I liked it. A lot. It does not have a stiff theoretical spine; there is no thorough investigation of politics, humanism, religion, philosophy, etcetera. It is still a rather good read, relatively quick to.
A Call For Violence, or, Mercy Killing.
True justice being an eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, cruelty is more and mercy is less.
Mr. Sepp Blatter accepted a bribe, and because of that choice between yes / no, people (Bangladeshis & Pakistanis) have died. His own death, being singular, would be merciful.
His wealth, and the bribes more specifically, should be distributed between the wage-slaves he created. Without his ‘yes’, they wouldn’t be building the FIFA stadium in Qatar. Don’t get me started on the Qataris who funded the offer or corrupt officials who enabled the crooked process.
Slavery is an apt description, the Pakistani & Bangladeshi labourers do not have freedom of movement, some are beaten, some are killed. The wage they are paid is reduced by their overseers, without freedom of movement they must buy food at inflated costs, like how the Tuckshop used to be in Scottish Highlands.
If Mr. Blatter had said, ‘no’, they total suffering in Qatar would be lesser. His single death would be merciful, because his ‘yes’ lead to much more than one death.
All this leads should lead the Pakistani’s and Bangladeshi’s quite reasonable to resentment or hatred for ‘The West’.
Do you consent or dissent to this call?
P.S. Yes I do realise this is some years late.
Signor Carboni Raffaelo writes funny [& true!] anecdotes, the progress of history, some mediocre poetry, and an ability to communicate his own passion. To sketch out the events in the book loosely; it begins with Raffaelo’s visit to Australia, his discovery of several ounces of gold, then his gradual engagement with local affairs. He & his fellow gold-diggers are repressed by a licence scheme, there is a murder-later revenged by vigilantes, fire, (mild) abuse of clergy, and the climax is a bloody rebellion against the colonial government (which at the time was terrified of democratic revolution), finally trails off with his trial and departure to Rome.
My own impression was of his own sincere belief in a Christian God, his belief in equality beyond race or religion (although scarcely mentions Australian Aboriginals), his awareness of world affairs (such as Field Marshall Lieutenant Haynau) and of a sense of alienation from the colonial world. He was a visitor, not any type of colonist. His trial, which I believe to be directly transcribed, has shockingly bizarre & absolutely hilarious speeches.
Signor Raffaelo records various Australian lingo, some now fallen out of pop. use, and peppers his book frequently with, “Great-Works!”. “Spy Goodenough”, occurs frequently and took me quite a while to grasp. It was rewarding to expand my awareness about national caricatures-‘John Bull’; his pleasure in flames, and so deeply attached to commerce.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in Australia, this event even now carries social momentum (in the form of the Eureka Flag).
Let me thrash out a certain perspective. Chinatown is a global phenomenon, ubiquitous to major cities & towns. Although to me they contrast most strongly when set against a non-Asiatic culture, that is a personal ignorance. To bind together all these disparate locations, expatriate culture has lead to the construction of similar architecture, food, language and semi-segregation. These are small, semi-independent colonies and are scattered across the world.
At times Chinese migration was directed by a foreign gold rush. Many Chinatown’s were founded by greed, similar to a lot of European colonisation (& Russian, & African, & Australian-Aborigine, and so on & so forth). Some Chinatown’s were created due to fallout from significant, contemporary events, which is seen after W.T.C. attacks in the U.S.A. caused a domestic migration from New York City to Montville, Connecticut. Nevertheless, greed via business seems to be a significant factor in all Chinatown’s and this is a concept with a lot of reach. Not only does greed motivate the founders of the colony ‘to boldly go where no Chinese has gone before!’, it is directly relevant to instances of negative action; legal targeting, insidious rumours, coolie-slavery, etcetera.
Discourse on colonialism is dominated by the European forms. These forms are distinct from a soft colonialism. They are characterised by much larger movements of people, greater technological inconsistency between the colonisers & colonised, seizure of power across a larger geographic area, seizure of power in deeper social values, a central authority responsible for the colony before its founding, and much more violence. These traits belong to a ‘harder’ colonialism. Frequently a colony will send some type of remittance to the homeland and resources are diverted from the local populace. These two traits are common to both ‘hard’ & ‘soft’ colonialism, although in the latter it is lesser.
Hopefully consideration of Chinatown’s as a soft colonialism will reform perceptions of colonialism into a broader category, enable realistic criticisms of certain modern nations and feed curiosity.
Art is a game where forms & functions, trends & travesties are methods of competition. Perhaps an aspiring artist will implicitly pay obeisance to fractal patterns in their work, or could instead choose to incorporate some Islamic feature and by so doing stir the coals of a fiery debate. The contemporary state of the art of the art game is in flux, although constants, such as fine motor skill, emerge if one pursues one’s own investigation. Historically certain artistic objectives have been favoured, such as expression of religious sentiment, but in modern times the glut of ‘art’ has saturated the domain in question. New art tends to take two forms, refining of tradition or rejection of established traditions. The latter, although nominally seeking the objective parameters of art & beauty, has reached it’s penultimate conclusion in various modern art, which is vulgar expressionism without an inherent message.
As for the possibility of objective art, of a beauty beyond personal tastes, it should be found in threads common between artworks. However the validation that such ‘threads’ are indeed objective, could only be found by a broad survey, which is beyond the scope of this blog post. Nevertheless I believe children hold the key to identifying objective aspects of art. This is because value can be instilled by speech, and so what is valued prior to any speech is closer to an inherent trait of the object. If one accepts a certain art aficionado as an authority on art & beauty, one will heed the words and embrace an old urinal as art. Now a youth, without prior exposure to such an aficionado, will be judge the value of the art object more clearly than one who has criteria. An objective beauty is beautiful independent of personality or agenda, the latter of which the aficionado supplies.
If you read this far, please tell me of the most universal beauty you have experienced, I would really like to know.
To relate this to the contemporary ‘centre of the world’, Mr. Trump may reduce ties with the international business community, primarily by reneging on the preliminaries of the TIPP and other major trade deals. This will allow time for mundane individuals and organisations to scrutinise, to plan and to propose meaningful alternatives & developments. It seems unlikely that Mr. Trump will pursue significant actions against the major accounting firms which are the major players in the Panama Paper crimes.
What may also occur is world leaders, specifically Mr. Putin, outwitting Mr. Trump. I anticipate that within his presidency of the United States of America, a serious symbolic diplomatic accord with Russia is reached, but one which materially benefits Russia more than the USA. This is due to the greater cooperation between big business and government in Russia,see: Gazprom, although this is not entirely restricted to Russia as shown above or shown here. This accord could be the renegotiation of trade law or infrastructure across the Bering Straits.
Astronomers are mapping the stars, and the galaxies beyond them. Although it may become utilisable in the distant future, or may discover points of escalating interest (ex. Armageddon asteroids, aliens) in the short term, it is not practical nor essential like plumbing or farming. A lack of practical purpose however, does not mean it is unworthy of pursuit. It indicates to the community which supports this pursuit of knowledge for it’s own sake, to rank the expenditure with other potentially useless investments, such as the military. Some researchers find it personally purposeful to inch precise instruments across the night sky, they find some pleasure witnessing the magnitude of the visible universe. Such pleasurable pursuits are extended beyond the community of researchers to the broader public via the mass media by shows like Cosmos, with much slower time-frames than sporting activities.
Mapping of the stars, supernova & other astronomical debris is no equivalent to practical industry from the perspective of democratic citizenry. Headlines, such as 40 000 000 Stars Mapped, are intended to loosen public purse strings but emphasize progress over pursuit. Farmers, plumbers and emergency services have a value which outstrips what is offered by astronomy (or the military). It may one day produce great value, as put forth with clarity by Mr. Stuhlinger. The link is to a piece of correspondence between a NASA director and a Christian sister.
That missive to the world, which is a contest for the faith of the multitude between two members of secular and sacred communities, keeps the ball rolling. If the ball, or to say it differently how we value our objectives, were to be the abolition of suffering, a Nietzschean perspective looms. Can the good can only be so, when there is suffering to mitigate? The affirmative answer is more Catholic than Christian, and has an equivalence in the Buddhist dogma of dukkha. Catholicism, which has an often wild and despicable history, has been a powerful ideology for millennia. Change was slow and suffering was a common thread to bind together a community (& to induce serfs to embrace their lot in life). How should this inform efforts to structure an understanding of modernity? Is the international community of tomorrow better united by the importance of suffering, or stargazing (or soldiering or shitting)?
Professional stargazers have reached a certain threshold in public awareness, the public figures of Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Brian Cox demonstrate this. As much as they champion values of the Enlightenment (tradition of criticism, egalitarianism) and the significance of their academic domain, they have been unable to challenge the supremacy of the public dollar. They, and less prestigious members of their faculty, produce headlines as steps in the paper chase.
When progress is measured by percentages of mapped sky, for an activity which is communally, although not personally, worthless in the immediate future, I would suggest astronomy is serving an ideological purpose. It is a mental support for Western citizens to conceive, secure & justify the international situation. So to say, our moral elitism (science & secularism) is why our nations are leading the world (by non-faith based measures), why they will continue to do so and validation of the global economic system which is the best measure & explanation of differences in life quality. Does anyone know how often religious-social elitism justified suppression of lower classes in the past? To justify the relative standards of material existence, signs of progress are need to alleviate guilt by reassurances that change is coming. This justification is emptying the inner worth of pursuing knowledge for it’s own sake.
A quote from Mr. Deutsch from the book ‘The Beginning of Infinity’;
“But then there is the philosophical magnitude of a cluster of galaxies. As I moved the cross-hairs to one nondescript galaxy after another, clicking at what I guessed to be the centre of each, some whimsical thoughts occurred to me. I wondered whether I would be the first and last human being ever to pay conscious attention to a particular galaxy. I was looking at the blurry object for only a few seconds, yet it might be laden with meaning for all I knew. It contains billions of planets. Each planet is a world. Each has its own unique history – sunrises and sunsets; storms, seasons; in some cases continents, oceans, earthquakes, rivers. Were any of those worlds inhabited? Were there astronomers there? Unless they were an exceedingly ancient, and advanced, civilization, those people would never have travelled outside their galaxy. So they would never have seen what it looked like from my perspective – though they might know from theory. Were any of them at that moment staring at the Milky Way, asking the same questions about us as I was about them? If so, then they were looking at our galaxy as it was when the most advanced forms of life on Earth were fish.”
These days, mathematical algorithms become computerised and a machine is substituted for the man (or woman), all to produce signs of progress. What’s the rush?
*The quote above is precisely my impression of Ayn Rand’s approach to economics, that wealth is to be torn from the context, the community, which generated it and proper context would refute calls for generic free-market reforms from that school of thought.
Money works because the society it exists within guarantees the practically worthless banknote is figuratively valued. This community guarantee entails an expectation of community circulation, mainly but not exclusively in the form of taxation. Since the earliest times, when farmhands were paid in tokens representing a share in the final harvest, an trade-able tokens of abstract value have been consistently produced in various epochs and areas.
Theoretical economic systems understate the role of the community in the creation, circulation and valuation of currency. Ayn Randism, or Objectivism, as well as other schools of thought, reject an obligation between a currency and the community in which it circulates. Sweat off the brow is represented by the value token, and any coercive attempt at seizure is unjust. A fairer approach than that taken by Russian communism, where everything belongs to the community but nothing belongs to the individual, or an aristocracy, where everything is a gift from the Divine via the royalty. Nonetheless, there has got to be a better way.
Monopolies naturally occur, and laissez-faire economics do not address the problems monopolies cause, such as unfair prices and unequal competition. The Objectivist conception of the heroic person pursuing their own productive, noble agenda under the auspice of reason is better fulfilled by a system which lessens difficulties of competition. Putting aside serious discussion of how to correctly dispense taxation, I reckon that the Objectivist conception of the meaning of life is better supported by a State with purview beyond the prevention of coercion.
This is my current perspective on the economic system, founded on the concept of an abstract, trade-able value token or object. Communal recognition of the token is an essential feature. Precisely what is then entailed is in constant flux as theory and reality shift with time. Community is an essential aspect of currency.
Democracy, for all the word gets bandied about, was not well defined in my schooling. As democracy existed in ancient Greece, it could be described as a timocracy, a form of elitist and exclusive democracy. Modern, Westminster style democracy has many variants, what is of interest to me here is compulsory & non-compulsory systems of voting.
Interesting tangents to this topic include votes weighted by professional or social qualification, plumbers have more say on plumbing by-laws; vote about each issue, a more direct participation; trade-able votes, personalities could accumulate votes. Those last two are the platform of the Flux Party, and are more fully explained here.
Compulsory voting stands where two broadly valued concepts connect, freedom & democracy. A fully free citizen is under no State compulsion, therefor compulsory voting is an infringement of freedom. Democracy is, to quote Abraham Lincoln “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.”. So exclusion from voting, from apathy or active exclusion or protest, is an infringement of democracy. Which is the Greater Good?
Demagoguery is an inherent risk of democracy, mob rule means general concerns can supersede technical concerns, amongst the possible manipulations of demagoguery. Lobbyists corrupt ideal functioning, yet the position of the lobbyist category relative to a certain type of elite business elite (in the case of tobacco), is congruent with the position of environmentalist advocate in relation to a hippy elite. That is, the lobbyist or advocate seeks to popularise the attitudes of their community, and treat the general citizen as ignorant relative to an elite attitude (free enterprise or nature love, respectively).
Drawing this line of thought towards the eponymous issue, a question arises, ‘Which voting system encourages the least worst style of demagoguery?’
If it is acceptable to inflame the generic citizen with passion enough to vote, the approach of censorship by passive exclusion is found, but only when the voting itself is non-compulsory. Compulsory voting requires demagogues to change tact, and focus on the vote more than participation. Citizens left behind by the State, are those able to benefit from a democratic revolution and also exceedingly likely to withdraw from this very process, again only if it is non-compulsory.
To paraphrase Terry Pratchett, one must know the daemons name before it can be slain. A democratic and free state should have compulsory voting to call forth the imagined conquerors of the daemons tormenting the citizen for the objective of overcoming the struggles, sufferings and horrors. This is my personal position. However, in the interest of balance, it must be stated that compulsory voting can validate a governmental system without popular approval.
There is a Minister for Women. She is not chosen democratically, the duty is loosely described as “to ensure that women’s issues and gender equality are taken into consideration in policy and program development and implementation”. The Minister for Women has been a consistent role since 1983. I do not believe the role should be temporary, and should be permanent for the next 50 or 100 years, perhaps further. Rather this is an attempt to persuade you the reader, that the obvious complementary role, that of a Minister for Men, is a meaningful suggestion to develop our society.
If the role of Minister is justified as a better method to act on problems which disproportionately affect women (as opposed to a focus from relevant ministers i.e. domestic violence being adequately addressed by the Minister of Police), then it is or will become worthy to extend a similar role to address disproportionately male problems. There are problems (i.e. overtime-overworked, suicide, victims of most non-sexual violent crime, inconsistent university entry & graduation, shorter life expectancy, employment-divorce) which disproportionately affect men.
Male hegemony dominated most historic Australian societies, but it is greatly reduced in Australia after the turn of the millennium. Issues of focus for feminism remain, for example there is not an approximate balance of genders in parliament. To cut to the chase, the stereotypical straight, white male who dominates peak positions in media, business, society and politics is under no obligation to represent men. Feminism, as virtue, or its counterpart misogyny, as vice, is a tool of female politicians, and masculinity, or misandry (this issue was sometimes in jest, yet anecdotally, a university sociologist told me sincerely, speedos delivered a sexist advantage to his government), do not follow the same dynamic. Mens rights are often treated as an attempt to restore society to a Victorian era status quo, and simply blaming masculinity is acceptable to mainstream media.
I must personally & briefly reject the definition of feminism as someone who holds gender equality as a community value, this is an underpinning value but this definition does not even mention the focus on womens rights & issues which is essential to feminism.
The Australian of the Year made an appearance on Q&A earlier this year. David Morrison, as a manifestation of the above mentioned stereotype of the elite, straight, white male, spoke of domestic violence as Australias no. 1 social problem. It was pertinent to the question, but it was false, I’m certain by ignorance and not intent. I understand the role of AotY is under no obligation to develop & maintain a deep awareness of Australian society. Mr. Morrison’s comments follow a politically correct hierarchy of victimhood. To briefly demonstrate the falseness of a claim that domestic violence is the number one social issue (approximate numbers, links here or elsewhere in article);
– domestic violence kills slightly more than once a week mostly women,
– suicide kills roughly 38 per week an approximate gender ratio of 3 men : 1 woman,
– murder kills about 5 per week an approximate gender ratio of 3 men : 2 women,
– drug abuse kills 14 per week an approximate gender ratio of 9 men : 5 women*.
In raw terms of lives lost, domestic violence does not compare to other issues. Breaking down the discussion on murder into specific terms is useful in discussion and in pursuing a better tomorrow. Nevertheless, the male hegemony does not pursue the suffering of men, particularly premature death, a Minister for Men can fulfill that duty.
To briefly focus on the above mentioned politically correct hierarchy of victimhood. This is an extension of political correctness beyond it’s most practical realm. This practical realm is the need for a certain politeness for those who have a massive audience. Presidential nominees as well as Batman films can, inadvertently, trigger the mad &/ sad to do bad things and I am suspicious of more insidious effects. Political correctness can transgress this practical boundary, for example the suffering of Justine Sacco for using sarcasm on the internet.
To return to the title, a Minister for Men could work on solving or reducing the problems which disproportionately affect men. Our community continues to offer less support for men, than for women. Examples abound, Royal Women & Children’s Hospitals are a signal of care which has no equal for men, of course hospitals do not forcibly expel men seeking medical assistance. News articles about domestic violence always come with a phone number to call for immediate human contact, a form of social support. This support is not found in most articles with male victims.
To be positive, modern lifestyles are mostly better than historic lifestyles. This post is intended to be critical of some effects of feminism and political correctness, however it hopefully is not destructive to worthy objectives and is constructive towards a better tomorrow. If it has been persuasive, please sign the petition and join me in calling for a Minister for Men.
Let me leave you with a question, what should be required from a could-be father in relation to an abortion?