyàpedir dinero
·        Lend a creditàpedir un préstamo
·        Stockholderàaccionista
Public limited companyà sociedad anónima