(the) capitalists

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
— Why do you keep saying reptiles when you mean capitalists?
— Oh because Marxist analysis is boring and it's more interesting if the capitalists are reptiles.
— But you sound like a conspiracy theorist. Aren't you discrediting yourself by using David Icke's vocabulary?
What's Wrong with Capitalism (Part 1), video by ContraPoints

Are "the capitalists" in the 2nd line any more specific than "capitalists" in the 1st line, if only slightly? Or is there no difference at all?
Thanks.
 
  • VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    So maybe she thinks about capitalists as a definite category she herself is not part of? Maybe is that what she expressed by "the", what do you think?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    No difference. It’s just about capitalism, and thus capitalists, in general.
    :thumbsup:
    So maybe she thinks about capitalists as a definite category she herself is not part of? Maybe is that what she expressed by "the", what do you think?
    This is verging on “article obsession” :D They have clearly been talking about reptiles/capitalists before so “the” is completely normal to refer back to the first/earlier mention(s).
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The capitalists = the ones the other person has just mentioned.

    Also, presumably there’s an element of the goodies versus the baddies (e.g. the proletariat v. the establishment).
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you both.
    They have clearly been talking about reptiles/capitalists before so “the” is completely normal to refer back to the first/earlier mention(s).
    The capitalists = the ones the other person has just mentioned.
    The second-mention rule works with something specific, no? If the two mentions of the same noun are non-specific, why use the article?

    1. Karl noticed some capitalists walking by. They/the capitalists were dressed luxuriously.

    2. Karl noticed some capitalists walking by. He always hated capitalists.

    3. Karl always thought about capitalists. He even wrote a book about capitalists.

    Blue — specific, pink — generic. Would you use "the" with any of the pink words?
    Also, presumably there’s an element of the goodies versus the baddies (e.g. the proletariat v. the establishment).
    That probably works!
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    2. Karl noticed some capitalists walking by. He always hated capitalists.

    3. Karl always thought about capitalists. He even wrote a book about capitalists.

    Would you use "the" with any of the pink words?
    No. They’re all references to capitalists in general, as a group.

    Similarly, we would say I don’t like bigots, not I don’t like the bigots.
     
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