Dictionary of Revolutionary Marxism

—   Ti - Tn   —

A brutal massacre of the unarmed masses in Tiananmen Square in 1989, who were calling for democracy and protesting the regime led by the capitalist-roader
Deng Xiaoping. Many of the protesters were wearing Mao badges and waving Red Books. This revolutionary aspect of the demonstration has been covered up in the West, and the event is portrayed as merely a demonstration calling for bourgeois democracy which was crushed by a (so-called) “Communist” government.
        See also: LI PENG

A reactionary demonstration in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on April 5, 1976 by demonstrators who gathered both out of respect for
Zhou Enlai (who had died earlier that year) and in opposition to the revolutionary line of Mao and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. The fact that both of these themes were combined together by the demonstrators led to further suspicions and criticisms (on the part of Maoist revolutionaries) of the role that Zhou Enlai had been playing during the GPCR.

[British English slang originating in India.] A lunch box carried by workers. Occasionally such lunch boxes are used to conceal IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), and these are sometimes called “tiffin bombs”.


How much of a cut tree is sold as timber?
        “For the average hardwood tree cut down to make lumber, half the total wood volume is left in the woods as tops, limbs, and logging residue; about a quarter is lost as sawdust, slabs, and edgings in the sawmill; and one-eighth disappears as shavings and machining residues, leaving about one-eighth of the original volume to be sold as timber.” —The Handy Science Answer Book, 2nd ed., compiled by the Science and Technology Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, (Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1997), p. 237.

[To be added...]

Although “time travel” is a popular theme in science fiction (usually more aptly referred to as fantasy fiction) it is scientifically impossible, and even logically impossible.
        Of course people, and the world as a whole, are constantly “moving into the future” in their everyday existence. And something seemingly closer to the instantaneous effect imagined for time travel into the future could occur through methods such as biological stasis or hibernation for a certain period, which might conceivably allow a person’s consciousness to suddenly jump from one time period into a far future time period. But this is no more philosophically startling than the fact that when we go to sleep each night and then awaken in the morning our consciousness has jumped 7 or 8 hours “into a future time”.
        But time travel into the past is absolutely impossible. The standard refutation of the idea is the “grandfather paradox”: If it were possible to travel into the past it would then be possible to kill your grandfather in his youth, thus preventing your own birth and your ability to move backwards in time. In short, the idea leads to a logical contradiction. It assumes that the past was both a certain definite way (fixed), and also that it can “later” be changed into something different (which means that it was not fixed).
        Any sort of real time travel, either to the past or to a discontinuous future, involves breaking the chain of
cause and effect in the development of the world, and is therefore a scientifically incoherent notion.

A common term for what we Marxists would call a
qualitative or dialectical leap.
        See also: DIALECTICAL LEAPS—Popular Terms For

“Most of us are already familiar with the baseline observations made by [Anthony] Barnosky and [Elizabeth] Hadly: The climate is changing fast, and the rate of species loss is accelerating. We know that sea level is rising faster and that both storms and droughts are coming faster and stronger as a result....
        “But Barnosky and Hadly, professors at UC Berkeley and Standford, respectively, have more to tell us about these woeful occurrences. They report on a recent realization in ecology: that what seem like gradual environmental changes can turn on a dime, creating large, sudden change we don’t expect. These are the tipping points, ‘and they happen because, in all walks of life, gradual change accumulates slowly until it hits a certain threshold, and then all hell breaks loose.’
        “Tipping points happen, and we’ve all experienced them.... Many such moments are points of no return.... The world has once again begun to change in a way, and at a speed, that signals that a new planetary tipping point is just ahead.
        “Recent research into tipping points reveals that they are ubiquitous.” —Mary Ellen Hannibal, “Future Shocks”, San Francisco Chronicle, June 19, 2016. This is a book review of Tipping Point for Planet Earth: How Close Are We to the Edge? (2016), by Anthony Barnosky and Elizabeth Hadly.

The recent rampant corporate practice of changing workers’ job titles in grandiose ways, as an alternative to raising their wages and/or benefits.

“There’s one place where inflation shows no sign at all of letting up, said The Economist: The market for puffed-up job titles. Many companies employ someone whose job includes ‘greeting all visitors at the front desk.’ You may think you are meeting a receptionist. But no. This would be the ‘director of first impressions,’ or perhaps, if you are so lucky, the ‘lobby ambassador.’ Title inflation happens more regularly during down times; when a company’s money is tight, ‘a bump in title is a way of recognizing someone’s efforts cheaply.’ But the outcomes can be laughable. Titles are ‘conjured up to stand out from the crowd—chief evangelist, director of storytelling, chief innovability officer.’ The person at the deli counter refers to herself as a ‘sandwich artist.’ Inflated titles also look great until everyone has them. ‘A senior VP is someone in middle management; an assistant VP is three years out of university; an associate VP has just mastered the alphabet.’
         “Title puffery can even produce adverse hiring outcomes, as fewer people (particularly women) apply for jobs with senior titles, even if they are made up. ‘The worst offenses’ are the labels employers give to their staffers, calling them ‘colleagues’ or ‘team members.’ The intention is clear: ‘to disguise the cold reality of corporate hierarchies.’”
         —“The Chief Title Officer Will See You”, The Economist, as summarized in The Week, Dec. 23, 2022, p. 34.


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