J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 05-15-2018

Social justice

In the current global grassroots movements for social justice, the emphasis has been on the breaking of barriers for social mobility, the creation of safety nets and economic justice. Social justice is invoked today while reinterpreting historical figures such as Bartolomé de las Casas, in philosophical debates about differences among human beings, in efforts for gender, racial and social equality, for advocating justice for migrants, prisoners, the environment, and the physically and mentally disabled. Thomas Pogge’s arguments pertain to a standard of social justice that creates human rights deficits. From its founding, Methodism was a Christian social justice movement. The Pope advocated that the role of the State was to promote social justice through the protection of rights, while the Church must speak out on social issues in order to teach correct social principles and ensure class harmony. 

The encyclical Quadragesimo anno of 1931 by Pope Pius XI, encourages a living wage, subsidiarity, and advocates that social justice is a personal virtue as well as an attribute of the social order, saying that society can be just only if individuals and institutions are just. It said that the laity has the specific responsibility of pursuing social justice in civil society and that the church’s active role in social justice should be to inform the debate, using reason and natural law, and also by providing moral and spiritual formation for those involved in politics. The official Catholic doctrine on social justice can be found in the book Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, published in 2004 and updated in 2006, by the Pontifical Council Iustitia et Pax. On the other hand, some scholars reject the very idea of social justice as meaningless, religious, self-contradictory, and ideological, believing that to realize any degree of social justice is unfeasible, and that the attempt to do so must destroy all liberty. Sociologist Carl L. 

Bankston has argued that a secular, leftist view of social justice entails viewing the redistribution of goods and resources as based on the rights of disadvantaged categories of people, rather than on compassion or national interest. Social justice is also a concept that is used to describe the movement towards a socially just world, e.g., the Global Justice Movement. Integrating social justice with health inherently reflects the social determinants of health model without discounting the role of the bio-medical model. 

Keywords: [“Social”,”justice”,”right”]
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice

Biography, Presidency, & Facts

Michelle Bachelet, in full Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria,, Chilean politician who served as president of Chile. Bachelet, then a medical student at the University of Chile, was arrested and sent to a secret prison, where she also was tortured. Although Bachelet’s family history made it difficult for her to find employment in Pinochet’s Chile, eventually she joined a medical clinic that treated victims of torture. In 2000 Ricardo Lagos, the candidate of the Coalition of Parties for Democracy, a group of centre and centre-left parties, was inaugurated as Chile’s first socialist president since Salvador Allende in 1973, and Bachelet was appointed health minister. Largely as a result of those successes, Bachelet found herself among the most popular presidents in Chilean history; however, the constitution prevented her from serving a consecutive term. 

In December Bachelet won the runoff decisively to become the first two-time president of Chile since the end of Pinochet’s rule. The common thread in those reforms was Bachelet’s belief that the free-market approach, when applied to social policy, had resulted in very uneven societal benefits and in the persistence of gaping income inequalities-even while Chile’s income per capita had risen from $4,400 in 1990 to almost $22,000 in 2013, according to the World Bank. Bachelet’s administration moved ahead rapidly, introducing dozens of bills, including a tax-reform bill, enacted in September, that increased the corporate tax rate from 20 percent to 27 percent and eliminated a large tax loophole, the so-called FUT, used by wealthy Chilean stockholders to shield corporate income from taxation. Much of the anticipated increase in tax earnings was earmarked to finance Bachelet’s education-reform bill, which included state subsidies to make public higher education free for the poorest 70 percent of Chileans, along with encouraging the creation of more public universities in lieu of private for-profit schools. In 2016, responding to widespread popular protest, Bachelet proposed that Chile’s privately administered pension system be overhauled. 

A commission created by Bachelet reported that some 44 percent of pensioners were living below the poverty level during the period 2007-14. Bachelet’s proposal called for a 5 percent increase in pension payments and for an infusion of about $1.5 billion in state funds into the system, along with an increase in employer contributions. 

Keywords: [“Bachelet”,”Chile”,”president”]
Source: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Michelle-Bachelet

The Time Machine Themes

As the Time Traveler theorizes, the working class has been pushed underground for so long that it has evolved into a distinct, nocturnal species. Wells tells his Victorian audience to look at its own time, in which the industrial revolution has further divided the classes, and consider the possibility of its turning into the Eloi if capitalism continues to run rampant. One of the major social theories of the late 19th-century adapted Charles Darwin’s theories on evolution to justify 19th-century social stratification between the rich and poor. Social Darwinism ignored this idea and contended that the social environment was much like the cutthroat natural environment, and that those who succeeded were biologically destined to do so and to continue in their march to human perfection. The Time Traveler soon discovers that the advancements of civilization have enfeebled the Eloi; without any pressing requirements for survival, they have become weak, lazy, and stupid. 

While their civilization has seemingly become perfect, they have become decidedly imperfect. The changing environment may not always produce desirable changes in man, and Social Darwinism’s argument that those who succeed in a given environment are naturally superior is not valid. The concept of entropy states that systems tend toward disorder and loss of energy over time, an idea many perceive as contradictory to evolution, since evolution implies that systems grow more ordered in their complexity over time. Ultimately, Wells’s championing of entropy forms his argument against the existence of Social Darwinism; rather than becoming more perfect, we are gradually losing our energy. The White Sphinx is a curious landmark in 802,701 AD. 

The Morlocks stow the Time Machine inside its enclosed bronze pedestal, so it becomes a symbolic and literal barrier for the Time Traveler, much as the sphinx blocked the entrance for the Greek hero Oedipus. The sphinx has a direct relationship to the Time Traveler’s plight; a symbol of futurity and of man’s submission to God, the Egyptian Sphinx faces the rising sun god Ra each day in worship. The TT, on the other hand, must in some ways defy God by embracing rational science as he gains mastery over time, and he must also break into the sphinx to escape from the future and go back in time. 

Keywords: [“Time”,”social”,”environment”]
Source: https://www.gradesaver.com/the-time-machine/study-guide/themes

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 04-27-2018

The United Airlines Debacle and the Morality of Capitalism

The video of the United Airlines passenger who was recently dragged out of his seat screaming from an overbooked flight was seen around the world. The debate has centered around the practice of overbooking seats in the industry and the legal responses of airlines. Here is why United Airlines kicking off and countenancing the assault of a paying customer is a big deal: It helps to reveal how corporate America often puts rules before people and how capitalism often places profits before human dignity. Overbooking is a device that most airlines use to maximize their profits. A customer’s inconvenience is subordinated to profits. 

This is because the goal of the corporation is not to reduce the price of tickets and provide savings for customers, but to maximize profits for shareholders. If corporate rules and the laws of capitalism lead to this, then they are unjust rules and laws. Those rules said this: First, we may sometimes overbook because we want to maximize our profits. The same economic calculus that says profits are the most important metric in decision-making leads to victims being dragged along the floor of an airplane and eking out an existence on the floor of a hovel in the slums of Nairobi. The privileging of profits over people leads to unjust wages, poor working conditions, the degradation of the environment and assaults on human dignity. 

As long as profits are seen to be the only measure of success, employees will subordinate everything – including compassion – to that goal. Some companies and managers may be too blinded by the pursuit of profit to behave compassionately. 

Keywords: [“profit”,”employee”,”airline”]
Source: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/the-united-airlines-debacle…

The rise of state capitalism

These are all monuments to the rise of a new kind of hybrid corporation, backed by the state but behaving like a private-sector multinational. State-directed capitalism is not a new idea: witness the East India Company. In 2009 China Mobile and another state giant, China National Petroleum Corporation, made profits of $33 billion-more than China’s 500 most profitable private companies combined. State giants soak up capital and talent that might have been used better by private companies. State companies are good at copying others, partly because they can use the government’s clout to get hold of their technology; but as they have to produce ideas of their own they will become less competitive. 

State capitalism works well only when directed by a competent state. Everywhere state capitalism favours well-connected insiders over innovative outsiders. Thus the model produces cronyism, inequality and eventually discontent-as the Mubaraks’ brand of state capitalism did in Egypt. Rising powers have always used the state to kick-start growth: think of Japan and South Korea in the 1950s or Germany in the 1870s or even the United States after the war of independence. For emerging countries wanting to make their mark on the world, state capitalism has an obvious appeal. 

Both for their own sake, and in the interests of world trade, the practitioners of state capitalism need to start unwinding their huge holdings in favoured companies and handing them over to private investors. If these companies are as good as they boast they are, then they no longer need the crutch of state support. 

Keywords: [“company”,”state”,”government”]
Source: https://www.economist.com/node/21543160

The Pope and Poverty

Pope Francis has come to the United States, bringing with him more criticism of capitalism than a Bernie Sanders rally. The pope’s emphasis on the needs of the poor is important, especially in today’s politics, where poverty is often a public-policy sideline. In calling attention to the problem, he fails to understand that free-market capitalism is not a cause of poverty, but a solution. In 1980, less than 1 percent of Argentinians lived in extreme poverty, while in neighboring Chile, the extreme-poverty rate exceeded 15 percent. Today, while the proportion of Argentinians living in extreme poverty has risen slightly, to nearly 3 percent, Chile has seen the most dramatic reduction in poverty in Latin America. 

Fewer than 2 percent of Chileans now live in extreme poverty. The reality is that free-market capitalism has done more to help the poor than any other force in history. Consider that in the last 20 years, as much of the world has embraced free markets, more than a billion people have been lifted out of poverty, while the number of people worldwide living on less than $2 per day has been cut in half. In China alone, even the partial adoption of a market-oriented economy has saved more than 650 million people from poverty. Almost 84 percent of Chinese lived in extreme poverty in 1987. 

Throughout most of human history, most of mankind lived in truly abject poverty. Given the remarkable compassion that this pope has shown on so many subjects, it would be a bitter irony indeed if his ill-informed critique of capitalism condemned more people to a life of poverty. 

Keywords: [“poverty”,”capitalism”,”percent”]
Source: https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/pope-poverty

Mass shootings and the moral hazard of capitalism – People’s World

A body is covered with a sheet after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 1. To the injured, we send our best wishes for a quick recovery. To deliberately take, or attempt to take, a human life is a grievous thing. Once again, with our hands raised in mourning and our heads bowed in grief and introspection, we ask how and why such a thing can happen. To answer that question, we do not need to know what particular loathsome whispers and poisonous thoughts introduced finger to trigger, and bullets to innocent flesh. 

It is enough to look ourselves, and our society, squarely in the face. It happens because we learn more from bad examples than from good advice, and because we live in a society where life is cheaply held. Only this: that under capitalism, the decision to protect life or take it, to inflict suffering or to relieve it, is an individual decision about the use of property, to be made without the interference of the state. In the law, the concept of ‘moral hazard’ designates the danger of bad examples, the idea that allowing someone to get away with something sets a precedent for harmful behavior. The epidemic of mass shootings is evidence that we have disregarded the moral hazard of capitalism. 

We have rubbed for so long against this perverse and inhuman system that the distinction between citizen and executioner, between order and violence, has been worn away. Teaching love, and tolerance, and respect is good. 

Keywords: [“right”,”life”,”shoot”]
Source: http://www.peoplesworld.org/article/mass-shootings-and-the-moral-hazard…

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 04-24-2018

LSE Business Review – Compassionate capitalism: Lessons from medieval Cambridge

Using recently discovered documents on medieval Cambridge we have investigated how money was made through property speculation and how the profits of successful speculation were spent. Property markets developed in medieval England when burgage plots were laid out in new or expanding towns by local landowners, with the king’s permission. Property was a desirable asset in medieval Cambridge, much as it is today! Medieval speculators invested in a variety of properties. Property hot-spots with high-rents can be identified in three parts of medieval Cambridge: at the road junction by the Hospital; west of the market; and near the river just south of the Hospital. 

Map of medieval Cambridge showing property hotspots. Cambridge was home to several families who had acquired property through the military service of their Norman ancestors, including the Dunning family who owned 12 plots in 1279. Profits from the property market were recycled back into the community through donations to religious houses, hospitals and churches. Compassionate capitalism involved high levels of charitable giving to hospitals, monasteries, churches and colleges which helped disseminate the economic benefits of the ‘winners’ of the commercial revolution. The post gives the views of its authors, not the position of LSE Business Review or the London School of Economics. 

She is a medieval historian by training and her publications include a co-authored book with Mark Casson on The Entrepreneur in History: From Medieval Merchant to Modern Business Leader – Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan – and articles in Urban History, Business History and the Economic History Review. John Lee is a Research Associate at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York. Katie Phillips is an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded PhD student in Medieval Studies at the University of Reading. 

Keywords: [“property”,”medieval”,”Hospital”]
Source: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/businessreview/2017/06/05/compassionate-capitalism…

Capitalism, Corporatism, Free Markets

At some point, a collective decision was made that the unions should be given such expanded powers that they could destroy the company if they wanted. The union doesn’t profit from increasing profits and building a healthy company, it profits from building an overstaffed company that exists to benefit its employees. The union would have been better served if it divvied up the right to collect a union payout from GM among the workers of the time and let them sell the claims. What would have been much more honest and worked better would have been outright nationalization of GM when the rules were set up that the UAW could destroy the company. The toxin in this case may be a lot of things but it is an abomination to a free market, and it has destroyed the American auto industry. 

Far from vanishing, many of GM’s assets would be quickly purchased by competent foreign automakers eager to expand their capacity in what is the world’s largest auto market. Happily, the list of well-run car companies, from Toyota to Nissan to Porsche, is long. If GM is going to get federal money, it should go toward buyouts of long-term employees, and then let the market work to redeploy its assets toward more useful purposes than maintaining an expensive company-town welfare state, that makes cars on the side. Matt Welch says to the barricades to defend free markets. As Jonah says, markets are more than this information delivery system. 

Liberty demands property rights which demand free markets. In the fifties he tried door-to-door in Lansing after moving to Michigan with his upper Midwest bride, but when he got an offer at A.C. Spark Plug in her home town he took it, and settled into a middle-class lifestyle, during the best years of the company, in which he raised his family. 

Keywords: [“company”,”market”,”right”]
Source: http://www.transterrestrial.com/archives/2008/11/capitalism_corp.html

Get Ready: Pope’s Arrival Will Commence a Week of Trashing Capitalism

RUSH: The pope, Pope Francis, took off from Cuba within the last, what was it, half hour. What’s really remarkable is that Obama and Moochelle are going to be there to greet the pope as he descends the stairs. Thomas Sowell has a column today about the pope and his arrival, but primary it’s about the pope’s message. Of course the pope believes that we’ve all done a rotten, horrible job of it, and that governments need to get bigger and they need to become populated with more and more compassionate people to find ways to get rid of poverty. The message of this pope and every other leftist in the world is that prosperity is causing poverty. 

That’s why we need a great compassionate person like Obama or the pope to make sure that the pieces of the pie are not extraordinarily large for the undeserving and microscopically small for the truly deserving. He does not hold a single belief when it comes to such things as contraception, abortion, you name it, with the Catholic Church or with the pope. We’ve already read that Obama plans to hide the advancement of his agenda behind the pope. In the process make it look like this pope is abandoning his own church in favor of the liberal church. If the pope comes along and all of a sudden supports amnesty, which the pope is going to do. 

I’ll just tell you, I read that the church needs – it might have been the Washington Post or it might have been the New York Times, I forget the news publication it was, but it said that the church, the pope is interested in immigration and amnesty and immigrants because they need to fill the pews, just like the Democrats need voters. The reason the Catholic Church, the pope is supporting our amnesty, immigration, is a desire to restock, if you will, the pews. 

Keywords: [“pope”,”That's”,”Church”]
Source: https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2015/09/22/get_ready_pope_s…

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 04-21-2018

Is Capitalism Undemocratic?

If we as a society agree that every American has a right to free healthcare, free education, free water, or free things of any kind, that means we are agreeing to a situation in which value is unilaterally shifted from one position within our economy to another without a reciprocal exchange of value in return. Thus, rights cost something; and whenever there is a cost for a thing, there is a negotiation over the allocation of finite resources and who should bear the cost of that thing. His claim implies that the allocation of finite resources within a private company is subject to the rights of the proletariat, but as we’ve discussed already, such a right cannot exist unless it comes from a divine creator or some social contract. Workers cannot depend on an inviolable reservoir of rights. The only logically and philosophically consistent response to Marx’s central claim about the undemocratic nature of Capitalism is to say that nobody deserves anything at any time until and unless they prove that they can deliver enough value to somebody who has some other kind of value they wish to obtain. 

Unless somebody else is willing to enter into an exchange of value, the only means of obtaining value from some person or organization is through cooperation or brute force. If we take the path of brute force, the value creation process within society rapidly breaks down and everybody loses. There is only voluntary cooperation or brute force; rights do not exist except in the desires and dreams of the human mind. Crony Capitalism is the Culprit, Not a Deficiency of Rights. This chain of transactions amounts to an integrated value creation and distribution system that is neither democratic nor plutocratic. 

It can be depressing to analyze the origins of our personal values, societal norms, and human nature because an honest analysis usually takes us to conclusions that are uncomfortable. Thus, every businessperson, politician, and citizen has rational reasons to develop their ability to empathize and feel compassion for others if they want to contribute meaningful value to society and build successful organizations. 

Keywords: [“value”,”Right”,”economy”]
Source: https://eanfar.org/is-capitalism-undemocratic

Bleeding Heart Libertarians

Thanks to the folks at Bleeding Heart Libertarians for inviting me to blog here about my new e-book Human Capitalism: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter – and More Unequal. With any luck I’ll motivate one or more BHL regulars to weigh in. The richer and more advanced a country’s economy grows, the more complex that economy becomes: more and more knowledge and know-how are distributed throughout the system, and the division of labor grows ever more specialized and intricate. Back in 1900 almost 80 percent of working Americans were farmers, manual laborers, or domestic servants; today, some 60 percent work in white-collar office jobs. When I say we’re getting smarter, what I really mean is we are becoming more fluent in highly abstract ways of thinking. 

So good – but alas there’s more to the story. The elite occupations that require analytical sophistication, strong people skills, high motivation, and meticulous planning will generally be filled by the people most flush with those skills, which they will hone even further over the course of their working lives. These elite workers will naturally tend to pass those skills along to their children – through their own parenting in the home, and through the influence of the communities in which they congregate. Once upon a time, when the world was much simpler, there were more people with the requisite skills to handle elite occupations than the number of elite slots. This period -the middle decades of the twentieth century – was one of declining class differences, as the descendants of the Great Migration from the turn of the century now found the paths of upward mobility more open than ever before. 

My policy proposals are an eclectic mix, and while I think they all push in the right direction, one stands out in my mind as a potential game changer: structural reform of K-12 education to allow more competition among schools for students. Elite kids start school with big advantages in cognitive skills, and those advantages continue to widen during the primary and secondary school years. 

Keywords: [“More”,”skills”,”percent”]
Source: http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2012/10/human-capitalism

Faux compassion is only worsening homeless crisis – Orange County Register

For years California voters have been nothing but compassionate towards the state’s homeless population, repeatedly voting to tax ourselves to provide more resources for affordable housing, mental health services, public transportation and addiction treatment facilities. In return, we’ve lost control of park space, rivers, public transit systems, downtown commercial hubs, and even residential neighborhoods. Politicians, advocates for the homeless and the courts have to understand that compassion is a two-way street. They want you to shut up, keep paying your rising tax bill and check your privilege. I for one have had it with their faux compassion and moral superiority. 

It’s time that they take responsibility for the trainwreck that they and their disastrous policies created. It’s not compassionate to allow addicts and the mentally ill to live life on the streets, and it’s not compassionate to expect the public to deal with the dangerous situations this creates. Over the last six years the number of those living in the streets and shelters of the city of Los Angeles and most of the county surged 75 percent. If you take out Los Angeles, national homelessness would have dropped last year for the first time since the recession, proving that the homeless crisis is either just a California problem – or that we’re attracting them from other parts of the nation. After it was determined that December’s Skirball Fire, which destroyed six homes and damaged a dozen others in the process, was started by a fire at a homeless encampment in nearby brush, the Los Angeles Fire Department conducted a study which found nearly 200 similar encampments pose a high fire risk to their surrounding communities. 

In the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles, a 41-year-old transient was arrested Tuesday afternoon for sucker punching an 85-year-old grandma for no reason, leaving her with horrific injuries to her head and face. In Van Nuys, a transient was arrested after he was caught breaking into a home, watching pornography and masturbating. 

Keywords: [“transient”,”year”,”want”]
Source: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/14/faux-compassion-is-only…

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 03-19-2018

Compassionate Activism

In our new age, Earth and Human are entangled irrevocably together. The term – which appears to have been used by Russian scientists as early as the 1960s to refer to the Quaternary, the most recent geological Period – was coined with a different sense in the 1980s by ecologist Eugene F. Stoermer and has been widely popularized by atmospheric chemist, Paul Crutzen, who regards the influence of human behaviour on the Earth’s atmosphere in recent centuries as so significant as to constitute a new geological epoch for its lithosphere. Human activity had to be at least tempered, rendered in the new jargon ‘sustainable’. A new mode of being human is required, one that is profoundly responsible for all it does, but must be profoundly attentive to the new agent stirring and moving all around us – the Earth itself. We have entered a world of inter-agency between the human and the non-human Earth. From once believing ourselves humans free upon a stable nature to do as we wish we find ourselves newly earth-bound, tied into the Earth itself, as part of it. The objectivity underlying the emergence of the Anthropocene does not nevertheless deliver us automatically into new modes of presence on the Earth, new forms of inter-species and human justice. If the Anthropocene serves as a new frame within which to view and construct social modes of presence then we must accept our collective responsibility for our human status as geological drivers of our planet. The new human subject is no longer in nature – they are nature. As social theorist Bruno Latour has said: ‘There is indeed a war for the definition and control of the Earth: a war that pits – to be a little dramatic – Humans living in the Holocene against Earthbound living in the Anthropocene’.

Keywords: [“human”,”new”,”Earth”]
Source: https://markgar.wordpress.com

compassion – States, Power, Emotion

As the film shows this is state enforced misery through inadequacy building exercises into the psyches of state recipients. As the experience of those seeking welfare shows, the rules for claiming state support are permanently in motion. The lower the state intervenes into the social fabric the more the ‘system’ becomes opaque without clear norms, values and rules. At the lowest levels of state activity we are more likely to glimpse bewilderment, dislocation and disruption in our lives rather than clearly discernible norms and rules in operation. There has always been an aspect of state power that has a post- or pre-disciplinary aspect – an order that is based on incalculability and the introduction of trauma. Wolfgang Sofsky called it ‘the order of terror’ and it is apparent to degrees in all modern states. Such displays of state power lack clear goals or meaning. The welfare benefits office is not Auschwitz but it is interesting how the same techniques of power based on the incomprehensibility of the rules and the forceful disorientation of the ruled come into play as tactics of power: the constant re-writing and redefining of who is ‘eligible’, ‘worthy’ and ‘deserving’ of state support; the slippery changes in language – ‘claimant’, ‘Jobseeker’, ‘unemployed’; the bewildering variety of ‘restart’ training exercises and the ever-present surveillance and repetitive intelligence-gathering exercises into the lives of those out of work. As the film attests to the misery and trauma built into state ‘support’ it also attests to the anger, integrity and compassion of Daniel and ‘family’ as they fight and live with state barbarism. It’s a call for a more, not less, emotional state – one based on compassion, empathy and trust.

Keywords: [“state”,”rule”,”welfare”]
Source: https://emotionalstates.wordpress.com/tag/compassion

The Capitalism Site

Capitalism is the moral ideal Capitalism is the moral social system as it leaves the individual free to be virtuous – to pursue the good – by acting by reason. Individualism regards the individual as a sovereign being Individualism is not opposed to one living in society as a trader; it is opposed to one living as a slave. The trader principle is the basis of all moral relationships Individualism is based on the principle of trading value for value for mutual benefit. Individual rights define one’s freedom of action in a social context All rights are rights to freedom of action: the right to those actions necessary to rationally support one’s life – so long as one does not violate the equal rights of others. Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law. The initiation of physical force is the only way to violate rights The individual can only be stopped from acting rationally by the initiation of physical force. Government’s purpose is to protect individual rights Government’s job is to ban the initiation of physical force from all relationships, making all relationships voluntary. A free-market is an economic system based on individual rights A free-market bans physical force, fraud, and coercion from all economic relationships, resulting in voluntary cooperation between buyers and sellers, and peaceful competition between buyers and between sellers. Men trade their goods or services by mutual consent to mutual advantage, according to their own independent, uncoerced judgment. Capitalism is the system of progress; statism is the system of plunder The alleged failures of capitalism are actually caused by the success of statism.

Keywords: [“right”,”individual”,”force”]
Source: http://capitalism.org

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 01-31-2018

Compassionate Capitalist Cofee Break: Compassionate Capitalism breakdown Long

Who’s the Scrooge

Who’s the Scrooge This article was published in the Winter 1993-94 issue of Formulations by the Free Nation Foundation Who’s the Scrooge? Libertarians and Compassion by Roderick T. Long. “At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,” said the gentleman, taking up a pen, “It is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.” “Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?” “They are. Still,” returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.” “The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.” “Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,” returned the gentleman, “a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?” “Nothing!” replied Scrooge. To many critics of libertarianism, the foregoing portrait of Scrooge perfectly captures the libertarian attitude to the poor: “I mind my own business; they should mind theirs. If they can’t support themselves, let them starve.” A libertarian may say with perfect consistency that generosity requires the rich to give to the poor while saying at the same time that justice requires the poor, or their advocates, to refrain from taking the property of the rich unless the rich consent. Critics of libertarianism and, all too often, libertarians themselves suppose that welfare rights are in the interest of the poor, and that libertarianism requires the poor to sacrifice that interest in the name of property rights. Are welfare rights in the interest of the poor? The poor need welfare, all right; but do they need welfare rights? A hungry person needs something to eat; and you can’t eat a right to food. In reality, the situation is exactly the reverse; it is the coercive system of enforced generosity that keeps the poor poor while the libertarian system of voluntary cooperation, without any welfare rights, is a welfare system more efficient and beneficent than any socialist’s dream. Private charity is simply more efficient than government welfare, because inefficient charities get bad publicity and lose donations to competing charities, while inefficient government programs collect their income by force, are not subject to the discipline of the market, and so waste most of their revenue on overhead. Not only would a higher percentage of the amount given for welfare purposes actually reach the poor in a libertarian welfare system, but the original amount itself would probably be higher too. So people would have more money to give to the poor, and more of the amount they gave would actually reach the poor. D.Who’s the Scrooge This article was published in the Winter 1993-94 issue of Formulations by the Free Nation Foundation Who’s the Scrooge? Libertarians and Compassion by Roderick T. Long.

Keywords: [“poor”,”libertarian”,”right”]
Source: http://www.freenation.org/a/f12l1.html

Debate: Capitalism vs socialism

Information on the causes and effects of capitalism’s need for profit to come first is scattered around this debate, but particularly relevant for the effects are the discussions on how capitalism fosters imperialism, how profit is made through exploitation, the relationship between capitalism, militarism and war, and on the destruction of the ecosystem. An excellent overview of exploitation in capitalism and its causes can be found here and more detail can be found in Historical Capitalism with Capitalist Civilization by Immanuel Wallerstein, and other more, detailed work, by Wallerstein. Capitalism places profits above moral judgement Michael Moore: “One of the most ironic things about capitalism is that the capitalist will sell you the rope to hang himself with. ” Capitalism is unequal riches; socialism is equal poverty As Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous saying goes: “Capitalism is unequally divided riches while socialism is equally divided poverty. At the very simplest, profit in capitalism is made through the extraction of “surplus labour value” from the workers by the capitalists and through the subjugation and exploitation of people at the periphery of capitalism by those at the core in order to extract wealth from them. ” Con Capitalism divides people into classes By creating the vast earning inequalities capitalism divides people into classes whereby some people are born into more privileged positions than others. Capitalism only respects liberty of rich to stay rich Bertrand Russell: “Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate. Explanations of how capitalism crushes human relations can be found in Life Inc. by Douglas Rushkoff and Parecon: Life After Capitalism by Michael Albert. Capitalism prevents meaningful cooperation (a brief explanation is given in the argument on Capitalism subverts community, solidarity, productivity. For the effects that capitalist competition has on society see the argument on In capitalism, profit is made through exploitation, the extended argument on capitalism fosters imperialism, exploitation and suffering and the argument that capitalism has a systemic bias against helping others – all give links for further reading. For more detailed information on the relationship between capitalism and ecocide see , How the Rich are Destroying the Earth by Herve Kemph, The Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of the Environment and Ecology Against Capitalism by John Bellamy Foster, The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or the End of the World by Joel Kovel, chapters 3 and 4 of Economic Justice and Democracy by Robin Hahnel and The Modern Crisis and The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy by Murray Bookchin, as well as and , and for a concise source of information about the environmental catastrophe that we are facing see Little Earth Book by James Bruges. No matter what that means, the fact that capitalism is so unpopular despite endless propaganda, public relations campaigns, the internalised effects of advertising, and the way that people internalise their society) shows how deeply people are against capitalism.

Keywords: [“capitalism”,”people”,”socialism”]
Source: http://debatepedia.idebate.org/en/index.php/Debate:_Capitalism_vs_socialism

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 01-30-2018

Richard DeVos’s Top 10 Rules For Success

LSE Business Review – Compassionate capitalism: Lessons from medieval Cambridge

Using recently discovered documents on medieval Cambridge we have investigated how money was made through property speculation and how the profits of successful speculation were spent. Property markets developed in medieval England when burgage plots were laid out in new or expanding towns by local landowners, with the king’s permission. Property was a desirable asset in medieval Cambridge, much as it is today! Medieval speculators invested in a variety of properties. Property hot-spots with high-rents can be identified in three parts of medieval Cambridge: at the road junction by the Hospital; west of the market; and near the river just south of the Hospital. Map of medieval Cambridge showing property hotspots. Cambridge was home to several families who had acquired property through the military service of their Norman ancestors, including the Dunning family who owned 12 plots in 1279. Profits from the property market were recycled back into the community through donations to religious houses, hospitals and churches. Compassionate capitalism involved high levels of charitable giving to hospitals, monasteries, churches and colleges which helped disseminate the economic benefits of the ‘winners’ of the commercial revolution. The post gives the views of its authors, not the position of LSE Business Review or the London School of Economics. She is a medieval historian by training and her publications include a co-authored book with Mark Casson on The Entrepreneur in History: From Medieval Merchant to Modern Business Leader – Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan – and articles in Urban History, Business History and the Economic History Review. John Lee is a Research Associate at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York. Katie Phillips is an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded PhD student in Medieval Studies at the University of Reading.

Keywords: [“property”,”medieval”,”Hospital”]
Source: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/businessreview/2017/06/05/compassionate-capitalism-lessons-from-medieval-cambridge/

Microcredit: Solution to Poverty or False “Compassionate Capitalism?”

AMY GOODMAN: As we continue with the issue of microcredit, poverty and globalization, we’re talking to Susan Davis, and also Dr. Vandana Shiva, world-renowned environmental leader, physicist and ecologist, joins us, founded Navdanya, “Nine seeds,” a movement promoting diversity and use of native seeds. I would only say, let us not think this is a solution to every situation that creates poverty. It needs a solution in terms of respecting the land rights of the peasants and not treating land of the poor as something that can be grabbed by the rich. The second thing, I think, that’s very critical is, at least in India, we have witnessed how microcredit is being used to turn autonomous producers, sovereign producers into consumers. That’s why credit should be a basic human right, because through that they can access many other of their other rights. In Earth Democracy, that’s what I’ve talked about-the instruments necessary to defend the rights to water as a common resource. Privatization of water leading to a high cost of water could be financed by flows of credit, but the solution to access to water is rights to water. Rights need to be recognized as rights and collective rights to the common wealth of this planet – the atmosphere, the water, the seeds, the biodiversity. Credit can come after that rights solution has been offered. I think rights are only real when people can exercise their rights. I think you would agree that organizing people so that they can promote their own collective interest is the way to actually realize the rights that may be on the books, de jure, but are never going to be enforced, de facto, unless people have some means of power. It’s like capital is oil to the engine, right? So that’s why we’re saying if poverty is a disease, then microfinance is a good vaccine.

Keywords: [“right”,”think”,”seeds”]
Source: https://www.democracynow.org/2006/12/13/microcredit_solution_to_poverty_or_false

Plugged in: Compassionate capitalism at Timberland

A new ‘nutritional’ label on shoe boxes makes a point – but will it make the company money? Timberland, a $1.5 billion a year New Hampshire-based maker of boots, apparel and accessories, has practiced its unique brand of compassionate capitalism for years. The company monitors its suppliers to try to make sure they treat their workers fairly. Timberland’s bottom line looks healthy, too: Sales have been growing by an average of about 10 percent a year and, in the last three years, the company’s stock price has doubled, easily outperforming the S&P 500 Index. Last fall, for example, the company tackled the problem of genocide in Sudan in partnership with the actor Don Cheadle, who starred in the movie Hotel Rwanda and has become an anti-genocide activist. The company designed a limited-edition Timberland boot with the message “Not on My Watch,” and it sells boot tags and T-shirts with a map of Africa and the words “Save Darfur” imprinted on the back. The label, which looks like the government-mandated ingredients labels on food, provides information on where the shoes or boots were made, how much energy was consumed to produce them and how much renewable energy the company uses. Inside the box, the company calls upon its customers to take actions to help protect the environment or volunteer in their community. One of Swartz’s goals is to get other companies, including his competitors, to become more transparent about how and where their stuff is made. Timberland’s employees care a lot about what the company stands for, and a big part of Swartz’s job is engaging and motivating his people. I’ve talked to many of them, and they like being part of a company that stands for something. Now a message about the company’s values will be plastered on about 30 million shoeboxes a year.

Keywords: [“company”,”Timberland”,”label”]
Source: http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/07/news/international/pluggedin_fortune/index.htm

JR Test Site News for 01-26-2018

Can a good government embrace both capitalism and socialism?

Capitalism and socialism have been blended together in differing amounts around the globe throughout the 20th century. What brought the two together in the first place? Pure capitalism emerged from the Age of Enlightenment’s revolutionary attitude toward personal liberty, individualism and a decrease in governmental meddling. With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, people started to realize something. Once capitalists saw how much dough they could rake in at the expense of their workers, and with those workers having very little say in the matter, it became clear that a little compromise could be helpful. So in the United States, as an example, the federal government started to rejoin the game and control the economy more closely. The push grew even stronger between 1900 and 1920, and some of the major agencies that were created to this effect include the Food and Drug Administration, the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. Workers starting to raise a ruckus about low wages? Smack down: minimum-wage requirements and the expansion of labor unions in industries like steel and auto manufacturing. Federal agencies and programs from this decade include the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission and the Social Security program. Eventually, enthusiasts of capitalism and proponents of industry started complaining about what they saw as a tarnished economic system – capitalism imbued with too much socialism. Social Security was in place, for example, and people were increasingly dependent on programs run by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Labor, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Education, among others. Ultimately, this article poses a difficult question to answer, because it also leads to another question: What constitutes a “Good” government? If you feel positively about your government – like the 46 percent of Americans who reported feeling that way in a 2010 Gallup poll – then the answer is yes, government can embrace both capitalism and socialism. If you’d like to see the situation swing a little further toward socialism or capitalism, then perhaps the answer is no.

Keywords: [“Capitalism”,”Department”,”work”]
Source: https://people.howstuffworks.com/capitalism-socialism.htm

Capitalism 2.0: The Need For Regulation

Never have I spent so much of my thinking energy on trying to understand, question, assess, debug, and dissect a value system that I had, for years, accepted as a fundamental principle of my life. This series, I hope, will provide a forum for many of us experiencing the same period of questioning, an opportunity to discuss. “Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.” “The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships: basically, rights can be violated only by means of force. In a capitalist society, no man or group may initiate the use of physical force against others. The only function of the government, in such a society, is the task of protecting man’s rights, i.e., the task of protecting him from physical force; the government acts as the agent of man’s right of self-defense, and may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use; thus the government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of force under objective control.” Today’ we’re seeing the government take a role well beyond this rather simplistic definition, and we’re even discovering that some of it is desirable. Rand also goes on to say, “When I say”capitalism,” I mean a full, pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism-with a separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church. Regulation, clearly, has become necessary, to control one of the basic forces of human nature: greed, especially that greed which is unconstrained by ethics. My personal analysis suggests that while in Rand’s definition, greed is good, and a part of the capitalistic equation, she missed one of the essential ‘bugs’ in the system: lack of conscience in human beings. Greed that is coupled with a strong ethical value system – a moral code – is the ideal. Unconstrained by morality, is the ‘bug’ that requires checks and balances in the system. It is quite obvious, today, that it needs to come in.

Keywords: [“force”,”right”,”system”]
Source: http://www.sramanamitra.com/2009/03/28/capitalism-20-the-need-for-regulation

Bad capitalism got us into our current economic mess – good capitalism, which recognises social and public values, will get us out. Ed Miliband has been careful to dub this a crisis of a particular kind of capitalism, and his solution is more subtle: to build an argument – and the beginnings of a coalition – making the case for a different kind of capitalism. In the run-up to 2008, the social and public values that are paradoxically essential to a strong capitalism, were systematically torched. 12 Will Hutton Capitalism has twin roots – in the individualistic Protestantism of the Reformation but also the assertion of the public realm in the Enlightenment. The re-legitimisation of capitalism requires more balanced and long-term decision-making on behalf of all its stakeholders, which in turn implies capping the power of finance and giving employees more voice. Good capitalism Good capitalism rests on two interrelated building blocks: fairness understood as receiving one’s proportional deserts for the contribution that has been made; and the codependence of public and private, individual and society. Good capitalism is founded on an acknowledgement of interdependency and an acceptance of due desert. Good capitalism is indissolubly linked to good ownership – the recognition that owners have obligations along with the right to direct property autonomously. An enterprising, enabling state has watchfully to nudge, cajole, regulate, legislate and build the ecosystems in which good capitalism and the social contract can flourish. The creation of good capitalism is thus quintessentially an Enlightenment project. What creates a great and dynamic capitalism is the interplay between risk-taking entrepreneurs and companies, and a smart state creating the structures and processes that relieve them of risks that would otherwise crush them. Conclusion These goals – a responsible good capitalism; a twenty first century social contract; the creation of an open innovation ecosystem along with a commitment to science; the reinvention of the state as smart and enabling; and a reconceptualisation of economic policy – must be at the heart of the left’s agenda in power.

Keywords: [“capitalism”,”public”,”business”]
Source: http://www.fabians.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Enlightenment-Labour.pdf

JR Test Site News for 01-24-2018

Enlightenment

Enlightenment STUDY GUIDE FOR THE. ENLIGHTENMENT. The Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, was the dominant intellectual movement of the eighteenth century. While the makers of the Scientific Revolution had used their intellectual powers to discover the natural laws that governed the operation of the physical universe, the thinkers of the Enlightenment sought through reasoning to discover the natural laws that governed the affairs of human beings and human society. While the Enlightenment was a broad international movement, many of its leading thinkers were French. The Enlightenment thinkers are known collectively as philosophes, the French word for philosophers. Once these natural laws were discovered, the institutions of society could be reformed to bring them more in accord-ance with the natural order. In brief, the philosophes were social critics, mainly French, but not exclusively so, who subjected human behavior and social institutions to the critical test of reason. While some monarchs did in fact promote reforms designed to make their governments more efficient, even the most enlightened ruler could not contemplate, much less enact, any reforms that would serve to undermine his absolute authority. The Social Contract, Rousseau’s treatise on politics and government, opens with the words: “All men are born free, but everywhere they are in chains.” Although government restricted individual freedom, it was nevertheless a necessary evil. In an effort to promote this reconciliation, Rousseau advocated a radical form of the contract theory of government. Rejecting the extreme individualism emphasized by many of his fellow philosophes, Rousseau stressed the role of the individual as a member of society. Although Rousseau never made it clear how the general will would operate in actual practice, he believed that all members of society would participate in the formulation of the general will, which would then be executed by a small group. Virtually all of the important French philosophes, including Voltaire, Rousseau, and Montesquieu, were among the some 160 contributers to the Encyclopedia, edited by Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert.

Keywords: [“Rousseau”,”government”,”society”]
Source: http://thecaveonline.com/APEH/revueenlightenment.html

The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Right-wing politics hold that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable, natural, normal or desirable, typically supporting this position on the basis of natural law, economics or tradition. Hierarchy and inequality may be viewed as natural results of traditional social differences or the competition in market economies. The term right-wing can generally refer to “The conservative or reactionary section of a political party or system”. The political terms “Left” and “Right” were first used during the French Revolution and referred to seating arrangements in the French parliament: those who sat to the right of the chair of the parliamentary president were broadly supportive of the institutions of the monarchist Old Regime. The original Right in France was formed as a reaction against the “Left” and comprised those politicians supporting hierarchy, tradition and clericalism. The use of the expression la droite became prominent in France after the restoration of the monarchy in 1815, when it was applied to the Ultra-royalists. The people of English-speaking countries did not apply the terms “Right” and “Left” to their own politics until the 20th century. Although the right-wing originated with traditional conservatives, monarchists and reactionaries, the term extreme right-wing has also been applied to movements including fascists, Nazis and racial supremacists. From the 1830s to the 1880s, there was a shift in the Western world of social class structure and the economy, moving away from nobility and aristocracy towards capitalism. This general economic shift toward capitalism affected centre-right movements such as the British Conservative Party, which responded by becoming supportive of capitalism. In the United States, the Right includes both economic and social conservatives. In Europe, economic conservatives are usually considered liberal and the Right includes nationalists, nativist opposition to immigration, religious conservatives and historically a significant presence of right-wing movements with anti-capitalist sentiments including conservatives and fascists who opposed what they saw as the selfishness and excessive materialism inherent in contemporary capitalism.

Keywords: [“conservative”,”Right”,”Right-wing”]
Source: http://www.artandpopularculture.com/Political_(far)_right

Unit 1: The Origins of Capitalism

As well as providing an insight into how capitalism came about, and an indication of how it works, this unit looks at the nature of historical change. The concept of a waged worker signalled a crucial stage in the development of capitalism. The aim of all this brutal legislation was to turn the dispossessed into a disciplined obedient class of wage workers who, for a pittance, would offer up their labour to the new capitalism. During the 18th Century, a primitive form of manufacturing developed, which differed from cottage production in that workers did not work from home, but rather from single premises, or factory, owned by the capitalist. Further, as the factory system developed, it soon became clear that it gave capitalism much greater control over the workforce, establishing tighter organisation of work and workers and thus higher productivity. Workers had to work a specific number of hours under the direct supervision of the capitalist, who owned the more specialised tools. The now-familiar pattern of economic success being measured by which country or capitalist can extract the most profit from the workers under their control has its origins in the transition of Britain from a feudal society. We will see in the next Unit, that the coming of capitalism has, somewhat paradoxically, also brought with it the potential for workers to organise for change. In the new system, workers did not work from home but from a premises owned by the capitalist. The main effects were to lengthen the working day, and the number of days spent in work, to create a new class of ‘overseer’ separate from the majority of the workers, and sweep away guild regulation. Workers became totally dependant on their ability to sell their labour and the working class emerged as a category of people who were separated from even limited control of the means of production. Some discussion points In which ways can studying the early history of capitalism in Britain help us to understand the present-day working of capitalism? What have you learned about the nature of history as it is generally offered during the course of studying this unit? Was the development of capitalism inevitable? Further Reading.

Keywords: [“work”,”capitalism”,”production”]
Source: http://www.solfed.org.uk/a-s-history/unit-1-the-origins-of-capitalism

JR Test Site News for 01-22-2018

The Greatness of Western Civilization

Western culture, claim the intellectuals, is in no way superior to that of African tribalists or Eskimo seal hunters. There are three fundamental respects in which Western culture is objectively the best. These are the core values or core achievements of Western civilization, and what made America great. The Greeks were the first to identify philosophically that knowledge is gained through reason and logic as opposed to mysticism. The rule of reason reached its zenith in the West in the 18th century – the Age of Enlightenment. “For the first time in modern history,” writes one philosopher, “An authentic respect for reason became the mark of an entire culture.” America is a product of the Enlightenment. An indispensable achievement leading to the Enlightenment was the recognition of the concept of individual rights. The individual, said Locke, has an inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of his own happiness. The triumph of reason and rights made possible the full development and application of science and technology and ultimately modern industrial society. Reason and rights freed man’s mind from the tyranny of religious dogma and freed man’s productive capacity from the tyranny of state control. The result of the core achievements of Western civilization has been an increase in freedom, wealth, health, comfort, and life expectancy unprecedented in the history of the world. The achievements were greatest in the country where the principles of reason and rights were implemented most consistently – the United States of America. Pro-life cultures acknowledge and respect man’s nature as a rational being who must discover and create the conditions which his survival and happiness require – which means that they advocate reason, rights, freedom, and technological progress. Despite its undeniable triumphs, Western civilization is by no means secure. Its core principles are under attack from every direction – by religious fanatics, by dictators and, most disgracefully, by Western intellectuals, who are denouncing reason in the name of skepticism, rights in the name of special entitlements, and progress in the name of environmentalism.

Keywords: [“reason”,”right”,”core”]
Source: http://capitalismmagazine.com/2004/09/the-greatness-of-western-civilization

“Dark Enlightenment”: The neo-fascist philosophy that underpins both the alt-right and Silicon Valley technophiles

In contrast, the tech elites in Silicon Valley look like a relatively worldly bunch, despite the calls from some quarters of the valley to break away from the plebeian masses of the US. But despite their differences, strands of the two groups share strong links to “Dark Enlightenment,” an obscure neo-fascist philosophy started by a British academic in the 1990s. The primary figure behind Dark Enlightenment is Nick Land, who was a philosophy professor at Warwick University until he quit academia in 1998. Land has never been a typical academic, and that shows in his writing. Land’s writings on in his blog and twitter can read like an alt-right rant, and comment sections on the far-right outlet Breitbart are apt to mention his work. The major proponent of the movement other than Land is software engineer Curtis Yarvin, who blogs as “Mencius Moldbug.” While most Silicon Valley techies are unaware of and uninterested in Dark Enlightenment, there are notable figures and ideas that seem to share intellectual heritage and connections with the movement. Growing Silicon Valley interest in creating a small, separate state is straight out of Land’s writing. Of course, both Silicon Valley and Dark Enlightenment are products of and devotees to internet culture. Noys notes that certain values in Silicon Valley are vaguely sympathetic to Land’s thinking. Land says that, though he expects Dark Enlightenment micro-states to first form on islands, Silicon Valley is “Bound to be involved in the process” as these societies form. The alt right and Silicon Valley are not the only two cliques with ties to Dark Enlightenment thinking. A London gallery, LD50, was shut down amid protests after Land was invited to talk at the gallery, providing a platform for Dark Enlightenment ideas. Land’s theories sound easily dismissible, and Nick Land is still largely unknown, but his neo-fascist ideas are finding niches where they flourish. Land, who has long perceived himself as a visionary, firmly believes that society and government as we know it will break down and his vision for the future will come to pass. “The crack-up is obvious to everyone,” Land writes.

Keywords: [“Land”,”Dark”,”Enlightenment”]
Source: https://qz.com/1007144

Democracy

A study of the relationship between the rise of democratic institutions and the development of other aspects of society may help us better understand and more effectively harness the power of democracy. In the intellectual sphere it gave rise to the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, in the field of religion to the Reformation, in economy to the rise of capitalism, in politics to the rise of democracy. The idea of universe human rights and freedoms which we now identify as the essence of democracy was at first cited as a justification for redistribution of power to the commercial class and only much later as a principle for extending rights and privileges to all citizens. The people’s existence was made subordinate to the rights and arbitrary rule of monarchs, feudal lords and priests. A rigid structure of governance, economic activity controlled by feudal lords and thought defined by religion ruled society. The feudal system maintained a delicate balance between the rights and power of feudal lords and those of the central monarch. The rise of city-states undermined the power of rural, land-based feudal kingdoms and created an alternative source of support for the monarch. The shift to a new system of wage payments for agricultural labor not only increased agricultural productivity, but also freed peasants from permanent ties to their feudal rulers. Under the feudal system, ownership of land was the principle source of wealth and power. Their direct power was limited to their own feudal domain or manors. The rise of a money economy, the revival of commerce, the rise of guild and communes, the decline of feudalism and the accumulation of agricultural surpluses provided the basis for economic recovery and significant material progress. Till the 15th century, England was a cluster of counties divided among various feudal lords with a monarch dependent on them for military and financial support. The growth of the nation-state diminished the importance of feudal lords. With the growth of a money economy, the feudal lords found the serf labor less competent than free labor. Many merchants demanded communal freedom of the towns from the feudal lords.

Keywords: [“feudal”,”rise”,”power”]
Source: http://www.icpd.org/democracy/index.htm