J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 03-29-2018

A Christmas Carol Themes

The financial success that Scrooge enjoyed is precisely the goal of capitalism, but a fixation on the accumulation of wealth seduced Scrooge into seeing every aspect of life in such terms. Not only Christmas, but his fiancĂ©, his dying friend and business partner, his reputation, his office staff, and his only living family member are all weighed against their financial cost and found unworthy. The costs of such selfishness and bitterness are not borne by Scrooge alone, however. Dickens’s portrayal of the social costs-prisons, workhouses, increased mortality, the creation of ghettos and slums, the miserable state of both wealthy and poor alike-clearly makes a case for morality and social justice on a larger scale. The world becomes a better place almost immediately following Scrooge’s conversion. The story implies that a renewed connection to humanity is the very essence of redemption. Though the Christmas setting invites a traditional Christian interpretation of Scrooge’s redemption, his change is rooted not in a commitment to deeper spirituality or orthodoxy but in an authentic connection to and investment in the lives of other human beings. While the results seem to change nothing about the social structure itself, the compassion shown by individual people changes the social relationships they share.

Keywords: [“social”,”Scrooge”,”Christmas”]
Source: https://www.enotes.com/topics/christmas-carol/themes

For Equal Rights by Sophie M. Gray

In the world of today, where you have a racist neo-nazi uprising in Europe, where Trump gets a free pass in saying racists slurs, and ISIS talks about global domination, I see history repeating itself – over and over again. I have over the years tried to understand what it is that gets millions of people to follow such a man and do horrible unthinkable things. I wanted to understand how it was possible for this one man to convince millions to believe his own reality and perception, acting on his beliefs, and follow him blindly. I came to realise that Hitler is not the only one with this power, and this is why history keeps repeating itself. In all cases they use fear to recruit more into their movement and convince them about the cause, a cause they would die and kill for. Fear is a powerful emotion, and from there comes hate. A lot of this fear comes from lack of knowledge, the fear of the unknown. Leaders that preach war and hate use fear to reach their goals and start movements. With fear they make people believe their cause, and with fear they win. Our strongest tool against these movements is knowledge and critical thinking. That is how we stop governments cheating us, companies abusing us, global wars and bullies. We have therefore the obligation to each other to spread knowledge – not fear.

Keywords: [“fear”,”over”,”knowledge”]
Source: https://forequalrights.wordpress.com/tag/capitalism

discordion {Artist Ian Pritchard}

Here’s the list of companies that took advantage of taxpayer-funded workers courtesy of the DWP. Feel free to use the information in whatever way you see fit. The Tory government has been forced to reveal a vast list of firms that hoovered up free labour from benefit claimants after spending four years trying to keep it a secret. Poundstretcher, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons are among more than 500 companies, charities and councils named as having used Mandatory Work Activity. Others on the list from 2011 included payday loans firm Cash Converters, chicken diner Nando’s, WH Smith, Superdrug and DHL. More than 100,000 jobseekers were put on the hated ‘workfare’ scheme, which forced them to work 30-hour weeks unpaid for a month each or have their benefits docked. The Department for Work and Pensions mounted an astonishing and costly legal battle to keep the firms’ names a secret. The DWP stood its ground for nearly four years despite being overruled by the Information Commissioner watchdog in August 2012. The saga finally ended at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday – where a trio of top judges threw out the DWP’s argument by a 2-1 vote. Campaigners and Labour condemned the vast cost of the cover-up – in which taxpayers had to fund lawyers for both the DWP and ICO..

Keywords: [“Work”,”DWP”,”firm”]
Source: https://discordion.wordpress.com/tag/capitalism

Mental wellbeing, capitalism and fluminism. Notes.

Photo by me On social media, I read of a woman who recently experienced rejection from mental health services during a crisis of severe distress and suicidal thoughts. I know something of the absolute fear and isolation suffered during times of severe distress and suicidal thoughts. Humans are biologically social beings, yet our social foundations have been shaken to the core. Families and institutional service providers have been hammered by the pressures of a failing economic system ~ Neoliberal Capitalism. A globalised machine based on competition rides roughshod over mental wellbeing. Tensions manifest directly upon loving and supporting relationships, right across the globe. Humans are biologically responding to internal and external stimuli. The externals are largely ignored in our systems of care. Even the monetisation of nature is being forced at a pace, adopted by advocates of a growth-oriented market system dominated by corporate interests. Lives are worn down and snuffed out by competitive examinations, interviews, PIPS, job markets, mortgage payments, rents, bills, the weekly shop. I will not accept all-out competition is the god-given ‘natural state’ of human existence. We can perpetuate and proliferate positive interconnections between all living beings.

Keywords: [“human”,”system”,”market”]
Source: https://seasonalight.wordpress.com/2018/01/06/mental-wellbeing…

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