[Letter to his wife, Natalia Sedova]In addition to the happiness of being a fighter for the cause of socialism, fate gave me the happiness of being her husband. During the almost forty years of our life together she remained an inexhaustible source of love, magnanimity, and tenderness. She underwent great sufferings, especially in the last period of our lives. But I find some comfort in the fact that she also knew days of happiness.For forty-three years of my conscious life I have remained a revolutionist; for forty-two of them I have fought under the banner of Marxism. If I had to begin all over again I would of course try to avoid this or that mistake, but the main course of my life would remain unchanged. I shall die a proletarian revolutionist, a Marxist, a dialectical materialist, and, consequently, an irreconcilable atheist. My faith in the communist future of mankind is not less ardent, indeed it is firmer today, than it was in the days of my youth.Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full.
This is what the bourgeois political economists have done: they have treated value as a fact of nature, not a social construction arising out of a particular mode of production. What Marx is interested in is a revolutionary transformation of society, and that means an overthrow of the capitalist value-form, the construction of an alternative value-structure, an alternative value-system that does not have the specific character of that achieved under capitalism. I cannot overemphasize this point, because the value theory in Marx is frequently interpreted as a universal norm with which we should comply. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard people complain that the problem with Marx is that he believes the only valid notion of value derives from labor inputs. It is not that at all; it is a historical social product. The problem, therefore, for socialist, communist, revolutionary, anarchist or whatever, is to find an alternative value-form that will work in terms of the social reproduction of society in a different image. By introducing the concept of fetishism, Marx shows how the naturalized value of classical political economy dictates a norm; we foreclose on revolutionary possibilities if we blindly follow that norm and replicate commodity fetishism. Our task is to question it.
1918 წლის 10 აგვისტოს ლენინი სურსათით მომარაგების "ნარკომს" (სახალხო კომისარს), ციურუპას, სთავაზობს დეკრეტის პროექტს: "...მარცვლეულის მწარმოებელ ყველა რეგიონში შეძლებულთა ფენიდან შეარჩიეთ 25-30 მძევალი, რომლებიც საკუთარი სიცოცხლით აგებენ პასუხს რეკვიზიციის გეგმის შეუსრულებლობისთვის". ციურუპამ, იმის მომიზეზებით, რომ მძევლების შერჩევის ორგანიზება ძნელი იყო, წაუყრუა. მაშინ ლენინმა მას მეორე, სრულიად არაორაზროვანი მითითება გაუგზავნა: "მე მძევლების აყვანას კი არ გთავაზობთ, არამედ მათ დანიშვნას თითოეულ ოლქში. ამ დანიშვნის მიზანია, რომ მდიდრებმა, რომლებიც თავიანთ კონტრიბუციაზე აგებენ პასუხს, ასევე საკუთარი სიცოცხლით აგონ პასუხი თავიანთსავე ოლქში რეკვიზიციის გეგმის დაუყოვნებლივ შესრულებაზე.
[Free trade agreements] are trade agreements that don't stick to trade…they colonize environmental labor, and consumer issues of grave concern (in terms of health safety, and livelihoods too) to many, many hundreds of millions of people - and they do that by subordinating consumer, environmental, and labor issues to the imperatives and the supremacy of international commerce. That is exactly the reverse of how democratic societies have progressed, because over the decades they've progressed by subordinating the profiteering priorities of companies to, say, higher environmental health standards; abolition of child labor; the right of workers to have fair worker standards…and it's this subordination of these three major categories that affect people's lives, labor, environment, the consumer, to the supremacy and domination of trade; where instead of trade getting on its knees and showing that it doesn't harm consumers - it doesn't deprive the important pharmaceuticals because of drug company monopolies, it doesn't damage the air and water and soil and food (environmentally), and it doesn't lacerate the rights of workers - no, it's just the opposite: it's workers and consumers and environments that have to kneel before this giant pedestal of commercial trade and prove that they are not, in a whole variety of ways, impeding international commerce…so this is the road to dictatorial devolution of democratic societies: because these trade agreements have the force of law, they've got enforcement teeth, and they bypass national courts, national regulatory agencies, in ways that really reflect a massive, silent, mega-corporate coup d'etat…that was pulled off in the mid-1990's.