JR Test Site News for 01-21-2018

The Enlightened Capitalist

Clearly, the enlightened capitalist press wasn’t particularly keen on showcasing the power basis of accumulation. Scarcely had a day passed from the article’s publication that we got an angry email from an asset manager whom we’ll call ‘Mr. X’. Mr. X is an enlightened capitalist, and reading our piece had set him on fire. Small businesses are being looted and taken over by the government while shortages increase and inflation soars at over 60%. Are capitalists profiting from this crisis? No just corrupt politicians and businessmen that collude with state run enterprises all of whom would never survive in a capitalist economy. Mr. X’s emotional email reflects a broader capitalist anxiety. The leading capitalists and their investment organs are taking over larger and larger chunks of our natural resources, human-made artefacts and collective knowledge; they formulate and steer public policy to their own advantage; and they dominate ideology, education and the mass media. Second, the very power logic of accumulation – the need to strategically sabotage others in order to increase one’s own share of the total – forces capitalists to continue and dig their own graves, so to speak. Now, of course, most capitalists, particularly the smaller ones, are unaware of and certainly won’t admit these power underpinnings of capitalism. For politically correct capitalists with substantial money to invest, Mr. X’s fund offers a carefully hedged, two-pronged strategy: buying and holding do-good companies that profit from saving the planet while shorting firms that harm the environment and governments that misallocate the world’s resources. Now, once upon a time there existed a real, undistorted capitalist system as outlined above. So who are the real capitalists? If you haven’t guessed it by now, real capitalists are those who never accumulate. To be a real capitalist, you have to either lose money or break even with enough income to survive. To see real capitalists in action, you need go to their ‘impact investing’ gatherings, where they deliberate saving the world, capitalist style. The mandate of the ‘ethical fund manager’ is simple: leverage the world’s distortions and imperfections by selling short and buying long future variations of inequality, the ups and downs of expected hunger, anticipated ecological degradation and regeneration and other assorted disasters and triumphs – and do it all in such a way that we, your capitalist clients, end up beating the holy average. The problem is that, according to the enlightened capitalist, we don’t live in the best of all possible worlds, but in one of the worst. So in the end, the only way to beat the big unreal capitalists of the distorted world is to joint them.

Keywords: [“capitalist”,”world”,”power”]
Source: https://dissidentvoice.org/2014/05/the-enlightened-capitalist

On Anarchism, Noam Chomsky interviewed by Tom Lane

Though Chomsky has written a considerable amount about anarchism in the past three decades, people often ask him for a more tangible, detailed vision of social change. His political analysis never fails to instill outrage and anger with the way the world works, but many readers are left uncertain about what exactly Chomsky would do to change it. For Chomsky, those principles arise from the historical trend of thought and action known as anarchism. “In Latin America,” Chomsky says, “I talked about many of these topics, and far more important, learned about them from people who are actually doing things, a good deal of which had an anarchist flavor. Also had a chance to meet with lively and interesting groups of anarchists, from Buenos Aires to Belem at the mouth of the Amazon. But the discussions were much more focused and specific than I often see here; and rightly, I think.” As a brief introduction to some of his thoughts on anarchism, perhaps they may inspire the reader to pursue other writings on the subject, and more importantly, to develop the concept of anarchism through the process of working for a more free and democratic society. No one owns the term “Anarchism.” It is used for a wide range of different currents of thought and action, varying widely. In your opinion, what specific realization of anarchism is appropriate in this epoch? I tend to agree that anarchism is formless and utopian, though hardly more so than the inane doctrines of neoliberalism, Marxism-Leninism, and other ideologies that have appealed to the powerful and their intellectual servants over the years, for reasons that are all too easy to explain. Anarchism, in my view, is an expression of the idea that the burden of proof is always on those who argue that authority and domination are necessary. What sort of conception of human nature is anarchism predicated on? Would people have less incentive to work in an egalitarian society? Would an absence of government allow the strong to dominate the weak? Would democratic decision-making result in excessive conflict, indecision and “Mob rule”? As I understand the term “Anarchism,” it is based on the hope that core elements of human nature include sentiments of solidarity, mutual support, sympathy, concern for others, and so on. Anarchism is sometimes called libertarian socialism – How does it differ from other ideologies that are often associated with socialism, such as Leninism? Many “Anarcho-capitalists” claim that anarchism means the freedom to do what you want with your property and engage in free contract with others. Is capitalism in any way compatible with anarchism as you see it? What are the prospects for realizing anarchism in our society? What steps should we take?

Keywords: [“anarchism”,”anarchist”,”work”]
Source: https://chomsky.info/19961223

JR Test Site News for 01-20-2018

Locke: Government

John Locke’s intellectual curiosity and social activism also led him to consider issues of general public concern in the lively political climate of seventeenth-century England. Locke’s political philosophy found its greatest expression in the , published anonymously during the same year that the Essay appeared under his own name. In the Locke offered a point-by-point critique of Robert Filmer’s , a quasi-religious attempt to show that absolute monarchy is the natural system of human social organization. The develops Locke’s own detailed account of the origin, aims, and structure of any civil government. From the outset, Locke openly declared the remarkable theme of his political theory: in order to preserve the public good, the central function of government must be the protection of private property. Originally, Locke supposed, the earth and everything on it belongs to all of us in common; among perfectly equal inhabitants, all have the same right to make use of whatever they find and can use. Applying these actions to natural objects by mixing our labor with them, Locke argued, provides a clear means for appropriating them as an extension of our own personal property. The same principle of appropriation by the investment of labor can be extended to control over the surface of the earth as well, on Locke’s view. The first instance of social organization, on Locke’s view, is the development of the family, a voluntary association designed to secure the propagation of the human species through successive generations. In practice, Locke supposed that the will expressed by the majority must be accepted as determinative over the conduct of each individual citizen who consents to be governed at all. The structure or form of the government so established is a matter of relatively less importance, on Locke’s view. Since standing laws continue in force long after they have been established, Locke pointed out that the legislative body responsible for deciding what the laws should be need only meet occasionally, but the executive branch of government, responsible for ensuring that the laws are actually obeyed, must be continuous in its operation within the society. Locke’s presumption is that the legislative function of government will be vested in a representative assembly, which naturally retains the supreme power over the commonwealth as a whole: whenever it assembles, the majority of its members speak jointly for everyone in the society. The most likely cause of such a revolution, Locke supposed, would be abuse of power by the government itself: when the society unduly interferes with the property interests of the citizens, they are bound to protect themselves by withdrawing their consent. On Locke’s view the possibility of revolution is a permanent feature of any properly-formed civil society.

Keywords: [“Locke”,”state”,”individual”]
Source: http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/4n.htm

Real-World Economics Review Blog

Clearly, the enlightened capitalist press wasn’t particularly keen on showcasing the power basis of accumulation. Small businesses are being looted and taken over by the government while shortages increase and inflation soars at over 60%. Are capitalists profiting from this crisis? No just corrupt politicians and businessmen that collude with state run enterprises all of whom would never survive in a capitalist economy. The leading capitalists and their investment organs are taking over larger and larger chunks of our natural resources, human-made artefacts and collective knowledge; they formulate and steer public policy to their own advantage; and they dominate ideology, education and the mass media. Second, the very power logic of accumulation – the need to strategically sabotage others in order to increase one’s own share of the total – forces capitalists to continue and dig their own graves, so to speak. Now, of course, most capitalists, particularly the smaller ones, are unaware of and certainly won’t admit these power underpinnings of capitalism. For politically correct capitalists with substantial money to invest, Mr. X’s fund offers a carefully hedged, two-pronged strategy: buying and holding do-good companies that profit from saving the planet while shorting firms that harm the environment and governments that misallocate the world’s resources. Now, once upon a time there existed a real, undistorted capitalist system as outlined above. So who are the real capitalists? If you haven’t guessed it by now, real capitalists are those who never accumulate. To be a real capitalist, you have to either lose money or break even with enough income to survive. Many real capitalists are perfectly happy with a steady state. To see real capitalists in action, you need go to their ‘impact investing’ gatherings, where they deliberate saving the world, capitalist style. The mandate of the ‘ethical fund manager’ is simple: leverage the world’s distortions and imperfections by selling short and buying long future variations of inequality, the ups and downs of expected hunger, anticipated ecological degradation and regeneration and other assorted disasters and triumphs – and do it all in such a way that we, your capitalist clients, end up beating the holy average. The problem is that, according to the enlightened capitalist, we don’t live in the best of all possible worlds, but in one of the worst. So in the end, the only way to beat the big unreal capitalists of the distorted world is to joint them. Why not? Because such a revelation, says the ecological capitalist, would allow corrupt politicians and their crony big businessmen to discredit the no-growth capitalists, thus killing the very chance of ever achieving the homeostatic bliss…. References.

Keywords: [“capitalist”,”world”,”power”]
Source: https://rwer.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/the-enlightened-capitalist

JR Test Site News for 01-20-2018

Adam Smith and “The Wealth Of Nations”

What was the most important document published in 1776? The Declaration of Independence is the easy answer for Americans, but many would argue that Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” had a bigger and more global impact. Smith, a Scottish philosopher by trade, wrote the book to upend the mercantilist system. Smith believed humans ultimately promote public interest through their everyday economic choices. “He generally neither intends to promote the public interest nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention,” states Smith in “An Inquiry Into The Nature And Causes Of The Wealth Of Nations”. What is the Effect of the Invisible Hand on the Government? The automatic pricing and distribution mechanisms in the economy-which Adam Smith called an “Invisible hand”-interacts directly and indirectly with centralized, top-down planning authorities. The Elements of Prosperity: According to Adam Smith Boiling the principles Smith expressed regarding the invisible hand and other concepts down to essentials, Smith believed that a nation needed the following three elements to bring about universal prosperity. Smith wanted people to practice thrift, hard work, and enlightened self-interest. Extending upon self-interest in trade, Smith saw thrift and savings as important virtues, especially when savings were used to invest. Smith saw the responsibilities of the government being limited to the defense of the nation, universal education, public works, the enforcement of legal rights and the punishment of crime. The third element Smith proposed was a solid currency twinned with free-market principles. With hard currency acting as a check to spending, Smith wanted the government to follow free-market principles by keeping taxes low and allowing free trade across borders by eliminating tariffs. He pointed out that tariffs and other taxes only succeeded in making life more expensive for the people while also stifling industry and trade abroad. Smith’s Theories Overthrow Mercantilism To drive home the damaging nature of tariffs, Smith used the example of making wine in Scotland. Both the opponents of and believers in Adam Smith’s free market capitalism have added to the framework setup in “The Wealth of Nations”. Oddly enough, Adam Smith, the champion of the free market, spent the last years of his life as the Commissioner of Customs, meaning he was responsible for enforcing all the tariffs. Smith overturned the miserly view of mercantilism and gave us a vision of plenty and freedom for all.

Keywords: [“Smith”,”government”,”Invisible”]
Source: https://www.investopedia.com/updates/adam-smith-wealth-of-nations

Taking notes 34: The enlightened capitalist – Philosophers for Change

Clearly, the enlightened capitalist press wasn’t particularly keen on showcasing the power basis of accumulation. Scarcely had a day passed from the article’s publication that we got an angry email from an asset manager whom we’ll call ‘Mr. X’. Mr. X is an enlightened capitalist, and reading our piece had set him on fire. Small businesses are being looted and taken over by the government while shortages increase and inflation soars at over 60%. Are capitalists profiting from this crisis? No just corrupt politicians and businessmen that collude with state run enterprises all of whom would never survive in a capitalist economy. Mr. X’s emotional email reflects a broader capitalist anxiety. The leading capitalists and their investment organs are taking over larger and larger chunks of our natural resources, human-made artefacts and collective knowledge; they formulate and steer public policy to their own advantage; and they dominate ideology, education and the mass media. Now, of course, most capitalists, particularly the smaller ones, are unaware of and certainly won’t admit these power underpinnings of capitalism. For politically correct capitalists with substantial money to invest, Mr. X’s fund offers a carefully hedged, two-pronged strategy: buying and holding do-good companies that profit from saving the planet while shorting firms that harm the environment and governments that misallocate the world’s resources. Now, once upon a time there existed a real, undistorted capitalist system as outlined above. So who are the real capitalists? If you haven’t guessed it by now, real capitalists are those who never accumulate. To be a real capitalist, you have to either lose money or break even with enough income to survive. To see real capitalists in action, you need go to their ‘impact investing’ gatherings, where they deliberate saving the world, capitalist style. The mandate of the ‘ethical fund manager’ is simple: leverage the world’s distortions and imperfections by selling short and buying long future variations of inequality, the ups and downs of expected hunger, anticipated ecological degradation and regeneration and other assorted disasters and triumphs – and do it all in such a way that we, your capitalist clients, end up beating the holy average. The problem is that, according to the enlightened capitalist, we don’t live in the best of all possible worlds, but in one of the worst. So in the end, the only way to beat the big unreal capitalists of the distorted world is to joint them. Why not? Because such a revelation, says the ecological capitalist, would allow corrupt politicians and their crony big businessmen to discredit the no-growth capitalists, thus killing the very chance of ever achieving the homeostatic bliss…. References.

Keywords: [“capitalist”,”world”,”power”]
Source: https://philosophersforchange.org/2014/05/06/taking-notes-34-the…

JR Test Site News for 01-18-2018

Bannon vs. Ryan: The Faux Struggle For Trump’s Love Between Populist White Supremacism And Ayn Rand’s ‘Objectivist’ Capitalism

I believe it’s what Holy Father has seen for most of his life in places like Argentina, where you have this kind of crony capitalism of people that are involved with these military powers-that-be in the government, and it forms a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people. The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost – as many of the precepts of Marx -and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they’re really finding quite attractive. Bannon, ironically, has been the primary influence on Donald Trump, an aspiring kleptocrat, who would define “Enlightened capitalism” as knowing how best to fleece investors, workers and consumers. Despite the media’s caricature of Trump voters as solely from the white working-class, it included most college-educated whites. Bannon is likely more disingenuous than ignoramus in his muddled economic philosophy. Bannon’s deepest ideological commitment is probably to white supremacy at home and abroad. Ryan and a large part of the GOP in Congress want to gut social spending, reverse as much progressive taxation as possible and de-regulate business. There are plenty of bigots there as well as in the electorate, so Bannon and Trump find little GOP opposition to their anti-immigrant orders, travel bans, or efforts to weaken the enforcement of civil rights. There are several areas where Bannon and the GOP would be at odds if he took non-affluent whites’ well-being seriously. Bannon knew, however that many white people have or will get expensive medical problems and might be unable to afford health insurance if Obamacare was not delicately reformed. Bannon, whose influence hinges largely on Trump’s whims, decided not to fight for his alleged populist ideology and put himself at odds with his patron’s doomed quest to get Obamacare “Repealed and replaced” in any form and then declare victory. Trump and Bannon say they want to bring temporary construction jobs to rural white communities―-building new bridges, roads, and repairing crumbling ones–if only to garner future votes. If Trump agrees to further decimate what Bannon calls the “Administrative state”, ordinary white people’s quality of life will also be adversely affected, and relatively little money saved. One wild card affecting the outcome if there was ever any significant conflict between Bannon and the GOP Congress for Trump’s allegiance is the President’s Russia problem. If Bannon’s influence fades, as may be the case, the white working-class won’t even notice.

Keywords: [“Trump”,”capitalism”,”Bannon”]
Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bannon-vs-ryan-the-struggle-for-trumps-love-between_us_58c8840fe4b01d0d473bcf14

The Enlightened Capitalist

Clearly, the enlightened capitalist press wasnt particularly keen on showcasing the power basis of accumulation. Scarcely had a day passed from the articles publication that we got an angry email from an asset manager whom well call Mr. X. Mr. X is an enlightened capitalist, and reading our piece had set him on fire. Small businesses are being looted and taken over by the government while shortages increase and inflation soars at over 60%. Are capitalists profiting from this crisis? No just corrupt politicians and businessmen that collude with state run enterprises all of whom would never survive in a capitalist economy. Mr. Xs emotional email reflects a broader capitalist anxiety. The leading capitalists and their investment organs are taking over larger and larger chunks of our natural resources, human-made artefacts and collective knowledge; they formulate and steer public policy to their own advantage; and they dominate ideology, education and the mass media. Second, the very power logic of accumulation the need to strategically sabotage others in order to increase ones own share of the total forces capitalists to continue and dig their own graves, so to speak. Now, of course, most capitalists, particularly the smaller ones, are unaware of and certainly wont admit these power underpinnings of capitalism. For politically correct capitalists with substantial money to invest, Mr. Xs fund offers a carefully hedged, two-pronged strategy: buying and holding do-good companies that profit from saving the planet while shorting firms that harm the environment and governments that misallocate the worlds resources. Now, once upon a time there existed a real, undistorted capitalist system as outlined above. So who are the real capitalists? If you havent guessed it by now, real capitalists are those who never accumulate. To be a real capitalist, you have to either lose money or break even with enough income to survive. To see real capitalists in action, you need go to their impact investing gatherings, where they deliberate saving the world, capitalist style. The mandate of the ethical fund manager is simple: leverage the worlds distortions and imperfections by selling short and buying long future variations of inequality, the ups and downs of expected hunger, anticipated ecological degradation and regeneration and other assorted disasters and triumphs and do it all in such a way that we, your capitalist clients, end up beating the holy average. The problem is that, according to the enlightened capitalist, we dont live in the best of all possible worlds, but in one of the worst. So in the end, the only way to beat the big unreal capitalists of the distorted world is to join them.

Keywords: [“capitalist”,”world”,”power”]
Source: http://bnarchives.yorku.ca/397/2/20140400_bn_the_enlightened_capitalist_web.htm

JR Test Site News for 01-18-2018

The Enlightened Economist

I’ve been reading Frank Trentmann’s Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the 15th century to the 21st, which has taken a while as it’s 600+ pages. It traces global trends in consumption through the long sweep of history. It addresses the entire chain of production and consumption from resources to waste. The book sets up a tension through all of this material: “The view that being and having are opposites has a very long history. But so has an alternative trajectory that sees people as only becoming human through the use of things.” Among other forces, technology keeps this tension alive over time, as new things keep on appearing. Consumption clearly depended on rising incomes, and the book traces a switch to “The creation of value through consumption, not just production” from the 19th century – it argues that consumer society has its roots in the Industrial Revolution rather than as is often argued the post-war boom. Middle class women were decreasingly likely to have servants and did more of their own housework. John Kenneth Galbraith said consumer durables enslaved women; but even if – as he argued – easier washing meant more washing to have cleaner clothes, why is this not a better outcome? The modern no-growther’s disdain for consumption seems to me to be of a piece with the instinct in the past that gave us sumptuary laws. ” Of course we need to pay far greater attention to resource use and to waste, but it is the affluent who are cavalier about the importance of growing real incomes and consumption – Janan Ganesh in his column today describes them as ‘too-rich-to-care bohemians’. I would have liked more economics, and more figures. The biggest issue I have is that the book never addresses the distinction between material and non-material consumption. It puts really a great deal of emphasis on the physical nature of consumer goods – and then skips to a discussion of some non-material aspect of consumption such as public health measures or public education, or leisure activities like the cinema. The issue of increased expenditure on services and intangibles is dismissed in just over two separate pages, by saying that spending on housing, transport and food combined accounts for the same proportion of the household budget in 2007 as in 1958; and that in the OECD as a whole material consumption rhas continued to rise. The immaterial is embedded in the material, and there is absolutely no reason to be complacent about the environmental footpring of the global economy; but it is surely a significant development in the history of consumption that value is being created largely by the non-material now? Still, it’s probably a good sign when a huge book leaves you more inclined to ask for more rather than wishing there had been less, and the balance tips that way for me despite it being in need of a blue pencil in parts.

Keywords: [“consumption”,”more”,”Things”]
Source: http://www.enlightenmenteconomics.com/blog/index.php/tag/capitalism/

Real-World Economics Review Blog

Clearly, the enlightened capitalist press wasn’t particularly keen on showcasing the power basis of accumulation. Small businesses are being looted and taken over by the government while shortages increase and inflation soars at over 60%. Are capitalists profiting from this crisis? No just corrupt politicians and businessmen that collude with state run enterprises all of whom would never survive in a capitalist economy. The leading capitalists and their investment organs are taking over larger and larger chunks of our natural resources, human-made artefacts and collective knowledge; they formulate and steer public policy to their own advantage; and they dominate ideology, education and the mass media. Second, the very power logic of accumulation – the need to strategically sabotage others in order to increase one’s own share of the total – forces capitalists to continue and dig their own graves, so to speak. Now, of course, most capitalists, particularly the smaller ones, are unaware of and certainly won’t admit these power underpinnings of capitalism. For politically correct capitalists with substantial money to invest, Mr. X’s fund offers a carefully hedged, two-pronged strategy: buying and holding do-good companies that profit from saving the planet while shorting firms that harm the environment and governments that misallocate the world’s resources. Now, once upon a time there existed a real, undistorted capitalist system as outlined above. So who are the real capitalists? If you haven’t guessed it by now, real capitalists are those who never accumulate. To be a real capitalist, you have to either lose money or break even with enough income to survive. Many real capitalists are perfectly happy with a steady state. To see real capitalists in action, you need go to their ‘impact investing’ gatherings, where they deliberate saving the world, capitalist style. The mandate of the ‘ethical fund manager’ is simple: leverage the world’s distortions and imperfections by selling short and buying long future variations of inequality, the ups and downs of expected hunger, anticipated ecological degradation and regeneration and other assorted disasters and triumphs – and do it all in such a way that we, your capitalist clients, end up beating the holy average. The problem is that, according to the enlightened capitalist, we don’t live in the best of all possible worlds, but in one of the worst. So in the end, the only way to beat the big unreal capitalists of the distorted world is to joint them. Why not? Because such a revelation, says the ecological capitalist, would allow corrupt politicians and their crony big businessmen to discredit the no-growth capitalists, thus killing the very chance of ever achieving the homeostatic bliss…. References.

Keywords: [“capitalist”,”world”,”power”]
Source: https://rwer.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/the-enlightened-capitalist/

JR Test Site News for 01-18-2018

On The Issues Magazine The Progressive Woman’s Magazine Winter 2011: The Rise of Enlightened Sexism by Susan J. Douglas

Today, we once again have what Betty Friedan famously called “a problem with no name.” Millions of young women – the girl power generation – have been told that they can do or be anything, yet they also believe their most important task is to be slim, “Hot,” and non-threatening to men. As one reviews the media landscape of the past 15 years, one is struck by how effectively feminism – a social movement that has done so much for women, and for men, for that matter – has been so vilified in the media that many young women regard it as the ideological equivalent of anthrax. The name I chose is “Enlightened Sexism” – a term I adapted from Sut Jhally’s and Justin Lewis’s “Enlightened racism.” It is a new, subtle, sneaky form of sexism that seems to accept – even celebrate – female achievements on the surface, but is really about repudiating feminism and keeping women, especially young women, in their place. After reviewing the media fare geared to girls and women since the early 1990s, I came to see a rather large gap between how the vast majority of girls and women live their lives, the choices they are forced to make, and what we see – and don’t see – in the media. These fantasies assure girls and women, repeatedly, that women’s liberation is a fait accompli and that we are stronger, more successful, more sexually in control, more fearless, and more held in awe than we actually are. Fantasies of power urge us to pretend that any woman can become a CEO, and that women have achieved economic, professional and political parity with men. Different fantasies of power have been targeted at different age groups, creating a bit of a generational divide: Older women – I prefer the term Vintage Females – like myself have been given all those iron-clad women in the 10:00 p.m. TV programming strip, all those cops, forensic scientists, female judges and the like. Enlightened sexism insists that women have made plenty of progress because of feminism – indeed, full equality has allegedly been achieved – so now it’s OK, even amusing, to resurrect sexist stereotypes of girls and women. These images can’t undermine women at this late date, right? More to the point, enlightened sexism sells the line that it is precisely through women’s calculated deployment of their faces, bodies, attire and sexuality that they gain and enjoy true power, power that is fun, and power that men not only will not resent, but also will embrace. So in the age of enlightened sexism there has been an explosion in makeover, match-making and modeling shows, a renewed emphasis on women’s breasts, an obsession with babies and motherhood in celebrity journalism, and a celebration of stay-at-home moms and “Opting out” of the workforce. According to enlightened sexism, women now have a choice between feminism and anti-feminism and they just naturally and happily choose the latter because, well, anti-feminism has become cool, even hip. Enlightened sexism is meant to make patriarchy pleasurable for women. Ironically, despite their striking differences, embedded feminism and enlightened sexism absolutely reinforce each other: they both overstate women’s gains and accomplishments, and they both render feminism obsolete. Because of these powerful cross currents – between embedded feminism and enlightened sexism, girls and women are pulled in totally opposite directions, and are compelled to strike a bargain. It’s a powerful choke leash, letting women venture out, offering us fantasies of power, control and love, and then pulling us back in.

Keywords: [“women”,”power”,”feminism”]
Source: http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/2011winter/2011_winter_Douglas.php

Working for a free and prosperous world

Belief in the “Moral decay” epitomized by self-directed amateur photography results from a more general conviction that the virtues of community and altruism are being driven out by our culture’s overemphasis on the individual. Whether the culprit is capitalism, technology, or Western civilization more generally, the idea is that historically recent developments are fracturing our communal bonds and leading to a loss of empathy, compassion, and duty – replacing concern for the well-being of a larger group with a privileging of the atomized individual. The selfie as we now know it may seem like a result of social media and the camera phone, but our society’s apparent obsession with visual self-presentation is much older – and significantly more beneficial – than the critics understand. “It’s easy to make fun of our penchant for taking selfies,” writes popular science author Steven Johnson in How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World, “But in fact there is a long and storied tradition behind that form of self-expression.” Prior to the Renaissance, visual representation was more symbolic, less what we would now call realistic. “Social conventions as well as property rights and other legal customs began to revolve around the individual rather than the older, more collective units: the family, the tribe, the city, the kingdom.” Furthermore, “Orienting laws around individuals led directly to an entire tradition of human rights and the prominence of individual liberty in legal codes.” In a different investigation of the individualist tradition, historian Lynn Hunt observes in her book Inventing Human Rights, “For rights to be human rights, all humans everywhere in the world must possess them equally and only because of their status as human beings.” Torture, in the ancient world, was originally limited to slaves, but over time, the practice became more acceptable, and in the second century it was expanded to include nominally free lower-class victims. How did the 18th-century public come to agree with them? The answer Hunt offers is that the so-called self-evidence of individual human rights was largely the result of widespread reading in a genre that was still relatively new at the time: the epistolary novel. Thinking about themselves as the individuals staring back through the glass, “People began writing about their interior lives with far more scrutiny,” and “The novel emerged as a dominant form of storytelling, probing the inner mental lives of its characters with an unrivaled depth.” Entering a novel, particularly a first-person narrative, was a kind of conceptual parlor trick: it let you swim through the consciousness, the thoughts and emotions, of other people more effectively than any aesthetic form yet invented. For the first time in history, people come to question the practices of torture and slavery, practices at least as old as civilization and far more universal than any understanding of rights prior to the Enlightenment. The “Invention” of the individual ushered in not ever more selfishness and less regard for the group, but an expanding empathy and a more inclusive, approaching universal, sense of “Us” – a waning relegation of those outside our moral community. The “Invention” of the individual ushered in not ever more selfishness and less regard for the group, but an expanding empathy. Like individualism more generally, the selfie invites us to explore questions of identity and of where we fit in an ever more interconnected community.

Keywords: [“more”,”Individual”,”Selfie”]
Source: https://fee.org/articles/enlightened-selfies