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History of the Illuminati

 Illuminati  Comments Off on History of the Illuminati
May 022016
 

The Illuminati trace their origins back thousands of years to their conception as a result of the genetic inbreeding between a reptilian extraterrestrial race and humanity. Their modern origin, however, traces back to the 1760s and a man named Adam Weishaupt, who defected from the Catholic church and organized the Illuminati, financed by the International Bankers. Since then, according to the Illuminati, their top goal has been to achieve a one world government and to subjugate all religions and governments in the process. The Illuminati thus attribute all wars since the French Revolution as having been fomented by them in their pursuit of their goals.

Weishaupt wrote out a master plan in the 1770s outlining the Illuminatis goals, finishing on May 1, 1776. According to the Illuminati, this great day is still commemorated by Communist nations in the form of May Day. At the time Weishaupts ideology was first introduced, Britain and France were the two greatest world powers, and so the Illuminati claimed credit for having kindled the Revolutionary War in order to weaken the British Empire and the French Revolution to destroy the French Empire.

In the 1780s, the Bavarian Government found out about the Illuminatis subversive activities, forcing the Illuminati to disband and go underground. For the next few decades, the Illuminati operated under various names and guises, still in active pursuit of their ultimate goal. According to the Illuminati, the Napoleonic Wars were a direct result of Illuminati intervention, and were intended to weaken the governments of Europe. One of the results of these wars was the Congress of Vienna, supposedly brought about by the Illuminati who there attempted to form a one world government in the form of a League of Nations. However, Russia held out and the league of nations was not formed, causing great animosity towards the Russian government on the part of the Illuminati.

Their short-term plan foiled, the Illuminati adopted a different strategy. The Illuminati say that they achieved control over the European economy through the International Bankers and directed the composition of Karl Marxs Communist Manifesto and its anti-thesis written by Karl Ritter in order to use the differences between the two ideologies to enable them to divide larger and larger members of the human race into opposing camps so that they could be armed and then brainwashed into fighting and destroying each other.

Under new leadership by an American general named Albert Pike, the Illuminati worked out a blueprint for three world wars throughout the 20th century that would lead to a one world government by the end of the 20th century. According to the Illuminati, the First World War was fought to destroy Czarism in Russia (the Illuminati had held a grudge against the Czarist regime since Russia had thwarted its plans for a one world government after the Napoleonic Wars) and to establish Russia as a stronghold of Communism.

Likewise, the Illuminati claim that the Second World War pitted the Fascists against the political Zionists so as to build up International Communism until it equaled in strength that of the United Christendom. According to Illuminati plans, the Third World War, which is to be fought between the political Zionists and the leaders of the Moslem world, will drain the international community to the extent that they will have no choice but to form a one world government.

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History of the Illuminati

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What is NATO?

 NATO  Comments Off on What is NATO?
Apr 142016
 

NATO is a political and military alliance of 28 North American and European countries, bound by shared democratic values, that have joined together to best pursue security and defense. In addition to the United States, the other NATO Allies are Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. The principle of collective defense is at the heart of NATO and is enshrined in Article 5 of the Alliances founding Washington Treaty, which asserts that an attack on one Ally is to be considered an attack on all. NATO invoked Article 5 of the Washington Treaty for the first time in its history following the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States.

Founded in 1949, NATO played a unique role in maintaining stability and security in the trans-Atlantic area during the Cold War. Since the end of the Cold War the Alliance has transformed itself to meet the security challenges of the new century, continuing with adoption of a new NATO Strategic Concept at the Lisbon NATO Summit in 2010. Today, NATOs operations include leading the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan, ensuring a safe and secure environment in Kosovo through the KFOR mission, and contributing to international counter-piracy efforts off the Horn of Africa through Operation Ocean Shield. In 2011, NATO successfully carried out the UN-mandated mission in Libya to protect civilians, enforce a no-fly zone, and enforce a maritime arms embargo. NATO has also provided airlift and sealift support to the African Union (AU) missions in Somalia and Sudan, has engaged in a number of humanitarian relief operations in recent years, including delivery of over 100 tons of supplies from Europe to the United States following Hurricane Katrina, and leads the counterterrorism Operation Active Endeavor in the Mediterranean Sea.

Recognizing that the security challenges Allies face often emerge beyond Europe, NATO has become the hub of a global security network, establishing partnerships with over thirty countries. These ties provide opportunities for practical military cooperation and political dialogue. Partners have contributed significantly to NATO operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, and Libya.

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Jitsi – WOW.com

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Apr 112016
 

Jitsi Original author(s) Emil Ivov Developer(s) Jitsi Team and Contributors Initial release 2003(2003) Stable release 2.8 (build.5426) (March19, 2015; 11 months ago(2015-03-19)) [] Preview release 2.9 (nightly) [] Development status Active Written in Java Operating system Linux, Mac OS X, Windows (all Java supported) Size 52.4 MB Windows (bundles its own private JRE)[1] 78.8MB Mac OS X (includes private JRE)[2] 22MB Linux 65MB source code[3] Available in Asturian, English, French, German, Bulgarian, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Greek and 25 more Type Voice over Internet Protocol / instant messaging / videoconferencing License Apache Website jitsi.org

Jitsi (formerly SIP Communicator) is a free and open source multiplatform[4]voice (VoIP), videoconferencing and instant messaging application for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Android. It supports several popular instant-messaging and telephony protocols, including open recognised encryption protocols for chat (OTR) and voice/video/streaming and voice/video conferencing (SIP/RTP/SRTP/ZRTP), as well as built-in IPv6, NAT traversal and DNSSEC. Jitsi and its source code are released under the terms of the Apache Software Licence.[5]

Work on Jitsi (then SIP Communicator) started in 2003 in the context of a student project by Emil Ivov at the University of Strasbourg.[6] It was originally released as an example video phone in the JAIN-SIP stack and later spun off as a standalone project.[7]

Originally the project was mostly used as an experimentation tool because of its support for IPv6.[8][9] Through the years, as the project gathered members, it also added support for protocols other than SIP.

Jitsi has received support from various institutions such as the NLnet Foundation,[10][11] the University of Strasbourg and the Region of Alsace[12] and it has also had multiple participations in the Google Summer of Code program.[13][14]

In 2009, Emil Ivov founded the BlueJimp company which has employed some of Jitsi’s main contributors[15][16] in order to offer professional support and development services[17] related to the project.

In 2011, after successfully adding support for audio/video communication over XMPPs Jingle extensions, the project was renamed to Jitsi since it was no longer “a SIP only Communicator”.[18][19] This name originates from the Bulgarian “” (wires).[20]

On November 4, 2014, “Jitsi + Ostel” scored 6 out of 7 points on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s secure messaging scorecard. They lost a point because there has not been a recent independent code audit.[21]

On February 1, 2015, Hristo Terezov, Ingo Bauersachs and the rest of the team released [22] version 2.6 from their stand at the Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting 2015 event in Brussels. This release includes security fixes, removes support of the deprecated MSN protocol, along with SSLv3 in XMPP. Among other notable improvements, the OS X version bundles a Java 8 runtime, enables echo cancelling by default, and uses the CoreAudio subsystem. The Linux build addresses font issues with the GTK+ native LookAndFeel, and fixes some long standing issues about microphone level on call setup when using the PulseAudio sound system. This release also adds the embedded Java database Hyper SQL Database to improve performance for users with huge configuration files, a feature which is disabled by default. A full list of changes is [23] available on the project web site.

Jitsi supports multiple operating systems, including Windows as well as Unix-like systems such as Linux, Mac OS X and BSD. “Beta” packages built for Android are available[24] but the project’s roadmap describes the porting to Android as “on hold”.[25] It also includes:[26]

The following protocols are currently supported by Jitsi:[4]

Jitsi is mostly written in Java[31] which helps reuse most of the same code over the various operating systems it works on. Its GUI is based upon Swing. The project also uses native code for the implementation of platform specific tasks such as audio/video capture and rendering, IP address selection, and access to native popup notification systems such as Growl.

The project uses the Apache Felix OSGi implementation[32] for modularity.

Among others Jitsi uses the JAIN-SIP protocol stack for SIP support and the Jive Software Smack library [33] for XMPP.[34]

As Jitsi can handle IPv6 it is especially interesting for direct PC-to-PC (peer-to-peer) communication, for instance, if both sides were ‘trapped’ behind NAT routers, but could obtain a reachable IPv6 address via a tunnel-broker.[citation needed]

The Jitsi community has also completed an ICE implementation called ice4j.org, which it uses to provide NAT traversal capabilities, and assist IPv4 to IPv6 transition.[35]

Audio systems supported are PortAudio, PulseAudio and WASAPI (Windows Audio Session API).

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How to Open an Offshore Bank Account in Singapore

 Offshore Banking  Comments Off on How to Open an Offshore Bank Account in Singapore
Mar 132016
 

Posted on: January 26, 2010 by editor IMPORTANT UPDATE!

Since the publication of this article, it has become a great deal more difficult to open an account in either Hong Kong or Singapore. To find out which jurisdictions are now better options for you, please read our Practical International Banking Guide, in which you will find the names and contact details of individual personnel within banks all around the world.

Singapore is a convenient destination to protect and add value to your international wealth according to the website of one of the 205 banks operating in Singapore today. I couldnt have put it better myself!

Singapore has developed in recent years into a sophisticated private banking and wealth management base for Asia. But besides targeting their traditional but fast growing market of wealthy entrepreneurs in Asia, the best offshore banks in Singapore today are also developing products and services tailored for North Americans, Europeans and Australians, including multi currency accounts.

UPDATE 2015 For the Latest information, names, addresses and contacts, see the latest Offshore International Banking Guide 2015

If this sounds like you, read on to find out about some of the advantages and disadvantages of opening an offshore bank account in Singapore, and learn how to open an offshore bank account as a non-resident. Is Singapore the best offshore banking country for the new decade?

Singapore Banks Among The Best

Typical investors from this latter group are looking for first-world banking services, delivered over the internet in English, in a country that is outside the zone of influence of the United States and the European Union.

One of the worlds most prosperous countries, Singapore today boasts a prominent financial centre and highly developed economy. Its flexible regulatory framework, independent judiciary and practical English-inspired legal system have become the foundations of the countrys success.

In common with most offshore financial centres, interest earned by individuals on bank deposits and foreign sourced income including foreign sourced dividends received on non-Singaporeans securities is exempt from Singapore taxes. Singapore also has no capital gains tax nor estate duty on bank deposits and investments.

Accounts can freely be maintained in all major currencies. These multi currency accounts provide an excellent hedge for those of us who foresee major devaluations of currencies like the dollar and the euro in the months and years ahead.

Accounts may also be opened in the name of foreign entities like corporations, trusts and LLCs, achieving even greater privacy and asset protection benefits, and sometimes legally sidestepping any requirement to report assets as personal holdings.

All these benefits are delivered in a strong bank secrecy regime, helping account holders to protect their investments from prying eyes inside or outside the country. Banking secrecy in Singapore is not just laid down by law, but is part of the national business culture. Indeed, tax authorities in Singapore are specifically blocked from having any access to individual bank accounts.

As in Asia in general, a lot of business in Singapore has traditionally been carried out in cash. This is epitomised by the $10,000 bill, the largest bank note in the world: at current exchange rates (January 2010) one of these bills is worth more than seven thousand US dollars. These days, however, as restrictions on cash are becoming tighter, sophisticated internet banking is becoming the norm.

So, if you are not resident in Singapore how can you access these banking services? Everything starts with opening a basic current, savings or checking account the basis of your banking relationship.

One of the disadvantages of banking in Singapore is that you will need to go there to open an account. Banking regulations do not permit the opening of accounts by mail, unless the client is already known to the bank. The only possible exception to this is opening an account at one of the many banks in Singapore that send officers to visit their wealthier clients in their overseas homes, or have associated offices in other countries. HSBC clients, for example, may be able to open accounts at HSBC in Singapore via their local offices. The above process, however, is not advisable if banking secrecy is important to you since it leaves permanent records of your accounts accessible in other jurisdictions. In any case I always recommend visiting at least once so you can get to know your banker personally.

Apart from that, opening your account should be relatively straightforward. There are few complications. If you choose one of the commercial banks such as DBS Bank or United Overseas Bank, a few hundred dollars will be enough to open an account. If you want a higher level of personal service and are prepared to make a higher deposit, lets say over a hundred thousand dollars or equivalent (bank policies vary widely), contact one of the more discreet private banking operations. I recommend you go for one of the lower profile ones, since they tend to offer the best privacy protection.

A full list of banks operating in Singapore is available on Wikipedia, and you can contact them directly. It is always easier, however, if you have an introduction from a regulated professional who is known to the bank, such as a lawyer, accountant or company formation agent.

My firm can help with that, for example, if you are a Q Wealth member. Membership starts at just $99 per yearso wont break the bank!

In terms of documentation needed to open an offshore account, you will be expected to provide proof of who you are (a copy of your passport), where you live (such as a utility bill) and most importantly of all, proof that the funds come from a legitimate source. For example, if the funds you are depositing were obtained from a real estate sale or from an inheritance, you would show the relevant legal documents to prove this. Finally, it is advisable to take a letter of reference from your bankers at home, introducing you as a responsible account holder. This bank reference may be addressed to whom it may concern.

Note: Peter Macfarlane is editor of the Practical Offshore Banking Guide, an annually updated guide available free to readers of The Q Wealth Report. If you havent got yours yet, sign up today to access this information.

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What is the Best Offshore Bank? – Q Wealth

 Offshore Banking  Comments Off on What is the Best Offshore Bank? – Q Wealth
Mar 132016
 

Posted on: March 26, 2009 by editor

By Peter Macfarlane, Offshore Banking Expert for The Q Wealth Report. Part of the mini series on Secrets of Offshore Banking and Asset Protection.

Clients often ask me what is the best offshore bank? However, there is no correct answer to that. The best answer I can give is to respond to the question with a question. Best offshore bank for what? For privacy? For wealth management advice? For corporate accounts? For e-commerce? All these require different types of banks and services, which is why there is no single best offshore bank.

Below are just a few factors you should consider when looking for the best offshore bank for you. Lets talk first about privacy or bank secrecy, because thats what is on most peoples minds at the moment.

Your Country of Citizenship and Residence as beneficial owner of the account is a major factor, even if technically you are opening an account for a corporation or foundation from the other side of the world. In order to enhance your banking privacy, you should be looking to bank in a jurisdiction where you home country does not have undue influence. Europeans, for example, should look to other continents, to countries that are not covered by the European Union Savings Tax Directive. That means avoid all European countries, including Switzerland, Liechtenstein etc. Avoid also territories of European countries like the Cayman Islands, which are British, or Curacao which is Dutch. Panama might be a good option, or Uruguay, or a wilder card country.

For Americans, however, Panama is to be avoided. Even the best offshore banks in Panama cannot be regarded as private for Americans, because of the US influence in Panama going back nearly a century. Switzerland no longer offers good banking privacy to Americans since long before the current UBS fiasco. The Caribbean is also too much within the US sphere of influence. Americans looking for the best offshore bank for privacy should look to some lower-profile European countries, or maybe to the Middle East or Africa.

Another important factor to consider is what do you want out of your bank? For some people, the best offshore bank may be one where you have a great relationship with a private banker who knows you, advises and supports you, and takes you to lunch in a nice restaurant when you visit. Others couldnt care less about that, but prefer great technology online access to markets 24/7, without the hassle of trying to get hold of a private banker by telephone to execute buy or sell instructions.

Some people know exactly what they want while others dont have a clue and therefore need good, impartial wealth management advice.

Also important how strong is the bank? Very important these days as most offshore centres do not have deposit protection or guarantee programs like the FDIC. That said, reputable offshore jurisdictions really dont need such programs. The banks being bailed out are in the USA and Western Europe. Small, private offshore banks generally have a much more conservative profile and are not exposed to so much risk. We havent heard of any tax haven banks going under during the crisis, have we?

Next question o your mind does Peter have specific recommendations for banks? The answer is yes I do. I deal with a number of the best offshore banks, right from small ones through to the biggest, physically located in many different jurisdictions around the world. I can put you in contact with them so you can open your account directly, with no need to deal through intermediaries. This information, however, is reserved for paying subscribers of The Q Wealth Report. Specifically, you will find my recommendations for the best offshore banks in the Practical Offshore Banking Guide 2009 that you can download right now in the Members Area, as soon as you have signed up. If, after reading this guide, you need more help making a decision, members are welcome to contact me for a personal one-on-one consultation. If you are considering membership of The Q Wealth Report, then the Practical Offshore Banking Guide 2009 is just one excellent reason why you should sign up now!

Coming Next: Wealth Management Advice Whom Can You Trust?

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What is the Best Offshore Bank? – Q Wealth

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Kids.Net.Au – Encyclopedia > NATO

 NATO  Comments Off on Kids.Net.Au – Encyclopedia > NATO
Mar 022016
 

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an international organization for defence collaboration established in 1949, in support of the North Atlantic Treaty signed in Washington, D.C. on April 4, 1949.

The core provision of the treaty is Article V, which states:

This provision was intended so that if the Soviet Union launched an attack against the European allies of the United States, it would be treated as if it was an attack on the United States itself. However the feared Soviet invasion of Europe never came. Instead, the provision was used for the first time in the treaty’s history on September 12, 2001 in response to the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack.

Member States From the foundation in 1949 or with the year of accession.

Greece and Turkey joined the organization in February 1952. Germany joined as West Germany in 1955 and German unification in 1990 extended the membership to the areas of former East Germany. Spain was admitted on May 30, 1982 and the former Warsaw Pact Countries of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic made history by becoming members on March 12, 1999.

France is still a member of NATO but retired from the military command in 1966. Iceland, the sole member of NATO which does not have its own military force, joined on the condition that they would not be forced to participate in warfare.

History

On March 17, 1948 Benelux, France, and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Brussels[?] which is a precursor to the NATO Agreement.

The Soviet Union and its satellite states formed the Warsaw Pact in the 1950s in order to counterbalance NATO. Both organisations were opposing sides in the cold war. After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, the Warsaw Pact disintegrated.

NATO saw its first military engagement in the Kosovo War, where it waged an 11-week bombing campaign against Serbian forces starting on March 24, 1999.

Three former communist countries, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, joined NATO in 1999. At the Prague (Czech Republic) summit of November 21-22, 2002 seven countries have been invited to start talks in order to join the Alliance: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania. The invited countries are expected to join NATO in 2004. Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will probably be told they have not met the economic, political and military reform criteria and will have to wait. Croatia applied only in 2002 and has just started the process.

Charles de Gaulle’s decision to remove France from NATO’s military command in 1966 to pursue its own nuclear defence program precipitated the relocation of the NATO Headquarters from Paris, France to Brussels, Belgium by October 16, 1967. While the political headquarters is located in Brussels the military headquarters, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), are located just south of Brussles, in the town of Mons.

September 13, 2001, NATO invoked, for the first time in its history, an article in its charter that states that any attack on a member state is considered an attack against the entire alliance. This came in response to the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack/

On February 10, 2003 NATO faced a serious crisis because of France and Belgium breaking the procedure of silent approval concerning the timing of protective measures for Turkey in case of a possible war with Iraq. Germany did not use its right to break the procedure but said it supported the veto.

On April 16, 2003, NATO agreed to take command in August of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The decision came at the request of Germany and the Netherlands, the two nations leading ISAF at the time of the agreement. It was approved unanimously by all 19 NATO ambassadors. This marked first time in NATO’s history that it took charge of a mission outside the north Atlantic area. Canada had originally been slated to take over ISAF in August.

See also: Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, OSCE, WEU, UN

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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Libertarianism – Mises Wiki, the global repository of …

 Misc  Comments Off on Libertarianism – Mises Wiki, the global repository of …
Feb 252016
 

This article uses content from the Wikipedia article on Libertarianism (edition) under the terms of the CC-by-SA 3.0 license.

Libertarianism is a political philosophy[1] that views respect for individual choice and individual liberty[2] as the foundation of the ideal society, and therefore seeks to minimize or abolish the coercive actions of the State as that is the entity that is generally identified as the most powerful coercive force in society.[3][4] Broadly speaking, libertarianism focuses on the rights of the individual to act in complete accordance with his or her own subjective values,[5] and argues that the coercive actions of the State are often (or even always) an impediment to the efficient realization of one’s desires and values.[6][7] Libertarians also maintain that what is immoral for the individual must necessarily be immoral for all state agents, and that the state should not be above the natural law.[8][9] The extent to which government is necessary is evaluated by libertarian moral philosophers from a variety of perspectives.[10][11]

The term libertarian was originally used by late Enlightenment free-thinkers to refer to those who believed in free will, as opposed to determinism.[12] Libertarianism in this sense is still encountered in metaphysics in discussions of free will. The first recorded use of the term was in 1789, by William Belsham, son of a dissenting clergyman.[13]Murrary Rothbard identified mysterious Chinese philospher Lao-Tzu who lived in the sixth century BC as one of the first libertarian-minded philosphers and another philosopher Chuang-tzu as the first thinker to describe the benefits of “spontaneous order”.[14]

The term libertarian was first popularized in France in the 1890s in order to counter and evade the anti-anarchist laws known as the lois sclrates.[citationneeded] According to anarchist historian Max Nettlau, the first use of the term libertarian communism was in November 1880, when a French anarchist congress employed it to more clearly identify its doctrines.[15] The French anarchist journalist Sbastien Faure, later founder and editor of the four-volume Anarchist Encyclopedia, started the weekly paper Le Libertaire (The Libertarian) in 1895.[16]

In the meantime, in the United States, libertarianism as a synonym for anarchism had begun to take hold. The anarchist communist geographer and social theorist Peter Kropotkin wrote in his seminal 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica article Anarchism that:

Today, worldwide, anarchist communist, libertarian socialist, and other left-libertarian movements continue to describe themselves as libertarian, although their continued appropriation of the phrase is open to controversy, with right libertarians maintaining that left-libertarianism is internally inconsistent and should not be associated with modern libertarianism in any way. These “leftist” styles of libertarianism are opposed to most or all forms of private property.

Age of Enlightenment ideas of individual liberty, constitutionally limited government, peace, and reliance on the institutions of civil society and the free market for social order and economic prosperity were the basis of what became known as liberalism in the 19th century.[18] While it kept that meaning in most of the world, modern liberalism in the United States began to mean a more statist viewpoint. Over time, those who held to the earlier liberal views began to call themselves market liberals, classical liberals or libertarians.[19] While conservatism in Europe continued to mean conserving hierarchical class structures through state control of society and the economy, some conservatives in the United States began to refer to conserving traditions of liberty. This was especially true of the Old Right, who opposed The New Deal and U.S. military interventions in World War I and World War II.[20][21]

Later, the Austrian School of economics also had a powerful impact on both economic teaching and classical liberal and libertarian principles.[22][23] It influenced economists and political philosophers and theorists including Henry Hazlitt, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Israel Kirzner, Murray Rothbard, Walter Block and Richard M. Ebeling. The Austrian School was in turn influenced by Frederic Bastiat.[24][25]

Starting in the 1930s and continuing until today, a group of central European economists lead by Austrians Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek identified the collectivist underpinnings to the various new socialist and fascist doctrines of government power as being different brands of totalitarianism.

In the 1940s, Leonard Read began calling himself libertarian.[12] In 1955, Dean Russell wrote an article in the Foundation for Economic Education magazine pondering what to call those, such as himself, who subscribed to the classical liberal philosophy. He suggested: “Let those of us who love liberty trademark and reserve for our own use the good and honorable word “libertarian.””[26]

Ayn Rand’s international best sellers The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957) and her books about her philosophy of objectivism influenced modern libertarianism.[27] For a number of years after the publication of her books, people promoting a libertarian philosophy continued to call it individualism.[28] Two other women also published influential pro-freedom books in 1943, Rose Wilder Lanes The Discovery of Freedom and Isabel Patersons The God of the Machine.[29]

According to libertarian publisher Robert W. Poole, Arizona United States Senator Barry Goldwater’s message of individual liberty, economic freedom, and anti-communism also had a major impact on the libertarian movement, both with the publication of his book The Conscience of a Conservative and with his run for president in 1964.[30] Goldwater’s speech writer, Karl Hess, became a leading libertarian writer and activist.[31]

The Cold War mentality of military interventionism, which had supplanted Old Right non-interventionism, was promoted by conservatives like William F. Buckley and accepted by many libertarians, with Murray Rothbard being a notable dissenter.[32] However, the Vietnam War split the uneasy alliance between growing numbers of self-identified libertarians, anarcho-libertarians, and more traditional conservatives who believed in limiting liberty to uphold moral virtues. Some libertarians joined the draft dodger, peace movements and Students for a Democratic Society. They began founding their own publications, like Murray Rothbard’s The Libertarian Forum and organizations like the Radical Libertarian Alliance. The split was aggravated at the 1969 Young Americans for Freedom convention, when more than 300 libertarians organized to take control of the organization from conservatives. The burning of a draft card in protest to a conservative proposal against draft resistance sparked physical confrontations among convention attendees, a walkout by a large number of libertarians, the creation of new purely libertarian organizations like the Society for Individual Liberty, and efforts to recruit potential libertarians from conservative organizations.[33] The split was finalized in 1971 when conservative leader William F. Buckley, in a 1971 New York Times article, attempted to weed libertarians out of the freedom movement. He wrote: “The ideological licentiousness that rages through America today makes anarchy attractive to the simple-minded. Even to the ingeniously simple-minded.”[29]

In 1971, David Nolan and a few friends formed the Libertarian Party.[34] Attracting former Democrats, Republicans and independents, it has run a presidential candidate every election year since 1972, including Ed Clark (1980), Ron Paul (1988), Harry Browne (1996 and 2000) and Bob Barr (2008). By 2006, polls showed that 15 percent of American voters identified themselves as libertarian.[35] Over the years, dozens of libertarian political parties have been formed worldwide. Educational organizations like the Center for Libertarian Studies and the Cato Institute were formed in the 1970s, and others have been created since then.[36]

Philosophical libertarianism gained a significant measure of recognition in academia with the publication of Harvard University professor Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia in 1974. The book won a National Book Award in 1975.[37] According to libertarian essayist Roy Childs, “Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia single-handedly established the legitimacy of libertarianism as a political theory in the world of academia.”[38]

According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states “libertarianism holds that agents initially fully own themselves and have moral powers to acquire property rights in external things under certain conditions.” It notes that libertarianism is not a right-wing doctrine because of its opposition to laws restricting adult consensual sexual relationships and drug use, and its opposition to imposing religious views or practices and compulsory military service. However, it notes that there is a version known as left-libertarianism which also endorses full self-ownership, but “differs on unappropriated natural resources (land, air, water, etc.).” “Right-libertarianism” holds that such resources may be appropriated by individuals. “Left-libertarianism” holds that they belong to everyone and must be distributed in some egalitarian manner.[39]

Like many libertarians, Leonard Read rejected the concepts of “left” and “right” libertarianism, calling them “authoritarian.”[40] Libertarian author and politician Harry Browne wrote: “We should never define Libertarian positions in terms coined by liberals or conservatives nor as some variant of their positions. We are not fiscally conservative and socially liberal. We are Libertarians, who believe in individual liberty and personal responsibility on all issues at all times. You can depend on us to treat government as the problem, not the solution.”[41]

Isaiah Berlin’s 1958 essay “Two Concepts of Liberty” described a difference between negative liberty which limits the power of the state to interfere and positive liberty in which a paternalistic state helps individuals achieve self-realization and self-determination. He believed these were rival and incompatible interpretations of liberty and held that demands for positive liberty lead to authoritarianism. This view has been adopted by many libertarians including Robert Nozick and Murray Rothbard.[42]

Libertarians contrast two ethical views: consequentialist libertarianism, which is the support for liberty because it leads to favorable consequences, such as prosperity or efficiency and deontological libertarianism (also known as “rights-theorist libertarianism,” “natural rights libertarianism,” or “libertarian moralism”) which consider moral tenets to be the basis of libertarian philosophy.[43] Others combine a hybrid of consequentialist and deontologist thinking.[44]

Another view, contractarian libertarianism, holds that any legitimate authority of government derives not from the consent of the governed, but from contract or mutual agreement. Robert Nozick holds a variation on this view, as does Jan Narveson as outlined in his 1988 work The Libertarian Idea and his 2002 work Respecting Persons in Theory and Practice. Other advocates of contractarian libertarianism include the Nobel Laureate and founder of the public choice school of economics James M. Buchanan, Canadian philosopher David Gauthier and Hungarian-French philosopher Anthony de Jasay.[45][46][47]

The main differences among libertarians relate to the ideal amount of freedom and the means to that freedom.

Libertarian conservatism, also known as conservative libertarianism (and sometimes called right-libertarianism), describes certain political ideologies which attempt to meld libertarian and conservative ideas, often called “fusionism.”[48][49] Anthony Gregory writes that right, or conservative, “libertarianism can refer to any number of varying and at times mutually exclusive political orientations” such as being “interested mainly in ‘economic freedoms'”; following the “conservative lifestyle of right-libertarians”; seeking “others to embrace their own conservative lifestyle”; considering big business “as a great victim of the state”; favoring a “strong national defense”; and having “an Old Right opposition to empire.”[50]

Conservatives hold that shared values, morals, standards, and traditions are necessary for social order while libertarians consider individual liberty as the highest value.[51] Laurence M. Vance writes: “Some libertarians consider libertarianism to be a lifestyle rather than a political philosophy… They apparently dont know the difference between libertarianism and libertinism.”[52] However, Edward Feser emphasizes that libertarianism does not require individuals to reject traditional conservative values.[48]

Some libertarian conservatives in the United States (known as libertarian constitutionalists) believe that the way to limit government is to enforce the United States Constitution.[53]

Libertarianism’s status is in dispute among those who style themselves Objectivists (Objectivism is the name philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand gave her philosophy). Though elements of Rand’s philosophy have been adopted by libertarianism, Objectivists (including Rand herself) have condemned libertarianism as a threat to freedom and capitalism. In particular, it has been claimed that libertarians use Objectivist ideas “with the teeth pulled out of them”.[54][55]

Conversely, some libertarians see Objectivists as dogmatic, unrealistic, and uncompromising (Objectivists do not see the last as a negative attribute). According to Reason editor Nick Gillespie in the magazine’s March 2005 issue focusing on Objectivism’s influence, Rand is “one of the most important figures in the libertarian movement… Rand remains one of the best-selling and most widely influential figures in American thought and culture” in general and in libertarianism in particular. Still, he confesses that he is embarrassed by his magazine’s association with her ideas. In the same issue, Cathy Young says that “Libertarianism, the movement most closely connected to Rand’s ideas, is less an offspring than a rebel stepchild.” Though they reject what they see as Randian dogmas, libertarians like Young still believe that “Rand’s message of reason and liberty… could be a rallying point” for libertarianism.

Objectivists reject the rigorous interpretation of the non-aggression principle which leads anarchist libertarians to reject the State. For Objectivists, a government limited to protection of its citizens’ rights is absolutely necessary and moral or at least a “necessary evil”. Objectivists are opposed to all anarchist currents and are suspicious of libertarians’ lineage with individualist anarchism.[56]

Libertarian progressivism supports the civil libertarian aspect of freedom as well as supporting the kind of economic freedom that emphasizes removing corporate subsidies and other favoritism to special interests, and applying a responsible transition toward freedom – for example, some support a transition approach that includes certain trade restrictions on imports from countries that have very little freedom, and free trade with those countries would be phased in if they move toward more freedom. Libertarian progressives are sometimes libertarian Democrats.[57][58]

Minarchism is the belief that a state should exist but that its functions should be minimal because its sole purpose is protecting the rights of the people, including protecting people and their property from the criminal acts of others, as well as providing for national defense.[59]

Anarchism is a political philosophy encompassing many theories and traditions, all opposed to government. Although anarchism is usually considered to be a left-wing ideology, it always has included individualists and, more recently, anarcho-capitalists who support pro-property and market-oriented economic structures. Anarchists may support anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism.

Geolibertarianism is a political movement that strives to reconcile libertarianism and Georgism (or geoism).[60] Geolibertarians are advocates of geoism, which is the position that all land is a common asset to which all individuals have an equal right to access, and therefore if individuals claim the land as their property they must pay rent to the community for doing so. Rent need not be paid for the mere use of land, but only for the right to exclude others from that land, and for the protection of one’s title by government. They simultaneously agree with the libertarian position that each individual has an exclusive right to the fruits of his or her labor as their private property, as opposed to this product being owned collectively by society or the community, and that “one’s labor, wages, and the products of labor” should not be taxed. In agreement with traditional libertarians they advocate “full civil liberties, with no crimes unless there are victims who have been invaded.”[60] Geolibertarians generally advocate distributing the land rent to the community via a land value tax, as proposed by Henry George and others before him. For this reason, they are often called “single taxers”. Fred E. Foldvary coined the word “geo-libertarianism” in an article so titled in Land and Liberty, May/June 1981, pp. 53-55. In the case of geoanarchism, the voluntary form of geolibertarianism as described by Foldvary, rent would be collected by private associations with the opportunity to secede from a geocommunity (and not receive the geocommunity’s services) if desired.

Left-libertarianism is usually regarded as doctrine that has an egalitarian view concerning natural resources, believing that it is not legitimate for someone to claim private ownership of resources to the detriment of others.[39][61][62] Most left libertarians support some form of income redistribution on the grounds of a claim by each individual to be entitled to an equal share of natural resources.[62] Left libertarianism is defended by contemporary theorists such as Peter Vallentyne, Hillel Steiner, Michael Otsuka, and Noam Chomsky.[63] The term is sometimes used as a synonym for libertarian socialism or simply socialism.[64]

Some members of the U.S. libertarian movement, including the late Samuel Edward Konkin III[65] and Roderick T. Long,[66] employ a differing definition of left libertarianism. These individuals depart from other forms of libertarianism by advocating strong alliances with the Left on issues such as the anti-war movement,[67] and by supporting labor unions.[68][69] Some wish to revive voluntary cooperative ideas such as mutualism.[70]

In France, Libert chrie (“Cherished Liberty”) is a pro-liberty think tank and activist association formed in 2003. Libert chrie gained significant publicity when it managed to draw 30,000 Parisians into the streets to demonstrate against government employees who were striking.[71][72]

In Germany, a “Libertre Plattform in der FDP” (“Liberty Caucus within the Free Democratic Party”) was founded in 2005.

The Russian Libertarian Movement (Rossiyskoye Libertarianskoye Dvizhenie, RLD; 2003-2006) was a short-lived political party in the Russian Federation, formed by members of the Institute of Natiology (Moscow), a libertarian think-tank. After electoral failure and government failure, it disbanded.

The Libertarian Alliance was an early libertarian educational group. It was followed by British think tanks such as the Adam Smith Institute. A British Libertarian Party was founded on January 1, 2008.

Well known libertarian organizations include the Center for Libertarian Studies, the Cato Institute, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL) and the Ludwig von Mises Institute. The Libertarian Party of the United States is the world’s first such party.

The activist Free State Project, formed in 2001, works to bring 20,000 libertarians to the state of New Hampshire to influence state policy. They had signed up 1,033 people by 2008. Similar, but less successful, projects include the Free West Alliance and Free State Wyoming. (There is also a European Free State Project.)

The Tea Party Movement is arguably a recent revival of mainstream libertarianism in the United States. Ron Paul and his son Rand Paul’s increasing visibility and popularity with the electorate could also be signs of a revival of libertarianism in mainstream political consciousness in the United States.

Costa Rica’s Movimiento Libertario (“Libertarian Movement”) is libertarian party which holds roughly 10% of the seats in Costa Rica’s national assembly (legislature). The Limn REAL Project seeks for autonomy in a province in Costa Rica.[73]

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Caribbean – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Islands  Comments Off on Caribbean – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Feb 172016
 

Caribbean Area 2,754,000km2 (1,063,000sqmi) Land area 239,681km2 (92,541sqmi) Population (2009) 39,169,962[1] Density 151.5/km2 (392/sqmi) Ethnic groups Afro-Caribbean, White Caribbean, Indo-Caribbean, Chinese Caribbean,Middle Eastern-Caribbean,[2]Arawak (Kalinago, Tano) Demonym Caribbean, Caribbean person, West Indian Languages Spanish, English, French, Dutch, French Creole, English Creole, Caribbean Hindustani, among others Government 13 sovereign states 17 dependent territories Largest cities List of metropolitan areas in the West Indies Santo Domingo Havana Port-au-Prince Santiago de los Caballeros Kingston Santiago de Cuba San Juan Holgun Cap-Hatien Fort-de-France Port of Spain Internet TLD Multiple Calling code Multiple Time zone UTC-5 to UTC-4

The Caribbean ( or ; Spanish: Caribe; Dutch: Caraben(helpinfo); Caribbean Hindustani: (Kairibiyana); French: Carabe or more commonly Antilles) is a region that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean), and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.

Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the region comprises more than 700 islands, islets, reefs, and cays. (See the list.) These islands generally form island arcs that delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea.[3] The Caribbean islands, consisting of the Greater Antilles on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south and east (including the Leeward Antilles), are part of the somewhat larger West Indies grouping, which also includes the Lucayan Archipelago (comprising The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands) north of the Greater Antilles and Caribbean Sea. In a wider sense, the mainland countries of Belize, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana are also included.

Geopolitically, the Caribbean islands are usually regarded as a subregion of North America[4][5][6][7][8] and are organized into 30 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies. From December 15, 1954, to October 10, 2010 there was a country known as the Netherlands Antilles composed of five states, all of which were Dutch dependencies.[9] While from January 3, 1958, to May 31, 1962, there was also a short-lived country called the Federation of the West Indies composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were then British dependencies. The West Indies cricket team continues to represent many of those nations.

The region takes its name from that of the Caribs, an ethnic group present in the Lesser Antilles and parts of adjacent South America at the time of the Spanish conquest.[10]

The two most prevalent pronunciations of “Caribbean” are KARR–BEE-n, with the primary accent on the third syllable, and k-RIB-ee-n, with the accent on the second. The former pronunciation is the older of the two, although the stressed-second-syllable variant has been established for over 75 years.[11] It has been suggested that speakers of British English prefer KARR–BEE-n while North American speakers more typically use k-RIB-ee-n,[12] although not all sources agree.[13] Usage is split within Caribbean English itself.[14]

The word “Caribbean” has multiple uses. Its principal ones are geographical and political. The Caribbean can also be expanded to include territories with strong cultural and historical connections to slavery, European colonisation, and the plantation system.

The geography and climate in the Caribbean region varies: Some islands in the region have relatively flat terrain of non-volcanic origin. These islands include Aruba (possessing only minor volcanic features), Barbados, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, Saint Croix, the Bahamas, and Antigua. Others possess rugged towering mountain-ranges like the islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Dominica, Montserrat, Saba, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Thomas, Saint John, Tortola, Grenada, Saint Vincent, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Definitions of the terms Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles often vary. The Virgin Islands as part of the Puerto Rican bank are sometimes included with the Greater Antilles. The term Lesser Antilles is often used to define an island arc that includes Grenada but excludes Trinidad and Tobago and the Leeward Antilles.

The waters of the Caribbean Sea host large, migratory schools of fish, turtles, and coral reef formations. The Puerto Rico trench, located on the fringe of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea just to the north of the island of Puerto Rico, is the deepest point in all of the Atlantic Ocean.[16]

The region sits in the line of several major shipping routes with the Panama Canal connecting the western Caribbean Sea with the Pacific Ocean.

The climate of the area is tropical to subtropical in Cuba, The Bahamas and Puerto Rico. Rainfall varies with elevation, size, and water currents (cool upwellings keep the ABC islands arid). Warm, moist tradewinds blow consistently from the east creating rainforest/semidesert divisions on mountainous islands. Occasional northwesterlies affect the northern islands in the winter. The region enjoys year-round sunshine, divided into ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ seasons, with the last six months of the year being wetter than the first half.

Hurricane Season is from June to November, but they occur more frequently in August and September and more common in the northern islands of the Caribbean.Hurricanes that sometimes batter the region usually strike northwards of Grenada and to the west of Barbados. The principal hurricane belt arcs to northwest of the island of Barbados in the Eastern Caribbean.

Water temperatures vary from 31C (88F) to 22C (72F) all around the year. The air temperature is warm, in the 20s and 30s C (70s, 80s, and 90s F) during the year, only varies from winter to summer about 25 degrees on the southern islands and about 1020 degrees difference can occur in the northern islands of the Caribbean. The northern islands, like the Bahamas, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and The Dominican Republic, may be influenced by continental masses during winter months, such as cold fronts.

Aruba: Latitude 12N

Puerto Rico: Latitude 18N

Cuba: at Latitude 22N

Greater Antilles

Lesser Antilles

All islands at some point were, and a few still are, colonies of European nations; a few are overseas or dependent territories:

The British West Indies were united by the United Kingdom into a West Indies Federation between 1958 and 1962. The independent countries formerly part of the B.W.I. still have a joint cricket team that competes in Test matches, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals. The West Indian cricket team includes the South American nation of Guyana, the only former British colony on the mainland of that continent.

In addition, these countries share the University of the West Indies as a regional entity. The university consists of three main campuses in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, a smaller campus in the Bahamas and Resident Tutors in other contributing territories such as Trinidad.

Islands in and near the Caribbean

Maritime boundaries between the Caribbean (island) nations

The Caribbean islands are remarkable for the diversity of their animals, fungi and plants, and have been classified as one of Conservation International’s biodiversity hotspots because of their exceptionally diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems, ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands. The region also contains about 8% (by surface area) of the world’s coral reefs[22] along with extensive seagrass meadows,[23] both of which are frequently found in the shallow marine waters bordering island and continental coasts off the region.

For the fungi, there is a modern checklist based on nearly 90,000 records derived from specimens in reference collections, published accounts and field observations.[24] That checklist includes more than 11250 species of fungi recorded from the region. As its authors note, the work is far from exhaustive, and it is likely that the true total number of fungal species already known from the Caribbean is higher. The true total number of fungal species occurring in the Caribbean, including species not yet recorded, is likely far higher given the generally accepted estimate that only about 7% of all fungi worldwide have been discovered.[25] Though the amount of available information is still small, a first effort has been made to estimate the number of fungal species endemic to some Caribbean islands. For Cuba, 2200 species of fungi have been tentatively identified as possible endemics of the island;[26] for Puerto Rico, the number is 789 species;[27] for the Dominican Republic, the number is 699 species;[28] for Trinidad and Tobago, the number is 407 species.[29]

Many of the ecosystems of the Caribbean islands have been devastated by deforestation, pollution, and human encroachment. The arrival of the first humans is correlated with extinction of giant owls and dwarf ground sloths.[30] The hotspot contains dozens of highly threatened animals (ranging from birds, to mammals and reptiles), fungi and plants. Examples of threatened animals include the Puerto Rican amazon, two species of solenodon (giant shrews) in Cuba and the Hispaniola island, and the Cuban crocodile.

The region’s coral reefs, which contain about 70 species of hard corals and between 500700 species of reef-associated fishes[31] have undergone rapid decline in ecosystem integrity in recent years, and are considered particularly vulnerable to global warming and ocean acidification.[32] According to a UNEP report, the caribbean coral reefs might get extinct in next 20 years due to population explosion along the coast lines, overfishing, the pollution of coastal areas and global warming.[33]

Some Caribbean islands have terrain that Europeans found suitable for cultivation for agriculture. Tobacco was an important early crop during the colonial era, but was eventually overtaken by sugarcane production as the region’s staple crop. Sugar was produced from sugarcane for export to Europe. Cuba and Barbados were historically the largest producers of sugar. The tropical plantation system thus came to dominate Caribbean settlement. Other islands were found to have terrain unsuited for agriculture, for example Dominica, which remains heavily forested. The islands in the southern Lesser Antilles, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaao, are extremely arid, making them unsuitable for agriculture. However, they have salt pans that were exploited by the Dutch. Sea water was pumped into shallow ponds, producing coarse salt when the water evaporated.[34]

The natural environmental diversity of the Caribbean islands has led to recent growth in eco-tourism. This type of tourism is growing on islands lacking sandy beaches and dense human populations.[35]

The Martinique amazon, Amazona martinicana, is an extinct species of parrot in the Psittacidae family.

At the time of European contact, the dominant ethnic groups in the Caribbean included the Tano of the Greater Antilles and northern Lesser Antilles, the Island Caribs of the southern Lesser Antilles, and smaller distinct groups such as the Guanajatabey of western Cuba and the Ciguayo of western Hispaniola. The population of the Caribbean is estimated to have been around 750,000 immediately before European contact, although lower and higher figures are given. After contact, social disruption and epidemic diseases such as smallpox and measles (to which they had no natural immunity)[36] led to a decline in the Amerindian population.[37] From 1500 to 1800 the population rose as slaves arrived from West Africa[38] such as the Kongo, Igbo, Akan, Fon and Yoruba as well as military prisoners and captured slaves from Ireland, who were deported during the Cromwellian reign in England.[39] Immigrants from Britain, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark also arrived, although the mortality rate was high for both groups.[40]

The population is estimated to have reached 2.2 million by 1800.[41] Immigrants from India, China, and other countries arrived in the 19th century.[42] After the ending of the Atlantic slave trade, the population increased naturally.[43] The total regional population was estimated at 37.5 million by 2000.[44]

The majority of the Caribbean has populations of mainly Africans in the French Caribbean, Anglophone Caribbean and Dutch Caribbean, there are minorities of mixed-race and European peoples of Dutch, English, French, Italian and Portuguese ancestry. Asians, especially those of Chinese and Indian descent, form a significant minority in the region and also contribute to multiracial communities. All of their ancestors arrived in the 19th century as indentured laborers.

The Spanish-speaking Caribbean have primarily mixed race, African, or European majorities. Puerto Rico has a European majority with a mixture of European-African (mulatto), and a large West African minority. One third of Cuba’s (largest Caribbean island) population is of African descent, with a sizable Mulatto (mixed AfricanEuropean) population, and European majority. The Dominican Republic has the largest mixed race population, primarily descended from Europeans, West Africans, and Amerindians.

Larger islands such as Jamaica, have a very large African majority, in addition to a significant mixed race, Chinese, Europeans, Indian, Lebanese, Latin American, and Syrian populations. This is a result of years of importation of slaves and indentured labourers, and migration. Most multi-racial Jamaicans refer to themselves as either mixed race or Brown. The situation is similar for the Caricom states of Belize, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago has a multi-racial cosmopolitan society due to the arrival of the Africans, Indians, Chinese, Syrians, Lebanese, Native Amerindians and Europeans. This multi-racial mix has created sub-ethnicities that often straddle the boundaries of major ethnicities and include Chindian, Mulatto and Dougla.

Spanish, English, French, Dutch, Haitian Creole, and Papiamento are the predominant official languages of various countries in the region, though a handful of unique creole languages or dialects can also be found from one country to another.

Christianity is the predominant religion in the Caribbean (84.7%).[45] Other religious groups in the region are Hinduism, Islam, Buddhist, Rastafari, and Afro-American religions such as Santera and Vodou.

Caribbean societies are very different from other Western societies in terms of size, culture, and degree of mobility of their citizens.[46] The current economic and political problems the states face individually are common to all Caribbean states. Regional development has contributed to attempts to subdue current problems and avoid projected problems. From a political and economic perspective, regionalism serves to make Caribbean states active participants in current international affairs through collective coalitions. In 1973, the first political regionalism in the Caribbean Basin was created by advances of the English-speaking Caribbean nations through the institution known as the Caribbean Common Market and Community (CARICOM)[47] which is located in Guyana.

Certain scholars have argued both for and against generalizing the political structures of the Caribbean. On the one hand the Caribbean states are politically diverse, ranging from communist systems such as Cuba toward more capitalist Westminster-style parliamentary systems as in the Commonwealth Caribbean. Other scholars argue that these differences are superficial, and that they tend to undermine commonalities in the various Caribbean states. Contemporary Caribbean systems seem to reflect a “blending of traditional and modern patterns, yielding hybrid systems that exhibit significant structural variations and divergent constitutional traditions yet ultimately appear to function in similar ways.”[48] The political systems of the Caribbean states share similar practices.

The influence of regionalism in the Caribbean is often marginalized. Some scholars believe that regionalism cannot exist in the Caribbean because each small state is unique. On the other hand, scholars also suggest that there are commonalities amongst the Caribbean nations that suggest regionalism exists. “Proximity as well as historical ties among the Caribbean nations has led to cooperation as well as a desire for collective action.”[49] These attempts at regionalization reflect the nations’ desires to compete in the international economic system.[49]

Furthermore, a lack of interest from other major states promoted regionalism in the region. In recent years the Caribbean has suffered from a lack of U.S. interest. “With the end of the Cold War, U.S. security and economic interests have been focused on other areas. As a result there has been a significant reduction in U.S. aid and investment to the Caribbean.”[50] The lack of international support for these small, relatively poor states, helped regionalism prosper.

Following the Cold War another issue of importance in the Caribbean has been the reduced economic growth of some Caribbean States due to the United States and European Union’s allegations of special treatment toward the region by each other. [clarification needed]

The United States under President Bill Clinton launched a challenge in the World Trade Organization against the EU over Europe’s preferential program, known as the Lom Convention, which allowed banana exports from the former colonies of the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP) to enter Europe cheaply.[51] The World Trade Organization sided in the United States’ favour and the beneficial elements of the convention to African, Caribbean and Pacific states has been partially dismantled and replaced by the Cotonou Agreement.[52]

During the US/EU dispute, the United States imposed large tariffs on European Union goods (up to 100%) to pressure Europe to change the agreement with the Caribbean nations in favour of the Cotonou Agreement.[53]

Farmers in the Caribbean have complained of falling profits and rising costs as the Lom Convention weakens. Some farmers have faced increased pressure to turn towards the cultivation of illegal drugs, which has a higher profit margin and fills the sizable demand for these illegal drugs in North America and Europe.[54][55]

The European Union has also taken issue with US based taxation extended to US companies via the Caribbean countries.[when?] The United States has not been in favor of shutting off the practice yet, mainly due to the higher costs that would be passed on to US companies via taxation.[citation needed] Caribbean countries have largely countered the allegations by the OECD by signing more bilateral information sharing deals with OECD members, thus reducing the dangerous aspects of secrecy, and they have strengthened their legislation against money laundering and on conditions under which companies can be based in their nations.[citation needed] The Caribbean nations have also started to more closely cooperate in the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and other instruments to add oversight of the offshore industry.

One of the most important associations that deal with regionalism amongst the nations of the Caribbean Basin has been the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). Proposed by CARICOM in 1992, the ACS soon won the support of the other countries of the region. It was founded in July 1994. The ACS maintains regionalism within the Caribbean on issues unique to the Caribbean Basin. Through coalition building, like the ACS and CARICOM, regionalism has become an undeniable part of the politics and economics of the Caribbean. The successes of region-building initiatives are still debated by scholars, yet regionalism remains prevalent throughout the Caribbean.

The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez launched an economic group called the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), which several eastern Caribbean islands joined. In 2012, the nation of Haiti, with 9 million people, became the largest CARICOM nation that sought to join the union.[56]

Here are some of the bodies that several islands share in collaboration:

Coordinates: 143132N 754906W / 14.52556N 75.81833W / 14.52556; -75.81833

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Caribbean – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Atheism – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Atheism  Comments Off on Atheism – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Feb 072016
 

Atheism is rejecting belief that there is a god.[1][2] It is the opposite of theism, which is the belief that at least one god exists. A person who rejects belief in gods is called an atheist.

Atheism is not the same as agnosticism. Agnostics say that there is no way to know whether gods exist or not.[3] Being an agnostic does not have to mean a person rejects or believes in god. Some agnostics are theists, believing in god. The theologian Kierkegaard is an example. Other agnostics are atheists.

Atheists often give reasons why they do not believe in a god or gods. Three of the reasons that they often give are the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, and the argument from nonbelief. Not all atheists think these reasons provide complete proof that gods cannot exist, but they are reasons given to support rejecting belief that gods exist. Some atheists think there is no evidence for any god or gods and goddesses so believing any type of theism means believing unproved assumptions. These atheists think a simpler explanation for everything is methodological naturalism which means that only natural things exist. Occam’s razor shows simple explanations without many unproved guesses are more likely to be true.[4]

The word atheism comes from the Greek language. It can be divided into a- (), a Greek prefix meaning “without”, and theos (), meaning “god”, and recombined to form “without gods”[6] or “godless”. In Ancient Greece it also meant “impious”.

Starting in about the 5th century BC, the word came to describe people who were “severing relations with the gods” or “denying the gods”. Before then, the meaning had been closer to “impious”. There is also the abstract noun, (atheots), “atheism”.

Cicero transliterated the Greek word into the Latin atheos. This word was often used in the debate between early Christians and Hellenists. Each side used it to label the other, in a bad way.[7]

Karen Armstrong writes that “During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the word ‘atheist’ was still reserved exclusively for polemic … The term ‘atheist’ was an insult. Nobody would have dreamed of calling himself an atheist.”[8]Atheism was first used to describe an openly positive belief in late 18th-century Europe, meaning disbelief in the monotheistic Abrahamic god.[9] The 20th century saw the term expand to refer to disbelief in all deities. However, it is still common in Western society to describe atheism as simply “disbelief in God”.[10]

In many places, it is (or was) a crime to be make public the idea of atheism. Examples would be to claim the Bible or Qur’an could not be true, or to speak or write that there is no god.[11]

Muslim apostasy, that is becoming an atheist or believing in a god other than Allah, may be a dangerous act in places with many conservative Muslim people. Many religious courts have punished and some still punish this act with the death penalty. Many countries still have laws against atheism.[12][13][14]

Atheism is becoming more common,[15] mainly in South America, North America, Oceania and Europe (by percentage of people that had a religion before and started to be atheist).

In many countries, mainly in the Western world, there are laws that protect atheists’ right to express their atheistic belief (freedom of speech). This means that atheists have the same rights under the law as everyone else. Freedom of religion in international law and treaties includes the freedom to not have a religion.

Today, about 2.3% of the world’s population describes itself as atheist. About 11.9% is described as nontheist.[16] Between 64% and 65% of Japanese describe themselves as atheists, agnostics, or non-believers,[17][18] and up to 48% in Russia.[17] The percentage of such people in European Union member states ranges between 6% (Italy) and 85% (Sweden).[17]

People disagree about what atheism means. They disagree on when to call certain people atheists or not.

Atheism has sometimes been described as someone not believing in God. This is very general. It includes people who have never heard about God, but would believe in God if they did learn about God.

George H. Smith created the expressions “implicit atheism” and “explicit atheism” to describe the difference between different types of Atheism. Implicit Atheism is when you do not believe in God because you do not know about God. Explicit Atheism is when you do not believe in God after learning about God.

In 1772, Baron d’Holbach said that “All children are born Atheists; they have no idea of God”.[19]

In 1979 George H. Smith said that: “The man who is unacquainted with theism is an atheist because he does not believe in a god. This category would also include the child [who is able to] grasp the issues involved, but who is still unaware of those issues. The fact that this child does not believe in god qualifies him as an atheist”.[20]

These two quotes describe Implicit Atheism.

Ernest Nagel disagrees with Smith’s definition of atheism as an “absence of theism”, saying only explicit atheism is true atheism.[21] This means that Nagel believes that to be an Atheist, a person needs to know about God and then reject the idea of God.

Philosophers like Antony Flew,[22] Michael Martin,[10] and William L. Rowe[23] have looked at strong (sometimes called positive) atheism against weak (sometimes called negative) atheism. According to this idea, anyone who does not believe in a god or gods is either a weak or a strong atheist.[24]

Strong Atheism is the certain belief that no god exists. An older way of saying Strong Atheism is to say “Positive Atheism” Weak atheism is all other forms of not believing in a god or gods. An older way of saying Weak Atheism is to say “Negative Atheism” These terms have been used more in philosophical writing[22] and in Catholic beliefs.[25] since at least 1813.[26][27] Under this definition of atheism, most Agnostics are Weak Atheists.

Michael Martin says that agnosticism includes weak atheism.[10] Some agnostics, including Anthony Kenny, disagree. They think being an agnostic is different from being an atheist. They think atheism is no different from believing in a god, because both require belief. This overlooks the reality that agnostics also have their own belief or “claim to knowledge” [28]

Agnostics say that it cannot be known if a god or gods exist. In their view, strong atheism requires a leap of faith. The mathematician W. K. Clifford wrote an essay called The Ethics of Belief.[29] In this essay, Clifford shows some examples how people can believe in things which go against what they see or feel. One of these examples is a story of a ship captain who transports immigrants. The immigrants have to pay to be able to go on the ship. The ship is old and needs to be fixed badly. The captain thought about fixing the ship, but then decided not to. The captain told himself that the ship has safely made many trips and survived many storms before. The captain thought the ship would be okay without being fixed, so he had no need to be scared. Unfortunately the ship sinks, and all die. The shipowner is greedy and takes the money the insurance pays for the ship. According to Clifford, the captain did something that is wrong. When he made himself believe there were no problems with the ship, he did this because he is greedy. Even if the ship had made its trip safely, the captain would have done something that is wrong. According to Clifford, it is always wrong to believe something without enough reasons.[3]

Atheists usually respond by saying that there is no difference between an idea about religion with no proof, and an idea about other things[30] The lack of proof that god does not exist does not mean that there is no god, but it also does not mean that there is a god.[31] Scottish philosopher J. J. C. Smart says that “sometimes a person who is really an atheist may describe herself, even passionately, as an agnostic because of unreasonable generalised philosophical skepticism which would preclude us from saying that we know anything whatever, except perhaps the truths of mathematics and formal logic.”[32] So, some popular atheist authors such as Richard Dawkins like to show the difference between theist, agnostic and atheist positions by the probability assigned to the statement “God exists”.[33]

In everyday life, many people define natural phenomena without the need of a god or gods. They do not deny the existence of one or more gods, they simply say that this existence is not necessary. Gods do not provide a purpose to life, nor influence it, according to this view.[34] Many scientists practice what they call methodological naturalism. They silently adopt philosophical naturalism and use the scientific method. Their belief in a god does not affect their results.[35]

Practical atheism can take different forms:

Theoretic atheism tries to find arguments against the existence of god, and to disprove the arguments of Theism, such as the argument from design or Pascal’s Wager. These theoretical reasons have many forms, most of them are ontological or epistemological. Some rely on psychology or sociology.

According to Immanuel Kant, there can be no proof of a supreme being that is made using reason. In his work, “Critique of pure reason”, he tries to show that all attempts of either proving the existence of God, or disproving it, end in a logical contradictions. Kant says that it is impossible to know whether there are any higher beings. This makes him an agnostic.

Ludwig Feuerbach published The Essence of Christianity in 1841.[37] In his work he postulates the following:

The following phrases sum up Feuerbach’s writing:

Read more:

Atheism – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The International Offshore Banking Guide – 2015 edition

 Offshore Banking  Comments Off on The International Offshore Banking Guide – 2015 edition
Jan 262016
 

Protect Yourself From The Ongoing Banking Crisis

Dont just Survive it … Thrive from it!

Karl Marx once infamously said, that … Religion is the Opium of the People

Today it seems that those who believe the current Banking & Financial system has gone back to normal, are just equally as hooked on a drug.

It is a drug thats now vital to the survival of the system, and hence perhaps even more addictive and persistent than religion itself.

That drug is commonly referred to as … Hope-ium.

The term Hope-ium was first coined in the 1870s, and is probably best defined as:

“The irrational belief that, despite all evidence to the contrary, things will turn out for the best”

Its also known in simpler terms as being delusional … and surely fits the put all your eggs in one basket approach that so many people employ with regard to how they bank and arrange their financial affairs.

In the wake of the recent rise in stock markets, a near universal state of psychological denial seems to permeate at least part of the psyche of those who invest in, and benefit most from, the current deeply flawed Banking & Financial system.

The denial is the refusal to see that the recovery from the Great Recession that began in 2008, has been anything other than an artificially contrived one.

Because of such denial then, the recent Hope-ium-fuelled Recovery has become infinitely more fabricated & fragile than most in the past, and hence infinitely more dangerous and misleading.

The wholly contrived economic Recovery has spurred on many savvy investors to diversify and protect themselves.

One of the tools that they have been using comes in the form of a Banking Guide that was first published back in 2007, before the 2008 Crash.

Value $197 Today Only $97

As you will soon see, this Guide is an invaluable route-map that has proven itself to be a cant do without for many of the most switched-on investors in the world.

The chart below amply demonstrates why the Guide is so crucial.

The chart graphically demonstrates the accelerating fragility and volatility, of the recent major crashes in the global economy.

Of course very few outside the core coterie of Central Bankers can predict with any degree of certainty exactly when the next bust will come, but, savvy observers and Central Banking watchers, recognize 2008 for what it was; a true watershed moment in financial history.

What marks the 2008-2015 recovery cycle out as being beyond interesting, is the forces that didnt so much allow it to happen naturally, but that created it extremely unnaturally!

And it is precisely because of the forced and unnatural conditions of the 2008-2015 Recovery, that discerning investors, entrepreneurs, and Central Banking watchers alike, became increasingly suspicious and were driven to action.

The seemingly blind believers in the system, on the other hand, appear completely oblivious to the dangers, despite knowing that their system only survived by the skin of its teeth, due to the injection of massive doses of yet another drug, the life support drug otherwise known as … Quantitative Easing.

That QE drug then, along with their own addiction to the drug of Hope-ium, are what has both inflated and sustained the 2009-2015 (and counting) Recovery Bull Run.

What well-informed group investors realise is that the can of the economic problem, was really only kicked down the road, ready to explode sometime later.

Of course, any success in the markets, however fabricated and short-sighted it may be, always has investors coming back for just one more fix as if nothing extraordinary had happened!

But we all know deep down inside that something extraordinary DID happen back in 2008, that despite mere appearances, the real economy, outside the Ivory Towers of Wall Street, is far from being out of the woods, almost 7 years later.

Despite the all clear being sounded by multiple talking heads on TV, the alarm bells are ringing louder than ever, with an increasing number of veteran investors, like Stanley Druckenmiller, George Soros, Ray Dalio, Jeremy Grantham, and Bill Gross, all warning that the Supercycle Bull Run is in dire jeopardy.

Discerning investors then instinctively know that a fundamental change occurred back in 2008 and ever since, they have been putting their insurance – and their escape plans – firmly in place.

The purpose of what follows then, is to introduce to you the most practical Banking Report that you will find, anywhere. It is a Report that will arm you with all you need to know in order to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your assets from potential harm.

Make no mistake, what happened from 2008 onwards represents possibly the biggest financial paradigm changing event that any of us will ever experience; one that savvy investors ever since then, have been quietly shifting their assets in order to take advantage of, as well as remain protected from.

The nature of the financial paradigm shift that is going on in front of our very eyes then, is perhaps best illustrated by looking at the following flat lining graph.

The graph represents a 7-year phenomenon that is without either parallel or precedent in all of modern financial history.

It is a shift that has truly broken the mould of 20th century economics, one that means we are currently in uncharted and inherently dangerous waters.

What it has meant too, is that the smart money has been preparing accordingly ever since.

We would urge everyone then, to join them, by getting yourself a copy of …

The Practical International Banking Guide

Value $197 Today Only $97

The Guide, now in its 8th Edition, has proven its worth many times over the years and has a core of avid readers who wait for every updated edition, and who truly understand its value.

As the name suggests, the 90+ page Guide is first of all practical, providing an extensive detailed resource list and database of direct contacts to banks and facilitators, who can help you to arrange your financial affairs in such a way as to shield yourself from the worst affects of the next, inevitable, Bust in the economic cycle.

The longer that the flat lining interest Rate trend is forced to continue, the more it becomes obvious that Central Banks are hamstrung and that what has always worked in the past, is simply no longer effective.

Whats worse, is not simply that Interest Rate Cuts may no longer be effective, but that they may no longer even be possible without tipping the entire economy into full blown depression and chaos. Such is the Catch 22 situation that Central Bankers, and by extension, every one of us, undeniably face.

The very Old Rules then, that traditional free market economics have always claimed to operate under, have been fundamentally challenged and changed.

We are now in a full blown financial world of contrived Artificial Reality, one dominated by High Speed Trading algorithms that literally fix and rig the markets, and of course, one of unlimited injections of fabricated money, supplied by increasingly desperate Central Banks.

Even The Don of Central Banking himself, Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan, fully reversed what by then was over 40 years of his own understanding of the markets, when, in October 2008, right after the Crash, he made the following astonishing, and all too late, admission :

I had been going for 40 years or more, with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well …

And what Im saying to you is, yes, I found a flaw … … a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure, that defines how the world works, so to speak.”

Now that is well worth reading again…..

What hes talking about here remember, is literally … How The World Works!

Over 40 years of accumulated market wisdom about how the very world itself works, and suddenly Greenspan admits to a flaw in his assumptions; a flaw so critical that he is forced to make an admission like that?

Rest assured then, Greenspans admission ranks as the most astonishing climb downs by any economist, in history, especially coming from one in a position of such unbridled power: power that by his own admission, means that the Federal Reserve Chairman is in a position that is beyond oversight even by the elected President of The United States himself!

About a year before the 2008 Crash, the looming sub-Prime crisis was well understood, although it had not yet exploded into a full blown crisis that it was to become.

In the September of 2007, a full year before that 2008 Crash, a still bullish and not yet chastened & contrite Alan Greenspan, was asked the following question by PBS anchor, Jim Lehrer :

What should be the proper relationship be, between a Chairman of the Fed and a President of the United States?

His reply, was illuminating to say the least. He said the following….

Well first of all, the Federal Reserve is an independent agency, and that means basically, that there is no other agency of government which can overrule actions that we take. So long as that is in place … then what the relationships are, don’t frankly matter.

So make no mistake, the Central Banking power of a Chairman of the Federal Reserve knows no bounds, is not even challenged by purportedly most powerful man in the world, The U.S. President. Such is the unheralded power that Central Banking possesses at its finger tips.

Clearly, Alan Greenspan knew even back then, that the interest Rate chart above would develop as it did, and he knew too, that the worn out tool and blunt instrument of mere Interest Rate Cuts, was never ever going to be enough to combat the consequences of his flaw.

And sure enough, even flat lining, near 0% Interest Rates proved to be as good as useless, in reviving the patient.

As Greenspan and other Central Bankers have since readily admitted … … Economics had changed forever.

If such slashed to the bone interest rates (which constituted virtually free money for banks) were still not enough, then what else could be done?

Remember, that on top of those virtually 0% rates, Central Bankers had already secured a TARP bail out that they had originally promised would be limited to an already eye-watering sum of $700 BILLION dollars in relief funding!

But of course, as we now know, that sum rapidly morphed and mutated into an out of control and unimaginable sum of over $25 TRILLION DOLLARS, all being made available to Banks to mop up their toxic bets and gambling debts and not just banks from the U.S.A. either, but from all around the world too.

Such already unprecedented interventions and over-rides of the so-called free market then, made the lack of movement in the real economy (rather than the manufactured micro-bubble of Wall Street) even more inexplicable.

Remember too, that those TRILLIONS of dollars of Bail Out money werent just sitting idly in some Rainy Day Fund in the basement of the Fed!

That money was essentially extorted from (and charged down to) the future earnings capacity of millions of as yet unborn tax payers in the future!

Central Bankers then, were clearly panicked by the total lack of response from this DOUBLE injection of life support drugs … and in desperation, they knew that they had no choice … they simply had to resort to the unthinkable.

And so it was, that the decision was made to once again, fire up the printing presses, and start printing literally tens of billions of dollars … every month!

All in order to keep the charade going for a little longer.

They even coined a new phrase to deflect attention away from such naked printing of money; they dubbed the furious printing that they were suddenly engaging in, Quantitative Easing.

It sounded almost benign, but make no mistake, what they were doing amounted to :

1. Blatant counterfeiting and currency debasement

2. An embarrassing admission of the failure of the old order of Economics

This THIRD overt and sustained injection of artificial QE life support into the Banking system did the trick and the stock exchanges at last had the funding necessary to recover and shoot for the stars.

But it was still a trick nonetheless … and a trick it surely remains.

Dont be fooled by the temporary lull in the U.S. Version of QE either.

QE continues, only in a different guise and through a different source.

Japan and the EU are currently filling the void, with the Mario Draghi of The European Central Bank, as recently as January 2015, announcing that they will pump 1.1 TRILLION EUROS … at a rate of 60bn a month (?!) … into European financial markets, until September 2016!

And whod bet against QE2, QE3, and on and on? Not many!

All of this of course, is an attempt to prevent the fragile Eurozone economy from grinding to a complete halt!

With youth unemployment still languishing at rates in excess of 50% in some Southern European countries, such financial artificial life support drugs are surely needed.

Historic 10-Year Treasury Bond Yields, 1870 – 2010. Notice Black Tuesday 1929, and Black Monday, 1987

The fact that such unprecedented measures have been needed, in order to reanimate the corpse of the global village economy, ought to have awakened everyone by now, to the illusory nature of the so-called safety of Western Banking and financial markets.

According to the Old Rules of free market economics, such unprecedented flat-lining Interest Rates alone ought to have been more than enough to jump start the economy.

But it wasnt enough. Far from it.

But the measures did serve one extremely useful purpose.

They provided savvy Central Bank watchers with all the data they needed to finally know that something was very wrong and uniquely different about the Bust of 2008.

What logically follows then is that the subsequent Post-Crash Boom in the Stock Markets must also be regarded as being equally suspect, fragile and fabricated.

So, while many savvy investors and readers of The Practical International Banking Guide have been happy enough to ride the wave up they are also well informed enough, and switched on enough to never have been fooled by the Smoke & Mirrors and Sleight of Hand that the Money Magicians of Central Banking have doled out.

Readers of the Banking Guide long ago saw the writing on the wall and have been quietly preparing themselves accordingly, ever since.

So we would again urge you to follow their example!

Prepare for and protect yourself against, what increasingly shows all the signs of being a massive shift away from the forced and contrived dominance, enjoyed by Western banking for centuries now.

So, while many savvy investors and readers of The Practical International Banking Guide have been happy enough to ride the wave up they are also well informed enough, and switched on enough to never have been fooled by the Smoke & Mirrors and Sleight of Hand that the Money Magicians of Central Banking have doled out.

It is a case of WHEN, not IF, such a turnaround comes

Dont get caught out

It is a trade that we simply cannot afford to be late getting into

The one common denominator realization that binds this small group of well informed people together then, is that they realise that the incoming financial hurricane is bound to make land fall with the most devastating impact, in the heart of the current Western financial capitals.

That is why, for years now, they have been quietly diversifying and moving their assets out of these seemingly invincible, but ultimately extremely vulnerable, jurisdictions.

They have instead, been moving them into safer, calmer waters of international jurisdictions where privacy and the rule of law still mean something, and where they are still relatively respected.

That is why we are proud to encourage you to access the latest, fully updated, 2015 Edition of

The Practical International Banking Guide – 2015 edition

The rest is here:
The International Offshore Banking Guide – 2015 edition

 Posted by at 11:42 pm  Tagged with:

Nihilism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

 Nihilism  Comments Off on Nihilism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Jan 202016
 

Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy. While few philosophers would claim to be nihilists, nihilism is most often associated with Friedrich Nietzsche who argued that its corrosive effects would eventually destroy all moral, religious, and metaphysical convictions and precipitate the greatest crisis in human history. In the 20th century, nihilistic themes–epistemological failure, value destruction, and cosmic purposelessness–have preoccupied artists, social critics, and philosophers. Mid-century, for example, the existentialists helped popularize tenets of nihilism in their attempts to blunt its destructive potential. By the end of the century, existential despair as a response to nihilism gave way to an attitude of indifference, often associated with antifoundationalism.

“Nihilism” comes from the Latin nihil, or nothing, which means not anything, that which does not exist. It appears in the verb “annihilate,” meaning to bring to nothing, to destroy completely. Early in the nineteenth century, Friedrich Jacobi used the word to negatively characterize transcendental idealism. It only became popularized, however, after its appearance in Ivan Turgenev’s novel Fathers and Sons (1862) where he used “nihilism” to describe the crude scientism espoused by his character Bazarov who preaches a creed of total negation.

In Russia, nihilism became identified with a loosely organized revolutionary movement (C.1860-1917) that rejected the authority of the state, church, and family. In his early writing, anarchist leader Mikhael Bakunin (1814-1876) composed the notorious entreaty still identified with nihilism: “Let us put our trust in the eternal spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unsearchable and eternally creative source of all life–the passion for destruction is also a creative passion!” (Reaction in Germany, 1842). The movement advocated a social arrangement based on rationalism and materialism as the sole source of knowledge and individual freedom as the highest goal. By rejecting man’s spiritual essence in favor of a solely materialistic one, nihilists denounced God and religious authority as antithetical to freedom. The movement eventually deteriorated into an ethos of subversion, destruction, and anarchy, and by the late 1870s, a nihilist was anyone associated with clandestine political groups advocating terrorism and assassination.

The earliest philosophical positions associated with what could be characterized as a nihilistic outlook are those of the Skeptics. Because they denied the possibility of certainty, Skeptics could denounce traditional truths as unjustifiable opinions. When Demosthenes (c.371-322 BC), for example, observes that “What he wished to believe, that is what each man believes” (Olynthiac), he posits the relational nature of knowledge. Extreme skepticism, then, is linked to epistemological nihilism which denies the possibility of knowledge and truth; this form of nihilism is currently identified with postmodern antifoundationalism. Nihilism, in fact, can be understood in several different ways. Political Nihilism, as noted, is associated with the belief that the destruction of all existing political, social, and religious order is a prerequisite for any future improvement. Ethical nihilism or moral nihilism rejects the possibility of absolute moral or ethical values. Instead, good and evil are nebulous, and values addressing such are the product of nothing more than social and emotive pressures. Existential nihilism is the notion that life has no intrinsic meaning or value, and it is, no doubt, the most commonly used and understood sense of the word today.

Max Stirner’s (1806-1856) attacks on systematic philosophy, his denial of absolutes, and his rejection of abstract concepts of any kind often places him among the first philosophical nihilists. For Stirner, achieving individual freedom is the only law; and the state, which necessarily imperils freedom, must be destroyed. Even beyond the oppression of the state, though, are the constraints imposed by others because their very existence is an obstacle compromising individual freedom. Thus Stirner argues that existence is an endless “war of each against all” (The Ego and its Own, trans. 1907).

Among philosophers, Friedrich Nietzsche is most often associated with nihilism. For Nietzsche, there is no objective order or structure in the world except what we give it. Penetrating the faades buttressing convictions, the nihilist discovers that all values are baseless and that reason is impotent. “Every belief, every considering something-true,” Nietzsche writes, “is necessarily false because there is simply no true world” (Will to Power [notes from 1883-1888]). For him, nihilism requires a radical repudiation of all imposed values and meaning: “Nihilism is . . . not only the belief that everything deserves to perish; but one actually puts one’s shoulder to the plough; one destroys” (Will to Power).

The caustic strength of nihilism is absolute, Nietzsche argues, and under its withering scrutiny “the highest values devalue themselves. The aim is lacking, and ‘Why’ finds no answer” (Will to Power). Inevitably, nihilism will expose all cherished beliefs and sacrosanct truths as symptoms of a defective Western mythos. This collapse of meaning, relevance, and purpose will be the most destructive force in history, constituting a total assault on reality and nothing less than the greatest crisis of humanity:

What I relate is the history of the next two centuries. I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently: the advent of nihilism. . . . For some time now our whole European culture has been moving as toward a catastrophe, with a tortured tension that is growing from decade to decade: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants to reach the end. . . . (Will to Power)

Since Nietzsche’s compelling critique, nihilistic themes–epistemological failure, value destruction, and cosmic purposelessness–have preoccupied artists, social critics, and philosophers. Convinced that Nietzsche’s analysis was accurate, for example, Oswald Spengler in The Decline of the West (1926) studied several cultures to confirm that patterns of nihilism were indeed a conspicuous feature of collapsing civilizations. In each of the failed cultures he examines, Spengler noticed that centuries-old religious, artistic, and political traditions were weakened and finally toppled by the insidious workings of several distinct nihilistic postures: the Faustian nihilist “shatters the ideals”; the Apollinian nihilist “watches them crumble before his eyes”; and the Indian nihilist “withdraws from their presence into himself.” Withdrawal, for instance, often identified with the negation of reality and resignation advocated by Eastern religions, is in the West associated with various versions of epicureanism and stoicism. In his study, Spengler concludes that Western civilization is already in the advanced stages of decay with all three forms of nihilism working to undermine epistemological authority and ontological grounding.

In 1927, Martin Heidegger, to cite another example, observed that nihilism in various and hidden forms was already “the normal state of man” (The Question of Being). Other philosophers’ predictions about nihilism’s impact have been dire. Outlining the symptoms of nihilism in the 20th century, Helmut Thielicke wrote that “Nihilism literally has only one truth to declare, namely, that ultimately Nothingness prevails and the world is meaningless” (Nihilism: Its Origin and Nature, with a Christian Answer, 1969). From the nihilist’s perspective, one can conclude that life is completely amoral, a conclusion, Thielicke believes, that motivates such monstrosities as the Nazi reign of terror. Gloomy predictions of nihilism’s impact are also charted in Eugene Rose’s Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age (1994). If nihilism proves victorious–and it’s well on its way, he argues–our world will become “a cold, inhuman world” where “nothingness, incoherence, and absurdity” will triumph.

While nihilism is often discussed in terms of extreme skepticism and relativism, for most of the 20th century it has been associated with the belief that life is meaningless. Existential nihilism begins with the notion that the world is without meaning or purpose. Given this circumstance, existence itself–all action, suffering, and feeling–is ultimately senseless and empty.

In The Dark Side: Thoughts on the Futility of Life (1994), Alan Pratt demonstrates that existential nihilism, in one form or another, has been a part of the Western intellectual tradition from the beginning. The Skeptic Empedocles’ observation that “the life of mortals is so mean a thing as to be virtually un-life,” for instance, embodies the same kind of extreme pessimism associated with existential nihilism. In antiquity, such profound pessimism may have reached its apex with Hegesis. Because miseries vastly outnumber pleasures, happiness is impossible, the philosopher argues, and subsequently advocates suicide. Centuries later during the Renaissance, William Shakespeare eloquently summarized the existential nihilist’s perspective when, in this famous passage near the end of Macbeth, he has Macbeth pour out his disgust for life:

Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more; it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

In the twentieth century, it’s the atheistic existentialist movement, popularized in France in the 1940s and 50s, that is responsible for the currency of existential nihilism in the popular consciousness. Jean-Paul Sartre’s (1905-1980) defining preposition for the movement, “existence precedes essence,” rules out any ground or foundation for establishing an essential self or a human nature. When we abandon illusions, life is revealed as nothing; and for the existentialists, nothingness is the source of not only absolute freedom but also existential horror and emotional anguish. Nothingness reveals each individual as an isolated being “thrown” into an alien and unresponsive universe, barred forever from knowing why yet required to invent meaning. It’s a situation that’s nothing short of absurd. Writing from the enlightened perspective of the absurd, Albert Camus (1913-1960) observed that Sisyphus’ plight, condemned to eternal, useless struggle, was a superb metaphor for human existence (The Myth of Sisyphus, 1942).

The common thread in the literature of the existentialists is coping with the emotional anguish arising from our confrontation with nothingness, and they expended great energy responding to the question of whether surviving it was possible. Their answer was a qualified “Yes,” advocating a formula of passionate commitment and impassive stoicism. In retrospect, it was an anecdote tinged with desperation because in an absurd world there are absolutely no guidelines, and any course of action is problematic. Passionate commitment, be it to conquest, creation, or whatever, is itself meaningless. Enter nihilism.

Camus, like the other existentialists, was convinced that nihilism was the most vexing problem of the twentieth century. Although he argues passionately that individuals could endure its corrosive effects, his most famous works betray the extraordinary difficulty he faced building a convincing case. In The Stranger (1942), for example, Meursault has rejected the existential suppositions on which the uninitiated and weak rely. Just moments before his execution for a gratuitous murder, he discovers that life alone is reason enough for living, a raison d’tre, however, that in context seems scarcely convincing. In Caligula (1944), the mad emperor tries to escape the human predicament by dehumanizing himself with acts of senseless violence, fails, and surreptitiously arranges his own assassination. The Plague (1947) shows the futility of doing one’s best in an absurd world. And in his last novel, the short and sardonic, The Fall (1956), Camus posits that everyone has bloody hands because we are all responsible for making a sorry state worse by our inane action and inaction alike. In these works and other works by the existentialists, one is often left with the impression that living authentically with the meaninglessness of life is impossible.

Camus was fully aware of the pitfalls of defining existence without meaning, and in his philosophical essay The Rebel (1951) he faces the problem of nihilism head-on. In it, he describes at length how metaphysical collapse often ends in total negation and the victory of nihilism, characterized by profound hatred, pathological destruction, and incalculable violence and death.

By the late 20th century, “nihilism” had assumed two different castes. In one form, “nihilist” is used to characterize the postmodern person, a dehumanized conformist, alienated, indifferent, and baffled, directing psychological energy into hedonistic narcissism or into a deep ressentiment that often explodes in violence. This perspective is derived from the existentialists’ reflections on nihilism stripped of any hopeful expectations, leaving only the experience of sickness, decay, and disintegration.

In his study of meaninglessness, Donald Crosby writes that the source of modern nihilism paradoxically stems from a commitment to honest intellectual openness. “Once set in motion, the process of questioning could come to but one end, the erosion of conviction and certitude and collapse into despair” (The Specter of the Absurd, 1988). When sincere inquiry is extended to moral convictions and social consensus, it can prove deadly, Crosby continues, promoting forces that ultimately destroy civilizations. Michael Novak’s recently revised The Experience of Nothingness (1968, 1998) tells a similar story. Both studies are responses to the existentialists’ gloomy findings from earlier in the century. And both optimistically discuss ways out of the abyss by focusing of the positive implications nothingness reveals, such as liberty, freedom, and creative possibilities. Novak, for example, describes how since WWII we have been working to “climb out of nihilism” on the way to building a new civilization.

In contrast to the efforts to overcome nihilism noted above is the uniquely postmodern response associated with the current antifoundationalists. The philosophical, ethical, and intellectual crisis of nihilism that has tormented modern philosophers for over a century has given way to mild annoyance or, more interestingly, an upbeat acceptance of meaninglessness.

French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard characterizes postmodernism as an “incredulity toward metanarratives,” those all-embracing foundations that we have relied on to make sense of the world. This extreme skepticism has undermined intellectual and moral hierarchies and made “truth” claims, transcendental or transcultural, problematic. Postmodern antifoundationalists, paradoxically grounded in relativism, dismiss knowledge as relational and “truth” as transitory, genuine only until something more palatable replaces it (reminiscent of William James’ notion of “cash value”). The critic Jacques Derrida, for example, asserts that one can never be sure that what one knows corresponds with what is. Since human beings participate in only an infinitesimal part of the whole, they are unable to grasp anything with certainty, and absolutes are merely “fictional forms.”

American antifoundationalist Richard Rorty makes a similar point: “Nothing grounds our practices, nothing legitimizes them, nothing shows them to be in touch with the way things are” (“From Logic to Language to Play,” 1986). This epistemological cul-de-sac, Rorty concludes, leads inevitably to nihilism. “Faced with the nonhuman, the nonlinguistic, we no longer have the ability to overcome contingency and pain by appropriation and transformation, but only the ability to recognize contingency and pain” (Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, 1989). In contrast to Nietzsche’s fears and the angst of the existentialists, nihilism becomes for the antifoundationalists just another aspect of our contemporary milieu, one best endured with sang-froid.

In The Banalization of Nihilism (1992) Karen Carr discusses the antifoundationalist response to nihilism. Although it still inflames a paralyzing relativism and subverts critical tools, “cheerful nihilism” carries the day, she notes, distinguished by an easy-going acceptance of meaninglessness. Such a development, Carr concludes, is alarming. If we accept that all perspectives are equally non-binding, then intellectual or moral arrogance will determine which perspective has precedence. Worse still, the banalization of nihilism creates an environment where ideas can be imposed forcibly with little resistance, raw power alone determining intellectual and moral hierarchies. It’s a conclusion that dovetails nicely with Nietzsche’s, who pointed out that all interpretations of the world are simply manifestations of will-to-power.

It has been over a century now since Nietzsche explored nihilism and its implications for civilization. As he predicted, nihilism’s impact on the culture and values of the 20th century has been pervasive, its apocalyptic tenor spawning a mood of gloom and a good deal of anxiety, anger, and terror. Interestingly, Nietzsche himself, a radical skeptic preoccupied with language, knowledge, and truth, anticipated many of the themes of postmodernity. It’s helpful to note, then, that he believed we could–at a terrible price–eventually work through nihilism. If we survived the process of destroying all interpretations of the world, we could then perhaps discover the correct course for humankind:

I praise, I do not reproach, [nihilism’s] arrival. I believe it is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength. It is possible. . . . (Complete Works Vol. 13)

Alan Pratt Email: pratta@db.erau.edu Embry-Riddle University U. S. A.

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Nihilism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Atheism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Atheism  Comments Off on Atheism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jan 202016
 

Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[3][4][5] Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist.[4][5][6][7] Atheism is contrasted with theism,[8][9] which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists.[9][10][11]

The term “atheism” originated from the Greek (atheos), meaning “without god(s)”, used as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshiped by the larger society.[12] With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, and subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope. The first individuals to identify themselves using the word “atheist” lived in the 18th century during the Age of Enlightenment. The French Revolution, noted for its “unprecedented atheism,” witnessed the first major political movement in history to advocate for the supremacy of human reason.[14]

Arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to social and historical approaches. Rationales for not believing in deities include arguments that there is a lack of empirical evidence;[15][16] the problem of evil; the argument from inconsistent revelations; the rejection of concepts that cannot be falsified; and the argument from nonbelief.[15][17] Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies (eg. humanism and skepticism),[18][19] there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.[20] Many atheists hold that atheism is a more parsimonious worldview than theism and therefore that the burden of proof lies not on the atheist to disprove the existence of God but on the theist to provide a rationale for theism.[21]

Since conceptions of atheism vary, accurate estimations of current numbers of atheists are difficult.[22] Several comprehensive global polls on the subject have been conducted by Gallup International: their 2015 poll featured over 64,000 respondents and indicated that 11% were “convinced atheists” whereas an earlier 2012 poll found that 13% of respondents were “convinced atheists.”[23][24] An older survey by the BBC, in 2004, recorded atheists as comprising 8% of the world’s population.[25] Other older estimates have indicated that atheists comprise 2% of the world’s population, while the irreligious add a further 12%.[26] According to these polls, Europe and East Asia are the regions with the highest rates of atheism. In 2015, 61% of people in China reported that they were atheists.[27] The figures for a 2010 Eurobarometer survey in the European Union (EU) reported that 20% of the EU population claimed not to believe in “any sort of spirit, God or life force”.[28]

Writers disagree on how best to define and classify atheism,[29] contesting what supernatural entities it applies to, whether it is a philosophic position in its own right or merely the absence of one, and whether it requires a conscious, explicit rejection. Atheism has been regarded as compatible with agnosticism,[30][31][32][33][34][35][36] and has also been contrasted with it.[37][38][39] A variety of categories have been used to distinguish the different forms of atheism.

Some of the ambiguity and controversy involved in defining atheism arises from difficulty in reaching a consensus for the definitions of words like deity and god. The plurality of wildly different conceptions of God and deities leads to differing ideas regarding atheism’s applicability. The ancient Romans accused Christians of being atheists for not worshiping the pagan deities. Gradually, this view fell into disfavor as theism came to be understood as encompassing belief in any divinity.

With respect to the range of phenomena being rejected, atheism may counter anything from the existence of a deity, to the existence of any spiritual, supernatural, or transcendental concepts, such as those of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Taoism.[41]

Definitions of atheism also vary in the degree of consideration a person must put to the idea of gods to be considered an atheist. Atheism has sometimes been defined to include the simple absence of belief that any deities exist. This broad definition would include newborns and other people who have not been exposed to theistic ideas. As far back as 1772, Baron d’Holbach said that “All children are born Atheists; they have no idea of God.”[42] Similarly, George H. Smith (1979) suggested that: “The man who is unacquainted with theism is an atheist because he does not believe in a god. This category would also include the child with the conceptual capacity to grasp the issues involved, but who is still unaware of those issues. The fact that this child does not believe in god qualifies him as an atheist.”[43] Smith coined the term implicit atheism to refer to “the absence of theistic belief without a conscious rejection of it” and explicit atheism to refer to the more common definition of conscious disbelief. Ernest Nagel contradicts Smith’s definition of atheism as merely “absence of theism”, acknowledging only explicit atheism as true “atheism”.[44]

Philosophers such as Antony Flew[45] and Michael Martin have contrasted positive (strong/hard) atheism with negative (weak/soft) atheism. Positive atheism is the explicit affirmation that gods do not exist. Negative atheism includes all other forms of non-theism. According to this categorization, anyone who is not a theist is either a negative or a positive atheist. The terms weak and strong are relatively recent, while the terms negative and positive atheism are of older origin, having been used (in slightly different ways) in the philosophical literature[45] and in Catholic apologetics.[46] Under this demarcation of atheism, most agnostics qualify as negative atheists.

While Martin, for example, asserts that agnosticism entails negative atheism,[33] many agnostics see their view as distinct from atheism,[47][48] which they may consider no more justified than theism or requiring an equal conviction.[47] The assertion of unattainability of knowledge for or against the existence of gods is sometimes seen as indication that atheism requires a leap of faith.[49][50] Common atheist responses to this argument include that unproven religious propositions deserve as much disbelief as all other unproven propositions,[51] and that the unprovability of a god’s existence does not imply equal probability of either possibility.[52] Scottish philosopher J. J. C. Smart even argues that “sometimes a person who is really an atheist may describe herself, even passionately, as an agnostic because of unreasonable generalised philosophical skepticism which would preclude us from saying that we know anything whatever, except perhaps the truths of mathematics and formal logic.”[53] Consequently, some atheist authors such as Richard Dawkins prefer distinguishing theist, agnostic and atheist positions along a spectrum of theistic probabilitythe likelihood that each assigns to the statement “God exists”.

Before the 18th century, the existence of God was so accepted in the western world that even the possibility of true atheism was questioned. This is called theistic innatismthe notion that all people believe in God from birth; within this view was the connotation that atheists are simply in denial.[55]

There is also a position claiming that atheists are quick to believe in God in times of crisis, that atheists make deathbed conversions, or that “there are no atheists in foxholes”.[56] There have however been examples to the contrary, among them examples of literal “atheists in foxholes”.[57]

Some atheists have doubted the very need for the term “atheism”. In his book Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris wrote:

In fact, “atheism” is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a “non-astrologer” or a “non-alchemist”. We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.

The source of man’s unhappiness is his ignorance of Nature. The pertinacity with which he clings to blind opinions imbibed in his infancy, which interweave themselves with his existence, the consequent prejudice that warps his mind, that prevents its expansion, that renders him the slave of fiction, appears to doom him to continual error.

The broadest demarcation of atheistic rationale is between practical and theoretical atheism.

In practical or pragmatic atheism, also known as apatheism, individuals live as if there are no gods and explain natural phenomena without reference to any deities. The existence of gods is not rejected, but may be designated unnecessary or useless; gods neither provide purpose to life, nor influence everyday life, according to this view.[60] A form of practical atheism with implications for the scientific community is methodological naturalismthe “tacit adoption or assumption of philosophical naturalism within scientific method with or without fully accepting or believing it.”[61]

Practical atheism can take various forms:

Theoretical (or theoric) atheism explicitly posits arguments against the existence of gods, responding to common theistic arguments such as the argument from design or Pascal’s Wager. Theoretical atheism is mainly an ontology; more precisely, a physical ontology.

Epistemological atheism argues that people cannot know a God or determine the existence of a God. The foundation of epistemological atheism is agnosticism, which takes a variety of forms. In the philosophy of immanence, divinity is inseparable from the world itself, including a person’s mind, and each person’s consciousness is locked in the subject. According to this form of agnosticism, this limitation in perspective prevents any objective inference from belief in a god to assertions of its existence. The rationalistic agnosticism of Kant and the Enlightenment only accepts knowledge deduced with human rationality; this form of atheism holds that gods are not discernible as a matter of principle, and therefore cannot be known to exist. Skepticism, based on the ideas of Hume, asserts that certainty about anything is impossible, so one can never know for sure whether or not a god exists. Hume, however, held that such unobservable metaphysical concepts should be rejected as “sophistry and illusion”.[63] The allocation of agnosticism to atheism is disputed; it can also be regarded as an independent, basic worldview.[60]

Other arguments for atheism that can be classified as epistemological or ontological, including logical positivism and ignosticism, assert the meaninglessness or unintelligibility of basic terms such as “God” and statements such as “God is all-powerful.” Theological noncognitivism holds that the statement “God exists” does not express a proposition, but is nonsensical or cognitively meaningless. It has been argued both ways as to whether such individuals can be classified into some form of atheism or agnosticism. Philosophers A. J. Ayer and Theodore M. Drange reject both categories, stating that both camps accept “God exists” as a proposition; they instead place noncognitivism in its own category.[64][65]

One author writes:

“Metaphysical atheism… includes all doctrines that hold to metaphysical monism (the homogeneity of reality). Metaphysical atheism may be either: a) absolute an explicit denial of God’s existence associated with materialistic monism (all materialistic trends, both in ancient and modern times); b) relative the implicit denial of God in all philosophies that, while they accept the existence of an absolute, conceive of the absolute as not possessing any of the attributes proper to God: transcendence, a personal character or unity. Relative atheism is associated with idealistic monism (pantheism, panentheism, deism).”[66]

Logical atheism holds that the various conceptions of gods, such as the personal god of Christianity, are ascribed logically inconsistent qualities. Such atheists present deductive arguments against the existence of God, which assert the incompatibility between certain traits, such as perfection, creator-status, immutability, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, omnibenevolence, transcendence, personhood (a personal being), nonphysicality, justice, and mercy.[15]

Theodicean atheists believe that the world as they experience it cannot be reconciled with the qualities commonly ascribed to God and gods by theologians. They argue that an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent God is not compatible with a world where there is evil and suffering, and where divine love is hidden from many people.[17] A similar argument is attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.[68]

Philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach[69] and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud have argued that God and other religious beliefs are human inventions, created to fulfill various psychological and emotional wants or needs. This is also a view of many Buddhists.[70]Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, influenced by the work of Feuerbach, argued that belief in God and religion are social functions, used by those in power to oppress the working class. According to Mikhail Bakunin, “the idea of God implies the abdication of human reason and justice; it is the most decisive negation of human liberty, and necessarily ends in the enslavement of mankind, in theory and practice.” He reversed Voltaire’s famous aphorism that if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him, writing instead that “if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.”[71]

Atheism is acceptable within some religious and spiritual belief systems, including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Syntheism, Ralism,[72] and Neopagan movements[73] such as Wicca.[74]stika schools in Hinduism hold atheism to be a valid path to moksha, but extremely difficult, for the atheist can not expect any help from the divine on their journey.[75] Jainism believes the universe is eternal and has no need for a creator deity, however Tirthankaras are revered that can transcend space and time [76] and have more power than the god Indra.[77]Secular Buddhism does not advocate belief in gods. Early Buddhism was atheistic as Gautama Buddha’s path involved no mention of gods. Later conceptions of Buddhism consider Buddha himself a god, suggest adherents can attain godhood, and revere Bodhisattvas[78] and Eternal Buddha.

Axiological, or constructive, atheism rejects the existence of gods in favor of a “higher absolute”, such as humanity. This form of atheism favors humanity as the absolute source of ethics and values, and permits individuals to resolve moral problems without resorting to God. Marx and Freud used this argument to convey messages of liberation, full-development, and unfettered happiness.[60] One of the most common criticisms of atheism has been to the contrarythat denying the existence of a god leads to moral relativism, leaving one with no moral or ethical foundation,[79] or renders life meaningless and miserable.[80]Blaise Pascal argued this view in his Penses.[81]

French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre identified himself as a representative of an “atheist existentialism” concerned less with denying the existence of God than with establishing that “man needs… to find himself again and to understand that nothing can save him from himself, not even a valid proof of the existence of God.” Sartre said a corollary of his atheism was that “if God does not exist, there is at least one being in whom existence precedes essence, a being who exists before he can be defined by any concept, and… this being is man.” The practical consequence of this atheism was described by Sartre as meaning that there are no a priori rules or absolute values that can be invoked to govern human conduct, and that humans are “condemned” to invent these for themselves, making “man” absolutely “responsible for everything he does”.

Sociologist Phil Zuckerman analyzed previous social science research on secularity and non-belief, and concluded that societal well-being is positively correlated with irreligion. He found that there are much lower concentrations of atheism and secularity in poorer, less developed nations (particularly in Africa and South America) than in the richer industrialized democracies.[85][86] His findings relating specifically to atheism in the US were that compared to religious people in the US, “atheists and secular people” are less nationalistic, prejudiced, antisemitic, racist, dogmatic, ethnocentric, closed-minded, and authoritarian, and in US states with the highest percentages of atheists, the murder rate is lower than average. In the most religious states, the murder rate is higher than average.[87][88]

People who self-identify as atheists are often assumed to be irreligious, but some sects within major religions reject the existence of a personal, creator deity.[90] In recent years, certain religious denominations have accumulated a number of openly atheistic followers, such as atheistic or humanistic Judaism[91][92] and Christian atheists.[93][94][95]

The strictest sense of positive atheism does not entail any specific beliefs outside of disbelief in any deity; as such, atheists can hold any number of spiritual beliefs. For the same reason, atheists can hold a wide variety of ethical beliefs, ranging from the moral universalism of humanism, which holds that a moral code should be applied consistently to all humans, to moral nihilism, which holds that morality is meaningless.[96]

Philosophers such as Slavoj iek,[97]Alain de Botton,[98] and Alexander Bard and Jan Sderqvist,[99] have all argued that atheists should reclaim religion as an act of defiance against theism, precisely not to leave religion as an unwarranted monopoly to theists.

According to Plato’s Euthyphro dilemma, the role of the gods in determining right from wrong is either unnecessary or arbitrary. The argument that morality must be derived from God, and cannot exist without a wise creator, has been a persistent feature of political if not so much philosophical debate.[100][101][102] Moral precepts such as “murder is wrong” are seen as divine laws, requiring a divine lawmaker and judge. However, many atheists argue that treating morality legalistically involves a false analogy, and that morality does not depend on a lawmaker in the same way that laws do.[103]Friedrich Nietzsche believed in a morality independent of theistic belief, and stated that morality based upon God “has truth only if God is truthit stands or falls with faith in God.”[104][105][106]

There exist normative ethical systems that do not require principles and rules to be given by a deity. Some include virtue ethics, social contract, Kantian ethics, utilitarianism, and Objectivism. Sam Harris has proposed that moral prescription (ethical rule making) is not just an issue to be explored by philosophy, but that we can meaningfully practice a science of morality. Any such scientific system must, nevertheless, respond to the criticism embodied in the naturalistic fallacy.[107]

Philosophers Susan Neiman[108] and Julian Baggini[109] (among others) assert that behaving ethically only because of divine mandate is not true ethical behavior but merely blind obedience. Baggini argues that atheism is a superior basis for ethics, claiming that a moral basis external to religious imperatives is necessary to evaluate the morality of the imperatives themselvesto be able to discern, for example, that “thou shalt steal” is immoral even if one’s religion instructs itand that atheists, therefore, have the advantage of being more inclined to make such evaluations.[110] The contemporary British political philosopher Martin Cohen has offered the more historically telling example of Biblical injunctions in favour of torture and slavery as evidence of how religious injunctions follow political and social customs, rather than vice versa, but also noted that the same tendency seems to be true of supposedly dispassionate and objective philosophers.[111] Cohen extends this argument in more detail in Political Philosophy from Plato to Mao, where he argues that the Qur’an played a role in perpetuating social codes from the early 7th century despite changes in secular society.[112]

Some prominent atheistsmost recently Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, and following such thinkers as Bertrand Russell, Robert G. Ingersoll, Voltaire, and novelist Jos Saramagohave criticized religions, citing harmful aspects of religious practices and doctrines.[113]

The 19th-century German political theorist and sociologist Karl Marx called religion “the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”. He goes on to say, “The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.[114]Lenin said that “every religious idea and every idea of God “is unutterable vileness… of the most dangerous kind, ‘contagion’ of the most abominable kind. Millions of sins, filthy deeds, acts of violence and physical contagions… are far less dangerous than the subtle, spiritual idea of God decked out in the smartest ideological constumes…”[115]

Sam Harris criticises Western religion’s reliance on divine authority as lending itself to authoritarianism and dogmatism. There is a correlation between religious fundamentalism and extrinsic religion (when religion is held because it serves ulterior interests)[117] and authoritarianism, dogmatism, and prejudice.[118] These argumentscombined with historical events that are argued to demonstrate the dangers of religion, such as the Crusades, inquisitions, witch trials, and terrorist attackshave been used in response to claims of beneficial effects of belief in religion.[119] Believers counter-argue that some regimes that espouse atheism, such as in Soviet Russia, have also been guilty of mass murder.[120][121] In response to those claims, atheists such as Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins have stated that Stalin’s atrocities were influenced not by atheism but by dogmatic Marxism, and that while Stalin and Mao happened to be atheists, they did not do their deeds in the name of atheism.[123]

In early ancient Greek, the adjective theos (, from the privative – + “god”) meant “godless”. It was first used as a term of censure roughly meaning “ungodly” or “impious”. In the 5th century BCE, the word began to indicate more deliberate and active godlessness in the sense of “severing relations with the gods” or “denying the gods”. The term (asebs) then came to be applied against those who impiously denied or disrespected the local gods, even if they believed in other gods. Modern translations of classical texts sometimes render theos as “atheistic”. As an abstract noun, there was also (atheots), “atheism”. Cicero transliterated the Greek word into the Latin theos. The term found frequent use in the debate between early Christians and Hellenists, with each side attributing it, in the pejorative sense, to the other.[12]

The term atheist (from Fr. athe), in the sense of “one who… denies the existence of God or gods”,[125] predates atheism in English, being first found as early as 1566,[126] and again in 1571.[127]Atheist as a label of practical godlessness was used at least as early as 1577.[128] The term atheism was derived from the French athisme,[129] and appears in English about 1587.[130] An earlier work, from about 1534, used the term atheonism.[131][132] Related words emerged later: deist in 1621,[133]theist in 1662,[134]deism in 1675,[135] and theism in 1678.[136] At that time “deist” and “deism” already carried their modern meaning. The term theism came to be contrasted with deism.

Karen Armstrong writes that “During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the word ‘atheist’ was still reserved exclusively for polemic… The term ‘atheist’ was an insult. Nobody would have dreamed of calling himself an atheist.”

Atheism was first used to describe a self-avowed belief in late 18th-century Europe, specifically denoting disbelief in the monotheistic Abrahamic god.[137] In the 20th century, globalization contributed to the expansion of the term to refer to disbelief in all deities, though it remains common in Western society to describe atheism as simply “disbelief in God”.

While the earliest-found usage of the term atheism is in 16th-century France,[129][130] ideas that would be recognized today as atheistic are documented from the Vedic period and the classical antiquity.

Atheistic schools are found in early Indian thought and have existed from the times of the historical Vedic religion.[138] Among the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy, Samkhya, the oldest philosophical school of thought, does not accept God, and the early Mimamsa also rejected the notion of God.[139] The thoroughly materialistic and anti-theistic philosophical Crvka (also called Nastika or Lokaiata) school that originated in India around the 6th century BCE is probably the most explicitly atheistic school of philosophy in India, similar to the Greek Cyrenaic school. This branch of Indian philosophy is classified as heterodox due to its rejection of the authority of Vedas and hence is not considered part of the six orthodox schools of Hinduism, but it is noteworthy as evidence of a materialistic movement within Hinduism.[140] Chatterjee and Datta explain that our understanding of Crvka philosophy is fragmentary, based largely on criticism of the ideas by other schools, and that it is not a living tradition:

“Though materialism in some form or other has always been present in India, and occasional references are found in the Vedas, the Buddhistic literature, the Epics, as well as in the later philosophical works we do not find any systematic work on materialism, nor any organized school of followers as the other philosophical schools possess. But almost every work of the other schools states, for refutation, the materialistic views. Our knowledge of Indian materialism is chiefly based on these.”[141]

Other Indian philosophies generally regarded as atheistic include Classical Samkhya and Purva Mimamsa. The rejection of a personal creator God is also seen in Jainism and Buddhism in India.[142]

Western atheism has its roots in pre-Socratic Greek philosophy, but did not emerge as a distinct world-view until the late Enlightenment.[143] The 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher Diagoras is known as the “first atheist”,[144] and is cited as such by Cicero in his De Natura Deorum.[145]Atomists such as Democritus attempted to explain the world in a purely materialistic way, without reference to the spiritual or mystical. Critias viewed religion as a human invention used to frighten people into following moral order[146] and Prodicus also appears to have made clear atheistic statements in his work. Philodemus reports that Prodicus believed that “the gods of popular belief do not exist nor do they know, but primitive man, [out of admiration, deified] the fruits of the earth and virtually everything that contributed to his existence”. Protagoras has sometimes been taken to be an atheist but rather espoused agnostic views, commenting that “Concerning the gods I am unable to discover whether they exist or not, or what they are like in form; for there are many hindrances to knowledge, the obscurity of the subject and the brevity of human life.”[147] In the 3rd-century BCE the Greek philosophers Theodorus Cyrenaicus[145][148] and Strato of Lampsacus[149] did not believe gods exist.

Socrates (c. 470399 BCE) was associated in the Athenian public mind with the trends in pre-Socratic philosophy towards naturalistic inquiry and the rejection of divine explanations for phenomena. Although such an interpretation misrepresents his thought he was portrayed in such a way in Aristophanes’ comic play Clouds and was later to be tried and executed for impiety and corrupting the young. At his trial Socrates is reported as vehemently denying that he was an atheist and contemporary scholarship provides little reason to doubt this claim.[150][151]

Euhemerus (c. 300 BCE) published his view that the gods were only the deified rulers, conquerors and founders of the past, and that their cults and religions were in essence the continuation of vanished kingdoms and earlier political structures.[152] Although not strictly an atheist, Euhemerus was later criticized for having “spread atheism over the whole inhabited earth by obliterating the gods”.[153]

Also important in the history of atheism was Epicurus (c. 300 BCE). Drawing on the ideas of Democritus and the Atomists, he espoused a materialistic philosophy according to which the universe was governed by the laws of chance without the need for divine intervention (see scientific determinism). Although he stated that deities existed, he believed that they were uninterested in human existence. The aim of the Epicureans was to attain peace of mind and one important way of doing this was by exposing fear of divine wrath as irrational. The Epicureans also denied the existence of an afterlife and the need to fear divine punishment after death.[154]

The Roman philosopher Sextus Empiricus held that one should suspend judgment about virtually all beliefsa form of skepticism known as Pyrrhonismthat nothing was inherently evil, and that ataraxia (“peace of mind”) is attainable by withholding one’s judgment. His relatively large volume of surviving works had a lasting influence on later philosophers.[155]

The meaning of “atheist” changed over the course of classical antiquity. The early Christians were labeled atheists by non-Christians because of their disbelief in pagan gods.[156] During the Roman Empire, Christians were executed for their rejection of the Roman gods in general and Emperor-worship in particular. When Christianity became the state religion of Rome under Theodosius I in 381, heresy became a punishable offense.[157]

During the Early Middle Ages, the Islamic world underwent a Golden Age. With the associated advances in science and philosophy, Arab and Persian lands produced outspoken rationalists and atheists, including Muhammad al Warraq (fl. 7th century), Ibn al-Rawandi (827911), Al-Razi (854925), and Al-Maarri (9731058). Al-Ma’arri wrote and taught that religion itself was a “fable invented by the ancients”[158] and that humans were “of two sorts: those with brains, but no religion, and those with religion, but no brains.”[159] Despite being relatively prolific writers, nearly none of their writing survives to the modern day, most of what little remains being preserved through quotations and excerpts in later works by Muslim apologists attempting to refute them.[160] Other prominent Golden Age scholars have been associated with rationalist thought and atheism as well, although the current intellectual atmosphere in the Islamic world, and the scant evidence that survives from the era, make this point a contentious one today.

In Europe, the espousal of atheistic views was rare during the Early Middle Ages and Middle Ages (see Medieval Inquisition); metaphysics and theology were the dominant interests pertaining to religion.[161] There were, however, movements within this period that furthered heterodox conceptions of the Christian god, including differing views of the nature, transcendence, and knowability of God. Individuals and groups such as Johannes Scotus Eriugena, David of Dinant, Amalric of Bena, and the Brethren of the Free Spirit maintained Christian viewpoints with pantheistic tendencies. Nicholas of Cusa held to a form of fideism he called docta ignorantia (“learned ignorance”), asserting that God is beyond human categorization, and thus our knowledge of him is limited to conjecture. William of Ockham inspired anti-metaphysical tendencies with his nominalistic limitation of human knowledge to singular objects, and asserted that the divine essence could not be intuitively or rationally apprehended by human intellect. Followers of Ockham, such as John of Mirecourt and Nicholas of Autrecourt furthered this view. The resulting division between faith and reason influenced later radical and reformist theologians such as John Wycliffe, Jan Hus, and Martin Luther.[161]

The Renaissance did much to expand the scope of free thought and skeptical inquiry. Individuals such as Leonardo da Vinci sought experimentation as a means of explanation, and opposed arguments from religious authority. Other critics of religion and the Church during this time included Niccol Machiavelli, Bonaventure des Priers, Michel de Montaigne, and Franois Rabelais.[155]

Historian Geoffrey Blainey wrote that the Reformation had paved the way for atheists by attacking the authority of the Catholic Church, which in turn “quietly inspired other thinkers to attack the authority of the new Protestant churches”.[162]Deism gained influence in France, Prussia, and England. The philosopher Baruch Spinoza was “probably the first well known ‘semi-atheist’ to announce himself in a Christian land in the modern era”, according to Blainey. Spinoza believed that natural laws explained the workings of the universe. In 1661 he published his Short Treatise on God.[163]

Criticism of Christianity became increasingly frequent in the 17th and 18th centuries, especially in France and England, where there appears to have been a religious malaise, according to contemporary sources. Some Protestant thinkers, such as Thomas Hobbes, espoused a materialist philosophy and skepticism toward supernatural occurrences, while Spinoza rejected divine providence in favour of a panentheistic naturalism. By the late 17th century, deism came to be openly espoused by intellectuals such as John Toland who coined the term “pantheist”.[164]

The first known explicit atheist was the German critic of religion Matthias Knutzen in his three writings of 1674.[165] He was followed by two other explicit atheist writers, the Polish ex-Jesuit philosopher Kazimierz yszczyski and in the 1720s by the French priest Jean Meslier.[166] In the course of the 18th century, other openly atheistic thinkers followed, such as Baron d’Holbach, Jacques-Andr Naigeon, and other French materialists.[167]John Locke in contrast, though an advocate of tolerance, urged authorities not to tolerate atheism, believing that the denial of God’s existence would undermine the social order and lead to chaos.[168]

The philosopher David Hume developed a skeptical epistemology grounded in empiricism, and Immanuel Kant’s philosophy has strongly questioned the very possibility of a metaphysical knowledge. Both philosophers undermined the metaphysical basis of natural theology and criticized classical arguments for the existence of God.

Blainey notes that, although Voltaire is widely considered to have strongly contributed to atheistic thinking during the Revolution, he also considered fear of God to have discouraged further disorder, having said “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.”[169] In Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), the philosopher Edmund Burke denounced atheism, writing of a “literary cabal” who had “some years ago formed something like a regular plan for the destruction of the Christian religion. This object they pursued with a degree of zeal which hitherto had been discovered only in the propagators of some system of piety… These atheistical fathers have a bigotry of their own…”. But, Burke asserted, “man is by his constitution a religious animal” and “atheism is against, not only our reason, but our instincts; and… it cannot prevail long”.[170]

Baron d’Holbach was a prominent figure in the French Enlightenment who is best known for his atheism and for his voluminous writings against religion, the most famous of them being The System of Nature (1770) but also Christianity Unveiled. One goal of the French Revolution was a restructuring and subordination of the clergy with respect to the state through the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. Attempts to enforce it led to anti-clerical violence and the expulsion of many clergy from France, lasting until the Thermidorian Reaction. The radical Jacobins seized power in 1793, ushering in the Reign of Terror. The Jacobins were deists and introduced the Cult of the Supreme Being as a new French state religion. Some atheists surrounding Jacques Hbert instead sought to establish a Cult of Reason, a form of atheistic pseudo-religion with a goddess personifying reason. The Napoleonic era further institutionalized the secularization of French society.

In the latter half of the 19th century, atheism rose to prominence under the influence of rationalistic and freethinking philosophers. Many prominent German philosophers of this era denied the existence of deities and were critical of religion, including Ludwig Feuerbach, Arthur Schopenhauer, Max Stirner, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Nietzsche.[171]

G.J. Holyoake was the last person (1842) imprisoned in Great Britain due to atheist beliefs.[172]Stephen Law states that Holyoake “first coined the term ‘secularism'”.[173]

Atheism in the 20th century, particularly in the form of practical atheism, advanced in many societies. Atheistic thought found recognition in a wide variety of other, broader philosophies, such as existentialism, objectivism, secular humanism, nihilism, anarchism, logical positivism, Marxism, feminism,[174] and the general scientific and rationalist movement.

In addition, state atheism emerged in Eastern Europe and Asia during that period, particularly in the Soviet Union under Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, and in Communist China under Mao Zedong. Atheist and anti-religious policies in the Soviet Union included numerous legislative acts, the outlawing of religious instruction in the schools, and the emergence of the League of Militant Atheists.[175][176] After Mao, the Chinese Communist Party remains an atheist organization, and regulates, but does not completely forbid, the practice of religion in mainland China.[177][178][179]

While Geoffrey Blainey has written that “the most ruthless leaders in the Second World War were atheists and secularists who were intensely hostile to both Judaism and Christianity”,[180] Richard Madsen has pointed out that Hitler and Stalin each opened and closed churches as a matter of political expedience, and Stalin softened his opposition to Christianity in order to improve public acceptance of his regime during the war.[181] Blackford and Schklenk have written that “the Soviet Union was undeniably an atheist state, and the same applies to Maoist China and Pol Pot’s fanatical Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia in the 1970s. That does not, however, show that the atrocities committed by these totalitarian dictatorships were the result of atheist beliefs, carried out in the name of atheism, or caused primarily by the atheistic aspects of the relevant forms of communism.”[182]

Logical positivism and scientism paved the way for neopositivism, analytical philosophy, structuralism, and naturalism. Neopositivism and analytical philosophy discarded classical rationalism and metaphysics in favor of strict empiricism and epistemological nominalism. Proponents such as Bertrand Russell emphatically rejected belief in God. In his early work, Ludwig Wittgenstein attempted to separate metaphysical and supernatural language from rational discourse. A. J. Ayer asserted the unverifiability and meaninglessness of religious statements, citing his adherence to the empirical sciences. Relatedly the applied structuralism of Lvi-Strauss sourced religious language to the human subconscious in denying its transcendental meaning. J. N. Findlay and J. J. C. Smart argued that the existence of God is not logically necessary. Naturalists and materialistic monists such as John Dewey considered the natural world to be the basis of everything, denying the existence of God or immortality.[53][183]

Other leaders like Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, a prominent atheist leader of India, fought against Hinduism and Brahmins for discriminating and dividing people in the name of caste and religion.[184] This was highlighted in 1956 when he arranged for the erection of a statue depicting a Hindu god in a humble representation and made antitheistic statements.[185]

Atheist Vashti McCollum was the plaintiff in a landmark 1948 Supreme Court case that struck down religious education in US public schools.[186]Madalyn Murray O’Hair was perhaps one of the most influential American atheists; she brought forth the 1963 Supreme Court case Murray v. Curlett which banned compulsory prayer in public schools.[187] In 1966, Time magazine asked “Is God Dead?”[188] in response to the Death of God theological movement, citing the estimation that nearly half of all people in the world lived under an anti-religious power, and millions more in Africa, Asia, and South America seemed to lack knowledge of the Christian view of theology.[189] The Freedom From Religion Foundation was co-founded by Anne Nicol Gaylor and her daughter, Annie Laurie Gaylor, in 1976 in the United States, and incorporated nationally in 1978. It promotes the separation of church and state.[190][191]

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the number of actively anti-religious regimes has reduced considerably. In 2006, Timothy Shah of the Pew Forum noted “a worldwide trend across all major religious groups, in which God-based and faith-based movements in general are experiencing increasing confidence and influence vis–vis secular movements and ideologies.”[192] However, Gregory S. Paul and Phil Zuckerman consider this a myth and suggest that the actual situation is much more complex and nuanced.[193]

A 2010 survey found that those identifying themselves as atheists or agnostics are on average more knowledgeable about religion than followers of major faiths. Nonbelievers scored better on questions about tenets central to Protestant and Catholic faiths. Only Mormon and Jewish faithful scored as well as atheists and agnostics.[194]

In 2012, the first “Women in Secularism” conference was held in Arlington, Virginia.[195] Secular Woman was organized in 2012 as a national organization focused on nonreligious women.[196] The atheist feminist movement has also become increasingly focused on fighting sexism and sexual harassment within the atheist movement itself.[197] In August 2012, Jennifer McCreight (the organizer of Boobquake) founded a movement within atheism known as Atheism Plus, or A+, that “applies skepticism to everything, including social issues like sexism, racism, politics, poverty, and crime”.[198][199][200]

In 2013 the first atheist monument on American government property was unveiled at the Bradford County Courthouse in Florida: a 1,500-pound granite bench and plinth inscribed with quotes by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Madalyn Murray O’Hair.[201][202]

New Atheism is the name given to a movement among some early-21st-century atheist writers who have advocated the view that “religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises.”[203] The movement is commonly associated with Sam Harris, Daniel C. Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Victor J. Stenger, and Christopher Hitchens.[204] Several best-selling books by these authors, published between 2004 and 2007, form the basis for much of the discussion of New Atheism.

These atheists generally seek to disassociate themselves from the mass political atheism that gained ascendency in various nations in the 20th century. In best selling books, the religiously motivated terrorist events of 9/11 and the partially successful attempts of the Discovery Institute to change the American science curriculum to include creationist ideas, together with support for those ideas from George W. Bush in 2005, have been cited by authors such as Harris, Dennett, Dawkins, Stenger, and Hitchens as evidence of a need to move society towards atheism.[206]

It is difficult to quantify the number of atheists in the world. Respondents to religious-belief polls may define “atheism” differently or draw different distinctions between atheism, non-religious beliefs, and non-theistic religious and spiritual beliefs.[207] A Hindu atheist would declare oneself as a Hindu, although also being an atheist at the same time.[208] A 2010 survey published in Encyclopdia Britannica found that the non-religious made up about 9.6% of the world’s population, and atheists about 2.0%, with a very large majority based in Asia. This figure did not include those who follow atheistic religions, such as some Buddhists.[209] The average annual change for atheism from 2000 to 2010 was 0.17%.[209] A broad figure estimates the number of atheists and agnostics on Earth at 1.1 billion.[210]

According to global studies done by Gallup International, 13% of respondents were “convinced atheists” in 2012 and 11% were “convinced atheists” in 2015.[24][211] As of 2012, the top ten countries with people who viewed themselves as “convinced atheists” were China (47%), Japan (31%), the Czech Republic (30%), France (29%), South Korea (15%), Germany (15%), Netherlands (14%), Austria (10%), Iceland (10%), Australia (10%), and the Republic of Ireland (10%) [212]

According to the 2010 Eurobarometer Poll, the percentage of those polled who agreed with the statement “you don’t believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force” varied from: France (40%), Czech Republic (37%), Sweden (34%), Netherlands (30%), and Estonia (29%), down to Poland (5%), Greece (4%), Cyprus (3%), Malta (2%), and Romania (1%), with the European Union as a whole at 20%.[28] In a 2012 Eurobarometer poll on discrimination in the European Union, 16% of those polled considered themselves non believers/agnostics and 7% considered themselves atheists.[214] According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 22% of Australians have “no religion”, a category that includes atheists.[215]

According to a Pew Research Center survey in 2012 religiously unaffiliated (including agnostics and atheists) make up about 18% of Europeans.[216] According to the same survey, the religiously unaffiliated are the majority of the population only in two European countries: Czech Republic (75%) and Estonia (60%).[216] There are another four countries where the unaffiliated make up a majority of the population: North Korea (71%), Japan (57%), Hong Kong (56%), and China (52%).[216]

In the US, there was a 1% to 5% increase in self-reported atheism from 2005 to 2012, and a larger drop in those who self-identified as “religious”, down by 13%, from 73% to 60%.[217] According to the World Values Survey, 4.4% of Americans self-identified as atheists in 2014.[218] However, the same survey showed that 11.1% of all respondents stated “no” when asked if they believed in God.[218] In 1984, these same figures were 1.1% and 2.2%, respectively. According to a 2015 report by the Pew Research Center, 3.1% of the US adult population identify as atheist, up from 1.6% in 2007, and within the religiously unaffiliated (or “no religion”) demographic, atheists made up 13.6%.[219] According to the 2015 General Sociological Survey the number of atheists and agnostics in the US has remained relatively flat in the past 23 years since in 1991 only 2% identified as atheist and 4% identified as agnostic and in 2014 only 3% identified as atheists and 5% identified as agnostics.[220]

A study noted positive correlations between levels of education and secularism, including atheism, in America.[87] According to evolutionary psychologist Nigel Barber, atheism blossoms in places where most people feel economically secure, particularly in the social democracies of Europe, as there is less uncertainty about the future with extensive social safety nets and better health care resulting in a greater quality of life and higher life expectancy. By contrast, in underdeveloped countries, there are virtually no atheists.[221] In a 2008 study, researchers found intelligence to be negatively related to religious belief in Europe and the United States. In a sample of 137 countries, the correlation between national IQ and disbelief in God was found to be 0.60.[222]

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Atheism (derived from the Ancient Greek atheos meaning “without gods; godless; secular; denying or disdaining the gods, especially officially sanctioned gods”[1]) is the absence or rejection of the belief that deities exist. The English term was used at least as early as the sixteenth century and atheistic ideas and their influence have a longer history. Over the centuries, atheists have supported their lack of belief in gods through a variety of avenues, including scientific, philosophical and ideological notions.

Philosophical atheist thought began to appear in Europe and Asia in the sixth or fifth century BCE. Will Durant explains that certain pygmy tribes found in Africa were observed to have no identifiable cults or rites. There were no totems, no deities, and no spirits. Their dead were buried without special ceremonies or accompanying items and received no further attention. They even appeared to lack simple superstitions, according to travelers’ reports.[citation needed] The Vedas of Ceylon[clarification needed] only admitted the possibility that deities might exist, but went no further. Neither prayers nor sacrifices were suggested in any way.[citation needed]

In the East, a contemplative life not centered on the idea of deities began in the sixth century BCE with the rise of Jainism, Buddhism, and certain sects of Hinduism in India, and of Taoism in China. These religions claim to offer a philosophic and salvific path not involving on deity worship. Deities are not seen as necessary to the salvific goal of the early Buddhist tradition, their reality is explicitly questioned and refuted there is a fundamental incompatibility between the notion of gods and basic Buddhist principles.[2]

Within the astika (“orthodox”) schools of Hindu philosophy, the Samkhya and the early Mimamsa school did not accept a creator-deity in their respective systems.

The principal text of the Samkhya school, the Samkhya Karika, was written by Ishvara Krishna in the fourth century CE, by which time it was already a dominant Hindu school. The origins of the school are much older and are lost in legend. The school was both dualistic and atheistic. They believed in a dual existence of Prakriti (“nature”) and Purusha (“spirit”) and had no place for an Ishvara (“God”) in its system, arguing that the existence of Ishvara cannot be proved and hence cannot be admitted to exist. The school dominated Hindu philosophy in its day, but declined after the tenth century, although commentaries were still being written as late as the sixteenth century.

The foundational text for the Mimamsa school is the Purva Mimamsa Sutras of Jaimini (c. third to first century BCE). The school reached its height c. 700 CE, and for some time in the Early Middle Ages exerted near-dominant influence on learned Hindu thought. The Mimamsa school saw their primary enquiry was into the nature of dharma based on close interpretation of the Vedas. Its core tenets were ritualism (orthopraxy), anti-asceticism and anti-mysticism. The early Mimamsakas believed in an adrishta (“unseen”) that is the result of performing karmas (“works”) and saw no need for an Ishvara (“God”) in their system. Mimamsa persists in some subschools of Hinduism today.

Jains see their tradition as eternal. Organized Jainism can be dated back to Parshva who lived in the ninth century BCE, and, more reliably, to Mahavira, a teacher of the sixth century BCE, and a contemporary of the Buddha. Jainism is a dualistic religion with the universe made up of matter and souls. The universe, and the matter and souls within it, is eternal and uncreated, and there is no omnipotent creator deity in Jainism. There are, however, “gods” and other spirits who exist within the universe and Jains believe that the soul can attain “godhood”, however none of these supernatural beings exercise any sort of creative activity or have the capacity or ability to intervene in answers to prayers.

The thoroughly materialistic and anti-religious philosophical Crvka school that originated in India with the Brhaspatya-stras (final centuries BCE) is probably the most explicitly atheist school of philosophy in the region. The school grew out of the generic skepticism in the Mauryan period. Already in the sixth century BCE, Ajita Kesakambalin, was quoted in Pali scriptures by the Buddhists with whom he was debating, teaching that “with the break-up of the body, the wise and the foolish alike are annihilated, destroyed. They do not exist after death.”[3] Crvkan philosophy is now known principally from its Astika and Buddhist opponents. The proper aim of a Crvkan, according to these sources, was to live a prosperous, happy, productive life in this world. The Tattvopaplavasimha of Jayarashi Bhatta (c. eighth century) is sometimes cited as a surviving Carvaka text. The school appears to have died out sometime around the fifteenth century.

The non-adherence[4] to the notion of a supreme deity or a prime mover is seen by many as a key distinction between Buddhism and other religions. While Buddhist traditions do not deny the existence of supernatural beings (many are discussed in Buddhist scripture), it does not ascribe powers, in the typical Western sense, for creation, salvation or judgement, to the “gods”, however, praying to enlightened deities is sometimes seen as leading to some degree of spiritual merit.

Buddhists accept the existence of beings in higher realms, known as devas, but they, like humans, are said to be suffering in samsara,[5] and not particularly wiser than we are. In fact the Buddha is often portrayed as a teacher of the deities,[6] and superior to them.[7] Despite this they do have some enlightened Devas in the path of buddhahood.

In later Mahayana literature, however, the idea of an eternal, all-pervading, all-knowing, immaculate, uncreated, and deathless Ground of Being (the dharmadhatu, inherently linked to the sattvadhatu, the realm of beings), which is the Awakened Mind (bodhicitta) or dharmakaya (“body of Truth”) of the Buddha himself, is attributed to the Buddha in a number of Mahayana sutras, and is found in various tantras as well. In some Mahayana texts, such a principle is occasionally presented as manifesting in a more personalised form as a primordial Buddha, such as Samantabhadra, Vajradhara, Vairochana, Amitabha, and Adi-Buddha, among others.

In western Classical antiquity, theism was the fundamental belief that supported the legitimacy of the state (Polis, later the Roman Empire). Historically, any person who did not believe in any deity supported by the state was fair game to accusations of atheism, a capital crime. For political reasons, Socrates in Athens (399 BCE) was accused of being atheos (“refusing to acknowledge the gods recognized by the state”). Christians in Rome were also considered subversive to the state religion and persecuted as atheists.[8] Thus, charges of atheism, meaning the subversion of religion, were often used similarly to charges of heresy and impiety as a political tool to eliminate enemies.

The roots of Western philosophy began in the Greek world in the sixth century BCE. The first Hellenic philosophers were not atheists, but they attempted to explain the world in terms of the processes of nature instead of by mythological accounts. Thus lightning was the result of “wind breaking out and parting the clouds”,[9] and earthquakes occurred when “the earth is considerably altered by heating and cooling”.[10] The early philosophers often criticised traditional religious notions. Xenophanes (sixth century BCE) famously said that if cows and horses had hands, “then horses would draw the forms of gods like horses, and cows like cows”.[11] Another philosopher, Anaxagoras (fifth century BCE), claimed that the Sun was “a fiery mass, larger than the Peloponnese”; a charge of impiety was brought against him, and he was forced to flee Athens.[12]

The first fully materialistic philosophy was produced by the atomists Leucippus and Democritus (fifth century BCE), who attempted to explain the formation and development of the world in terms of the chance movements of atoms moving in infinite space.

Euripides (480406 BCE), in his play Bellerophon, had the eponymous main character say:

Doth some one say that there be gods above? There are not; no, there are not. Let no fool, Led by the old false fable, thus deceive you.[13]

Aristophanes (ca. 448380 BCE), known for his satirical style, wrote in his play The Knights: “Shrines! Shrines! Surely you don’t believe in the gods. What’s your argument? Where’s your proof?”[14]

In the fifth century BCE the Sophists began to question many of the traditional assumptions of Greek culture. Prodicus of Ceos was said to have believed that “it was the things which were serviceable to human life that had been regarded as gods,”[15] and Protagoras stated at the beginning of a book that “With regard to the gods I am unable to say either that they exist or do not exist.”[16]

Diagoras of Melos (fifth century BCE) is known as the “first atheist”. He blasphemed by making public the Eleusinian Mysteries and discouraging people from being initiated.[17] Somewhat later (c. 300 BCE), the Cyrenaic philosopher Theodorus of Cyrene is supposed to have denied that gods exist, and wrote a book On the Gods expounding his views.

Euhemerus (c. 330260 BCE) published his view that the gods were only the deified rulers, conquerors, and founders of the past, and that their cults and religions were in essence the continuation of vanished kingdoms and earlier political structures.[18] Although Euhemerus was later criticized for having “spread atheism over the whole inhabited earth by obliterating the gods”,[19] his worldview was not atheist in a strict and theoretical sense, because he differentiated that the primordial deities were “eternal and imperishable”.[20] Some historians have argued that he merely aimed at reinventing the old religions in the light of the beginning of deification of political rulers such as Alexander the Great.[21] Euhemerus’ work was translated into Latin by Ennius, possibly to mythographically pave the way for the planned divinization of Scipio Africanus in Rome.[22]

Also important in the history of atheism was Epicurus (c. 300 BCE). Drawing on the ideas of Democritus and the Atomists, he espoused a materialistic philosophy where the universe was governed by the laws of chance without the need for divine intervention. Although he stated that deities existed, he believed that they were uninterested in human existence. The aim of the Epicureans was to attain peace of mind by exposing fear of divine wrath as irrational.

One of the most eloquent expressions of Epicurean thought is Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things (first century BCE) in which he held that gods exist but argued that religious fear was one of the chief causes of human unhappiness and that the gods did not involve themselves in the world.[23][24]

The Epicureans also denied the existence of an afterlife.[25]

Epicureans were not persecuted, but their teachings were controversial, and were harshly attacked by the mainstream schools of Stoicism and Neoplatonism. The movement remained marginal, and gradually died out at the end of the Roman Empire.

In medieval Islam, Muslim scholars recognized the idea of atheism, and frequently attacked unbelievers, although they were unable to name any atheists.[26] When individuals were accused of atheism, they were usually viewed as heretics rather than proponents of atheism.[27] However, outspoken rationalists and atheists existed, one notable figure being the ninth-century scholar Ibn al-Rawandi, who criticized the notion of religious prophecy, including that of Muhammad, and maintained that religious dogmas were not acceptable to reason and must be rejected.[28] Other critics of religion in the Islamic world include the physician and philosopher Abu Bakr al-Razi (865925), the poet Al-Maarri (9731057), and the scholar Abu Isa al-Warraq (fl. 7th century). Al-Maarri, for example, wrote and taught that religion itself was a “fable invented by the ancients”[29] and that humans were “of two sorts: those with brains, but no religion, and those with religion, but no brains.”[30]

In the European Middle Ages, no clear expression of atheism is known. The titular character of the Icelandic saga Hrafnkell, written in the late thirteenth century, says that I think it is folly to have faith in gods. After his temple to Freyr is burnt and he is enslaved, he vows never to perform another sacrifice, a position described in the sagas as golauss “godless”. Jacob Grimm in his Teutonic Mythology observes that

It is remarkable that Old Norse legend occasionally mentions certain men who, turning away in utter disgust and doubt from the heathen faith, placed their reliance on their own strength and virtue. Thus in the Slar lio 17 we read of Vbogi and Rdey sik au tru, “in themselves they trusted”,[31]

citing several other examples, including two kings.

In Christian Europe, people were persecuted for heresy, especially in countries where the Inquisition was active. Thomas Aquinas’ five proofs of God’s existence and Anselm’s ontological argument implicitly acknowledged the validity of the question about God’s existence.[original research?]Frederick Copleston, however, explains that Thomas laid out his proofs not to counter atheism, but to address certain early Christian writers such as John of Damascus, who asserted that knowledge of God’s existence was naturally innate in man, based on his natural desire for happiness.[32] Thomas stated that although there is desire for happiness which forms the basis for a proof of God’s existence in man, further reflection is required to understand that this desire is only fulfilled in God, not for example in wealth or sensual pleasure.[32]

The charge of atheism was used to attack political or religious opponents. Pope Boniface VIII, because he insisted on the political supremacy of the church, was accused by his enemies after his death of holding (unlikely) atheistic positions such as “neither believing in the immortality nor incorruptibility of the soul, nor in a life to come.”[33]

During the time of the Renaissance and the Reformation, criticism of the religious establishment became more frequent in predominantly Christian countries, but did not amount to atheism, per se.

The term athisme was coined in France in the sixteenth century. The word “atheist” appears in English books at least as early as 1566.[34] The concept of atheism re-emerged initially as a reaction to the intellectual and religious turmoil of the Age of Enlightenment and the Reformation as a charge used by those who saw the denial of god and godlessness in the controversial positions being put forward by others. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the word ‘atheist’ was used exclusively as an insult; nobody wanted to be regarded as an atheist.[35] Although one overtly atheistic compendium known as the Theophrastus redivivus was published by an anonymous author in the seventeenth century, atheism was an epithet implying a lack of moral restraint.[36]

According to Geoffrey Blainey, the Reformation in Europe had paved the way for atheists by attacking the authority of the Catholic Church, which in turn “quietly inspired other thinkers to attack the authority of the new Protestant churches”. Deism gained influence in France, Prussia and England, and proffered belief in a non-interventionist deity, but “while some deists were atheists in disguise, most were religious, and by today’s standards would be called true believers”. The scientific and mathematical discoveries of such as Copernicus, Newton and Descartes sketched a pattern of natural laws that lent weight to this new outlook[37] Blainey wrote that the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza was “probably the first well known ‘semi-atheist’ to announce himself in a Christian land in the modern era”. Spinoza had been expelled from his synagogue for his protests against the teachings of its rabbis and for failing to attend Saturday services. He believed that God did not interfere in the running of the world, but rather that natural laws explained the workings of the universe. In 1661 he published his Short Treatise on God, but he was not a popular figure for the first century following his death: “An unbeliever was expected to be a rebel in almost everything and wicked in all his ways”, wrote Blainey, “but here was a virtuous one. He lived the good life and made his living in a useful way… It took courage to be a Spinoza or even one of his supporters. If a handful of scholars agreed with his writings, they did not so say in public.”[38]

How dangerous it was to be accused of being an atheist at this time is illustrated by the examples of tienne Dolet who was strangled and burned in 1546, and Giulio Cesare Vanini who received a similar fate in 1619. In 1689 the Polish nobleman Kazimierz yszczyski, who had denied the existence of God in his philosophical treatise De non existentia Dei, was imprisoned unlawfully; despite Warsaw Confederation tradition and king Sobieski’s intercession, yszczyski was condemned to death for atheism and beheaded in Warsaw after his tongue was pulled out with a burning iron and his hands slowly burned. Similarly in 1766, the French nobleman Franois-Jean de la Barre, was tortured, beheaded, and his body burned for alleged vandalism of a crucifix, a case that became a cause clbre because Voltaire tried unsuccessfully to have the judgment reversed.

The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (15881679) was also accused of atheism, but he denied it. His theism was unusual, in that he held god to be material. Even earlier, the British playwright and poet Christopher Marlowe (15631593) was accused of atheism when a tract denying the divinity of Christ was found in his home. Before he could finish defending himself against the charge, Marlowe was murdered.

In early modern times, the first explicit atheist known by name was the German-languaged Danish critic of religion Matthias Knutzen (1646after 1674), who published three atheist writings in 1674.[39]

Kazimierz yszczyski, a Polish philosopher (executed in 1689, following a hasty and controversial trial pressed by the Catholic Church) demonstrated strong atheism in his work De non existentia Dei:

II – the Man is a creator of God, and God is a concept and creation of a Man. Hence the people are architects and engineers of God and God is not a true being, but a being existing only within mind, being chimaeric by its nature, because a God and a chimaera are the same.[40]

IV – simple folk are cheated by the more cunning with the fabrication of God for their own oppression; whereas the same oppression is shielded by the folk in a way, that if the wise attempted to free them by the truth, they would be quelled by the very people.[41][42]

While not gaining converts from large portions of the population, versions of deism became influential in certain intellectual circles. Jean Jacques Rousseau challenged the Christian notion that human beings had been tainted by sin since the Garden of Eden, and instead proposed that humans were originally good, only later to be corrupted by civilisation. The influential figure of Voltaire, spread deistic notions of to a wide audience. “After the French Revolution and its outbursts of atheism, Voltaire was widely condemned as one of the causes”, wrote Blainey, “Nonetheless, his writings did concede that fear of God was an essential policeman in a disorderly world: ‘If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him’, wrote Voltaire”.[43]

Arguably the first book in modern times solely dedicated to promoting atheism was written by French Catholic priest Jean Meslier (16641729), whose posthumously published lengthy philosophical essay (part of the original title: Thoughts and Feelings of Jean Meslier … Clear and Evident Demonstrations of the Vanity and Falsity of All the Religions of the World[44]) rejects the concept of god (both in the Christian and also in the Deistic sense), the soul, miracles and the discipline of theology.[45] Philosopher Michel Onfray states that Meslier’s work marks the beginning of “the history of true atheism”.[45]

By the 1770s, atheism in some predominantly Christian countries was ceasing to be a dangerous accusation that required denial, and was evolving into a position openly avowed by some. The first open denial of the existence of God and avowal of atheism since classical times may be that of Baron d’Holbach (17231789) in his 1770 work, The System of Nature. D’Holbach was a Parisian social figure who conducted a famous salon widely attended by many intellectual notables of the day, including Denis Diderot, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, David Hume, Adam Smith, and Benjamin Franklin. Nevertheless, his book was published under a pseudonym, and was banned and publicly burned by the Executioner.[citation needed] Diderot, one of the Enlightenment’s most prominent philosophes, and editor-in-chief of the Encyclopdie, which sought to challenge religious, particularly Catholic, dogma said, “Reason is to the estimation of the philosophe what grace is to the Christian”, he wrote. “Grace determines the Christian’s action; reason the philosophe’s”.[46] Diderot was briefly imprisoned for his writing, some of which was banned and burned.[citation needed]

In Scotland, David Hume produced a six volume history of England in 1754, which gave little attention to God. He implied that if God existed he was impotent in the face of European upheaval. Hume ridiculed miracles, but walked a careful line so as to avoid being too dismissive of Christianity. With Hume’s presence, Edinburgh gained a reputation as a “haven of atheism”, alarming many ordinary Britons.[47]

The culte de la Raison developed during the uncertain period 179294 (Years I and III of the Revolution), following the September Massacres, when Revolutionary France was ripe with fears of internal and foreign enemies. Several Parisian churches were transformed into Temples of Reason, notably the Church of Saint-Paul Saint-Louis in the Marais. The churches were closed in May 1793 and more securely, 24 November 1793, when the Catholic Mass was forbidden.

Blainey wrote that “atheism seized the pedestal in revolutionary France in the 1790s. The secular symbols replaced the cross. In the cathedral of Notre Dame the altar, the holy place, was converted into a monument to Reason…” During the Terror of 1792-93, France’s Christian calendar was abolished, monasteries, convents and church properties were seized and monks and nuns expelled. Historic churches were dismantled.[48] The Cult of Reason was a creed based on atheism devised during the French Revolution by Jacques Hbert, Pierre Gaspard Chaumette, and their supporters. It was stopped by Maximilien Robespierre, a Deist, who instituted the Cult of the Supreme Being.[49] Both cults were the outcome of the “de-Christianization” of French society during the Revolution and part of the Reign of Terror.

The Cult of Reason was celebrated in a carnival atmosphere of parades, ransacking of churches, ceremonious iconoclasm, in which religious and royal images were defaced, and ceremonies which substituted the “martyrs of the Revolution” for Christian martyrs. The earliest public demonstrations took place en province, outside Paris, notably by Hbertists in Lyon, but took a further radical turn with the Fte de la Libert (“Festival of Liberty”) at Notre Dame de Paris, 10 November (20 Brumaire) 1793, in ceremonies devised and organised by Pierre-Gaspard Chaumette.

The pamphlet Answer to Dr. Priestley’s Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever (1782) is considered to be the first published declaration of atheism in Britain plausibly the first in English (as distinct from covert or cryptically atheist works). The otherwise unknown ‘William Hammon’ (possibly a pseudonym) signed the preface and postscript as editor of the work, and the anonymous main text is attributed to Matthew Turner (d. 1788?), a Liverpool physician who may have known Priestley. Historian of atheism David Berman has argued strongly for Turner’s authorship, but also suggested that there may have been two authors.[50]

The French Revolution of 1789 catapulted atheistic thought into political notability in some Western countries, and opened the way for the nineteenth century movements of Rationalism, Freethought, and Liberalism. Born in 1792, Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, a child of the Age of Enlightenment, was expelled from England’s Oxford University in 1811 for submitting to the Dean an anonymous pamphlet that he wrote entitled, The Necessity of Atheism. This pamphlet is considered by scholars as the first atheistic ideas published in the English language. An early atheistic influence in Germany was The Essence of Christianity by Ludwig Feuerbach (18041872). He influenced other German nineteenth century atheistic thinkers like Karl Marx, Max Stirner, Arthur Schopenhauer (17881860), and Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900).

The freethinker Charles Bradlaugh (18331891) was repeatedly elected to the British Parliament, but was not allowed to take his seat after his request to affirm rather than take the religious oath was turned down (he then offered to take the oath, but this too was denied him). After Bradlaugh was re-elected for the fourth time, a new Speaker allowed Bradlaugh to take the oath and permitted no objections.[51] He became the first outspoken atheist to sit in Parliament, where he participated in amending the Oaths Act.[52]

In 1844, Karl Marx (18181883), an atheistic political economist, wrote in his Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right: “Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” Marx believed that people turn to religion in order to dull the pain caused by the reality of social situations; that is, Marx suggests religion is an attempt at transcending the material state of affairs in a society the pain of class oppression by effectively creating a dream world, rendering the religious believer amenable to social control and exploitation in this world while they hope for relief and justice in life after death. In the same essay, Marx states, “…[m]an creates religion, religion does not create man…”[53]

Friedrich Nietzsche, a prominent nineteenth century philosopher, is well known for coining the aphorism “God is dead” (German: “Gott ist tot”); incidentally the phrase was not spoken by Nietzsche directly, but was used as a dialogue for the characters in his works. Nietzsche argued that Christian theism as a belief system had been a moral foundation of the Western world, and that the rejection and collapse of this foundation as a result of modern thinking (the death of God) would naturally cause a rise in nihilism or the lack of values. While Nietzsche was staunchly atheistic, he was also concerned about the negative effects of nihilism on humanity. As such, he called for a re-evaluation of old values and a creation of new ones, hoping that in doing so humans would achieve a higher state he labeled the Overman.

Atheist feminism also began in the nineteenth century. Atheist feminism is a movement that advocates feminism within atheism.[54] Atheist feminists also oppose religion as a main source of female oppression and inequality, believing that the majority of the religions are sexist and oppressive to women.[55]

Atheism in the twentieth century found recognition in a wide variety of other, broader philosophies in the Western tradition, such as existentialism, Objectivism,[56]secular humanism, nihilism, logical positivism, Marxism, anarchism, feminism,[57] and the general scientific and rationalist movement. Neopositivism and analytical philosophy discarded classical rationalism and metaphysics in favor of strict empiricism and epistemological nominalism. Proponents such as Bertrand Russell emphatically rejected belief in God. In his early work, Ludwig Wittgenstein attempted to separate metaphysical and supernatural language from rational discourse. H. L. Mencken sought to debunk both the idea that science and religion are compatible, and the idea that science is a dogmatic belief system just like any religion.[58]

A. J. Ayer asserted the unverifiability and meaninglessness of religious statements, citing his adherence to the empirical sciences. The structuralism of Lvi-Strauss sourced religious language to the human subconscious, denying its transcendental meaning. J. N. Findlay and J. J. C. Smart argued that the existence of God is not logically necessary. Naturalists and materialists such as John Dewey considered the natural world to be the basis of everything, denying the existence of God or immortality.[59][60]

The historian Geoffrey Blainey wrote that during the twentieth century, atheists in Western societies became more active and even militant, though they often “relied essentially on arguments used by numerous radical Christians since at least the eighteenth century”. They rejected the idea of an interventionist God, and said that Christianity promoted war and violence, though “the most ruthless leaders in the Second World War were atheists and secularists who were intensely hostile to both Judaism and Christianity” and “Later massive atrocities were committed in the East by those ardent atheists, Pol Pot and Mao Zedong”. Some scientists were meanwhile articulating a view that as the world becomes more educated, religion will be superseded.[61]

Often, the state’s opposition to religion took more violent forms; Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn documents widespread persecution, imprisonments and torture of believers, in his seminal work The Gulag Archipelago. Consequently, religious organizations, such as the Catholic Church, were among the most stringent opponents of communist regimes. In some cases, the initial strict measures of control and opposition to religious activity were gradually relaxed in communist states. Pope Pius XI followed his encyclicals challenging the new right-wing creeds of Italian Fascism, (Non abbiamo bisogno 1931); and Nazism (Mit brennender Sorge, 1937); with a denunciation of atheist Communism in Divini redemptoris (1937).[62]

The Russian Orthodox Church, for centuries the strongest of all Orthodox Churches, was suppressed by Russia’s atheists.[63] In 1922, the Soviet regime arrested the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.[64] The Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin energetically pursued the persecution of the Church through the 1920s and 1930s. Lenin wrote that every religious idea and every idea of God “is unutterable vileness… of the most dangerous kind, ‘contagion of the most abominable kind”.[65] Many priests were killed and imprisoned. Thousands of churches were closed, some turned into hospitals. In 1925 the government founded the League of Militant Atheists to intensify the persecution. The regime only relented in its persecution following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.[63] Bullock wrote that “A Marxist regime was ‘godless’ by definition, and Stalin had mocked religious belief since his days in the Tiflis seminary”. His assault on the Russian peasantry, wrote Bullock, “had been as much an attack on their traditional religion as on their individual holdings, and the defence of it had played a major part in arousing peasant resistance… “.[66] In Divini Redemptoris, Pius XI said that atheistic Communism being led by Moscow was aimed at “upsetting the social order and at undermining the very foundations of Christian civilization”:[67]

The central figure in Italian Fascism was the atheist Benito Mussolini.[68] In his early career, Mussolini was a strident opponent of the Church, and the first Fascist programme, written in 1919, had called for the secularization of Church property in Italy.[69] More pragmatic than his German ally Adolf Hitler, Mussolini later moderated his stance, and in office, permitted the teaching of religion in schools and came to terms with the Papacy in the Lateran Treaty.[68] Nevertheless, Non abbiamo bisogno condemned his Fascist movement’s “pagan worship of the State” and “revolution which snatches the young from the Church and from Jesus Christ, and which inculcates in its own young people hatred, violence and irreverence.”[70]

As noted by Steigmann-Gall, in October 1928 Hitler had publicly declared: “We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity … in fact our movement is Christian.”[71] In contrast to that, Richard J. Evans wrote that “Hitler emphasised again and again his belief that Nazism was a secular ideology founded on modern science. Science, he declared, would easily destroy the last remaining vestiges of superstition [-] ‘In the long run’, [Hitler] concluded in July 1941, ‘National Socialism and religion will no longer be able to exist together’ […] The ideal solution would be to leave the religions to devour themselves, without persecutions.’ “[72][73] On Steigmann-Gall’s research, Evans says, “Far from being uniformly anti-Christian, Nazism contained a wide variety of religious beliefs, and Steigmann-Gall has performed a valuable service in providing a meticulously documented account of them in all their bizarre variety.”[71]

The majority of Nazis did not leave their churches. Evans wrote that, by 1939, 95% of Germans still called themselves Protestant or Catholic, while 3.5% were gottglubig and 1.5% atheist. Most in these latter categories were “convinced Nazis who had left their Church at the behest of the Party, which had been trying since the mid 1930s to reduce the influence of Christianity in society”.[74] The majority of the three million Nazi Party members continued to pay their church taxes and register as either Roman Catholic or Evangelical Protestant Christians.[75] “Gottglubig” (lit. “believers in god”) were a non-denominational nazified outlook on god beliefs, often described as predominantly based on creationist and deistic views.[76]Heinrich Himmler, who himself was fascinated with Germanic paganism[citation needed], was a strong promoter of the gottglubig movement and didn’t allow atheists into the SS, arguing that their “refusal to acknowledge higher powers” would be a “potential source of indiscipline”.[77]

Across Eastern Europe following World War Two, the parts of the Nazi Empire conquered by the Soviet Red Army, and Yugsolavia became one party Communist states, which, like the Soviet Union, were antipathetic to religion. Persecutions of religious leaders followed.[78][79] The Soviet Union ended its truce against the Russian Orthodox Church, and extended its persecutions to the newly Communist Eastern block: “In Poland, Hungary, Lithuania and other Eastern European countries, Catholic leaders who were unwilling to be silent were denounced, publicly humiliated or imprisoned by the Communists. Leaders of the national Orthodox Churches in Romania and Bulgaria had to be cautious and submissive”, wrote Blainey.[63] While the churches were generally not as severely treated at they had been in the USSR, nearly all their schools and many of their churches were closed, and they lost their formally prominent roles in public life. Children were taught atheism, and clergy were imprisoned by the thousands.[80]

Albania under Enver Hoxha became, in 1967, the first (and to date only) formally declared atheist state,[81] going far beyond what most other countries had attempted completely prohibiting religious observance, and systematically repressing and persecuting adherents. The right to religious practice was restored in the fall of communism in 1991.

Further post-war communist victories in the East saw religion purged by atheist regimes across China, North Korea and much of Indo-China.[80] In 1949, China became a Communist state under the leadership of Mao Zedong’s Communist Party of China. China itself had been a cradle of religious thought since ancient times, being the birthplace of Confucianism and Daoism, and Buddhists having arrived in the first century AD. Under Mao, China became officially atheist, and though some religious practices were permitted to continue under State supervision, religious groups deemed a threat to order have been suppressed – as with Tibetan Buddhism from 1959 and Falun Gong in recent years. Today around two-fifths of the population claim to be nonreligious or atheist.[82] Religious schools and social institutions were closed, foreign missionaries expelled, and local religious practices discouraged.[80] During the Cultural Revolution, Mao instigated “struggles” against the Four Olds: “old ideas, customs, culture, and habits of mind”.[83] In 1999, the Communist Party launched a three-year drive to promote atheism in Tibet, saying intensifying propaganda on atheism is “especially important for Tibet because atheism plays an extremely important role in promoting economic construction, social advancement and socialist spiritual civilization in the region”.[84]

In India, E. V. Ramasami Naicker (Periyar), a prominent atheist leader, fought against Hinduism and the Brahmins for discriminating and dividing people in the name of caste and religion.[85] This was highlighted in 1956 when he made the Hindu god Rama wear a garland made of slippers and made antitheistic statements.[86]

During this period, Christianity in the United States retained its popular appeal, and, wrote Blainey, the country “was the guardian, militarily of the “free world” and the defender of its religion in the face of militant communism”.[87] During the Cold War, wrote Thomas Aiello the United States often characterized its opponents as “godless communists”, which tended to reinforce the view that atheists were unreliable and unpatriotic.[88] Against this background, the words “under God” were inserted into the pledge of allegiance in 1954,[89] and the national motto was changed from E Pluribus Unum to In God We Trust in 1956. However, there were some prominent atheist activists active at this time. Atheist Vashti McCollum was the plaintiff in a landmark 1948 Supreme Court case (McCollum v. Board of Education) that struck down religious education in U.S. public schools.[90][91]Madalyn Murray O’Hair was perhaps one of the most influential American atheists; she brought forth the 1963 Supreme Court case Murray v. Curlett which banned compulsory prayer in public schools.[92] Also in 1963 she founded American Atheists, an organization dedicated to defending the civil liberties of atheists and advocating for the complete separation of church and state.[93][94]

The early twenty-first century has continued to see secularism and atheism promoted in the Western world, with the general consensus being that the number of people not affiliated with any particular religion has increased.[95][96] This has been assisted by non-profit organizations such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation in the United States (co-founded by Anne Nicol Gaylor and her daughter, Annie Laurie Gaylor, in 1976 and incorporated nationally in 1978, it promotes the separation of church and state[97][98]), and the Brights movement, which aims to promote public understanding and acknowledgment of the naturalistic worldview.[99] In addition, a large number of accessible antitheist and secularist books, many of which have become bestsellers, have been published by authors such as Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, and Victor J. Stenger.[100][101] This period has seen the rise of the New Atheism movement, a label that has been applied, sometimes pejoratively, to outspoken critics of theism.[102] Richard Dawkins also propounds a more visible form of atheist activism which he light-heartedly describes as ‘militant atheism’.[103]

Atheist feminism has also become more prominent in the 2010s. In 2012 the first “Women in Secularism” conference was held.[104] Also, Secular Woman was founded on June 28, 2012 as the first national American organization focused on nonreligious women. The mission of Secular Woman is to amplify the voice, presence, and influence of non-religious women. The atheist feminist movement has also become increasingly focused on fighting sexism and sexual harassment within the atheist movement itself.

In 2013 the first atheist monument on American government property was unveiled at the Bradford County Courthouse in Florida; it is a 1,500-pound granite bench and plinth inscribed with quotes by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Madalyn Murray O’Hair.[105][106]

In 2015, Madison, Wisconsin’s common council amended their city’s equal opportunity ordinance, adding atheism as a protected class in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations.[107] This makes Madison the first city in America to pass an ordinance protecting atheists.[107]

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Rationalism (international relations) – Wikipedia, the …

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Jan 182016
 

Rationalism in politics is often seen as the midpoint in the three major political viewpoints of realism, rationalism, and internationalism. Whereas Realism and Internationalism are both on ends of the scale, rationalism tends to occupy the middle ground on most issues, and finds compromise between these two conflicting points of view.

Believers of Rationalism believe that multinational and multilateral organizations have their place in the world order, but not that a world government would be feasible. They point to current international organizations, most notably the United Nations, and point out that these organizations leave a lot to be desired and, in some cases, do more harm than good. They believe that this can be achieved through greater international law making procedures and that the use of force can be avoided in resolving disputes.[1]

Rationalists tend to see the rule of law and order as being equally important to states as it helps reduce conflicts. This in turn helps states become more willing to negotiate treaties and agreements where it best suits their interests. However, they see it as wrong for a nation to promote its own national interests, reminiscent of Internationalism, but that there is already a high level of order in the international system without a world government.[1]

Rationalists believe that states have a right to sovereignty, particularly over territory, but that this sovereignty can be violated in exceptional circumstances, such as human rights violations.

In situations such as that of Burma after Cyclone Nargis, rationalists find it acceptable for other states to violate that country’s sovereignty in order to help its people. This would be where an organisation such as the United Nations would come in and decide whether the situation is exceptional enough to warrant a violation of that state’s sovereignty.[1]

Realists believe that states act independently of each other and that states’ sovereignty is effectively sacred. Rationalists agree to a certain extent. However, as stated previously, rationalism includes sovereignty as a vital factor, but not as untouchable and ‘sacred’.

Realists also hold the Treaty of Westphalia and the international system that arose from this as the international system that prevails to this day. Rationalists acknowledge that the treaty has played an important part in shaping international relations and the world order and that certain aspects, such as sovereignty, still exist and play a vital role, but not that it has survived in its entirety. They believe that through the existence of international organisations, such as the European Union and the United Nations, the international system is less anarchic than Realists claim.[2]

Internationalists believe in a world order where an effective world government would govern the world, that sovereignty is an outdated concept and barrier to creating peace, the need for a common humanity and the need for cooperative solutions. Rationalists adhere to these beliefs to some extent. For example, with regards to the need for a common humanity and cooperative solutions, rationalists see this as being achieved without the need to abolish sovereignty and the Westphalian concept of the nation-state. The current system is seen as the example of this, as nation-states still hold their sovereignty and yet international organisations exist that potentially have the power to violate it, for the need to create peace, law and order.[1]

It is believed that the proposals for reform of the United Nations come from rationalist thoughts and points of view. This belief is held because most members of the UN agree that the UN requires reform, in the way of expanding or abolishing the Security Council and granting it more powers to violate sovereignty if necessary.[1]

Some figures who consider themselves as ‘rationalist’ include:

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U.S. National Security Agency News – The New York Times

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Jan 142016
 

National Security Agency has found way to replace program that collected Americans’ emails in bulk; it continues to analyze social links revealed by American’s email patterns, but without collecting Internet metadata within United States, and with less oversight by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. MORE

Judge Richard J Leon of United States District Court for District of Columbia orders National Security Agency to stop collecting records for an individual Verizon customer, just weeks before program is scheduled to be shut down and replaced; says program is most likely unconstitutional. MORE

European Parliament issues strongest support yet for Edward J Snowden, recognizing him as ‘whistle-blower and international human rights defender’; designation is non-binding and while former National Security Agency contractor is currently in Russia, no countries in Europe have offered Snowden permanent asylum to date. MORE

Federal appeals court allows National Security Agency bulk phone records program to continue until it will end as decreed by bill passed by Congress, thereby avoiding definitive ruling on whether program is violation of Fourth Amendment’s constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. MORE

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward J Snowden opens Twitter account, garnering more than 160,000 followers in single hour; opening Tweet contains joke about NSA phone surveillance. MORE

Newly declassified report on NSA surveillance program under Pres George W Bush contextualizes clash in 2004 between Bush and his attorney general, who was hospitalized at time, over program’s scope and legality; bedside debate led to president retroactively authorizing collection of domestic phone records, which have since been deemed illegal. MORE

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rules NSA may continue collecting phone records of millions of Americans until new law set to ban practice goes into effect in late November 2015. MORE

Documents provided by former National Security Agency contractor Edward J Snowden reveal that AT&T’s collaboration with agency on Internet spying operations was far more extensive than that of other telecommunications companies; unique and especially productive partnership provided NSA with billions of emails as well as assistance in wiretapping of all Internet communications at United Nations headquarters. MORE

Release of 350 page document from 2010 sheds light on surveillance program established by Bush administration to counteract terrorism after September 11; call records of millions of Americans obtained by National Security Agency under secret interpretation of provision in Patriot Act was deemed illegal by appeals court ruling in early May. MORE

Obama administration announces that National Security Agency will no longer be permitted to keep old phone records used to analyze links between callers in search of terrorism suspects after Nov 29, 2015. MORE

National Security Agency sponsors dozens of free overnight and day camps around country that aim at introducing middle- and high-school-age students to cyber-security tools and techniques; camps are part of effort to reach out to potential recruits for next generation’s cybersecurity workforce. MORE

American Civil Liberties Union asks federal appeals court to shut down part of National Security Agency program that collects American phone records in bulk, move that may set up conflict between regular court system and secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. MORE

WikiLeaks releases American intelligence document containing telephone numbers of high-ranking German government officials, including Chancellor Angela Merkels top aides and senior figures from previous administrations; document, dating back to 1990s, adds to controversy surrounding United States intelligence service practices. MORE

Newly leaked material by Wikileaks revisits question of when and how much spying National Security Agency did on German government and Chancellor Angela Merkel; files also cover discussions about Germany’s position on Greek debt crisis. MORE

Embattled Brazilian Pres Dilma Rousseff plays down concerns about 2013 spying scandal during White House visit, saying she has accepted Pres Obama’s pledge that National Security Agency’s wiretapping has ended; Rousseff’s visit seems focused on courting American investment as she grapples with tanking economy at home. MORE

American Civil Liberties Union says it will ask United States Court of Appeals for Second Circuit to issue injunction to halt once-secret National Security Agency program in which records of domestic phone calls were collected in bulk; NSA was given go-ahead to resume program by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and ACLU request may pit two courts against one another. MORE

Mattathias Schwartz First Words column contends word ‘relevant,’ when used by National Security Agency, expands to include all information gathered in bulk collection of phone records; says use of word allows spying on citizens with impunity, since no information is irrelevant. MORE

French government reacts with modulated response to information published by WikiLeaks and media groups that United States’ National Security Agency spied on French presidents and other senior officials from 2016 to 2012. MORE

British intelligence documents provided by former National Security Agency contractor Edward J Snowden to The Guardian news media describe American drone strikes that killed Khadim Usamah, along with other such airstrikes and counter-terrorism efforts; documents raise possibility British intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters aided American targeted strikes. MORE

WikiLeaks releases documents saying United States National Security Agency eavesdropped on last three French presidents, Francoise Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac. MORE

Harald Range, Germany’s federal prosecutor, announces that he has dropped formal investigation of accusations that National Security Agency eavesdropped on cellphone owned by Chancellor Angela Merkel, citing lack of evidence. MORE

Classifed National Security Agency documents provided by Edward J Snowden indicate Obama administration, sans public notice, has expanded agency’s warrantless surveillance of Americans’ international internet traffic to hunt for evidence of malicious computer hacking; disclosures come at time of pernicious cyberattacks, but also of increased scrutiny of legal rights for more government surveillance. MORE

Op-Ed article by Edward J Snowden expresses satisfaction that two years after he revealed extent of National Security Agency’s surveillance of American citizens, there is now wide consensus that such activities were illegal and many of them have been stopped; warns that while progress has made, right to privacy is still under threat. MORE

News Analysis; Pres Obama’s revision of National Security Agency’s phone record collection program seeks to tailor program to his own competing aims of addressing privacy concerns while preserving means of monitoring terrorist activity; in so doing, Obama has solidified his ownership of controversial program begun by predecessor George W Bush. MORE

Senate passes bill scaling back federal government’s extensive surveillance of American phone records, and Pres Obama signs it; legislation signifies significant overhaul of national security policy formed after 9-11 terrorist attacks, and is rebuke to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who fought forcefully against lessening government surveillance powers. MORE

Sen Rand Paul’s libertarian stance on national security issues, including his rather lonely fight against National Security Agency’s surveillance of American citizens, has endeared him to supporters of his father Ron Paul during former congressman’s past presidential bids; many of the elder Paul’s backers have been slow to warm to Sen Rand Paul, questioning his commitment to his father’s ultra libertarian ideals. MORE

Obama administration is pressing Senate not to substantially alter House-passed USA Freedom Act, given that authorizations for National Security Agency have lapsed and any changes to bill’s provisions would necessarily entail lengthy negotiations that could delay agency’s reinstatement. MORE

Congressional Memo; Sen Mitch McConnell, after losing battle to extend National Security Agency programs, is being forced to embrace a House-passed NSA overhaul that he fears will weaken national security. MORE

News Analysis; interviews with intelligence experts suggest that there are several available workarounds as National Security Agency grapples with temporary expiration of Patriot Act provisions that allowed it to gather phone records en masse; key aspect is ‘grandfather clause’ that maintains powers for any investigation that was begun before June 1, 2015; records can also be obtained by grand jury subpoena if necessary. MORE

Provisions of Patriot Act allowing government to amass phone records temporarily expires following caustic Senate session in which Sen Rand Paul blocked extension; revised edition of law, which will curtail some bulk data collection by National Security Agency, is likely to pass in coming week; developments reflect profound shift in American attitudes toward data collection since days following Sept 11 attacks. MORE

Republican Sen Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has been shunned and mocked by colleagues in his party, succeeds in temporarily blocking vote on renewal of section of Patriot Act that gives broad surveillance authority to National Security Agency. MORE

Battle in Congress over National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records is being waged among different Republican factions, with defense hawks squaring off against libertarians and new members clashing with old; Senate has been tasked with creating passable compromise bill, feat likely to prove challenging. MORE

Pres Obama presses Senate to pass legislation known as USA Freedom Act, warning that allowing National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance programs to lapse will make country more vulnerable to terrorist attack. MORE

Editorial welcomes fact that provisions within Patriot Act giving federal authorities broad surveillance powers, which led to National Security Agency’s collection of bulk phone data, are set to expire; calls for thorough debate regarding such surveillance powers and underscores necessity of balancing such powers with meaningful judicial oversight. MORE

Obama administration urges Congress to reach deal on legislation governing National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records before June 1 deadline, warning that failure to do so will leave United States vulnerable to terrorist attacks. MORE

Pres Obama issues warning to Senate about risks attendant upon lawmakers failing to renew surveillance programs authorized by USA Patriot Act; it is unlikely that lawmakers will pass extension before scheduled expiration date, which means Obama administration and National Security Agency will lack legal authority to carry out such programs for some time. MORE

Congressional leaders, with deadline looming, take unusual step of working during recess to reach agreement on changes to USA Freedom Act that would rein in National Security Agency’s phone data collection authority. MORE

Obama administration is examining how expiration of three counterterrorism laws allowing government to collect telephone and other data will affect future of effort, even as bulk collection of phone records winds down; at issue is treatment of phone records already collected by government and investigations already under way; Senate remains divided on whether to continue or replace National Security Agency’s phone records program. MORE

Senate’s failure to advance legislation on National Security Agency reform highlights discord among Republican leaders; after failing to get extension of federal government’s bulk collection of phone records program, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has found promises he made about Senates operation hard to keep. MORE

Senate rejects legislation that would revise Patriot Act to limit federal government’s bulk collection of phone records; vote, and subsequent failure of short-term measure to extend program beyond June 1 expiration date, raises likelihood that government will lose access to phone records after deadline, creating security vulnerability. MORE

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward J Snowden, facing espionage charges in United States and living in exile in Russia, is speaking by video to audiences worldwide and gaining victories both in Congress and federal court; has no apparent prospect of leaving Russia soon, as prosecutors show no inclination to offer him acceptable plea bargain. MORE

News Analysis; House vote to end and replace National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records is striking because open debate about cost of national security has been rare in 14 years since Sept 11 attacks; highlights question of where to draw line between advantages of secrecy and demands for openness in shadow of war on terror that shows no sign of abating. MORE

House of Representatives approves, 338 to 88, bill to halt National Security Agency’s collection of data related to Americans’ phone records under Patriot Act; vote places high pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring Senate, which is more divided on issue, into line with House ahead of June 1 deadline. MORE

Brian McFadden The Strip comic offers up variety of real-life conspiracies that American voters should be concerned about, such as current campaign financing laws, police brutality and National Security Agency spying on Americans. MORE

Federal appeals court’s decision that National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records is illegal complicates bipartisan effort in Congress to overhaul program. MORE

United States Court of Appeals rules National Security Agency program that is systematically collecting Americans’ bulk phone records is illegal; three judges say Patriot Act does not cover domestic calling records; provision is set expire June 1, and ruling is liable to ratchet up Congressional tension. MORE

Editorial applauds ruling by three-judge federal appeals panel, which determined National Security Agency’s collection of Americans’ phone records is illegal; holds decision is just in time as Congress is now in debate over reauthorizing section of Patriot Act that allows government to sweep records of those suspected of involvement in terrorist acts. MORE

German Chancellor Angela Merkel finds herself in midst of domestic controversy over depth and extent of country’s role in European spying; 2002 agreement on intelligence sharing between Germany and United States is under duress after reports that German intelligence agency BND indulged in spying on corporations and individuals at behest of National Security Agency. MORE

Germany’s foreign intelligence service, knows as BND, is being accused of spying on European companies, and possibly individuals; reports say monitoring was done at request of National Security Agency, which BND denies. MORE

News Analysis; proposal to limit bulk collection of domestic telephone data, centerpiece of legislation advancing in Congress, is meeting little opposition from National Security Agency itself; lack of pushback from the agency underscores just how dubious insiders were about the program from the start. MORE

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U.S. National Security Agency News – The New York Times

Regenerative Medicine Conferences | Europe | Worldwide …

 Regenerative Medicine  Comments Off on Regenerative Medicine Conferences | Europe | Worldwide …
Dec 172015
 

The 5th International Conference on Tissue Science & Regenerative Medicine which is going to be held during September 12-14, 2016 at Berlin, Germany will bring together world-class personalities working on stem cells, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to discuss materials-related strategies for disease remediation and tissue repair.

Tissue Regeneration

In the field of biology, regeneration is the progression of renewal, regeneration and growth that makes it possible for genomes, cells, organ regeneration to natural changes or events that cause damage or disturbance.This study is carried out as craniofacial tissue engineering, in-situ tissue regeneration, adipose-derived stem cells for regenerative medicine which is also a breakthrough in cell culture technology. The study is not stopped with the regeneration of tissue where it is further carried out in relation with cell signaling, morphogenetic proteins. Most of the neurological disorders occurred accidental having a scope of recovery by replacement or repair of intervertebral discs repair, spinal fusion and many more advancements. The global market for tissue engineering and regeneration products such as scaffolds, tissue implants, biomimetic materials reached $55.9 billion in 2010 and it is expected to reach $89.7 billion by 2016 at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.4%. It grows to $135 billion by 2024.

Related Conferences

International Conference on Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy July 28-30, 2016 Melbourne, Australia; International Conference on Molecular Biology October 13-15, 2016 Dubai, UAE; 5th International Conference on Tissue Science and Regenerative Medicine September 12-14, 2016 Berlin, Germany; 6th World Congress on Cell & Stem Cell Research February 29-March 02, 2016 Philadelphia, USA; 5th International Conference and Exhibition on Cell and Gene Therapy May 19-21, 2016 San Antonio, USA; Tissue Niches & Resident Stem Cells in Adult Epithelia Gordon Research Conference, Regulation of Tissue Homeostasis by Signaling in the Stem Cell Niche August 7-12,Hong Kong, China; 10 Years of IPSCs, Cell Symposia, September 25-27, 2016Berkeley, CA, USA; The Company of Biologists Workshops: From Stem Cells to Human Development September 25-28, 2016Southbridge, MA, USA; World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress May 18-20, 2016 London, UK; Notch Signaling in Development, Regeneration & Disease Gordon Research Conference, July 31-August 5, 2016Lewiston, ME, USA

Designs for Tissue Engineering

The developing field of tissue engineering aims to regenerate damaged tissues by combining cells from the body with bioresorbable materials, biodegradable hydrogel, biomimetic materials, nanostructures and nanomaterials, biomaterials and tissue implants which act as templates for tissue regeneration, to guide the growth of new tissue by using with the technologies. The global market for biomaterials, nanostructures and bioresorbable materials are estimated to reach $88.4 billion by 2017 from $44.0 billion in 2012 growing at a CAGR of 15%. Further the biomaterials market estimated to be worth more than 300 billion US Dollars and to be increasing 20% per year.

Related Conferences

6th World Congress on Cell & Stem Cell Research February 29-March 02, 2016 Philadelphia, USA; 5th International Conference and Exhibition on Cell and Gene Therapy May 19-21, 2016 San Antonio, USA; International Conference on Restorative Medicine October 24-26, 2016 Chicago, USA; International Conference on Molecular Biology October 13-15, 2016 Dubai, UAE; 2nd International Conference & Exhibition on Tissue preservation and Bio-banking August 18-19, 2016 Portland, USA; ISSCR 14th Annual Meeting 22-25 June, 2016San Francisco, California, USA; Keystone Cardiac Development, Regeneration and Repair (Z2) April 3 7, 2016Snowbird, Utah, USA; The Stem Cell NicheDevelopment & Disease May 22-26, 2016Hillerd, Denmark; EMBL Hematopoietic Stem Cells: From the Embryo to the Aging Organism, June 3-5, 2016Heidelberg, Germany; ISSCR Pluripotency: From basic science to therapeutic applications March 22-24, 2016 Kyoto, Japan

Organ Engineering

This interdisciplinary engineering has attracted much attention as a new therapeutic means that may overcome the drawbacks involved in the current artificial organs and organ transplantation that have been also aiming at replacing lost or severely damaged tissues or organs. Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine is an exciting research area that aims at regenerative alternatives to harvested tissues for organ transplantation with soft tissues. Although significant progress has been made in the tissue engineering field, many challenges remain and further development in this area will require ongoing interactions and collaborations among the scientists from multiple disciplines, and in partnership with the regulatory and the funding agencies. As a result of the medical and market potential, there is significant academic and corporate interest in this technology.

Related Conferences

International Conference on Restorative Medicine October 24-26, 2016 Chicago, USA; 5th International Conference and Exhibition on Cell and Gene Therapy May 19-21, 2016 San Antonio, USA; 6th World Congress on Cell & Stem Cell Research February 29-March 02, 2016 Philadelphia, USA; 5th International Conference on Tissue Science and Regenerative Medicine September 12-14, 2016 Berlin, Germany;2ndInternational Conference & Exhibition on Tissue preservation and Bio-banking August 18-19, 2016 Portland, USA;Phacilitate Cell & Gene Therapy WorldJanuary 25-27, 2016Washington D.C., USA;ISSCR Stem Cell Models of Neural Degeneration and DiseaseFebruary 1-3, 2016Dresden, Germany;Craniofacial Morphogenesis & Tissue RegenerationMarch 12-18, 2016California, USA;Keystone Stem Cells and Cancer (C1)March 6-10,Colorado, USA;Keystone Stem Cells and Regeneration in the Digestive Organs (X6)March 13 17Colorado, USA

CancerStem Cells

The characterization of cancer stem cell is done by identifying the cell within a tumor that possesses the capacity to self-renew and to cause the heterogeneous lineages of cancer cells that comprise the tumor. This stem cell which acts as precursor for the cancer acts as a tool against it indulging the reconstruction of cancer stem cells, implies as the therapeutic implications and challenging the gaps globally. The global stem cell market will grow from about $5.6 billion in 2013 to nearly $10.6 billion in 2018, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6% from 2013 through 2018. The Americas is the largest region of global stem cell market, with a market share of about $2.0 billion in 2013. The region is projected to increase to nearly $3.9 billion by 2018, with a CAGR of 13.9% for the period of 2013 to 2018. Europe is the second largest segment of the global stem cell market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.4% reaching about $2.4 billion by 2018 from nearly $1.4 billion in 2013.

Related Conferences

6th World Congress on Cell & Stem Cell Research February 29-March 02, 2016 Philadelphia, USA; 5th International Conference and Exhibition on Cell and Gene Therapy May 19-21, 2016 San Antonio, USA; International Conference on Molecular Biology October 13-15, 2016 Dubai, UAE; 5th International Conference on Tissue Science and Regenerative Medicine September 12-14, 2016 Berlin, Germany;2ndInternational Conference & Exhibition on Tissue preservation and Bio-banking August 18-19, 2016 Portland, USA; Molecular and Cellular Basis of Growth and Regeneration (A3) January 10 14, 2016Colorado, USA; Phacilitate Cell & Gene Therapy World January 25-27, 2016Washington D.C., USA; ISSCR Stem Cell Models of Neural Degeneration and Disease March 13 17, 2016Dresden, Germany; Craniofacial Morphogenesis & Tissue Regeneration March 12-18, 2016California, USA; World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress May 18-20, 2016 London, UK

Bone Tissue Engineering

Tissue engineering of musculoskeletal tissues, particularly bone and cartilage, is a rapidly advancing field. In bone, technology has centered on bone graft substitute materials and the development of biodegradable scaffolds. Recently, tissue engineering strategies have included cell and gene therapy. The availability of growth factors and the expanding knowledge base concerning the bone regeneration with modern techniques like recombinant signaling molecules, solid free form fabrication of scaffolds, synthetic cartilage, Electrochemical deposition, spinal fusion and ossification are new generated techniques for tissue-engineering applications. The worldwide market for bone and cartilage repairs strategies is estimated about $300 million. During the last 10/15 years, the scientific community witnessed and reported the appearance of several sources of stem cells with both osteo and chondrogenic potential.

Related Conferences

5th International Conference on Tissue Science and Regenerative Medicine September 12-14, 2016 Berlin, Germany; 6th World Congress on Cell & Stem Cell Research February 29-March 02, 2016 Philadelphia, USA; 3rd2nd International Conference & Exhibition on Tissue preservation and Bio-banking August 18-19, 2016 Portland, USA; 5th International Conference and Exhibition on Cell and Gene Therapy May 19-21, 2016 San Antonio, USA; International Conference on Restorative Medicine October 24-26, 2016 Chicago, USA;10th World Biomaterials Congress May 17-22, 2016 Quebec, Canada;2016 TERMIS-EU Conference June 28- July1, 2016 Uppsala, Sweden; 2016 TERMIS-AP Conference Tamsui Town of New Taipei CityMay 23-28, 2016;2016 TERMIS-AM Conference September 3-6, 2016, San Diego, USA; Pluripotency: From basic science to therapeutic applications 22-24 March 2016 Kyoto, Japan

Scaffolds

Scaffolds are one of the three most important elements constituting the basic concept of regenerative medicine, and are included in the core technology of regenerative medicine. Every day thousands of surgical procedures are performed to replace or repair tissue that has been damaged through disease or trauma. The developing field of tissue engineering (TE) aims to regenerate damaged tissues by combining cells from the body with highly porous scaffold biomaterials, which act as templates for tissue regeneration, to guide the growth of new tissue. Scaffolds has a prominent role in tissue regeneration the designs, fabrication, 3D models, surface ligands and molecular architecture, nanoparticle-cell interactions and porous of the scaffolds are been used in the field in attempts to regenerate different tissues and organs in the body. The world stem cell market was approximately 2.715 billion dollars in 2010, and with a growth rate of 16.8% annually, a market of 6.877 billion dollars will be formed in 2016. From 2017, the expected annual growth rate is 10.6%, which would expand the market to 11.38 billion dollars by 2021.

Related Conferences

4th International Congress on Bacteriology and Infectious Diseases May 16-18, 2016 San Antonio, USA; 2nd World Congress and Expo on Applied Microbiology October 31-November 02, 2016 Istanbul, Turkey; International Conference on Infectious Diseases & Diagnostic Microbiology Oct 3-5, 2016 Vancouver, Canada; International Conference on Water Microbiology & Novel Technologies July 18-20, 2016 Chicago, USA; 5th International Conference on Clinical Microbiology and Microbial Genomics October 24-26, 2016 Rome, Italy; Annual Meeting of the German Society for Gene Therapy 12 – 13 March 2015 Vienna, Austria; International Bone-Tissue-Engineering Congress 8 – 10 October 2015. Stuttgart, Germany; Till & McCulloch Meetings October 26-28, 2015 Toronto, Canada; 9th International Symposium on Neuroprotection and Neurorepair April 19 to April 22, 2016 Magdeburg, Germany; Craniofacial Morphogenesis & Tissue Regeneration March 12-18, 2016California, USA

Tissue Regeneration Technologies

Guided tissue regeneration is defined as procedures attempting to regenerate lost periodontal structures through differential tissue responses. Guided bone regeneration typically refers to ridge augmentation or bone regenerative procedures it typically refers to regeneration of periodontal therapy. The recent advancements and innovations in biomedical and regenerative tissue engineering techniques include the novel approach of guided tissue regeneration and combination of nanotechnology and regenerative medicine.

Related Conferences

3rd International Conference on Gynecology & Obstetrics October 17-19, 2016 Dubai, UAE; 5th International Conference on Tissue Science and Regenerative Medicine September 12-14, 2016 Berlin, Germany; 6th World Congress on Cell & Stem Cell Research February 29-March 02, 2016 Philadelphia, USA; 2nd International Conference & Exhibition on Tissue preservation and Bio-banking August 18-19, 2016 Portland, USA; International Conference on Restorative Medicine October 24-26, 2016 Chicago; 2016 Annual Convention & Exposition June 6-9, 2016 Philadelphia, USA;3rd International Conference on BioTribology – ICoBT 2016 September 11-14, 2016 London, UK; International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy – ISET February 6-10, 2016Florida, USA; International Bone Tissue Engineering Congress October 810 , 2015Stuttgart, Germany

Regeneration and Therapeutics

Regenerative medicinecan be defined as a therapeutic intervention which replaces or regenerates human cells, tissues or organs, to restore or establish normal function and deploys small molecule drugs, biologics, medical devices and cell-based therapies. It deals with the different therapeutic uses like stem cells for tissue repair, tissue injury and healing process, cardiac stem cell therapy for regeneration, functional regenerative recovery, effects of aging on tissue repair/regeneration, corneal regeneration & degeneration. The global market is expected to reach $25.5 billion by 2011 and will further grow to $36.1 billion by 2016 at a CAGR of 7.2%. It is expected to reach $65 billion mark by 2024.

Related Conferences

World Congress on Human Genetics October 31- November 02, 2016 Valencia, Spain; 5th International Conference on Tissue Science and Regenerative Medicine September 12-14, 2016 Berlin, Germany; 2nd International Conference & Exhibition on Tissue preservation and Bio-banking August 18-19, 2016 Portland, USA; European Conference on Genomics and Personalized Medicine April 25-27, 2016 Valencia, Spain; 4th International Conference on Plant Genomics July 14-15, 2016 Brisbane, Australia; World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress May 18-20, 2016 London, UK; 18th International Conference on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Applications May 12 – 13, 2016 Amsterdam, Netherlands; 18th International Conference on Bone, Muscle and Joint Diseases February 25 – 26, 2016 London, UK; 2nd Conference on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine March 18 to 20, 2016 Los Angeles, USA;

Regenerative medicine

Regenerative medicine is a branch of translational research in tissue engineering and molecular biology which deals with the process of replacing, engineering or regenerating human cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function. The latest developments involve advances in cell and gene therapy and stem cell research, molecular therapy, dental and craniofacial regeneration. Regenerative medicines have the unique ability to repair, replace and regenerate tissues and organs, affected due to some injury, disease or due to natural aging process. These medicines are capable of restoring the functionality of cells and tissues. The global regenerative medicine market will reach $ 67.6 billion by 2020 from $16.4 billion in 2013, registering a CAGR of 23.2% during forecast period (2014 – 2020). Small molecules and biologics segment holds prominent market share in the overall regenerative medicine technology market and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 18.9% during the forecast period.

Related Conferences

International Conference on Next Generation Sequencing July 21-22, 2016 Berlin, Germany; 5th International Conference on Computational Systems Biology August 22-23, 2016 Philadelphia, USA; 7th International Conference on Bioinformatics October 27-28, 2016 Chicago, USA; International Conference on Synthetic Biology September 28-30, 2015 Houston, USA; 4th International Conference on Integrative Biology July 18-20, 2016 Berlin, Germany; World Conference on Regenerative Medicine October 2123, 2015 Lepizig, Germany; World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases April 14-17 2016 Malga, Spain; Bioinspired Materials Gordon Research Conference June 5-10, 2016, Girona, Spain

Applications of Tissue Engineering

The applications of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine are innumerable as they mark the replacement of medication and organ replacement. The applications involve cell tracking and tissue imaging, cell therapy and regenerative medicine, organ harvesting, transport and transplant, the application of nanotechnology in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and bio banking. Globally the research statistics are increasing at a vast scale and many universities and companies are conducting events on the subject regenerative medicine conference like tissue implants workshops, endodontics meetings, tissue biomarkers events, tissue repair meetings, regenerative medicine conferences, tissue science conference, regenerative medicine workshop, veterinary regenerative medicine, regenerative medicine symposiums, tissue regeneration conferences, regenerative medicine congress.

Related Conferences

World Congress on Human Genetics October 31- November 02, 2016 Valencia, Spain; 5th International Conference on Tissue Science and Regenerative Medicine September 12-14, 2016 Berlin, Germany; 2nd International Conference & Exhibition on Tissue preservation and Bio-banking August 18-19, 2016 Portland, USA; European Conference on Genomics and Personalized Medicine April 25-27, 2016 Valencia, Spain; 4th International Conference on Plant Genomics July 14-15, 2016 Brisbane, Australia; Biocatalysis (GRS) Gordon Research Seminar Jul 9-10, 2016 New England, UK; World Conference on Regenerative Medicine October 2123, 2015 Lepizig, Germany; 18thInternational Conference on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Applications May 12 – 13, 2016 Amsterdam, Netherlands; International Bone-Tissue-Engineering Congress 8 – 10 October 2015. Stuttgart, Germany; Craniofacial Morphogenesis & Tissue Regeneration March 12-18, 2016California, USA.

Market Analysis in Regenerative Medicine:

There are strong pricing pressures from public healthcare payers globally as Governments try to reduce budget deficits. Regenerative medicine could potentially save public health bodies money by reducing the need for long-term care and reducing associated disorders, with potential benefits for the world economy as a whole.The global market for tissue engineering and regeneration products reached $55.9 billion in 2010, is expected to reach $59.8 billion by 2011, and will further grow to $89.7 billion by 2016 at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.4%. It grows to $135 billion to 2024. The contribution of the European region was 43.3% of the market in 2010, a value of $24.2 billion. The market is expected to reach $25.5 billion by 2011 and will further grow to $36.1 billion by 2016 at a CAGR of 7.2%. It grows to $65 billion to 2024.

Related Conferences

2ndInternational Conference & Exhibition on Tissue preservation andBio-bankingAugust 18-19, 2016 Portland, USA; European Conference on Genomics andPersonalized MedicineApril 25-27, 2016 Valencia, Spain;3rdInternational Conference onGynecology& Obstetrics October 17-19, 2016 Dubai, UAE; 5thInternational Conference on Tissue Science andRegenerative MedicineSeptember 12-14, 2016 Berlin, Germany; 6thWorld Congress on Cell &Stem Cell ResearchFebruary 29-March 02, 2016 Philadelphia, USA;18thInternational Conference on Bone, Muscle andJoint DiseasesFebruary 25 – 26, 2016 London, UK; 2ndConference on Tissue Engineering andRegenerative MedicineMarch 18 to 20, 2016 Los Angeles, USA;InternationalBone-Tissue-Engineering Congress 8 – 10 October 2015. Stuttgart, Germany; CraniofacialMorphogenesis& Tissue Regeneration March 12-18, 2016California, USA.

Market Analysis Report:

Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field that applies the principles of engineering and life sciences toward the development of biological substitutes that restore, maintain, or improve tissue function or a whole organ. Regenerative medicine is not one discipline. It can be defined as a therapeutic intervention which replaces or regenerates human cells, tissues or organs, to restore or establish normal function and deploys small molecule drugs, biologics, medical devices and cell-based therapies

Currently it has emerged as a rapidly diversifying field with the potential to address the worldwide organ shortage issue and comprises of tissue regeneration and organ replacement. Regenerative medicine could potentially save public health bodies money by reducing the need for long-term care and reducing associated disorders, with potential benefits for the world economy as a whole.The global tissue engineering and regeneration market reached $17 billion in 2013. This market is expected to grow to nearly $20.8 billion in 2014 and $56.9 billion in 2019, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.3%. On the basis of geography, Europe holds the second place in the global market in the field of regenerative medicine & tissue engineering. In Europe countries like UK, France and Germany are possessing good market shares in the field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Spain and Italy are the emerging market trends for tissue engineering in Europe.

Tissue engineering is “an interdisciplinary field that applies the principles of engineering and life sciences toward the development of biological substitutes that restore, maintain, or improve tissue function or a whole organ. Currently it has emerged as a rapidly diversifying field with the potential to address the worldwide organ shortage issue and comprises of tissue regeneration and organ replacement. A novel set of tissue replacement parts and implementation strategies had shown a great revolution in this field. Cells placed on or within the tissue constructs is the most common methodology in tissue engineering.

Regenerative medicine is not one discipline. It can be defined as a therapeutic intervention which replaces or regenerates human cells, tissues or organs, to restore or establish normal function and deploys small molecule drugs, biologics, medical devices and cell-based therapies

This field continues to evolve. In addition to medical applications, non-therapeutic applications include using tissues as biosensors to detect biological or chemical threat agents, and tissue chips that can be used to test the toxicity of an experimental medication. Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine is the major field in Medicine, which is still under research and the advancements are maximizing day to day.

Regenerative Medicine-2015 is an engrossed a vicinity of cognizant discussions on novel subjects like Tissue Regeneration, Materials & Designs for Tissue Engineering, Stem CellTools to Battle Cancer, Bioreactors in Tissue Engineering, Regeneration & Therapeutics, Cord Blood & Regenerative Medicine and Clinical Medicine, to mention a few. The three days event implants a firm relation of upcoming strategies in the field of Tissue Science & Regenerative Medicine with the scientific community. The conceptual and applicable knowledge shared, will also foster organizational collaborations to nurture scientific accelerations.We bring together business, creative, and technology leaders from the tissue engineering, marketing, and research industry for the most current and relevant.

Berlin is one of the largest and most diverse science regions in Europe. Roughly 200,000 people from around the world teach, research, work and study here. Approximately 17 percent of all students come from abroad, most of them from China, Russia and the USA. Many cooperative programs link Berlins institutes of higher education with partner institutes around the world. Berlin is a city of science at the heart of Europe a city whose history of scientific excellence stems from its many important research institutions and its long track record of scientific breakthroughs. Berlin has numerous modern Technology Centers. Their science-oriented infrastructure makes them attractive locations for young, technology-oriented companies.

Germany places great emphasis on globally networked research cooperation. Many organizations support international researchers and academics: Today more than 32,000 are being supported with scholarships. Besides this, research funding in Germany has the goal of financing the development of new ideas and technologies. The range covers everything from basic research in natural sciences, new technologies to structural research funding at institutions of higher education. On the basis of geography, the regenerative medicine bone and joint market Europe hold the second place in the global market in the field of regenerative medicine & tissue engineering. The market growth is expected to reach $65 billion by 2024 in Europe. In Europe countries like UK, France, and Germany are possessing good market share in the field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Spain and Italy are the emerging market trends for tissue engineering in Europe. As per the scope and emerging market for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine Berlin has been selected as Venue for the 5th International Conference on Tissue Science and Regenerative Medicine.

Meet Your Target MarketWith members from around the world focused on learning about Advertising and marketing, this is the single best opportunity to reach the largest assemblage of participants from the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine community. The meeting engrossed a vicinity of cognizant discussions on novel subjects like Tissue Regeneration, Materials & Designs for Tissue Engineering, Stem CellTools to Battle Cancer, Bioreactors in Tissue Engineering, Regeneration & Therapeutics, Cord Blood & Regenerative Medicine and Clinical Medicine, to mention a few. The three days event implants a firm relation of upcoming strategies in the field of Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine with the scientific community. The conceptual and applicable knowledge shared, will also foster organizational collaborations to nurture scientific accelerations.Conduct demonstrations, distribute information, meet with current and potential customers, make a splash with a new product line, and receive name recognition.

International Stem Cell Forum (ISCF)

International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR)

UK Medical Research Council (MRC)

Australian Stem Cell Center

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Euro Stem Cell (ACR)

Center for Stem Cell Biology

Stem Cell Research Singapore

UK National Stem Cell Network

Spain Mobile Marketing Association

European Marketing Confederation (EMC)

European Letterbox Marketing Association(ELMA)

European Sales & Marketing Association (ESMA)

The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA Europe)

European Marketing Academy

Figure 1: Statistical Analysis of Societies and Associations

Source: Reference7

Presidents or Vice Presidents/ Directors of Associations and Societies, CEOs of the companies associated with regenerative medicine and tissue engineering Consumer Products. Retailers, Marketing, Advertising and Promotion Agency Executives, Solution Providers (digital and mobile technology, P-O-P design, retail design, and retail execution), Professors and Students from Academia in the study of Marketing and Advertising filed.

Industry 40%

Academia 50%

Others 10%

Figure 2: Target Audience

Technische University Munchen

University of Wrzburg

University Medical Center

University of Tubingen

Universittsklinikum Mnster

Technische Universitt Dresden

Leipzig University

University Medicine of Rostock

Institut fur Humangenetik und Anthropologie der Universitat

Otto-von-Guericke University

Hannover Medical School

Max Planck Institute

Figure 3: Top Universities in Germany

There are strong pricing pressures from public healthcare payers globally as Governments try to reduce budget deficits. Regenerative medicine could potentially save public health bodies money by reducing the need for long-term care and reducing associated disorders, with potential benefits for the world economy as a whole.The global market for tissue engineering and regeneration products reached $55.9 billion in 2010, is expected to reach $59.8 billion by 2011, and will further grow to $89.7 billion by 2016 at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.4%. It grows to $135 billion to 2024

The contribution of the European region was 43.3% of the market in 2010, a value of $24.2 billion. The market is expected to reach $25.5 billion by 2011 and will further grow to $36.1 billion by 2016 at a CAGR of 7.2%. It grows to $65 billion to 2024. [Source: Reference2]

Figure 4: Global Market Growth of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

Figure 5: Industries associated with Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

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Regenerative Medicine Conferences | Europe | Worldwide …

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10 Different Types of Libertarianism

 Misc  Comments Off on 10 Different Types of Libertarianism
Dec 172015
 

By Tom Head

Anarcho-Capitalism:

Anarcho-capitalists believe that governments monopolize services that would be better left to corporations, and should be abolished entirely in favor of a system in which corporations provide services we associate with the government. The popular sci-fi novel Jennifer Government describes a system that is very close to anarcho-capitalist.

Civil Libertarianism:

Civil libertarians believe that the government should not pass laws that restrict, oppress, or selectively fail to protect people in their day-to-day lives.

Their position can best be summed up by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ statement that “a man’s right to swing his fist ends where my nose begins.” In the United States, the American Civil Liberties Union represents the interests of civil libertarians. Civil libertarians may or may not also be fiscal libertarians.

Classical Liberalism:

Classical liberals agree with the words of the Declaration of Independence: That all people have basic human rights, and that the sole legitimate function of government is to protect those rights. Most of the Founding Fathers, and most of the European philosophers who influenced them, were classical liberals.

Fiscal Libertarianism:

Fiscal libertarians (also referred to as laissez-faire capitalists) believe in free trade, low (or nonexistent) taxes, and minimal (or nonexistent) corporate regulation. Most traditional Republicans are moderate fiscal libertarians.

Geolibertarianism:

Geolibertarians (also called “one-taxers”) are fiscal libertarians who believe that land can never be owned, but may be rented. They generally propose the abolition of all income and sales taxes in favor of a single land rental tax, with the revenue used to support collective interests (such as military defense) as determined through a democratic process.

Libertarian Socialism:

Libertarian socialists agree with anarcho-capitalists that government is a monopoly and should be abolished, but they believe that nations should be ruled instead by work-share cooperatives or labor unions instead of corporations. The philosopher Noam Chomsky is the best known American libertarian socialist.

Minarchism:

Like anarcho-capitalists and libertarian socialists, minarchists believe that most functions currently served by the government should be served by smaller, non-government groups–but they believe that a government is still needed to serve a few collective needs, such as military defense.

Neolibertarianism:

Neolibertarians are fiscal libertarians who support a strong military, and believe that the U.S. government should use that military to overthrow dangerous and oppressive regimes. It is their emphasis on military intervention that distinguishes them from paleolibertarians (see below), and gives them reason to make common cause with neoconservatives.

Objectivism:

The Objectivist movement was founded by the Russian-American novelist Ayn Rand (1905-1982), author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, who incorporated fiscal libertarianism into a broader philosophy emphasizing rugged individualism and what she called “the virtue of selfishness.”

Paleolibertarianism:

Paleolibertarians differ from neolibertarians (see above) in that they are isolationists who do not believe that the United States should become entangled in international affairs. They also tend to be suspicious of international coalitions such as the United Nations, liberal immigration policies, and other potential threats to cultural stability.

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10 Different Types of Libertarianism

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en.m.wikipedia.org

 NSA  Comments Off on en.m.wikipedia.org
Nov 012015
 

The National Security Agency (NSA) is an intelligence organization of the United States government, responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes a discipline known as signals intelligence (SIGINT). NSA is concurrently charged with protection of U.S. government communications and information systems against penetration and network warfare.[8][9] Although many of NSA’s programs rely on “passive” electronic collection, the agency is authorized to accomplish its mission through active clandestine means,[10] among which are physically bugging electronic systems[11] and allegedly engaging in sabotage through subversive software.[12][13] Moreover, NSA maintains physical presence in a large number of countries across the globe, where its Special Collection Service (SCS) inserts eavesdropping devices in difficult-to-reach places. SCS collection tactics allegedly encompass “close surveillance, burglary, wiretapping, breaking and entering”.[14][15]

Unlike the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), both of which specialize primarily in foreign human espionage, NSA does not unilaterally conduct human-source intelligence gathering, despite often being portrayed so in popular culture. Instead, NSA is entrusted with assistance to and coordination of SIGINT elements at other government organizations, which are prevented by law from engaging in such activities without the approval of the NSA via the Defense Secretary.[16] As part of these streamlining responsibilities, the agency has a co-located organization called the Central Security Service (CSS), which was created to facilitate cooperation between NSA and other U.S. military cryptanalysis components. Additionally, the NSA Director simultaneously serves as the Commander of the United States Cyber Command and as Chief of the Central Security Service.

Originating as a unit to decipher coded communications in World War II, it was officially formed as the NSA by Harry S. Truman in 1952. Since then, it has become one of the largest of U.S. intelligence organizations in terms of personnel and budget,[6][17] operating as part of the Department of Defense and simultaneously reporting to the Director of National Intelligence.

NSA surveillance has been a matter of political controversy on several occasions, such as its spying on anti-Vietnam war leaders or economic espionage. In 2013, the extent of the NSA’s secret surveillance programs was revealed to the public by Edward Snowden. According to the leaked documents, the NSA intercepts the communications of over a billion people worldwide and tracks the movement of hundreds of millions of people using cellphones. Internationally, research has pointed to the NSA’s ability to surveil the domestic internet traffic of foreign countries through “boomerang routing”.[18]

The origins of the National Security Agency can be traced back to April 28, 1917, three weeks after the U.S. Congress declared war on Germany in World War I. A code and cipher decryption unit was established as the Cable and Telegraph Section which was also known as the Cipher Bureau and Military Intelligence Branch, Section 8 (MI-8). It was headquartered in Washington, D.C. and was part of the war effort under the executive branch without direct Congressional authorization. During the course of the war it was relocated in the army’s organizational chart several times. On July 5, 1917, Herbert O. Yardley was assigned to head the unit. At that point, the unit consisted of Yardley and two civilian clerks. It absorbed the navy’s cryptoanalysis functions in July 1918. World War I ended on November 11, 1918, and MI-8 moved to New York City on May 20, 1919, where it continued intelligence activities as the Code Compilation Company under the direction of Yardley.[19][20]

MI-8 also operated the so-called “Black Chamber”.[22] The Black Chamber was located on East 37th Street in Manhattan. Its purpose was to crack the communications codes of foreign governments. Jointly supported by the State Department and the War Department, the chamber persuaded Western Union, the largest U.S. telegram company, to allow government officials to monitor private communications passing through the company’s wires.[23]

Other “Black Chambers” were also found in Europe. They were established by the French and British governments to read the letters of targeted individuals, employing a variety of techniques to surreptitiously open, copy, and reseal correspondence before forwarding it to unsuspecting recipients.[24]

Despite the American Black Chamber’s initial successes, it was shut down in 1929 by U.S. Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson, who defended his decision by stating: “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail”.[21]

During World War II, the Signal Security Agency (SSA) was created to intercept and decipher the communications of the Axis powers.[25] When the war ended, the SSA was reorganized as the Army Security Agency (ASA), and it was placed under the leadership of the Director of Military Intelligence.[25]

On May 20, 1949, all cryptologic activities were centralized under a national organization called the Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA).[25] This organization was originally established within the U.S. Department of Defense under the command of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[26] The AFSA was tasked to direct Department of Defense communications and electronic intelligence activities, except those of U.S. military intelligence units.[26] However, the AFSA was unable to centralize communications intelligence and failed to coordinate with civilian agencies that shared its interests such as the Department of State, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).[26] In December 1951, President Harry S. Truman ordered a panel to investigate how AFSA had failed to achieve its goals. The results of the investigation led to improvements and its redesignation as the National Security Agency.[27]

The agency was formally established by Truman in a memorandum of October 24, 1952, that revised National Security Council Intelligence Directive (NSCID) 9.[28] Since President Truman’s memo was a classified document,[28] the existence of the NSA was not known to the public at that time. Due to its ultra-secrecy the U.S. intelligence community referred to the NSA as “No Such Agency”.[29]

In the 1960s, the NSA played a key role in expanding America’s commitment to the Vietnam War by providing evidence of a North Vietnamese attack on the American destroyer USSMaddox during the Gulf of Tonkin incident.[30]

A secret operation code-named “MINARET” was set up by the NSA to monitor the phone communications of Senators Frank Church and Howard Baker, as well as major civil rights leaders including Dr. Martin Luther King, and prominent U.S. journalists and athletes who criticized the Vietnam War.[31] However the project turned out to be controversial, and an internal review by the NSA concluded that its Minaret program was “disreputable if not outright illegal.”[31]

In the aftermath of the Watergate Scandal, a congressional hearing in 1975 led by Sen. Frank Church[32] revealed that the NSA, in collaboration with Britain’s SIGINT intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), had routinely intercepted the international communications of prominent anti-Vietnam war leaders such as Jane Fonda and Dr. Benjamin Spock.[33] Following the resignation of President Richard Nixon, there were several investigations of suspected misuse of FBI, CIA and NSA facilities.[34] Senator Frank Church uncovered previously unknown activity,[34] such as a CIA plot (ordered by the administration of President John F. Kennedy) to assassinate Fidel Castro.[35] The investigation also uncovered NSA’s wiretaps on targeted American citizens.[36]

After the Church Committee hearings, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 was passed into law. This was designed to limit the practice of mass surveillance in the United States.[34]

In 1986, the NSA intercepted the communications of the Libyan government during the immediate aftermath of the Berlin discotheque bombing. The White House asserted that the NSA interception had provided “irrefutable” evidence that Libya was behind the bombing, which U.S. President Ronald Reagan cited as a justification for the 1986 United States bombing of Libya.[37][38]

In 1999, a multi-year investigation by the European Parliament highlighted the NSA’s role in economic espionage in a report entitled ‘Development of Surveillance Technology and Risk of Abuse of Economic Information’.[39] That year, the NSA founded the NSA Hall of Honor, a memorial at the National Cryptologic Museum in Fort Meade, Maryland.[40] The memorial is a, “tribute to the pioneers and heroes who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to American cryptology”.[40] NSA employees must be retired for more than fifteen years to qualify for the memorial.[40]

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the NSA created new IT systems to deal with the flood of information from new technologies like the internet and cellphones. ThinThread contained advanced data mining capabilities. It also had a ‘privacy mechanism’; surveillance was stored encrypted; decryption required a warrant. The research done under this program may have contributed to the technology used in later systems. ThinThread was cancelled when Michael Hayden chose Trailblazer, which did not include ThinThread’s privacy system.[42]

Trailblazer Project ramped up in 2002. SAIC, Boeing, CSC, IBM, and Litton worked on it. Some NSA whistleblowers complained internally about major problems surrounding Trailblazer. This led to investigations by Congress and the NSA and DoD Inspectors General. The project was cancelled in early 2004; it was late, over budget, and didn’t do what it was supposed to do. The Baltimore Sun ran articles about this in 200607. The government then raided the whistleblowers’ houses. One of them, Thomas Drake, was charged with violating 18 U.S.C.793(e) in 2010 in an unusual use of espionage law. He and his defenders claim that he was actually being persecuted for challenging the Trailblazer Project. In 2011, all 10 original charges against Drake were dropped.[43][44]

Turbulence started in 2005. It was developed in small, inexpensive ‘test’ pieces rather than one grand plan like Trailblazer. It also included offensive cyber-warfare capabilities, like injecting malware into remote computers. Congress criticized Turbulence in 2007 for having similar bureaucratic problems as Trailblazer.[44] It was to be a realization of information processing at higher speeds in cyberspace.[45]

The massive extent of the NSA’s spying, both foreign and domestic, was revealed to the public in a series of detailed disclosures of internal NSA documents beginning in June 2013. Most of the disclosures were leaked by former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden.

It was revealed that the NSA intercepts telephone and internet communications of over a billion people worldwide, seeking information on terrorism as well as foreign politics, economics[46] and “commercial secrets”.[47] In a declassified document it was revealed that 17,835 phone lines were on an improperly permitted “alert list” from 2006 to 2009 in breach of compliance, which tagged these phone lines for daily monitoring.[48][49][50] Eleven percent of these monitored phone lines met the agency’s legal standard for “reasonably articulable suspicion”(RAS).[48][51]

A dedicated unit of the NSA locates targets for the CIA for extrajudicial assassination in the Middle East.[52] The NSA has also spied extensively on the European Union, the United Nations and numerous governments including allies and trading partners in Europe, South America and Asia.[53][54]

The NSA tracks the locations of hundreds of millions of cellphones per day, allowing them to map people’s movements and relationships in detail.[55] It reportedly has access to all communications made via Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, YouTube, AOL, Skype, Apple and Paltalk,[56] and collects hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal email and instant messaging accounts each year.[57] It has also managed to weaken much of the encryption used on the Internet (by collaborating with, coercing or otherwise infiltrating numerous technology companies), so that the majority of Internet privacy is now vulnerable to the NSA and other attackers.[58][59]

Domestically, the NSA collects and stores metadata records of phone calls,[60] including over 120 million US Verizon subscribers[61] as well as internet communications,[56] relying on a secret interpretation of the Patriot Act whereby the entirety of US communications may be considered “relevant” to a terrorism investigation if it is expected that even a tiny minority may relate to terrorism.[62] The NSA supplies foreign intercepts to the DEA, IRS and other law enforcement agencies, who use these to initiate criminal investigations. Federal agents are then instructed to “recreate” the investigative trail via parallel construction.[63]

The NSA also spies on influential Muslims to obtain information that could be used to discredit them, such as their use of pornography. The targets, both domestic and abroad, are not suspected of any crime but hold religious or political views deemed “radical” by the NSA.[64]

According to a report in The Washington Post in July 2014, relying on information furnished by Snowden, 90% of those placed under surveillance in the U.S. are ordinary Americans, and are not the intended targets. The newspaper said it had examined documents including emails, message texts, and online accounts, that support the claim.[65]

Despite President Obama’s claims that these programs have congressional oversight, members of Congress were unaware of the existence of these NSA programs or the secret interpretation of the Patriot Act, and have consistently been denied access to basic information about them.[66] Obama has also claimed that there are legal checks in place to prevent inappropriate access of data and that there have been no examples of abuse;[67] however, the secret FISC court charged with regulating the NSA’s activities is, according to its chief judge, incapable of investigating or verifying how often the NSA breaks even its own secret rules.[68] It has since been reported that the NSA violated its own rules on data access thousands of times a year, many of these violations involving large-scale data interceptions;[69] and that NSA officers have even used data intercepts to spy on love interests.[70] The NSA has “generally disregarded the special rules for disseminating United States person information” by illegally sharing its intercepts with other law enforcement agencies.[71] A March 2009 opinion of the FISC court, released by court order, states that protocols restricting data queries had been “so frequently and systemically violated that it can be fairly said that this critical element of the overall … regime has never functioned effectively.”[72][73] In 2011 the same court noted that the “volume and nature” of the NSA’s bulk foreign internet intercepts was “fundamentally different from what the court had been led to believe”.[71] Email contact lists (including those of US citizens) are collected at numerous foreign locations to work around the illegality of doing so on US soil.[57]

Legal opinions on the NSA’s bulk collection program have differed. In mid-December 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled that the “almost-Orwellian” program likely violates the Constitution, and wrote, “I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval. Surely, such a program infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the Founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment. Indeed, I have little doubt that the author of our Constitution, James Madison, who cautioned us to beware ‘the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power,’ would be aghast.”[74]

Later that month, U.S. District Judge William Pauley ruled that the NSA’s collection of telephone records is legal and valuable in the fight against terrorism. In his opinion, he wrote, “a bulk telephony metadata collection program [is] a wide net that could find and isolate gossamer contacts among suspected terrorists in an ocean of seemingly disconnected data” and noted that a similar collection of data prior to 9/11 might have prevented the attack.[75]

An October 2014 United Nations report condemned mass surveillance by the United States and other countries as violating multiple international treaties and conventions that guarantee core privacy rights.[76]

On March 20, 2013 the Director of National Intelligence, Lieutenant General James Clapper, testified before Congress that the NSA does not wittingly collect any kind of data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans, but he retracted this in June after details of the PRISM program were published, and stated instead that meta-data of phone and internet traffic are collected, but no actual message contents.[77] This was corroborated by the NSA Director, General Keith Alexander, before it was revealed that the XKeyscore program collects the contents of millions of emails from US citizens without warrant, as well as “nearly everything a user does on the Internet”. Alexander later admitted that “content” is collected, but stated that it is simply stored and never analyzed or searched unless there is “a nexus to al-Qaida or other terrorist groups”.[67]

Regarding the necessity of these NSA programs, Alexander stated on June 27 that the NSA’s bulk phone and Internet intercepts had been instrumental in preventing 54 terrorist “events”, including 13 in the US, and in all but one of these cases had provided the initial tip to “unravel the threat stream”.[78] On July 31 NSA Deputy Director John Inglis conceded to the Senate that these intercepts had not been vital in stopping any terrorist attacks, but were “close” to vital in identifying and convicting four San Diego men for sending US$8,930 to Al-Shabaab, a militia that conducts terrorism in Somalia.[79][80][81]

The U.S. government has aggressively sought to dismiss and challenge Fourth Amendment cases raised against it, and has granted retroactive immunity to ISPs and telecoms participating in domestic surveillance.[82][83] The U.S. military has acknowledged blocking access to parts of The Guardian website for thousands of defense personnel across the country,[84][85] and blocking the entire Guardian website for personnel stationed throughout Afghanistan, the Middle East, and South Asia.[86]

The NSA is led by the Director of the National Security Agency (DIRNSA), who also serves as Chief of the Central Security Service (CHCSS) and Commander of the United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and is the highest-ranking military official of these organizations. He is assisted by a Deputy Director, who is the highest-ranking civilian within the NSA/CSS.

NSA also has an Inspector General, head of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), a General Counsel, head of the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) and a Director of Compliance, who is head of the Office of the Director of Compliance (ODOC).[87]

Unlike other intelligence organizations such as CIA or DIA, NSA has always been particularly reticent concerning its internal organizational structure.

As of the mid-1990s, the National Security Agency was organized into five Directorates:

Each of these directorates consisted of several groups or elements, designated by a letter. There were for example the A Group, which was responsible for all SIGINT operations against the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and G Group, which was responsible for SIGINT related to all non-communist countries. These groups were divided in units designated by an additional number, like unit A5 for breaking Soviet codes, and G6, being the office for the Middle East, North Africa, Cuba, Central and South America.[89][90]

As of 2013[update], NSA has about a dozen directorates, which are designated by a letter, although not all of them are publicly known. The directorates are divided in divisions and units starting with the letter of the parent directorate, followed by a number for the division, the sub-unit or a sub-sub-unit.

The main elements of the organizational structure of the NSA are:[91]

In the year 2000, a leadership team was formed, consisting of the Director, the Deputy Director and the Directors of the Signals Intelligence (SID), the Information Assurance (IAD) and the Technical Directorate (TD). The chiefs of other main NSA divisions became associate directors of the senior leadership team.[99]

After president George W. Bush initiated the President’s Surveillance Program (PSP) in 2001, the NSA created a 24-hour Metadata Analysis Center (MAC), followed in 2004 by the Advanced Analysis Division (AAD), with the mission of analyzing content, internet metadata and telephone metadata. Both units were part of the Signals Intelligence Directorate.[100]

The NSA maintains at least two watch centers:

The number of NSA employees is officially classified[4] but there are several sources providing estimates. In 1961, NSA had 59,000 military and civilian employees, which grew to 93,067 in 1969, of which 19,300 worked at the headquarters at Fort Meade. In the early 1980s NSA had roughly 50,000 military and civilian personnel. By 1989 this number had grown again to 75,000, of which 25,000 worked at the NSA headquarters. Between 1990 and 1995 the NSA’s budget and workforce were cut by one third, which led to a substantial loss of experience.[103]

In 2012, the NSA said more than 30,000 employees worked at Ft. Meade and other facilities.[2] In 2012, John C. Inglis, the deputy director, said that the total number of NSA employees is “somewhere between 37,000 and one billion” as a joke,[4] and stated that the agency is “probably the biggest employer of introverts.”[4] In 2013 Der Spiegel stated that the NSA had 40,000 employees.[5] More widely, it has been described as the world’s largest single employer of mathematicians.[104] Some NSA employees form part of the workforce of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the agency that provides the NSA with satellite signals intelligence.

As of 2013 about 1,000 system administrators work for the NSA.[105]

The NSA received criticism early on in 1960 after two agents had defected to the Soviet Union. Investigations by the House Un-American Activities Committee and a special subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee revealed severe cases of ignorance in personnel security regulations, prompting the former personnel director and the director of security to step down and leading to the adoption of stricter security practices.[106] Nonetheless, security breaches reoccurred only a year later when in an issue of Izvestia of July 23, 1963, a former NSA employee published several cryptologic secrets.

The very same day, an NSA clerk-messenger committed suicide as ongoing investigations disclosed that he had sold secret information to the Soviets on a regular basis. The reluctance of Congressional houses to look into these affairs had prompted a journalist to write “If a similar series of tragic blunders occurred in any ordinary agency of Government an aroused public would insist that those responsible be officially censured, demoted, or fired.” David Kahn criticized the NSA’s tactics of concealing its doings as smug and the Congress’ blind faith in the agency’s right-doing as shortsighted, and pointed out the necessity of surveillance by the Congress to prevent abuse of power.[106]

Edward Snowden’s leaking of PRISM in 2013 caused the NSA to institute a “two-man rule” where two system administrators are required to be present when one accesses certain sensitive information.[105] Snowden claims he suggested such a rule in 2009.[107]

The NSA conducts polygraph tests of employees. For new employees, the tests are meant to discover enemy spies who are applying to the NSA and to uncover any information that could make an applicant pliant to coercion.[108] As part of the latter, historically EPQs or “embarrassing personal questions” about sexual behavior had been included in the NSA polygraph.[108] The NSA also conducts five-year periodic reinvestigation polygraphs of employees, focusing on counterintelligence programs. In addition the NSA conducts aperiodic polygraph investigations in order to find spies and leakers; those who refuse to take them may receive “termination of employment”, according to a 1982 memorandum from the director of the NSA.[109]

There are also “special access examination” polygraphs for employees who wish to work in highly sensitive areas, and those polygraphs cover counterintelligence questions and some questions about behavior.[109] NSA’s brochure states that the average test length is between two and four hours.[110] A 1983 report of the Office of Technology Assessment stated that “It appears that the NSA [National Security Agency] (and possibly CIA) use the polygraph not to determine deception or truthfulness per se, but as a technique of interrogation to encourage admissions.”[111] Sometimes applicants in the polygraph process confess to committing felonies such as murder, rape, and selling of illegal drugs. Between 1974 and 1979, of the 20,511 job applicants who took polygraph tests, 695 (3.4%) confessed to previous felony crimes; almost all of those crimes had been undetected.[108]

In 2010 the NSA produced a video explaining its polygraph process.[112] The video, ten minutes long, is titled “The Truth About the Polygraph” and was posted to the website of the Defense Security Service. Jeff Stein of The Washington Post said that the video portrays “various applicants, or actors playing them it’s not clear describing everything bad they had heard about the test, the implication being that none of it is true.”[113] AntiPolygraph.org argues that the NSA-produced video omits some information about the polygraph process; it produced a video responding to the NSA video.[112] George Maschke, the founder of the website, accused the NSA polygraph video of being “Orwellian”.[113]

After Edward Snowden revealed his identity in 2013, the NSA began requiring polygraphing of employees once per quarter.[114]

The number of exemptions from legal requirements has been criticized. When in 1964 the Congress was hearing a bill giving the director of the NSA the power to fire at will any employee, the Washington Post wrote: “This is the very definition of arbitrariness. It means that an employee could be discharged and disgraced on the basis of anonymous allegations without the slightest opportunity to defend himself.” Yet, the bill was accepted by an overwhelming majority.[106]

The heraldic insignia of NSA consists of an eagle inside a circle, grasping a key in its talons.[115] The eagle represents the agency’s national mission.[115] Its breast features a shield with bands of red and white, taken from the Great Seal of the United States and representing Congress.[115] The key is taken from the emblem of Saint Peter and represents security.[115]

When the NSA was created, the agency had no emblem and used that of the Department of Defense.[116] The agency adopted its first of two emblems in 1963.[116] The current NSA insignia has been in use since 1965, when then-Director, LTG Marshall S. Carter (USA) ordered the creation of a device to represent the agency.[117]

The NSA’s flag consists of the agency’s seal on a light blue background.

Crews associated with NSA missions have been involved in a number of dangerous and deadly situations.[118] The USS Liberty incident in 1967 and USS Pueblo incident in 1968 are examples of the losses endured during the Cold War.[118]

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service Cryptologic Memorial honors and remembers the fallen personnel, both military and civilian, of these intelligence missions.[119] It is made of black granite, and has 171 names carved into it, as of 2013[update] .[119] It is located at NSA headquarters. A tradition of declassifying the stories of the fallen was begun in 2001.[119]

NSANet stands for National Security Agency Network and is the official NSA intranet.[120] It is a classified network,[121] for information up to the level of TS/SCI[122] to support the use and sharing of intelligence data between NSA and the signals intelligence agencies of the four other nations of the Five Eyes partnership. The management of NSANet has been delegated to the Central Security Service Texas (CSSTEXAS).[123]

NSANet is a highly secured computer network consisting of fiber-optic and satellite communication channels which are almost completely separated from the public internet. The network allows NSA personnel and civilian and military intelligence analysts anywhere in the world to have access to the agency’s systems and databases. This access is tightly controlled and monitored. For example, every keystroke is logged, activities are audited at random and downloading and printing of documents from NSANet are recorded.[124]

In 1998, NSANet, along with NIPRNET and SIPRNET, had “significant problems with poor search capabilities, unorganized data and old information”.[125] In 2004, the network was reported to have used over twenty commercial off-the-shelf operating systems.[126] Some universities that do highly sensitive research are allowed to connect to it.[127]

The thousands of Top Secret internal NSA documents that were taken by Edward Snowden in 2013 were stored in “a file-sharing location on the NSA’s intranet site” so they could easily be read online by NSA personnel. Everyone with a TS/SCI-clearance had access to these documents and as a system administrator, Snowden was responsible for moving accidentally misplaced highly sensitive documents to more secure storage locations.[128]

The DoD Computer Security Center was founded in 1981 and renamed the National Computer Security Center (NCSC) in 1985. NCSC was responsible for computer security throughout the federal government.[129] NCSC was part of NSA,[130] and during the late 1980s and the 1990s, NSA and NCSC published Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria in a six-foot high Rainbow Series of books that detailed trusted computing and network platform specifications.[131] The Rainbow books were replaced by the Common Criteria, however, in the early 2000s.[131]

On July 18, 2013, Greenwald said that Snowden held “detailed blueprints of how the NSA does what they do”, thereby sparking fresh controversy.[132]

Headquarters for the National Security Agency is located at 39632N 764617W / 39.10889N 76.77139W / 39.10889; -76.77139 in Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, although it is separate from other compounds and agencies that are based within this same military installation. Ft. Meade is about 20mi (32km) southwest of Baltimore,[133] and 25mi (40km) northeast of Washington, DC.[134] The NSA has its own exit off Maryland Route 295 South labeled “NSA Employees Only”.[135][136] The exit may only be used by people with the proper clearances, and security vehicles parked along the road guard the entrance.[137]

NSA is the largest employer in the U.S. state of Maryland, and two-thirds of its personnel work at Ft. Meade.[138] Built on 350 acres (140ha; 0.55sqmi)[139] of Ft. Meade’s 5,000 acres (2,000ha; 7.8sqmi),[140] the site has 1,300 buildings and an estimated 18,000 parking spaces.[134][141]

The main NSA headquarters and operations building is what James Bamford, author of Body of Secrets, describes as “a modern boxy structure” that appears similar to “any stylish office building.”[142] The building is covered with one-way dark glass, which is lined with copper shielding in order to prevent espionage by trapping in signals and sounds.[142] It contains 3,000,000 square feet (280,000m2), or more than 68 acres (28ha), of floor space; Bamford said that the U.S. Capitol “could easily fit inside it four times over.”[142]

The facility has over 100 watchposts,[143] one of them being the visitor control center, a two-story area that serves as the entrance.[142] At the entrance, a white pentagonal structure,[144] visitor badges are issued to visitors and security clearances of employees are checked.[145] The visitor center includes a painting of the NSA seal.[144]

The OPS2A building, the tallest building in the NSA complex and the location of much of the agency’s operations directorate, is accessible from the visitor center. Bamford described it as a “dark glass Rubik’s Cube”.[146] The facility’s “red corridor” houses non-security operations such as concessions and the drug store. The name refers to the “red badge” which is worn by someone without a security clearance. The NSA headquarters includes a cafeteria, a credit union, ticket counters for airlines and entertainment, a barbershop, and a bank.[144] NSA headquarters has its own post office, fire department, and police force.[147][148][149]

The employees at the NSA headquarters reside in various places in the Baltimore-Washington area, including Annapolis, Baltimore, and Columbia in Maryland and the District of Columbia, including the Georgetown community.[150]

Following a major power outage in 2000, in 2003 and in follow-ups through 2007, The Baltimore Sun reported that the NSA was at risk of electrical overload because of insufficient internal electrical infrastructure at Fort Meade to support the amount of equipment being installed. This problem was apparently recognized in the 1990s but not made a priority, and “now the agency’s ability to keep its operations going is threatened.”[151]

Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE, now Constellation Energy) provided NSA with 65 to 75 megawatts at Ft. Meade in 2007, and expected that an increase of 10 to 15 megawatts would be needed later that year.[152] In 2011, NSA at Ft. Meade was Maryland’s largest consumer of power.[138] In 2007, as BGE’s largest customer, NSA bought as much electricity as Annapolis, the capital city of Maryland.[151]

One estimate put the potential for power consumption by the new Utah Data Center at $40million per year.[153]

When the agency was established, its headquarters and cryptographic center were in the Naval Security Station in Washington, D.C.. The COMINT functions were located in Arlington Hall in Northern Virginia, which served as the headquarters of the U.S. Army’s cryptographic operations.[154] Because the Soviet Union had detonated a nuclear bomb and because the facilities were crowded, the federal government wanted to move several agencies, including the AFSA/NSA. A planning committee considered Fort Knox, but Fort Meade, Maryland, was ultimately chosen as NSA headquarters because it was far enough away from Washington, D.C. in case of a nuclear strike and was close enough so its employees would not have to move their families.[155]

Construction of additional buildings began after the agency occupied buildings at Ft. Meade in the late 1950s, which they soon outgrew.[155] In 1963 the new headquarters building, nine stories tall, opened. NSA workers referred to the building as the “Headquarters Building” and since the NSA management occupied the top floor, workers used “Ninth Floor” to refer to their leaders.[156] COMSEC remained in Washington, D.C., until its new building was completed in 1968.[155] In September 1986, the Operations 2A and 2B buildings, both copper-shielded to prevent eavesdropping, opened with a dedication by President Ronald Reagan.[157] The four NSA buildings became known as the “Big Four.”[157] The NSA director moved to 2B when it opened.[157]

On March 30, 2015, shortly before 9am, a stolen sports utility vehicle approached an NSA police vehicle blocking the road near the gate of Fort Meade, after it was told to leave the area. NSA officers fired on the SUV, killing the 27-year-old driver, Ricky Hall (a transgender person also known as Mya), and seriously injuring his friend, 20-year-old Kevin Fleming. An NSA officer’s arm was injured when Hall subsequently crashed into his vehicle.[158][159]

The two, dressed in women’s clothing after a night of partying at a motel with the man they’d stolen the SUV from that morning, “attempted to drive a vehicle into the National Security Agency portion of the installation without authorization”, according to an NSA statement.[160] The NSA is investigating the incident, with help from the FBI. FBI spokeswoman Amy Thoreson said the incident is not believed to be related to terrorism.[161]

An anonymous police official told The Washington Post, “This was not a deliberate attempt to breach the security of NSA. This was not a planned attack.” The two are believed to have made a wrong turn off the highway, while fleeing from the motel after stealing the vehicle. A small amount of cocaine was found in the SUV. A local CBS reporter initially said a gun was found,[162] but her later revision does not.[163] Dozens of journalists were corralled into a parking lot blocks away from the scene, and were barred from photographing the area.[164]

In 1995, The Baltimore Sun reported that the NSA is the owner of the single largest group of supercomputers.[165]

NSA held a groundbreaking ceremony at Ft. Meade in May 2013 for its High Performance Computing Center 2, expected to open in 2016.[166] Called Site M, the center has a 150 megawatt power substation, 14 administrative buildings and 10 parking garages.[147] It cost $3.2billion and covers 227 acres (92ha; 0.355sqmi).[147] The center is 1,800,000 square feet (17ha; 0.065sqmi)[147] and initially uses 60 megawatts of electricity.[167]

Increments II and III are expected to be completed by 2030, and would quadruple the space, covering 5,800,000 square feet (54ha; 0.21sqmi) with 60 buildings and 40 parking garages.[147]Defense contractors are also establishing or expanding cybersecurity facilities near the NSA and around the Washington metropolitan area.[147]

As of 2012, NSA collected intelligence from four geostationary satellites.[153] Satellite receivers were at Roaring Creek Station in Catawissa, Pennsylvania and Salt Creek Station in Arbuckle, California.[153] It operated ten to twenty taps on U.S. telecom switches. NSA had installations in several U.S. states and from them observed intercepts from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Latin America, and Asia.[153]

NSA had facilities at Friendship Annex (FANX) in Linthicum, Maryland, which is a 20 to 25-minute drive from Ft. Meade;[168] the Aerospace Data Facility at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora outside Denver, Colorado; NSA Texas in the Texas Cryptology Center at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas; NSA Georgia at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia; NSA Hawaii in Honolulu; the Multiprogram Research Facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and elsewhere.[150][153]

On January 6, 2011 a groundbreaking ceremony was held to begin construction on NSA’s first Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative (CNCI) Data Center, known as the “Utah Data Center” for short. The $1.5B data center is being built at Camp Williams, Utah, located 25 miles (40km) south of Salt Lake City, and will help support the agency’s National Cyber-security Initiative.[169] It is expected to be operational by September 2013.[153]

In 2009, to protect its assets and to access more electricity, NSA sought to decentralize and expand its existing facilities in Ft. Meade and Menwith Hill,[170] the latter expansion expected to be completed by 2015.[171]

The Yakima Herald-Republic cited Bamford, saying that many of NSA’s bases for its Echelon program were a legacy system, using outdated, 1990s technology.[172] In 2004, NSA closed its operations at Bad Aibling Station (Field Station 81) in Bad Aibling, Germany.[173] In 2012, NSA began to move some of its operations at Yakima Research Station, Yakima Training Center, in Washington state to Colorado, planning to leave Yakima closed.[174] As of 2013, NSA also intended to close operations at Sugar Grove, West Virginia.[172]

Following the signing in 19461956[175] of the UKUSA Agreement between the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, who then cooperated on signals intelligence and ECHELON,[176] NSA stations were built at GCHQ Bude in Morwenstow, United Kingdom; Geraldton, Pine Gap and Shoal Bay, Australia; Leitrim and Ottawa, Canada; Misawa, Japan; and Waihopai and Tangimoana,[177] New Zealand.[178]

NSA operates RAF Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom, which was, according to BBC News in 2007, the largest electronic monitoring station in the world.[179] Planned in 1954, and opened in 1960, the base covered 562 acres (227ha; 0.878sqmi) in 1999.[180]

The agency’s European Cryptologic Center (ECC), with 240 employees in 2011, is headquartered at a US military compound in Griesheim, near Frankfurt in Germany. A 2011 NSA report indicates that the ECC is responsible for the “largest analysis and productivity in Europe” and focusses on various priorities, including Africa, Europe, the Middle East and counterterrorism operations.[181]

In 2013, a new Consolidated Intelligence Center, also to be used by NSA, is being built at the headquarters of the United States Army Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany.[182] NSA’s partnership with Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), the German foreign intelligence service, was confirmed by BND president Gerhard Schindler.[182]

Thailand is a “3rd party partner” of the NSA along with nine other nations.[183] These are non-English-speaking countries that have made security agreements for the exchange of SIGINT raw material and end product reports.

Thailand is the site of at least two US SIGINT collection stations. One is at the US Embassy in Bangkok, a joint NSA-CIA Special Collection Service (SCS) unit. It presumably eavesdrops on foreign embassies, governmental communications, and other targets of opportunity.[184]

The second installation is a FORNSAT (foreign satellite interception) station in the Thai city of Khon Kaen. It is codenamed INDRA, but has also been referred to as LEMONWOOD.[184] The station is approximately 40 ha (100 acres) in size and consists of a large 3,7004,600 m2 (40,00050,000ft2) operations building on the west side of the ops compound and four radome-enclosed parabolic antennas. Possibly two of the radome-enclosed antennas are used for SATCOM intercept and two antennas used for relaying the intercepted material back to NSA. There is also a PUSHER-type circularly-disposed antenna array (CDAA) array just north of the ops compound.[185][186]

NSA activated Khon Kaen in October 1979. Its mission was to eavesdrop on the radio traffic of Chinese army and air force units in southern China, especially in and around the city of Kunming in Yunnan Province. Back in the late 1970s the base consisted only of a small CDAA antenna array that was remote-controlled via satellite from the NSA listening post at Kunia, Hawaii, and a small force of civilian contractors from Bendix Field Engineering Corp. who job it was to keep the antenna array and satellite relay facilities up and running 24/7.[185]

According to the papers of the late General William Odom, the INDRA facility was upgraded in 1986 with a new British-made PUSHER CDAA antenna as part of an overall upgrade of NSA and Thai SIGINT facilities whose objective was to spy on the neighboring communist nations of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.[185]

The base apparently fell into disrepair in the 1990s as China and Vietnam became more friendly towards the US, and by 2002 archived satellite imagery showed that the PUSHER CDAA antenna had been torn down, perhaps indicating that the base had been closed. At some point in the period since 9/11, the Khon Kaen base was reactivated and expanded to include a sizeable SATCOM intercept mission. It is likely that the NSA presence at Khon Kaen is relatively small, and that most of the work is done by civilian contractors.[185]

NSA’s eavesdropping mission includes radio broadcasting, both from various organizations and individuals, the Internet, telephone calls, and other intercepted forms of communication. Its secure communications mission includes military, diplomatic, and all other sensitive, confidential or secret government communications.[187]

According to the Washington Post, “[e]very day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications. The NSA sorts a fraction of those into 70 separate databases.”[188]

Originally posted here:
en.m.wikipedia.org

Top Ten Secret Societies | Illuminati Rex

 Illuminati  Comments Off on Top Ten Secret Societies | Illuminati Rex
Oct 292015
 

Annual meeting of around 130 North-Atlantic elites from the fields of energy, finance, government, intelligence, academia and the media.

Official site: http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org

Famous Attendees: David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, Larry Summers, George Soros, Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Murdoch, Jean-Claude Trichet (EU Bank President), Mervyn King (Bank of England), Edmond de Rothschild, Robert Oppenheimer, Robert McNamara, Henry Ford II

List of Bilderberg participants (wiki) 2012 list of US participants on They Rule Infographic showing how members of the Bilderberg are connected to absolutely everything.

With 65 to 70 regular members, the Bilderberg Group is the most exclusive group on this list. The group came to be identified with the Bilderberg Hotel in Holland where the group first met in 1954. The ultra secret group was founded by Denis Healey, Joseph Retinger, David Rockefeller and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (of the infamous Lockheed scandal in which he took kickbacks selling exploding planes).

From the get-go the Bilderbergers sought to develop a strategy and create European consensus for a European Common Market. They were behind the Amsterdam Treaty, the Treaty of Maastricht, the Treaty of Rome, and finally the European Constitution. Leaked 1955 transcripts revealed that Bilderbergers had discussed the creation of a United European with its own currency. They are also working on merging Canada, United states and Mexico into a North American Union. The Bilderberg discussed improving business relations and extending IMF loans to China before Nixons famous 1972 visit. At the Bilderberg meeting of 1991, David Rockefeller told then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton to support NAFTA.

The groups major source of funds is the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations. The members are cherry picked most prominent members of other influential organization and national think tanks such as the Brookings, Carnegie Endowment, and Council of Foreign Relations. Much of the leadership of the Bilderberg is also groomed within these foundations. All these organization have similar ideologies. Henri de Castries of the French House of Castries currently heads the Bilderberg.

The High Priests of Globalization at the first Bilderberg Group Meeting in Oosterbeek, Netherlands

The annual meetings are held in a different country each year and is attended by around 130 elites with about 65 regulars. Forty percent of Bilderbergers are Americans. Each international region is roughly represented by one member from the finance sector, one from the government sector, and one from academia. The Group is separated into 6 panels with around 20 people in each panel. There are 3 main speakers per panel and everyone is obligated to comment.

As a whole the membership manages the planets resources and their membership is especially concentrated in the energy and banking sectors. Their goals are a one world constitution, a one world government, a one army and they work tirelessly towards that goal. The typical globalist agenda.

Potential candidate are observed a for a few meetings before being asked to join. Bilderberg researchers often point out that according to the Logan Act, it is illegal for any American government official to be present at the Bilderberg meetings.

Researcher and author of True Story Of Bilderberg Daniel Estulin has investigated the Bilderberg Group for 15 years. He stresses that the Bilderberg is not a Judeo-Masonic conspiracy. His book is the book on the Bilderberg. Strangely, Estulin claims that Bilderberg Steering Committee member and founder of Canadas largest book chain Heather Reisman has banned True Story Of Bilderberg from her stores. However, that doesnt appear to be the case.

Jim Tucker has dedicated his entire life to chasing the Bilderbergers around the world after learning of the Groups existing in the 70s. Tucker has an informer inside the group who has consistently leaked him list of participants and talking points for years.

Secret Bavarian secret society active at the end of the 18th century and modern blanket term for the crme de la elite crme.

The Bavarian Illuminati was founded by Adam Weishaupt on May 1, 1776. The Illuminati is a secret society within secret societies. In 1784, the order was banned by the Bavarian government. Today, the term Illuminati is usually used as a blanket term for the inner circle of the elite.

The Illuminati was separated into three classes; 1. The Nursery Class; 2. The Masonic Class; 3. The Mystery Class. Each class was separated into degrees. Lower classes were unaware of the existence of higher classes. Non Illuminati were called the Profane.

I. Nursery Class: 1. Illuminati Novice (1-2 year trial period) 2. Illuminati Minerval 3. Illuminati Minor

II. Masonic Class: Symbolic Masonry 1. Entered Apprentice 2. Fellow Craft 3. Master Mason

Scottish Masonry 1. Illuminati Major (Scot Novice) 2. Illuminati Dirigens (Scot Knight)

III. Mystery Class: Lesser Mysteries 1. Illuminati Priest 2. Illuminati Prince (Regent)

Greater Mysteries 1. Illuminati Magus 2. Illuminati Rex

I am currently exposing the secrets of the Bavarian Illuminati in comic format and Terry Melanson has written a detailed non-fiction book about Adam Weishaupts Order of the Illuminati.

Exactly what the illuminati is varies a great deal from one conspiracy theorist to the next. Different versions of it continues to appear in computer games, music, television and movies. Illuminati Researcher Mark Dices book Illuminati: Facts & Fiction does a great job at weeding through the various modern Illuminati incarnations and separating the wheat from the chaff. It has saved me hours of work in establishing the root of various Illuminati theories and rumors. (although he considers the Bavarian Illuminati to be Luciferian, which is something I should ask him about) Nevertheless, Dice book is essential.

Some researchers believe the Illuminati originated before and that Adam Weishaupt simply reincarnated a much older society. The 13 Bloodlines of the Illuminati is a popular theory about ancient families secretly ruling the United States.

Others believe that the modern elite and the current proponents of the New World Order grew out of Weishaupts movement. However, we have access to most of the original writings of the Illuminati and we know that the abolishment of private property was one of the goals of the Order. This is hardly in line with the modern capitalist plutocrats who make up todays Illuminati. Todays Illuminati is anything but enlightened.

Elite senior fraternity at Yale University

Famous Bonesmen: William H. Taft (Us President), George H.W. Bush (Us President, CIA), George W. Bush (US President) Averell Harriman, H.J. Heinz II, Henry Luce (Time-Life,CIA), Bill Bundy (CIA) and William F. Buckley. (CIA)

AKA Chapter 322, is a secret society at Yale University established by William Russell and Alphonso Taft in 1832. Each year 15 juniors are selected to join the Skulls in their senior year.

The Tomb, Yale

Investment banking firm Brown Brothers Harriman pays the tax bill. No one lives inside the Tomb. At the mention of the words Skull and Bones, they must leave the room. Meetings are on Thursdays and they always have dinner on Sundays. In the 2004 US Election, two Bonesmen, John Kerry and George W. Bush went head-to-head for the Presidency of the United States.

Skull and Bones, do you accept?

If the neophyte accepts, he is given a rolled up message tied with a black ribbon and sealed with the skulls emblem imprinted into black wax. The message instructs the neophyte of the time of place of his initiation. He is also instructed not to bring any metal. (Note that Masons are also divested of all metals during their initiation ceremonies.) Once they accept, they are members for life.

Skull and Bones owns Deer Island in St-Lawrence river

The clock is 5 minutes faster, which represents Skull and Bones which is to differentiate time spend inside the tomb from the outside, which is referred to as Barbarian time.

In 1876 a group of students calling themselves File and Claw broke into the Tomb and discovered that the Order was founded in 1832 (32) as the second chapter (+2) of a German secret society. They discovered a painting of a skull surrounded by Masonic symbols in Room 322 and released floor plans of the Tomb. The Skull themselves claim that 322 represents 322 bce, the year Demosthenes died. In keeping with this legend, their calendar begins 322 years before the Roman calendar. The year 2013 would be 2335 Anno Demostheni in Bonespeak.

They reportedly have the bones of Geronimo and Pancho Villa hidden in 322. Room 322 is the inner temple of the Skull and Bones. It features an encased skeleton which the Bonesmen called Madame Pompadour. There are other compartments in the case including manuscripts, secrecy oaths and initiation rituals.

HW Bush, Bonesman, 1948

Author of Fleshing out the Skull and Bones Kris Milliken, claims that the core group of Skull and Bones is still very much involved in the dope trade. They are Sorcerers of Death performing black magic. Taft Russells family fortune came from opium and according to Eustace Mullins, the fraternity continued to be involved in the dope trade all the way up to the Vietnam war.

3000 elites from academia, government, media, intelligence, military, banking and top corporations.

Official site: http://www.cfr.org

Famous Members: David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Conrad Black, William F. Buckley, Bill Bundy, Allen Dulles, Gerald Ford, Herbert Hoover, Angelina, Jolie George Kennan, Carl Sagan, Paul Warburg, Oprah Winfrey, George Soros, Colin Powell, Bill Moyers, Rupert Murdoch, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Edgar Bronfman, Sr.

List of Council on Foreign Relations Members (wiki) Membership map on They Rule

The Council on Foreign Relations grew out of the round table groups and began as a gathering of scholars known as the Inquiry which included the power behind FDRs throne and author of Philip Dru: Administrator, Colonel House and Walter Lippmann.

This group attended the Paris Peace Conference where powerful members of the elite attended a private gathering at the Majestic Hotel. Round Table member Lionel Curtis suggested the creation a Royal Institute for International Affair in London and the Council of Foreign Relations, its US counterpart in New York. The CFR was officially founded in 1921.

Council on Foreign Relations HQ at 58 East 68th Street and Park Avenue

It is one of the most powerful private organizations and has a major influence on U.S. foreign policy. Its equally powerful British sister organization, the Royal Institute of International Affairs has been renamed Chatham House. Today the CFR has over 3000 members.

The group suggested the formation of a League of Nation. Five of the 6 men of the Agenda Group which drafted the United States proposal for a United Nations were members of the CFR. Carol Quigley called its members the international financial coterie The CFR was instrumental in planning the post World War 2 economic and political world order.

About the round table groups: De Beers Cecil Rhodes and journalist William T. Stead organized a secret society with an executive committee known as the Circle of Initiate. The secret society had an outer circle known as the Association of Helpers which eventually evolved into the Round Table Groups.

Sources and further information: Memoirs (Amazon) David Rockefeller, 2003

David Rockefellers elite think tank of over 300 private citizens from Europe, Asia, and North America.

Official site: http://www.trilateral.org

Famous Members: David Rockefeller, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jean-Claude Trichet, Henry Kissinger and Jimmy Carter.

List of List of Trilateral Commission Members (tilateral.org .PDF) Membership map on They Rule.

David Rockefeller had been looking for a way to include Japan into international cooperation discussion. At the Belgium Bilderberg conference of 1972, Rockefeller discussed the idea with Columbia University Russian Studies professor Zbigniew Brzezinski (Zbig) who had himself previously approached the Bilderberg Steering Committee. The Steering Committee had been unreceptive to the idea.

The think tank had its first executive committee meeting in Tokyo in October 1973. The Trilateral Commission receive funds mostly from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and is deeply rooted in the CFR. The commission helps governments around the world reach constructive accords with other governments. They promote closer cooperation between Europe, Asia, and North America. In 1974 they published The Crisis of Democracy calling for democracy in moderation.

Ancient secret society sworn to protect the holy bloodline of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene

Famous Grandmasters: Jean de Gisors (11881220), Nicolas Flamel (13981418), Ren dAnjou (14181480), Lonard de Vinci (15101519), Isaac Newton (16911727), Charles de Lorraine (17461780), Maximilian de Lorraine (17801801), Victor Hugo (18441885), Claude Debussy (18851918),Jean Cocteau (19181963)

Certainly one of the most intriguing of all secret societies, unfortunately, it isnt real. The Priory of Sion legend is completely made up! (almost)

He also included Rennes-le-Chteau restaurant owner Nol Corbus (another admitted hoaxer) legend of Father Franois Brenger Saunire about discovering parts of the Knights Templarss lost treasure. It all made for a great story.

The strange events of the Priory of Sion and Rennes-le-Chteau were finally epitomized on the big screen in 2006 Da Vinci Code starring Tom Hanks.

Note to Mr. Langdon: Vinegar freezes at just under 0C (32F ). Next time you encounter an impossible-to-open-without-the-combination-type Cryptex, consider sticking the thing in the freezer for a few hours.

Researchers Lynn Pickett and Clive Prince have found evidence for the existence of a Priory of Sion within the Masonic Strict Observance Rites of Germany. Their goal was to form a United states of Europe.

Male elites meet every July for a 2 week encampment at private campground.

Famous Attendees: Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller, Ronald Reagan, GW Bush, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Malcolm Forbes, William F. Buckley, Clint Eastwood, and William Randolph Hearst. Camp Membership

Founded in 1872, the Bohemian Grove is a 2700-acre campground in the midst of ancient Redwood trees located in Sonoma County, California. Every July, elites participate in a 2 week encampment to make ritual sacrifices to the sinister owl-god Moloch. Power brokers assemble at The Owl Shrine for informal Lakeside Talks. Nixon canceled his scheduled Lakeside Talk in 1971 because the media was insisting on covering it.

Thanks to the work of Alex Jones, Chris Jones and Phillip Weiss who have each individually infiltrated the Grove, the outside world has been able to assemble a lot of information on what happens there. Alex Jones footage can be seen in Dark Secrets: Inside Bohemian Grove (Youtube, 2:02:56) and Chris Joness (who worked undercover at the Grove) can be seen in Alex Jones The order of Death, which was released 5 years later to commemorate Alex Jones infiltration of the Grove. (Youtube, 44:46)

President Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, 1967

Weiss stayed as a guess at Bohemian Grove for 7 days in 1989. Weiss heard Walter Cronkite himself as the voice of the infamous owl. He even shook Ronald Reagans hand who confirmed that it was indeed at the Grove in 67 that he had assured Nixon that he would not challenge him in the upcoming Republican nomination. (so much for non-weaving. spiders) He also witnessed a Grover engaging in unBohemian behavior when Henry Kissinger rudely cut in line at the phone banks.

The Founding Founders, Freemasonry and the capital of the United States

Mostly harmless today, the freemasons held immense power in the 18th and 19th century. The earliest historical document mentioning the Old Charges of Freemasonry is the Regius Poem and dates to around 1425. The Grand Lodge of England formed in 1717. Masonic expressions that have become common idioms include: On the square, On the level, giving/getting the third degree and blackballing.

Blue Lodge and 2 major appendant bodies

Due to multiple bans on Freemasonry by Popes, a good catholic is still expected join the Knights of Columbus, as President Kennedy did, the Vaticans answer to Freemasonry. The Vatican is yet to reverse its stance on Freemasonry.

Freemasonry is composed of three levels, referred to as the Blue Lodge degrees:

1. Entered Apprentice 2. Fellow craft 3. Master Mason

Non-masons are called Cowans. There are multiple other degrees that a mason can obtain once he has become a Master Mason (Third degree) which masons call Appendant degrees. The most popular ones are the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, with 33 degrees and the York Rite .

In addition there are Masonic Lodges not recognized by the Grand Loge of England, and as a result, by the majority of regular Masonic lodges. For example, the Rite of Memphis-Misraim has 99 degrees and the Grand Orient de France accepts women.

A group of Three Hundred ruling individual descendant from the Black Nobility

Famous Members: British royals, Dutch royals, House of Hapsburg (?),Lord Halifax, Winston Churchill, Cecil Rhodes, George Bush, Aldous Huxley, Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller, Giuseppe Mazzini and H.G. Wells

The existence of the Committee of 300 is wholly dependent on the word of Dr John Coleman, author of Conspirators Hierarchy The Story of The Committee of 300.

Joseph Pavlonksy John Clarke Doctor Coleman tells us that he gazed upon a mention of the supranational Committee of 300 or the Olympians while stationed with MI6 in Angola. He then decided to dedicate the rest of his life to exposing the group. His status as a MI6 whistleblower and the origin of his doctorate are never discussed in interviews. (leading Eustace Mullins to question his motives.)

Coleman uses the core of conspiracy theory literature and adds his own secret group which allegedly controls all the other ones. (Popular author David Icke added shape-shifting Reptilians to conspiracy lore and became an international bestseller) All the usual players are there. The Bilderberg Group, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the Club of Rome, the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations all make an appearance and serve as the executive arms of the Committee of 300. In Colemans scenario, the RIIA is above all the others and chooses the American Secretary of State and through him/her give the US President his marching orders. Prime Minister Disraeli had MI6 snuff out Abraham Lincoln and later, William Stevenson of Mi6 ordered the hit on JFK.

He also throws in popular nuggets such as the Black Nobility, (the group varies a great deal in conspiracy lore from the historical Black Nobility) who according to Coleman, made the Borgias look like Sunday school teachers. (The mysterious nobles are always a crowd pleaser.) According to Dr. Colemans decade long studies at the Cairo Museum (?), no member of the families of the Black Nobility or their servants has ever died from the Black Plague. He discovered that they drank a secret herbal compound and exposed themselves to low-frequency radiation making them immune to the disease.

The Queen of England is the head of the Committee of 300. The 300 families all rule with equal shares! (highly doubtful) The Queen is actually from the Black Nobility family of the House of Guelph. (Rex note: It is true that they change their name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor)

The Committee of 300 were behind Beatlemania and used the Beatles to induce young Americans towards drugs and Rock n Roll. They even came up with the word teenager (or not)

New words and new phrases prepared by Tavistock were introduced to America along with the Beatles. Words such as rock in relation to music sounds, teenager, cool, discovered and pop music were a lexicon of disguised code words signifying the acceptance of drugs and arrived with and accompanied the Beatles wherever they went, to be discovered by teenagers. Incidentally, the word teenagers was never used until just before the Beatles arrived on the scene, courtesy of the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations.

Colemans own deep hatred seeps into his work:

I hate to use these beautiful words in the context of Beatlemania; it reminds me of how wrongly the word lover is used when referring to the filthy interaction between two homosexuals writhing in pigswill. To call rock music, is an insult, likewise the language used in rock lyrics.

Is there any collaboration for Colemans Committee of 300 claims?

No.

Coleman claims to have heard Gorbachev referred to the Committee of 300 on CNN but no one has been able to confirm it and the clip has disappeared from the CNN archives. Proponents of the group often point to German industrialist Walter Rathenaus quote, but there is no indication that Rathenau was referring to an actual group rather than a number.

Three hundred men, all of whom know one another, direct the economic destiny of Europe and choose their successors from among themselves. Geschftlicher Nachwuchs, Neue freie Presse, Walter Rathenau, 1909

Original post:
Top Ten Secret Societies | Illuminati Rex

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Upstaged NATO searches for ‘360-degree’ response to Russia

 NATO  Comments Off on Upstaged NATO searches for ‘360-degree’ response to Russia
Oct 232015
 

TRAPANI, Italy The brass band played, the flags waved and Western generals delivered speeches brimming with resolve as NATO began big war games in the central Mediterranean this week.

But the military display seemed faintly unreal while Russian warplanes were bombing Syrian rebels a few hundred miles to the east in a coordinated action with President Bashar al-Assad’s armed forces and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

NATO, which waged an air campaign to help Libyan rebels oust Muammar Gaddafi, then left that country to descend into anarchy, is not a player in Syria and is watching uncomfortably as its former Cold War adversary Russia widens its role there.

The speed and scope of Moscow’s intervention in Syria’s four-year-old civil war, coming after Russia’s seizure of Crimea and support for pro-Kremlin rebels in eastern Ukraine last year, wrong-footed the U.S.-led alliance and has heightened soul-searching about its future.

“The West has been tactically surprised. I don’t think they anticipated what (Russian President Vladimir) Putin would get up to,” said Nick Witney, a former European Defence Agency chief now at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

NATO last year set in motion its biggest modernization since the Cold War. But the alliance’s political and military elite now see the need for a broader plan that goes beyond deterring Russia in the east. They call it thinking “360 degrees”.

“We need to develop a strategy for all kinds of crises, at 360 degrees,” said Gen. Denis Mercier, the Frenchman who heads NATO’s command focused on future threats. “We need to react in the south, in the east, the north, all around.”

NATO’s problem is that such a strategy is still embryonic while developments in Europe’s neighborhood are moving faster than the ponderous approach of the 28-nation defense pact, created in 1949 to deter the Soviet threat.

From the Baltics, where Russia has a naval base in Kaliningrad, through the Black Sea and annexed Crimea, to Syria, Moscow has stationed anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles able to cover huge areas.

NATO officials see the emergence of a strategy of defensive zones of influence, with surface-to-air missile batteries and anti-ship missiles that could disrupt NATO moving across air, land and sea or deny it access to some areas.

Unconventional warfare techniques are part of the equation, ranging from unidentified troops – the so-called “green men” without insignia on their uniforms seen in Crimea and eastern Ukraine – to disinformation operations and cyber attacks.

OVERESTIMATING RUSSIA?

NATO also faces failing states, war, Islamist militancy and a refugee crisis at Europe’s borders. That is partly a result of the European Union’s inability to stabilize its neighborhood economically.

But critics say it is also due to U.S. President Barack Obama’s aversion to entanglement in Middle East wars in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. That has led to a decline in Washington’s influence across the region.

While NATO is drawing up a multi-layered deterrence plan, officials acknowledge a risk that Russia might again move faster to pre-empt Western action. For instance, it could move warships from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Libyan coast to hamper any possible NATO effort to support a government of national unity in the future.

Still, some say NATO has been here before and any talk of a lack of preparedness is overblown. Past bouts of questioning of the alliance’s relevance led to operations in the Balkans and in Afghanistan – a significant departure from 40 years of Cold War deterrence in which NATO forces never operated “out of area”.

A NATO official rejected any suggestion the alliance was passively watching Russia’s military build-up in Syria, noting that three allies the United States, France and Turkey were involved individually in the coalition waging air strikes against Islamic State rebels in Syria and Iraq.

Some experts see a danger of overestimating Putin, who oversees an economy weakened by Western sanctions and lower oil prices and cannot match NATO military power over the long term.

“We should be under no illusions about Putin’s hostility to the West but also be very careful not to over react to what a damaged Russian economy can produce in the way of military capability,” said Witney, a former British defense planner.

LOOKING TO AMAZON, DHL

NATO’s public response is to test its new spearhead force of 5,000 troops, ready to move within a few days. Over the next five weeks, the alliance is carrying out its biggest military exercises since 2002, with 36,000 troops, 230 military units, 140 aircraft and more than 60 ships, to certify the force.

Such measures, agreed at a NATO summit in Wales last year following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, are aimed chiefly at reassuring eastern allies that Russia will not be able to invade them too. There is still debate about whether the spearhead force could be used in North Africa or beyond.

Small command posts with NATO flags from Estonia to Bulgaria and the spearhead force are ready. But one NATO diplomat called such measures “the minimum necessary”, and Gen. Mercier said the so-called Readiness Action Plan was “just a first step”.

“We have worked on reassuring our allies,” said Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO’s supreme commander in Europe. “We are not exactly sure what it will take to work in the future,” he said when asked what NATO’s modern deterrents might look like.

The next NATO summit next July in Warsaw is the target date for proposals for more modern, agile deterrents.

Such ideas include setting up NATO-flagged command posts on the southern flank and adapting the spearhead force for maritime and air operations.

They could also feature a permanent naval force to patrol the Mediterranean and work more closely with the European Union and the United Nations in stabilizing fragile states.

Another idea involves including a nuclear deterrent in training exercises, something Britain supports but others, such as Germany, worry would be seen as a provocation by Russia.

NATO’s Gen. Mercier even suggested looking to companies such as courier DHL Worldwide Express and online retailer Amazon.com to improve NATO’s deployment speed.

“The question is how to have new ideas to make deployments easier. We should look at what the civilian world does, to DHL and Amazon. How do they improve their logistics?” Mercier said.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Paul Taylor)

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Upstaged NATO searches for ‘360-degree’ response to Russia

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Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution