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Freedom Boat Club Chicago Illinois Freedom Boat Club

 Freedom  Comments Off on Freedom Boat Club Chicago Illinois Freedom Boat Club
May 012016
 

Welcome to Freedom Boat Club Chicago. We are the perfect alternative to boat ownership, or renting a boat on Lake Michigan. In fact, your monthly membership fee can be less than renting a boat for just one day in Chicago. The best part of being a member in Freedom Boat Club Chicago is that you dont have any of the hassles that come with owning a boat. You dont pay for insurance, docking fees, depreciation, maintenance, or storage. If you are looking to buy a boat to store in San Diego, or you like to rent boats multiple times per year, this is a new alternative without all the hassles that come with owning a boat. And, were adding new boats to our fleets all the time!

Your membership gives you access to our entire fleet in your membership class. New members also receive free basic training.

Membership in Freedom Boat Club Chicago is easy. You pay a one-time initiation fee, and then low monthly dues.

Whether you want to spend more time with your friends and family, want to dive Lake Michigan wrecks, love to fish, or just want to hang out in the Playpen, Freedom Boat Club Chicago has the boat in our fleet thats right for every occasion. The boat is waiting. Why are you? Join Freedom Boat Club Chicago and experience the smart alternative to boat ownership or renting! Start the process by emailing Michael Johnston today.

We are conveniently located on L Dock at Montrose Harbor, minutes from River North and many suburbs. Stop by the dock for a tour, or schedule an appointment to learn more by clicking here.

Get Pre-Approved for membership by clicking here.

Check us out on social media, too!

*we hate SPAM too, so we don’t do it, period.

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Freedom Boat Club Chicago Illinois Freedom Boat Club

 Posted by at 8:44 am  Tagged with:

Freedom Heating and Cooling

 Freedom  Comments Off on Freedom Heating and Cooling
May 012016
 

Thank you for visiting Freedom Heating & Cooling. We are here to serve you – Whether it’s heating or cooling, we’ve got you covered. Our licensed & insured technicians are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We take great pride in our prompt service and rapid response. With 30 years of experience, our technicians offer reliable service that you can count on and at prices you can afford. See our Heating Coupons and Air Conditioning coupons.

Any Repair Over $200

Any New Installation Package

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Freedom Heating and Cooling

 Posted by at 8:44 am  Tagged with:

Margarita Island beaches (Isla Margarita Playas): photos …

 Beaches  Comments Off on Margarita Island beaches (Isla Margarita Playas): photos …
Apr 232016
 

The beaches are pretty too. Most have white sand and palm trees and services for beach-goers. Yet you can find small or secluded beaches too. There is a beach for everyone’s liking!

We want to bring to you these Margaritan beaches as pictures so you can see them and read about them. We hope this can inspire you to come visit our island!

You can also experience other tropical beaches by finding affordable Caribbean vacation deals online.

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Margarita Island beaches (Isla Margarita Playas): photos …

 Posted by at 4:41 pm  Tagged with:

KC SEO | WebWorks of KC | Search Engine Optimization

 SEO  Comments Off on KC SEO | WebWorks of KC | Search Engine Optimization
Apr 182016
 

What is Kansas City Search Engine Optimization?

Kansas City Search engine optimization(SEO)is the process of making a website more visible in a search engine’s “natural” unpaid “organic” search results for your business, product or blog in the local Kansas City market. High-quality on-site search engine optimization leads to a higher ranking and more prominent listing in the search results for a search term. The higher a website ranks results in more visitors to a website, leading to more sales and leads for a business from the website.

Whether you have a large business or a small business, whether you are in Kansas City, MO or Tallahassee, FL – If your business website does not appear on the first page of Google search results, chances are your business needs an improved search engine optimization strategy, schedule a free Kansas City Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consultation and learn how your website can get a higher ranking in Google, Yahoo! and Bing searches.

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KC SEO | WebWorks of KC | Search Engine Optimization

 Posted by at 4:42 am  Tagged with:

LumbridgeCity – Bitcoin & Altcoin Trading and Digital …

 Cryptocurrency  Comments Off on LumbridgeCity – Bitcoin & Altcoin Trading and Digital …
Apr 032016
 

Soon we open registration and bring a few more people into our Bitcoin and Digital Currency Trading community.

Activities are organized to guide participants through an introduction to lending and trading Altcoins on Poloniex, writing your own personalized trading action plan, all the way through to actually micro-trading your plan and updating your trading journal!

As the lessons progress and you learn different ways to grow your digital currency holdings, the private forum, live chat and community groups will provide the support and encouragement to ensure you apply the lessons you learn, and move your new knowledge about growing your money into practical experience! The community will take you from your first wealth building plan and help you build a life-long habit of growing your money!

Private tutorial videos, altcoin trading case studies, trading risk control rules and how to make a trade plan, bitcoin lending tutorials, price charts and much more. Jump right into where the cryptocurrency markets are today and at the same time, take step by step tutorials on the basics of lending and trading altcoins on Poloniex.

Our eight week, step by step approach is organized help you move through a series of short altcoin trading lessons. You will gain an introduction to eachimportant section of more than 30 private tutorials in our membership area, and quickly gain new skills and strategies for making consistent profits!

Registration opens in 34 days, 4 hours, 6 minutes*, that is Sat, 01 May 2016 14:50:00 UTC space is limited, and registration finish quickly so we can get right to the lessons.

Questions? Contact Me Personally!

lumbridgecity@gmail.com

To Your Success!

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 Posted by at 6:43 am  Tagged with:

Singularitarianism? Pharyngula

 Singularitarianism  Comments Off on Singularitarianism? Pharyngula
Mar 272016
 

Ray Kurzweil is a genius. One of the greatest hucksters of the age. Thats the only way I can explain how his nonsense gets so much press and has such a following. Now he has the cover of Time magazine, and an article called 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal. It certainly couldnt be taken seriously anywhere else; once again, Kurzweil wiggles his fingers and mumbles a few catchphrases and upchucks a remarkable prediction, that in 35 years (a number dredged out of his compendium of biased estimates), Man (one, a few, many? How? He doesnt know) will finally achieve immortality (seems to me youd need to wait a few years beyond that goal to know if it was true). Now weve even got a name for the Kurzweil delusion: Singularitarianism.

Theres room inside Singularitarianism for considerable diversity of opinion about what the Singularity means and when and how it will or wont happen. But Singularitarians share a worldview. They think in terms of deep time, they believe in the power of technology to shape history, they have little interest in the conventional wisdom about anything, and they cannot believe youre walking around living your life and watching TV as if the artificial-intelligence revolution were not about to erupt and change absolutely everything. They have no fear of sounding ridiculous; your ordinary citizens distaste for apparently absurd ideas is just an example of irrational bias, and Singularitarians have no truck with irrationality. When you enter their mind-space you pass through an extreme gradient in worldview, a hard ontological shear that separates Singularitarians from the common run of humanity. Expect turbulence.

Wow. Sounds just like the Raelians, or Hercolubians, or Scientologists, or any of the modern New Age pseudosciences that appropriate a bit of jargon and blow it up into a huge mythology. Nice hyperbole there, though. Too bad the whole movement is empty of evidence.

One of the things I do really despise about the Kurzweil approach is their dishonest management of critics, and Kurzweil is the master. He loves to tell everyone whats wrong with his critics, but he doesnt actually address the criticisms.

Take the question of whether computers can replicate the biochemical complexity of an organic brain. Kurzweil yields no ground there whatsoever. He does not see any fundamental difference between flesh and silicon that would prevent the latter from thinking. He defies biologists to come up with a neurological mechanism that could not be modeled or at least matched in power and flexibility by software running on a computer. He refuses to fall on his knees before the mystery of the human brain. Generally speaking, he says, the core of a disagreement Ill have with a critic is, theyll say, Oh, Kurzweil is underestimating the complexity of reverse-engineering of the human brain or the complexity of biology. But I dont believe Im underestimating the challenge. I think theyre underestimating the power of exponential growth.

This is wrong. For instance, I think reverse-engineering the general principles of a human brain might well be doable in a few or several decades, and I do suspect that well be able to do things in ten years, 20 years, a century that I cant even imagine. I dont find Kurzweil silly because Im blind to the power of exponential growth, but because:

Kurzweil hasnt demonstrated that there is exponential growth at play here. Ive read his absurd book, and his data is phony and fudged to fit his conclusion. He cheerfully makes stuff up or drops data that goes against his desires to invent these ridiculous charts.

Im not claiming he underestimates the complexity of the brain, Im saying he doesnt understand biology, period. Handwaving is not enough if hes going to make fairly specific claims of immortality in 35 years, there had better be some understanding of the path that will be taken.

There is a vast difference between grasping a principle and implementing the specifics. If we understand how the brain works, if we can create a computer simulation that replicates and improves upon the function of our brain, that does not in any way imply that my identity and experiences can be translated into the digital realm. Again, Kurzweil doesnt have even a hint of a path that can be taken to do that, so he has no basis for making the prediction.

Smooth curves that climb upward into infinity can exist in mathematics (although Kurzweils predictions dont live in state of rigor that would justify calling them mathematical), but they dont work in the real world. There are limits. Weve been building better and more powerful power plants for aircraft for a century, but they havent gotten to a size and efficiency to allow me to fly off with a personal jetpack. I have no reason to expect that they will, either.

While I dont doubt that science will advance rapidly, I also expect that the directions it takes will be unpredictable. Kurzweil confuses engineering, where you build something to fit a predetermined set of specifications, with science, in which you follow the evidence wherever it leads. Look at the so-called war on cancer: it isnt won, no one expects that it will be, but what it has accomplished is to provide limited success in improving health and quality of life, extending survival times, and developing new tools for earlier diagnosis thats reality, and understanding reality is achieved incrementally, not by sudden surges in technology independent of human effort. It also generates unexpected spinoffs in deeper knowledge about cell cycles, signaling, gene regulation, etc. The problems get more interesting and diverse, and its awfully silly of one non-biologist in 2011 to try to predict what surprises will pop out.

Kurzweil is a typical technocrat with limited breadth of knowledge. Imagine what happens IF we actually converge on some kind of immortality. Who gets it? If its restricted, what makes Kurzweil think he, and not Senator Dumbbum who controls federal spending on health, or Tycoon Greedo the trillionaire, gets it? How would the world react if such a capability were available, and they (or their dying mother, or their sick child) dont have access? What if its cheap and easy, and everyone gets it? Kurzweil is talking about a technology that would almost certainly destroy every human society on the planet, and he treats it as blithely as the prospect of getting new options for his cell phone. In case he hadnt noticed, human sociology and politics shows no sign of being on an exponential trend towards greater wisdom. Yeah, expect turbulence.

Hes guilty of a very weird form of reductionism that considers a human life can be reduced to patterns in a computer. I have no stock in spiritualism or dualism, but we are very much a product of our crude and messy biology we percieve the world through imprecise chemical reactions, our brains send signals by shuffling ions in salt water, our attitudes and reactions are shaped by chemicals secreted by glands in our guts. Replicating the lightning while ignoring the clouds and rain and pressure changes will not give you a copy of the storm. It will give you something different, which would be interesting still, but its not the same.

Kurzweil shows other signs of kookery. Two hundred pills a day? Weekly intravenous transfusions? Drinking alkalized water because hes afraid of acidosis? The man is an intelligent engineer, but hes also an obsessive crackpot.

Oh, well. Ill make my own predictions. Magazines will continue to praise Kurzweils techno-religion in sporadic bursts, and followers will continue to gullibly accept what he says because it is what they wish would happen. Kurzweil will die while brain-uploading and immortality are still vague dreams; he will be frozen in liquid nitrogen, which will so thoroughly disrupt his cells that even if we discover how to cure whatever kills him, there will be no hope of recovering the mind and personality of Kurzweil from the scrambled chaos of his dead brain. 2045 will come, and those of us who are alive to see it, will look back and realize it is very, very different from what life was like in 2011, and also very different from what we expected life to be like. At some point, I expect artificial intelligences to be part of our culture, if we persist; theyll work in radically different ways than human brains, and they will revolutionize society, but I have no way of guessing how. Ray Kurzweil will be forgotten, mostly, but records of the existence of a strange shaman of the circuitry from the late 20th and early 21st century will be tucked away in whatever the future databases are like, and people and machines will sometimes stumble across them and laugh or zotigrate and say, How quaint and amusing!, or whatever the equivalent in the frangitwidian language of the trans-entity circumsolar ansible network might be.

And thatll be kinda cool. I wish I could live to see it.

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About RBE | THE RESOURCE BASED abundance ECONOMY

 Resource Based Economy  Comments Off on About RBE | THE RESOURCE BASED abundance ECONOMY
Mar 262016
 

The term resource based economy was coined by Jacque Fresco in The Venus Project as the name for what kind of economic system he envisions in the future. As there is a lot of talk about technology, design, architecture and the like this website tries to discuss the term resource based economy from a human perspective based on existing and possible future values on this planet. When this website was formed, one found almost nothing about a resource based economy online in spite of the websites of The Venus Project and The Zeitgeist Movement. This site was made to remedy that. Still, the term resource based economy can be replaced/overlapped by many other terms.

Resource Based Economy (RBE), Natural Resources Economy, Resource Economy, Moneyless Economy (MLE), Love Based Economy (LBE), Gift Economy (GE),Priceless Economic System (PES), Trust Economy (TE), Voluntary Collaborative Economy (VCE), Sharing Society, Resource Based Society, Moneyless Society, Love Based Society, Ubuntu, etc. etc. It is all the same thing. It doesnt really matter what we call it, as long as it has the basic notion of an economic system where no money is used, ownership and trade is abandoned and replaced with usership and giving and all resources (both human and planetary) are shared and managed properly. On this site we will mainly use the term Resource Based Economy. We could add Gift in the title (Resource Based Gift Economy), to emphasize that on a local micro level, we need to simply give and share our personal resources, while we at the same time, on a global macro level, manage global resources.

This site is dedicated to the development of a resource-based economy (RBE) on our planet. Here we can fantasize, visualize and imagine what RBE can be like in all aspects of life. From questions like Will there still be coffee shops, and who would work there? to How can RBE be implemented in the developing countries? and everything in between. RBE implies a million questions that needs to be answered before we can make this real. We need people in all categories to develop RBE. A main aim is to get this information out to people so the whole world can start to imagine and picture what a life in abundance without money can be like. This site can be used as a portal for initial introduction to the subject. We allow/encourage respectful duplication of this information.

What is a resource-based economy? Heres a quick definition:

A resource-based economy is a society without money, barter or trade, with the awareness that Humanity is One family and where technology, science and spirituality is used to its fullest to develop and manage the planets resources to provide abundance for everyone in the most sustainable way.

And heres an extended definition:

The continual emergence of a system of self imposed management of human and natural resources both locally and globally where money, trading and ownership is replaced by gratitude, sharing and usership in a way where everyones needs are met.

A resource-based economy uses the original meaning of the word economy, which used to bemanagement of material resources. In addition to material resources, we can put natural resources and human resources. It is a society without money with the earths resources shared where it is needed without any form of exchange, barter or payment. It is not a new communistic approach. Neither is it socialism or capitalism. Its beyond communism, socialism, feudalism, fascism, capitalism or any other ism. Its beyond any social system that has ever existed on this planet, at least in our awareness. In communism the state owns everything. In socialism the state owns something while the rest is privately owned. In capitalism everything is privately owned.

In a resource-based economy the worlds population doesnt own anything, but has access to everything. Anything ever needed, like food, clothing, housing, travel, etc. etc. is provided in abundance through the use of our updated knowledge, values and technology. Theres no state that is the owner of the resources, and nothing is privately owned. In RBE the worlds resources are considered the heritage of all the inhabitants of this planet, not just a select few. RBE is not a society where we will live in scarcity with few resources. It is not a society where a few control and distribute the resources. No, it is a totally new society where we let todays and tomorrows technology be developed to its fullest to work for us, and where we utilize knowledge about nature and technology to provide a life in abundance for everyone. It is a society where we truly have the option to take care of each other instead of struggling to survive.

It is a totally new way of life, unimaginable within todays value system, but still something most people truly long for in their hearts. It is a world where we can call ourselves Free and live with dignity and respect for each other, nature, the planet and the universe. It is a concept where value no longer is measured by money, but rather by the joy we feel, the contributions we make, and the development we take part in. It is a society where we utilize our minds and hearts in providing a healthy life for everyone, developing our knowledge about nature and technology, and using this in the most sustainable way.

Imagine a world without money, barter or exchange, where everything is provided for everyone, and everyone can pursue their own interests and dreams and live in the way they want. Be it moving closer to nature and grow your own garden of delicious vegetables, travel the globe and experience the wonders of the planet, make and perform your own music or collaborate with others to develop a new invention for the betterment of society. In a society where we dont have to think about money and profit, we can truly develop ourselves and the human race into something completely wonderful.

The monetary system doesnt work anymore and is obsolete. This is obvious when you look at todays world with increasing unemployment, financial crisis, endless consumption producing endless waste and pollution, not to speak of crime and wars. You could say money has outplayed its role on this planet. It produces greed and corruption through the profit motive we are all a slave to. The economy is falling apart, and everyone seems to be struggling to get richer and richer or just to make ends meet. The financial crisis has so far made over 200 million more people end up in poverty. Now, about 2 billion people in the world are considered poor. Poor countries that have received massive loans from the World Bank have become much poorer after receiving the loans, because of the interest. And they can only hope to pay it back. The collective external debt of all the governments in the world is now about 52 trillion dollars and this number doesnt include the massive amount of household debt in each country. How can we owe each other so much money??? Because we think we need it.

It turns out that its not money we need. We cannot eat money, or build houses with them. What we need is resources. Food, clothing, housing, etc. Money is just a hindrance in making the resources available for everyone. Imagine if there was no money. Right now. No money. Everything would still be there, wouldnt it? The trees, the mountains, the houses, cars, boats, air, grass, snow, rain, sun, animals, birds and bees and the people. Nothing has changed, really. Why? Because money doesnt really exist. Theres no money in nature. Its only an agreement between the worlds people, made up thousands of years ago as a means to control the world population. Instead of slavery, where one had to feed, house, nurse and guard the slaves, one invented money. With money everyone would have to fend for themselves, while the rulers created the currency, collected taxes and controlled the masses, like they do today.

It was a means of which people could trade stuff that they all needed. Labor, food, housing, etc. If it wasnt scarce, there was no need to charge for it. Like water and air. The rulers claimed ownership to land, and thus became the owners of this land. They could then charge others for using it and for stuff that was produced there, like it is today. And the property could be sold and inherited in the bloodline. Banks became invented, and eventually; loans. And now society has become addicted to it, like a drug. But, like a drug, money is something that we dont really need, we only think we do.

Where did the money come from in the first place? In the beginning it was based on rare metals, like gold and silver, and because of its scarcity it could be used as means of trading, instead of cows, hens, corn and other rather-impractical-to-carry-around stuff. Notice the word scarce. Common rock wouldnt have worked, because everyone would have had it. But today. where does the money come from? The answer is..: Nowhere. The money is not even printed anymore. Only 3% of the worlds money is in paper or metal currency, the rest 97% is electronic. New money today is made by the stroke of buttons on computer keyboards, like the one Im typing on now. And this is also how the banks make loans, and wants it payed back, with interest, which is not created in the system, makingbankruptcy inevitable for many companies, and now even countries.

In other words, debt is money. Its like taking a piece of paper, writing 1 million dollars on it, giving it to a poor bastard and say now you owe me 1 million dollars, and you have to pay it back with a yearly interest of 5%, thank you. This is how, in simplicity, it is done. The money today doesnt really exist. Its just an agreement that the whole world has bought into. And now were stuck in it in lack of a better system. Except, now we have a better option, a resource- based economy.

The economy goes up and down in booms and busts. People are getting rich out of nothing, or being struck bankrupt out of the same nothing. In a depression, shops can be full of what people need, but no one has the money to buy it. We are reduced to consumers, even though we are Human Beings. Governments try to control the economy by adjusting the general interest rate and by other means. We have to consume. Not too much, cause then we get inflation and a new economic bubble. But not to little either, then we get a recession because not enough people are buying the products that companies produce. So, its a fine balance. But really, a ridiculous balance. It leads to a lot of trouble for our selves. Overproduction in boom times, underproduction in recession times, pollution, war, corruption, crime, poverty, and withholding of technology because we have to squeeze what we can out of the oil, and other obsolete technology that gives us.money. Still, technology is advancing further and further and replacing jobs faster than we can say technological unemployment, which in itself is increasing year by year, replacing more and more workers by machines.

Machines are both helping us and taking our jobs. Jobs that are needed to get the money to buy things that the technology produces, so that the companies can get more money, to produce more things that you can buy, if you have the money You see? Its a scheme thats set to bust. But money is not what we really need. What we need is what we today believe only money can buy. We need the resources. We need quality of life. Not the money. The truth is that theres not enough money in the world to buy us out of this crisis, or if there was, the money would not be worth much. Since the world economy is based on scarcity, if there is too much money, they wont be worth enough to pay for what we need, the resources. If there is an abundance of money for everyone there would be no value in the money. Still, thats what the world leaders are trying to do today and has been doing for the last 40 years. Growing the economy and printing more money to pour into the system, so that banks can lend out more money, and companies can pay their debt, with more debt, with more money. Money, the thing that created the problem in the first place. The system is doomed for collapse. This is self evident.

Money and false scarcity makes us steal, lie, cheat, become greedy, corrupt and stingy. Actually, all of the worlds governments and people are corrupt, because corruption is a byproduct of money. Since with money, we are all doomed to think profit. Everyone from a single person to a big company. Everyone need to have some form of income. And the income has to come from someone else. Thus, we get greedy, and corrupt and separated from each other and nature, which is our true provider, not money. Its not people that are greedy and corrupt, it is not human nature, its the system that makes people this way. If there were no money, and we could get all we needed and wanted without from nature, technology and each other, there would be no greed, and no corruption. Human nature is by large a product of the environment. With abundance competition becomes obsolete. With abundance there wouldnt be any need to steal. With abundance we could focus on living our lives and develop society. It is about time we end the meaningless competition and start collaborating.

The real human nature is a collaborating one. Think about it. We naturally collaborate to build houses and bridges, develop software and businesses. Collaboration gives satisfaction while competition gives stress. Of course, we could still compete for fun, in games and sport. But when it comes to the development of society we see that competition only hinders progress. A lot of energy and resources is wasted in the pursuit of competing for market share. We dont need 100 different flat screens, we only need one, the best. In a resource-based economy the technological development will have come so far that we can produce anything specially requested by the individual, and in the highest quality, through the use of nanotechnology and computer based manufacturing. This is not science fiction, this technology is being developed now.

What about incentive? I hear you say. Why would people want to do anything, if it wasnt anything in it for them, like money? Well, I sit here now and write this, not because I earn any money on it, but because it gives me something else. The satisfaction of the feeling of helping people, helping society into a new world, that benefits all. And this is a feeling no money can buy. This, I think, is the reason for most of the worlds new inventions, like the radio, the light bulb, electricity, penicillin, etc. etc. Not money, but the need and urge to create and share with other people, and be a part of what is going on. Its no fun keeping all your creations for your self only. The fun lies in sharing with friends, family and the world.

Why do you do anything? I bet you want to do something in your life that you find interesting and fulfilling in some way, not just because you earn money on it. Most people have hobbies and interests that that they like to spend time on, and where no money is made. For many people, this is their reason for living. For many others, they keep their job because it is fulfilling.If it ONLY made you some bucks, or maybe, rich, you would feel really poor in the end. You would realize that money cant buy you happiness. Maybe for a while, but not permanent. So, its not really money that makes you do things, now is it. Its something else. Fulfillment. We all want to be fulfilled in our lives, and even today, money is only a small part of that.

What if you didnt need any money to get all you want today? What if you could get all you think you want today without any money? Travel anywhere you like, drive cool cars (non-polluting ones!), live in a nice place, have this and that new electronic device, go to concerts, eat good food, relax, study what ever you want for as long as you want, work with what you want, contribute to society, learn a new skill, teach a new skill. What would you do? No pursuit for money anymore But you dont need to own the car you drive, or the house you live in, or camera you use, as long as you have access to it as long as you need it.

Say you want to go on a boat trip. What if you could just book a seat on a boat, and go? Or, better yet, book a whole boat, a yacht, if you will, and sail away. It would be pretty boring alone, so you bring some friends along. Good. What about food? All the food you want is provided. So is clothing. And everything else. None of it is really yours, yet all of it is. Its everyones. It wont be like; hey, I need a pair of underwear, give me yours!. Of course not. There would be plenty of underwear, enough for everyone, in enough different colors and shapes. And boats. The beauty of it is that we dont need to own that boat. When were done with it, we return it, so someone else can use it. In a harbor on the opposite side of the globe, or where we picked it up. It doesnt matter. From there we have booked a car, or whatever vehicle we have in RBE, that will take us further on our trip.

Both the boat and the car is produced with the most ease of maintenance and use in mind. And they can maintain themselves in most ways, including taking themselves to a maintenance facility where other machines helps them with what they need. This way we dont need parking lots stuffed full of cars that are not in use, or harbors stuffed full of boats that are just lying there. There would be a good selection of cars and boats for everyone to choose from in many kinds of designs, fitting your taste and personality. And ALL of them would be yours to use! Not just one or two. They are ALL yours, orours.

There would be produced more than enough of all that people would demand, in fully automated factories and on personal 3D printers. And it would be produced to last. Not like today, where cars are actually produced to brake down, so that they can sell more cars, and keep a whole maintenance industry alive. No, in a resource-based economy there would be no point in making anything in poor quality. In a resource-based economy it would be most beneficial for everyone that every product is of the highest possible quality, and that all the planets resources are managed, developed and protected to the highest degree. And when we go by access rather than ownership, we wouldnt need more than a fraction of the amount of cars and boats and things we have today. Since non of the things are in use all the time, and we share the things we have, we, the environment and the planet will do with a lot less things, and a lot less waste, if any.

In the world today there are plenty of resources for everyone, if they are properly managed, that is. The monetary system makes us compete for the resources on the planet. A resource like oil is continually being pumped up because of the money it makes, instead of researching and developing new environmentally friendly energy, thus continuing to pollute the world. There is a lot of alternative development going on, though, but still, the oil is being pumped up to the last drop. And the green energy is also monetized. Streams, made from the rain, made from the evaporated water the sun is responsible for, are running down the mountain, and then the electricity it produces is charged for by the kilowatt-hour. So is the wind, and the tidal power, nuclear power and every other energy source on the planet today. Making the richer richer and the poorer poorer.

It cant go on like this forever. We have two choices. One is where globalization by corporations takes over, we are all chipped and controlled, and become the sheep that feed the never ending hunger of the few. Actually, this is not far from what it is like today. The interest you pay on your loans pays the interest the rich get on their money in the bank. I.e. they dont have to work, but you do.

The other choice is where money is abandoned and the worlds resources are distributed to where it is needed. This distribution is possible with todays technology. We can have a sensor and distribution system covering the whole planet, making it possible to monitor resources, supply and demand all over the world. We already have this system to a large degree, through satellites and other technology. We can also combine this with input from users.

In nature there is a natural abundance. Everything in nature is there for us to use and develop to the best for ourselves and humanity. It is only when the profit motive comes in everything is distorted. Then crops are thrown away because of profit, and land is overused. When we close the door on money and profit, we can easily produce more than enough food for everyone on the planet. When we take one seed from an apple and put it in the ground, we get a whole tree full of apples after a while. And with that we get more than enough seeds to plant more apple trees. And everything is provided for us by nature, all for free. No charge. And not much labour. We plant the seed at the right place and then it grows all by it selves. It only needs water, light, nurturing and time. And voila, we have apples. And this goes for every other plant on the planet as well. Its all there for us to utilize.

The day to day decision making can largely be computerized and be based on need and our input, with highly developed, self maintaining and self producing machines and robots combined with the loving care of humans. If there is a need and want for housing in a particular area, the houses will be built by machines in accordance to the specifications of the future inhabitants. If there is need for more of a particular food, that will be produced and provided. Already today cars can run by themselves only guided by GPS and sensors. Several hospitals use robots for inventory and logistics. Planes have had autopilots for years and can both take off, navigate and land by themselves. Factories produce all kinds of products faster and more efficient than any human being could ever do. Billions of big and small decisions are already taken for us every day by computers.

Still, politicians makes us believe that they know best what is best for us. Even though they havent got a clue about the science behind it, and what is measurable the best solution for society and the environment at any given time. Politics is not in our interest, it is only a smoke screen, made to distract us from what is really important. We can have a world of abundance for absolutely everyone as long as we skip the bickering of politics and really open our eyes for what we really need and how far technology and science has really come. The technological and scientific development has really passed societys values by far, and its time we catch up.

In a resource-based economy there would be no need to hold back on any new invention. No patents would be needed. Every new development that would be in the interest of humanity would be developed and shared as fast as possible. We wouldnt want or need to pollute the world more than absolutely necessary, if necessary at all. We would develop everything in a way that would maximize the quality of life for everyone. Humans, animals, insects, plants and the environment itself. Technology has come so far today that we can make it do almost anything. Technology is not to be feared. Technology is like a knife. It can be used to stab someone to death, or to cut bread. Technology itself is neutral. Its we who gives it its purpose and meaning. And theres no turning back.

Technology has come to stay. Imagine a life without cell phones, video, mp3 players, cameras, internet, satellites, electricity, modern hospitals, washing machines, cars, trains, planes, computers, lamps, running shoes, running water, loud speakers, windows, steel, dvd players, tooth brushes, dental floss, glasses, contact lenses and what have you. A car plant today is almost 100% automated. So are most other factories. Humans are only kept there to give the illusion that jobs are created and maintained. They are not really needed there. The machines can do all the work with todays technology. Humans are really only needed for some supervising. Technology could probably replace 99% of all human labor in a few years if we want that to happen.

This seems like a sad thing for many, but only if you need a job. In a resource-based economy automation is the liberating factor for people. It is so today as well, until the whole economy collapses, that is. Which it will, eventually. And now, imagine what tomorrows technology can do. Its we who creates it, and its we who will decide what it will do. Today, with the monetary system, technology is used for a lot of destructive development, like weapons. The weapons are largely produced to defend or conquer borders and property, two things that will not exist in a resource-based economy. Weapons are the byproduct of money, the monetary system. War is one of the most profitable activities on this planet. The monetary system produces war, and makes technology to be used destructively. In a resource-based economy with no money, barter, exchange, borders or passports, there would be no reason to produce weapons to defend borders and kill people for property and profit.

We are foreseeing a new worldwide social system where the worlds resources are considered the heritage of all the inhabitants of this planet. A new moneyless society with a resource-based macro economy and a gift micro economy. Imagine a world without money, barter or exchange of any kind, where everything is provided for and shared by everyone. Not uniformity, but individual freedom and expression will be its credo. True unity through diversity, and abundance for all would be its goal. And for ever openness to change and development its reality. Its not utopia, its just a new possible direction for society. No debt, loans,taxes, money, bills, accounting, laws, war, borders, passports, scarcity, stocks, financial crisis, poverty, corruption or hunger. But rather freedom, ingenuity, creativity, positive development, peace, love & understanding (yeah, yeah, cliche, but its true!), personal individual expression, abundance, prosperity, sharing and giving and true Unity for all the worlds people. Call it a dream, call it utopia, call it wonderland, or call it Evolution. This might just be the next step in the development of society.

Yes, the resource-based economy poses a million new questions, its not an easy fix. But its better than what we have. For the first time in history we have the possibility to communicate and collaborate across the planet and develop something that can really change the world. We could actually have a resource based gift economytoday, if everyone simply stopped using money.

We need all kinds of people from all over the world to help imagine and develop this new direction for Humanity together. Everyone from artists to scientists, executives to politicians, organizations to corporations and from citizens to governments. We need EVERYONE onboard on this flight. There is no us and them anymore. We are all in this boat together.

RBE was first brought up by Jacque Fresco with The Venus Project, started in Venus, Florida, USA. It was taken further by Peter Joseph through the Zeitgeist Movement. Zeitgeist means the spirit of the times. The Zeitgeist Movement is not a political or religious movement, but rather a grassroots movement for applied spirituality. Meaning that we seek to implement on this planet the core values of all the worlds religions and spiritual movements, like Oneness, unity, equality and freedom for all people. True freedom can only come when we see all people on this planet as the righteous, equal members of humanity, with equal access to all the planets resources. For this world to exist we have to update our values and views on life and how it can be.

Read and find out more here:

UBUNTU Contributionism

http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com

http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com

http://www.thevenusproject.com

Check also all the links the links page.

We need everyone to know about this new possibility for Humanity.

Heres a list of suggestions to what you can do:

Tell your friends. Send them to this page for an initial introduction. You can use the save/share button below to post on Facebook etc.

Write in blogs and forums.

Write articles and send to media (newspapers, magazines, radio, television, internet) in all countries. Feel free to copy and use as much as the above article as you like. Get celebrities to support the movement.

Get the support of investors, companies and corporations. Dont rule this out, we all work with or for someone, and we are all trapped and want to get out, even corporate executives. There are also many investors that actually want to create betterment for Humanity.

Get the support of politicians. Give them a chance, some might get it.

Start more websites about the resource-based economy. The more we populate the web with it, the faster the message will get out.

Involve yourself in the Zeitgeist movement.

We allow and encourage respectful duplication of this information. Respectful means referencing this source. Thank you.

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About RBE | THE RESOURCE BASED abundance ECONOMY

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Wage slavery – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Wage Slavery  Comments Off on Wage slavery – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mar 262016
 

Wage slavery refers to a situation where a person’s livelihood depends on wages or a salary, especially when the dependence is total and immediate.[1][2] It is a pejorative term used to draw an analogy between slavery and wage labor by focusing on similarities between owning and renting a person.

The term wage slavery has been used to criticize exploitation of labour and social stratification, with the former seen primarily as unequal bargaining power between labor and capital (particularly when workers are paid comparatively low wages, e.g. in sweatshops),[3] and the latter as a lack of workers’ self-management, fulfilling job choices, and leisure in an economy.[4][5][6] The criticism of social stratification covers a wider range of employment choices bound by the pressures of a hierarchical society to perform otherwise unfulfilling work that deprives humans of their “species character”[7] not only under threat of starvation or poverty, but also of social stigma and status diminution.[8][9][10]

Similarities between wage labor and slavery were noted as early as Cicero in Ancient Rome.[11] With the advent of the industrial revolution, thinkers such as Proudhon and Marx elaborated the comparison between wage labor and slavery in the context of a critique of societal property not intended for active personal use,[12][13] while Luddites emphasized the dehumanization brought about by machines. Before the American Civil War, Southern defenders of African American slavery invoked the concept of wage slavery to favorably compare the condition of their slaves to workers in the North.[14][15] The United States abolished slavery after the Civil War, but labor union activists found the metaphor useful. According to Lawrence Glickman, in the Gilded Age, “References abounded in the labor press, and it is hard to find a speech by a labor leader without the phrase.”[16]

The introduction of wage labor in 18th century Britain was met with resistance&emdash;giving rise to the principles of syndicalism.[17][18][19][20] Historically, some labor organizations and individual social activists have espoused workers’ self-management or worker cooperatives as possible alternatives to wage labor.[5][19]

The view that working for wages is akin to slavery dates back to the ancient world.[22]

In 1763, the French journalist Simon Linguet published a description of wage slavery:[13]

The slave was precious to his master because of the money he had cost him … They were worth at least as much as they could be sold for in the market … It is the impossibility of living by any other means that compels our farm labourers to till the soil whose fruits they will not eat and our masons to construct buildings in which they will not live … It is want that compels them to go down on their knees to the rich man in order to get from him permission to enrich him … what effective gain [has] the suppression of slavery brought [him?] He is free, you say. Ah! That is his misfortune … These men … [have] the most terrible, the most imperious of masters, that is, need. … They must therefore find someone to hire them, or die of hunger. Is that to be free?

The view that wage work has substantial similarities with chattel slavery was actively put forward in the late 18th and 19th centuries by defenders of chattel slavery (most notably in the Southern states of the US), and by opponents of capitalism (who were also critics of chattel slavery).[9][23] Some defenders of slavery, mainly from the Southern slave states argued that Northern workers were “free but in name the slaves of endless toil,” and that their slaves were better off.[24][25] This contention has been partly corroborated by some modern studies that indicate slaves’ material conditions in the 19th century were “better than what was typically available to free urban laborers at the time.”[26][27] In this period, Henry David Thoreau wrote that “[i]t is hard to have a Southern overseer; it is worse to have a Northern one; but worst of all when you are the slave-driver of yourself.”[28]

Some abolitionists in the United States regarded the analogy as spurious.[29] They believed that wage workers were “neither wronged nor oppressed”.[30]Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans argued that the condition of wage workers was different from slavery, as laborers were likely to have the opportunity to work for themselves in the future, achieving self-employment.[31] The abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass initially declared, “now I am my own master”, upon taking a paying job.[32] But later in life, he concluded to the contrary, “experience demonstrates that there may be a slavery of wages only a little less galling and crushing in its effects than chattel slavery, and that this slavery of wages must go down with the other”.[33][34] Douglass went on to speak about these conditions as arising from the unequal bargaining power between the ownership/capitalist class and the non-ownership/laborer class within a compulsory monetary market. “No more crafty and effective devise for defrauding the southern laborers could be adopted than the one that substitutes orders upon shopkeepers for currency in payment of wages. It has the merit of a show of honesty, while it puts the laborer completely at the mercy of the land-owner and the shopkeeper.”.[35]

Self-employment became less common as the artisan tradition slowly disappeared in the later part of the 19th century.[5] In 1869 The New York Times described the system of wage labor as “a system of slavery as absolute if not as degrading as that which lately prevailed at the South”.[31]E. P. Thompson notes that for British workers at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries, the “gap in status between a ‘servant,’ a hired wage-laborer subject to the orders and discipline of the master, and an artisan, who might ‘come and go’ as he pleased, was wide enough for men to shed blood rather than allow themselves to be pushed from one side to the other. And, in the value system of the community, those who resisted degradation were in the right.”[17] A “Member of the Builders’ Union” in the 1830s argued that the trade unions “will not only strike for less work, and more wages, but will ultimately abolish wages, become their own masters and work for each other; labor and capital will no longer be separate but will be indissolubly joined together in the hands of workmen and work-women.”[18] This perspective inspired the Grand National Consolidated Trades Union of 1834 which had the “two-fold purpose of syndicalist unions the protection of the workers under the existing system and the formation of the nuclei of the future society” when the unions “take over the whole industry of the country.”[19] “Research has shown”, summarises William Lazonick, “that the ‘free-born Englishman’ of the eighteenth century even those who, by force of circumstance, had to submit to agricultural wage labour tenaciously resisted entry into the capitalist workshop.”[20]

The use of the term wage slave by labor organizations may originate from the labor protests of the Lowell Mill Girls in 1836.[36] The imagery of wage slavery was widely used by labor organizations during the mid-19th century to object to the lack of workers’ self-management. However, it was gradually replaced by the more neutral term “wage work” towards the end of the 19th century, as labor organizations shifted their focus to raising wages.[5]

Karl Marx described Capitalist society as infringing on individual autonomy, by basing it on a materialistic and commodified concept of the body and its liberty (i.e. as something that is sold, rented or alienated in a class society). According to Friedrich Engels:[37][38]

The slave is sold once and for all; the proletarian must sell himself daily and hourly. The individual slave, property of one master, is assured an existence, however miserable it may be, because of the master’s interest. The individual proletarian, property as it were of the entire bourgeois class which buys his labor only when someone has need of it, has no secure existence.

Critics of wage work have drawn several similarities between wage work and slavery:

According to American anarcho-syndicalist philosopher Noam Chomsky, the similarities between chattel and wage slavery were noticed by the workers themselves. He noted that the 19th century Lowell Mill Girls, who, without any reported knowledge of European Marxism or anarchism, condemned the “degradation and subordination” of the newly emerging industrial system, and the “new spirit of the age: gain wealth, forgetting all but self”, maintaining that “those who work in the mills should own them.”[44][45] They expressed their concerns in a protest song during their 1836 strike:

Oh! isn’t it a pity, such a pretty girl as I Should be sent to the factory to pine away and die? Oh! I cannot be a slave, I will not be a slave, For I’m so fond of liberty, That I cannot be a slave.[46]

Defenses of wage labor and chattel slavery in the literature have linked the subjection of man to man with the subjection of man to nature; arguing that hierarchy and a social system’s particular relations of production represent human nature and are no more coercive than the reality of life itself. According to this narrative, any well-intentioned attempt to fundamentally change the status quo is naively utopian and will result in more oppressive conditions.[47] Bosses in both of these long-lasting systems argued that their system created a lot of wealth and prosperity. Both did, in some sense create jobs and their investment entailed risk. For example, slave owners might have risked losing money by buying expensive slaves who later became ill or died; or might have used those slaves to make products that didn’t sell well on the market. Marginally, both chattel and wage slaves may become bosses; sometimes by working hard. It may be the “rags to riches” story which occasionally occurs in capitalism, or the “slave to master” story that occurred in places like colonial Brazil, where slaves could buy their own freedom and become business owners, self-employed, or slave owners themselves.[48] Social mobility, or the hard work and risk that it may entail, are thus not considered to be a redeeming factor by critics of the concept of wage slavery.[49]

Anthropologist David Graeber has noted that, historically, the first wage labor contracts we know about whether in ancient Greece or Rome, or in the Malay or Swahili city states in the Indian ocean were in fact contracts for the rental of chattel slaves (usually the owner would receive a share of the money, and the slave, another, with which to maintain his or her living expenses.) Such arrangements, according to Graeber, were quite common in New World slavery as well, whether in the United States or Brazil. C. L. R. James argued that most of the techniques of human organization employed on factory workers during the industrial revolution were first developed on slave plantations.[50]

The usage of the term “wage slavery” shifted to “wage work” at the end of the 19th century as groups like the Knights of Labor and American Federation of Labor shifted to a more reformist, trade union ideology instead of worker’s self-management. Much of the decline was caused by the rapid increase in manufacturing after the industrial revolution and the subsequent dominance of wage labor as a result. Another factor was immigration and demographic changes that led to ethnic tension between the workers.[5]

As Hallgrimsdottir and Benoit point out:

increased centralization of production… declining wages… [an] expanding… labor pool… intensifying competition, and… [t]he loss of competence and independence experienced by skilled labor” meant that “a critique that referred to all [wage] work as slavery and avoided demands for wage concessions in favor of supporting the creation of the producerist republic (by diverting strike funds towards funding… co-operatives, for example) was far less compelling than one that identified the specific conditions of slavery as low wages…[5]

Some anti-capitalist thinkers claim that the elite maintain wage slavery and a divided working class through their influence over the media and entertainment industry,[51][52] educational institutions, unjust laws, nationalist and corporate propaganda, pressures and incentives to internalize values serviceable to the power structure, state violence, fear of unemployment[53] and a historical legacy of exploitation and profit accumulation/transfer under prior systems, which shaped the development of economic theory:

Adam Smith noted that employers often conspire together to keep wages low, and have the upper hand in conflicts between workers and employers:[54]

The interest of the dealers… in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public [They] have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labor above their actual rate It is not, however, difficult to foresee which of the two parties must, upon all ordinary occasions, have the advantage in the dispute, and force the other into a compliance with their terms.

The concept of wage slavery could conceivably be traced back to pre-capitalist figures like Gerrard Winstanley from the radical Christian Diggers movement in England, who wrote in his 1649 pamphlet, The New Law of Righteousness, that there “shall be no buying or selling, no fairs nor markets, but the whole earth shall be a common treasury for every man,” and “there shall be none Lord over others, but every one shall be a Lord of himself.”[55]

Aristotle stated that “the citizens must not live a mechanic or a mercantile life (for such a life is ignoble and inimical to virtue), nor yet must those who are to be citizens in the best state be tillers of the soil (for leisure is needed both for the development of virtue and for active participation in politics)”,[56] often paraphrased as “all paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.”[57]Cicero wrote in 44 BC that “vulgar are the means of livelihood of all hired workmen whom we pay for mere manual labour, not for artistic skill; for in their case the very wage they receive is a pledge of their slavery.”[58] Somewhat similar criticisms have also been expressed by some proponents of liberalism, like Henry George,[9]Silvio Gesell, and Thomas Paine,[59] as well as the Distributist school of thought within the Catholic Church.

To Marx and anarchist thinkers like Bakunin and Kropotkin, wage slavery was a class condition in place due to the existence of private property and the state. This class situation rested primarily on:

and secondarily on:

Proponents of anarcho-capitalism such as John Frederic Kosanke, in contrast, believe that in the absence of restrictive statutory regulations and political cronyism, the natural pursuit of property and capital allows a positive sum enrichment of all actors. Employers and employees, as buyers and sellers of services, become peers on an equal footing.[61]

Fascism was more hostile against independent trade unions than modern economies in Europe or the United States.[62] Fascist economic policies were widely accepted in the 1920s and 1930s and foreign (especially US) corporate investment in Italy and Germany increased after the fascist take over.[63][64]

Fascism has been perceived by some notable critics, like Buenaventura Durruti, to be a last resort weapon of the privileged to ensure the maintenance of wage slavery:

No government fights fascism to destroy it. When the bourgeoisie sees that power is slipping out of its hands, it brings up fascism to hold onto their privileges.[65]

According to Noam Chomsky, analysis of the psychological implications of wage slavery goes back to the Enlightenment era. In his 1791 book On the Limits of State Action, classical liberal thinker Wilhelm von Humboldt explained how “whatever does not spring from a man’s free choice, or is only the result of instruction and guidance, does not enter into his very nature; he does not perform it with truly human energies, but merely with mechanical exactness” and so when the laborer works under external control, “we may admire what he does, but we despise what he is.”[66] Both the Milgram and Stanford experiments have been found useful in the psychological study of wage-based workplace relations.[67]

According to research, modern work provides people with a sense of personal and social identity that is tied to

Thus job loss entails the loss of this identity.[68]

Erich Fromm argued that if a person perceives himself as being what he owns, then when that person loses (or even thinks of losing) what he “owns” (e.g. the good looks or sharp mind that allow him to sell his labor for high wages), then, a fear of loss may create anxiety and authoritarian tendencies because that person’s sense of identity is threatened. In contrast, when a person’s sense of self is based on what he experiences in a state of being (creativity, love, sadness, taste, sight etc.) with a less materialistic regard for what he once had and lost, or may lose, then less authoritarian tendencies prevail. The state of being, in his view, flourishes under a worker-managed workplace and economy, whereas self-ownership entails a materialistic notion of self, created to rationalize the lack of worker control that would allow for a state of being.[69]

Investigative journalist Robert Kuttner analyzed the work of public-health scholars Jeffrey Johnson and Ellen Hall about modern conditions of work, and concludes that “to be in a life situation where one experiences relentless demands by others, over which one has relatively little control, is to be at risk of poor health, physically as well as mentally.” Under wage labor, “a relatively small elite demands and gets empowerment, self-actualization, autonomy, and other work satisfaction that partially compensate for long hours” while “epidemiological data confirm that lower-paid, lower-status workers are more likely to experience the most clinically damaging forms of stress, in part because they have less control over their work.”[70]

Wage slavery, and the educational system that precedes it “implies power held by the leader. Without power the leader is inept. The possession of power inevitably leads to corruption in spite of good intentions [Leadership means] power of initiative, this sense of responsibility, the self-respect which comes from expressed manhood, is taken from the men, and consolidated in the leader. The sum of their initiative, their responsibility, their self-respect becomes his [and the] order and system he maintains is based upon the suppression of the men, from being independent thinkers into being ‘the men’ In a word, he is compelled to become an autocrat and a foe to democracy.” For the “leader”, such marginalisation can be beneficial, for a leader “sees no need for any high level of intelligence in the rank and file, except to applaud his actions. Indeed such intelligence from his point of view, by breeding criticism and opposition, is an obstacle and causes confusion.”[71] Wage slavery “implies erosion of the human personality [because] some men submit to the will of others, arousing in these instincts which predispose them to cruelty and indifference in the face of the suffering of their fellows.”[72]

In 19th-century discussions of labor relations, it was normally assumed that the threat of starvation forced those without property to work for wages. Proponents of the view that modern forms of employment constitute wage slavery, even when workers appear to have a range of available alternatives, have attributed its perpetuation to a variety of social factors that maintain the hegemony of the employer class.[43][73]

Harriet Hanson Robinson in an account of the Lowell Mill Girls wrote that generously high wages were offered to overcome the degrading nature of the work:

At the time the Lowell cotton mills were started the caste of the factory girl was the lowest among the employments of women. … She was represented as subjected to influences that must destroy her purity and selfrespect. In the eyes of her overseer she was but a brute, a slave, to be beaten, pinched and pushed about. It was to overcome this prejudice that such high wages had been offered to women that they might be induced to become millgirls, in spite of the opprobrium that still clung to this degrading occupation.[74]

In his book Disciplined Minds, Jeff Schmidt points out that professionals are trusted to run organizations in the interests of their employers. Because employers cannot be on hand to manage every decision, professionals are trained to ensure that each and every detail of their work favors the right interestsor skewers the disfavored ones in the absence of overt control:

The resulting professional is an obedient thinker, an intellectual property whom employers can trust to experiment, theorize, innovate and create safely within the confines of an assigned ideology.[75]

Parecon (participatory economics) theory posits a social class “between labor and capital” of higher paid professionals such as “doctors, lawyers, engineers, managers and others” who monopolize empowering labor and constitute a class above wage laborers who do mostly “obedient, rote work”.[76]

The terms “employee” or “worker” have often been replaced by “associate”. This plays up the allegedly voluntary nature of the interaction, while playing down the subordinate status of the wage laborer, as well as the worker-boss class distinction emphasized by labor movements. Billboards, as well as TV, Internet and newspaper advertisements, consistently show low-wage workers with smiles on their faces, appearing happy.[77]

Job interviews and other data on requirements for lower skilled workers in developed countries particularly in the growing service sector indicate that the more workers depend on low wages, and the less skilled or desirable their job is, the more employers screen for workers without better employment options and expect them to feign unremunerative motivation.[78] Such screening and feigning may not only contribute to the positive self-image of the employer as someone granting desirable employment, but also signal wage-dependence by indicating the employee’s willingness to feign, which in turn may discourage the dissatisfaction normally associated with job-switching or union activity.[78]

At the same time, employers in the service industry have justified unstable, part-time employment and low wages by playing down the importance of service jobs for the lives of the wage laborers (e.g. just temporary before finding something better, student summer jobs etc.).[79][80]

In the early 20th century, “scientific methods of strikebreaking”[81] were devised employing a variety of tactics that emphasized how strikes undermined “harmony” and “Americanism”.[82]

Some social activists objecting to the market system or price system of wage working, historically have considered syndicalism, worker cooperatives, workers’ self-management and workers’ control as possible alternatives to the current wage system.[4][5][6][19]

The American philosopher John Dewey believed that until “industrial feudalism” is replaced by “industrial democracy,” politics will be “the shadow cast on society by big business”.[83]Thomas Ferguson has postulated in his investment theory of party competition that the undemocratic nature of economic institutions under capitalism causes elections to become occasions when blocs of investors coalesce and compete to control the state.[84]

Noam Chomsky has argued that political theory tends to blur the ‘elite’ function of government:

Modern political theory stresses Madison’s belief that “in a just and a free government the rights both of property and of persons ought to be effectually guarded.” But in this case too it is useful to look at the doctrine more carefully. There are no rights of property, only rights to property that is, rights of persons with property,…

[In] representative democracy, as in, say, the United States or Great Britain […] there is a monopoly of power centralized in the state, and secondly and critically […] the representative democracy is limited to the political sphere and in no serious way encroaches on the economic sphere […] That is, as long as individuals are compelled to rent themselves on the market to those who are willing to hire them, as long as their role in production is simply that of ancillary tools, then there are striking elements of coercion and oppression that make talk of democracy very limited, if even meaningful.[85]

In this regard Chomsky has used Bakunin’s theories about an “instinct for freedom”,[86] the militant history of labor movements, Kropotkin’s mutual aid evolutionary principle of survival and Marc Hauser’s theories supporting an innate and universal moral faculty,[87] to explain the incompatibility of oppression with certain aspects of human nature.[88][89]

Loyola University philosophy professor John Clark and libertarian socialist philosopher Murray Bookchin have criticized the system of wage labor for encouraging environmental destruction, arguing that a self-managed industrial society would better manage the environment. They, like other anarchists,[90] attribute much of the industrial revolution’s pollution to the “hierarchical” and “competitive” economic relations accompanying it.[91]

Some criticize wage slavery on strictly contractual grounds, e.g. David Ellerman and Carole Pateman, arguing that the employment contract is a legal fiction in that it treats human beings juridically as mere tools or inputs by abdicating responsibility and self-determination, which the critics argue are inalienable. As Ellerman points out, “[t]he employee is legally transformed from being a co-responsible partner to being only an input supplier sharing no legal responsibility for either the input liabilities [costs] or the produced outputs [revenue, profits] of the employer’s business.”[92] Such contracts are inherently invalid “since the person remain[s] a de facto fully capacitated adult person with only the contractual role of a non-person” as it is impossible to physically transfer self-determination.[93] As Pateman argues:

The contractarian argument is unassailable all the time it is accepted that abilities can ‘acquire’ an external relation to an individual, and can be treated as if they were property. To treat abilities in this manner is also implicitly to accept that the ‘exchange’ between employer and worker is like any other exchange of material property … The answer to the question of how property in the person can be contracted out is that no such procedure is possible. Labour power, capacities or services, cannot be separated from the person of the worker like pieces of property.[94]

In a modern liberal-capitalist society, the employment contract is enforced while the enslavement contract is not; the former being considered valid because of its consensual/non-coercive nature, and the later being considered inherently invalid, consensual or not. The noted economist Paul Samuelson described this discrepancy.

Since slavery was abolished, human earning power is forbidden by law to be

capitalized. A man is not even free to sell himself; he must rent himself at a wage.[95]

Some advocates of right-libertarianism, among them philosopher Robert Nozick, address this inconsistency in modern societies, arguing that a consistently libertarian society would allow and regard as valid consensual/non-coercive enslavement contracts, rejecting the notion of inalienable rights.

The comparable question about an individual is whether a free system will allow him to sell himself into slavery. I believe that it would.[96]

Others like Murray Rothbard allow for the possibility of debt slavery, asserting that a lifetime labour contract can be broken so long as the slave pays appropriate damages:

[I]f A has agreed to work for life for B in exchange for 10,000 grams of gold, he will have to return the proportionate amount of property if he terminates the arrangement and ceases to work.[97]

In the philosophy of mainstream, neoclassical economics, wage labor is seen as the voluntary sale of one’s own time and efforts, just like a carpenter would sell a chair, or a farmer would sell wheat. It is considered neither an antagonistic nor abusive relationship, and carries no particular moral implications.[98]

Austrian economics argues that a person is not “free” unless they can sell their labor, because otherwise that person has no self-ownership and will be owned by a “third party” of individuals.[99]

Post-Keynesian economics perceives wage slavery as resulting from inequality of bargaining power between labor and capital, which exists when the economy does not “allow labor to organize and form a strong countervailing force.”[100]

The two main forms of socialist economics perceive wage slavery differently:

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Liberty Tax Office | Chesapeake, VA – 1020 Battlefield Blvd N

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Mar 262016
 

Liberty Tax Offices

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Transhumanism | Foreign Policy

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Mar 232016
 

For the last several decades, a strange liberation movement has grown within the developed world. Its crusaders aim much higher than civil rights campaigners, feminists, or gay-rights advocates. They want nothing less than to liberate the human race from its biological constraints. As “transhumanists” see it, humans must wrest their biological destiny from evolutions blind process of random variation and adaptation and move to the next stage as a species.

It is tempting to dismiss transhumanists as some sort of odd cult, nothing more than science fiction taken too seriously: Witness their over-the-top Web sites and recent press releases (“Cyborg Thinkers to Address Humanitys Future,” proclaims one). The plans of some transhumanists to freeze themselves cryogenically in hopes of being revived in a future age seem only to confirm the movements place on the intellectual fringe.

But is the fundamental tenet of transhumanism that we will someday use biotechnology to make ourselves stronger, smarter, less prone to violence, and longer-lived really so outlandish? Transhumanism of a sort is implicit in much of the research agenda of contemporary biomedicine. The new procedures and technologies emerging from research laboratories and hospitals whether mood-altering drugs, substances to boost muscle mass or selectively erase memory, prenatal genetic screening, or gene therapy can as easily be used to “enhance” the species as to ease or ameliorate illness.

Although the rapid advances in biotechnology often leave us vaguely uncomfortable, the intellectual or moral threat they represent is not always easy to identify. The human race, after all, is a pretty sorry mess, with our stubborn diseases, physical limitations, and short lives. Throw in humanitys jealousies, violence, and constant anxieties, and the transhumanist project begins to look downright reasonable. If it were technologically possible, why wouldnt we want to transcend our current species? The seeming reasonableness of the project, particularly when considered in small increments, is part of its danger. Society is unlikely to fall suddenly under the spell of the transhumanist worldview. But it is very possible that we will nibble at biotechnologys tempting offerings without realizing that they come at a frightful moral cost.

The first victim of transhumanism might be equality. The U.S. Declaration of Independence says that “all men are created equal,” and the most serious political fights in the history of the United States have been over who qualifies as fully human. Women and blacks did not make the cut in 1776 when Thomas Jefferson penned the declaration. Slowly and painfully, advanced societies have realized that simply being human entitles a person to political and legal equality. In effect, we have drawn a red line around the human being and said that it is sacrosanct.

Underlying this idea of the equality of rights is the belief that we all possess a human essence that dwarfs manifest differences in skin color, beauty, and even intelligence. This essence, and the view that individuals therefore have inherent value, is at the heart of political liberalism. But modifying that essence is the core of the transhumanist project. If we start transforming ourselves into something superior, what rights will these enhanced creatures claim, and what rights will they possess when compared to those left behind? If some move ahead, can anyone afford not to follow? These questions are troubling enough within rich, developed societies. Add in the implications for citizens of the worlds poorest countries for whom biotechnologys marvels likely will be out of reach and the threat to the idea of equality becomes even more menacing.

Transhumanisms advocates think they understand what constitutes a good human being, and they are happy to leave behind the limited, mortal, natural beings they see around them in favor of something better. But do they really comprehend ultimate human goods? For all our obvious faults, we humans are miraculously complex products of a long evolutionary process products whose whole is much more than the sum of our parts. Our good characteristics are intimately connected to our bad ones: If we werent violent and aggressive, we wouldnt be able to defend ourselves; if we didnt have feelings of exclusivity, we wouldnt be loyal to those close to us; if we never felt jealousy, we would also never feel love. Even our mortality plays a critical function in allowing our species as a whole to survive and adapt (and transhumanists are just about the last group Id like to see live forever). Modifying any one of our key characteristics inevitably entails modifying a complex, interlinked package of traits, and we will never be able to anticipate the ultimate outcome.

Nobody knows what technological possibilities will emerge for human self-modification. But we can already see the stirrings of Promethean desires in how we prescribe drugs to alter the behavior and personalities of our children. The environmental movement has taught us humility and respect for the integrity of nonhuman nature. We need a similar humility concerning our human nature. If we do not develop it soon, we may unwittingly invite the transhumanists to deface humanity with their genetic bulldozers and psychotropic shopping malls.

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Ethical egoism – RationalWiki

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Mar 232016
 

Ethical egoism is the consequentialist philosophy which states that morality should be based on self-interest. It is the philosophical basis for many libertarians and (so they claim) Randroids but also got support from Thomas Hobbes.[1]. Some egoists that do not believe in the existence of ethics call themselves rational egoists, because they want to be selfish, but do not want to support metaphysical ideas like ethics and morals.

Ethical egoism is based on three arguments:

It is the polar opposite of ethical altruism, the belief that one ought to live for others, and is contrasted with utilitarianism, which is objective. Egoism is subjective, meaning that its implications and conclusions change from person to person and nothing is objectively ethical. This is interesting considering that some of the most vocal proponents of ethical egoism are so-called Objectivists.[2]

Egoism is very appealing to some because it philosophically justifies selfishness, even at the expense of others, and therefore reduces feelings of guilt after acting like a heartless jerk. Also, being a jerk is their moral equivalent of being nice and vice versa.

Ethical egoism is seen as arbitrary because it values the selfish individual more than other people and there are no objective grounds for this. Similarly racism values one race more than others arbitrarily.[1]

Contrary to many strawmen arguments, egoism does not mean that you should never act in the interest of another, even if it does not benefit you. Instead, it is acting to benefit yourself, regardless of whether it harms or benefits another. Another way of saying this is that intentions are always selfish. Results may vary, whether they are good for others or not. This is because those who selfishly refuse to help others later find others will not return favours since they received none. If some misfortune arises and the egoist now needs the unselfish help of another, and if everyone is a consistent egoist, the egoist may or may not get the help he needs. So in the interests of self-interest, an egoist must act altruistically, at least sometimes, even if intentions are only about personal gain, thus why it is a relativistic philosophy. There are three types of egoism: universal (everybody should act for their own self-benefit), personal (the egoist is an egoist, but other people can be altruistic or utilitarian), and individual (everybody acts for one individual’s self-benefit, which is completely unrealistic).

Alternatively, many egoists are also Individualists, like Stirner and Nietzsche, who would say that those that require the help of other do not deserve the help of others.[3] Incidentally normal people who are not sociopaths would likely lose self respect and become less happy if they only helped others at such times.[citationneeded]

Ethical egoism, like all exclusively subjective philosophies, is prone to constant self-contradiction because it supports all individuals’ self interests. It also can lead to conclusions such as choosing not to intervene in a crime against another. Egoists have difficulty caring about anything that does not deal with themselves, which is one reason why ethical egoism is so impractical for people who are very aware of the world. The very legitimacy of the theory is often called into question because it prevents its own adherents from taking reasonable stances on major political and social issues and cannot in itself solve these issues, without resorting to popular choice.[3]

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Ethical Egoism – College Essays – 1656 Words – StudyMode

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Mar 232016
 

Ethical egoism is the normative theory that the promotion of one’s own good is in accordance with morality. In the strong version, it is held that it is always moral to promote one’s own good, and it is never moral not to promote it. In the weak version, it is said that although it is always moral to promote one’s own good, it is not necessarily never moral to not. That is, there may be conditions in which the avoidance of personal interest may be a moral action.

In an imaginary construction of a world inhabited by a single being, it is possible that the pursuit of morality is the same as the pursuit of self-interest in that what is good for the agent is the same as what is in the agent’s interests. Arguably, there could never arise an occasion when the agent ought not to pursue self-interest in favor of another morality, unless he produces an alternative ethical system in which he ought to renounce his values in favor of an imaginary self, or, other entity such as the universe, or the agent’s God. Opponents of ethical egoism may claim, however, that although it is possible for this Robinson Crusoe type creature to lament previous choices as not conducive to self-interest (enjoying the pleasures of swimming all day, and not spending necessary time producing food), the mistake is not a moral mistake but a mistake of identifying self-interest. Presumably this lonely creature will begin to comprehend the distinctions between short, and long-term interests, and, that short-term pains can be countered by long-term gains.

In addition, opponents argue that even in a world inhabited by a single being, duties would still apply; (Kantian) duties are those actions that reason dictates ought to be pursued regardless of any gain, or loss to self or others. Further, the deontologist asserts the application of yet another moral sphere which ought to be pursued, namely, that of impartial duties. The problem with complicating the creature’s world with impartial duties, however, is in defining an impartial task in a purely subjective world. Impartiality, the ethical egoist may retort, could only exist where there are competing selves: otherwise, the attempt to be impartial in judging one’s actions is a redundant exercise. (However, the Cartesian rationalist could retort that need not be so, that a sentient being should act rationally, and reason will disclose what are the proper actions he should follow.)

If we move away from the imaginary construct of a single being’s world, ethical egoism comes under fire from more pertinent arguments. In complying with ethical egoism, the individual aims at her own greatest good. Ignoring a definition of the good for the present, it may justly be argued that pursuing one’s own greatest good can conflict with another’s pursuit, thus creating a situation of conflict. In a typical example, a young person may see his greatest good in murdering his rich uncle to inherit his millions. It is the rich uncle’s greatest good to continue enjoying his money, as he sees fit. According to detractors, conflict is an inherent problem of ethical egoism, and the model seemingly does not possess a conflict resolution system. With the additional premise of living in society, ethical egoism has much to respond to: obviously there are situations when two people’s greatest goods the subjectively perceived working of their own self-interest will conflict, and, a solution to such dilemmas is a necessary element of any theory attempting to provide an ethical system.

The ethical egoist contends that her theory, in fact, has resolutions to the conflict. The first resolution proceeds from a state of nature examination. If, in the wilderness, two people simultaneously come across the only source of drinkable water a potential dilemma arises if both make a simultaneous claim to it. With no recourse to arbitration they must either accept an equal share of the water, which would comply with rational egoism. (In other…

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Ethical Egoism – College Essays – 1656 Words – StudyMode

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Transhumanisten | Communicamus, – Ergo Sum..

 Transhuman  Comments Off on Transhumanisten | Communicamus, – Ergo Sum..
Mar 232016
 

Was reading this fascinating article about 8 crazy.. Mega-Engineering Projects We Could Use to Rework the Earth.. , and thought.. 1. This is a good opportunity to keep this blog alive.. 2. Should I miss this golden opportunity to provoke / annoy.. my leftist / green / down-wing friends.., hell no..

Dont get me wrong: I am (partly) a socalled down-winger myself, (although predominantly an up-winger), and youd be a fool if you think Im merely out to offend.. I wrote about the up-wing / down-wing political compass here , but lets recapitulate:

DownWingers, according to social epistemologist Steve Fuller :

Some additional points, credit to Fogbanking :

UpWingers, in contrast, according to Fuller:

Additional points by Fogbanking:

With this outline in mind, lets take a look at a couple of those crazy / fascinating, according to taste, Mega-Engineering Projects , but.. be warned, gutmenschen, conspiracy theorists, foot-dragging conservationists, climate-change religionists, cultural pessimists, etc., youre in for an extropian, post-Darwinian ride..

(1) Global Weather Control

According to nanotechnology expert J. Storrs Hall, the author of Nanofuture: Whats Next for Nanotechnology, we could start to build a weather machine later this century Read more..

(2) Terraforming the Worlds Largest Deserts

Approximately one-third of Earths land surface is a desert.. Imagine then, for instance,pumping desalinated seawater from the coast to the Sahara Desert and Australian Outback, creating, instead, lush forests and making vast regions of land fertile and habitable, besides, potentially ending global warming.. Read more..

(7) Eliminating Predation (!!)

Such is the dream of British futurist David Pearce, who so happens to be my favourite transhumanist philosopher, and who imagines a future in which animals are liberated from the never-ending cycle of Darwinian processes and its attendant pain and suffering.. Read more..

If youve never heard of this, in my opinion, great thinker, do check him out, and learn about Paradise Engineering..

Other projects: (3) Creating Artificial Islands ; (4) Creating a New Continent ; (5) Eliminating Vast Swaths of Land ; (6) Assisted Species Migration ; (8) Mass Carbon Capture.. FULL ARTICLE..

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Transhumanisten | Communicamus, – Ergo Sum..

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Libertarian History: A Reading List | Libertarianism.org

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Mar 232016
 

November 3, 2011 essays

A guide to books on the history of liberty and libertarianism.

The history of libertarianism is more than a series of scholarly statements on philosophy, economics, and the social sciences. It is the history of courageous men and women struggling to bring freedom to the lives of those living without it. The works on this list give important context to the ideas found on the others.

A History of Libertarianism by David Boaz

This essay, reprinted from Libertarianism: A Primer, covers the sweep of libertarian and pre-libertarian history, from Lao Tzu in the sixth century B.C. to the latest developments of the 21st century. Because its available for free on Libertarianism.org, the essay also includes numerous links to more information about major thinkers and their works. For a general sense of the rich history of the movement for liberty, this is easily the best place to start.

The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution by Bernard Bailyn

Bernard Bailyns Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the ideas that influenced the American Revolution had a profound influence on our understanding of the republics origin by exposing its deeply libertarian foundations. Bailyn studied the many political pamphlets published between 1750 and 1776 and identified patterns of language, argument, and references to figures such as the radical Whigs and Cato the Younger. Because these were notions which men often saw little need to explain because they were so obvious, their understanding was assumed by the Founders and thus not immediately obvious to modern readers. When the Revolution is reexamined with Bailyns findings in mind, theres no way to escape the conclusion that America was always steeped in libertarian principles.

Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement by Brian Doherty

The libertarian movement in America in the 20th century is the focus of this delightful history from Brian Dorhety. Radicals for Capitalism is more the story of the men and women who fought for freedom and limited government than it is an intellectual history of libertarian ideas. But it is an important story because it helps to place the contemporary debate about the place of libertarianism in American politics within the context of a major and long-lived social movement.

The Decline of American Liberalism by Arthur A. Ekirch Jr.

Ekirch traces the history of the liberal idea in the United States from the founding through World War II. He places the high point of true liberalism in the years immediately following the American Revolution, before the federal government began its long march of ever more centralized control over the country. And he shows how this shift has negatively impacted everything from global peace to the economy to individual autonomy.

Against the Tide: An Intellectual History of Free Trade by Douglas A. Irwin

Ever since Adam Smiths Wealth of Nations appeared in 1776, the case for free tradeboth its economic benefits and its moral footingseemed settled. Yet in the ensuing two centuries, many have attempted to restrict freedom of trade with claims about its deleterious effects. Irwins Against the Tide traces the intellectual history of free trade from the early mercantilists, through Smith and the neoclassical economists, and to the present. He shows how free trade has withstood theoretical assaults from protectionists of all stripesand how it remains the most effective means for bringing prosperity and peace to people throughout the world.

The Triumph of Liberty: A 2,000 Year History Told Through the Lives of Freedoms Greatest Champions by Jim Powell

If Radicals for Capitalism is the tale of the men and women who fought for liberty in the 20th century, Jim Powells The Triumph of Liberty fills in the backstory. The book is an exhaustive collection of biographical articles on 65 major figures, from Marcus Tullius Cicero to Martin Luther King, Jr., summarizing their lives, thought, and impact. While not all of them were strictly libertarian, every one of the people Powell covers was instrumental in making the world a freer. For a grand sweep of libertys history through the lives of those who struggled in its name, theres no better source than The Triumph of Liberty.

How The West Grew Rich: The Economic Transformation Of The Industrial World by Nathan Rosenberg and L. E. Birdzell Jr.

The central question that How the West Grew Rich addresses is precisely what its title implies. For thousands of years, human beings lived in unrelieved misery: hunger, famine, illiteracy, superstition, ignorance, pestilence and worse have been their lot. How did things change? How did a relatively few peoplethose in what we call the Westescape from grinding poverty into sustained economic growth and material well-being when most other societies remained trapped in an endless cycle of birth, hardship, and death? This fascinating book tells that story. The explanations that many historians have offeredclaiming that it was all due to science, or luck, or natural resources, or exploitations or imperialismare refuted at the outset, in the books opening chapter. Rosenberg and Birdzell are then free to provide an explanation that makes much more sense.

The State by Franz Oppenheimer

Much political philosophy begins with a social concept theory of the state. Mankind originally existed in a state of nature, and the state only arose when people came together and agreed to give up some of their liberties in exchange for protection of others. Oppenheimer rejects this rosy picture and replaces it with his much more realistic conquest theory, which finds the genesis of states in roving bands of marauders who eventually settled down and turned to taxation when they realized it was easier than perpetual raiding. The State also features Oppenheimers influential distinction between the two means by which man can set about fulfilling his needs: I propose in the following discussion to call ones own labor and the equivalent exchange of ones own labor for the labor of others, the economic means for the satisfaction of needs, while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the political means.

Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Cant Explain the Modern World by Deirdre McCloskey

In Bourgeois Dignity, McCloskey offers a different story of economic growth from the common one of capitalism and markets. The West grew rich, she argues, not simply because it embraced trade, but because its cultural ideas shifted, specifically in granting a sense of dignity to the bourgeoisie. It is that dignityand the rhetoric surrounding itthat sparked the Industrial Revolution and, in turn, lead to the modern world. Bourgeois Dignity traces the influence of these changing ideasand uses them to explain not just the rise of the West but also the recent, monumental growth of India and China. The book is the second in a four-volume series, The Bourgeois Era.

Aaron Ross Powell is a Cato Institute research fellow and founder and editor of Libertarianism.org, which presents introductory material as well as new scholarship related to libertarian philosophy, theory, and history. He is also co-host of Libertarianism.orgs popular podcast, Free Thoughts. His writing has appeared in Liberty and The Cato Journal. He earned a JD from the University of Denver.

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BitQuick – Buy Bitcoins and Sell Bitcoins Instantly for Cash

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Mar 222016
 

March, 17 2016 – 10:24 AM EST

When BitQuick was first founded back in August, 2013 it was founded with the intention to make Bitcoin trading safer and simpler. Through the years, we have always put customer security as our top priority. In February, 2014 we were the first US trading platform to implement proof of reserves following the Mt. Gox incident. 2015 up through now has seen incredible growth; BitQuick reached $1.5M 30 day trailing volume just last week, 15x where we were in January, 2015. This would not have been possible without our loyal and supportive customer base.

On Monday, March 14, 2016, our server fell victim to an attack that gave the attacker unauthorized administrative access. The breach was immediately noticed, and the server was shutdown to prevent any further damage. We are still performing a formal investigation to determine the attack vector, and specifically what information was obtained from the server. Due to additional security mechanisms in place, no funds were taken, and all IDs (drivers licenses, passports, etc.) and emails remain secured. Sellers were emailed withdrawal instructions Tuesday evening. All outstanding orders and withdrawals have been processed. Only 3% of all funds remain unclaimed. Support is still available at [emailprotected]

We have always provided our customers with the highest level of security and convenience, and we will not restore service until we are 100% confident we can continue to provide the same level of service that our customers are accustomed to, and deserve. This will occur once the investigation has been completed, the attack vector has been patched, and the rest of the source code has been audited for security. We estimate that this process could take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. An update will be issued to all BitQuick customers once the investigation has completed, and once service is restored.

Until then, we will continue working as hard as we can to restore safe service access. We really appreciate the support from everyone, and we will be back soon.

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BitQuick – Buy Bitcoins and Sell Bitcoins Instantly for Cash

 Posted by at 11:42 pm  Tagged with:

SEO, Website Design & Development Service Company USA – UK

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Mar 212016
 

Did you know that the design of your website has a major impact on your conversions? Your company website should be user-friendly, credible, fast, and responsive. Did you know that most companies who have created a mobile site have increased their sales? When it comes to a company website, every business has different expectations. Whether you own a big business or small, your website is vital to inform those looking for your goods or services. We, at Exaalgia IT Solutions, understand that each business has various requirements for their website. Our web design professionals will work with you to create a website that meets your needs and demands. We will ensure that your website is both Google and user friendly, and engaging. Our development team will also ensure that your website conveys your brands message and is informative to visitors. At Exaalgia, we will not only design and develop your website, we will also optimize it. As a website design team, we make our customers our top priority. We offer complete support and assistance to make sure that our customers are satisfied with our services. Be sure to check out our website design company portfolio to learn more about us.

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Hubble Space Telescope finds most distant galaxy yet – CBS News

 Hubble Telescope  Comments Off on Hubble Space Telescope finds most distant galaxy yet – CBS News
Mar 172016
 

38 Photos

This image shows the position of the most distant galaxy discovered so far within a deep sky Hubble Space Telescope survey called GOODS North (Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey North). The remote galaxy GN-z11, shown in the inset, existed only 400 million years after the Big Bang, when the Universe was only 3 percent of its current age.

NASA, ESA, and P. Oesch (Yale University)

The Hubble Space Telescope just calculated the distance to the most far-out galaxy ever measured, providing scientists with a look deep into the history of the universe.

The far-away galaxy, named GN-z11, existed a mere 400 million years after the Big Bang, or about 13.3 billion years ago. Because the light from such a distant galaxy must travel huge distances to reach Earth, scientists are seeing the galaxy as it looked over 13 billion years ago. You can see the galaxy in this video from the Hubble Telescope team.

“We’ve taken a major step back in time, beyond what we’d ever expected to be able to do with Hubble. We managed to look back in time to measure the distance to a galaxy when the universe was only 3 percent of its current age,” Pascal Oesch, an astronomer at Yale University and lead author of the research paper announcing the new measurement, said in a statement from the Hubble European Space Agency Information Centre in Germany. [Celestial Photos: Hubble Space Telescope’s Latest Cosmic Views]

19 Photos

For more than 20 Years, the Hubble Space Telescope has been shooting up the universe

Measuring the distance to an extremely far-off cosmic object poses many challenges to scientists, including the fact that the universe is expanding, and has been expanding for nearly all of time. Any distance measurement must take into account exactly how much the space between objects has stretched since an object’s light left and traveled to Earth.

This can get quite complicated. So instead of talking about the distance to cosmic objects in terms of miles, astronomers and astrophysicists will more often refer to when the object existed in the history of the universe.

To determine this for GN-z11, scientists measured the degree to which the light from the galaxy has been shifted by the expanding universe, known as redshift. A higher redshift indicates a more distant object. Previously, the highest redshift ever measured was from the galaxy EGSY8p7, whose redshift was 8.68. The GN-z11 galaxy’s newly measured redshift is a whopping 11.1.

The Dark Ages

If GN-z11 existed 400 million years after the Big Bang, then it belongs to the very first population of stars and galaxies to form in the cosmos. At that time, the universe was just emerging from a period known as the Dark Ages.

“The previous record-holder was seen in the middle of the epoch when starlight from primordial galaxies was beginning to heat and lift a fog of cold, hydrogen gas,” said Rychard Bouwens from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands and a co-author on the new paper. “This transitional period is known as the re-ionisation era. GN-z11 is observed 150 million years earlier, near the very beginning of this transition in the evolution of the Universe.”

This illustration shows a timeline of the universe, stretching from the present day (left) back to the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago (right). The newly discovered galaxy GN-z11 is the most distant galaxy discovered so far, at a redshift of 11.1, which corresponds to 400 million years after the Big Bang. The previous record holder’s position is also identified

NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

GN-z11 is 25 times smaller than the Milky Way galaxy and has only about 1 percent the total stellar mass of the Milky Way, observations by Hubble at the Spitzer Space Telescope have revealed, the statement said.

“It’s amazing that a galaxy so massive existed only 200 million to 300 million years after the very first stars started to form,” said Garth Illingworth of the University of California, Santa Cruz, a coauthor on the new research paper. “It takes really fast growth, producing stars at a huge rate, to have formed a galaxy that is a billion solar masses so soon.”

GNz11 is forming stars at 20 times the current rate of the Milky Way, the statement said, which is part of why the distant galaxy is bright enough to be observed by telescopes like Hubble and Spitzer.

Marijn Franx, a member of the team from the University of Leiden, said in the statement that previous work suggested galaxies as bright as GN-z11 should not have been able to form at such an early point in the universe’s history.

“The discovery of GN-z11 showed us that our knowledge about the early universe is still very restricted,” said Ivo Labbe, also of the University of Leiden and a co-author on the paper. “How GN-z11 was created remains somewhat of a mystery for now. Probably we are seeing the first generations of stars forming around black holes.”

Researchers said the find provides a hint at the new information that will be revealed by the James Webb Space Telescope, which is set to launch in 2018. The primary mirror on JWST is 16.4 feet (5.4 meters) wide, compared to Hubble’s 7.8-foot-wide (2.4 m) mirror.

The new research paper will be published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Follow Calla Cofield @callacofield. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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Hubble Space Telescope finds most distant galaxy yet – CBS News

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Mar 122016
 

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“Civilization is a disease which is almost invariably fatal.” – Dean Inge

This article attempts the impossible. It seeks to explain, in small form, a belief system that is at its heart not very complex, but to which the path from our current belief systems is complex and fraught with confusions, whether linguistic, or conceptual, or even image-oriented. There is no way it can succeed. However, all things must start somewhere, and so, for the sake of doing something where otherwise doing nothing is a path to certain failure, we sally onward in an attempt to provide another starting point for those seeking nihilism.

What Nihilism Is Not

After all, why believe in anything? – nihilism, like any form of organized thought, is a belief. You could be like so many five-cent sages and proclaim identification with a mainstream political belief, or consider yourself “cynical” and say nothing can be done, so turn on the TV, pop a beer and be through with it. That way, at least you’re personally insulated – you’ve declared a lack of a will to fight – and you can feel OK about being whatever it was before. Wiser observers might say you’re in the grips of a very complex but at heart mundane form of cognitive dissonance; you’re pointing to a difference between ideal and reality as a justification for inaction.

You could even take on the junior form of nihilism, which is a lack of belief in anything, otherwise known as fatalism, but really, it’s a developed form of the above. And don’t you feel silly buying into any of the ready-made political identities that are out there, and swearing your ideas match those of Michael Moore or Rush Limbaugh, who are basically two different versions of the same fat “just sign here and it’ll all be okay” product? Maybe you take refuge in religion, but it’s about the same; instead of picking a path, you’re following one. This isn’t to say that all paths are wrong, and you should be some kind of “individualist” who concocts a “unique” formula of unrelated fragments of belief, and then proclaims everything would be OK if that impossibly self-contradictory regimen were followed.

Yet none of these are satisfying, because at the end of the day, you’re no closer to a coherent vision of what would change that which ails you. It’s naive to say it doesn’t bother you, either, because it’s clear that this society is what we call in business a “deathmarch”: a fundamentally flawed approach that immediately isn’t visible, and therefore is demanded by higherups, so we the workers apply it as best we can with the knowledge that someday, the shit’s gonna hit the fan and we’ll all suffer, but we’re not to blame because someone else is in charge. Of course, no one is really “in charge” here, as we’re just following mass trends and opinions, media and political constructs passed along for so many generations that it’s impossible to find someone who is definitively to blame, for whom we can have a comforting execution, then dust off our hands and proclaim the problem solved because we yanked out the bad guy.

Nihilism is a different sort of belief because, unlike almost all beliefs, it’s a conduit and not an endpoint. Most belief systems lay out a series of static objectives and claim if these are achieved, everything will be as peachy as it can be; the most dangerous are the Utopian ones, which promise an absolute near perfection that has little to do with reality. “Some day we’ll eliminate all war” and “free markets make free souls” both fall into this category. Believing such homilies is akin to thinking that if you buy the right guitar, you’ll be able to automatically create the best music ever, et cetera ad nauseaum. Nihilism does not claim a Utopian solution, and is in fact contra-Utopian: by the nature of its being a philosophical viewpoint, and not a mass trend around which you’re expected to rally, it defines itself as a way of viewing the world including such political mass trends. There is no ultimate solution, no absolute Utopia, only a better mental tool for perceiving and analyzing whatever situations arise. Unlike political rallypoints, it is a highest level abstraction, and one under which all other ideas form a hierarchy assessing their degrees of logicality.

Trendwhores and savvy political manipulators will try to group issues under any belief, including nihilism, thinking that a bullet point list makes it easy for the proles to agree on a course of action (so far, history suggests this is either outright lying or wishful thinking). It’s unlikely that such a thing could occur. Nihilists embrace “extreme” viewpoints because they have seen past the cognitive dissonance, and thus have no problem looking at the world analytically. It’s not extremity for extremity’s sake, which is almost always a psychological device for creating an impossible goal and thus, by claiming to labor toward it, removing responsibility of actually doing something pragmatic. One reason to detest extreme rightist, leftist and green communities is that this is their modus operandi: suggest something insane, then accuse all who don’t agree of selling out, and continuing to labor on with the attitude “only I know the truth, and the rest of you are pretenders, therefore, I’m better than you.” Can we be honest and refer to this as defensive egomania?

Nihilism needs no justification. It follows the pattern of nature, which is evolution: successive replacement of previous forms of organization (“order”,”design”) with better ones. There is no moral imperative to do any given act, only a practical one, in that if a proposed design works better even in some small way, those design details can be incorporated into the status quo, thus forcing it to the next level of evolution. Of course, making any changes introduces new powers and new problems, so the process of evolution continues ad infinitum, unless (as in the case of French and Italians) an evolutionary “harbor” is reached, by which adaptation balances adequately enough to an unchanging environment. If one is, for example, the remnants of a fallen empire, there is not much to do except to live well and not worry too much about greatness receding slowly into memory so far removed it is mythic legend and not a part of current reality.

Background

I was arguing once with a fellow who, when I proposed a high-level abstraction, said, “But isn’t abstraction a Judeo-Christian thing, and therefore, bad?” He fell into the same trap that many at our universities have, in which they assume that language misleads us, therefore we must deconstruct and “go beyond” language, essentially creating incoherence. Look at it this way: some sentences are true, and some are not. Some abstractions make sense, and others do not. How do we tell? How well does each stack up to reality, and by that we mean the process through which reality is created and not its persistent objects, should be our yardstick. An abstraction of some fanciful world where a benevolent unicorn in the sky will sort good from bad, right from wrong, and lead us to a place called Heaven is an abstraction that has little to do with the world in which we live. It is a solipsistic abstraction: it applies to the desires of the individual human, and does not take into account the world in which all humans live. (Nihilists are brave enough to recognize the obvious: individual humans have different strengths and intelligences, and thus, not everyone can perceive or understand such an abstraction, and those who cannot will invent abstractions of a solipsistic nature to compensate – see “cognitive dissonance” above.)

If you take a highly abstract view at the real-world problems of creating a conscious creature, you will see rapidly that the major threat to such a being would be the possibilities of its own mind. Our strengths are our weakness. Because such a creature can imagine, and can predict, and can create in its mind a partial replica of the world to use in guessing what the potential outcome of any action might be – “sun and rain always come in spring, and things don’t grow in winter, so I’ll plant in spring, assuming that this pattern is consistent” – it is also susceptible to conceiving an inaccurate notion of how the world works, and/or becoming emotionally unstable and thus creating a solipsistic version. “When I bless the gods, winter ends and the spring comes” is such an example; a more insidious one is “If I do not harm others, no harm will come to me” (tell that to a band of raiding looters or pillaging Vandals). Still more developed is the root of cognitive dissonance: I will think on how things should be and content myself with that, since I cannot or do not believe I can effect change in reality. Each of these errors is formed from the fundamental mistake of assuming that what exists in the individual human mind is higher than reality as a whole, or can be used to compensate for tendencies in the whole. We die; it sucks; let’s invent “heaven” and perpetual life. Would not it be more ethical, more honest and above all else, more realistic, to simply admit we have no idea what follows death – if anything? (Add to this the complexity of a world we know through the progression of time, yet which might encompass additional or fewer dimensions in some other view, and you have a formula for endless unprovable conjecture taken as fact because well, we’d all like to believe we don’t die; to this I rejoin that if we’re all immortal, this means that the morons who afflict us daily are as well, which might make us reconsider the wisdom of “life eternal.”)

Humans, being highly abstract creatures, are prone to creating abstractions which make sense only in their mind. These are “dead end” or “ultra-discrete” abstractions, in that their only error is a failure of realization that the individual human is part of a larger world, which goes on with or without them. If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to witness it, does it make a sound? Of course, but the forest won’t call it a “sound,” and no one will note it or talk about it. We can play definition games all day, and claim that either a sound only exists in the human mind, or that it’s external, but this is a case of redefining the word, not the phenomenon it describes. We might as well call a leaping predatory animal a tiger, and then be shocked and surprised (awed?) when groups of people fail to respond to our urgent warning, “Butterfly!” Similarly, we can call death “life eternal” if it makes us feel better, but that causes zero change to the phenomenon itself, which remains unknown to us. Thinking creatures have a great strength, which is their imaginative and analytical facility, but it is their greatest weakness: they can create “artificial” thoughts which do not relate to the world around them, and thus mislead themselves based on what they’d like to believe, not what they can know from an inspection of their world. There’s much talk about the scientific method – experiment based on conjecture, observe, conjecture, repeat – but isn’t it the same process we use in less formal incarnation to discover our world, from our time as babies nibbling on different objects to test their solidity, to our last moments on earth? In this sense, debugging a computer program or exploring a new continent or taking LSD is the same task as a scientific experiment. We observe the world, make theories about how it works, and then test those theories. Of course, the ones about death cannot be tested, and this opens a giant loophole for us to make a foundational theory about God or “life eternal,” and in order to support it, to invent many other illusions so that it seems like a realistic, complete system of thought.

This human problem – distinguishing the internal world from the external – is not unique to humans, but as they’re the only creatures with “higher” logical functions on earth, they are our only example. It is magnified as a problem when the question of civilization arises, because for the first time, groups must be instructed in organizing principles they cannot directly experience, e.g. “you grow grain, he’ll make bread, and that other guy will distribute it to the people at large.” Where individuals err in assuming their internal worlds are more real than external reality, civilizations err by finding popular assumptions that become law because people act according to them; whole civilizations have perished by upholding the rules that, in theory, will lead them to external life, but by denying reality allow crops to wither, invaders to intrude, decay of internal discipline to make people ineffective. Not everyone must be deluded, but when enough are, the future of the civilization becomes a deathmarch. If you want a working definition of nihilism from a political-philosophical perspective, it is an affirmation of the structure and process of reality, in dramatic contrast to the appearances of objects and the seemingly-real perceptions that turn out to be phantasma of our internal minds, and have nothing to do with external reality. Nihilism is facing facts: whether or not we get eternal life, we have to keep the crops going and invaders outside and internal discipline high, or we will collapse as a functional entity. “Structure” in this context would be understand of our world as it operates, including that people need grain to eat and need to act on realistic principles, or invaders, disease, and internal listlessness will condemn us all.

Currently, our society is a linear construction of opposites that do not exist in nature – they are purely perceptual within human minds: good/evil, profit/loss, popular/unpopular. The best product is not always a necessary product (iPod), nor the best product (SUVs), nor even a good idea (cigarettes), but, well, it’s popular and all that money goes back to its creator, so it is Good according to our lexicon. Similarly, we pick our leaders according to those favored by most people, and therefore, our leaders become those who make the biggest promises and find a way to duck the followthrough; since most people relying on such delusions are not rocket scientists, they quickly forget and go about their lives merrily assuming that because promises were made and the election was won, they’ll come true and everything will be A+ from now on. Some might argue that in nature there is profit and loss, but a quick study reveals that be false: in nature there is success or failure, and it has nothing to do with popularity, or all animals would be immortal. Similarly, some will argue that there’s good (heterosexual intercourse) and evil (anal intercourse) in nature, but when one sees the function of anal intercourse in nature (among apes, appeasing intruders) it is clear that no such judgment “exists,” except in our minds. In our minds… well, that’s not a logical test, according to any methods scientific or otherwise. It’s wishful thinking, in the common parlance.

What is most disturbing about this view, which invariably becomes popular in the later stages of civilization, is that it imposes a singular standard and form-factor upon each person and his or her desires, ambitions, needs – as well as what that person requires to stay alive and live well, a quantity often quite separate from what they think they desire (people, like lab rats, will often pick pleasurable sensations over long-term benefits, thus drink instead of investing their cash in future returns, u.s.w.). In such a mode of thought, we are all form-stamped by a bureaucratic, mechanical or social machine, according to what is popular, and therein we see the origin of this thought process: it selects what most people want to believe, over what is real. Through this mechanism, civilizations move into a senility formed of acting according to internal assumptions, and thus eventually coming into conflict with cold hard reality, whether it’s invading Vandals, crop failure, or internal discohesion. While that end in itself may be far off, the intermediate problem is that living in such societies is, at the lowest and highest levels of our perception, disturbing. Not only is there illusion taken as reality, but it is an illusion created out of what ideas are popular and therefore (because most people are not wise) contra-wisdom and contra-realistic. In later civilization, we all serve the whims of popularity and the illusions of the crowd, awaiting that future day when the shit finally hits the fan and we are forced to acknowledge our reliance on illusion.

What Nihilism Might Be

Solvents separate matter into its component parts. Nihilism could be viewed as a mental solvent which divides illusion from a realistic perception of individual and world as a continuous, joined, inter-reliant process. When one sees the world only in terms of appearance, and has no knowledge of structure, illusions and good idea look similar: death and “life eternal” are simply opposite extremes, not logical results of radically different processes. To someone dwelling in illusion, a fern is a green thing that appears in forests and sometimes, lawn gardens; to someone concerned with design and structure, a fern is a plant of a certain shape, genetic background, and place in an ecosystem whereby it appears when the right conditions – sunlight, soil, water, surrounding plants and animals – exist, and serves a certain role in its processing of sunlight to water and oxygen, strengthening the ground with root mass, and providing homes and food to other plants and animals. While to someone dwelling in illusion human societies may be measured in terms of how little they harm the retarded and infirm and insane, to someone grounded in reality, the only measure of a society is its long-term survival – whether they murder the retarded, or keep them in gilded cages, is completely irrelevant to that final determination (although resources expended on the non-productive is part of what determines success or failure). We can live in our own mental worlds, perhaps, but the world outside of us keeps going, and our interaction with it is the only determination of success or failure; the rest is entirely cognitive dissonance.

(A great and practical example for young people especially is the difference between music quality and hype/presentation. Many artists will be presented to you as “new”,”unique” or even “brutal,” but this has no bearing on the underlying quality of the music. Similarly, neither does production; if the music is well-composed, using harmony and melody and rhythm and structure well, it should be excellent music if played on a single acoustic guitar, a Casio keyboard, or as presented by the band on their label-financed heavy-production debut. Stuff that “sounds good” often is insubstantial, but has excellent production and an enigmatic image, but over time it fails to reward in the way that art does, by creating a poetry of life that enlightens and compels. It may not even hold up to musical scrutiny, when it is pointed out that behind the flutes and sirens and wailing guitars and screaming divas, the song is essentially a variation on a well-known and tedious ballad form or blues form. Hype and production are excellent ways to get people to buy a zero-value product, that is, a repetition of past successes, while getting them to convince themselves that they have found something new and enlightening. If you are a nihilist, you look past whether it “sounds good” or feels right or you like the image or it makes you feel like you’re part of some kind of revolution in behavior, and analyze the music: if it does not stand out from the usual patterns enough to be expressing something not new or unique but particular to its ideas, and demonstrative of those ideas, it’s hype and not reality. It’s “art” and not art. We can play word games here, too, but if you value your time and are not brick-stupid, you’ll see why it’s important to find the real art.)

Another way to view nihilism is transcendence of what we call, in the modern West, the “ego.” Egomania occurs through cognitive dissonance when, reality not being to our liking, we invent our own; at this point, we can either invent it and recognize it as unreal but symbolically evocative, something we call fantasy, or we can invent it and claim it as either a higher reality than the real world, or a reality that supplants existence. Egomania is assertion that our internal worlds are more real than the external world, which is paradoxical as the latter includes the former (we are necessarily accurately represented in the external world, but there is no assurance that it is accurately represented in our internal world). When we think egomaniacally, as most people in the West do, we see the world as limited to our own perceptions and desires, and ignore the continuity between self and external world; we also think according to the form of ourselves, meaning that we see all decisions, ethical and otherwise, as limited to individuals. This cuts us off from a holistic morality by which we might for example see our environment as an extension of ourselves, both as a parent and a process upon which we are dependent; it cuts us off from considering unpopular decisions that nonetheless are right, when we consider the direction of our civilization. Our modern conception of morality is one that regulates the rights, survival and treatment of individuals, but it has no capacity for a holistic morality which sees individuals, environment and civilization as interdependent entities and thus makes decisions at the level of what is best for that convergent nexus.

This brings us to the crux of a philosophical dilemma in the West. The separation of mind and body creates a duality in which we see thoughts and external reality as discrete, isolated entities. One is either an idealism, or a realist, in this view, and never the twain shall meet. From a nihilist perspective, idealism explains realism, in that reality is not simply physical appearance but a structure and process; a “design,” even if we decide there is no Designer (and for our daily lives: does it matter?). This conversion is accomplished by taking idealism, or “the philosophical doctrine that reality somehow mind-correlative or mind-coordinated-that the real objects constituting the ‘external world’ are not independent of cognizing minds, but exist only as in some correlative to mental operations” (Cambridge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Second Edition), to its extreme, which is to assume that the external world and thoughts operate by a single mechanism; in that context, the world operates as an idea, and what is important in the world is not physicality or appearance but idea – design, concept, structure and process. Matching that supposition is an extension of realism, or a belief in the preeminence of external reality, which hyperextends to a study of how reality operates, and from that, a focus on its abstract properties. To analyze reality is to see that it operates like thought; to analyze thought is to see that the world operates much as thoughts do, and therefore, that putting thoughts into flesh is the supreme form of thinking.

Nihilism is a joining of these two extremes through a focus on the practical study of reality and a rejection of preconceptions brought on by anthrocentric viewing of the world, which is necessarily confined to the physicality of individuals and objects as they appear to humans. It is not an attempt to create an obligation, or an ideal, in and of itself, but a reduction of things to their simplest, most real elements so that higher ideals can be created, much as the creation of new civilizations produces a collective focus on the forging of something better than previous civilizations. F.W. Nietzsche wrote of the necessity of “going under” in modernity, and one interpretation of this is that one cannot create “higher” ideals when our concept of higher/lower is linear and predefined; one must remove all value and undergo a “reevaluation of all values,” focusing only on those which survive the test of a his “philosophical hammer,” much like knocking on a wall to find hollow areas. Nihilism is a going under in the form of removal of all value, and construction of values based on reality instead of potentially internalized abstraction. In a nihilist worldview, nothingness is as important as somethingness, as only nothingness can like a midnight predator carry away the somethingness that has outlived its usefulness, is illusory, irrelevant or fanatical. Nihilism is a mental discipline which clarifies outlook by disciplining the mind to understand the structure of reality, and exclude anything which regardless of appearance is not true to that understanding.

In this, it is possible that nihilists witness civilization as it actually is: an eternal process of birth, growth, and an aging brought about by self-obsession, leading rapidly to a distancing from reality, thus irrelevance and death. To remove all preconceptions of value is to have to re-invent value that is relevant to things as they are both right now and eternally, in that throughout history the basic rules of civilization have never changed; either there is a system of organization that makes sense, or there is illusion and ruin. Civilizations start out young and healthy, unified by whatever ideals made their members come together in the first place with the intent of building something new; when succeeding generations take this for granted, they drift into illusory ideals, at which point no “higher ideals” can overcome the illusion, because one cannot get “higher” than the notion of individual self-interest. One must instead go lower, to the state before civilization reformed, to re-design its ideals.

What Nihilism Does For You

If you live in a time when illusion is seen as reality, and reality is an unknown continent, nihilism can on a personal level save you time by removing illusion and leaving only what is honestly relevant to your life and existential happiness. A simple version of this is undergone by many in corporate America who, finding it relatively easy to succeed, then find themselves wanting less time in the office and more spent on those things that are eternally human to desire: family, friends, local community and increase of wisdom and balance in the self. The illusion is that money is more important than anything else; the actuality is that if you have enough, and you have the ability to do the things in life which are more important in the long term (imagine seeing your life from your deathbed) than money, it is not only sufficient but superior to a hollow existence where life is secondary to jobs and payment.

Further, nihilism drives away fears through illusion. If one believes public rhetoric, it will seem necessary to cower under the bed as if hiding from a host of fears: public ridicule, global warming, nuclear war, the Wrath of God, fascism, sodomy, drug users, hackers, Satanists. These vast apocalyptic fears operate for the most part as distraction, keeping our minds off the emptiness of modern life and the inevitability of our society facing consequences of its reckless action. What is important are not fears, but real threats and most importantly, how to fix them. Much like people who hide behind cynicism, most moderns fixate on “raising awareness” of problems, and rarely do anything to address them practically. This creates a culture of fear where in the name of amorphous fears, or balkanized infighting between political and ethnic groups, we miss the point: we can fix our civilization, but we’ll have to do it at a more basic level than politics, economics and social popularity afford.

Nihilism helps many lead better lives. When they cut out the meaningless garbage that infiltrates from television and other neurotic people, they can see their actual needs are simple and easily satisfied. From this, they can see how the larger unaddressed problems – the tedium of modern society, the pollution of nurturing environment, the degeneration of culture and heritage, our loss of wisdom as a civilization – can be important not only for the fragile individual but for future generations; nihilism leads people to holistic moral thinking.

(If you want it in boring, everyday terms, nihilism is a bullshit eliminator. If someone tells you something, look at it with eyes abstracted from everyday life and what people think and what is profitable; look toward what is real, and then find what ideals maintain that status. You like being alive, right? – If not, consider suicide. If you like living, you believe in life, and you’ll do what furthers life. Garbage is not life. Illusion in religious form, political form and social form is one part of this; another is overhyped garage bands, or oversold commercial rock, or trendy books that tell you nothing of importance. It is better to sit in silence and contemplate the universe than to fill your head with garbage. Do you need to watch the mundane movies and pointless TV shows, and entertaining commercial messages? Do you need a sports car? Will owning one more DVD, video game, or CD of not-that-great-after-all rock music help you? When you pull aside the curtains, the truth is there, naked like the contents of your lunch on the end of a fork – apologies to William S. Burroughs.)

The Doctrine of Parallelism

We’re going to make a sizable leap here. As said before, this is an introductory document, a toehold into a philosophical system, and not a complete explanation. When you accept that there is a structure behind reality that acts in the method of thoughts, and when you observe natural surroundings and see how consistent this is, you then are ready to think in parallel. Put simply, parallel thinking is the ultimate refutation of the linearity and binary morality of modern society. If we are to construct right and wrong, they are specific to the situation at hand. Some will condemn this as “situational morality,” but holistic morality is a form of thought that is best applied in specifics; after all, a different rule applies to the wolf than the dove, and different standards apply to the behavior of plumbers, computer programmers, and political leaders. Some will see this as relativism, but under analysis, it’s clear that relativism is one standard of morality applied with forgiveness for disadvantages to certain situations or experiences of individuals; the morality of thinking in parallel says that there is no one standard except reality itself, and that many different types of things acting in parallel create this.

One area where this can be seen is homosexuality. For most heterosexuals, having homosexual behavior occur in neighborhoods or other areas where children are present is not positive; they would rather raise their children according to heterosexual role models and behavioral examples. However, homosexuality occurs, and the best data available suggests that in most cases it is inborn; obviously, some are induced into homosexuality much as many heterosexuals are brought into forms of deviant sexual behavior, through sexual abuse or conditioning in youth (hence the desire for normal, heterosexual role models; most heterosexuals also do not want promiscuity, coprophagia, BDSM, etc. occurring around their children even if solely in a heterosexual context). So what to do with homosexuals, for whom being raised in a heterosexual society can be oppressive, and heterosexuals, for whom having homosexual behavior around can be equally oppressive and deleterious? We think in parallel: some communities will choose to be heterosexual, and others homosexual, and when they meet on neutral ground, it is likely that neither will assert its morality as a dominant, inviolate rigid code. Morality after all is not something we can prove exists, but something we derive from natural structure in order to establish a civilization of the type we desire. Some civilizations will endorse promiscuity and coprophagia, but in doing so, they miss out on some opportunities granted to civilizations with a more disciplined moral code. The converse is also true. There is no one law for the ox and the raven; to do so is to commit tyranny.

Another area where this can be applied is that of recreational chemicals, which is our modern shorthand for perception-altering drugs. Some communities will deny alcohol and cigarettes; some will embrace LSD and marijuana and mushrooms and perhaps even go further. It is likely that the two will never find common ground except where the question of drug use does not arise (Wal-Mart?). When we see experiments in drug legalization, like British Columbia or Amsterdam or Christiania in Denmark, we see an artificial gold rush toward hedonism caused by the fact that, worldwide, there are few relatively safe places to go take drugs. Were it such that in every continent there were some area where the rules on such things were relaxed, it is likely that those who seek drugs could go there and pursue them at a fraction the cost of illicit use. This would not only curb crime, but keep drug use out of normal (heterosexual and homosexual) neighborhoods where such things are not desired as unintentional role models for children, and the cost of drug use – including, let’s be honest, increased laziness and pizza consumption – is considered funds misspent that could otherwise be directed toward bettering other aspects of the community. There is no one rule. We cannot “prove” that drugs are good, or bad, but we can see how in some places they would be helpful and in others, destructive. Do the Hindu communities where marijuana is a sacrament have greater crime and pizza consumption? Would Amsterdam have as many problems if it wasn’t the world nexus of marijuana tourism?

The area most controversial where this could be applied is the taking of human life, and the enslavement of others. Some communities, such as a community formed by those who live according to the doctrines of black metal music, would not have any prohibition on honor killings, death in combat, or even brutal removal of ingrates. In their worldview, honest combat produces a survivor (“winner”) and one judged less able, the dead (“loser”). Most societies find this concept reprehensible, and would never permit it, so it makes sense to have communities where combat to the death, duels and other honor violence, are seen as a way of selecting the more capable citizens. Further, in many communities, it would be seen fit to work by the old Texas standard, “Judge, he needed killing,” whereby bullies, cattle thieves, morons and other undesirables could be removed with tacit consent of community. While many communities would prefer intricate and expensive legal systems, in some areas, if a person was known as a child molestor or cheat or thief, it would be cheaper and easier to look the other way while a local hotblood challenged that person to a fight and attempted to murder him. Cormac McCarthy describes such places in his book “Blood Meridian,” as they are also described in Burroughs’ “Naked Lunch”: lands where there is no law except strength, and as a result, where all citizens are ready for combat and by process of evolution, over generations become more apt at it. Are all peoples warrior peoples? Clearly not. Would all communities tolerate this? No. But much as we need plumbers and computer scientists, we need warriors, and if some greater threat manifests itself, it is probable that the people of these warlike communities would be esteemed as valuable combatants.

Another controversial area where localization – the best thought from the leftist side of things has emphasized this theory under that term – becomes preeminent is that of race. Even mentioning race, or that there are physical differences between races, is currently taboo in the West and will get you fired, removed from office, drummed out of volunteer capacities, blacklisted in industry and crucified in the media. History tells us that human races evolved under different climates and different pressures, and therefore have different abilities. We cannot “prove,” objectively, that any one collection of abilities is superior to another. Communities are united by common belief, and some communities will opt for this to be a unification of culture, language and heritage. Some communities will opt to be cosmopolitan, mixed-race communities like New York City. Others will choose to be ethnocentric and to defend their ethnic-cultural heritage as necessary to their future; this preserves their uniqueness, and is the only realistic basis for true diversity. Without this bond, you have Disneyland-style fake communities which give nods to heritage but are basically products of modern time. Let there always be Finns, Zulus, Germans, Basques, Cherokee, Aztec, Norwegian, and even Irish – this is diversity; this is multiculture; this is all of the good things that exposure to different cultures can provide. This is the only mature attitude toward race, instead of trying to produce, as the Bush administration has, one global standard of liberal mixed-ethnic democracy that essentially destroys culture and replaces it with malls and television. The race taboo is propelled by those without a clear cultural heritage who want to revenge themselves upon those who do, much as in high school those with low self-esteem tried to antagonize both nerds and class leaders.

Still another area where localization saves us from our current civilization’s misery is that of intelligence. A nihilist has no use for social pretense that says we are all equal; some are fit to be leaders by virtue of their natural intelligence, and no amount of education or government programs can make someone else be able for that position. Some prefer to correlate this with race, but a nihilist has no use for this, either: even within what George Santayana calls the “favored races” there are many completely stupid people, especially those with the worst kind of stupidity, which is a combination of cowardice and bad leadership skills. Few people mind a dumb person who is humble and follows orders well, but dumb people who agitate for change that benefits dumb people quickly destroy any civilization. Some localities may opt to admit anyone without regard to intelligence or character, but others will wish to only accept those of a commensurate mental level to the best of their populations, and will therefore exclude morons, blockheads, fools and ingrates. This conflicts with the idea of universal rights, and shows us why the concept is illusory: if morons have the “universal right” to move anywhere, what about people who want the right and freedom to live apart from morons? Modern society tells us that the way to do this is to earn enough money to live in an exclusive neighborhood, but even then, one must interact with morons daily for goods and services, in addition to dealing with those morons who inherited money or earned it through stupid means. Social Darwinism, or the idea that those who are the best and smartest earn the most money, has two holes: first, not all intelligent people opt to chase the money wagon and second, most morons are greedy, and many of them succeed through luck or persistence. A nihilist naturally laughs at the idea of correlating money to intelligence, and would prefer to live in a community where morons are excluded.

There are numerous issues that divide communities which can be resolved through this model. Anti-abortion devotees might need their own community, as there’s no way to make a law that both pro- and anti-abortion people will find fair. The constant combat between different groups, whether divided by sex or race or preference of values, exhausts our current civilization because so much of its time and energy is spent on internal conflict. The major reason that we choose this insane method is that it enables us to believe we are united by the form factor of being human, and therefore, that there is no need for belief beyond that. It enables us to ignore nature. However, as Carl Jung observed, by nature humans are of several different personality combinations, and those serve a role in the larger social construct (for example, a Meyers-Briggs “INTJ” personality will be a philosopher). There is no single archetype of human, but different types which match different roles in nature, much as there are different ecosystems for which there are specific combinations of host species. Our environment creates a pattern, and we evolve in a form that matches its unique contours; in the same way, humans have adapted to a self-created environment, civilization.

Paul Woodruff, in his book “Reverence,” pointed out that in modern times we have lost the ability to revere nature and our world. Part of our loss of reverence is this insistence on one-size-fits-all rules for civilization; we are so unstable as individuals that we want a solid, clear-cut, and absolute rule, but nature does not fit this pattern and so we override. One step to regaining reverence is to stop judging objects, actions and people by a linear binary (yes/no) rule and to start thinking in parallel. In some places, there should always be debauchery, and in others, there should always be quiet conservative living. Communities will shed people from newer generations who do not find that type of locality valuable, and those will in turn have to find their own living elsewhere, and define their own path. In this, we escape the illusion that a perfect social construct can be engineered for us all, and that by forcing us through it, something Utopian will emerge. Such illusions convince us to be passive, and to think solely in terms of governmental solutions applied by rote force, which limits our perspective on the manifold options available in almost every situation.

Nihilism in Politics

We define politics as the process of convincing large numbers of people to do something. No belief system can escape politics, unless it deals with the individual outside of civilization, at which point writing it down is hypocrisy. For this reason, although nihilism is a mental discipline and not a political platform, there are some areas in which nihilism will influence modern politics. The first and most obvious is that, unlike most who are either bought off or blind to the inadequacies of the status quo, nihilists will recognize that it is a deathmarch: an illogical path that will ultimately lead to failure, but because saying so is taboo and unprofitable, we all go along with it even though we march to our doom. Look into the future. Our earth will be more, and not less, polluted, because no matter what we do there will be more people than ever using technology and producing waste. A consequence of our population growth will be a lack of natural spaces to enjoy, because every single continent on earth will be divided up into salable land and covered in fences and concrete to the degree that unbroken wilderness will not exist. Nations will no longer convey a cultural identity or heritage, so we will all be citizens of the world and have what is offered in default of culture, namely Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola and re-runs of “Friends.” Bred for jobs and obedience, we will lose the best of our people because they are no longer relevant in a world that prizes money and docility over leadership, wisdom, and independent thinking. Endless commercial messages will adorn our cities and, because there is no culture, most will spend time watching television or engaging in equally debasing virtual entertainment. Since leadership will be useless, most people will have such flexible spines that they will be utter whores, and conversation will be worthless and friendship a meaningless term. Won’t be much to live for, so instead, we’ll survive, and hope “someday” it will get better.

The cause of all of this disaster will have been a fundamental inability to deal with reality. Our society, wealthy and powered by cheap fossil fuels, grew at an exponential rate with an inverse relationship to the quality of intelligence, leadership ability and holistic moral outlook of its population. We’ve bred a horde of fools and bred out the quality intelligences, replacing them with “geniuses” like Jay Gould and Bill Clinton. Since consumption is the only logic we understand, we have consumed much of our planet, and focus on symbolic factors like global warming in order to avoid looking at the enormity of the problem. Our governments get better with their computers, cameras and social security numbers in order to ensure that dissidents are more quickly quashed, and they’ve found better methods than locking them up; instead, they proclaim them as taboo-breakers, and let the rest of the citizens boycott them as dangerous to future business. All of this comes too much attention paid to the popularity of ideas, and a denial that what is popular rarely corresponds to an intelligent response to reality. We’ve had leftist governments, and rightist governments, and neither have dealt with this underlying problem.

Nihilism is not a bullet-pointed list, but there are some clearly definable ideas that nihilists will embrace while others do not. Extreme ecology makes sense if you wish to preserve your planet’s life, which directly contributes to maintenance of its climate and land. Localization makes sense if you wish to spare us all from having to find one rule for diametrically opposed ideologues. Preservation of national identity, and granting local communities the right to exclude or murder morons and perverts and other unwanted detritus of the human gene pool, also makes sense. Giving the individual greater existential autonomy than a society of products to buy and jobs at which to serve is more realistic than assuming we can all be crammed into the same mould and out will come perfect, uniform citizens. Realizing that commerce as a motivator does not address the subtle and long-term issues of our society liberates us from having to constantly manipulate each other through money. Finally, recognition that popularity of an idea has no bearing on its fitness for our collective survival frees us from the tyranny of the crowd, and lets us have leaders again, who instead of finding out what is popular and espousing it, find out what is practical and pursue it. Nihilism ends the society of illusions by shattering the power of the Crowd. Societies age and die when popularity becomes more important than pragmatism, and nihilism offers us a way to “go under” this process by removing value and discovering it anew. In this sense, nihilism is immediately political, although it is unlikely that an organized nihilist political presence will be seen.

How to Apply Nihilism

The underlying control level which supports politics is public attitude. If the public is “educated” to expect a concept as positive, and another as negative, it is a trivial matter to associate political issues with one of the two and thus to manipulate them. This creates a metapolitical battleground where ideas and their valuation determines the future means of gaining intellectual currency for ideas; this translates into political power. While nihilism applies to political viewpoints, as shown above, it is primarily efficacious as a change in attitudes and values to those within society, and can be used from that level to later alter political fortunes.

More importantly for those who see to what degree our civilization has become stagnant, nihilism is a guiding force for analyzing the task of creating a future civilization, whether a breakaway colony or a restarting of life in the ruins. Such an outlook is not favorable to a need for instant gratification; unlike conventional politics, which prescribes highly polarized immediate actions which do not change the underlying structure, nihilist thinking proposes enduring changes made slowly through individual rejection of garbage values.

To apply nihilism, start by viewing the world as a nihilist: reject that which has no value in the context of the whole, or the structure of reality, and replace it with things of solid demonstrable value, as found in biology, physics and philosophy. Do what is necessary to have a quality life, but go no further down the path of luxury and materialism, because it is meaningless. Use nihilist principles wherever you are given a choice; if even a tenth of our population refused to buy junk food, its longevity would be limited. Contrast nihilist principles to the “normal” illusory view that most of the population prefers, using short and friendly but insightful statements to point out where null value can be replaced by something of meaning. When people bring up “problems,” give a few words that show where nihilism reduces the illusion to garbage, and suggest a better course of action. Abstain from all of the idiotic things people do, and apply yourself toward constructive tasks. Those who cannot both reject garbage and create better are unworthy of any accolades; they are passive and deserve whatever slavery this world will throw at them.

What is Nihilism?

Having discussed the modes of thought through which an individual passes in being a nihilist, it is now appropriate to use the dreaded “to be” construction to describe nihilism: nihilism is an affirmation of reality so that ideals based on the structure of reality can be applied to thought and action. Like Zen Buddhism, it is a form of mental clearing and sharpening of focus more than a set of beliefs in and of itself; this is why nihilism is a belief in nothing, being both a belief in nothing (no inherent belief outside of reality) and a belief in nothingness (applying nothingness to useless thoughts, in an eternal cycle that like our own thinking, balances a consumptive emptiness against a progressive growth and proliferation of idea). It is a freedom, in a way that “freedom” cannot be applied in a modern society, from the views that others (specifically, the Crowd) apply out of fear, and a desire to use this freedom to create a new and more honest human who can view life as it is and still produce from it heroic ideals. When Nietzsche spoke of the “super-human,” this was his concept: that those who could accept the literality of life and fate and yet still do what is required to create a braver, more intelligent, more visionary human, would rise above the rabble and become a new standard of humanity. While our current definition of “humanity” applies more to pity and blind compassion for individuals, the super-human would think on the level of the structure of reality as a whole, both thinking in parallel and holistically, doing what is right not to preserve individual life but to nurture overall design.

The best thinkers in all doctrines have reached this state of mind. While they may not call it nihilism, and many rail against the form of “nihilism” that is essentially fatalism, or a decision to declare all thoughts and actions impossible and thus to relapse into mental entropy, all have accomplished this clarity of mind and transcendent state of seeing structure and not appearance. Plato, in his metaphor of the cave, describes humanity as imprisioned in a cave of its own perceptual dependence on visible form, and portrays philosophers-kings – his “super-humans” – as those who leave the cave and, while blinded by the light of real day for the first time, find a way to ascertain the true nature of reality and then to return to the cave, to explain it to those who have seen theretofore only shadows. This state of mind is heroic in that one sees what is important to an overall process, and is willing to assert that higher degree of organization whatever the cost, thus combining a realism (perception of physical world “as is”) with an idealism (measuring the world in contrasts between degrees of organization in thought) into a heroic vision, in which life itself is a means to an end, and that end is a greater organization or order to existence as a whole. Nihilism is a gateway to this worldview.

The Crowd serve death because through their great fear of it, they create rules which do little more than restrict the best among us, who they fear because they cannot understand them. What defines a crowd is its lack of direction, and its need to be led, and if it is to be led, a preference for one among it who will throw out a popular idea and thus congeal its unformed will into some lowest common denominator which is actionable. Reality does not play by this game, because to adopt a constant lowest common denominator is to descend in both ideals and evolution, because that which applies evolutionary pressure is a striving for larger goals. The humans who were content without fire remained little more than apes; those who needed fire were driven into the northern climates, away from the easily nourishing jungle, and eventually thrust themselves forward toward other goals which supported the need for fire: organized civilization, language, learning, and the concept of ideals versus materialism, or a simple assurance of comfort. Evolution forced them to consider “reasons why” and therefore, the develop themselves in such a way that those who could understand reasons why could compel themselves to do what was otherwise inconvenient and uncomfortable. From this is the root of all heroism that produces the best of what society offers: philosophy, art, architecture and morality.

The Crowd creates a reality to serve its fears, and by imposing it, crushes realism, because to point out that the emperor wears no clothes is to offend and disturb the crowd. Why might a nihilist insist on accuracy in taboo matters such as eugenics, race and environmental needs to reduce population? — because the Crowd will go to its death before it will ever do such a thing. To notice reality is to point out that Crowd reality is a complete lie, an illusion, and a sick farce designed to supplant the flagging egos of those with low self-esteem and relatively low intelligence (attributes necessary to be a member of a crowd, and not an independent thinker or leader). Those who create civilizations are succeeded by those who could not do the same, and by virtue of this opulence, societies soon breed crowds that through their greater numbers demand to control reality. One either illustrates the lie of their artificial reality, and points society in another direction, or drowns in the weight of lowest common denominator demands; all societies perish this way. Before the invader at the gates can conquer, or the disease can enfilade the population, or internal strife can tear apart a nation, there must be a failure of organization and even more a failure of will toward something higher than that which is convenient and materially comfortable, commercially viable, popular, etc. Dying societies inevitably create a Satan or Osama bin Laden to which they assign blame for their failing, but it is within; this is why while a nihilist may recognize the truth about race or eugenics, it is impossible to logically blame Negroes or the retarded for the downfall of a society. Blame is not useful, but diagnosis is, and an accurate diagnosis suggests that ordinary capable people become misinformed and accept mediocre ideas, at the behest of the Crowd, and thus condemn themselves to doom. The Crowd will always exist, but in healthy societies, it is kept in check by the wisdom of others.

Much as there is a “super-man” possible in our future, in our past and present there are Undermen, who are those with no higher goals than philosophical materialism: a denial of all value outside the physical world and its comforts. Those who take this lazy attitude to the form of a political agenda are Crowdists, and they can be found in Left and Right alike, supported by those who are emboldened by pity, or the feeling of superiority one gets for helping someone of lesser ability or fortune. Nihilism addresses such illusions and negates them, using nothingness as a weapon to clear the earth so that somethingness can again take root. A nihilist has no use for pity or the kind of low self-esteem that needs the response of others in order to feel good about itself. Like Zen monks, or European knights, a nihilist acts according to what is right by the order of the universe, and does so independently of consequences, including personal morality. To be thus independent from social conditioning, which is not as much a process of evil governments/corporations (“Satan”) as by the neurotic concerns of peers (“the enemy within”), is to crush the worthless and destructive opinions of the crowd, so expect retribution wherever one of them has power. Yet to have this state of mind is not to blame them, or those who wield pity, as they are misinformed rather than malevolent, and with better leadership – achieved, in part by acting independently and thus putting the lie to their false “reality” – they will act in a better state of mind. It goes without saying that such people are incapable of becoming super-humans but, while thus obsolete for our optimal future, will be the parents and grandparents of those who, if bred according to rigorous evolutionary standards, will become superhuman.

To distill this to a simple equation: one can either accept negativity (death, defecation, loss, sorrow) in life, or one can use cognitive dissonance to create a pleasant-sounding reality which denies it while asserting only the positive comforts of life, but to do so is to miss out on the challenge of life. To accept good and bad together as a means toward the continuation of life, and as a necessary part of the evolution that shaped us from mice into apes into humans, is a fully mature attitude and one that only a small portion of the population can understand. Most of you reading this will not understand nihilism and physically cannot; breed well and hope your children are smarter.

Transcendence

“Reverence is the capacity for awe in the face of the transcendent.” – Paul Woodruff

When one is philosophically mature enough to look past good and bad and see them as component parts of reality which work in opposition to create a larger good, or “meta-good” as we might be tempted to call it, good and bad lose moral value in and of themselves. They become a means, where the end is the continuation of reality. Much as humans respond to nature in parallel structures, the destructive and the creative are balanced forces that maintain equilibrium of a sort; without forest fires, forests choke; without predators, species overpopulate and deplete food sources and become extinct; without war and predators, humans become fat, lazy and useless (whoops, no idea how that last one got in there). In this context, we leave behind binary, linear morality and see the world as a nihilist: a vast functional machine which permits us the experience of consciousness.

In popular lore, there is frequent mention of “mind over matter,” but this is usually interpreted to mean using the mind to convince the flesh to do things it would not ordinarily do, like run marathons and lift cars from runover children. The concept of transcendence is an evolution of this which harmonizes with the nihilist emphasis on structure over appearance as well as the idealist concept that thoughts define reality more than physicality. Transcendence occurs when, acknowledging all that is destructive and uncomfortable in the world, we take a greater delight in the idea of what we are accomplishing, not as much what it means in the anthrocentric valuation, but an appreciation of its design in the greater working of our universe. While we are a small part of that whole, transcendence has us find a place in it and to appreciate its design and significance in that context, even to the degree of “forgiving” the world for our suffering and eventual death, and thus lightening our burden by recognizing that physicality and demise are secondary in importance to achievement of idea, whether that is a moral concept, a symphony, a painting, or even a life lived normally according to moral principles in which there were intangible rewards like learning, time spent with family, and personal betterment achieved by facing fears and surmounting them, gaining new abilities.

It might be said that the ultimate process of idealism, in which reality is “mind-correlative” or composed of thoughts or thoughtlike phenomena, is transcendence, or the achievement of valuation of idea over all physical comfort or discomfort. It is not asceticism, per se, in that it is not gained through denial of physical existence, but on the contrary, asserts the importance of organizing physical existence according to idealized design. It converges with heroism in that the idealist in this context acts regardless of personal consequences, because if the world is idea, the only way to truly express that idea is by putting it into action in the world. This form of belief unifies the previously divided mind and body, and raises the human from the level of a reactionary animal to a planner and a creator who is also undivided from his or her natural role. Historically, two of the most important philosophers in European canon, Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche, are united in this belief: Nietzsche sought a “pragmatic idealism” while Schopenhauer was a “cosmic idealist,” yet both appreciated the role of heroism in creating higher degrees of order. While Nietzsche derived his greatest inspiration from the ancient Greeks, Schopenhauer found great meaning in an ancient Indian text known as the Bhagavad-Gita, which introduces its view of philosophy through the viewpoint of a warrior concerned over the death and destruction he is about to unleash on his fellow humans. Through that question, the text explores the idea of placing idea over physical consequences by explaining that all reality is continuous will originating in a mystical source, and thus that while lives come and go the eternal order of reality remains, and creating a more organized harmony with that force is the goal of any heroic individual. As if proving parallelism through history, the ancient Greeks lauded similar concepts in their worship of heroic death and tragedy, in which triumph is found through assertion of higher ideal even when death and ruin inevitably follow. Praising what is right in a holistic sense over what is advantageous to the individual is the primary trait of all heroic, idealistic and nihilist philosophies.

In such modes of thought, the human being unifies imaginative and analytical facilities, using a method not dissimilar to science to interpret the world, and a method not far from art in projecting a next evolutionary stage, driven by such non-linear thought processes as informed emotion and calculated creativity. In the great transcendental thinkers of the West, most notably Ralph Waldo Emerson and Johannes Eckhart, the desire to merge these two seemingly disparate mental operations was the foundation of a spirituality based, as is Buddhism and ancient Christianity, on a quietude of the soul and a mystical state of mind in which one was “in” Nirvana or Heaven, a state of clarity both regarding life as suffering and a purpose and vision of what can give life meaning. All Romantic philosophies and art have this basis as well, and are equally mystical, as such states of mind cannot be achieved through linear description. Nihilism can be seen as a spiritual device for achieving this quietude of soul by abrading the meaningless and insignificant facts of physicality in order to clearly see the Idea, much as a philosopher leaving Plato’s cave would stand in reverent silence at the first glimpse of the sun. It is thus despite its primal origins as a “going under” through removal of meaning, a reevaulation of meaning and value, and a dramatic opposition to philosophical materialism, or the doctrine that the physical world and individual comfort are of overriding importance and thus outrank thought and idea.

Materialism is the essence of every destructive action taken by humanity, even though most who practice it would have no knowledge of it by that name. Most people, being well-meaning but misinformed and physically unable to undergo the cognitive process of holistic vision, drift toward materialistic ideas and strive toward what gives them personal physical comfort and wealth. In the modern time, materialism manifests itself in three primary fronts:

Commerce is the picking of the most popular product; oversocialization the organization of society according to who is most popular (usually he who promises alcohol, sex, and money); democracy is leadership not by what is right but what is popular. Materialism encourages the individual to think only of their own preference, and to limit thought at that which directly impacts individual comfort, and thus is blind to thinking for the whole of humankind and environment. When one thinks on that level, self-interest replaces finding the right answer according to the structure of the external world, and humans become solipsistic. Further, because materialism is an opposite to idealism, it causes the Crowd to gather and tear down whatever idealists dare rise among them. Only such a misinformed and dysfunctional thought process explains humanity’s ongoing attempted genocide of its environment, its contentment to labor in horrifically boring jobs, its seeming satisfaction with petty interpersonal strife and a lack of reverence toward humans and other life forms alike, and its reliance on a world of illusion whose empty values render individual souls empty, causing neurosis and anomie at all levels of existence.

(Many humans are so divided between mind and body that they prefer ideas of a solipsistic nature to physicality, much like some drug addicts prefer intoxication to reality. Nihilism allows us to see reality as the one and only expression of both life and thought, and therefore, to see the true stakes in our dilemma, especially regarding our environment, whose destruction – a process not of complete obliteration but of disrupting its complex internal mechanations, which require more land and sea and air than humanity – will not only be the greatest tragedy of our species, but an unforgivable offense.)

Nihilism is the soft earth at the start of a wooded path toward seeing life in a more developed way. Before this path, life seems to be suffering and boredom punctuated by horror (paraphrased from H.P. Lovecraft), without meaning or direction, even when one creates an absolute God and corresponding Heaven where things are otherwise. This state of depressed mind must be like that of the inhabitants of Plato’s cave, who find themselves bored at an endless procession of shadows yet unaware of another way. A nihilist is annointed with knowledge, and must return to the world at large to speak of the sun which filters through the woods toward the end of the path. There is hope; there is meaning; there is reason and purpose to life. Whether one is a Christian, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Hindu, or a Muslim, this truth can spoken in a familiar language, as it has been discovered by the best thinkers of all religions and cultures. It is universal not only to humanity, but to all thinking beings. From nothingness comes everything, and when the two are seen as continuous, we are finally aware of the infinity of life and the great continuous gift that consciousness must be.

Says Who?

I am a writer. Therefore, I compile ideas, and write about them. This is my contribution in the great world in parallel. Yours may be different. We do not need a society solely composed of writers. You can understand these ideas, if you’re brave enough, and put them to work for you in whatever it is that you do: teaching, roadwork, computer programming, plumbing, soldiering, journalism, drug dealing, politics. It is important that you understand them, as nothing is worse than appearance without structure, as it has us chasing the ideals of our memories in a context in which they no longer apply. I am a writer, and so I write. Find your own path. If you follow any path of thought to its full logical conclusions, you will discover what is enumerated in introductory form in this article, and you will be ready, if you have inner integrity and a love for being alive, to take a stand for what you now believe: Bring your sword, bring your censure, bring your Cross – I have found it; I am ready.

(Inspired by conversations with Todd Spivak, lowtec and g0sp-hell. Dedicated to Anton Bruckner.)

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Mar 092016
 

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Falkland Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Mar 062016
 

The Falkland Islands (; Spanish: Islas Malvinas [malinas]) are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean on the Patagonian Shelf. The principal islands are about 300 miles (480km) east of South America’s southern Patagonian coast, at a latitude of about 52S. The archipelago, with an area of 4,700 square miles (12,000km2), comprises East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 smaller islands. As a British overseas territory, the Falklands have internal self-governance, and the United Kingdom takes responsibility for their defence and foreign affairs. The islands’ capital is Stanley on East Falkland.

Controversy exists over the Falklands’ discovery and subsequent colonisation by Europeans. At various times, the islands have had French, British, Spanish, and Argentine settlements. Britain reasserted its rule in 1833, although Argentina maintains its claim to the islands. In April 1982, Argentine forces temporarily occupied the islands. British administration was restored two months later at the end of the Falklands War.

The population (2,932 inhabitants in 2012)[A] primarily consists of native-born Falkland Islanders, the majority of British descent. Other ethnicities include French, Gibraltarian and Scandinavian. Immigration from the United Kingdom, the South Atlantic island of Saint Helena, and Chile has reversed a population decline. The predominant (and official) language is English. Under the British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983, Falkland Islanders are British citizens.

The islands lie on the boundary of the subantarctic oceanic and tundra climate zones, and both major islands have mountain ranges reaching 2,300 feet (700m). They are home to large bird populations, although many no longer breed on the main islands because of competition from introduced species. Major economic activities include fishing, tourism and sheep farming, with an emphasis on high-quality wool exports. Oil exploration, licensed by the Falkland Islands Government, remains controversial as a result of maritime disputes with Argentina.

The Falkland Islands take their name from the Falkland Sound, a strait separating the archipelago’s two main islands. The name “Falkland” was applied to the channel by John Strong, captain of an English expedition which landed on the islands in 1690. Strong named the strait in honour of Anthony Cary, 5th Viscount of Falkland, the Treasurer of the Navy who sponsored their journey.[7] The Viscount’s title originates from the town of Falkland, Scotland, whose name comes from “folkland” (land held by folk-right). The name was not applied to the islands until 1765, when British captain John Byron of the Royal Navy, claimed them for King George III as “Falkland’s Islands”.[9] The term “Falklands” is a standard abbreviation used to refer to the islands.

The Spanish name for the archipelago, Islas Malvinas, derives from the French les Malouines the name given to the islands by French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville in 1764. Bougainville, who founded the islands’ first settlement, named the area after the port of Saint-Malo (the point of departure for his ships and colonists).[11] The port, located in the Brittany region of western France, was in turn named after St. Malo (or Maclou), the Christian evangelist who founded the city.

At the twentieth session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Fourth Committee determined that, in all languages other than Spanish, all UN documentation would designate the territory as Falkland Islands (Malvinas). In Spanish, the territory was designated as Islas Malvinas (Falkland Islands). The nomenclature used by the United Nations for statistical processing purposes is Falkland Islands (Malvinas).[14]

Although Fuegians from Patagonia may have visited the Falkland Islands in prehistoric times,[15] the islands were uninhabited at the time of their discovery by Europeans. Claims of discovery date back to the 16th century, but no consensus exists on whether these early explorers discovered the Falklands or other islands in the South Atlantic.[17][B] The first recorded landing on the islands is attributed to English captain John Strong, who, en route to Peru’s and Chile’s littoral in 1690, discovered the Falkland Sound and noted the islands’ water and game.[20]

The Falklands remained uninhabited until the 1764 establishment of Port Louis on East Falkland by French captain Louis Antoine de Bougainville, and the 1766 foundation of Port Egmont on Saunders Island by British captain John MacBride.[C] Whether or not the settlements were aware of each other’s existence is debated by historians.[23] In 1766, France surrendered its claim on the Falklands to Spain, which renamed the French colony Puerto Soledad the following year. Problems began when Spain discovered and captured Port Egmont in 1770. War was narrowly avoided by its restitution to Britain in 1771.

Both the British and Spanish settlements coexisted in the archipelago until 1774, when Britain’s new economic and strategic considerations led it to voluntarily withdraw from the islands, leaving a plaque claiming the Falklands for King George III. Spain’s Viceroyalty of the Ro de la Plata became the only governmental presence in the territory. West Falkland was left abandoned, and Puerto Soledad became mostly a prison camp. Amid the British invasions of the Ro de la Plata during the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, the islands’ governor evacuated the archipelago in 1806; Spain’s remaining colonial garrison followed suit in 1811, except for gauchos and fishermen who remained voluntarily.

Thereafter, the archipelago was visited only by fishing ships; its political status was undisputed until 1820, when Colonel David Jewett, an American privateer working for the United Provinces of the River Plate, informed anchored ships about Buenos Aires’ 1816 claim to Spain’s territories in the South Atlantic.[28][D] Since the islands had no permanent inhabitants, in 1823 Buenos Aires granted German-born merchant Luis Vernet permission to conduct fishing activities and exploit feral cattle in the archipelago.[E] Vernet settled at the ruins of Puerto Soledad in 1826, and accumulated resources on the islands until the venture was secure enough to bring settlers and form a permanent colony.[32] Buenos Aires named Vernet military and civil commander of the islands in 1829, and he attempted to regulate sealing to stop the activities of foreign whalers and sealers. Vernet’s venture lasted until a dispute over fishing and hunting rights led to a raid by the American warship USS Lexington in 1831,[F] when United States Navy commander Silas Duncan declared the dissolution of the island’s government.

Buenos Aires attempted to retain influence over the settlement by installing a garrison, but a mutiny in 1832 was followed the next year by the arrival of British forces who reasserted Britain’s rule. The Argentine Confederation (headed by Buenos Aires Governor Juan Manuel de Rosas) protested Britain’s actions,[G] and Argentine governments have continued since then to register official protests against Britain.[H] The British troops departed after completing their mission, leaving the area without formal government. Vernet’s deputy, the Scotsman Matthew Brisbane, returned to the islands that year to restore the business, but his efforts ended after, amid unrest at Port Louis, gaucho Antonio Rivero led a group of dissatisfied individuals to murder Brisbane and the settlement’s senior leaders; survivors hid in a cave on a nearby island until the British returned and restored order. In 1840, the Falklands became a Crown colony, and Scottish settlers subsequently established an official pastoral community. Four years later, nearly everyone relocated to Port Jackson, considered a better location for government, and merchant Samuel Lafone began a venture to encourage British colonisation.[44]

Stanley, as Port Jackson was soon renamed, officially became the seat of government in 1845. Early in its history, Stanley had a negative reputation due to cargo-shipping losses; only in emergencies would ships rounding Cape Horn stop at the port.[46] Nevertheless, the Falklands’ geographic location proved ideal for ship repairs and the “Wrecking Trade”, the business of selling and buying shipwrecks and their cargoes. Aside from this trade, commercial interest in the archipelago was minimal due to the low-value hides of the feral cattle roaming the pastures. Economic growth began only after the Falkland Islands Company, which bought out Lafone’s failing enterprise in 1851,[I] successfully introduced Cheviot sheep for wool farming, spurring other farms to follow suit.[49] The high cost of importing materials, combined with the shortage of labour and consequent high wages, meant the ship repair trade became uncompetitive. After 1870, it declined as the replacement of sail ships by steamships was accelerated by the low cost of coal in South America; by 1914, with the opening of the Panama Canal, the trade effectively ended. In 1881, the Falkland Islands became financially independent of Britain. For more than a century, the Falkland Islands Company dominated the trade and employment of the archipelago; in addition, it owned most housing in Stanley, which greatly benefited from the wool trade with the UK.[49]

In the first half of the 20th century, the Falklands served an important role in Britain’s territorial claims to subantarctic islands and a section of Antarctica. The Falklands governed these territories as the Falkland Islands Dependencies starting in 1908, and retained them until their dissolution in 1985. The Falklands also played a minor role in the two world wars as a military base aiding control of the South Atlantic. In the First World War Battle of the Falkland Islands in December 1914, a Royal Navy fleet defeated an Imperial German squadron. In the Second World War, following the December 1939 Battle of the River Plate, the battle-damaged HMS Exeter steamed to the Falklands for repairs. In 1942, a battalion en route to India was redeployed to the Falklands as a garrison amid fears of a Japanese seizure of the archipelago. After the war ended, the Falklands economy was affected by declining wool prices and the political uncertainty resulting from the revived sovereignty dispute between the United Kingdom and Argentina.[46]

Simmering tensions between the UK and Argentina increased during the second half of the century, when Argentine President Juan Pern asserted sovereignty over the archipelago. The sovereignty dispute intensified during the 1960s, shortly after the United Nations passed a resolution on decolonisation which Argentina interpreted as favourable to its position. In 1965, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 2065, calling for both states to conduct bilateral negotiations to reach a peaceful settlement of the dispute. From 1966 until 1968, the UK confidentially discussed with Argentina the transfer of the Falklands, assuming its judgement would be accepted by the islanders. An agreement on trade ties between the archipelago and the mainland was reached in 1971 and, consequently, Argentina built a temporary airfield at Stanley in 1972. Nonetheless, Falklander dissent, as expressed by their strong lobby in the UK Parliament, and tensions between the UK and Argentina effectively limited sovereignty negotiations until 1977.

Concerned at the expense of maintaining the Falkland Islands in an era of budget cuts, the UK again considered transferring sovereignty to Argentina in the early Thatcher government.[57] Substantive sovereignty talks again ended by 1981, and the dispute escalated with passing time. In April 1982, the disagreement became an armed conflict when Argentina invaded the Falklands and other British territories in the South Atlantic, briefly occupying them until a UK expeditionary force retook the territories in June.[59] After the war, the United Kingdom expanded its military presence, building RAF Mount Pleasant and increasing the size of its garrison. The war also left some 117 minefields containing nearly 20,000 mines of various types, including anti-vehicle and anti-personnel mines.[61] Due to the large number of deminer casualties, initial attempts to clear the mines ceased in 1983.[61][J]

Based on Lord Shackleton’s recommendations, the Falklands diversified from a sheep-based monoculture into an economy of tourism and, with the establishment of the Falklands Exclusive Economic Zone, fisheries.[K] The road network was also made more extensive, and the construction of RAF Mount Pleasant allowed access to long haul flights. Oil exploration has also begun, with indications of possible commercially exploitable deposits in the Falklands basin.[64] Landmine clearance work restarted in 2009, in accordance with the UK’s obligations under the Ottawa Treaty, and Sapper Hill Corral was cleared of mines in 2012, allowing access to an important historical landmark for the first time in 30 years.[65][66] Argentina and the UK re-established diplomatic relations in 1990; relations have since deteriorated as neither has agreed on the terms of future sovereignty discussions.[67] Disputes between the governments have led “some analysts [to] predict a growing conflict of interest between Argentina and Great Britain… because of the recent expansion of the fishing industry in the waters surrounding the Falklands”.

The Falkland Islands are a self-governing British Overseas Territory.[69] Under the 2009 Constitution, the islands have full internal self-government; the UK is responsible for foreign affairs, retaining the power “to protect UK interests and to ensure the overall good governance of the territory”.[70] The Monarch of the United Kingdom is the head of state, and executive authority is exercised on the monarch’s behalf by the Governor, who in turn appoints the islands’ Chief Executive on the advice of members of the Legislative Assembly.[71] Both the Governor and Chief Executive serve as the head of government. Governor Colin Roberts was appointed in April 2014;[73] Chief Executive Keith Padgett was appointed in March 2012.[74] The UK minister responsible for the Falkland Islands since 2012, Hugo Swire, administers British foreign policy regarding the islands.[75]

The Governor acts on the advice of the islands’ Executive Council, composed of the Chief Executive, the Director of Finance and three elected members of the Legislative Assembly (with the Governor as chairman).[71] The Legislative Assembly, a unicameral legislature, consists of the Chief Executive, the Director of Finance and eight members (five from Stanley and three from Camp) elected to four-year terms by universal suffrage.[71] All politicians in the Falkland Islands are independent; no political parties exist on the islands.[76] Since the 2013 general election, members of the Legislative Assembly have received a salary and are expected to work full-time and give up all previously held jobs or business interests.[77]

Due to its link to the UK, the Falklands are part of the overseas countries and territories of the European Union.[78] The islands’ judicial system, overseen by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is largely based on English law, and the constitution binds the territory to the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights.[70] Residents have the right of appeal to the European Court of Human Rights and the Privy Council.[80][81] Law enforcement is the responsibility of the Royal Falkland Islands Police (RFIP), and military defence of the islands is provided by the United Kingdom.[82] A British military garrison is stationed on the islands, and the Falkland Islands government funds an additional company-sized light infantry Falkland Islands Defence Force.[83] The territorial waters of the Falklands extend to 200 nautical miles (370km) from its coastal baselines, based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; this border overlaps with the maritime boundary of Argentina.[84]

The United Kingdom and Argentina both claim the Falkland Islands. The UK’s position is that the Falklanders have not indicated a desire for change, and that there are no pending issues to resolve concerning the islands.[86] The UK bases its position on its continuous administration of the islands since 1833 (except for 1982) and the islanders’ “right to self-determination as set out in the UN Charter”.[87] Argentine policy maintains that Falkland Islanders do not have a right to self-determination, claiming that in 1833 the UK expelled Argentine authorities (and settlers) from the Falklands with a threat of “greater force” and, afterwards, barred Argentines from resettling the islands.[88][89] Argentina posits that it acquired the Falklands from Spain when it achieved independence in 1816, and that the UK illegally occupied them in 1833.[88]

In 2009, British prime minister Gordon Brown had a meeting with Argentine president Cristina Fernndez de Kirchner, and said that there would be no further talks over the sovereignty of the Falklands.[90] In March 2013, the Falkland Islands held a referendum on its political status, with 99.8 percent of voters favoured remaining under British rule.[91][92] Argentina does not recognise the Falkland Islands as a partner in negotiations;[93] consequently, it dismissed the Falkland Islands’ sovereignty referendum.[94]

The Falkland Islands have a land area of 4,700 square miles (12,000km2) and a coastline estimated at 800 miles (1,300km).[95] Two main islands, West Falkland and East Falkland, and about 776 smaller islands constitute the archipelago. The islands are predominantly mountainous and hilly,[97] with the major exception the depressed plains of Lafonia (a peninsula forming the southern part of East Falkland). The Falklands are continental crust fragments resulting from the break-up of Gondwana and the opening of the South Atlantic that began 130 million years ago. The islands are located in the South Atlantic Ocean, on the Patagonian Shelf, about 300 miles (480km) east of Patagonia in southern Argentina.

The Falklands are situated approximately at latitude 5140 5300 S and longitude 5740 6200 W. The archipelago’s two main islands are separated by the Falkland Sound, and its deep coastal indentations form natural harbours.[102] East Falkland houses Stanley (the capital and largest settlement), the UK military base at RAF Mount Pleasant, and the archipelago’s highest point: Mount Usborne, at 2,313 feet (705m). Outside of these significant settlements is the area colloquially known as “Camp”, which is derived from the Spanish term for countryside (Campo).

The climate of the islands is cold, windy and humid maritime. Variability of daily weather is typical throughout the archipelago. Rainfall is common over half of the year, averaging 610 millimetres (24in) in Stanley, and sporadic light snowfall occurs nearly all year.[97] The temperature is generally between 21.1 and 11.1C (70.0 and 12.0F) in Stanley, but can vary to 9C (48F) early in the year and 1C (30F) in July. Strong westerly winds and cloudy skies are common.[97] Although numerous storms are recorded each month, conditions are normally calm.

The Falkland Islands are a biogeographical part of the mild Antarctic zone, with strong connections to the flora and fauna of Patagonia in mainland South America.[106] Land birds make up most of the Falklands’ avifauna; 63 species breed on the islands, including 16 endemic species. There is also abundant arthropod diversity on the islands. The Falklands’ flora consists of 163 native vascular species. The islands’ only native terrestrial mammal, the warrah, was hunted to extinction by European settlers.

The islands are frequented by marine mammals, such as the southern elephant seal and the South American fur seal, and various types of cetaceans; offshore islands house the rare striated caracara. The Falklands are also home to five different penguin species and a few of the largest albatross colonies on the planet.[111] Endemic fish around the islands are primarily from the genus Galaxias. The Falklands are treeless and have a wind-resistant vegetation predominantly composed of a variety of dwarf shrubs.

Virtually the entire land area of the islands is used as pasture for sheep.[2] Introduced species include reindeer, hares, rabbits, Patagonian foxes, brown rats and cats. The detrimental impact several of these species have caused to native flora and fauna has led authorities to attempt to contain, remove or exterminate invasive species such as foxes, rabbits and rats. Endemic land animals have been the most affected by introduced species. The extent of human impact on the Falklands is unclear, since there is little long-term data on habitat change.[106]

The economy of the Falkland Islands is ranked the 222nd largest out of 229 in the world by GDP (PPP), but ranks 10th worldwide by GDP (PPP) per capita.[2] The unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in 2010, and inflation was last calculated at 1.2 percent rate in 2003.[2] Based on 2010 data, the islands have a high Human Development Index of 0.874 and a moderate Gini coefficient for income inequality of 34.17. The local currency is the Falkland Islands pound, which is pegged to the British pound sterling.[116]

Economic development was advanced by ship resupplying and sheep farming for high-quality wool.[117] The main sheep breeds in the Falkland Islands are Polwarth and Corriedale.[118] During the 1980s, although synthetic fibres and ranch underinvestment hurt the sheep-farming sector, the government established a major revenue stream with the establishment of an exclusive economic zone and the sale of fishing licenses to “anybody wishing to fish within this zone”. Since the end of the Falklands War in 1982, the islands’ economic activity has increasingly focused on oil field exploration and tourism.

The port city of Stanley has regained the islands’ economic focus, with an increase in population as workers migrate from Camp. Fear of dependence on fishing licences and threats from overfishing, illegal fishing and fish market price fluctuations have increased interest on oil drilling as an alternative source of revenue; exploration efforts have yet to find “exploitable reserves”. Development projects in education and sports have been funded by the Falklands government, without aid from the United Kingdom.

The primary sector of the economy accounts for most of the Falkland Islands’ gross domestic product, with the fishing industry alone contributing between 50% and 60% of annual GDP; agriculture also contributes significantly to GDP and employs about a tenth of the population.[122] A little over a quarter of the workforce serves the Falkland Islands government, making it the archipelago’s largest employer.[123] Tourism, part of the service economy, has been spurred by increased interest in Antarctic exploration and the creation of direct air links with the United Kingdom and South America.[124] Tourists, mostly cruise ship passengers, are attracted by the archipelago’s wildlife and environment, as well as activities such as fishing and wreck diving; the majority are based in accommodation found in Stanley.[125] The islands’ major exports include wool, hides, venison, fish and squid; its main imports include fuel, building materials and clothing.[2]

The Falkland Islands are a homogeneous society, with the majority of inhabitants descended from Scottish and Welsh immigrants who settled the territory in 1833.[L] The 2006 census listed some Falklands residents as descendants of French, Gibraltarians and Scandinavians.[127] That census indicated that one-third of residents were born on the archipelago, with foreign-born residents assimilated into local culture.[128] The legal term for the right of residence is “belonging to the islands”.[71] The British Nationality Act of 1983 gave British citizenship to Falkland Islanders.

A significant population decline affected the archipelago in the twentieth century, with many young islanders moving overseas in search of education, a modern lifestyle, and better job opportunities,[129] particularly to the British city of Southampton, which came to be nicknamed “Stanley north”.[130] In recent years, the island’s population decline has steadied, thanks to immigrants from the United Kingdom, Saint Helena, and Chile. In the 2012 census, a majority of residents listed their nationality as Falkland Islander (59 percent), followed by British (29 percent), Saint Helenian (9.8 percent), and Chilean (5.4 percent).[1] A small number of Argentines also live on the islands.[132]

The Falkland Islands have a low population density. According to the 2012 census, the average daily population of the Falklands was 2,932, excluding military personnel serving in the archipelago and their dependents.[M] A 2012 report counted 1,300 uniformed personnel and 50 British Ministry of Defence civil servants present in the Falklands.[123] Stanley (with 2,121 residents) is the most-populous location on the archipelago, followed by Mount Pleasant (369 residents, primarily air-base contractors) and Camp (351 residents).[1] The islands’ age distribution is skewed towards working age (2060). Males outnumber females (53 to 47 percent), and this discrepancy is most prominent in the 2060 age group.[127] In the 2006 census most islanders identified themselves as Christian (67.2 percent), followed by those who refused to answer or had no religious affiliation (31.5 percent). The remaining 1.3 percent (39 people) were adherents of other faiths.[127]

Education in the Falkland Islands, which follows England’s system, is free and compulsory for residents aged between 5 and 16 years.[134] Primary education is available at Stanley, RAF Mount Pleasant (for children of service personnel) and a number of rural settlements. Secondary education is only available in Stanley, which offers boarding facilities and 12 subjects to General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) level. Students aged 16 or older may study at colleges in England for their GCE Advanced Level or vocational qualifications. The Falkland Islands government pays for older students to attend institutions of higher education, usually in the United Kingdom.[134]

Falklands culture is “based on the British culture brought with the settlers from the British Isles”, although it has been influenced by the cultures of Hispanic South America. Some terms and place names used by the islands’ former Gaucho inhabitants are still applied in local speech. The Falklands’ predominant and official language is English, with the foremost dialect being British English; nonetheless, inhabitants also speak Spanish and other languages. According to naturalist Will Wagstaff, “the Falkland Islands are a very social place, and stopping for a chat is a way of life”.

The islands have two weekly newspapers: Teaberry Express and The Penguin News, and television and radio broadcasts generally feature programming from the United Kingdom. Wagstaff describes local cuisine as “very British in character with much use made of the homegrown vegetables, local lamb, mutton, beef, and fish”. Common between meals are “home made cakes and biscuits with tea or coffee”. Social activities are, according to Wagstaff, “typical of that of a small British town with a variety of clubs and organisations covering many aspects of community life”.

Articles relating to the Falkland Islands

Coordinates: 5141S 5910W / 51.683S 59.167W / -51.683; -59.167

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Falkland Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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