Thomas Hobbes famously declared that even the worst despot is better than anarchy, this is the antithesis to the ATS position. No true anarchist is a Hobbesian or vice-versa. Yet, the emergence of anarchy entails a de-facto government and that came to light in the case of CHAZ, Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, which was created in downtown Seattle. Raz Simone emerged as the leader of CHAZ, although the legitimacy of his position is questionable: he is not an elected official and it is unclear if he is capable of serving the needs of this nascent “autonomous zone”.
While it remains an open question whether the UK is better off with the EU or without it, there is much to be said for political self-determination. As the principle of subsidiarity holds, many of the world’s political problems are best solved on the smallest and the most local level of government.
That makes a lot of sense in light of how mayors of towns and governors of provinces know more about their communities than presidents of republics or let alone international governing bodies like the EU. It’s also worth noting that that the local politicians are more attached to their communities and have more of an incentive to do what serves the public rather than their cronies.
On that note, I will also say that I support independent Catalonia, even if I am glad that Franco won the Spanish civil war. George Orwell’s “homage to Catalonia” is often misunderstood to be a one-sided denunciation of fascism. Yet, in the opening chapter, he wrote: “I am not writing a propaganda book, the Republican militia suffered from serious problems”.
Orwell earned his immortal fame critiquing the pathological structure of totalitarian regimes, especially those that emerge in the far-left, with a particular emphasis on Stalinism. While “1984” can be seen as a general critique of totalitarianism, “the Animal Farm” was an attack on Stalinism, where the Old Major represented Karl Marx and Napoleon represented Stalin.
In a similar vein, Orwell went on to show that while the Catalonian forces were home to many well-intentioned, albeit misguided idealists, they were often co-opted by the totalitarian left. Stalin famously supported the Republican forces and his motives certainly were not altruistic or humanitarian. Stalin was a barbarian who probably would have started World War III, had he not died under questionable circumstances in the hands of Kruschev.
Had the Republicans gotten their way in the Spanish civil war, Spain would have been much more like Greece than the civilized, prospering democratic society it is today. It is a little known fact that despite the excesses of Franco’s far-right regime, he presided over the “Spanish miracle” which was a series of reforms in economic liberalization that produced tremendous growth. Toward the end of his reign, the Franco regime even made a number of concessions to tolerate limited pluralism in Spain, which is partly why the Francoist Spain was allowed to join NATO.
These acts of compromise are unthinkable on the far-left: there has never been an economic miracle of this proportion in the former USSR nations or any ex-communist country for that matter. China may be the lone exception, but they will never be a free country.
Freedom is always easier to pry away from the jaws of right-wing extremists than it is from the communists, which is why Chile is now a proper democracy, despite the atrocities committed by the Pinochet regime. Portugal was also afflicted by the far-right regime of Antonio Salazar, but it is now a thriving democracy. With the exception of the Baltic states, this is a result that virtually none of the ex-communist regimes will ever achieve.
I have arrived in Mexico last March, at a time when I had previously lived in Denver. The state of Colorado is known for its brutal cold and mercurial weather, where the climate may change nearly a half a dozen times per day. I was paying $1700 per month for a 500 square foot apartment in the center of the city. The majority of my acquaintances and neighbors were hardened Politically Correct Ideologues and radical leftists. As it happens, my former Jiu-Jitsu instructor from Denver has recently been found guilty of a sexual assault that he almost certainly did not commit.
Mexico is famous for its picturesque beaches, tropical climate and hospitable culture. For good reasons, it is the seventh most visited country in the world, just behind France, Spain, the United States, China, Italy and Turkey. All of these aforementioned countries boast a highly developed economy and a significant percentage of visitors arrive for professional rather than recreational purposes. However, the overwhelming majority of the visitors in Mexico are tourists and that much is obvious: few foreigners find Mexico to be an enticing place to conduct their business.
Mexico is attractive to tourists for obvious reasons: the prices are low, it’s close to the United States and the weather is ideal in the winter, just when the snowbirds seek to escape the brutal cold that characterizes this season in most of North America. Yet, in recent years, Mexico witnessed a different type of a “gringo”. Not only are North Americans visiting Mexico on a short-term basis, but many are also becoming increasingly likely to live here for an extended period of time. The status of permanent residency is easy to acquire here and at one point, I encountered a crooked government official who was willing to sell that privilege to me for merely 80,000 Mexican Pesos, which is a little more than four thousand U.S dollars. For many compelling reasons, I have politely declined, yet in my place, many would have gladly jumped on that opportunity.
Aleksey Bashtavenko is the owner and principal writer for Academic Composition
The History of Education
How education was originally reserved for the elites
Voltaire’s statement that the masses should be guided and not educated
How Senator Horace Mann modeled the American education system on the Prussian Model that was compulsory and based on regimentation, obedience, and conformity
How the value of a College Diploma has vastly decreased
How Student Loan debt is greater than the National debt
From Kindergarten to High School, America’s youngsters are taught that education is the key to success in life. The underlying explanation is simple and straight-forward. In order to land a high-paying job, you must be able to think critically and display a good deal of mental agility. After all, if you want to work in a STEM field, you must have a solid grasp of science and mathematics. Similarly, if you want to be a lawyer, you must excel at verbal communication and logical reasoning. What about all of the other, less intellectually rigorous professions?
As for that, our guidance counselors would say that a degree makes you stand out. If you want to be a book-keeper or a financier, you’d have a much higher chance of getting hired with a degree. Today, more people have academic credentials than they did decades before. Previously, a degree offered one a way of standing out from the crowd, today, it has become the new norm. In other words, a Bachelor’s degree is the equivalent of a High School degree in the 70s.
As appealing as this comparison may seem, it is a false equivalency. In the 70s, employers had considerable confidence in the quality of education High Schools offer. As such, they were able to justify their preference for applicants who finished High School over those who did not. At that point, it seemed clear that High School graduates displayed superior intellectual, practical and interpersonal skills to those of Middle School graduates. Yet, can one say that today’s graduates are superior to High School graduates in these respects?
Republicans and Democrats disagree about the role that the government should play in providing social services. The former insists that it should be smaller and intervene less in the economy. In contradistinction, the latter maintains that the public interest would be better served by a higher degree of government involvement in our institutions.
The Republicans are more likely to excoriate politicians who pioneer inefficient government programs than the Democrats, but they stop far short from conceding that all forms of taxation constitute theft.
Even the most intransigent conservatives will staunchly assert that taxation for some government services is legitimate. Who could argue that the government perpetrates theft by taxing all citizens to build schools, roads and police departments?
The problem with this rationale is it involves an element of coercion that could be construed as a violation of individual rights. This engenders a peculiar asymmetry in our moral outlook that creates a double-standard. Both orthodox schools of political thought prohibit individuals from coercing each other in such a manner but allow the government to do so.
“However unwilling a person who has a strong opinion may be to admit that his opinion might be false, he ought to be moved by this thought: however true it may be, if it isn’t fully, frequently and fearlessly discussed, it will be held as a dead dogma rather than as a living truth. ”
John Stuart Mill
The First Amendment guarantees that the “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people peaceably to assemble”. This provision clarifies the point that the government cannot pass a law criminalizing the act of free expression. However, certain spoken statements could constitute an act of violence, provided they can be regarded as a root cause of violence against others.
I am noticing that this kind of a thing happens only in liberal states. This is where the government is trying to prevent citizens from doing charitable work as a way of creating demand for the inefficient welfare services.
The Democratic Party is categorically opposed to solving any social problems because this will prevent them from handing out sinecure jobs to their political cronies who want to manage the publicly funded social services.
Moreover, if any progress is to be made in the resolution of the problem of homelessness, it will no longer be possible for the leftist elites to engage in relentless virtue signaling. Without that activity, they will not be able to corroborate their “holier than thou” mantra.
It is not a coincidence that the areas with the highest levels of homelessness are located in the predominantly liberal cities such as San Francisco, L.A, New York City, Chicago, and Detroit.
In the Republic, Plato propounded the Philosopher King thesis, where he argued in favor of the following doctrines. (1) The most intellectually capable of individuals should be in charge of governing society. (2) Private property should be abolished. (3) The individual’s role in society and the degree to which he is rewarded for his contributions ought to be determined by the Philosopher Kings. This argument stems from Plato’s theory of forms, which holds that the true essence of all things is abstract, objective and can be understood through the exercise of one’s intellect. In other words, Plato held that one can understand truths about politics and society similarly to how one does so with regard to mathematics.
Toward the end of the USSR’s reign, the nation lost their “people’s artist”, Vladimir Vysotsky.
Just a decade earlier, he arrived in Hollywood to deliver a performance, where he soon found a captive audience. Without comprehending a single word, the listeners could not help but sense the spell-binding mystique he exuded with every utterance. In his inimitable, deep and raspy voice, Vysotsky became a legend ridiculing the commissars, the absurdity of life under socialism and gross corruption of the system.
When Spassky lost his crown to Fischer, Vysotsky released a song lampooning the communist party leader who threatened to “physically crush Fischer, be it by checkmate or not”. His other less well-known performance aptly titled as “the hunt on wolves” satirized the KGBs relentless persecution of political dissidents.
“On Liberty” is widely regarded as a classic of political philosophy. Therein, John Stuart Mill argued that there is a fundamental similarity between scientific and political discovery. As Karl Popper evinced, scientific discovery must be falsifiable. In other words, science does not prove what is true, it only shows what is false. As a result, there is an evolution of knowledge where scholars routinely challenge each other to produce the strongest possible theories. By definition, science is an empirically informed academic metier and because of that, scientists can often refute one another’s findings by simply showing how they are not compatible with the tangible reality. As dull and monotonous as laboratory work may seem to the students of humanities, its saving graces are not to be underestimated.
On the other hand, theology and ideology are grounded in abstraction rather than experimentation. Just like scientists, theologians and political thinkers are passionate about their beliefs and that is why they are willing to devote a great deal of effort to justifying them. In stark contrast, the practitioners of the abstract disciplines cannot subject their views to a critical test in an environment where it is determined whether their views are compatible with reality. Due to this, theologians and political thinkers are much more vulnerable to the confirmation bias than the bona fide scientists.
John Stuart Mill was fully aware of this problem and he was quite disconcerted by the dogmatism of political philosophers and theologians alike. In light of the absence of comprehensive falsifiability of purely abstract ideas, it is all the more important to subject them to the most rigorous standard of proof possible. To do that, it is imperative for even the staunchest of believers to play “devil’s advocate” by forming the strongest possible arguments in defense of their own views. Only by virtue of such an exercise it will be possible for believers to regard their worldview as the “living truth” rather than as the dead dogma.
Mill went so far as to claim that although the Catholic Church was one of the most oppressive institutions of his day, the clergy always made it a point to play the devil’s advocate before inducting one of their peers into sainthood. By engaging in this exercise, the Catholic elites were able to find plausible reasons on which their beliefs were predicated and in turn, this strengthened their convictions. On the other hand, Christians of lesser distinction participated in rituals without understanding their significance and predictably, their beliefs degenerated into a “dead dogma”.
Today, liberal professors of humanities outnumber their conservative peers by a ratio of 12:1. Instructors of such disciplines who even dare to question the orthodoxy face grave, if not career-ending consequences. In such scholarly milieus previously famed for their objectivity and scholarly neutrality, the act of questioning the liberal orthodoxy is just as risky as being openly gay was in the 1950s. Consequently, the academic environment has become an echo chamber where the ideological orientation of the academic left has become a dead dogma rather than a living truth.
In light of these developments, the professors of the humanities should not be surprised that even many of the moderate Democrats have refused to support Hillary Clinton. When they abandon their pedagogic duties in favor of their mission to indoctrinate students into the view that represents the consensus of the elites of their group, they deprive even their staunchest supporters of opportunities to become true believers in their cause.
Politicians, scholars and political pundits are almost unanimous in their belief that their political views are entirely objective. As such, they often maintain that those who disagree with them are either misguided, ignorant, plain obtuse or worse. They are entirely oblivious to the fact that much of their political reasoning is motivated by the subconscious biases that shape their temperament. In light of this premise, George Lakoff argued that our political attitudes are defined by the “central metaphors”, which are shaped by the process of socialization. Hence, our earliest interactions with family members tend to define the core attitudes that constitute our political temperament.
Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is widely regarded as one of the best self-help books of the 20th century. Indeed, Carnegie’s work is deservedly known as a modern classic because it is founded on powerful insights about social psychology. Today, there is no shortage of seminars and business classes teaching people to embrace the potent lessons of human nature that he has uncovered. Among these notions is the idea that “nobody wants to be told what to do” and that it is necessary to make people “glad to do what you want them to do”. It is difficult to appreciate this idea without fully understanding its subtlety and the many ways in which it can become enormously effective across all social contexts.