Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's a Small World!

Today was the first day of Marx. We started with defining the differences between Socialism and Communism and later moving into Marx's life and philosophy. He believed that in the era of industrialism the machines were taking way the humanity of the workers. Marx is most easily compared to John Locke, except in a different time period. As Locke strongly believed that anything that you input labor into became an extension of yourself, making it your own. Marx believed that the reliance and domination of the machines takes away your right to private possessions through the minimal wages. Professor Kramnick reinforced this point by stating that a worker is now "selling their time," no longer gaining what they produce through their labor.

During the discussion section we further broke down the idea of Marx. In the lecture we primarily covered the Communist Manifesto, which published Marx’s troubles with economic class structure and capitalism, while in the discussion section we analyzed Marx's idea of estranged labor, why factory work is dehumanizing the people (through low wages and a theoretical ownership of all belongings by the bourgeois class).   

The afternoon guest speaker was Alan Mittman, an attorney now based in Cornell. Remember Hannon, our classmate who goes to Albany High two blocks away? We never thought there would be a chance that we would meet somebody from the Bay Area while on the East Coast. How about two? Today's speaker was enrolled in law school at UC Berkeley, and lived in El Cerrito for three years, our home town! 

He talked about a case involving economic justice, featuring Haagen-Dazs ice cream. There was a conflict between Haagen-Dazs and another emerging ice cream company, Frusen-Gladje, regarding intellectual property theft having to do with the name and design of the product. This economic perspective on freedom and justice provided a new look at equality in modern day terms, and was interesting of course, because it had to do with dessert!

After school I went to see Ulas for extra help on my Plato essay. This meeting was particularly helpful to help me clearly present my thesis statement and organize my thoughts; I feel a lot more prepared for the Thursday due date. The evening was spent playing pool and doing homework before going to sleep. 


  1. I've read numerous blogs about the theft of intellectual property but I've yet to read what the issue of the case were. Perhaps you can tell us the specifics and tell us what you think about it.

  2. The case was regarding an emerging gourmet ice cream company, Frusen-Gladje, that was accused of intellectual property theft from Haagen-Dazs ice cream (they had very similar flavors, container designs, and even rhyming names). Personally I think that Haagen-Dazs' argument is justified it was the first "gourmet" commercially sold ice cream, and Frusen-Gladje came out soon after that with a suspiciously similar product. Haagen-Dazs sued unsuccessfully in the 80's but Frusen-Gladje has been taken of the market.

    This brought me to the question about the differences between Dreyer's and Breyer's and if this an issue of intellectual property theft as well. I asked the attorney and will try to do some independent research after finals.