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What Is Pathological Gambling? – Verywell

 Gambling  Comments Off on What Is Pathological Gambling? – Verywell
Jul 012016

What is Pathological Gambling?

Gambling addiction, also known as pathological gambling, compulsive gambling, problem gambling, or gambling disorder involves maladaptive patterns of gambling behavior that the individual persists with, despite negative consequences. This is consistent with behavior patterns observed in other addictions.

Gambling Disorder is currently the only behavioral addiction included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5).

Previously, Pathological Gambling was classified as an “Impulse Control Disorder,” where the essential feature is the failure to resist an impulse, drive or temptation to perform an act that is harmful to the person or to others (p. 609, DSM-IV, American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Pathological Gambling has been renamed Gambling Disorder, and moved to a new category, Addiction and Related Disorders in DSM 5. As problem gambling has been increasingly recognized, treatment of problem gambling has fallen within the realm of addiction services.

Not all excessive gamblers are pathological, compulsive or problem gamblers. There are several different types of gambler. Pathological gambling is characterized by:

Money is central to the experience of gambling. People with gambling addiction, as with other people, attach many different positive attributes to money, such as power, comfort, security and freedom.

Unlike other people, they fail to recognize that gambling puts them at risk of losing all of these attributes and that gambling is a random process, where the odds are stacked against them, so they are more likely to lose than to win. Furthermore, when they do win, people with gambling addictions tend to gamble away their winnings quickly.

There are many different gambling behaviors, which can be engaged in either alone or in social settings. Some examples of gambling behaviors are:

Gambling is an ineffective and unreliable way of acquiring money. For someone to become addicted to gambling, their cognitions or thought processes must become distorted to the point where this central truth eludes them.

Ten Types of Cognitive Distortion

Many problem gamblers thoughts are distorted in the following ways:

Attribution – Problem gamblers may believe their winnings occur as a result of their efforts and not randomly.

Magical thinking – Problem gamblers may believe that thinking or hoping in a certain way will bring about a win or that random outcomes can be predicted. They may also believe they are special in some way and that their specialness will be rewarded with a win.

Superstitions – Problem gamblers may believe that lucky charms, certain articles of clothing, ways of sitting, etc., may cause a win or a loss.

Systems – Problem gamblers may believe that by learning or figuring out a certain system (a pattern of betting in a particular way), the house advantage can be overcome. Although professional gamblers were more able to predict payouts with earlier technologies, which relied on more predictable patterns of payouts, this required many hours of careful observation, and the machine always kept more than it paid out. The increased computerization of gambling machinery has ensured that wins are now truly random, so it is impossible to predict a payout, and, of course, it is still heavily stacked in favor of the house.

Selective recall – Problem gamblers tend to remember their wins and forget or gloss over their losses.

Personification of a gambling device – Problem gamblers sometimes attribute human characteristics to inanimate objects, which are part of the gambling process, thinking that a particular machine is punishing, rewarding or taunting them.

Near miss beliefs – Problem gamblers reduce the number of losing experiences in their minds by thinking they almost won. This justifies further attempts to win. Near misses can be as stimulating, or even more stimulating, than actual wins.

Chasing losses – Problem gamblers believe that they have not really lost money to gambling, but that it can be won back by further gambling.

Many of these thought distortions lead to highly ritualized patterns of behavior, which are characteristic of addictions.

Like other behavioral addictions, gambling addiction is a controversial idea. Many experts balk at the idea that gambling can constitute an addiction, believing that there has to be a psychoactive substance that produces symptoms, such as physical tolerance and withdrawal, for an activity to be a true addiction.

Gambling, however, is by far the best represented behavioral addiction in research literature and treatment services; therefore, pathological gambling has the most credibility among the behavioral addictions.

This is partly due to financial input from the gambling industry, whose contribution is tiny compared to the massive profits they make but greatly exceeds funding for research or treatment of any other behavioral addiction. Despite the fact that this funding has greatly increased public awareness of gambling problems and treatment services, the potential conflict of interest when funding comes from a source that makes profit from gambling addiction is obvious.


American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th Ed.) Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. 1994.

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. 2013.

Davis Consulting for The British Columbia Problem Gambling Program. “Problem Gambling Training Manual: Level 1” Vancouver, BC. 2001.

Orford, J. Excessive Appetites: A Psychological View of Addictions. (Second Edition). Chichester: Wiley. 2001.

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Free euthanasia Essays and Papers – 123helpme

 Euthanasia  Comments Off on Free euthanasia Essays and Papers – 123helpme
Jul 012016

Title Length Color Rating The Case for Euthanasia – In order to provide a framework for my thesis statement on the morality of euthanasia, it is first necessary to define what euthanasia is and the different types of euthanasia. The term Euthanasia originates from the Greek term eu, meaning happy or good and thanatos, which means death, so the literal definition of the word Euthanasia can be translated to mean good or happy death. The different types of Euthanasia are active or passive euthanasia and voluntary or involuntary euthanasia. Passive Euthanasia generally refers to the ending of a persons life by removing the person from a life-sustaining machine, such as a respirator…. [tags: Pro Euthanasia Essays] :: 5 Works Cited 2340 words (6.7 pages) Term Papers [preview] Euthanasia in Australia – Although euthanasia is a complex and controversial subject, under certain conditions people should have the right to decide to end their own lives. Is euthanasia murder or mercy. We need to understand what Mercy, Murder and Euthanasia are before we can form any opinion. (Oxford dictionary) Mercy / (say mersee) Compassionate or kindly forbearance shown towards: an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence. Murder / (say merduh) Unlawful killing of a human being by an act done: with intention to kill or to inflict grievous bodily harm…. [tags: Argument for Euthanasia] 1842 words (5.3 pages) Better Essays [preview] Euthanasia: A law meant to be broken? – Euthanasia: A law meant to be broken? The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government . (Thomas Jefferson.) Advancements in contemporary medical technologies have served to deny individuals the right to die. However, it may be argued euthanasia has emerged with the purpose of reclaiming that right. The expression euthanasia derives from the Greek words, eu meaning well and thanatos translating to death. According to Webster dictionary, the term euthanasia is defined as an act of killing or permitting death on, incurable sick persons in a painless way, for reasons of mercy …. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] 1228 words (3.5 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Exploring the Different Types of Euthanasia – Life is held dear by many, and cherished by most. Many of us can take life for granted when we are healthy and happy. In the same token; one should consider a terminally ill patient, and where such a person may fit in; when it comes to their quality of life. When dealing with unforeseen special circumstance that present themselves, could logic and reasoning be set aside. One could argue that the element of life forms a different comparison; when applied to the average healthy person. This is where the controversy begins, and morals become touchy issues for most people…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] 1258 words (3.6 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Examining the Different Types of Euthanasia – Euthanasia also called mercy killing is defined as the act of putting someone to die painlessly or allowing them to die. It is a power of life and death. A doctors method of ending a life to prevent intolerable suffering. For example a person suffering from an incurable disease being taken off life support and allowed to pass away. Murder on the other hand can be defined as the act of violence against another human being. For example a man being shot and killed. The victim dies at a time which is forced by the killer whose sole purpose is to harm…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] 673 words (1.9 pages) Better Essays [preview] Euthanasia = Murder – Did you ever think about what you would do once you were no longer able to take care of yourself. The pain and the suffering that you may go through, and without your consent a doctor decides to pull the plug on you. Although that may be what you want, that would be known as human euthanasia. Why would someone want to legalize such a thing. Dont you value your life enough to hope to stay alive. If euthanasia were legal, how would people think of doctors who practiced this form of homicide. Doctors are supposed to be our healers and protectors of the sick and disabled…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] 1102 words (3.1 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Pros and Cons of Euthanasia – Euthanasia is defined as a deliberate act undertaken by one person with the intention of ending life of another person to relieve that person’s suffering and where the act is the cause of death.(Gupta, Bhatnagar and Mishra) Some define it as mercy killing. Euthanasia may be voluntary, non voluntary and involuntary. When terminally ill patient consented to end his or her life, it is called voluntary euthanasia. Non voluntary euthanasia occurs when the suffering person never consented nor requested to end a life…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] :: 5 Works Cited 1265 words (3.6 pages) FREE Essays [view] Ethics of Euthanasia – As patients come closer to the end of their lives, certain organs stop performing as well as they use to. People are unable to do simple tasks like putting on clothes, going to the restroom without assistance, eat on our own, and sometimes even breathe without the help of a machine. Needing to depend on someone for everything suddenly brings feelings of helplessness much like an infant feels. It is easy to see why some patients with terminal illnesses would seek any type of relief from this hardship, even if that relief is suicide…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] :: 5 Works Cited 1466 words (4.2 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Euthanasia Should Not Be Legalized – Euthanasia is a Greek word which means gentle and easy death. However, it is the other way around. It is not a gentle or easy death because there is not a type of death which called gentle in the world. According to writer Prof. Ian Dowbiggin, in Ancient Greece people used euthanasia without the patient’s permission. It means that in Ancient Greece they did not care about the voluntariness. Also, there are just few doctors who obey the rules of the Hippocratic Oath. (250) After Christianity, the church found out how evil suicide was and they told people killing another person or themselves was a brutal behavior…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] :: 15 Works Cited 1276 words (3.6 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] Euthanasia Should Not Be Legal – Euthanasia is a word that comes from ancient Greece and it refers to good death. In the modern societies euthanasia is defined as taking away peoples lives who suffer from an incurable disease. They usually go through this process by painlessness ways to avoid the greatest pains that occurs from the disease. A huge number of countries in the World are against euthanasia and any specific type of it. One of the most important things being discussed nowadays is whether euthanasia should be legalized or not…. [tags: Euthanasia is Murder] :: 5 Works Cited 1065 words (3 pages) Better Essays [preview] Euthanasia Should Be Legal – Euthanasia has been an ongoing debate for many years. Everyone has an opinion on why euthanasia should or should not be allowed but, it is as simple as having the choice to die with dignity. If a patient wishes to end his or her life before a disease takes away their quality of life, then the patient should have the option of euthanasia. Although, American society considers euthanasia to be morally wrong euthanasia should be considered respecting a loved ones wishes. To understand euthanasia, it is important to know the rights humans have at the end of life, that there are acts of passive euthanasia already in practice, and the beneficial aspects…. [tags: Reasons for Euthanasia, Pro-Euthanasia] :: 4 Works Cited 2051 words (5.9 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Active Euthanasia Pros and Cons – Abstract Euthanasia is a long debated topic, going back for decades in our country alone. Both sides of the topic have valid points morally and ethically. The Netherlands have had euthanasia laws in effect since 1973. America has very few states with legislation on the books: Oregon enacted in 1997, Washington 2008. Germany experimented with Active Euthanasia in the 1930s, resulting in one of the most horrendous genocides in the past millennium. No where else do we have a cohort more at risk than the elderly, as they fall prey to the pressures of getting out of the way, and with a burgeoning population of baby boomers now becoming the elderly our system already strained now faces even mor… [tags: Euthanasia Essays] :: 9 Works Cited 1625 words (4.6 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Euthanasia: A Painless Deaceful Death – Euthanasia is a painless peaceful death. Euthanasia is defined as the deliberate putting to death of a person suffering from a painful, incurable disease(New Standard Encyclopedia Dictionary). People use other terms to describe euthanasia: mercy killing, assisted suicide, and physician assisted suicide. Euthanasia can be unresponsive, (inactive) or active. Unresponsive euthanasia occurs when an incurably ill person refuses life sustaining medical support. Active euthanasia happens when another person deliberately causes the death of a terminally ill person, such as when someone gives a terminally ill person a lethal injection…. [tags: Argument for Euthanasia] 2120 words (6.1 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Euthanasia: The Right to Die – Euthanasia, which is also referred to as mercy killing, is the act of ending someones life either passively or actively, usually for the purpose of relieving pain and suffering. All forms of euthanasia require an intention to accelerate death in order to benefit patients experiencing a poor quality of life (Sayers, 2005). It is a highly controversial subject that often leaves a person with mixed emotions and beliefs. Opinions regarding this topic hinge on the health and mental state of the victim as well as method of death…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] :: 5 Works Cited 1655 words (4.7 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Is Euthanasia Morally and Philosophically Justifiable? – When considering whether the piece of legislation titled The Death with Dignity Act is morally and philosophically justifiable, the moral and philosophic viability of what is referred to as active voluntary euthanasia must first be evaluated. Because active voluntary euthanasia seeks to reduce the amount of suffering of the patients as well as offer individuals greater control over their life it can be justified, and the Death with Dignity Act outlines a responsible method for enacting active voluntary euthanasia…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] 877 words (2.5 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] The Catholic View of Euthanasia – The catholic view of euthanasia is that euthanasia is morally wrong. it has always been taught the importance of the commandement “you shall not kill”. The church has said that “nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent person, whether a foetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying”. the church says any law permitting euthanasia is a unjust law. the catholic church does not accept that people have a right to die…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] 845 words (2.4 pages) Better Essays [preview] Euthanasia: The Right to Decide – The definition of euthanasia is good death. There are two kinds of euthanasia one being active the other passive. Active euthanasia is the purposeful killing of a person by a medical professional either by administering a lethal injection or by prohibiting necessary means of survival. Passive euthanasia is where a patient has medical care withheld. I believe that either a terminally ill person or a severely handicapped one should have the right to decide if they wish to live or to die. I think this right is one that should be able to be chosen by any human being provided they are of sound mind and know exactly what they are asking for, and any consequences that may come with their decision… [tags: Euthanasia Essays] :: 2 Works Cited 874 words (2.5 pages) Better Essays [preview] Euthanasia is Morally Wrong – The matter of euthanasia continues to be a contentious issue within todays society. Over the past years, there have been a slew of debates that have tried to justify the practice of assisted suicide, otherwise known as euthanasia. Gallups survey in 2007 served to illustrate this fact by showing that over 75 percent of Americans believe that euthanasia should be permitted. However, what Americans have failed to discern is that legalizing any form of euthanasia goes against the sanctity of life and will result in no limitations to the justifications of why it is being performed…. [tags: Against Euthanasia ] :: 10 Works Cited 1829 words (5.2 pages) FREE Essays [view] Euthanasia Should Be Legal – Dogs do not have many advantages over people, but one of them is extremely important: euthanasia is not forbidden by law in their case; animals have the right to a merciful death. Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being Euthanasia is a controversial issue. Many people believe that doctors should not prescribe any medication that ends a persons life since it is considered to be against the Hippocratic Oath…. [tags: Benefits of Euthanasia] :: 12 Works Cited 2448 words (7 pages) Term Papers [preview] Death with Dignity (Euthanasia) – What is the value of life exactly. Who decides whether or not someones life is valuable. These and many other questions are asked when the controversial topic of euthanasia is discussed. Certain groups and different politicians disapprove of the legalization of euthanasia, arguing that it is immoral and unethical. Doctors use modern medicine and expanding technology to extend ones life. However, court mandates and/or politicians should not decide our rights. Especially when it involves our own bodies…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] :: 7 Works Cited 1501 words (4.3 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Euthanasia Should Be Legal – Euthanasia is a controversial issue. Many different opinions have been formed. From doctors and nurses to family members dealing with loved ones in the hospital, all of them have different ideas for the way they wish to die. However, there are many different issues affecting the legislation and beliefs of legalizing euthanasia. Taking the following aspects into mind, many may get a different understanding as to why legalization of euthanasia is necessary. Some of these include: misunderstanding of what euthanasia really is, doctors and nurses code of ethics, legal cases and laws, religious and personal beliefs, and economics in end-of-life care…. [tags: Argument for Euthanasia] :: 13 Works Cited 3709 words (10.6 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Euthanasia: Unethical And Immoral – Despite ones medical condition, euthanasia should not be an end of life choice. But what is euthanasia or doctor-assisted suicide. Euthanasia is defined as “the bringing about of a gentle and easy death for a person suffering from a painful incurable disease,” while Suicide on the other hand, is “the intentional killing of oneself.” Doctor-assisted suicide combines both of these definitions with the idea of a physician helping a terminally ill patient to die. Doctors can perform euthanasia by giving a patient a lethal injection or by prescribing a lethal dose of drugs (Euthanasia)…. [tags: Ethics of Euthanasia] 2107 words (6 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Euthanasia is Morally Wrong – According to Websters Dictionary, Euthanasia is conceding painless death to a patient who is considered to be hopelessly ill, because of a non-curable disease. The term is used to refer to the act of deliberately taking the life of a sick person, especially those who are sick from terminal illnesses. Patients in this category are normally those who are nearing their death from a persistent terminal illness and medicine does not to have much effect on them. Different scholars hold different opinions on whether to legalize the practice…. [tags: Against Euthanasia ] :: 4 Works Cited 2422 words (6.9 pages) Research Papers [preview] Why Euthanasia is Wrong – Thou Shalt Not Kill (Exodus 20: 13-14). One of the Ten Commandments put forward by God to Moses at the top of Mount Sinai. The killing of another human being is morally wrong and unacceptable. No one has the right to take away another persons life, whether it be through hatred and disgust, or compassion and love. Murder is murder. So why should those select few who work in the clinics of Switzerland, whose occupation is to assist in a persons suicide, become immune from this law against murder…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] 1251 words (3.6 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Should Euthanasia be Prohibited? – Imagine a man, sixty years of age, who has just been told by a medical doctor that his wife of forty-three years has contracted an incurable and terminal disease. The medical doctor informs the man that his spouses condition will begin to deteriorate. The disease will lead to chronic acute pain in the body, followed by loss of motor functions, and eventually death. The man is living in the moment knowing that nothing can be done to prevent his wifes disease from progressing, and in despair he chooses to over medicate her with painkillers…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] :: 11 Works Cited 1550 words (4.4 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Euthanasia: Not Morally Acceptable – Abstract In the following essay, I argue that euthanasia is not morally acceptable because it always involves killing, and undermines intrinsic value of human being. The moral basis on which euthanasia defends its position is contradictory and arbitrary in that its moral values represented in such terms as mercy killing, dying with dignity, good death and right for self-determination fail to justify taking ones life. Introduction Among other moral issues, euthanasia emerged with modern medical advancement, which allows us ever more control over not only our life but also death…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] 1644 words (4.7 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Euthanasia a Controversial and of Risky Practice – Euthanasia is a huge problem in the world today. There are many different controversies on the subject and many different ideas from people and the government. Euthanasia is often referred to as physician-assisted suicide (“Euthanasia”) or mercy killing (“”). Euthanasia is referred to as the right of terminally ill people to end their suffering with a quick and dignified death (“Euthanasia”). Euthanasia can be seen as essential, profitable, or just plain unacceptable to the world but should it be legal in the United States…. [tags: death with dignity, unvoluntary euthanasia] :: 10 Works Cited 1325 words (3.8 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Argument Analysis: Euthanasia and the Right to Die – The right to die and euthanasia, also known as physician-assisted suicide, have long been topics of passionate debate. Euthanasia is simply mercy killing while the phrase physician-assisted suicide regards the administering or the provision of lethal means to aid in the ending of a persons life. The right to die entails the belief that if humans have the governmental and natural right to live and to prolong their lives then they should also have the right to end their life whenever desired. Articles such as Gary Cartwrights Last Rights and Margaret Somervilles The Role of Death provide the life support for these two topics will likely never fade away…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] :: 2 Works Cited 1034 words (3 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Euthanasia: Biologically Dead or Technologically Alive – Marc Weides mom decided she wanted to die and her death was scheduled in less than a week. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer and after having several nights of unbearable suffering, decided she preferred to die sooner than later. Her decision was spontaneous, and the answer she received was sooner than expected. She had to plan her funeral, her goodbyes and her last days in less than a week. Her family knew they could not interfere, not with her decision, and certainly not with the end of her life…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] :: 7 Works Cited 1320 words (3.8 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Arguments For And Against Euthanasia – Euthanasia is the practice of ending an individual’s life in order to relieve them from an incurable disease or unbearable suffering. The term euthanasia is derived from the Greek word for “good death” and originally referred to as intentional killing ( Patelarou, Vardavas, Fioraki, Alegakis, Dafermou, & Ntzilepi, 2009). Euthanasia is a controversial topic which has raised a great deal of debate globally. Although euthanasia has received great exposure in the professional media, there are some sticky points that lack clarity and need to be addressed…. [tags: Euthanasia Pros and Cons] :: 6 Works Cited 1956 words (5.6 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Euthanasia Must Not Be Legalized – Presently, many cases of euthanasia had occurred around the world. Many a time we will stop and ask whether the person has anymore hope to live as a normal person. At the end it is left to the court to decide whether the people live or die. But why does the patient or the guardian choose euthanasia when they can live a longer time with their loved ones. Some might ask whether it is worth to see your loved ones suffering, wouldnt it be better to end the suffering. To answer this question we must know what euthanasia means…. [tags: Arguments Against Euthanasia] :: 9 Works Cited 2090 words (6 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Argument in Favor of Euthanasia – Debate about the morality and legality of voluntary euthanasia has been a phenomenon since the second half of the 20th century. The ancient Greeks and Romans did not believe that life needed to be preserved at any cost and were tolerant of suicide in cases where no relief could be offered to the dying or when a person no longer cared for their life (Young). In the 4th century BC, the Hippocratic Oath was written by Hippocrates, the father of medicine. One part of the Oath states, I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause and abortion (Brock)…. [tags: Euthanasia, Argumentative Essay] :: 10 Works Cited 2090 words (6 pages) Better Essays [preview] Argument in Favor of Euthanasia – Introduction Today, medical interventions have made it possible to save or prolong lives, but should the process of dying be left to nature. (Brogden, 2001). Phrases such as, killing is always considered murder, and while life is present, so is hope are not enough to contract with the present medical knowledge in the Canadian health care system, which is proficient of giving injured patients a chance to live, which in the past would not have been possible (Brogden, 2001). According to Brogden, a number of economic and ethical questions arise concerning the increasing elderly population…. [tags: Pro Euthanasia Essays] :: 10 Works Cited 1897 words (5.4 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Is Euthanasia Morally Acceptable? – Is it right to intentionally bring about the death of a person. The vast majority of people would instinctively answer this question no, unless it related to an act of war or perhaps self-defense. What if taking the life of the person would benefit that person by ending their suffering. Would it be morally acceptable to end their suffering. Questions like these are debated by those considering the morality of euthanasia, which is a very controversial topics in America. Euthanasia can be defined as bringing about the death of another person to somehow benefit that person (Pojman)…. [tags: Pros and Cons of Euthanasia] :: 4 Works Cited 2344 words (6.7 pages) Research Papers [preview] Euthanasia Devalues Human Life – Euthanasia is the practice of ending the life of a patient to limit the patients suffering. The patient in question would typically be terminally ill or experiencing great pain and suffering. The word euthanasia itself comes from the Greek words eu (good) and thanatos (death). The idea is that instead of condemning someone to a slow, painful, and undignified death, euthanasia would allow the patient to experience a relatively good death. The technical definition of euthanasia is the act of ending life painlessly, often someone suffering from an incurable illness…. [tags: Arguments Against Euthanasia] 2070 words (5.9 pages) Strong Essays [preview] History of Euthanasia in America – History of Euthanasia in America 1973- The American Medical Association issues the Patient Bill of Rights. The groundbreaking document allows patients to refuse medical treatment. 1976- The New Jersey Supreme Court rules that the parents of Karen Ann Quinlan, who has been in a tranquilizer-and-alcohol-induced coma for a year, can remove her respirator. She dies nine years later. 1979- Jo Roman, a New York artist dying of cancer, makes a videotape, telling her friends and family she intends to end her life…. [tags: Free Euthanasia Essay] 899 words (2.6 pages) FREE Essays [view] Argument For Legalizing Euthanasia – A patient is diagnosed with brain tumors that have spread to their bones and muscles. The doctor gives them three months to live, but only with the continuation of treatment. They spend most of their remaining time in a hospital receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments. They must be pushed in a wheelchair because they are too sick to walk and spend the rest of their few months in pain, knowing they will die but not sure when. That is how the last few months of Cristy Grayson’s life was spent…. [tags: Pro Euthanasia Essay] :: 14 Works Cited 2981 words (8.5 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Euthanasia Essay: Eugenics To Euthanasia – Eugenics To Euthanasia This essay presents the appeal which euthanasia has to modern society. What is this appeal based on. Is it a valid appeal. These and other questions are addressed in this paper. See if this story sounds familiar: A happily married couple – she is a pianist; he a rising scientist – have their love suddenly tested by a decline in the wife’s health. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she falls victim to a steady loss of muscle control and paralysis. The desperate husband uses all his professional skills to save her…. [tags: Free Euthanasia Essay] :: 1 Works Cited 1001 words (2.9 pages) FREE Essays [view] Euthanasia Should Be Performed By Medical Professionals – Although, euthanasia was widely discussed in the eighteenth century (the era of enlightenment), this controversial topic only gained national publicity in the year 1915 when Dr. Haiselden refused to perform a lifesaving surgery on a deformed child, leading to the childs death (Doug, 2013). The morality of Dr. Haiseldens action became scrutinized, as America asked, Is it moral for someone to let another die through actions or lack thereof. There are differences of opinion concerning the morality of euthanasia; however, I conclude that physician-assisted suicide of the terminally ill is morally acceptable because not only is it permissible to kill terminally ill patients but also the goals… [tags: Euthanasia and Medical Ethics] :: 11 Works Cited 3063 words (8.8 pages) Research Papers [preview] Top Ten Reasons For Legalizing Euthanasia – Euthanasia has always been a taboo subject in some cultures. People all over the world so openly engage in conversation in matters of life. But when it comes to the other half of life, death, no one likes discussing it. Only terrorists claim how glorious death will be. These are some of the reasons that many people in society feel that euthanasia is morally wrong. Who is to say when it is time for someone to die or how much a person should suffer before they are allowed to end their life. How does someone know what the right age is that people should die…. [tags: Argument in Favor of Euthanasia] :: 5 Works Cited 2067 words (5.9 pages) FREE Essays [view] Defending Euthanasia – Margaret Somerville, who has authored, edited, and co-edited a number of books and newspaper articles opposing the use of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide and who also is the Samuel Gale Professor of Law, Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, and Founding Director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics, and Law at McGill University, Montreal, wrote the internet article titled Against Euthanasia. In the article Somerville blatantly states that any type of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is completely and totally wrong under all circumstances…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] 1049 words (3 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Legalize Euthanasia – Euthanasia is very controversial topic in the world today. Euthanasia, by definition, is the act of killing someone painlessly ,especially someone suffering from an incurable illness. Many people find euthanasia morally wrong, but others find people have control over thier own bodies and have a right to die. A solution to this problem is to have the patient consent to euthansia and have legal documentation of the consent. Euthanasia and assisted suicide is a rising controversial problem in the world…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] :: 4 Works Cited 690 words (2 pages) Better Essays [preview] America Needs Voluntary Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide – When people hear the word suicide it invokes controversy. Although it is a taboo subject; if a loved one was faced with a terminal illness becoming extremely critical this would pose a moral question. Could a person be willing to accept the fact their family member intended to use medical assisted suicide. Very few individuals would agree with this, but in the same instance should a human being want their relative to be in unbearable pain. According to the author, Indeed, physician-assisted suicide implies not a resistance to but an extension of medical power over life and death (Salem)…. [tags: euthanasia, ethics] :: 5 Works Cited 1071 words (3.1 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Should Euthanasia be Allowed? – Every day, numerous people around the world acquire diseases that have no cure. Whether a person attempts vigorously to rid the disease or does nothing at all, some diseases contracted will never disappear. In fact, some diseases will cause much pain and struggle throughout one’s fight for life, but in the end, these incurable diseases may kill that person leaving him/her fighting for nothing but death. If an individual will endure months of suffering and will most likely die, would it stand acceptable to allow that person a peaceful death…. [tags: euthanasia, assisted suicide, peaceful death] 1672 words (4.8 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Non-Voluntary Euthanasia: The Future of Euthanasia – Non-Voluntary Euthanasia: The Future of Euthanasia Non-voluntary euthanasia seems to be the natural direction in which euthanasia practice evolves. In the Netherlands at the present time, there is a fear on the part of the aged, about being taken to the hospital – where the doctor may have the last word about life and death. This essay digs into this evolutionary process of voluntary euthanasia evolving into the non-voluntary type. Advocates of legalised euthanasia almost always insist that they only want voluntary euthanasia (VE) – a they say they are as opposed to the taking of life without the subject’s knowledge or consent, that is, non-voluntary euthanasia (NVE), as anyone… [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide] :: 12 Works Cited 2940 words (8.4 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Euthanasia Essay – Concerns About Euthanasia – A medical examiner from Oakland County, Michigan and three researchers from the University of South Florida have studied key characteristics of 69 patients whose suicides were assisted by Jack Kevorkian between 1990 and 1998. Their findings are published in the December 7 New England Journal of Medicine. Autopsies show that only 25 percent of Kevorkian’s clients were terminally ill when he helped them kill themselves. “Seventy-two percent of the patients had had a recent decline in health status that may have precipitated the desire to die.” However, “no anatomical disease was confirmed at autopsy” in 5 of the 69 people…. [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide] :: 5 Works Cited 1277 words (3.6 pages) Better Essays [preview] Euthanasia is Murder – Euthanasia is the Greek word meaning good death. Euthanasia is the act of assisting in ending ones life, killing a person or an animal in a painless or minimally painful way. There are 3 different types of euthanasia. Volantary – which means that the doctor, or whoever performed the assisted death got full permission from the patient to kill them. Nonvolantary – without full consent of the patient or if the patient did give them their full consent, they werent fully decisionally-competent. And Involantary – this is when the person is killed against their will, they refuse to die but they are still killed…. [tags: Euthanasia Essay] 590 words (1.7 pages) Better Essays [preview] Euthanasia is Moral – Missing Works Cited Recent debates over active euthanasia, “killing” a terminally ill patient, in Holland, has raised the question whether euthanasia is immoral or a simple human right. Doctors seem to have no doubt. They made an oath. The definition of Euthanasia depends on whether it is active or passive. Active Euthanasia I only allowed in Holland, and it means that the doctor takes direct measures to put a patient to sleep, whereas passive Euthanasia only involves stopping pill consumption, or stopping treatment…. [tags: Argument for Euthanasia] 2629 words (7.5 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Legalization of Euthanasia: The Case of The influence Chantal Sebire – Imagine a person goes to the doctor and finds out that he or she has inoperable or advanced stage cancer, AIDS or some debilitating disease like Lou Gehrigs or Multiple Sclerosis. Death is an inescapable fact of life, but in scenarios with cancer, AIDS and other fatal diseases, it is closer and might be more painful than one hopes. Recent developments in Belgium pertaining to the legalization of euthanasia in terminally ill children , as well as the coverage of the case of French citizen Chantal Sebire, who was s suffering from esthesioneuroblastoma( a rare, incurable cancer of the nasal cavity which would progressively damage her brain and eventually kill her) remind us of the top… [tags: Death, cancer, euthanasia] :: 9 Works Cited 1373 words (3.9 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Euthanasia Moral Isuue in the United States – Every day thousands of people are turning to a controversial practice for solving their health problems. This unique practice that ends the individuals life that is suffering from a terminal illness, disease, or an incurable condition by the means of lethal injection (Emanuel) thus ceasing the persons life is called Euthanasia. Euthanasia is also referred to as a mercy killing, which is, the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, a person or animal suffering from an incurable, especially a painful, disease or condition(Goel)…. [tags: euthanasia bill, mercy killing, lethal injection] :: 5 Works Cited 1871 words (5.3 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Euthanasia in the Netherlands – As most countries abstain from the right to euthanasia, the Lower House of Parliament on November 28, 2000 passed a bill, legalizing euthanasia in the Netherlands. Will this law impact the beliefs and ideals of other countries and cause them to re-evaluate their medical procedures. In Why Physicians. Reflections on the Netherlands New Euthanasia Law, Jos V. M. Welie provides a descriptive overview of the history of the Dutch penal code on euthanasia in the Netherlands. In Euthanizing Life, John F…. [tags: Euthanasia, Physician Assisted Suicide] :: 2 Works Cited 859 words (2.5 pages) Better Essays [preview] The Bible and Euthanasia – Euthanasia is a controversial issue in today’s society. It is defined as the intentional ending of a life with the purpose of relieving pain or suffering. Many people believe that it is within a human’s right to die a peaceful, dignified death with assistance. While others believe that euthanasia is an immoral act and that legalising the deliberate killing of humans will undermine the legal system in the UK. Currently in the UK, it is illegal for a doctor or another person to deliberately do something that causes the patient to die – e.g…. [tags: Euthanasia, Physician Assisted Suicide] 603 words (1.7 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] Euthanasia/Physician Assisted Suicide Should Not be Legalized – I. Introduction An admired man, loved and respected by his family, was burdened with a life or death situation; his. At the age of 72, this man was diagnosed with cancer and being middle class, the costs of treatment seemed more painful than the cancer itself. He was distressed with the thought of putting his family through financial hardships. Living in Oregon, with the Measure 16 law just passing for the legalizing of euthanasia, he felt he had no other choice. Knowing his family would disagree, he decided to ask for his doctors advice…. [tags: Euthanasia, argumentative, persuasive] :: 1 Works Cited 1350 words (3.9 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Active Euthanasia: Benefiting The Patient is not The Worse Act – Despite passive euthanasia being more morally permissible to the majority of society, it can most certainly be argued that the action of active euthanasia results in a better consequence. Passive euthanasia is the withdrawing or withholding of a patients life-sustaining medication and active defined as the act of purposely bringing someone to their deaths. Through years of debate and criticism over methods of euthanasia, it has been concluded in the medical profession that the acts of euthanasia should be beneficial…. [tags: passive euthanasia, moral consequences] :: 7 Works Cited 1223 words (3.5 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Societys View on Abortion, Euthanasia and the Death Penalty – When it comes to the issues of dying by abortion, euthanasia or the death penalty society views each issue passionately. As we look at the issues and as the circumstances change, society will dictate how it reacts. When it comes to abortion there are two complex opposing groups, pro-lifers and pro-choicers, each group think that their position is the right position. The pro-lifers argues that abortion is not acceptable, because the fetus a viable human being, having a distinctive life of its own, to have an abortion is deliberately taking a life and that is murder…. [tags: Abortion, Euthanasia, Death Penalty] :: 1 Works Cited 1378 words (3.9 pages) Better Essays [preview] Euthanasia in Australia – When we hear the phrase voluntary euthanasia people generally think of one of two things: the active termination of life at the patient’s or the Nazi extermination program of murder. Many people have beliefs about whether euthanasia is right or wrong, often without being able to define it clearly. Some people take an extreme view, while many fall somewhere between the two camps. The derivation means gentle and easy death coming from the Greek words, eu – thanatos. Euthanasia was formerly called “mercy killing,” euthanasia means intentionally making someone die, rather than allowing that person to die naturally…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] 2588 words (7.4 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Speech on Euthanasia – Speech on Euthanasia I stand before you today in confrontation. I stand before you today equal to any man. I stand before you today with a challenge. I challenge any man who deems, their morals, their ethics, their beliefs, their conscience enough to find themselves fit to judge others. I challenge any man who deems himself fit to pass judgement upon anothers life. I challenge any man who believes they can play god. I challenge any man who believes in euthanasia. How can you believe in something you cannot justify…. [tags: Euthanasia is Murder] 1153 words (3.3 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] Euthanasia – Dr. Jack Kevorkian – Euthanasia – Dr. Jack Kevorkian Is euthanasia murder or is it actually saving someone from extra pain and suffering. This is just one of the questions that are causing so much debate in our society today. Should euthanasia be illegal. Is it right that a person has to suffer through three months of life support before they die just because the law says that even though a person is going to die soon that it is wrong to help them end their suffering because that would be considered murder. Many people believe that euthanasia should be legalized…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] :: 5 Works Cited 922 words (2.6 pages) Better Essays [preview] Euthanasia Should Be A Legal Option – Euthanasia is a controversial subject, not only because there are many different moral dilemmas associated with it, but also in what constitutes its definition. At the extreme ends of disagreement, advocates say euthanasia, also known as physician aid in dying, is a good or merciful death. Opponents of euthanasia say it’s a fancy word for murder. There are reasons that would make a person lean toward the side of euthanasia, and there are also reasons that would turn someone away from euthanasia…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] :: 5 Works Cited 3415 words (9.8 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Moral Views on Abortion and Euthanasia – Moral Views on Abortion and Euthanasia The argument of the sanctity of life lies at the heart of all ethical debates on embryo experiments, abortion and euthanasia. In 1967, a nationwide debate was instigated in Britain, regarding whether abortion was a violation of the sanctity of life. Pro-life groups were angered by the legalisation of abortion, many believing that abortion was to destroy a sacred gift from God. Pro-choice groups, on the other hand, welcomed the reform, as they believed women should have the freedom to decide what is best for themselves…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] 3087 words (8.8 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Pro Legalization of Euthanasia – I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint, my heart is like wax, it is melted within my breast, my mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws, you lay me in the dust of death (Psalm 22) Some might say euthanasia is wrong, it is murder, it is an inhumane act. But is it not inhumane to see another persons unbearable suffering and not release them when they long to be released. Is it not cruel to watch a person in a vegetative state, with no brainwaves showing, fed by a machine, breathing with the help of a machine and not let them be liberated from their pain…. [tags: Argument for Euthanasia] :: 8 Works Cited 1914 words (5.5 pages) Term Papers [preview] Exploration of Euthanasia – Exploration of Euthanasia Euthanasia is when an ill person or somebody with a major disability wants to end their own life to stop their pain or so their family and friends can be free of looking after them, it’s not just when somebody is ill but it is also when they decide enough is enough. There are many types of euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia – when the ill person chooses to ask to die but is incapable of committing suicide without any help. This is often called ‘assisted suicide’ Involuntary euthanasia – when other people decide that it would be best if someone’s life ends because he or she is not able to make such a decision…. [tags: Free Euthanasia Essay] 698 words (2 pages) FREE Essays [view] Euthanasia and Religion – Euthanasia and Religion In the world today, medical technology is so advanced that a terminally ill patient can be kept alive for months or even years – sometimes against the will of the patient. When did suicide become a sin, and who decided that it was. “Opinion polls consistently show a majority of people professing all varieties of faiths support a change in the law for voluntary euthanasia. Even amongst Roman Catholics, more people support euthanasia than oppose (a poll in Scotland showed over 50% support), in spite of the church’s opposition” (Religion and the Right to Die 1)…. [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide] :: 10 Works Cited 2181 words (6.2 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Euthanasia and Religion – Euthanasia and Religion Euthanasia is the inducement of a gentle and easy death. It is considered to be a form of suicide. Yet the procedure requires the assistance of a third party, due to the potential incapacity of the individual requesting this procedure be carried out. The case could then be turned into one of homicide. As a result of this, it is incredibly difficult to find an individual who is willing to aid in the conduct of euthanasia, as they could face prosecution in a criminal court on the charge of murder…. [tags: Free Euthanasia Essay] 840 words (2.4 pages) FREE Essays [view] Doctors and Euthanasia – The Australian Medical Association opposes euthanasia. The Canadian Medical Association opposes euthanasia. The American Medical Association opposes euthanasia. The British Medical Association opposes euthanasia. This essay tries to explain why. During the debate in 1995-7 over the Northern Territory’s temporary legalization of euthanasia, the Australian Medical Association was a major factor in convincing the nation’s parliament to reverse the law. Canadian doctors watched with great interest the national debate in the United States leading up to the Supreme Court decision of June of ’97…. [tags: Euthanasia, Physician Assisted Suicide] 498 words (1.4 pages) FREE Essays [view] The Euthanasia Debate – Euthanasia in this paper is examined in those countries which have legalized the procedure. And is found to be more of a burden than a blessing, indicating from the Dutch experience that it becomes an uncontrollable force once it has been legalized. There are welcome alternatives, for which proper training is necessary on the part of medical professionals. The original or first broad euthanasia program was for the purpose of “purifying” the German race under Hitler. It was a creation of German physicians, not of Hitler…. [tags: Pros and Cons of Euthanasia] :: 10 Works Cited 2473 words (7.1 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Euthanasia Debate – Qualifying euthanasia by calling it active or passive, direct or indirect, voluntary, non-voluntary, involuntary, or assisted suicide only confuses the picture. Euthanasia is when the doctor kills the patient. This simplification is made at the outset as an assist to the reader in more easily understanding the essential meaning without getting lost in hair-splitting verbiage. This approach does not compromise any of the excellent sources documenting this essay. The original or first broad euthanasia program was for the purpose of “purifying” the German race under Hitler…. [tags: Pros and Cons of Euthanasia] :: 11 Works Cited 3048 words (8.7 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Abortion and euthanasia – Abortion And Euthanasia The Roman Catholic Church believe that life begins when the baby is made (conception). From this belief it influences its attitude to issues such as contraception, euthanasia and suicide. Roman Catholics say that life is sacred. What they mean by that is that life is special to God. For them, every person is a separate living human being and all have the rights to live. All Roman Catholics are against abortion, they believe that abortion is a murder and should have the rights to life…. [tags: Free Euthanasia Essay] 715 words (2 pages) FREE Essays [view] Euthanasia: Everyone Has the Right to Die – One of the reasons I picked Euthanasia is a subject that I am unfamiliar with. I want to learn both sides of the argument and how people from each side thought about it. So in this paper I will talk about both sides of the argument, the people on each side, and the different types of Euthanasia. The subject of Euthanasia is a heated battle, in which lines have been drawn between warring social, religious and political groups. Many people want this controversial institution erased from the volumes of lawful medicine, but others say that we should be able to choose our fates in extreme cases…. [tags: Euthanasia Essays] 1489 words (4.3 pages) FREE Essays [view] The Debate on Euthanasia in the United Kingdom – The Debate on Euthanasia in the United Kingdom One of the biggest controversies in the UK today is Euthanasia. Arguments about Euthanasia often hinge on the right to life and right to die, should it be legalised. Originally the word Euthanasia meant a gentle and easy death, however nowadays it is the act of inducing an easy death. Why the change in meaning and everybodys new found view that Euthanasia is in fact murder. Many people have diverse views on the issue. Humanists live by moral principles and promote happiness and fulfillment in this life; they believe that voluntary euthanasia is morally correct, whilst upholding the need for safeguards to preven… [tags: Free Euthanasia Essay] 647 words (1.8 pages) FREE Essays [view] Euthanasia should not be legalized in America – Euthanasia refers to the intentional bringing about of the death of a patient, either by killing him/her, or by letting him/her die, for the patients sake to prevent further pain or suffering from a terminal illness. Euthanasia is a complex issue in many underlying theological, sociological, moral, and legal aspects. Its legalization is heavily debated around the world, with strong arguments made for both sides of the issue. The supporters of euthanasia often repeated that We have to respect the freedom of the patient” or people should be able to exercise control over their own lives and death. However, Euthanasia, by nature, is wrongfully killing or mercy killing, and if we al… [tags: Free Euthanasia Essay] 898 words (2.6 pages) FREE Essays [view] A Reasonable Approach to Euthanasia – A Reasonable Approach to Euthanasia One of the biggest controversies of this decade is euthanasia. Euthanasia is “inducing the painless death of a person for reasons assumed to be merciful?(Henrickson and Martin 24). There are four types of euthanasia voluntary and direct, voluntary but indirect, direct but involuntary, and indirect and involuntary. Voluntary and direct euthanasia is “chosen and carried out by the patient.. Voluntary but indirect euthanasia is chosen in advance. Direct but involuntary euthanasia is done for the patient without his or her request…. [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide] :: 8 Works Cited 1570 words (4.5 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Euthanasia is the Right to Kill – Euthanasia is the Right to Kill In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley shows an example of the widely debated topic of doctor-assisted deaths, or euthanasia. Formerly called mercy killing, euthanasia means making someone die rather than allowing them to die naturally. In Huxleys novel the futuristic World-State uses euthanasia for everyone who is no longer useful to society. Death with dignity, has become a catch phrase used by euthanasia activists, but theres nothing dignified about killing someone…. [tags: Free Euthanasia Essay] 604 words (1.7 pages) FREE Essays [view] Euthanasia: Each Case is Unique – Which is better – suffering, agonizing, and holding onto life for a short period of time or just being laid to rest in peace. Nine out of ten people would pick the latter if just asked that question without a scenario, but when given an example containing their family they might change their opinion. This is when the question of whether or not euthanasia should be an option comes into play. Euthanasia is a topic to which many people do not give a lot of thought. When reading about euthanasia and having to make the decision whether or not I support or oppose it, I came to the conclusion that I support euthanasia – but only in certain cases…. [tags: Euthanasia, Physician Assisted Suicide] :: 1 Works Cited 755 words (2.2 pages) Better Essays [preview] Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide and the Law – Euthanasia and the Law A severely handicapped or terminally ill person should have the right to choose to live or die. The right to live; the right to choose to live or die should not only be a right allocated for bodied individuals of sound mind but for all human beings. Euthanasia is a controversial issue which encompasses the morals, values and beliefs of our society. Euthanasia, literally defined means “good death”. There are two types of euthanasia, active and passive…. [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide] 1865 words (5.3 pages) FREE Essays [view] Euthanasia: Not Just for the Terminally Ill – Euthanasia: Not Just for the Terminally Ill Euthanasia or assisted suicide would not only be available to people who are terminally ill. This popular misconception is what this essay seeks to correct. There is considerable confusion on this point, perhaps further complicated by statements in the media. There are two problems here – the definition of “terminal” and the changes that have already taken place to extend euthanasia or assisted suicide to those who aren’t “terminally ill. There are many definitions for the word “terminal.” For example, Jack Kevorkian who participated in the deaths of more than 130 people before he was convicted of murder said that a terminal illness… [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide] :: 12 Works Cited 1389 words (4 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Euthanasia Not Only at Patient’s Request – Euthanasia Not Only at Patient’s Request No indeed, euthanasia and assisted suicide would not only be at a patient’s request. This false presumption has been disproven time and again by the practical working-out of euthanasia and assisted suicide in locales where it has been legalized. And yes, there are complications, which are not given great media exposure, but which appear in journals devoted to this debate. It is the intention of this essay to correct these false notions – with copious professional documentation…. [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide] :: 19 Works Cited 2391 words (6.8 pages) FREE Essays [view] Moral and Ethical Issues of Euthanasia – Moral and Ethical Issues of Euthanasia As we all know, medical treatment can help save lives. But is there a medical treatment that would actually help end life. Although it’s often debated upon, the procedure is still used to help the aid of a patient’s death. Usually dubbed as mercy killing, euthanasia is the “practice of ending a life so as to release an individual from an incurable disease or intolerable suffering” (Encarta). My argument over this topic is that euthanasia should have strict criteria over the use of it…. [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide] :: 5 Works Cited 1525 words (4.4 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Active Euthanasia, Free Will and Autonomy – Active Euthanasia, Free Will and Autonomy “Medicine in the hands of a fool has always been poison and death.” -C. J. Jung Euthanasia, from the Greek, quite literally means “the good death.” Advocates of euthanasia, offer it as a solution for the emotional, psychological and physiologic suffering of terminally ill patients. The type of euthanasia, which is presently under debate, is called “active euthanasia” and is defined as an act performed by an individual to bring about the death of another person…. [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide] :: 5 Works Cited 1933 words (5.5 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Dr. Kevorkian and the Benefits of Euthanasia – Everybody at one time or another will inevitably have death knocking at the door. And no it will not be Brad Pitt. Coping with death is a very difficult concept to deal with. Dying comes in one of three ways: homicide, suicide and natural causes. There is no debate with regards to homicide, a person takes the life of another person. Suicide is the taking of one’s own life, similarly a paper cannot be written for or against it. Last but not least is death by natural causes. I would not want to write a paper on why a one hundred-fifty year old person passes away; could it have been that the person was really really old…. [tags: Euthanasia, Physician Assisted Suicide] 1936 words (5.5 pages) FREE Essays [view]

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Anguilla Beaches: Resort and Villa Vacations In Paradise

 Beaches  Comments Off on Anguilla Beaches: Resort and Villa Vacations In Paradise
Jul 012016

“Favorite Anguilla beaches?” That’s a question we are often asked.

We had visited all 33 magnificent stretches of sand during our very first Anguilla vacation.

Over the next several years, Anguilla travel found us in every restaurant, most hotels and many villas. Then we moved to paradise!

Our very first impression, the beaches, is still what defines Anguilla. Here is just one example…

It’s amazing that such a teeny speck of a Caribbean island in the BWI (British West Indies), a mere 35 square miles, could have so much sand!

We did not just see all 33 beaches (more if you include the “out islands”).

We walked them.

We swam, snorkeled, and snoozed on them.

We ate at the most incredible variety of beach restaurants in the world, from shacks to bistros to 5-star luxury.

Laidback luxury and Latin-Caribbean flavors come to Shoal Bay East!

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Of course, we photographed every one of those spectacular Anguilla beaches…

During that first trip, we fell in love with it all… the wide variety of world-class restaurants, the low-key pace, the people. We fell in love with everything about this perfect little Anguilla island.

Since that first flight to Anguilla, we’ve explored it by air, by sea and every square foot of it by land. And it has almost always been under clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine, Anguilla weather being among the sunniest in the world (benefits of a desert island).

We’ve watched the national sport, boat-racing, by madly chasing around the island with rabid groups of fans, from one vantage point to another. We’ve enjoyed Carnival and festivals, from the annual Sandy Ground gathering at Halloween to Festival Del Mar around Easter…

Beaches define Anguilla. Beach restaurants define Anguilla dining. There is no island of any size, anywhere, that offer so many almost-in-the waves eating establishments. We share them all with you.

Whether it’s lazy afternoons on the beach, or evening eating at its elegant best (feel free to come in shorts), the relaxing lapping rhythms makes every experience the best…

And my dad? Well, he loves those beach bars. Something about “great rum punches.” Speaking of which, there is an active night life along this spit of land between sea and salt pond…

After a busy day of activities (or just crisping on a beach towel), if you’re not up to a raucous night out, how wonderful is it to retire to a serene, seaside villa or hotel? There is nothing like being lulled to sleep by ocean waves every night, especially in beachfront Anguilla resorts such as this…

Enjoy privacy? On our discovery trip, we were always amazed at how we had Barnes Bay all to ourselves (during high season!). We came to realize that it’s the same for almost every Anguilla beach. Nothing has changed that over the years.

Anguilla’s beaches have so much to offer everyone… warmth, sunshine, peace, parties, picnics. Roast and laze in a beach chair, or snorkel until your feet cramp (remember to put sun screen all over your back!).

So what is our favorite Anguilla beach, after years of exploration and play, and years more of living here? By now, you know the only possible answer…

“They all are!” Every beach in Anguilla is different, each with its own special qualities that makes it unique.

This site grew from that simple “favorite beach” question. It is based upon our ever-growing passion for a very special place. It shares…

Come back and visit often. Or…

Don’t miss a thing! There are 4 ways to make visit you!

1) Anguilla Beach Lovers This free newsletter is delivered monthly, straight to your INBOX. It covers all new pages since the last issue. Sign up here…

2) Keep up-to-date with all new pages, the minute they go up (special postings, too). Get Anguilla Blog notices at your favorite RSS feed reader. (What’s an RSS feed?)

3) Anguilla Beaches tweets, too! Short, sweet and fun, Twitter is a two-way street. Reach me there directly with any questions or comments about Anguilla that you may have. Click here and then click the Follow button over there.

4) Go to’s Facebook page and click the Like button. Or simply click the Like button (top or bottom of left column of this page). Fun tidbits of information, contests, coupons and the like.

If you prefer Google Plus, you’ll find us there, too.

Click to leave a comment about (below)

OK, as my dad would say, “enough chatter.” I hope you enjoy Anguilla…

Through Our Eyes

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Anguilla Beaches: Resort and Villa Vacations In Paradise

 Posted by at 9:38 pm  Tagged with:

The Problem with Seasteading | Bottom-up

 Seasteading  Comments Off on The Problem with Seasteading | Bottom-up
Jun 302016

I first wrote about seasteading two years ago, shortly after the Seasteading Institute launched. The brainchild of Patri Friedman (grandson of Milton) and others, seasteading is a program for political reform based on a proliferation of self-governing ocean colonies. As I described it in 2008:

A key advantage of seasteads is what Friedman calls dynamic geography, the fact that any given seasteading unit is free to join or leave larger units within seasteading communities. Seasteading platforms would likely band together to provide common services like police protection, but with the key difference that any platform that was dissatisfied with the value it was receiving from such jurisdictions could leave them at any time. [Friedman] argues that this would move power downward, giving smaller units within society greater leverage to ensure the interests of their members are being served.

Seasteading is based on a delightfully bottom-up argument: that the problem with government is the lack of choice. If I dont like my job, my apartment, or my grocery store, I can easily pick up and go somewhere else. The threat of exit induces employers, landlords, and store owners, and the like to treat us well without a lot of top-down oversight. In contrast, switching governments is hard, so governments treat us poorly. Seasteaders aim to change that.

The pragmatic incrementalism of seasteading is also appealing. Friedman doesnt have to foment a revolution, or even win an election, to give seasteading a try. If he can just a few hundred people of the merits of his ideas, they can go try it without needing assistance or support from the rest of us. If the experiment fails, the cost is relatively small.

Yet seasteading is a deeply flawed project. In particular, the theory of dynamic geography is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationships among mobility, wealth creation, and government power. In a real-world seasteading community, powerful economic forces would cripple dynamic geography and leave seasteaders no freer than the rest of us.

To see the problem, imagine if someone developed the technology to transform my apartment building in Manhattan into a floating platform. Its owners could, at any time, float us out into the Hudson river and move to another state or country. Would they do it? Obviously not. They have hundreds of tenants who are paying good money to live in Manhattan. Wed be furious if we woke up one morning and found ourselves off the coast of South Carolina. Things get more, not less, difficult at larger scales. Imagine if Long Island (which includes the New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn and a lot of suburbs) were a huge ocean-going vessel. The residents of Long Island would overwhelmingly oppose moving; most of them have jobs, friends, familiy, churches, favorite restaurants, and other connections to the rest of the New York metro area. The value of being adjacent to Manhattan swamps whatever benefits there might be to being part of a state with lower taxes or better regulations.

Successful cities need a variety of infrastructureroads, electricity, network connectivity, water and sewer lines, and so forth. At small scales you could probably design this infrastructure to be completely modular. But that approach doesnt scale; at some point you need expensive fixed infrastructuremulti-lane highways, bridges, water mains, subway lines, power plantsthat only make economic sense if built on a geographically stable foundation. Such infrastructure wouldnt be feasible in a dynamic city, and without such infrastructure its hard to imagine a city of even modest size being viable.

I think the seasteaders response to this is that the advantages of increased liberty would be so large that people would be willing to deal with the inconveniences necessary to preserve dynamic geography. But heres the thing: The question of whether the advantages of freedom (in the leave me alone sense) outweigh the benefits of living in large urban areas is not a theoretical one. If all you care about is avoiding the long arm of the law, thats actually pretty easy to do. Buy a cabin in the woods in Wyoming and the government will pretty much leave you alone. Pick a job that allows you to deal in cash and you can probably get away without filing a tax return. In reality, hardly anyone does this. To the contrary, people have been leaving rural areas for high-tax, high-regulation cities for decades.

Almost no ones goal in life is to maximize their liberty in this abstract sense. Rather, liberty is valuable because it enables us to achieve other goals, like raising a family, having a successful career, making friends, and so forth. To achieve those kinds of goals, you pretty much have to live near other people, conform to social norms, and make long-term investments. And people who live close together for long periods of time need a system of mechanisms for resolving disputes, which is to say they need a government.

The power of governments rests not on the immobility of real estate, but from the fact that people want to form durable relationships with other people. The residents of a seastead city would be no more enthusiastic about dynamic geopgrahy than the residents of Brooklyn. Which means that the government of the city would have the same kind of power Mayor Bloomberg has. Indeed, it would likely have more power, because the seastead city wouldnt have New Jersey a few hundred yards away ready to take disaffected residents.


The Problem with Seasteading | Bottom-up

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18 Practical Tips for Living the Golden Rule : zen habits

 Golden Rule  Comments Off on 18 Practical Tips for Living the Golden Rule : zen habits
Jun 282016

thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself., Leviticus 19:18

One of the few rules I try to live my life by, and fail every day trying, is the Golden Rule.

I love the simplicity of the Golden Rule, its tendency to make I interact with happier and its tendency to make me happier as well.

Its true: the rule of treating others as you would want to be treated in their place will ultimately lead to your own happiness.

Lets say that you apply the Golden Rule in all of your interactions with other people, and you help your neighbors, you treat your family with kindness, you go the extra mile for your co-workers, you help a stranger in need.

Now, those actions will undoubtedly be good for the people you help and are kind to but youll also notice a strange thing. People will treat you better too, certainly. Beyond that, though, you will find a growing satisfaction in yourself, a belief in yourself, a knowledge that you are a good person and a trust in yourself.

Those are not small dividends. They are huge. And for that reason not even considering that our world will be a better place if more people live by this rule I recommend you make the Golden Rule a focus of your actions, and try to live by it to the extent that you can.

I will admit that there are strong arguments against the Golden Rule, that there are exceptions and logic arguments that the Golden Rule, taken to extremes, falls apart. Im not concerned about that stuff. The truth is, on a day-to-day basis, living by the Golden Rule will make you a better person, will make those around you happier, and will make the community you live in a better place.

With that in mind, lets take a look at some practical tips for living the Golden Rule in your daily life:

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18 Practical Tips for Living the Golden Rule : zen habits

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 Ascension  Comments Off on Ascension
Jun 282016

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Best Nootropics – Top Nootropic Drugs & Supplements Online

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Jun 282016

Welcome to lets you explore the world of nootropics. It’s an exciting area, as there are many regular users. We will provide you with the information you need to achieve the results you want with nootropics. Once you’re more familiar with the types of nootropics and what they do, you can begin to build your own regime.

You will find the benefits, side-effects, method of action, administration directions, history, and much more regarding a wide variety of nootropics. Once you have obtained this vital knowledge, you will better understand the processes involved. You can then choose the best nootropic supplements for you and your needs.

Since the 1950s, advances have been made in the field of neuroscience, targeting cognitive abilities. Cognition is all of our mental abilities and processes that relate to knowledge. Nootropics tend to target these areas and processes, improving; memory, attention, reasoning, problem solving, comprehension, and more.

‘Nootropics’ or ‘smart drugs,’ are natural or synthetic compounds that improve cognitive functioning. Most commonly, users see improvements in their ability to focus and learn, while memory and motivation are improved.

Many have probably seen the movie ‘Limitless.’ The gentleman in this film took a pill and miraculously became a cognitive superhuman. He had higher intelligence and was much more efficient. This was Hollywood, and nootropics do not affect us in such a way.

Nootropics do not provide users with mental abilities. Instead, these nootropics enhance the mental strength that you have already built. Our mental abilities are generally formed through studying, engaging in mental exercises, and discipline. These nootropics give you a boost, allowing you to improve cognition.

Many work with our brain’s natural neurotransmitters, as well as oxygen levels in the brain. Many degenerative conditions have a depletion in neurotransmitters. This is the main target for a variety of nootropics. Acetylcholine, glutamate, dopamine, and serotonin are some of the neurotransmitters involved. Once levels are increased, positive benefits are experienced.

People are naturally interested in how nootropics actually work. Although one simplified answer would be ideal, this is not the case. There are various different nootropics, as well as methods involved.

In order to fully grasp nootropics, you need to have a thorough understanding of the different types available. Some groups have a concrete history, while others have been released in the past few years.

If youre new to the world of nootropics, youre probably wondering what a stack is. A nootropic stack is when two or more nootropics are combined to achieve a desired effect.

The main reasons most users take nootropics, are due to the positive effects they have on both cognitive functioning. Although nootropics differ, you can stack multiple to achieve higher levels of attention…

Many people take nootropics to combat poor mood, while benefiting from a variety cognitive improvements and improved brain health. Depression and anxiety is a growing concern, affecting millions of people.

The term nootropics is fairly vague, as there are many different supplements available. Each substance yields its own unique effects, taking different methods of action. Although they differ, there are some general benefits that are experienced.


Many of the nootropics have a positive effect on one’s memory. Regardless of your age, memory is a crucial aspect of your cognition. Many nootropics were designed and developed to target degenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

It is not just these individuals that benefit. There are many casual users that benefit as well. For example, students are able to retain more information when they’re taking certain nootropics. Piracetam is a common memory enhancer, it is also the oldest racetam.

Focus and Attention

Think about some mornings. It can be hard to get motivated and focused. What do many of us do? We reach for a coffee, caffeine to be specific. Many nootropics provide this advantage, with less side-effects than caffeine. Focus and attention are heightened, as well as a sense of clarity.

Improved Mood

Some individuals experienced heightened cognitive functioning due to improved mood and reduced stress. When you’re less stressed, you tend to perform better mentally. This has been seen through numerous studies.

Energy Levels

Many nootropics prevent fatigue by blocking certain receptors or producing more energy. When users are less tired, they can work more efficiently. This is often seen through an increase in oxygen uptake and glucose metabolism. Glucose is essentially fuel for the brain. When energy levels are increased, motivation and attention also improve.

When you combine compounds, this is known as ‘stacking.’ When nootropics are stacked, they can increase benefits, while decreasing side-effects. If you’re beginning, the following are some safe and easy stacks to try:

Caffeine + L-Theanine: This will help you improve your focus, motivation, and even mood. A ratio of 2:1 works best. Take 200 mg of L-Theanine and 100 mg of caffeine.

Piracetam + Choline: This is a common stack, as it is highly beneficial. Piracetam was the first nootropic to be discovered, as it increases acetylcholine uptake. Choline is essential to synthesize acetylcholine, which is why a choline supplement works so well with a racetam. When taken together, memory has been seen to improve, and headaches are diminished. You can start with around 1500 mg or Piracetam, and approximately 250 mg of a choline supplement. Alpha GPC is recommded.

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Best Nootropics – Top Nootropic Drugs & Supplements Online

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American Patriot Friends Network APFN

 Government Oppression  Comments Off on American Patriot Friends Network APFN
Jun 262016

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“Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others. . .they send forth a ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” – Robert F. Kennedy

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Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear. –Harry S. Truman

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What is the individual man with all the good or evil that may betide him, in comparison with the good and evil which may befall a great country, and in the midst of great transactions which concern that country’s fate? Let the consequences be what they will, I am careless, No man can suffer too much, and no man can fall too soon, if he suffer or if he fall, in the defense of the liberties and Constitution of his country.

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Liberalism and Conservatism – Regis University

 Government Oppression  Comments Off on Liberalism and Conservatism – Regis University
Jun 212016

Dr. Jim L. Riley Regis University Denver, CO


Moderate Ideologies along with moderate political viewpoints may be correctly seen as occupying positions between the more extreme wings of the spectrum. In terms of the extent of power of the State moderate ideologies strike a balance between individual rights, freedoms and obligations and the coercive power of the State to mandate or prohibit certain behaviors by people. This “balanced” view brings forth various implications regarding governmental structure, electoral procedures, the rule of Law, economic concerns, and other important issues present in all organized societies. Likewise considerations regarding time help define the boundaries of moderate ideologies.

Change is inevitable in society, in governmental arrangements and relationships, in leadership, in public policies and throughout the political world. Ideologies of the moderate varieties seek change at a pace that enables progress to occur but neither so fast that the destruction of stability and order in society becomes more likely, nor so slow as to foster stagnation and status quo permanence. Clearly then, there is considerable room for disagreement and dispute over what is the proper balance in all of these concerns. These disputable arenas contribute profoundly to struggles among those who support different moderate ideologies.

Liberalism has occupied an important position in the moderate varieties of political ideologies for well over two centuries. Although its dimensions differ from society to society (where it is permitted to endure), there do exist core elements which can be identified, examined and understood. At the outset let it be noted that common parlance often misapprehends and violates the reality of liberalism. Calling someone a “bleeding heart liberal” is worse than an insult, it is largely meaningless insofar as conveying accurate information. Describing one public policy or another as “liberal” sheds precious little light on the nature of governmental activities.

The first glimmerings of liberalism may be discovered in the expansive political role being sought by increasingly large numbers of individuals and, more significantly, discreet groups of people with identifiable common interests. In the latter part of the 18th Century great forces were at work undermining existing political arrangements in Europe. Whereas the British had been experiencing a gradual expansion of the rights of ordinary citizens as well as the landed nobility as against the Monarch, such forces were largely held in check in France until the Revolution of 1789. Unlike in France the British had no central instrument of oppression such as a centrally controlled standing army ready to do the bidding of the monarch. British liberalism sought not to overthrow the Monarchy but to reign in its powers by expanding the role of the representatives of the people.

Certainly it was John Locke (1632-1704) who best expressed the principles of Liberalism in the British (and American) tradition. His Two Treatises of Government (first published in 1690) constitutes a most important statement on the liberal political philosophy that has so much influenced politics in succeeding centuries. At the center of his writings are basic values that today remain as under girding for the entire liberal view. Government exists to serve the people and community it governs. Its power is limited by concepts of natural rights of individuals and moral or natural law. Among these natural rights was the concept of the right to acquire and dispose of property. “Life, liberty and estate” belonged to individuals quite apart from any grant from society or its instrument Government.

The basic duty of government is to protect the common good and private rights which were seen to be inextricably related if not the same thing. Individuals agree to limits on their behavior by granting to government certain limited powers but only if the government rules on behalf of the common good and in the protection of private rights. For reasons of convenience and mutual benefit people enter into a compact whereby they willingly relinquish some of their freedom of action and in return gain security and stability in their daily lives. As Locke wrote: “Men being, as has been said, by Nature, all free, equal, and independent, no one can be put out of this Estate, and subjected to the Political Power of another, without his own Consent.”

The only way whereby any one divests himself of his Natural Liberty, and puts on the bonds of Civil Society is by agreeing with other Men to join and unite into a Community for their comfortable, safe, and peaceable living amongst another, in a secure Enjoyment of their Properties, and a greater Security against any that are not of it. (Locke, Two Treatises of Government, NY: New American Library, 1963, pp.374-75.)

Should government become tyrannical and deviate from this Compact with the people, then the people had the right of revolution to overthrow the government which had broken the Compact. This right of revolution is based solidly on the notion that people may, when confronted with injustice, take actions to bring about basic changes in government. Society and government were separate entities and the dissolution of the latter did not imply the destruction of the former. Governments were bound by laws just as were individuals. Moreover, these laws, could not legitimately violate principles of natural justice; indeed if a contravening of principles of natural justice were was done then the actions of the government were not laws in the true sense of the term.

For Locke principles of natural justice were grounded in a right to own and dispose of property. Debate over what constitutes these principles has continued to the present time. In France the development of liberalism took decidedly different turns. A corrupt and parasitic nobility sought to maintain its grip on power at all costs and with no recognition of the rights of the populace at large. The demand for equality as part of the concept of liberalism was an invitation to complete rejection of the ancien regime and to do so in an uncompromising and violent manner.

A revolution devoted in 1789 to principles of individual rights degenerated by 1793 into the dictatorship of the Jacobins and the accompanying terror of mob rule. At this point in time the ideology supporting the French Revolution became extremist rather than moderate and laid the foundation for the eventual success of Napoleon Bonaparte who offered stability and order in place of the chaos of post-revolutionary France.

Because of common ethnic, cultural, legal, political and even geographic factors, liberal development in the United States initially took more from the British than the French. While the early stages of the American Revolution did borrow heavily from British political thought subsequent development had more in common with the French. Thomas Jefferson certainly was influenced by developments in both countries. The Declaration of Independence written by Jefferson in 1776 contains concepts developed by Locke and others in the British liberal tradition. However, following his tenure as Ambassador to France during the 1780’s Jefferson was evidently deeply influenced by French political thought and attempted to channel American liberal political development in directions parallel to those in France. These views contained a greater emphasis on popular control of government, deeply ingrained suspicions of institutionalized power, a decidedly anti-clerical orientation and in general an almost fanatical faith in the common people and their wisdom.

These initial successes of liberal movements had, as the name itself implies, a fundamental purpose: to liberate people from oppression. While the methods of liberation, as well as the sources of the oppression may be quite different depending on the time and the place in question, liberation is inevitably the fundamental purpose of liberal political thinking and liberal political movements.

To seek such a goal certain assumptions, not necessarily provable, had to be made. Natural rights as expanded upon by Locke is the first of these. As Jefferson wrote, there are “inalienable” rights that each individual has that may not be legitimately denied by government or any other instrument of society. Initially these rights were to be protected primarily from governments whose tendency it was to diminish, ignore or abuse these rights. Restraints on government in the form of Constitutions or other devices were necessary to the goal of individual freedom. Among the early restraints on government were those protecting largely unfettered rights to acquire and dispose of property, both real and personal. These so-called “economic freedoms” were supplemented with a host of political freedoms including rights to express controversial political views and to organize political opposition to the prevailing group in power.

Natural rights and limited government are corollary concepts. The acceptance of one concept necessarily implies acceptance of the other. Whenever there is a parent there is a child; whenever there is a husband there is a wife. Similarly, whenever there is a right belonging to an individual there is a duty on the part of some other entity — government or person — to respect and/or protect that right. If people have the right to freely express their ideas then it necessarily follows that government cannot legitimately suppress such expression or punish those who utter unpopular remarks or otherwise offend government officials. Not only is government power to restrain and to punish limited, but government also has the duty to protect those who, because of their unconventional views, may be in danger from non-governmental threats.

In Europe by the late 19th Century and in the United States by the early 20th Century liberalism began to shift its emphasis from protecting individuals from oppressive governments to using government as a device to enable individuals to achieve a more meaningful and rewarding life. Government was seen as a positive force in shaping human affairs and society, but only if it was used properly and controlled by the people. Liberalism had come to recognize that powerful institutions in society had to be controlled and regulated by the instrument of the people if true liberation was to occur.

In particular the growth of vast economic empires in the hey-day of capitalism generated a widely held view that only government could reign in these powerful enterprises and provide the citizenry with the means to deal with them effectively. Rights to form labor unions for the purpose of collective bargaining were among the major liberal goals. Regulations were promulgated regarding safety rules, wages, maximum hours, minimum wages and working conditions generally. The liberal credo thus shifted dramatically from a call for less government to cries for more government but in the name of empowering people to deal effectively with the vast powers of modern society.

Faith in the potential reasonableness and goodness of people runs as another constant thread throughout the liberal ideology. This is not to say that the liberal view rested on the assumption that all people were reasonable and good, but that it is the responsibility of society in general and government in specific, to adopt structures and policies that maximize this potential. Taken to its ultimate conclusion this position reaches the absurdity of a totally rationalistic society where all is planned carefully and with perfect premeditation.

Rationality constitutes a similar if not identical cornerstone of liberal philosophy. This emphasis on mankind’s rational potential supports quite well the modern liberal position calling for the use of government to solve social, political and economic problems. Government is viewed as the only representative agent of people capable of bringing to bea both rational problem solving techniques and the authority to carry such policies out at the societal level. Social development ought not to be left to chance but planning and governmental power must be brought to bear on problems that are too large, too intractable, or too complex for the private or non-public sector to deal with effectively and/or equitably.

Capitalism or the free market economy runs counter to this Twenthieth Century version of liberalism. A free market, by definition, is uncontrolled by government and is, therefore, in opposition to the modern liberal emphasis on rational social planning. The original liberal orientation toward freedom from social, economic, religious and governmental institutions fit much more comfortably with capitalism than does the modernist version of liberalism.

It must be remembered that liberalism and capitalism were products of roughly the same period of history: the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Each had as its core the concept of liberation. What were called the “excesses” of capitalism — massive concentrations of wealth in the hands of a relative few individuals and corporations, urban blight, worker alienation and exploitation, environmental degradation, etc. — became targets for liberal rationalists.

These social maladies demanded, in the liberal view, governmental remedies. Uncontrolled economic activity was thus viewed as a new form of oppression and thereby in need of regulation, restraint and control by government. The nature and scope of the limits on government have inevitably been and will continue to be a source of never ending debate and disagreement. Students of politics have a never ending dispute over what constitutes the proper balance between necessary governmental power and restraints needed to protect individual rights.

In general, the Twenthieth Century liberal view has been to stress the need for governmental restraints in the “political” realm such as freedoms of expression, but to seek expansive governmental powers in “economic” and “social” arenas in the name of protecting the disadvantaged and powerless groups who otherwise find themselves at the mercies of entrenched institutions criticized for running roughshod over hapless and helpless adversaries. Corporations must be controlled. The economy must be regulated. Moneyed interests must be tightly restricted. Private discrimination against individual members of minority groups that have been traditionally borne the brunt of societal bigotry must be outlawed and vigorously pursued by governmental agents. Thus, governments must be selectively limited in this modern liberal view.

The initial liberal concept that the government which governs least, governs best has been discarded by liberals and, ironically, claimed, at least in part, by conservatives. Government itself, in the liberal view, must be popularly controlled and directed. While modern liberal purists might opt for direct democracy in which each adult member of the citizenry takes a personal hand in making policies, the existence of governmental units with populations in the millions makes this impracticable if not undesirable. Even Locke did not support “direct democracy.” Indeed, he would have denied the right to vote to the poor unpropertied segments of society.

The modern liberal position is that representatives, chosen in freely contested elections permitting universal adult participation, should act in the name of and on behalf of the people. Majority rule through popularly elected representatives is imperative for a legitimate government to exist. People would be morally obliged to follow the limited dictates of the majority dominated government but only if its policies observed the rights of the people.

One of the most important political rights is that of the minority to criticize government polices and to try and become the majority. Minority rights are part of the concept of majority rule in the liberal view. The nature of these rights is subject to change over time as has been seen. Change in society is warmly embraced by liberal supporters. A brighter day can be obtained by combining the various precepts discussed above. Society is constantly evolving. Thoughtful and responsible people should nurture and guide this process in the name of human liberation and progress. That which exists is not sacred nor perfect. Nothing is protected by divine intervention. Through careful analysis, using mankind’s rational capabilities institutions, beliefs, and values can be consciously shaped and molded to produce a better world.

In summary, liberalism has embraced several fundamental but imprecise elements. Moreover, at different points in history the liberal ideology has emphasized different aspects of its basic principles. Those elements which have appeared as fundamental to liberalism may be seen as: 1. the idea of a compact between the people and their government 2. the right of revolution if the compact is violated 3. natural rights as belonging to all people 4. faith in and support of human rational potential 5. limited powers of government 6. majority rule tempered by minority rights 7. support of change in society

Frederich Hegel’s (1770-1831) view was that the process of dialectics constitutes the mechanism by which ideas change. Out of each thesis (or idea) necessarily arises an anti-thesis (or challenging idea) which inevitably becomes a synthesis of the two. Whether this is indeed the driving force in human intellectual development may never be known, but the development of conservatism bears a close resemblance to this process.

Whereas liberalism sought to liberate mankind from oppressive institutions (be they governments, religious institutions, oppressive social customs and traditions, or vast economic enterprises), conservatism developed as a reaction to what was perceived as dangerous tendencies within the liberal movements toward radicalism and a wholesale rejection of the past as valuable. There was and is an element within conservatism that holds the past in reverence and views with skepticism most change, particularly if it was planned change. If, however, conservatism means nothing more than a rationale’ justifying the maintenance of the status quo then it cannot be correctly adjudged an ideology for it would be content neutral. Conservatism could, in that instance, be used to support political systems ranging from democratic to communist to fascist to anarchistic.

A closer examination of conservatism does reveals a more meaningful doctrine than merely conserving that which exists. Whereas liberalism embraces societal and governmental change as both necessary and desirable, conservatism does indeed adopt a much more doubtful view of the desirability of altering proven institutions and societal values. Respect for authority, custom, and tradition permeate a conservative value system. In particular, changes in the moral ordering of society are seen as very suspicious and probably harmful. Aside from this ingrained suspicion of change there are at rock bottom values within the conservative tradition that remain constant.

Once again it is an Englishman who first expounded the moderate political doctrine in question. Edmund Burke (1729-97) did not create conservatism but as Locke did for liberalism, became its most eloquent spokesman and advocate. In numerous pamphlets this scholar-politician put on paper what was to become the anti-thesis to liberalism run riot (in Burke’s view). Throughout his long and lustrous career within the British political system Burke expressed a profound admiration for the success of the British “Glorious Revolution” of 1688-89 in which the Parliament asserted its power as against royal prerogatives.

The Bill of Rights was adopted which limited the power of the Monarch and protected itself from arbitrary royal enactments. His was a passion for justice, sound governmental administration, devotion to religion and unrelenting opposition to tyranny. For over twenty-five years he was the leading intellectual force in Whig party politics in Great Britain. As a Member of Parliament he supported the American independence movement largely on practical grounds. He continuously advocated policies that produced peace and prosperity.

What galvanized Burke most intensely was the French Revolution. In his work Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) ideas were set forth that shaped political thinking down to the present time. His intense opposition to and condemnation of the French Revolution as destructive to French society did irreparable damage to his political career and caused estrangements with old friends. Ultimately the Whig party itself was split asunder over this issue.

Burke had long be reluctant to engage in a discussion of the general principles of his ideas. He initially felt that broad abstractions were to be avoided. The French Revolution, however, forced his basic views out in the open. In his refutation of the justifications of the French Revolution Burke attempted to destroy the logic behind the revolutionist reliance on reason and logic as tools guiding social change. Human beings did have rights, Burke did readily admit, but they were conventional not natural. These rights were organically related to society and could not be divorced from it.

People need to have a sense of belonging to something larger than themselves; something that will endure beyond their own short lives. Base feelings of love and loyalty bind members of society together giving them a sense of purpose that permits and encourages self-sacrifice for the larger purposes of the community. Deep emotional attachment will nurture a sense of duty and responsibility that ultimately produce a better society for all. Society is not held together by abstract principles such as a “social contract” but by people bound together through a sense of history, shared experiences and common beliefs. The role of irrationality in society can be ignored only at the risk of misunderstanding a most important inherent characteristic in all mankind. Human institutions have evolved over time and are not the product of rationally constructed plans of action.

Society is indeed a contract. Subordinate contracts for objects of mere occasional interest may be dissolved at pleasure — but the state ought to be considered as something far better and more significant “than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, calico or tobacco, or some other such low concern.” The State us not to be taken as something of a little temporary interest, and to be dissolved by the fancy of the parties. It is to be looked on with other reverence. . . “It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection. . . . Each contract of each particular state is but a clause in the great primeval contract of eternal society, linking the lower with the higher natures connecting the visible and invisible world, according to a fixed compact sanctioned by the inviolable oath which holds ass physical and all moral natures, each in their appointed place.” (Reflections 1790, Works, Vol. II p. 368)In this statement Burke makes little distinction between state and society.

The overall message is crystal clear: that which binds humans together is far more than any commercial contract which is subject to abrogation at will. No well-reasoned rationale’ can justify overturning what time immemorial has produced. Moreover, reason running rampant becomes raging radicalism inevitably destined to destroy much of what generations of human experience has produced.

The religious foundations of society almost inexorably come to support conservative political doctrine. Burke himself exhibited a devotion to religion and to the religious foundations of the just state. Government, the State and society in general were all part of a divine order though which God’s will exhibits itself. This religious orientation in Burke’s conservatism may be found in most, if not all, conservative movements. Regimes that call themselves “Marxist” have been seen to resort to religious-like defenses when confronted with serious challenges. Stalin urged Soviet citizens in the second world war to come to the defense of “Mother Russia.” More commonly those espousing a conservative position refer to some “divine” purpose inherent in their society and state. At best this places moral obligations on the state to follow policies that are just and fair (however these terms may be defined). At worst this “divine” purpose becomes a justification for domination of peoples outside the “chosen” ones. Without this religious anchor the development of some “special” social cause or purpose becomes very difficult to maintain.

Just as mankind’s need to have some transcendental system of belief in an ordered universe was seen an necessary, so too was a government which emphasized order, custom, and tradition. Order is needed to reign in mankind’s ingrained selfish tendencies and proclivity toward savagery. The state, which is the enforcement arm of society, must rule in a strong and resolute manner providing swift, sure and harsh punishment for those who violate the law. Proper respect for the roles and responsibilities of private institutions must be observed by government and support should be provided. Custom and tradition should receive their due for they are the outgrowth of generations of experience. Reverence for that which has stood the test of time is ignored at the risk of instability, disorder and social disintegration. A sense of community that is both broad and deep is needed if long-term adherence to social values is to be obtained. This sense of community is no conscious, voluntary and rational decision that one chooses to accept. Society is no debating group says the conservative.

Moreover, people must feel they are a part of something larger and more important than themselves. Pride in and love for the institutions and traditions of one’s society go beyond mere knowledge and willful acceptance of these things. From the earliest childhood and continuing throughout life individuals need to be made a part of the great traditions of his/her people. Accomplishments in the arts and sciences, cherished customs, linguistic uniqueness, religious traditions, economic practices, and especially established human relationships including marriage and family values must be embraced and supported with fervor. Symbols need to be revered and treated with the utmost respect for they represent the very basic elements of society.

The nature of humanity, according to conservative doctrine, is far less admirable than seen in the liberal view. All humans are essential self oriented and in pursuit of their own best interests as they see those interests These irrational drives and self-serving tendencies must be tempered by social control mechanisms that are the outgrowth of centuries of experience. In addition to this selfish characteristic of humans, conservatives believe that the concept of equality is both inaccurate and undesirable. People are not equal in their abilities or value to society. Those who are more able and who contribute more to the well being of their community are deserving of greater rewards. These rewards include not only enhanced material wealth, elevated social status but also a greater role in the governance structure. While traditional conservative doctrine supported the notion of a hereditary aristocracy, modern conservatives support what might be called an aristocracy of talent and morality. Societies leaders should be chosen from those individuals who have by their own talents demonstrated superior abilities through recognized achievements.

But even they cannot properly be given unlimited powers because like all humans they are flawed and cannot be trusted to do what is right. They too must be restrained in their powers by the same institutions and customs operating to maintain stability in society. Just as great societal changes (industrialization, organization, technological innovations, and modernization generally) forced liberalism to alter its stance regarding the proper role of government in economic matters, so too has conservatism changed its position in the face of such great forces. Regarding the important question of the proper relationship between government and the economy conservative doctrine has taken the somewhat ambivalent position of supporting government actions that simultaneously encourage and yet does not control or even closely regulate business activities. This often amounts to a “hands off” policy insofar as government regulation is concerned, but a “helping hand” policy regarding such matters as favorable taxation rates, beneficial tariffs (legislation protecting home business from foreign competition), price supports and countless other schemes.

As liberalism began to espouse the need for increased governmental regulation of business enterprises conservatives, particularly during the depression years in the United States, adopted increasingly anti-regulatory positions. Cries of “creeping socialism” were raised against liberal efforts to increase governmental control over the economy. Aside from questions of economics conservatism has retained, and in recent years emphasized, its original emphasis on maintaining traditional values and institutions. Social maladies that seem to accompany Twentieth Century intensive urbanization (family disintegration, drug and alcohol abuse, soaring street crime rates, and a general loss of a sense of safety) are seen by conservatives as clear evidence of a need to return to basics: faith in God, hope for a better future, love of country and family, instillation of self-discipline in the young, willingness to sacrifice immediate gratification for future goals, industriousness, and a sense of belonging.

Exactly how these values are to be implanted remains controversial even among conservatives but the goal of returning them to their proper place in society drives conservatives to offer a wide range of governmental policies: swift and harsh punishment for criminals, “no frills” education with strict discipline in schools, governmental protection of institutions devoted to maintaining traditional values (including churches), elimination of welfare programs believed to encourage immorality and indolence, expansive (and expensive) military policies ostensibly protecting the home country from foreign threats and a host of other proposals.

In summary, conservatism does contain basic beliefs and values beyond a mere mistrust of change. Certain core concepts remain throughout the long spectrum of the conservative ideology. They may be seen as: 1. high value on existing institutions as produced by custom and tradition 2. a belief in mankind’s essential base and irrational nature 3. faith in some supernatural force guiding human affairs 4. acceptance of human inequality and the attending consequence of social hierarchy 5. recognition of the need for a sense of community among individuals that will bind them emotionally to their society.

It has been said that no one who has a heart can resist being a liberal and that no one who has a brain can avoid being a conservative. Like most aphorisms this one contains a trace of truth wrapped in a maze of misperceptions. These two political ideologies offer to government leaders, policy makers, and thoughtful citizens a set of guides permitting some semblance of coherent conclusions regarding compelling social, economic and political issues.

Their common features include rejection of radicalism and its attending violent uprooting of established institutions and practices, acceptance of the need for restraints on the powers of government, advocacy of balance in society regarding individual rights and societal powers, and ultimately some root concerns for individual dignity. Most certainly disagreement abounds between the two ideologies when the outlines of such values are given clarity, but support of such basic principles enables supporters of each doctrine to work within the same governmental framework. This agreement to disagree in a civil manner surely constitutes one of mankind’s most noble political achievements.

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Liberalism and Conservatism – Regis University

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Ayn Rand – Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre

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Jun 212016

Ayn Rand, seudnimo de Alisa Zinvievna Rosenbaum (San Petersburgo, Imperio ruso, 2 de febrero de 1905-Nueva York, Estados Unidos, 6 de marzo de 1982), filsofa y escritora estadounidense de origen judo ruso, ampliamente conocida por haber escrito los superventas El manantial y La rebelin de Atlas, y por haber desarrollado un sistema filosfico al que denomin objetivismo.

Rand defenda el egosmo racional, el individualismo y el capitalismo laissez faire, argumentando que es el nico sistema econmico que le permite al ser humano vivir como ser humano, es decir, haciendo uso de su facultad de razonar. En consecuencia, rechazaba absolutamente el socialismo, el altruismo y la religin.

Entre sus principios sostena que el hombre debe elegir sus valores y sus acciones mediante la razn, que cada individuo tiene derecho a existir por s mismo, sin sacrificarse por los dems ni sacrificando a otros para s, y que nadie tiene derecho a obtener valores provenientes de otros recurriendo a la fuerza fsica.[1]

Teniendo la conviccin de que los gobiernos tienen una funcin legtima pero limitada, a Ayn Rand no se le puede confundir con una anarcocapitalista, pudiendo en cambio ser considerada liberal y minarquista, pese a que ella nunca aplic este ltimo trmino para referirse a s misma.

Ayn Rand ( , Alisa Zinvievna Rosenbaum) naci el 2 de febrero de 1905 en San Petersburgo (Imperio ruso), era la mayor de tres hermanos de una familia juda, cuyos padres no eran practicantes de esta religin. Desde muy joven sinti un fuerte inters por la literatura y por el arte cinematogrfico, empezando a escribir novelas y guiones a los siete aos. Ley las novelas de Alejandro Dumas, Walter Scott, entre otros escritores romnticos, y expres un apasionado entusiasmo por el movimiento romntico. Descubri a Vctor Hugo a los trece aos: qued prendada por sus novelas. Aprendi francs gracias a su madre.

Durante sus aos en la escuela secundaria, fue testigo tanto de la Revolucin de Kerensky y la Revolucin Bolchevique en 1917. Para escapar de los combates, su familia se fue a Crimea, donde ella termin la escuela secundaria.

Una vez que su familia regres de Crimea, Ayn Rand se matricul en la Universidad de San Petersburgo para estudiar filosofa e historia. Se gradu en 1924. Como admiradora del cine, se inscribi en 1924 en el Instituto Estatal de Artes Cinematogrficas para aprender a escribir guiones cinematogrficos. Fue en esta poca cuando consigui publicar por primera vez: un folleto sobre la actriz Pola Negri (1925), y un folleto titulado Hollywood: American Movie City (1926); ambos han sido reimpresos en 1999 en los llamados Escritos de Rusia en Hollywood.

A finales de 1925 obtuvo permiso de salir de la Rusia sovitica para visitar a sus familiares en los Estados Unidos. Aunque les dijo a las autoridades soviticas que su visita sera corta, estaba decidida a no regresar nunca a Rusia. Pas los siguientes seis meses con sus parientes en Chicago, obtuvo una prrroga de su visado, y luego continu a Hollywood para seguir la carrera de guionista.

Descubri tambin en la Universidad a Nietzsche, de quien apreciaba mucho su exaltacin de lo heroico y del individuo heroico, aunque aos ms tarde critic fuertemente lo irracional de su filosofa.

Su mayor influencia la recibi de Aristteles, al que consideraba el mayor filsofo del mundo y apreciaba en especial su rganon (Lgica).

Ayn Rand detestaba a Rusia, sobre todo desde la revolucin de 1917, que haba expropiado a su padre su negocio de farmacia y empeorado an ms sus condiciones de vida. Conociendo Nueva York por las pelculas estadounidenses, Ayn Rand tena muy claro que quera emigrar a los Estados Unidos. Aos ms tarde escribi Los que vivimos, un relato de primera mano de esos aos y de la atmsfera de la Rusia de entonces, sobre el cual dijo: Es lo ms cercano a una autobiografa que haya escrito nunca.

A finales de 1925, Ayn Rand consigui un visado para abandonar el pas y visitar a parientes suyos ya establecidos en Estados Unidos, a donde lleg en febrero de 1926, con 21 aos.

Ayn estuvo un tiempo en casa de sus parientes en Chicago. Ms tarde se traslad a Hollywood, donde aceptaba cualquier tipo de trabajo para pagar sus gastos bsicos. Casualmente conoci all a Cecil B. De Mille, quien se interes por esta rusa recin llegada a Estados Unidos y fascinada por el mundo del cine. Cecil B. De Mille le mostr el funcionamiento bsico de un estudio de cine y le ofreci trabajo como extra, que Ayn Rand acept, y apareci as de forma visible entre los extras en el metraje definitivo de Rey de reyes [1] (metraje visible en el documental en el DVD Ayn Rand, a sense of life). En el rodaje de la pelcula conoci, adems, al que sera su marido el resto de su vida: el tambin actor Frank O’Connor, con quien se cas en 1929.

En 1931 Ayn Rand adquiri la ciudadana de los Estados Unidos de Amrica.

En 1936 escribi: Llmenlo destino o irona, pero yo nac, de entre todos los pases de la Tierra, en el menos conveniente para una fantica del individualismo: Rusia. Decid ser escritora a la edad de nueve aos, y todo lo que he hecho se ha circunscrito a tal propsito. Soy estadounidense por eleccin y conviccin. Nac en Europa, pero emigr a los Estados Unidos de Amrica porque este era el pas donde una poda sentirse totalmente libre para escribir.

Ayn Rand estaba muy satisfecha de ser ciudadana estadounidense, y en 1973 dijo en una conferencia que dio en West Point: Puedo decir, y no como un mero patrioterismo, sino con el conocimiento completo de las necesarias races metafsicas, epistemolgicas, ticas, polticas y estticas, que Estados Unidos de Amrica es el ms grande, noble y, en sus principios fundadores originales, el nico pas moral en la historia del mundo.

Ayn Rand fue sometida a ciruga por cncer de pulmn en 1974 luego de dcadas de fumar mucho.[2] En 1976, dej de escribir en su peridico y, a pesar de sus objeciones iniciales, le permiti a Evva Pryor, una trabajadora social de la oficina de su abogado, que la inscribiese en la Seguridad Social y Medicare.[3][4]

Ayn Rand muri en 1982. Est enterrada junto a su marido en el cementerio de Valhalla (Estado de Nueva York).

Las novelas ms importantes de Ayn Rand son los superventas El manantial (1943) y La rebelin de Atlas (1957).

Sus novelas crearon el arquetipo del hroe randiano, un individuo racional digno de vivir en la tierra, ya que puede lograr lo mejor de s mismo, un hombre cuya habilidad e independencia lo hacen entrar en conflicto con los hombres-masa, pero que aun as persevera, alcanzando finalmente la realizacin de sus valores.

En 1932 consigue vender su primer guion cinematogrfico, Red pawn (Pen rojo), a los estudios Universal.

En 1934 Ayn escribe la obra de teatro Night of January 16th (La noche del 16 de enero, conocida tambin como Penthouse Legend), que incorpora la novedad absoluta en el mundo del teatro de incorporar al pblico que desee participar en un jurado al final de la obra que debe decidir sobre la inocencia o culpabilidad de la protagonista. En la nota inicial dirigida al productor de la obra, Ayn Rand explica:

La obra est construida de tal manera que las pruebas de la culpabilidad o la inocencia de la acusada estn cuidadosamente contrapesadas, y la decisin se basar en el carcter y valores del jurado. Es realmente a la audiencia a la que se juzga. En palabras del abogado defensor: A quin se juzga en este caso? A Karen Andre [coprotagonista de la obra]? No!, son ustedes, damas y caballeros del jurado, quienes estn siendo juzgados. Son sus almas las que sern puestas a la luz cuando hayan tomado su decisin.

Ayn Rand

La obra se sigue representando con xito como parte del repertorio clsico de obras de teatro para compaas de aficionados en Estados Unidos.

En 1936 publica We the living (Los que vivimos) que, segn Ayn Rand, fue lo ms parecido a una autobiografa que hubiese nunca escrito. En Los que vivimos se narra la vida dramtica de una mujer de espritu independiente bajo el rgimen totalitario sovitico.

La novela no fue bien recibida inicialmente en Estados Unidos, que estaba sumergido en la Gran Depresin y en lo que a veces all se llama la dcada roja, esto es, la dcada de mximo apogeo de las ideas socialistas y comunistas en aquel pas.

Sin el permiso ni el conocimiento de Ayn Rand (quien se enter de toda la historia despus de la Segunda Guerra Mundial), la Italia de Mussolini rod en 1942 dos pelculas basadas en la novela: Noi vivi y Addio, Kira, de los estudios Scalara Films. Las pelculas eran un intento de propaganda antisovitica por parte del rgimen italiano, y fueron un gran xito en Italia. Orgullosos de su xito, prepararon copias que enviaron a los nazis alemanes, quienes se enfurecieron al ver la pelcula y aconsejaron a los italianos su inmediata retirada de la circulacin. Los jerarcas nazis, ms coherentes en su ideologa antiliberal que los italianos, percibieron inmediatamente que el mensaje del libro no era tan slo antisovitico, sino adems antitotalitario, y que el libro no criticaba slo el totalitarismo sovitico, sino cualquier forma de totalitarismo.[5]

Estas pelculas fueron tambin proyectadas sin permiso de Ayn Rand en la Espaa de Francisco Franco. Ayn Rand pidi derechos atrasados a ambos pases.[6] Finalmente, Ayn Rand an en vida autoriz una reedicin de estas pelculas, las cuales fueron finalmente comercializadas para vdeo domstico en 1986.[7]

Himno (Anthem, titulada Vivir! en las primeras ediciones en espaol) es una novela corta que presenta en trminos altamente simblicos la lucha de un individualista contra una sociedad del futuro en la cual el colectivismo ha triunfado. Se trata de una distopa en la que el concepto de individualidad ha desaparecido (por ejemplo, el pronombre yo ha sido eliminado del lenguaje) y en la que se aprecian numerosas similitudes con la novela Nosotros (1921), de Yevgeni Zamiatin, pero tambin notables diferencias en el tono (serio en Rand, satrico en Zamiatin) y en el discurrir de la historia. Los temas que constituyen el ncleo de Himno sern desarrollados en posteriores obras extensas de Rand, como El manantial y La rebelin de Atlas.

Himno no encontr editor en Estados Unidos y fue publicada primero en el Reino Unido en 1938. Por razones algo abstrusas, es la nica obra de Rand que se encuentra en el dominio pblico en Estados Unidos (no as en otros pases), lo que ha permitido incorporarla al Proyecto Gutenberg.

En 1943 vino el primer xito importante de Ayn Rand como novelista, con la publicacin de El manantial (The fountainhead). El libro, que haba tardado siete aos en escribir, fue rechazado por doce editores, hasta que, en la editorial Bobbs-Merrill, un editor joven le espet a su jefe: Si este no es un libro adecuado para usted, entonces yo tampoco debo trabajar para usted.[8]

En 1949 se realiz una versin flmica de El manantial, dirigida por King Vidor y protagonizada por Gary Cooper (Howard Roark), Patricia Neal (Dominique Francon), Raymond Massey (Gail Wynand) y Kent Smith (Peter Keating).

El guion fue escrito por Ayn Rand y controlado minuciosamente por ella misma de una forma completamente desacostumbrada en Hollywood, donde los estudios se toman todo tipo de libertades con los guiones originales. En varias ocasiones durante el rodaje, Ayn amenaz con suspender todo el proyecto si el guion sufra la ms leve modificacin. Tanto Gary Cooper como Ayn Rand no quedaron satisfechos con la pelcula. Gary Cooper, quizs ya demasiado mayor para un papel que en el libro corresponde a un hombre joven, pronunci el famoso discurso final sin entenderlo realmente, cosa que se nota en la entonacin y el nfasis. Ayn Rand tuvo que luchar mucho para mantener la integridad del guion, y aun as tampoco qued satisfecha con la pelcula, llegando a afirmar que lo nico bueno que tena era que conseguira nuevos lectores para la novela. No obstante, la pelcula es muy apreciada hoy en da en crculos objetivistas y, dado lo irregular de su distribucin, suele estar disponible en redes P2P.

El fundamento de El manantial es el individualismo y el colectivismo en el alma humana. La obra se concentra en las vidas de los cinco principales personajes. El hroe, Howard Roark, es la persona ideal para Rand: Un arquitecto intransigente que est completamente entregado firmemente, aun cuando de manera serena, a sus ideales, especialmente creyendo que ninguna persona debe jams copiar el estilo de otra, sobre todo en el campo de la arquitectura. A lo largo de la novela, todos los dems protagonistas en algn momento u otro, por diferentes razones y con distintos grados de nfasis, le piden que renuncie a algunos de sus principios. Sin embargo, Howard se mantiene inclume y no compromete su integridad. Un aspecto interesante e impactante de la personalidad de Howard es que, en contraste con las formas acostumbradas de los hroes tpicos, no se lanza a explicar sus puntos de vista y por qu el mundo no es lugar justo por medio de largos y apasionados sermones y monlogos; todo lo contrario, Howard lo hace de forma desdeosa, lacnica y altiva.

La rebelin de Atlas (Atlas Shrugged) es considerada por muchos la obra de ficcin ms completa y poderosa de Rand sobre la filosofa objetivista. En los aos ochenta, la Biblioteca del Congreso de los Estados Unidos hizo una encuesta, preguntando cul era el libro que mayor influencia haba tenido en la vida de los encuestados. El primero en el rnking fue La Biblia, el segundo, La rebelin de Atlas.

La rebelin de Atlas es el principal motivo, por encima de cualesquiera otros, por el que ms individuos confiesan haber llegado a ser libertarios o, dicho de otro modo, anarcocapitalistas.[9]

El libro narra la decadencia de los Estados Unidos como consecuencia del excesivo intervencionismo del gobierno. A pesar de que el libro se escribi entre los aos 1946 y 1957, algunas personas ven en la lectura del proceso de destruccin econmico que el libro narra, una situacin de deterioro econmico similar al vivido por Cuba a partir de 1960. [citarequerida]

El libro divide la fibra social de Estados Unidos en dos clases: la de los saqueadores y la de los nosaqueadores.

Galt, desde su escondite en las montaas, da rdenes, sugiere iniciativas y mueve todos los hilos. Junto con l, se refugian los principales empresarios. Durante el tiempo que dura la huelga y la desaparicin de los empresarios, el sistema estadounidense se va hundiendo bajo el peso del cada vez ms opresivo intervencionismo estatal. La obra termina cuando los empresarios deciden abandonar por completo el “Mundo Exterior” para volver a las “Montaas Rocosas” y comenzar una nueva sociedad.

Rand quera llamar a su novela La huelga. El ttulo La rebelin de Atlas le fue sugerido por su esposo, pues as equipara el empresario al titn mtico que carga a sus espaldas los destinos del mundo. Cuando la obra apareci, llam la atencin por lo atrevido y osado del planteamiento para ese entonces. Hasta ese momento, ni siquiera en Estados Unidos alguien se haba atrevido a realizar un planteamiento en el que los empresarios fuesen los buenos y el Estado el malvado.

Para Ayn Rand, el hecho de que una huelga pudiera hundir en el caos a los Estados Unidos es la confirmacin de que el pas no puede vivir sin su clase empresarial, que la poltica debe subordinarse a las necesidades de la economa empresarial y, finalmente, que es preciso volver al espritu de los primeros colonos que se sublevaron contra Inglaterra en el siglo XVIII: lucharon contra el intervencionismo estatal y en defensa de sus derechos individuales. Lo que propone Rand es volver al origen de la tradicin americana, solo que el hroe ya no es un granjero que se subleva contra los ingleses, sino el patrono que lucha contra el intervencionismo subyugante del Estado y cuyo esfuerzo es el que verdaderamente crea riqueza.

Al poco tiempo de salir se vendieron cuatro millones de ejemplares de la obra. Luego de este libro, solo escribi ensayos, en los que desarroll explcitamente las premisas filosficas implcitas de La rebelin de Atlas. Uno de esos ensayos, La virtud del egosmo es considerado uno de los manifiestos principales de la corriente filosfica de Rand.

Ayn Rand sostena:

En La virtud del egosmo Rand escribi sobre la vida:

En Derechos del hombre dijo:

En La rebelin de Atlas escribi sobre el trabajo manual, los empresarios y los inventores:

Ayn Rand no se consideraba a s misma como de derechas (tampoco de izquierdas). En innumerables ocasiones Ayn Rand declar I am not a conservative (No soy conservadora), al mismo tiempo que declaraba vehementemente su oposicin a Ronald Reagan. En el espectro poltico usualmente se la ubica en la derecha poltica por su apego a un tipo de individualismo heroico y capitalista.

Desde cierto punto de vista, se la puede considerar como una seguidora del ideal liberal libertario o simplemente liberal. Ella estaba de acuerdo en buscar la maximizacin de los derechos del individuo desde un anlisis liberal individualista; sin embargo, Rand tambin buscaba maximizar lo que consideraba beneficios de la propiedad privada y del sistema capitalista, lo cual se identifica con los conservadores, quienes a su vez son considerados de derecha. No obstante, Ayn Rand denost hasta su muerte a los liberales libertarios, a los que llamaba hippies de derechas.

Algunos puntos de la ideologa de Ayn Rand sugeriran su no adscripcin ideolgica a la derecha conservadora:

Basndose en el principio de que la esfera de la libertad del individuo slo puede autorrealizarse a travs de la propiedad privada, Ayn Rand reconoce en el sistema poltico capitalista la afirmacin de la economa libre y el ideal del autointers personal mediante la cooperacin social en el mercado. Partiendo de esta base miseana, Rand procede a identificar mediante el principio de no agresin al trabajo personal. En esto la doctrina de Ayn Rand es coincidente con lo sostenido por lo que se considera la derecha liberal, por cuanto que las desigualdades no seran estructuralmente impuestas por la sociedad, sino producto de la utilidad desigual de los bienes productivos en el mercado libre, sean estos el capital o el trabajo asalariado. Desasociaba as cualquier relacin necesaria entre poder econmico (defensivo) y poder poltico (agresivo), presentndolos como opuestos naturales. Tambin reinterpret y legitim la desigualdad de oportunidades por no ser dependiente de la cuanta del dinero, sino de su uso productivo en el mercado, idea que desarroll junto a Alan Greenspan en Capitalism: the unknown ideal.

Su filosofa ha sido as apologtica del orden social capitalista puro sin intervencin gubernamental, y por ende el modelo, a la vez tico y utilitario, para muchos grandes empresarios en la bsqueda del xito en los negocios que no dependan de la coercin poltica. La influencia del egosmo individualista racional randiano se puede rastrear hasta la obra de Milton Friedman al respecto de la idea de internalizacin de las externalidades, limitando la responsabilidad corporativa al beneficio de los accionistas, as como en los trabajos de Robert Hessen y Stephen Hicks sobre la tica en los negocios.

Las ideas de Rand sobre esttica giran en torno al concepto de lo que ella llamara realismo romntico, que suele referirse al arte que trata los temas de la volicin y de los valores humanos, reconociendo tambin la importancia de la tcnica artstica y del reconocimiento de la realidad. El realismo romntico plasma frecuentemente a seres humanos heroicos en situaciones de alegra y triunfo vital, con un fondo optimista y una estimacin positiva de la Ciencia y de la Tcnica. A menudo hay referencias ms o menos sutiles a Ayn Rand en estas obras.

Aun habiendo sido utilizado anteriormente, el trmino fue popularizado por Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand defini al realismo romntico como la representacin de las cosas y de los seres humanos como podran ser y deberan ser, tomando estos conceptos de Aristteles.

Esta combinacin est basada en la idea de que los valores heroicos son racionales y realistas, ya que el realismo romntico considera como falsa la dicotoma entre realismo y romanticismo.

Tanto el trabajo literario como el trabajo filosfico de Ayn Rand han sido objeto de innumerables crticas. Tambin se ha criticado su metodologa y su personalidad egocntrica.

La lucha contra el altruismo por parte de Ayn Rand atrajo crticas de orden tico. El famoso escritor estadounidense izquierdista Gore Vidal escribi tratando el tema en 1961:

A partir del momento en que las personas deben vivir en comunidad, dependiendo los unos de los otros, el altruismo es necesario para la supervivencia.

Gore tambin explica el porqu de la popularidad de las ideas de Ayn Rand:

Rand siente una gran afinidad por las personas que se hallan a s mismas perdidas en una sociedad organizada. Son personas renuentes a pagar impuestos, que no soportan al Estado y sus leyes y que sienten remordimientos frente al dolor ajeno pero buscan endurecer sus corazones. A estas personas ella les ofrece una solucin muy atractiva: el altruismo es el origen de todos los males, el inters individual es el nico bien, y si alguien es estpido o incompetente, ese es su problema.

Los aspectos biogrficos de Ayn Rand tambin han sido centro de controversias. En la obra The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics, James Valliant apoya su tesis sobre unas supuestas manipulaciones que Nathaniel Branden y su esposa hicieron a los hechos que tratan sobre la vida de Rand. Segn Valliant, los herederos de Ayn Rand exageraron su carrera y ocultaron anotaciones del diario de la filsofa.

El filsofo Robert Nozick critica la obra de Rand en su libro Socratic puzzles (ISBN 0-674-81654-4). Nozick es liberal libertario, por lo que simpatiza con varias de las conclusiones de Ayn Rand, aunque est en desacuerdo con aspectos fundamentales de su obra. En Socratic puzzles critica el argumento fundacional de la tica de Rand: la proclamacin de que la propia vida es, para cada hombre, el valor definitivo, ya que es el valor que hace posibles a todos los dems. Nozick afirma que Rand no explic por qu alguien no podra preferir racionalmente morir y el no tener ningn valor. De acuerdo con este argumento, la defensa de Rand del egosmo es una petitio principii (peticin de principio), y la solucin de Rand al problema del ser-deber ser de David Hume no es satisfactoria.

Las novelas de Rand, al ser publicadas, se convirtieron desde el principio en superventas, tanto dentro como fuera de los Estados Unidos, debido principalmente al boca a boca entre los lectores. Aunque recibieron algunas crticas especializadas positivas, fueron denostadas por la crtica literaria como terribles o simplemente malas. Los expertos en literatura inglesa y la lite cultural progresista en general han ignorado sus novelas. Como excepcin, el crtico literario Harold Bloom encontr la obra de Rand lo suficientemente significativa como para incluirla en su antologa crtica American women fiction writers (escritoras estadounidenses de ficcin, 1998).[11]

El movimiento objetivista fundado por Rand y que fue disuelto tras su separacin de Nathaniel Branden en 1968 ha sido acusado de haber sido una secta destructiva, con Rand como la figura de culto.

En 1979, en una entrevista televisiva, Ayn Rand afirm: yo no soy una secta.[12]

Un seguidor ciego es precisamente lo que mi filosofa condena, y lo que yo rechazo. El objetivismo no es una secta mstica.

Cuando sucedi el colapso del instituto NBI (Nathaniel Branden Institute), Ayn Rand declar que ella ni siquiera haba querido tener un movimiento organizado:

Por lo tanto quiero aclarar enfticamente que el objetivismo no es un movimiento organizado y nadie lo debe considerar as.

El trmino randroide (una mezcla de las palabras Rand y androide) se ha utilizado para evocar la imagen de los robots imitadores de Galt producidos por la secta.[15]

Las sugerencias de que la conducta sectaria de los objetivistas comenzaron durante los das del Nathaniel Branden Institute. Con la creciente cobertura de los medios, comenzaron a aparecer artculos que hablaban de la secta de Ayn Rand, y que la comparaban con varios lderes religiosos.[16]

Terry Teachout describi al Nathaniel Branden Institute como una casisecta que giraba en torno a la adoracin de Ayn Rand y de sus hroes de ficcin, una secta que se desintegr cuando Rand se separ de Nathaniel Branden.[17]

En 1968, el psiclogo Albert Ellis, a raz de un debate pblico con Nathaniel Branden, public un libro argumentando que el objetivismo era una religin, cuyas prcticas incluan la condenacin y la demonizacin, el puritanismo sexual, el absolutismo y la divinizacin hacia Ayn Rand y sus hroes de ficcin.[18]

En sus memorias, dice Nathaniel Branden del Colectivo y del Nathaniel Branden Institute que haba un aspecto de secta en nuestro mundo […] ramos un grupo organizado en torno a un lder carismtico, donde cada miembro juzgaba el carcter del otro principalmente sobre la base de la lealtad hacia esa lder y sus ideas.[19]

En 1972, el autor libertario Murray Rothbard comenz a hacer circular de manera privada su ensayo The sociology of the Ayn Rand cult (la sociologa de la secta de Ayn Rand), en la que escribi:

Si las contradicciones internas evidentes de las sectas leninistas las convierten en intrigantes objetos de estudio, ms an lo es la secta de Ayn Rand […] [p]orque que la secta Rand no solo era explcitamente atea, antirreligiosa y aduladora de la Razn, sino que tambin promueve la dependencia servil a un gur en nombre de la independencia; la adoracin y la obediencia hacia un lder en nombre de la individualidad de cada persona; y la emocin ciega y la fe en el gur en nombre de la Razn.[20]

Rothbard tambin escribi que

el espritu gua del movimiento randiano no era la libertad individual sino el poder personal de Ayn Rand y sus principales discpulos.[21]

En 1993, Michael Shermer fundador de The Skeptics Society, escribi sobre este tema el artculo The unlikeliest cult in History (La secta ms improbable de la historia).[22] Shermer argument que el movimiento objetivista mostraba caractersticas de las sectas religiosas, como la veneracin y la infalibilidad del lder; las intenciones ocultas, la explotacin sexual y financiera, y la creencia de que el movimiento ofreca la verdad absoluta y la moral absoluta. Shermer sostuvo que ciertos aspectos de la epistemologa y la tica objetivista promueve conductas sectarias:

{{cita|En el momento en que un grupo se establece como rbitro moral definitivo de las acciones de otras personas sobre todo cuando sus miembros creen que han descubierto patrones absolutos del bien y del mal es el principio del fin de la tolerancia, y por lo tanto de la razn y la racionalidad. Es esta caracterstica ms que cualquier otra la que convierte a una secta, a una religin, a una nacin o a cualquier otro grupo en algo peligroso para la libertad individual. El absolutismo es el mayor defecto del objetivismo de Ayn Rand, la cual es la secta ms improbable de la Historia.[23]

En 1999, Jeff Walker public The Ayn Rand cult (la secta de Ayn Rand). En un pasaje, Walker compar el objetivismo con las prcticas dianticas de la cienciologa, que muchos consideran como una secta destructiva. Segn Walker, ambos son conjuntos de creencias totalitarias que defienden una tica para las masas sobre la base de la supervivencia como un ente racional. Walker contina: La diantica utiliza un razonamiento un tanto similar al de Rand acerca de considerar el cerebro como una mquina. […] Ambos hablan de una mente superior que puede reprogramar el resto de la mente. Walker seala adems que ambas doctrinas pretenden basarse en la ciencia y en la lgica.[24]

El libro de Walker provoc las crticas de los seguidores de Rand. Chris Matthew Sciabarra critic la objetividad y la academicidad de Walker.[25] Mimi Reisel Gladstein escribi que la tesis de Walker es cuestionable ya menudo depende de la insinuacin ms que de la lgica.[26] R.W.Bradford afirm que para los estudiosos el libro es simplemente aburrido.[27]

Las afirmaciones de la calidad sectaria de esta doctrina siguieron en aos ms recientes. En 2004, Thomas Szasz escribi en apoyo de 1972 el ensayo de Rothbard,[28] y en 2006, Albert Ellis public una edicin actualizada de su libro de 1968, donde incluy algunas referencias favorables a Walker.[29] Del mismo modo, Walter Block aunque expres su admiracin por algunas ideas y afirm la fuerte influencia de Rand sobre el libertarismo describi al movimiento objetivista como una diminuta secta implosiva.[30]

Personas que convivieron con Ayn Rand han escrito libros sobre ella en los que mezclan el elogio con la crtica personal.

Estos libros son The passion of Ayn Rand (La pasin de Ayn Rand), ISBN 0-385-24388-X, de Barbara Branden, y My years with Ayn Rand (Mis aos con Ayn Rand), ISBN 0-7879-4513-7, de Nathaniel Branden.

Ambos autores han sido asimismo criticados en el libro de James Valliant The passion of Ayn Rands critics (ISBN 1-930754-67-1).

A blind follower [el nfasis aparece en el original] is precisely what my philosophy condemns and what I reject. Objectivism is not a mystic cult.

Se puede encontrar esta cita en el sitio web

I want, therefore, to make it emphatically clear that Objectivism is not an organized movement and is not to be regarded as such by anyone.

If the glaring inner contradictions of the Leninist cults make them intriguing objects of study, still more so is the Ayn Rand cult… [f]or not only was the Rand cult explicitly atheist, anti-religious, and an extoller of Reason; it also promoted slavish dependence on the guru in the name of independence; adoration and obedience to the leader in the name of every person’s individuality; and blind emotion and faith in the guru in the name of Reason.

[A]s soon as a group sets itself up to be the final moral arbiter of other people’s actions, especially when its members believe they have discovered absolute standards of right and wrong, it is the beginning of the end of tolerance, and thus reason and rationality. It is this characteristic more than any other that makes a cult, a religion, a nation, or any other group, dangerous to individual freedom. Its absolutism was the biggest flaw in Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, the unlikeliest cult in history.

See the article here:

Ayn Rand – Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre

Libertarian Party of Florida

 Libertarian  Comments Off on Libertarian Party of Florida
Jun 212016

The Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) is the third largest political party in the nation, and is the only true alternative to the Republican/Democrat stranglehold on our economic freedom and individual liberty.

The LPF recognizes that you own your life, and that you are free to pursue happiness in your own way, with extremely limited interference from government. The Libertarian Party of Florida promotes and defends the following principles:

We are building the structure to ensure historic electoral victories in 2016 and beyond. We have the right legislative plan to ensure that government is beholden to the We the People. And we have the right platform to repair the economy and restore our freedoms. We have the candidates on the local, county and state level who will actually uphold and defend the Constitutionnot just talk about it during campaign season.

The LPF has new leadership, a bold vision, and a renewed determination to achieve these goals. All we need now is you!

Become a part of the Libertarian revolution. Join the Libertarian Party of Florida today. Support your local Libertarian candidates. Invest you time to our noble and worthy cause. Donate as much money as you can so that we have the resources to defeat the political ruling class.

With your help, we can ensure our children inherit a State, and a Nation, that would make our Founding Fathers proud.


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Libertarian Party of Florida

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What is the Golden Rule? –

 Golden Rule  Comments Off on What is the Golden Rule? –
Jun 212016

Question: “What is the Golden Rule?”


What we call the Golden Rule refers to Matthew 7:12: So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Jesus knew the human heart and its selfishness. In fact, in the preceding verse, He describes human beings as innately evil (verse 11). Jesus Golden Rule gives us a standard by which naturally selfish people can gauge their actions: actively treat others the way they themselves like to be treated.

The English Standard Version translates the Golden Rule like this: Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Jesus brilliantly condenses the entire Old Testament into this single principle, taken from Leviticus 19:18: Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. Again, we see the implication that people are naturally lovers of self, and the command uses that human flaw as a place to start in how to treat others.

People universally demand respect, love, and appreciation, whether they deserve it or not. Jesus understood this desire and used it to promote godly behavior. Do you want to be shown respect? Then respect others. Do you crave a kind word? Then speak words of kindness to others. It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). The Golden Rule is also part of the second greatest commandment, preceded only by the command to love God Himself (Matthew 22:3739).

What is interesting to note about the Golden Rule is that no other religious or philosophical system has its equal. Jesus Golden Rule is not the ethic of reciprocity so commonly espoused by non-Christian moralists. Frequently, liberal critics and secular humanists attempt to explain away the uniqueness of the Golden Rule, saying it is a common ethic shared by all religions. This is not the case. Jesus command has a subtle, but very important, difference. A quick survey of the sayings of Eastern religions will make this plain:

Confucianism: “Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you” (Analects 15:23) Hindusim: This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you (Mahabharata 5:1517) Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful” (Udanavarga 5:18)

These sayings are similar to the Golden Rule but are stated negatively and rely on passivity. Jesus Golden Rule is a positive command to show love proactively. The Eastern religions say, Refrain from doing; Jesus says, Do! The Eastern religions say it is enough to hold your negative behavior in check; Jesus says to look for ways to act positively. Because of the inverted nature of the non-Christian sayings, they have been described as the silver rule.

Some have accused Jesus of borrowing the idea of the Golden Rule from the Eastern religions. However, the texts for Confucianism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, cited above, were all written between 500 and 400 BC, at the earliest. Jesus takes the Golden Rule from Leviticus, written about 1450 BC. So, Jesus source for the Golden Rule predates the silver rule by about 1,000 years. Who borrowed from whom?

The command to love is what separates the Christian ethic from every other religions ethic. In fact, the Bibles championing of love includes the radical command to love even ones enemies (Matthew 5:4344; cf. Exodus 23:45). This is unheard of in other religions.

Obeying the Christian imperative to love others is a mark of a true Christian (John 13:35). In fact, Christians cannot claim to love God if they dont actively love other people as well. If someone says, I love God and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen (1 John 4:20). The Golden Rule encapsulates this idea and is unique to the Judeo-Christian Scriptures.


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What is the Golden Rule? –

Resource Based Economy | The Future We Want

 Resource Based Economy  Comments Off on Resource Based Economy | The Future We Want
Jun 212016

Solution Description

Modern society has access to highly advanced technology and can make available food, clothing, housing and medical care; update our educational system; and develop a limitless supply of renewable, non-contaminating energy. By supplying an efficiently designed economy, everyone can enjoy a very high standard of living with all of the amenities of a high technological society. The term and meaning of a Resource Based Economy was originated by Jacque Fresco. It is a whole factor socio-economic system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude. All resources become the common heritage of all of the inhabitants, not just a select few. The premise upon which this system is based is that the Earth is abundant with plentiful resource; our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival. In a resource-based economy all of the world’s resources are held as the common heritage of all of Earth’s people, thus eventually outgrowing the need for the artificial boundaries that separate people. This is the unifying imperative. Our vision of globalization empowers each and every person on the planet to be the best they can be, not to live in abject subjugation to a corporate governing body.

A resource-based economy would utilize existing resources from the land and sea, physical equipment, industrial plants, etc. to enhance the lives of the total population. In an economy based on resources rather than money, we could easily produce all of the necessities of life, provide a high standard of living for all, universal health care and more relevant education, and most of all by generating a new incentive system based on human and environmental concern. Our vision of globalization empowers each and every person on the planet to be the best they can be, not to live in abject subjugation to a corporate governing body. Our proposals would not only add to the well being of people, but they would also provide the necessary information that would enable them to participate in any area of their competence. The measure of success would be based on the fulfilment of one’s individual pursuits rather than the acquisition of wealth, property and power. By overcoming scarcity, most of the crimes and even the prisons of today’s society would no longer be necessary. In a more humane civilization, instead of machines displacing people they would shorten the workday, increase the availability of goods and services, and lengthen vacation time. If we utilize new technology to raise the standard of living for all people, then the infusion of machine technology would no longer be a threat. With the elimination of debt, the fear of losing one’s job will no longer be a threat. This assurance could reduce mental and physical stress and leave us free to explore our abilities.

A resource-based economy would make it possible to use technology to overcome scarce resources by applying renewable sources of energy, computerizing and automating manufacturing and inventory, designing safe energy-efficient cities and advanced transportation systems. There is no profit, there is no PIB. The main figures in an Resource Based Economy are right the resources of the earth, so it is directly relevant to our sustainable activities. Technology intelligently and efficiently applied, conserves energy, reduces waste, and provides more leisure time. With automated inventory on a global scale, we can maintain a balance between production and distribution. Only nutritious and healthy food would be available and planned obsolescence would be unnecessary and non-existent in a resource-based economy. Considerable amounts of energy would also be saved by eliminating the duplication of competitive products such as tools, eating utensils, pots, pans and vacuum cleaners.

At present, we have enough material resources to provide a very high standard of living for all of Earth’s inhabitants. Only when population exceeds the carrying capacity of the land do many problems such as greed, crime and violence emerge. The thought of eliminating money still troubles us, consider this: If a group of people with gold, diamonds and money were stranded on an island that had no resources such as food, clean air and water, their wealth would be irrelevant to their survival. It is only when resources are scarce that money can be used to control their distribution. One could not, for example, sell the air we breathe or water abundantly flowing down from a mountain stream. Although air and water are valuable, in abundance they cannot be sold. Money is only important in a society when certain resources for survival must be rationed and the people accept money as an exchange medium for the scarce resources. Money is a social convention, an agreement if you will. It is neither a natural resource nor does it represent one. It is not necessary for survival unless we have been conditioned to accept it as such.

See the article here:

Resource Based Economy | The Future We Want

Psychedelics in problem-solving experiment – Wikipedia …

 Psychedelics  Comments Off on Psychedelics in problem-solving experiment – Wikipedia …
Jun 192016

Psychedelic agents in creative problem-solving experiment was a study designed to evaluate whether the use of a psychedelic substance with supportive setting can lead to improvement of performance in solving professional problems. The altered performance was measured by subjective reports, questionnaires, the obtained solutions for the professional problems and psychometric data using the Purdue Creativity, the Miller Object Visualization, and the Witkins Embedded Figures tests.[1] This experiment was a pilot that was to be followed by control studies as part of exploratory studies on uses for psychedelic drugs, that were interrupted early in 1966 when the Food and Drug Administration declared a moratorium on research with human subjects, as a strategy in combating illicit use.[2]

Some weeks before the actual experiment, a preliminary experiment was conducted. It consisted of two sessions with four participants in each. The groups worked on two problems chosen by the research personnel. The first group consisted of four people with professional experience in electrical engineering, engineering design, engineering management and psychology. They were given 50 micrograms of LSD. The second group consisted of four research engineers, three with a background in electronics and one in mechanics. They were given 100 milligrams of mescaline. Both groups were productive in ideation but, according to Fadiman, the fact that the participants didn’t have actual personal stake in the outcome of the session negatively affected the actualization of the ideas. This is why the actual study focused on personal professional problems that the participants were highly motivated to tackle.[3]

The experiment was carried out in 1966 in a facility of International Foundation for Advanced Study, Menlo Park, California, by a team including Willis Harman, Robert H. McKim, Robert E. Mogar, James Fadiman and Myron Stolaroff. The participants of the study consisted of 27 male subjects engaged in a variety of professions: sixteen engineers, one engineer-physicist, two mathematicians, two architects, one psychologist, one furniture designer, one commercial artist, one sales manager, and one personnel manager. Nineteen of the subjects had had no previous experience with psychedelics. Each participant was required to bring a professional problem they had been working on for at least 3 months, and to have a desire to solve it.

Commonly observed characteristics of the psychedelic experience seemed to operate both for and against the hypothesis that the drug session could be used for performance enhancement. The research was therefore planned so as to attempt to provide a setting that would maximize improved functioning, while minimizing effects that might hinder effective functioning.[4] Each group of four subjects met for an evening session several days before the experiment. They received instructions and introduced themselves and their unsolved problems to the group. Approximately one hour of pencil-and-paper tests were also administered. At the beginning of the day of the experiment session, subjects were given 200 milligrams of mescaline sulphate (a moderately light dose compared to the doses used in experiments to induce mystical experiences). After some hours of relaxation, subjects were given tests similar to the ones on the introduction day. After the tests, subjects had four hours to work on their chosen problems. After the working phase, the group would discuss their experiences and review the solutions they had come up with. After this, the participants were driven home. Within a week after the session, each participant wrote a subjective account of his experience. Six weeks further, subjects again filled in questionnaires, this time concentrating on the effects on post-session creative ability and the validity and reception of the solutions conceived during the session. This data was in addition to the psychometric data comparing results of the two testing periods.

Solutions obtained in the experiment include:[3][5][6]

The participants also reported following experiences of enhanced functioning: low inhibition and anxiety, capacity to restructure problem in larger context, enhanced fluency and flexibility of ideation, heightened capacity for visual imagery and fantasy, increased ability to concentrate, heightened empathy with external processes and objects, heightened empathy with people, subconscious data more accessible, association of dissimilar ideas, heightened motivation to obtain closure, visualizing the completed solution.

In the overview of the experiment, Harman and Fadiman mention that experiments on specific performance enhancement through directed use of psychedelics have gone on in various countries of the world, on both sides of the Iron Curtain.[7]

In the book LSD The Problem-Solving Psychedelic, Stafford and Golightly write about a man engaged in naval research, working with a team under his direction on the design of an anti-submarine detection device for over five years without success. He contacted a small research foundation studying the use of LSD. After a few sessions of learning to control the fluidity of the LSD state (how to stop it, how to start it, how to turn it around) he directed his attention to the design problem. Within ten minutes he had the solution he had been searching for. Since then, the device has been patented by the U.S., and Navy and Naval personnel working in this area have been trained in its use.[8]

In 1999 Jeremy Narby, an anthropologist specialized in amazonian shamanism, acted as a translator for three molecular biologists who travelled to the Peruvian Amazon to see whether they could obtain bio-molecular information in the visions they had in sessions orchestrated by an indigenous shaman. Narby recounts this preliminary experiment and the exchange of methods of gaining knowledge between the biologists and indigenous people in his article Shamans and scientists.[9]

In 1991, Denise Caruso, writing a computer column for The San Francisco Examiner went to SIGGRAPH, the largest gathering of computer graphic professionals in the world. She conducted a survey; by the time she got back to San Francisco, she had talked to 180 professionals in the computer graphic field who had admitted taking psychedelics, and that psychedelics are important to their work; according to mathematician Ralph Abraham.[10][11]

James Fadiman is currently conducting a study on micro-dosing for improving normal functioning.[12] Micro-dosing (or sub-perceptual dosing) means taking sub-threshold dose, which for LSD is 10-20 micrograms. The purpose of micro-dosing is not intoxication but enhancement of normal functionality (see nootropic). In this study the volunteers self-administer the drug approximately every third day. They then self-report perceived effects on their daily duties and relationships. Volunteers participating in the study include a wide variety of scientific and artistic professionals and students. So far the reports suggest that, in general, the subjects experience normal functioning but with increased focus, creativity and emotional clarity and slightly enhanced physical performance. Albert Hofmann was also aware of micro-dosing and has called it the most under-researched area of psychedelics.[13]

Since the 1930s, ibogaine was sold in France in 8mg tablets in the form of Lambarne, an extract of the Tabernanthe manii plant. 8mg of ibogaine could be considered a microdose since doses in ibogatherapy and -rituals vary in the range of 10mg/kg to 30mg/kg adding usually up to 1000mg.[14]Lambarne was advertised as a mental and physical stimulant and was “…indicated in cases of depression, asthenia, in convalescence, infectious disease, [and] greater than normal physical or mental efforts by healthy individuals”. The drug enjoyed some popularity among post World War II athletes, but was eventually removed from the market, when the sale of ibogaine-containing products was prohibited in 1966.[15] In the end of 1960’s The International Olympic Committee banned ibogaine as a potential doping agent.[16] Other psychedelics have also been reported to have been used in similar way as doping.[17]

In 1948, Swiss pharmacologist Peter N. Witt started his research on the effect of drugs on spiders. Witt tested spiders with a range of psychoactive drugs, including amphetamine, mescaline, strychnine, LSD, and caffeine. All the drugs tested reduced web regularity except for small doses (0.10.3g) of LSD, which increased web regularity.[18]

The rest is here:

Psychedelics in problem-solving experiment – Wikipedia …

 Posted by at 2:39 pm  Tagged with:

Zeitgeist Information

 Zeitgeist Movement  Comments Off on Zeitgeist Information
Jun 192016

The Zeitgeist-Info (shortened to ZInfo), website is a resource of useful Zeitgeist Movement related posts, aimed at existing Zeitgeist Movement members. It was created to inform ZM members of advanced concepts and useful news and information.

New to the Zeitgeist Movement or don’t even know what it is?

The term Zeitgeist refers to theintellectual, cultural and moral Spirit of the Times and we want to change that for the betterment of all humanity. Currently people define success by how much financial wealth, power, control or fame they have acquired. However we want to change it so we value people by how much they’ve contributed to humanity and the environment.

Check out the TEDx talk below for a quick introduction, or watch Zeitgeist Moving Forward, the 2.5 hour documentary/movie.

An Introduction to a Resource-Based Economy [ TEDx – Peter Joseph ]

Once you have watched the TED talk orZeitgeist Moving Forward then find and join your local ZM chapter. Don’t forget to come back here for the latest in ZM information and concepts.

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The 6 short animations cover the basics of critical thinking including logic and faulty arguments. Well worth watching for anyone especially those who do lots of debating.

Original source :

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Download the latest issue:

Spirit Of The Times #3 Transition to a Resource Based Economy

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In consolidating the Zeitgeist Info site, the Resources page has been converted into a Video Wall and updated with a few new resources.

If you are new to the movement then that page should be your first point of call for a great selection of videos.

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This is a repost from the Australian Atrium (Project Management) website and is aimed at Australian ZM members.

This is a proposal regarding the Beyond Zero Emissions renewable energy proposal. Beyond Zero Emissions is a group of engineers and scientists who have created a proposal to convert Australia’s energy supply to 100% renewable energy within 10 years. It is primarily done using a mixture of wind power and concentrated solar thermal.

The Beyond Zero Emissions cause is very much in line with the Zeitgeist Movements aims and principals. We will need their help to prevent humanity from facing environmental and energy crises, whilst they need our help in order for the proposal to get traction.

We are interested in helping promote and champion the BZE emissions scheme.

In order to help us develop new project ideas we are working on a output centric approach.

1. You start off by writing the press release you would like to see. 2. You then write the FAQ. 3. If it’s particularly complex you can even write a help manual. Only after you’ve gone through the above steps do you work backwards to find out what needs to be done/created and how.

Solar Concentrator Array

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Zeitgeist Movement chapters need to balance activity in at least 3 main areas, which include Activism, Learning and Relations. These activities can take the form of various types of projects and meetings, and ways in which to allocate time and resources.

Activism – Zeitgeist Movement chapters generally have two forms of activism, helping with the mindset change and physical activism/labour. The mindset activism is usually in the form of handing out DVDs, running film screenings, and town hall meetings. It is also one of the more important processes for gathering new members and affecting the culture and community around the chapter(s). The main mindset change happens when people understand the different values, definition of success and change in the defaults that we want to achieve. Many of the newer ZM members get annoyed at the lack of physical activism. As a movement we are only just starting to reach the point at which creating tangible change is an option. Some great examples would be converting existing people’s lawn area into gardens, creating eco-village style setups which run on renewable energy and are progressively automated to the point they are creating an abundance of produce. An important requirement for the price of zero transition.

Learning – Furthering our understanding of the ZM but also the world around us. From the latest in science, to the history of economics, to current news. It also covers research and analysis, particularly with regard to how to do things more efficiently and effectively or in other ways. Learning is divided into two main sections: personal learning and chapter learning. Personal learning is particularly focused on reaching an understanding of how the world works, the issues with the current system, and the solutions (the RBE). This is usually done through watching movies, being a part of a mailing list, reading articles, creating newsletters, and attending or giving presentations.

Relations – This is about internal chapter relationships and relations with other organisations. A very important motivator for continuous membership is the social aspect of being surrounded by other people who care about and understand them. This sense of community is fostered by holding social meetups, like BBQs, or casually meeting up at a bar. The relations between chapters and with other organisations are also very important. The potential for the Zeitgeist Movement to foster a transition to a Resource Based Economy is facilitated by creating strong ties with other RBE advocating groups and organisations such as Beyond Zero Emissions (in Australia).

A basic outline of the sub-points is below

As an example, the table below lists of some projects being undertaken or planned in Australian ZM chapters. Some projects are listed twice as they have pronounced secondary effects, which arecoloured in grey.

On top of the three different buckets that need to be balanced is the almost constant review and admin work.

The regular review process could for example involve reading your posts, emails, and behaviour for the last week and allow you to both fix up mistakes and give you feedback regarding how to do thing better next time. A group review process should also be on the agenda of the next ZM meetup after an event (e.g Zday, ZMedia Festival).

The admin work involves general organisation work and maintenance. From maintaining mailing lists and websites to doing checks and balances, etc…

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I thought I knew a decent amount about energy and renewables, but still learnt a lot from this.

Energy Knowledge

It’s only 19mins long and well worth watching.

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Survival of the Fittest

This is a great video which explains the true meaning of ‘Survival of the Fittest’. It also does a great job of explaining some of the issues between Tournament and Pair Bonding Species.

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This is a MUST WATCH video of Derrick Jensen talking about the premises of our Civilisation and why it is not sustainable.

In the talk he does a great job of explaining the premises, although if you enjoyed the video, or if you didn’t fully understand it then you should probably read the book. (NB : ZInfo is not associated with Derrick and does not receive any money for any form of advertising, in any way).

Premises :

There are some points that I think could be debated or slightly tweaked. Especially premise 6. I agree that whilst civilisation won’t go voluntarily, you don’t have to have a Price of Infinity (enviro, energy, economic) collapse. We can guide civilisation through a Price of Zero collapse (using abundance, sustainability, automation and education).

As you’ll see in the next post (about changing the value system), I think that point 8 needs to be pointed out to people. They know it, but don’t realise that the economic system is given priority over nature, life, and human wellbeing. The Sydney, Australia chapter is currently editing some vox-pop/street interviews which show this mentality in action.

Regarding point 9. It’s possible that if we were to be efficient and effective with the natural resources, we would likely be able to keep similar numbers of people or even raise the population whilst maintaining a stable equilibrium with the environment. But we would need to be net positive not net destructive to the environment. Humanity would also expand in numbers as we colonise other planets. But would shouldn’t and likely won’t do such a thing under the current culture and system. If we did it wouldn’t be pretty for anything that got in our way.

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This is a quick announcement of the creation of the Transition Ideas Team (TIT) a new ZM team that Scott Wrampler and Michael Kubler are currently helping kick start.

For those who are interested here’s a recent Blog Talk Radio show regarding the team which talks about the organisational structure and some of the initial teams. It’s only 30mins long.

The team will be split into 3 main groups :

The Admin staff will be a small group who run the website, organise the tools and help co-ordinate the other two groups.

The Transition Proposals group will be a collection of people who, working alone or together, come up with various transition models then propose them.

The Proposal Analysts are those who are knowledgeable within their field and as a group can analyse the proposal and undertake useful critical analysis and highlight potential issues and also make suggestions or reccomendations.

The process of submitting, analysing and refining a proposal will itself need to be developed and refined over time. One of the hardest parts of the process will be removing human bias, especially those which are predictable. An example may be that proposals are to be madeanonymousbefore being presented to the proposal analysts. Once the analysts have provided feedback and the proposal refined the proposal can then be presented on the website for further analysis and discussions with the wider public.

It’s possible that the team may itself change from being about transition ideas, to be a TransitionImplementationteam (or more likely, a group of teams).

If you have any transition ideas or suggestions then feel free to comment or email

Thank you

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Wage-Slavery and Republican Liberty | Jacobin

 Wage Slavery  Comments Off on Wage-Slavery and Republican Liberty | Jacobin
Jun 192016

Generations of workers critiqued wage-labor in the name of republican liberty.

In a recent interview, historian Quentin Skinner had the following to say about Karl Marx and the republican theory of liberty. The republican or neo-Roman theory says that we are unfree when we are subject to another persons will:

I am very struck by the extent to which Marx deploys, in his own way, a neo-Roman political vocabulary. He talks about wage slaves, and he talks about the dictatorship of the proletariat. He insists that, if you are free only to sell your labour, then you are not free at all. He stigmatises capitalism as a form of servitude. These are all recognizably neo-Roman moral commitments.

Skinner also says that this is a question which would bear a great deal more investigation than it has received.

I have been engaging in some of this investigation. It is not just Marx or even primarily Marx who believed that the neo-roman theory of freedom leads directly to a critique of wage-slavery. As early as the late 1820s, urban workers seized on the inherited republicanism of the American Revolution and applied it to the wage-labor relationship. They organized themselves city-by-city into the first self-conscious political parties of labor and their main campaign was against wage-slavery.

They argued that the wealthy keep us in a state of humble dependence through their monopoly control of the means of production. As Thomas Skidmore, founder of the Workingmens Party of New York, put it:

thousands of our people of the present day in deep distress and poverty, dependent for their daily subsistence upon a few among us whom the unnatural operation of our own free and republican institutions, as we are pleased to call them, has thus arbitrarily and barbarously made enormously rich.

Their humble dependence meant that they had no choice but to sell their labor to some employer or another. Their only chance of leading a decent life was if some employer would give them a job. Though formally free, these workers were nonetheless economically dependent and thus unfree. That is why they saw themselves as denied their rightful republican liberty, and why wage-labor merited the name slavery. Skidmore made the comparison with classical slavery the most explicit:

For he, in all countries is a slave, who must work more for another than that other must work for him. It does not matter how this state of things is brought about; whether the sword of victory hew down the liberty of the captive, and thus compel him to labor for his conqueror, or whether the sword of want extort our consent, as it were, to a voluntary slavery, through a denial to us of the materials of nature

The critique of wage-slavery in the name of republican liberty could hardly be clearer.

Given their analysis of wage-labor, these artisan republicans were inexorably led to radical conclusions about the conditions that could restore workers their full independence. Every leading figure of these early workingmens parties made some form of the argument that the principles of equal distribution [of property be] everywhere adopted or that it was necessary to equalize property. Here, the property to be equally distributed was clearly means of production. And it was to be distributed not just in the form of land, but cooperative control over factories and other implements.

For instance, the major report articulating the principles of the Workingmens Party of New York included the demand for AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF PROPERTY ON ARRIVING AT THE AGE OF MATURITY. Only with control over this kind of property could workers structural dependence on owners be eliminated. For these Workies following out the logic of the republican theory led not to a nostalgic, agrarian idealism, but to the view that each persons independence depended upon everyone possessing equal and collective control of productive resources. Even more striking, they argued that the only way to achieve this condition of independence was through the joint political efforts of the dependent or enslaved class.

As Langdon Byllesby, one of the earliest of these worker republicans, wrote, history does not furnish an instance wherein the depository of power voluntarily abrogated its prerogative, or the oppressor relinquished his advantages in favour of the oppressed. It was up to the dependent classes, through the agency of their workingmens parties, to realize a cooperative commonwealth.

There is an important historical connection between these radical artisans and Marx. As Maximilen Rubel and Lewis Feuer have shown, just at the time that Marx turned from Hegelian philosophy to political economy, in 18412, he began to read comparative political history. He was particularly interested in the American republic, and read three main sources: Beaumont, Tocqueville, and a less well-known Englishman, Thomas Hamilton. Hamilton was a former colonel who wrote his own, very popular observation of his time traveling in the United States called Men and Manners in America, published in 1833. For Marx, Hamilton was the best source of the three because Hamilton, unlike the Frenchmen, actually met with and spoke to leaders of the Workingmans Party of New York. That section of Hamiltons travelogue includes ominous references to the Extreme Gauche of the Workies who wish to introduce an AGRARIAN LAW, and a periodical division of property, and includes gloomy reflections on the coming anarchy and despoliation. It is these very sections of Hamilton that Marx copied into his notebooks during this period of preparatory study.

Unbeknown to Marx, he was copying a copy. In those sections of Men and Manners Hamilton had essentially transcribed parts of Thomas Skidmores report to the Workingmens Party of New York, which were a distillation of the ideas that could be found in Skidmores lengthy The Rights of Man to Property! Skidmores book included the argument that property rights were invalid if they were used to make the poor economically dependent, allowing owners to live in idleness, partial or total, thus supporting himself, more or less, on the labors of others.

If property rights were illegitimate the minute they were used to make some dependent on others then it was clear all freedom-loving citizens were justified in transforming property relations in the name of republican liberty. This was why Skidmore proposed the radical demand that the workers APPROPRIATE ALSO, in the same way, THE COTTON FACTORIES, THE WOOLEN FACTORIES, THE IRON FOUNDERIES, THE ROLLING MILLS, HOUSES, CHURCHES, SHIPS, GOODS, STEAM-BOATS, FIELDS OF AGRICULTURE, &c. &c. &c. in manner as proposed in this work, AND AS IS THEIR RIGHT. The manner proposed for this expropriation of the expropriators was not violent revolution but a state constitutional convention in which all property would be nationalized and then redistributed in shares of equal value to be used to form cooperatives or buy land.

Marx never knew these labor republicans by name, nor any of their primary writings, but it is clear from his notebooks that their ideas and political self-organization contributed to his early thinking, especially at the moment at which he was formulating his view of workers as the universal class. Indeed, in On the Jewish Question, Beaumont, Tocqueville and the Englishman Hamiltons accounts of the United States feature heavily in Marxs discussion of America. It is there that Marx makes the famous distinction between political and human emancipation, arguing that the American republic shows us most clearly the distinction between the two. This was almost exactly the same distinction that the Workies made when saying, as Philadelphian Samuel Simpson did, the consequence now is, that while the government is republican, society in its general features, is as regal as it is in England. A republican theory of wage-slavery was developed well before Marx (see here for evidence of similar developments in France that were also very likely to have influenced Marx).

In the United States, the republican critique of wage-labor went into abeyance for a time after the 1840s, or more appropriately, it was absorbed into the agrarian socialism of the National Reform Association a tale masterfully told by the historian Mark Lause in Young America: Land, Labor and Republican Community. But labor republicanism exploded back onto the political scene in the United States after the Civil War, especially with leading figures around the Knights of Labor and the eight-hour movement. The Knights were for a time one of the most powerful organizations in the country, organized skilled and unskilled labor together, and at their peak included more than 700,000official members, probably representing more than 1 million participating workers. The Knights used the republican concept of liberty to assert the universal interests of labor and to argue for the transformation of American society. George McNeill, a leading Knight, wrote that There is an inevitable and irresistible conflict between the wage-system of labor and the republican system of government. Ira Steward, most famous as an eight-hour campaigner, demanded a a republicanization of labor, as well as a republicanization of government.

These turns of phrase were more than rhetorical gestures. They were self-conscious appeals to the republican theory. Indeed the Journal of United Labor even reproduced a famous passage on slavery from Algernon Sidneys Discourses on Government in order to articulate why wage-labor was a form of servitude. The passage goes:

Slavery. The weight of chains, number of stripes, hardness of labor, and other effects of a masters cruelty, may make one servitude more miserable than another; but he is a slave who serves the gentlest man in the world, as well as he who serves the worst; and he does serve him if he must obey his commands and depend upon his will.

This passage, and Sidneys writings, have played a major role in contemporary scholarship on early modern republicanism, and here it is deployed to critique not the political enslavement to a monarch but wage-slavery.

In fact, the labor republicans not only drew on the republican theory but further developed it in light of the new dynamics of industrial capitalism. They noted that there were two interconnected forms of dependence. One was the general or structural dependence of the wage-laborer on employers, defined by the fact that the monopoly of control over productive property by some left the rest dependent upon those owners for their livelihoods. This, as George McNeil put it, meant that workers assent but they do not consent, they submit but do not agree.

The voluntaristic language here was meant to capture how, thought the workers were not literally slaves, they were nonetheless compelled to work for others. As Skinner has shown in his book on Hobbes, it is precisely this conflation of voluntaristic action and freedom that modern republicans have always rejected, and which their enemies, like Hobbes, have regularly defended. Though here, the workers dependence was not a feature so much of being the legal property of another as it was being forced, by economic need, to sell his labor:

when a man is placed in a position where he is compelled to give the benefit of his labor to another, he is in a condition of slavery, whether the slave is held in chattel bondage or in wages bondage, he is equally a slave.

Emancipation may have eliminated chattel slavery, but, as eight-hour campaigner Ira Steward once put it, the creation of this new form of economic dependence meant something of slavery still remainssomething of freedom is yet to come.

According to labor republicans, the structural dependence of the wage-laborer was translated, through the labor contract, to a more personal form of servitude to the employer. After all, the contract was an agreement of obedience in exchange for wages. It was an agreement to alienate control over ones own activity in exchange for the privilege of having enough money to buy necessities, and perhaps a few luxuries. Indeed, even if the wages were fairly high, the point of the contract was to become subject to the will of a specific owner or his manager. As one anonymous author put it, in the Journal of United Labor, Is there a workshop where obedience is not demanded not to the difficulties or qualities of the labor to be performed but to the caprice of he who pays the wages of his servants? As nearly every scholar of republican thought has noted, the language of being subject to the caprice of another is one of the most enduring rhetorical tropes of the neo-Roman theory of freedom. It is no accident that it would feature so heavily in labor republican arguments about domination in the workplace.

It was for this reason that the Knights of Labor believed that the only way to republicanize labor was to abolish as rapidly as possible, the wage system, substituting co-operation therefore. The point about a cooperative system was that property was collectively owned and work cooperatively managed. Only when the class differences between owners and workers were removed could republican liberty be truly universalized. It would, at once, remove the structural and personal dependence of workers.

As William H. Silvis, one of the earliest of these figures, argued, cooperation renders the workman independent of necessities which often compel him to submit to hectoring, domineering, and insults of every kind. What clearer statement could there be of the connection between the republican theory of liberty, economic dependence, and the modern wage-system? Here was a series of arguments that flowed naturally from the principles of the American Revolution.

To demand that there is to be a people in industry, as in government was simply to argue that the cooperative commonwealth was nothing more than the culmination and completion of the American Revolutions republican aspirations.

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Wage-Slavery and Republican Liberty | Jacobin

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The US Government’s Oppression of the Poor, Homeless

 Government Oppression  Comments Off on The US Government’s Oppression of the Poor, Homeless
Jun 172016

By Rev. Rebecca

The United States is far from being a “righteous” nation. Many people do not realize how much we as a nation oppress the poor, weak, homeless, and strangers among us. Additionally, most Americans are willfully ignorant to the oppression we cause overseas in poor nations with our consumeristic, capitalistic, and wealthy lifestyles.

Many of our laws are set up to favor the middle and upper classes and oppress the lower and homeless classes in the United States. I believe our nation is very guilty of the Old Testament prophetic charges against nations who oppress the poor and orphaned. Having worked for years with homeless children and youth (most of whom are homeless because they were abandoned or abused severely), I have seen the way our nation’s laws oppress them.

For example, it is illegal in many US cities to be homeless. This means, as a homeless person, you can be arrested for any reason anywhere, simply because you have no home address. This gives businesses and anyone the right to call the police and have a homeless person removed or arrested simply for being somewhere they don’t want them to be (even because you don’t like how they smell!). This includes all public and private places. Most middle and upper class folks have absolutely no sense of their human rights being taken away to such a radical degree…they can’t even fathom it.

For people who think that “homeless shelters” are the answer, please understand that most all shelters are only open at night and there are only enough shelters to house a very small percentage of homeless on any given night. This means the majority of homeless have to go “somewhere” to sleep/keep warm but are always in danger of being berated, removed, or arrested simply for being there. I could recount for days the stories of homeless youths who tried to hide in parks or buildings because they were so exhausted and in need of sleep, only to be berated, beaten, or arrested for sleeping in a public/private locations. They are treated as less than human beings simply because they are homeless. There is nowhere for them to go.

Another law which is common in most US cities outlaws sitting or “loitering” on sidewalks in the city. Spokane, WA is a city who enforces this law diligently. Do you know the purpose of the law? It is to primarily to prevent homeless youths from sitting or panhandling on the sidewalks (panhandling is illegal). However, most homeless youths have no other way of getting food and money (and nowhere else to go during the day)…they have to go somewhere and so they go where the people are to seek aid. However, businesses complain that it is bad for business to have homeless around and suburban shoppers complain that they don’t like “seeing” homeless youth…so this law is enacted. However, I can assure you that if you are dressed well, this law will never be enforced. Middle and upper class youth wearing the latest from the Gap will never be berated, beaten, or arrested for sitting on the sidewalks. But if you look homeless, you will. I have witnessed police and security kick and beat homeless youths for sitting on the sidewalk on numerous occasions. Having homeless around is “bad” for commercial industries and apparently insults middle and upper class sensibilities. Just because I was with homeless youths, police have threatened to beat me too. This is not uncommon…this happens in some form in every US city and goes totally unnoticed. Sadly, our nation does not look out for the poor and orphaned.

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The US Government’s Oppression of the Poor, Homeless

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Urban Dictionary: liberal

 Liberal  Comments Off on Urban Dictionary: liberal
Jun 172016

A liberal, in the American sense, is one who falls to the left in the political spectrum; In other parts of the world, however, liberalism is the belief in laissez-faire capitalism and free-market systems – hence the recently coined term, neoliberalism.

Although I do not like to generalize, for the purposes of a (somewhat) concise dictionary definition, here is the very basic liberal (American sense) ideology:

Politics: The federal government exists to protect and serve the people, and therefore, should be given sufficient power to fulfill its role successfully. Ways in which this can be accomplished include giving the federal government more power than local governments and having the government provide programs designed to protect the interests of the people (these include welfare, Medicare, and social security). Overall, these programs have helped extensively in aiding the poor and unfortunate, as well as the elderly and middle class. To make sure that the interests of the people are served, it was liberals (or so they were considered in their time) that devised the idea of a direct democracy, a republic, and modern democracy. This way, it is ensured that the federal government represents the interests of the people, and the extensive power that it is given is not used to further unpopular goals. Liberals do not concentrate on military power (though that is not to say they ignore it), but rather focus on funding towards education, improving wages, protecting the environment, etc. Many propose the dismantling of heavy-cost programs such as the Star Wars program (no, not the film series), in order to use the money to fund more practical needs.

Social Ideology: As one travels further left on the political spectrum, it is noticed that tolerance, acceptance, and general compassion for all people steadily increases (in theory at least). Liberals are typically concerned with the rights of the oppressed and unfortunate this, of course, does not mean that they ignore the rights of others (liberals represent the best interests of the middle-class in America). This has led many liberals to lobby for the rights of homosexuals, women, minorities, single-mothers, etc. Many fundamentalists see this is immoral; however, it is, in reality, the most mature, and progressive way in which to deal with social differences. Liberals are identified with fighting for equal rights, such as those who wanted to abolish slavery and those who fought hard for a woman’s reproductive right (see Abortion). Liberals have also often fought for ecological integrity, protecting the environment, diversity of species, as well as indigenous populations rights. Almost all social betterment programs are funded by liberal institutions, and government funded social programs on education improvement, childrens rights, womens rights, etc. are all supported by liberals. Basically, social liberalism is the mature, understanding way in which to embrace individual differences, not according to ancient dogma or religious prejudice, but according to the ideals of humanity that have been cultivated by our experiences throughout history, summed up in that famous American maxim: with liberty and justice for all.

Economics: Using the term liberal when speaking of economics is very confusing, as liberal in America is completely opposite to the rest of the world. Therefore, here, as I have been doing, I will concentrate on the American definition of liberal concerning economics. Liberals believe that the rights of the people, of the majority, are to be valued much more sincerely than those of corporations, and therefore have frequently proposed the weakening of corporate power through heavier taxation (of corporations), environmental regulations, and the formation of unions. Liberals often propose the heavier taxation of WEALTHY individuals, while alleviating taxes on the middle class, and especially the poor. Liberals (American sense) do not support laissez-faire economics because, to put it simply, multinational corporations take advantage of developing countries and encourage exploitation and child labor (multinational corporations are spawned from laissez-faire policies). Instead, many propose the nationalization of several industries, which would make sure that wealth and power is not concentrated in a few hands, but is in the hands of the people (represented by elected officials in government). I am not going to go into the extreme intricacies of the economic implications of privatization of resources, etc., but will say that privatization and globalization have greatly damaged the economies of Latin America, namely Argentina and Mexico (see NAFTA).

This summation of the leftist ideology may not be 100% correct in all situations, as there are many variations on several issues and I may have depicted the current definition of liberal as too far to the left than it is generally accepted. On that note, many leftists are critical of the political situation in America, claiming that the left is now in the center, as the general populace has been conditioned by institutions such as Fox News to consider everything left of Hitler (as one clever person put it) as radical liberalism. I, myself, have observed that, in America, there are two basic types of liberals: those who concern themselves only with liberal policies on the domestic front, and either ignore international affairs or remain patriotic and dedicated to the American way (Al Franken, Bill Clinton, etc.) And then there are those, despite the criticism they face from many fellow liberals (classified under the former definition), who are highly critical of US foreign policy, addressing such issues as Iran-Contra, the Sandanistas, Pinochet, Vietnam, NATOs intervention in Kosovo, our trade embargo on Cuba, etc, etc. (such as Noam Chomsky, William Blumm, etc.) Unfortunately, it seems that adolescent rage has run rampant on this particular word, and most definitions are either incoherent jumbles of insults and generalizations or deliberate spewing of misinformation (see the definition that describes the situation in Iraq, without addressing our suppression of popular revolts in Iraq, our pre-war sanctions on Iraq that have caused the death of some 5 million children, and our support for Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war, and even our post-war sale of biological elements usable in weapons to Saddams regime).

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Urban Dictionary: liberal

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Utopia (book) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 New Utopia  Comments Off on Utopia (book) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jun 172016

Utopia (Libellus vere aureus, nec minus salutaris quam festivus, de optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia) is a work of fiction and political philosophy by Thomas More (14781535) published in 1516 in Latin. The book is a frame narrative primarily depicting a fictional island society and its religious, social and political customs. Many aspects of More’s description of Utopia are reminiscent of life in monasteries.[1]

The title De optimo rei publicae deque nova insula Utopia literally translates, “Of a republic’s best state and of the new island Utopia”. It is variously rendered On the Best State of a Republic and on the New Island of Utopia, Concerning the Highest State of the Republic and the New Island Utopia, On the Best State of a Commonwealth and on the New Island of Utopia, Concerning the Best Condition of the Commonwealth and the New Island of Utopia, On the Best Kind of a Republic and About the New Island of Utopia, About the Best State of a Commonwealth and the New Island of Utopia, etc. The original name was even longer: Libellus vere aureus, nec minus salutaris quam festivus, de optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia. This translates, “A truly golden little book, no less beneficial than entertaining, of a republic’s best state and of the new island Utopia”.

“Utopia” is derived from the Greek prefix “ou-“(ou), meaning “not”, and topos (), “place”, with the suffix -i (-) that is typical of toponyms; hence the name literally means “nowhere”, emphasizing its fictionality. In early modern English, Utopia was spelled “Utopie”, which is today rendered Utopy in some editions.[2]

A common misunderstanding has that “Utopia” is derived from eu- (e), “good”, and “topos”, such that it would literally translate as “good place”.[3]

In English, Utopia is pronounced exactly as Eutopia (the latter word, in Greek [Eutopi], meaning good place, contains the prefix – [eu-], “good”, with which the of Utopia has come to be confused in the French and English pronunciation).[4] This is something that More himself addresses in an addendum to his book Wherfore not Utopie, but rather rightely my name is Eutopie, a place of felicitie.[5]

One interpretation holds that this suggests that while Utopia might be some sort of perfected society, it is ultimately unreachable (see below).

The work begins with written correspondence between Thomas More and several people he had met on the continent: Peter Gilles, town clerk of Antwerp, and Hieronymus van Busleyden, counselor to Charles V. More chose these letters, which are communications between actual people, to further the plausibility of his fictional land. In the same spirit, these letters also include a specimen of the Utopian alphabet and its poetry. The letters also explain the lack of widespread travel to Utopia; during the first mention of the land, someone had coughed during announcement of the exact longitude and latitude. The first book tells of the traveller Raphael Hythlodaeus, to whom More is introduced in Antwerp, and it also explores the subject of how best to counsel a prince, a popular topic at the time.

The first discussions with Raphael allow him to discuss some of the modern ills affecting Europe such as the tendency of kings to start wars and the subsequent loss of money on fruitless endeavours. He also criticises the use of execution to punish theft, saying thieves might as well murder whom they rob, to remove witnesses, if the punishment is going to be the same. He lays most of the problems of theft on the practice of enclosurethe enclosing of common landand the subsequent poverty and starvation of people who are denied access to land because of sheep farming.

More tries to convince Raphael that he could find a good job in a royal court, advising monarchs, but Raphael says that his views are too radical and wouldn’t be listened to. Raphael sees himself in the tradition of Plato: he knows that for good governance, kings must act philosophically. However, he points out that:

More seems to contemplate the duty of philosophers to work around and in real situations and, for the sake of political expediency, work within flawed systems to make them better, rather than hoping to start again from first principles.

Utopia is placed in the New World and More links Raphael’s travels in with Amerigo Vespucci’s real life voyages of discovery. He suggests that Raphael is one of the 24 men Vespucci, in his Four Voyages of 1507, says he left for six months at Cabo Frio, Brazil. Raphael then travels further and finds the island of Utopia, where he spends five years observing the customs of the natives.

According to More, the island of Utopia is

The island was originally a peninsula but a 15-mile wide channel was dug by the community’s founder King Utopos to separate it from the mainland. The island contains 54 cities. Each city is divided into four equal parts. The capital city, Amaurot, is located directly in the middle of the crescent island.

Each city has 6000 households, consisting of between 10 and 16 adults. Thirty households are grouped together and elect a Syphograntus (whom More says is now called a phylarchus). Every ten Syphogranti have an elected Traniborus (more recently called a protophylarchus) ruling over them. The 200 Syphogranti of a city elect a Prince in a secret ballot. The Prince stays for life unless he is deposed or removed for suspicion of tyranny.

People are re-distributed around the households and towns to keep numbers even. If the island suffers from overpopulation, colonies are set up on the mainland. Alternatively, the natives of the mainland are invited to be part of these Utopian colonies, but if they dislike it and no longer wish to stay they may return. In the case of underpopulation the colonists are re-called.

There is no private property on Utopia, with goods being stored in warehouses and people requesting what they need. There are also no locks on the doors of the houses, which are rotated between the citizens every ten years. Agriculture is the most important job on the island. Every person is taught it and must live in the countryside, farming for two years at a time, with women doing the same work as men. Parallel to this, every citizen must learn at least one of the other essential trades: weaving (mainly done by the women), carpentry, metalsmithing and masonry. There is deliberate simplicity about these trades; for instance, all people wear the same types of simple clothes and there are no dressmakers making fine apparel. All able-bodied citizens must work; thus unemployment is eradicated, and the length of the working day can be minimised: the people only have to work six hours a day (although many willingly work for longer). More does allow scholars in his society to become the ruling officials or priests, people picked during their primary education for their ability to learn. All other citizens are however encouraged to apply themselves to learning in their leisure time.

Slavery is a feature of Utopian life and it is reported that every household has two slaves. The slaves are either from other countries or are the Utopian criminals. These criminals are weighed down with chains made out of gold. The gold is part of the community wealth of the country, and fettering criminals with it or using it for shameful things like chamber pots gives the citizens a healthy dislike of it. It also makes it difficult to steal as it is in plain view. The wealth, though, is of little importance and is only good for buying commodities from foreign nations or bribing these nations to fight each other. Slaves are periodically released for good behaviour. Jewels are worn by children, who finally give them up as they mature.

Other significant innovations of Utopia include: a welfare state with free hospitals, euthanasia permissible by the state, priests being allowed to marry, divorce permitted, premarital sex punished by a lifetime of enforced celibacy and adultery being punished by enslavement. Meals are taken in community dining halls and the job of feeding the population is given to a different household in turn. Although all are fed the same, Raphael explains that the old and the administrators are given the best of the food. Travel on the island is only permitted with an internal passport and any people found without a passport are, on a first occasion, returned in disgrace, but after a second offence they are placed in slavery. In addition, there are no lawyers and the law is made deliberately simple, as all should understand it and not leave people in any doubt of what is right and wrong.

There are several religions on the island: moon-worshipers, sun-worshipers, planet-worshipers, ancestor-worshipers and monotheists, but each is tolerant of the others. Only atheists are despised (but allowed) in Utopia, as they are seen as representing a danger to the state: since they do not believe in any punishment or reward after this life, they have no reason to share the communistic life of Utopia, and will break the laws for their own gain. They are not banished, but are encouraged to talk out their erroneous beliefs with the priests until they are convinced of their error. Raphael says that through his teachings Christianity was beginning to take hold in Utopia. The toleration of all other religious ideas is enshrined in a universal prayer all the Utopians recite.

Wives are subject to their husbands and husbands are subject to their wives although women are restricted to conducting household tasks for the most part. Only few widowed women become priests. While all are trained in military arts, women confess their sins to their husbands once a month. Gambling, hunting, makeup and astrology are all discouraged in Utopia. The role allocated to women in Utopia might, however, have been seen as being more liberal from a contemporary point of view.

Utopians do not like to engage in war. If they feel countries friendly to them have been wronged, they will send military aid. However they try to capture, rather than kill, enemies. They are upset if they achieve victory through bloodshed. The main purpose of war is to achieve that which, if they had achieved already, they would not have gone to war over.

Privacy is not regarded as freedom in Utopia; taverns, ale-houses and places for private gatherings are non-existent for the effect of keeping all men in full view, so that they are obliged to behave well.

One of the most troublesome questions about Utopia is Thomas More’s reason for writing it.

Most scholars see it as some kind of comment or criticism of contemporary European society, for the evils of More’s day are laid out in Book I and in many ways apparently solved in Book II.[7] Indeed, Utopia has many of the characteristics of satire, and there are many jokes and satirical asides such as how honest people are in Europe, but these are usually contrasted with the simple, uncomplicated society of the Utopians.

Yet, the puzzle is that some of the practices and institutions of the Utopians, such as the ease of divorce, euthanasia and both married priests and female priests, seem to be polar opposites of More’s beliefs and the teachings of the Catholic Church of which he was a devout member. Another often cited apparent contradiction is that of the religious toleration of Utopia contrasted with his persecution of Protestants as Lord Chancellor. Similarly, the criticism of lawyers comes from a writer who, as Lord Chancellor, was arguably the most influential lawyer in England. However, it can be answered that as a pagan society Utopians had the best ethics that could be reached through reason alone, or that More changed from his early life to his later when he was Lord Chancellor.[7]

One highly influential interpretation of Utopia is that of intellectual historian Quentin Skinner.[8] He has argued that More was taking part in the Renaissance humanist debate over true nobility, and that he was writing to prove the perfect commonwealth could not occur with private property. Crucially, his narrator Hythlodaeus embodies the Platonic view that philosophers should not get involved in politics and his character of More has the more pragmatic Ciceronic view; thus the society Hythlodaeus proposes is the ideal More would want, but without communism, which he saw no possibility of occurring, it was wiser to take a more pragmatic view. Utopia is thus More’s ideal, but an unobtainable one, explaining why there are inconsistencies between the ideas in Utopia and More’s practice in the real world.

Quentin Skinner’s interpretation of Utopia is consistent with the speculation that Stephen Greenblatt made in The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. There, Greenblatt argued that More was under the Epicurean influence of Lucretius’s On the Nature of Things and the people that live in Utopia were an example of how pleasure has dictated them as the guiding principle of life.[9] Although Greenblatt acknowledged that More’s insistence on the existence of an afterlife and punishment for people holding contrary views were inconsistent with the essentially materialist view of Epicureanism, Greenblatt contended that it was the minimum conditions for what the pious More would have considered as necessary to live a happy life.[9]

Another complication comes from the Greek meaning of the names of people and places in the work. Apart from Utopia, meaning “Noplace,” several other lands are mentioned: Achora meaning “Nolandia”, Polyleritae meaning “Muchnonsense”, Macarenses meaning “Happiland,” and the river Anydrus meaning “Nowater”. Raphael’s last name, Hythlodaeus means “dispenser of nonsense” surely implying that the whole of the Utopian text is ‘nonsense’. Additionally the Latin rendering of More’s name, Morus, means “fool” in Greek. It is unclear whether More is simply being ironic, an in-joke for those who know Greek, seeing as the place he is talking about does not actually exist or whether there is actually a sense of distancing of Hythlodaeus’ and the More’s (“Morus”) views in the text from his own.

The name Raphael, though, may have been chosen by More to remind his readers of the archangel Raphael who is mentioned in the Book of Tobit (3:17; 5:4, 16; 6:11, 14, 16, 18; also in chs. 7, 8, 9, 11, 12). In that book the angel guides Tobias and later cures his father of his blindness. While Hythlodaeus may suggest his words are not to be trusted, Raphael meaning “God has healed” suggests that Raphael may be opening the eyes of the reader to what is true. The suggestion that More may have agreed with the views of Raphael is given weight by the way he dressed; with “his cloak… hanging carelessly about him”; a style which Roger Ascham reports that More himself was wont to adopt. Furthermore, more recent criticism has questioned the reliability of both Gile’s annotations and the character of “More” in the text itself. Claims that the book only subverts Utopia and Hythlodaeus are possibly oversimplistic.

Utopia was begun while More was an envoy in Flanders in May 1515. More started by writing the introduction and the description of the society which would become the second half of the work and on his return to England he wrote the “dialogue of counsel”, completing the work in 1516. In the same year, it was printed in Leuven under Erasmus’s editorship and after revisions by More it was printed in Basel in November 1518. It was not until 1551, sixteen years after More’s execution, that it was first published in England as an English translation by Ralph Robinson. Gilbert Burnet’s translation of 1684 is probably the most commonly cited version.

The work seems to have been popular, if misunderstood: the introduction of More’s Epigrams of 1518 mentions a man who did not regard More as a good writer.

The word Utopia overtook More’s short work and has been used ever since to describe this kind of imaginary society with many unusual ideas being contemplated. Although he may not have founded the genre of Utopian and dystopian fiction, More certainly popularised it and some of the early works which owe something to Utopia include The City of the Sun by Tommaso Campanella, Description of the Republic of Christianopolis by Johannes Valentinus Andreae, New Atlantis by Francis Bacon and Candide by Voltaire.

The politics of Utopia have been seen as influential to the ideas of Anabaptism and communism.[citation needed] While utopian socialism was used to describe the first concepts of socialism, later Marxist theorists tended to see the ideas as too simplistic and not grounded on realistic principles. The religious message in the work and its uncertain, possibly satiric, tone has also alienated some theorists from the work.

An applied example of More’s utopia can be seen in Vasco de Quiroga’s implemented society in Michoacn, Mexico, which was directly taken and adapted from More’s work.

The opening scene in the movie A Man for all Seasons set in an eatery, before Thomas More appears, Utopia comes up in the conversation. England’s priests and their alleged immorality (Somebody says every 2nd person born is fathered by a priest) is compared to the priests of Utopia.

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Utopia (book) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jane’s Oceania Home Page

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Jun 172016


Otherrecent studies, which included DNA analysis of almost 700 samples from Aboriginal Australians and Melanesians, have confirmed the view that Aboriginal Australians are descended from the same small group of people who left Africa about 70,000 years ago. After arriving in Australia and New Guinea about 50,000 years ago, the settlers evolved in relative isolation, developing unique genetic characteristics and technology.

The migration, thousands of years later, of the ancestors of the present day Polynesian out of Asia, brought with it languages and dialects that were essentially Asianin origin and which developed into the present day languages of Polynesia. Until recently, archaeologists had believed that Polynesian people came from Taiwan.Indeed, recent studies of DNA in Taiwan have provided some very interesting conclusions about the origins of the Polynesian and Melanesian people.

Certainly, linguistic studies have pointed to the fact that the Polynesians, undoubtedly the greatest seafarers in history, have their origins in Taiwan. Of the 23 million people in Taiwan, only 400,000 are descendants from the original inhabitants. These people originally spoke a language belonging to the Austronesian group which is unrelated to Chinese but includes the Polynesian tongues.

DNA studies of the original group found three mutations shared by Taiwanese, Polynesians and Melanesians, who also speak Austronesian. These mutations are not found in other Asians and hence suggest that the Polynesians and Melanesians have their origins in the original inhabitants of Taiwan. Indeed, genetic studies have now suggested that the ancestors of the sailors of the great canoes started out further along the trail in eastern Indonesia.

These seafarers moved eastward in small groups around the top of the Melanesian archipelago until they reached Fiji. Using Fiji as a staging area, some eventually sailed on to uninhabited Tonga and Samoa. To have developed the physical types, language and culture that the Polynesians share in common, these Polynesian forebears must have been isolated for a time in a home group of islands. A chain of archaeological discoveries leads us to believe that this isolation started in the islands of Tonga and Samoa roughly 3,000 years ago.

Beginning in 1909 in New Britain, archaeologists have found a type of pre-historic decorated pottery at various Melanesian sites. In 1947, samples were also excavated in Fiji, Melanesia’s easternmost extension. Five years later the same pottery was uncovered at Lapita in New Caledonia. Now called Lapita-style pottery, these artifacts clearly trace the visits and attempted settlements of a maritime people moving along a Melanesian route towards Polynesia.

Lapita pottery was excavated in Tonga in 1963, and has recently been found in Samoa as well – both in western Polynesia. Tonga is the longest inhabited island group in Polynesia, with radiocarbon dates as early as 1140 B.C. Thus we conclude that Tonga’s first settlers, the people who made Lapita ware, were the first true Polynesians. Language ties indicate that this migration continued via Samoa eastward to the Marquesas where the oldest sites in Eastern Polynesia have been found.

Far to the southeast of the Marquesas lies evidence of a truly remarkable feat – a voyage to Easter Island (Rapa Nui), some 2,400 miles away, in the face of prevailing winds and currents. Polynesia’s easternmost outpost, Easter Island is not only the most isolated inhabited island in the Pacific, but it is also only 15 miles long. Assessing its chances of being discovered by early Polynesians, we can conclude only that their sailing canoes were already capable of traversing the breadthof the Pacific, and that on one such voyage, Easter Island was fortuitously sighted. Radiocarbon dating in 1955-56 indicates its discovery and settlement as early as A.D. 400.

The sites on Easter Island show clear evidence, when considered in conjunction with the archaeology and languages of the Society and Marquesas Islands, indicate strongly that the pre-historic culture of Easter Island could have evolved from a single landing of Polynesians from a Marquesan Island. These Polynesians would have been fully equipped to colonize an uninhabited volcanic island. Their success in making this windswept sixty-four square miles, without an edible native plant, not only habitable but also the seat of remarkable cultural achievements, is testimony to the genius of these Polynesian settlers.

A study of excavated adzes, fishhooks, ornaments and other artifacts indicates that Tahiti and the other Society Islands must have been settled soon after the Marquesas. Present information indicates that Hawaii and New Zealand were settled after A.D. 500. Radiocarbon techniques permit us to assign tentative dates to this entire Pacific migration: entry into West Polynesia about 1000 B.C., reaching East Polynesia about the time of Christ, completing the occupation by A.D. 1000.

Having reached the Pacific’s farthest outpost, the early Polynesians possessed the skills to return. It is doubtful that one-way voyages could account for the early presence in the Hawaiian Islands, for example, of twenty odd cultivated plants of Tahiti and the Marquesas. Thus we conclude that the early Hawaiians repeatedly negotiated the longest sea route in Polynesia returning to Tahiti and then again to Hawaii, known as “Child of Tahiti”.

The Polynesians in the Pacific generally occupy an area referred to as the Polynesian Triangle. The Polynesian Triangle has Hawaii in the north, New Zealand in the south, and Easter Island in the east. The lines drawn from Hawaii to New Zealand bends westward to include the Ellice Islands (Tuvalu) and passing between Fiji and Tonga. The north to south line forms the base with its apex on the path of the rising sun, located 4000 miles to the east. The Marquesas lie almost to the center of the eastern line, from Easter Island in the south to Hawaii in the north, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti and the Cook Islands are surrounded by the triangle. New Zealand, the farthest south group of Polynesian islands is home to the Maori people.

Almost lost in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean are the tiny islands, the remarkable people and the ancient architecture of Micronesia. Across a distance of nearly 2000 miles, the archipelago of Micronesia encompasses a land area of only 271 square miles. It is believed that the original inhabitants of Micronesia came from the Philippines and Indonesia about 1500 years before Christ. The islands of Micronesia (and Polynesia) collectively comprise the last major region of the globe to be settled by humans. Both of these groups of islands were colonized within the last 5,000 years by Austronesian-speaking agriculturists. In the past, linguistic studies have been a major factor in suggesting the origins of both the Micronesian and Polynesian people who, in the main, are of medium stature with straight hair and brown skin.

Micronesia means ‘small islands’ and is derived from the Greek words mikros which means small and nesos which means island. This is a perfect way to describe these over two thousand tropical islands scattered across the heart of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the Philippines. They are spread over a great distance, yet each has its own culture, history, customs, rituals, myths and legends, lifestyle and topographical personality. The islands of Micronesia include the Federated States of Micronesia (Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap), Guam, Palau, Saipan, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Kiribati.

In a DNA study undertaken in 1994,head hair in Micronesia was usedto obtain DNA samples.The study was undertaken in order to compare the genetic relationships of various Micronesian groups to other Pacific Islanders and Asians and their languages. The study examined DNA that is found within mitochondria (mtDNA), small cellular bodies that function as the energy factories and storehouses of our cells. Mitochondria are inherited from the body of the mother’s fertilized egg, and are transmitted maternally to the next generation. Consequently, this analysis ignores inheritance from a father.

In general, this study found that the majority of mtDNA sequences from Micronesian and Polynesian populations are derived from Asia, whereas others are inferred to have originated in New Guinea. The data supported the concept of an Island Southeast Asian origin and a colonization route along the north coast of New Guinea. The Marianas and the main island of Yap appear to have been independently settled directly from Island Southeast Asia, and both have received migrants from Central-Eastern Micronesia since then. Palau clearly demonstrates a complex prehistory including a significant influx of lineages from New Guinea. In addition, Chamorro mtDNA is very distinctive when compared to other Micronesians and Polynesians. This suggests that the Marianas have a different settlement history than the rest of Micronesia.

Thus genetic similarities among Micronesian and Polynesian populations result, in some cases, from a common origin and, in others, from extensive gene flow. As well as showing that Micronesians and Polynesians have a southeast Asian homeland, studies based on DNA contributed by both females and males to their offspring generally indicate a greater degree of Melanesian heritage for Polynesians and Micronesians.

The first European to see the Pacific was Balboa who was later executed by his political enemies. In 1517, a Portuguese nobleman named Magellan (Magalhaes) proposed a route to the Pacific by way of America instead of the recognized course from South Africa on the path of the trade winds. On 28th November 1520, Magellan passed through the southern tip of America which is now called the Strait of Magellan and sailed into the Pacific Ocean. Magellan gave the order for the ships to turn north-east. After incredible hardship, the first land they saw was right across the Pacific at Guam in Micronesia. They went on and Magellan was killed in a battle in the Philippines. (Click here for further information about Ferdinand Magellan’s Voyage Round the World) It was not until the 17th century that Dutch merchants discovered parts of Polynesia. Tasman reached New Zealand and Roggeveen landed on Easter Island.

The leaders of the early expeditions kept logs in which they recorded their impressions of those things they had seen in Oceania. These accounts are interesting in terms of the descriptions of what they actually saw, but their interpretations of native culture were not always accurate. Many of the whalers and traders who came afterwards did not fully appreciate and understand the oral literature of our people. Also, many of the missionaries who followed in their wake were hypocrites and ignorant zealots who needlessly destroyed the rich cultural heritage of Pacific Island people that they did not understand. Indeed, they were too busy substituting their own mythology to take an immediate interest in the exact details of the mythology they sought to destroy. Island people were given new standards of value in which their myths and traditions were given no commercial or spiritual recognition. The continuity of their teaching was broken.

So much of the old world created by our island ancestors has passed away. The stone temples are now in ruins and the temple drums and shell trumpets have long been silent. Tane, Rongo, Tagaloa, Nareau and other members of the divine family of the Sky-father and the Earth-mother are still with us even though so much of the regalia and symbols of our spiritualism have been scattered among museums around the world.

It is probably premature at this time to endeavour to draw lasting conclusions on the merits of the missionaries’ intervention into Oceania. Clearly there have been gains and similarly there had been losses. Perhaps the gains in the form of education and language translation can one day be balanced against the loss in so many important aspects of our cultural heritage … let us hope so!

Oceania-Pacific Islands Interactive Clickable Map, please go to:

Jane Resture’s Oceania Home Page and Jane Resture’s Travel Page

The advent of the missionary into the island states of Oceania has had certain effects that even now have not been fully understood. One can no doubt sympathise with missionaries who came to these islands with little more to offer than their own beliefs. Forced to learn the language of the people and to survive in an alien environment would certainly put their faith very much to the test. Indeed, their early needs were in non-religious matters such as learning the language and teaching the rudiments of western knowledge to the local people. It was only after these things have been done that they were able to preach the gospel. Indeed, the missionaries also had to assume the role of doctors, nurses, teachers and public works administrators.

Certainly, the strong religious following in our island society today are testament to the perseverance of these early missionaries. Indeed, the church still continued to have an important role not only in the religious education but in the general education of so many of our people. In many cases, this has been given generously but in others in the past it has appeared to place an unnecessary impost on the local island communities. Captain Davis, in 1892, was quite critical of many of the activities of some of the missionaries on the islands he visited.

While providing useful documentation, the missionary writings on the Morning Star could by no stretch of the imagination be considered to provide an objective view of island life during this period. Certainly, there is a marked lack of balance in comments made about our island people. For example, the ruins of Nan Madol, Pohnpei (Ponape), Federated States of Micronesia, are considered to be some form of pagan, heathen temples rather than the significant place that it holds in the evolution of Micronesian people. Indeed, so much island culture had been destroyed as it was not pleasing to the missionaries and as such so many of our children will be deprived of certain aspects of our culture that were enjoyed by their forefathers. Perhaps the new nationalism among island people will go part or all of the way to restoring these cultural losses.

It is probably premature at this time to endeavour to draw lasting conclusions on the merits of the missionaries’ intervention into Oceania. Clearly there have been gains and similarly there had been losses. Perhaps the gains in the form of education and language translation can one day be balanced against the loss in so many important aspects of our cultural heritage … let us hope so!

Certainly, in my case, I would have toadmit that it was my educationin a missionary college – Immaculate Heart College – at Taborio, Tarawa,Republic of Kiribati,that provided the basis for my further studies abroad to enable me to undertake the things that I am presently doing. In this respect,I would like toacknowledge and thank the missionaries for this.

What the future holds may be unclear particularly when the ocean may claim many of our islands and many of our people are still under the control of others. Perhaps by reclaiming our cultural values we can understand who we are and what the future may hold for our people of Oceania.


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Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution