10 thoughts on “Beaver-Blogging: A Question”

  1. Doesn’t a beaver appear somewhere on their crest? And I’m pretty sure the pub up on the third floor somewhere is called The Beaver. But I’ve only been there once, quite some time ago!

  2. I think the Beaver is the LSE mascot. The bar was certainly called the Beaver when i last went there (about 5 years ago). It was rubbish.

  3. The beaver wasn’t just an ‘animal with social habits’ — it was an animal with *socialist tendencies*. The lore from when I was at the LSE was that the Fabians, who founded the LSE, were fond of beavers because they demonstrated a mastery over the physical environment (the Fabians liked dams) and because they shared productive and reproductive labour.

    And, yep, the bar at the LSE remains shite, though I think it’s called the Three Tuns.

  4. I associate beavers with a discussion we had in a Marx tutorial – what separates us from animals is that we can design and envisage the thing we want to make before we make it, or something – but I can’t remember if the beaver example was Marx or Brooke.
    And yes, the Three Tuns does sound right actually – maybe there’s a big picture of a beaver around there that made me think Beaver?

  5. Marx:

    *** The practical creation of an objective world, the fashioning of inorganic nature, is proof that man is a conscious species-being – i.e., a being which treats the species as its own essential being or itself as a species-being. It is true that animals also produce. They build nests and dwellings, like the bee, the beaver, the ant, etc. But they produce only their own immediate needs or those of their young; they produce only when immediate physical need compels them to do so, while man produces even when he is free from physical need and truly produces only in freedom from such need; they produce only themselves, while man reproduces the whole of nature; their products belong immediately to their physical bodies, while man freely confronts his own product. Animals produce only according to the standards and needs of the species to which they belong, while man is capable of producing according to the standards of every species and of applying to each object its inherent standard; hence, man also produces in accordance with the laws of beauty. ***

  6. And here, for quite an interesting comparison with Marx, is Adam Ferguson on the beaver in the context of the same kind of thing:

    *** The artifices of the beaver, the ant, and the bee, are ascribed to the wisdom of nature. Those of polished nations are ascribed to themselves, and are supposed to indicate a capacity superior to that of rude minds. But the establishments of men, like those of every animal, are suggested by nature, and are the result of instinct, directed by the variety of situations in which mankind are placed. Those establishments arose from successive improvements that were made, without any sense of their general effect; and they bring human affairs to a state of complication, which the greatest reach of capacity with which human nature was ever adorned, could not have projected; nor even when the whole is carried into execution, can i t be comprehended in its full extent. ***

  7. Good to see you too Chris. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    If the selection in both Marx and Ferguson is the bee, the beaver, and the ant, why pick (only) the beaver? Because it is cuter? Or simply better suited for socialism?

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