ROBINSON, Joan (1903-1983)
A leading bourgeois economist during the middle part of the 20th century. Taught at Cambridge University for 40 years. She was an associate and extender of Keynes, and was also somewhat influenced by Marx and later by Maoist political economy. Her book Essay on Marxian Economics (1942) brings out her rejection of the labor theory of value.
See also: BASTARD KEYNESIANISM
ROBESPIERRE, Maximilien François Marie Isidore de (1758-1794)
Jacobin leader during the great French Revolution, and head of the revolutionary government in 1793-94.
An automatic machine which replaces, in part or in full, human labor in some production process. In the sardonic illustration at the right, an industrial robot even operates the soup kitchen that dishes out the bleak meal for unemployed human workers.
See also: AUTOMATION
“By 2012 the global sales of industrial robots was a $28 billion annual market, and the fastest-growing market is China, where robot installations have been increasing at a 25 percent annual rate since 2005. China still has a long way to go, as it has just thirty robots per 10,000 manufacturing employees compared to South Korea (437), Japan (323), Germany (282), and the United States (152), according to the International Federation of Robotics, a trade group. The research firm IHS Technology projects that robot sales in China will increase from 55,000 units in 2014, to 211,000 units in 2019.” —Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols, People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy (2016), p. 100.
“We could be looking at a society that grows ever richer, but in which all the gains in wealth accrue to whoever owns the robots.” —Paul Krugman, a liberal bourgeois economist, pondering current trends in American society. Quoted in Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols, ibid., pp. 105-6.
RODBERTUS, Johann [Johann Karl Rodbertus-Jagetzow] (1805-1875)
Prussian landowner, economist, leader of the “Center Left” in the Prussian National Assembly, and theoretician of Prussian Junker “state socialism”.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
See also: Thomas AQUINAS, JESUITS, NEO-THOMISM
A term which means related things in different spheres: in the arts generally; in music; in architecture; and in philosophy. Overall, Romanticism was a cultural movement which swept across western Europe (and to some degree the early United States) during the period of roughly 1775 to 1840 or so. It was in part a nostalgic and semi-religious reaction against the Enlightenment. In place of the ideas of reason, rationality and a scientific approach to the world that the Enlightenment championed, Romanticism favored the imaginative, the emotional, the inspired, the heroic, the nihilistic, the subjective, the self-centered focus on the “pleasure principle”, the psychological, and often the religious in various idealistic forms. While there are some positive aspects to this whole temperament, there are obviously also many negative aspects to it as well.
Romantic art and literature emphasizes sweeping movement, allegory, imagination, fantasy, romance, mythic tales, and pilgrimages returning to a lost home or Eden. Romanticism in modern architecture means a flowing, open style, often based on natural materials and blending into the environment. (As with Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright in American architecture, for example.)
Romanticism in music refers primarily to European classical music of the first half of the 19th century, and particularly the compositions of Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Berlioz, Liszt, Verdi and Wagner. It has its inspiration both in literary Romanticism and also (somewhat in conflict with that) with the new ways of thinking opened up by the great French Revolution. It is characterized by the expression of the emotions and outlook of the composers together with the somewhat opposed notion that music can and must express the spirit of the age.
There are many admirable examples of Romanticism in art, architecture and music; however, in philosophy the situation is quite different. In this sphere Romanticism is virtually always intellectualized religion (philosophical idealism) and reactionary in its essence. Not too surprisingly, Kant is a major figure or influence here, such as with his idealistic distortion of the concept of free will, but more centrally with his conception of reality as fundamentally “unknowable” and ultimately spiritual. Other philosophers or thinkers more commonly referred to as Romantics, such as Schelling, are even more blatant: With him nature is a creative spirit aspiring to an ever more complete self-realization. Supposedly human knowledge of this “spirit” (or “the Absolute”!) cannot be acquired by rational or scientific means, but only through “intuition” (and even then only by a select few). This is the sort of incoherent nonsense that characterizes Romanticism in philosophy.
Politically, the Romantic movement was a rather mixed bag. One current within it was reactionary; it viewed the triumph of capitalism with disdain, but constructed an imaginary historic ideal of what Medieval (feudal) society was like, and longed for a return to it. But another, probably larger current within Romanticism, also reacting negatively to the new capitalist world, longed to transform it into something better. Among the more progressive Romantics were Byron, Victor Hugo, Chopin, Berlioz and Liszt. While their political activities were generally limited and often merely vaguely radical or utopian, they did strongly sympathize with the masses and their miseries in capitalist society.
ROUSSEAU, Jean-Jacques (1712-1778)
French philosopher, and democrat, who was one of the great figures of the Enlightenment. He was an ideologist of the Petty Bourgeoisie.
See also: GENERAL WILL, CONTRAT SOCIAL, SOCIAL CONTRACT, and philosophical doggerel about Rousseau.
ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON
The famous scientific society formally organized and chartered in London in 1662. It is no doubt the most important scientific organization in human history.
“In 1665 the Society’s secretary, Henry Oldenburg, launched Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, one of the first scientific journals, and certainly the longest-running in the world. Philosophical Transactions reported not only the investigations of the Society’s fellows but also studies conducted by others, making the Society a world center for scientific research.” —Amir Alexander, Infinitesimal (2014), p. 248.
ROYCE, Josiah (1855-1916)
Reactionary American philosopher, who was an objective idealist and neo-Hegelian.
RSS (Rashtryiya Swayamsevar Sangh)
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