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Posted: January 8, 2017 at 7:46 pm
Official Dash logo
Dash (formerly known as Darkcoin and XCoin) is an open source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that offers instant transactions (InstantSend), private transactions (PrivateSend) and token fungibility. It was rebranded from “Darkcoin” to “Dash” on March 25, 2015, a portmanteau of “Digital Cash”.
Dash operates a decentralized governance and budgeting system, making it the first decentralized autonomous organization.
Dash uses a chained hashing algorithm called X11 for the proof-of-work. Instead of using the SHA-256 (from well-known Secure Hash Algorithm family) or scrypt it uses 11 rounds of different hashing functions.
As of 2016, Dash is among the top-7 most popular cryptocurrencies.
Main website is http://www.dash.org
PrivateSend is a coin-mixing service originally based on CoinJoin. Later iterations used a more advanced method of pre-mixing denominations built into the user’s wallet. The implementation of PrivateSend also allows masternodes to submit the transactions using special network code called DSTX, this provides additional privacy to users due to the deadchange issue present in other CoinJoin based implementations such as DarkWallet and CoinShuffle.
DarkSend rebranded to PrivateSend June 2016.
In its current implementation it adds privacy to transactions by combining identical inputs from multiple users into a single transaction with several outputs. Due to the identical inputs, transactions usually cannot be directly traced, obfuscating the flow of funds. PrivateSend makes Dash “Fungible” by mixing the coins in the same denomination with other wallets, ensuring that all coins are of the same value.
PrivateSend’s mixing is performed by Masternodes, servers operating on a decentralized network which have the responsibility of signing the transactions. For each round of PrivateSend, the user selects two to eight (or even more) rounds of mixing which vary the degree of anonymity achieved. Random Masternodes are then elected to perform the coin mixing. Masternodes are trust-less cryptographic technology, in the sense that they cannot steal user coins, and the combination of multiple Masternodes ensures that no single node has full knowledge of both inputs and outputs in the transaction process.
To avoid the possibility of sybil attack, a process where a peer-to-peer network is overtaken by “bad actors”, collateral requirements have been added to the process of joining the Masternode network second tier. These are presently 1000 DASH  and allow secure network communication in via signed messages. As an incentive for operating a Masternode, chosen nodes currently earn 45% of the mining rewards.
InstantSend is a service that allows for near-instant transactions. Through this system, inputs can be locked to only specific transactions and verified by consensus of the Masternode network. Conflicting transactions and blocks are rejected. If a consensus cannot be reached, validation of the transaction occurs through standard block confirmation. InstantSend purportedly solves the double-spending problem without the longer confirmation times of other cryptocurriencies such as Bitcoin.
InstantX rebranded to InstantSend June 2016.
X11 is a hashing algorithm created by Dash core developer Evan Duffield. X11’s chained hashing algorithm approach utilizes a sequence of eleven cryptographic hashing algorithms for the proof-of-work. This is so that the processing distribution is fair and coins will be distributed in much the same way Bitcoin’s were originally.
With chained hashing, high end CPUs give an average return similar to that of GPUs. Another side effect of the algorithm is that GPUs run at about 30% less electrical power than scrypt and 30% to 50% cooler, putting less stress on the computing setup and ensuring lower energy bills for miners.
Dark Gravity Wave (DGW) is a mining difficulty adjustment algorithm created by Dash core developer Evan Duffield to address flaws in Kimoto’s Gravity Well. It uses multiple exponential moving averages and a simple moving average to smoothly adjust the difficulty, which is re-targeted every block. The block reward is not adjusted strictly by block number, but instead uses a formula controlled by Moore’s law: 2222222/((Difficulty+2600)/9)2.
Dash is the first decentralized autonomous organization powered by a Sybil proof decentralized governance and funding system. DGBB or Decentralized Governance By Blockchain as it’s called is a decentralized process by which the network determines where money is spent. Each Masternode operator is given the ability to use 1 vote on each governance proposal, which is a completely open and decentralized process. Community interaction with proposal submitters is done usually through community driven websites, like DashWhale. These websites allow proposal submitters to provide multiple drafts, then lobby for community support before finally submitting their project to the network for a vote. After the submitter has enough support, the network will automatically pay out the required funds in the next super block, which happen monthly.
Although, only in use a few months, the funding system has seen growth of its month revenue, from originally ~$14 thousands in September 2015, to nearly $30 thousands in March 2016. Eventually the budget system can theoretically scale to $9M per month at a market cap of $500M.
Since its inception, the project has used the system for important assets like acquiring dash.org, adoption into the Lamassu ATM and the Dash N’ Drink instant soda machine, along with funding many public events.
Masternodes utilize a cryptographic bond model, which results a supply and demand market between the interest rate Masternodes are paid and the risk of holding the underlying asset. Early on in the history of the asset, the high return caused a massive uptake of Masternodes, starting from about 500 in Oct 2014 and increasing to 3650 in March 2016.
Dash was originally released as XCoin (XCO) on January 18, 2014. On February 28, the name was changed to “Darkcoin”. On March 25, 2015, Darkcoin was rebranded as “Dash”.
I discovered Bitcoin in mid 2010 and was obsessed ever since. After a couple of years in 2012 I started really thinking about how to add anonymity to Bitcoin. I came up with maybe 10 ways of doing this, but I soon realized that Bitcoin would never add my code. The developers really want the core protocol to stay the same for the most part and everything else to be implemented on the top of it. This was the birth of the concept of Darkcoin. I implemented X11 in a weekend and found it worked pretty well and it would give a completely fair start to the currency. What I really was aiming for with X11 is a similar development curve where miners would fight to create small advantages much like the early start of Bitcoin. I think this a requirement to create a healthy ecosystem.
Within the first hour of launch, approximately 500,000 coins were mined, followed by another 1,000,000 coins in the next 7 hours and finally another 400,000 in 36 hours. All told 1.9 million coins were mined in 48 hours, or approximately 32% of the current supply (as of October 2015) of approximately 5.9 million, generating controversy regarding the initial distribution of coins. According to Duffield, this was the result of an error in the code “which incorrectly converted the difficulty, then tried using a corrupt value to calculate the subsidy, causing the instamine”. At the time, Duffield was working a full-time job and coding for Dash on the side, so its not surprising that there were errors in the initial code. Duffield claims in the official bitcointalk.org thread (mirrored) that “Dash has no premine and was fairly and transparently launched”.
At the time Dash (then called Xcoin) was launched, the cryptocurrency space was riddled with scams. People were creating new currencies, hyping their value, then dumping them and abandoning the project. Many likely feared the same for Dash. However, since Dash’s launch, there has been over two years of development, leading to a cryptocurrency that has over 50 volunteers and has solved such vexing issues as slow confirmation times, block size increases, decentralized governance, and a self-funding development budget.
According to CoinMarketCap, in August 2016 the daily trade volume of Dash was ~1% of the total trade of all cryptocurrencies, and the market capitalization of Dash was ~80 millions of US dollars. Since then, Dash has become the most active community on BitcoinTalk reaching more than 6000 pages, 122k replies, 6.6M reads.
Zerocoin, Cloakcoin and DarkNet also have built in the mixing services as a part of their blockchain network.
The Dark Wallet client software for bitcoin was built to natively mix transactions between users.
Monero_(cryptocurrency) is a cryptocurrency based on the CryptoNote protocol. It has gained attention recently for being adopted by dark net market AlphaBay.
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Dash (cryptocurrency) – Wikipedia
Posted: January 5, 2017 at 10:54 am
What Is Technology? Technology is a body of knowledge devoted to creating tools, processing actions and extracting of materials. The term Technology is wide and everyone has their own way of understanding the meaning of technology. We use technology to accomplish various tasks in our daily lives, in brief; we can describe technology as products, processes or organizations. We use technology to extend our abilities, and that makes people as the most important part of any technological system.
Technology is also an application of science to solve a problem. But what you have to know is that technology and science are different subjects which work hand-in-hand to accomplish a specific task or solve a particular problem.
We apply technology in almost everything we do in our lives, we use technology at work, we use it to , extract materials , we use technology for communication, transportation, learning, manufacturing, creating artifacts, securing data, scaling businesses and so much more. Technology is human knowledge which involves tools, materials and systems. The application of technology results in artifacts or products. If technology is well applied, it can benefit humans, but if it is wrongly applied, it can cause harm to human beings.
Many businesses are using technology to stay competitive, they create new products and services using technology, and they also use technology to deliver those products and services to their customers on time. A good example is, mobile phones companies like Apple & Samsung, these two electronics companies, use high end technology to create new smartphones and other electronic devices to stay competitive. This competitive edge is gained through employing advanced technology.
Lets take a simple example on how people use technology on a daily basis,
See figure (1) below:
Technology is dynamic; it keeps on improving because even our needs and demands for technology keep on changing. We have moved from the industrial age (industrial revolution) to an information age. During the industrial age, companies with large sums of capital had the potential of employing expensive technological tools to gain competitive advantage; small businesses had less potential because they could not afford expensive manufacturing or processing technological tools. But, the advancement in technology has created a new economic environment which depends on information and that is what I call INFORMATION AGE, the information age provides a different work environment and this has helped small businesses gain position in highly competitive markets.
Lets take a simple example and see how technology has advanced;
See figure (2) below;
We use technology to accomplish various tasks, so technology comes in different types, below I have listed some of the different types of technology we use on a daily basis and on each type of technology I have included an example of that particular technology.
Example of Communication Technology:
KUDOS Presenter for iPhone Presentation
Let your iPhone control your power point presentations. This KUDOS presenter uses audio connector to communicate. So you can improve the way you make power point presentation using your iPhone with this KUDOS technology. Learn more about KUDOS here
Example of Constriction Technology:
Factory-Reconditioned Stanley Bostitch
It works as an air compressor and a nail gun at the same time. Buy it from AMAZON.COM
Example of Assistive Technology:
Off road wheelchair:
Image from: http://www.wheelchairdriver.com
This off road wheelchair can assist people with disabilities to move comfortably.
Example of medical technology:
TAP 20 for Point-of-Care Testing SeventhSenseThis Point-of-Care Testing can help doctors obtain patients blood without diagnosis. It comes with so many advantages which include:
Its painless for the patient.
-It keeps the blood sample until used for testing
Learn more about Point-of-Care testing here
Examples of information technology tools:
This IT based technological tool will enable you share, access and protect files. Transporter is an online, off-cloud storage solution which supports private sharing of valuable files. Unlike cloud storage facilities like Dropbox.com & Box.com, this device is private and it can allow you to store your files remotely and share them with your employees or partners. To use the device remotely, you will have to create a free online account, create shared documents, and much more, the only difference with Dropbox.com, is that the files are stored on this device, so the all cloud service is brought to your office or home. Learn more about Transporter here
Example of Entertainment Technology:
For those who want to play a guitar but you have always found it difficult, you can opt for this engineered guitar. The gTar can be played by anyone , it is an electrical guitar which comes a free gTar app which has test songs that you can start playing right away. Buy this gTar from here:
Example of business technology:
3D Printer Created by formlabs
This is an affordable 3D printer which can help designers create advanced 3D objects. Its size and design is good, so it can fit well on your office desk. With this 3D printer, you can create as many 3D models as you want. Use its software to generate thin, breakable support structures. Learn more about this FORM1 3D printer here:
Educational Technology: Is the type of technology which aims at improving performance by creating and managing various technological processes and resources. It is an academic discipline which prepares individuals to acquire deeper understanding and knowledge. It helps them learn how to devise solutions to problems through research, design, evaluation and utilization. Educational technology helps in improving the way we learn, some of the benefits of educational technology include:
It motivates students and it encourages individual learning.
It makes the access of educational material easy.
It helps students learn new subjects and languages through Gamification
Example of Education Technology:
Teachers you can try this Paperless grading application for iPad. If you want to have a paperless classroom and your students have access to iPads, then this technology will be of great use to you and your students. Markup has completely changed the way teachers mark test and exam papers, students can submit electronic papers to be marked by their teachers electronically, this saves time and resources on both sides. Try out this Markup application for ipad from here (www.showme.com )
Technology is not applied science, both technology and science are closely related but they are different in so many ways. Technology develops and explains the human-made world; it involves development, processing and management;
Science explains the natural world; science refers to systematic methodology which is used to gather accurate information about the shared reality. During the process of gathering this information, technological tools are used. For example, microscopes are biological tools which can be used to study specific facts about anything with life.
Scientific knowledge is gathered from detached observations. Scientists can use this gathered information using technological tools to explain why certain things happen and this all process can be described as research.
As humans, we use both technology and science together, that is why we confuse these two to be the same. Science is knowledge of the natural world while technology is human-made world determined by processing, development and management.
For you to understand the difference between science and technology, see example in figure (3) below:
Look closely at image (a), it shows you a volcanic mountain erupting, this is a natural state of our world, and it is only science which explains how this volcanic activity happens basing on extensive research and data gathered by scientist. In image (b) , we see a scientist using a microscope to make research and gather data. A microscope is human-made technology designed to help scientists make research. So that means that both concepts work hand in hand, but they are completely different. Humans have developed various technological tools to help us solve problems during our daily lives, but also this technology can affect the natural setup of our environment if applied wrongly.
Technology is good because it simplifies the way we do things in our daily lives, however, if technology is wrongly applied, it can be harmful in so many ways. Technology is developed by humans, so we can use it to accomplish almost every task; it makes the impossible look possible. However, for you to understand the advantage and disadvantage of technology today, we can use an example in figure (4) below:
As you can see in the photo above, if technology is well implemented it can be of great use to humanity, but it can also cause harm. Below I have detailed points on the advantage and disadvantage of technology in business, classroom or education.
Advantages of Technology in Business:
Disadvantages of Technology in Business:
Advantages of Technology in the Classroom:
Disadvantages of Technology in the Classroom:
Technology is designed with a purpose of solving problems; it has to meet human needs and wants. We use technology in so many ways; at least everyone uses technology in one-way or another. A problem exists when we encounter difficulty; problem solving is a human behavior, though our approach varies from person-to-person. During the process of solving a problem, the following is taken into consideration;
Look closely at the photo above, on the left we see the problem is traffic jam in the city and on the right, you can see that one of the solutions of solving this traffic jam is by using high speed electronic trains. The problem was identified and technology was used to plan the solution and implement that solution in the city. The use of high speed electronic trains has reduced traffic jam in big cities like Newyork. Below I have listed four basic phases you need to know about when solving problems with technology.
In conclusion, judging from the 4 steps of solving a problem using technology, you will see that the technology we are using started with an idea of solving a problem or meeting an opportunity. A person or a group of people saw the problem or the opportunity and they designed solutions of meeting that problem or opportunity. Today we have various technologies which where designed to solve simple problems, for example, social networks like Facebook.com, twitter.com have solved communication and social interaction problem.
As I conclude this chapter of WHAT IS TECHNOLOGY? , let me guess that you deeply understand the meaning of technology, types of technology being used today, the advantages and disadvantages of technology and how you can use technology to solve daily problems or meet opportunities
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Posted: at 10:52 am
In Philosophy, there are two main positions about the source of all knowledge. These positions are called rationalism and empiricism. Rationalists believe that all knowledge is “innate”, or is there when one is born, and that learning comes from intuition. On the other hand, empiricists believe that all knowledge comes from direct sense experience. In this essay, I will further explain each position, it’s strengths and weaknesses, and how Kant discovered that there is an alternative to these positions. The thesis I defend in this essay is that knowledge can be of both positions.
According to Rationalists (such as Descartes), all knowledge must come from the mind. Rationalism is concerned with absolute truths that are universal (such as logic and mathematics), which is one of the strengths of this position. It’s weakness lies in the fact that it is difficult to apply rationalism to particulars (which are everywhere in our daily life!) because it is of such an abstract nature.
According to Empiricists, such as John Locke, all knowledge comes from direct sense experience. Locke’s concept of knowledge comes from his belief that the mind is a “blank slate or tabula rosa” at birth, and our experiences are written upon the slate. Therefore, there are no innate experiences. The strength of the empiricist position is that it is best at explaining particulars, which we encounter on a daily basis. The weakness of this position is that one cannot have direct experiences of general concepts, since we only experience particulars.
Noticing that rationalism and empiricism have opposing strengths and weaknesses, Kant attempted to bring the best of both positions together. In doing so he came up with a whole new position, which I will soon explain.
Kant claimed that there are 3 types of knowledge. The first type of knowledge he called “a priori”, which means prior to experience. This knowledge corresponds to rationalist thinking, in that it holds knowledge to be…
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Posted: December 23, 2016 at 5:10 pm
FijiTonga relations are foreign relations between Fiji and Tonga. These neighbouring countries in the South Pacific have a history of bilateral relations going back several centuries.
Though relations between the two countries had been good since they both became independent in the 1970s, they deteriorated considerably in early 2011.
By the early 13th century, Eastern Fiji(Lau group) was a province of the Tongan empire. The Empire subsequently declined, but Tonga remained an influential neighbour in Fiji affairs. In 1848, Tongan Prince Maafu settled in Lakeba, establishing a new foothold in Eastern Fiji. He was accompanied by Tongan Wesleyan missionaries, who consolidated the earlier introduction of Methodism to Fiji by English Wesleyan missionaries. Today, Methodism is the primary religion of indigenous Fijians.
Maafu’s influence in Fiji expanded during the 1850s, threatening Seru Epenisa Cakobau’s attempts to establish himself as king of all Fiji. Ultimately, Maafu and Tonga’s support at the 1855 Battle of Kaba was instrumental in enabling Cakobau to cement his leadership over Fiji, temporarily consolidating the Tongan Prince’s status and role in the country. Tonga’s direct influence faded, however, after Cakobau ceded Fiji to British sovereignty in 1874.
Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama received “cheers and thunderous applause” from the Tongan public when he attended a Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Tonga in October 2007; the crowd’s “enthusiastic reception” of Fiji’s leader was likened to “that accorded to a rock star”Radio Australia noted that he had been “the star of this year’s meeting, for the people of Tonga”, while TVNZ reported that he had been “given a hero’s welcome”.
In terms of inter-governmental relations, Tonga has generally avoided pressuring Fiji’s “interim government” into holding democratic elections. However, Tongan Prime Minister Dr.Feleti Sevele has urged Bainimarama “to produce a credible roadmap to the election according to the Constitution and law of Fiji”.
Tonga’s “soft” approach to Fiji’s unelected government during the regional meeting in October 2007 was in line with the approach chosen by other Pacific Island nations, but contrasted with the much harder stance adopted by Australia and New Zealand. The Tongan government rejected “several […] attempts by New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark to lobby for Commodore Bainimarama’s exclusion from the meeting”.
In August 2008, Prime Minister of Tonga, Dr Sevele said at a Pacific Islands Forum meeting 
Unfortunately, the Forums relationship with the interim government of Fiji has now deteriorated from the apparent, promising situation at the Forum last year in Tonga, to one of disappointment and of an uncertain future. As Forum Leaders, we are all extremely disappointed at the interim Prime Ministers decision not to attend this Forum meeting. As Chair of last years Forum Meeting in Tonga and Chair of the last 12 months, let me place on record the fact that the commitments that Commodore Bainimarama made at the Leaders Retreat were not forced on him, as has been claimed. He agreed with and accepted the 7-point communiqu on Fiji, and so told all the Leaders present at the Retreat. Sir Michael Somare and I certainly did not pressure him into making those commitments. We, and all the Leaders, were, and are, keen on helping Fiji move forward, but Fiji has to play its due part. The interim Prime Minister has an obligation to explain in person to the Forum Leaders as to why he could not fulfill those commitments, and we were all looking forward to his doing this at this Forum in Niue. That he chose not to do this is most unfortunate and most disappointing.
In May 2009, however, Sevele questioned the purpose of Fiji’s suspension from the Forum (which had taken place on May 2), and suggested it was “pointless” to “ostracise” Fiji. TVNZ described Tonga’s position as “a crack […] in the hard line being taken against Fiji” by the Forum.
In February 2011, Sevele’s successor, Lord Tuivakan, stated that Australia and New Zealand’s pressure on Fiji was counter-productive, and that the more they “bother[ed]” Bainimarama, the more likely he might be to do the opposite of what they sought. He added: “Maybe just go easy and they will come around. What you need to remember is that it is an opportunity for other countries, maybe China will step in. […] There’s a lot of other countries looking in and Fiji’s said ‘We don’t want Australia, we don’t want New Zealand, these are the people that’s going to help us.'”
In December 2005, Fiji welcomed Tonga’s accession to the World Trade Organisation.
In 2001, the Fijian Government banned the import of mutton flaps from Tonga. The Tongan Ministry of Labour said in response on this issue that “Tongas experience with Fiji is an example of the difficulties encountered by small developing nations in protecting their interests”. The Tongan Ministry said this “illustrates the difficulty and huge onus that the multilateral trading system places on small and vulnerable developing countries, which lack the necessary resources, capital and institutional means to fully implement the WTO agreements.” 
In August 2007, the Fijian Government called for a review of the Fiji/Tonga Air Services Agreement to allow for increased capacity on the route from 350 to 1000 passengers in each direction. By March 2008, a new aviation agreement had been reached. The Fijian Government said 
This has been factored into the agreement reached by the two states in March 2008 to increase the seat capacity from 350 to 1000 per week with no restrictions to aircraft types or frequencies and both countries had agreed to this. This new provision will certainly assist or facilitate the movement of tourist between Tonga and Fiji.
Beginning in late 2010, and escalating in early 2011, diplomatic tensions opposed Fiji and Tonga over two partially simultaneous issues. Though they are presented separately here for clarity, they were being referred to simultaneously by May 2011.
Both Fiji and Tonga lay claim to the Minerva Reefs, which lie between the two countries. Historically, the reefs are said to have lain in the fishing grounds of the people of Ono-i-Lau, in Fiji. In 1972, Tonga annexed the reefs, which had not formally been claimed by any State, but Fiji has not recognised the annexation, and has stated it considers the reefs to lie within its territory. In late 2010, Fiji responded to news that Tonga had begun construction of a lighthouse on one reef, by saying Fiji reserved the right to take any means necessary to preserve its territorial integrity.
In February 2011 the Fiji government said there was “no official dispute” between the two countries on the issue, but that officials from the two sides were discussing the matter of the reefs’ ownership and usage. A Fiji government official added: “The government of Fiji reiterates its position, that as far as its concerned Minerva Reef is a reef. And as such it lies within the economic, exclusive economic zone of Fiji. And the government of Fiji reserves its right within its directory.” Fiji Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Solo Mara clarified that there was no “conflict”, but merely “overlapping claims” on the countries’ maritime boundary, in the context of “claims for an extended continental shelf beyond the 200 mile Exclusive Economy Zone – as provided for under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea”. Officials from the two countries would hold discussions to determine their maritime boundary.
In late May 2011, during the tension over the Tevita Mara affair (see below), “Fiji navy vessels visited Minerva and ordered New Zealand bound yachts out of the lagoon. They then destroyed navigation beacons” which had been set up by Tonga. The Tongan government issued a statement in protest. Fijis Deputy Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs Sila Balawa subsequently told the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation that Tonga remained “one of Fijis closest friends”, and that, although Fiji clearly owned the reef as it was located within the countrys exclusive economic zone, Fiji hoped the disagreement would be resolved through “peaceful dialogue”.
In early June, two Tongan Navy ships were sent to the Reef to replace navigational beacons destroyed by the Fijians, and to reassert Tonga’s claim to the territory. A Fijian Navy ship in the vicinity reportedly withdrew as the Tongans approached, leading New Zealand’s One News to comment that a military conflict between the two countries had narrowly been averted. A press release from the Tongan government described Fiji’s destruction of Tongan navigational beacons as “an act of vandalism” posing “real danger to international shipping”, adding that Tonga and “the Fijian military junta” could and should resolve their territorial dispute “under International law for the settlement of disputes between civilized societies”. Simultaneously The People’s Daily, citing “Fiji intelligence sources”, reported on June 13 that “three Fijian naval ships” were “on their way to Minerva Reef” to confront the two Tongan navy ships there.
In May 2011, Lieutenant-Colonel Tevita Mara, a former Fiji army officer, who had just been charged with plotting an attempt to overthrow Bainimarama, fled Fiji by boat, and was picked up by a Tongan patrol boat and taken to Tonga. The Tongan authorities issued a statement saying they had picked him up after responding to a distress signal, and that in Nuku’alofa “arrangements have been made for his accommodation by the royal household office in deference to his rank”. Bainimarama issued a statement saying the Royal Tongan Navy ship had entered Fijian territorial waters without authorisation to carry out an “illegal extraction” of the wanted man; he added that his government took “strong exception to such breaches of Fiji’s sovereignty”. He announced he would issue a formal protest to Tongan Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano, and would seek Mara’s extradition back to Fiji to face charges. Tui’vakano replied that Tonga’s independent judiciary would hear Fiji’s case for extradition, without interference from the Tongan government, and added that Tonga had no wish to interfere in Fiji’s domestic affairs.
Akilisi Pohiva, leader of the Tongan opposition, described the entry of a Tongan Navy vessel into Fiji waters to pick up a fugitive as a clear breach of relations between the two countries, but added that it was justifiable on humanitarian grounds.
On May 21, four days after the first reports on the incident, the Tongan government issued a statement saying it had received no request for Mara’s extradition, only a note from the Fijian authorities containing what it called “unsubstantiated assertions” and “a personal statement by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama”. Subsequently, having acknowledged receipt of an extradition request, the Tongan government indicated “it will have to go through the proper channels for legal advice before we can proceed any further”; the authorities would not interfere with the judicial process. In early June, however, the authorities granted Mara Tongan citizenship, along with a passport.
Radio Australia reported that relations between the two countries has “soured dramatically” as a result of the incident.
On June 10 as Tongan Navy vessels moved to occupy the Minerva Reef, an unsigned press statement on the website of the Fiji government denounced “the presence of the Tongan Navy boats within Fijis EEZ at Minerva Reef”, the “issue of Tongan passport” to Mara and “the Tongan Governments inaction on extradition papers”, describing them as “a web of deceit, collusion and a complete lack of disregard [sic] of legal extradition processes”. Blaming Australia and New Zealand, the statement said “the Tongans as seen with their presence at the Minerva Reef will be manipulated through offerings of gifts and aid to try and turn up the ante”, adding: “As far as Fiji is concerned there is no Mara or Tonga/Fiji situation. It is a Rudd and McCully spreading their wings to save face situation”, in reference to Australian and New Zealand Foreign Affairs Ministers Kevin Rudd and Murray McCully.Stuff.co.nz described the statement as an “unprecedented attack” on New Zealand, Tonga and Australia, remarking: “The statement on the website is so completely out of kilter with previous Fiji Government statements that it raises questions over who now is in control in Suva.”
In late June, the Tongan government formally informed the Fiji government that Tongan law made it impossible to extradite Mara.
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Posted: December 22, 2016 at 1:17 pm
In dealing with an objection to the view of abortion presented in Chapter 6, we have already looked beyond abortion to infanticide. In so doing we will have confirmed the suspicion of supporters of the sanctity of human life that once abortion is accepted, euthanasia lurks around the next comer – and for them, euthanasia is an unequivocal evil. It has, they point out, been rejected by doctors since the fifth century B.C., when physicians first took the Oath of Hippocrates and swore ‘to give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel’. Moreover, they argue, the Nazi extermination programme is a recent and terrible example of what can happen once we give the state the power to MI innocent human beings.
I do not deny that if one accepts abortion on the grounds provided in Chapter 6, the case for killing other human beings, in certain circumstances, is strong. As I shall try to show in this chapter, however, this is not something to be regarded with horror, and the use of the Nazi analogy is utterly misleading. On the contrary, once we abandon those doctrines about the sanctity of human life that – as we saw in Chapter 4 – collapse as soon as they are questioned, it is the refusal to accept killing that, in some cases, is horrific.
‘Euthanasia’ means, according to the dictionary, ‘a gentle and easy death’, but it is now used to refer to the killing of those who are incurably ill and in great pain or distress, for the sake of those killed, and in order to spare them further suffering or distress. This is the main topic of this chapter. I shall also consider, however, some cases in which, though killing is not contrary to the wishes of the human who is killed, it is also not carried out specifically for the sake of that being. As we shall see, some cases involving newborn infants fall into this category. Such cases may not be ‘euthanasia’ within the strict meaning of the term, but they can usefully be included within the same general discussion, as long as we are clear about the relevant differences.
Within the usual definition of euthanasia there are three different types, each of which raises distinctive ethical issues. it will help our discussion if we begin by setting out this threefold distinction and then assess the justifiability of each type.
TYPES OF EUTHANASIA
Most of the groups currently campaigning for changes in the law to allow euthanasia are campaigning for voluntary euthanasia – that is, euthanasia carried out at the request of the person killed.
Sometimes voluntary euthanasia is scarcely distinguishable from assisted suicide. In Jean’s Way, Derek Humphry has told how his wife Jean, when dying of cancer, asked him to provide her with the means to end her life swiftly and without pain. They had seen the situation coming and discussed it beforehand. Derek obtained some tablets and gave them to Jean, who took them and died soon afterwards.
Dr Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan pathologist, went one step further when he built a ‘suicide machine’ to help terminally ill people commit suicide. His machine consisted of a metal pole with three different bottles attached to a tube of the kind used to provide an intravenous drip. The doctor inserts the tube in the patient’s vein, but at this stage only a harmless saline solution can pass through it. The patient may then flip a switch, which will allow a coma-inducing drug to come through the tube; this is automatically followed by a lethal drug contained in the third bottle. Dr Kevorkian announced that he was pre- pared to make the machine available to any terminally ill patient who wished to use it. (Assisting suicide is not against the law in Michigan.) In June 1990, Janet Adkins, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, but still competent to make the decision to end her life, contacted Dr Kevorkian and told him of her wish to die, rather than go through the slow and progressive deterioration that the disease involves. Dr Kevorkian was in attendance while she made use of his machine, and then re- ported Janet Adkins’s death to the police. He was subsequently charged with murder, but the judge refused to allow the charge to proceed to trial, on the grounds that Janet Adkins had caused her own death. The following year Dr Kevorkian made his device available to two other people, who used it in order to end their lives.
In other cases, people wanting to die may be unable to kill themselves. In 1973 George Zygmaniak was injured in a motorcycle accident near his home in New Jersey. He was taken to hospital, where he was found to be totally paralysed from the neck down. He was also in considerable pain. He told his doctor and his brother, Lester, that he did not want to live in this condition. He begged them both to kill him. Lester questioned the doctor and hospital staff about George’s prospects of recovery: he was told that they were nil. He then smuggled a gun into the hospital, and said to his brother: ‘I am here to end your pain, George. Is it all right with you?’ George, who was now unable to speak because of an operation to assist his breathing, nodded affirmatively. Lester shot him through the temple.
The Zygmaniak case appears to be a clear instance of voluntary euthanasia, although without some of the procedural safeguards that advocates of the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia propose. For instance, medical opinions about the patient’s prospects of recovery were obtained only in an informal manner. Nor was there a careful attempt to establish, before independent witnesses, that George’s desire for death was of a fixed and rational kind, based on the best available information about his situation. The killing was not carried out by a doctor. An injection would have been less distressing to others than shooting. But these choices were not open to Lester Zygrnaniak, for the law in New Jersey, as in most other places, regards mercy killing as murder, and if he had made his plans known, he would not have been able to carry them out.
Euthanasia can be voluntary even if a person is not able, as Jean Humphry, Janet Adkins, and George Zygmaniak were able, to indicate the wish to die right up to the moment the tablets are swallowed, the switch thrown, or the trigger pulled. A person may, while in good health, make a written request for euthanasia if, through accident or illness, she should come to be incapable of making or expressing a decision to die, in pain, or without the use of her mental faculties, and there is no reasonable hope of recovery. In killing a person who has made such a request, who has re-affirmed it from time to time, and who is now in one of the states described, one could truly claim to be acting with her consent.
There is now one country in which doctors can openly help their patients to die in a peaceful and dignified way. In the Netherlands, a series of court cases during the 1980s upheld a doctor’s right to assist a patient to die, even if that assistance amounted to giving the patient a lethal injection. Doctors in the Netherlands who comply with certain guidelines (which will be described later in this chapter) can now quite openly carry out euthanasia and can report this on the death certificate with- out fear of prosecution. It has been estimated that about 2,300 deaths each year result from euthanasia carried out in this way.
I shall regard euthanasia as involuntary when the person killed is capable of consenting to her own death, but does not do so, either because she is not asked, or because she is asked and chooses to go on living. Admittedly this definition lumps two different cases under one heading. There is a significant difference between killing someone who chooses to go on living and killing someone who has not consented to being killed, but if asked, would have consented. In practice, though, it is hard to imagine cases in which a person is capable of consenting and would have consented if asked, but was not asked. For why not ask? Only in the most bizarre situations could one conceive of a reason for not obtaining the consent of a person both able and willing to consent.
Killing someone who has not consented to being killed can properly be regarded as euthanasia only when the motive for killing is the desire to prevent unbearable suffering on the part of the person killed. It is, of course, odd that anyone acting from this motive should disregard the wishes of the person for whose sake the action is done. Genuine cases of involuntary euthanasia appear to be very rare.
These two definitions leave room for a third kind of euthanasia. If a human being is not capable of understanding the choice between life and death, euthanasia would be neither voluntary nor involuntary, but non-voluntary. Those unable to give con- sent would include incurably ill or severely disabled infants, and people who through accident, illness, or old age have permanently lost the capacity to understand the issue involved, with- out having previously requested or rejected euthanasia in these circumstances.
Several cases of non-voluntary euthanasia have reached the courts and the popular press. Here is one example. Louis Repouille had a son who was described as ‘incurably imbecile’, had been bed-ridden since infancy and blind for five years. According to Repouille: ‘He was just like dead all the time…. He couldn’t walk, he couldn’t talk, he couldn’t do anything.’ in the end Repouille killed his son with chloroform.
In 1988 a case arose that well illustrates the way in which modern medical technology forces us to make life and death decisions. Samuel Linares, an infant, swallowed a small object that stuck in his windpipe, causing a loss of oxygen to the brain. He was admitted to a Chicago hospital in a coma and placed on a respirator. Eight months later he was still comatose, still on the respirator, and the hospital was planning to move Samuel to a long-term care unit. Shortly before the move, Samuel’s parents visited him in the hospital. His mother left the room, while his father produced a pistol and told the nurse to keep away. He then disconnected Samuel from the respirator, and cradled the baby in his arms until he died. When he was sure Samuel was dead, he gave up his pistol and surrendered to police. He was charged with murder, but the grand jury refused to issue a homicide indictment, and he subsequently received a suspended sentence on a minor charge arising from the use of the pistol. Obviously, such cases raise different issues from those raised by voluntary euthanasia. There is no desire to die on the part of the infant. It may also be questioned whether, in such cases, the death is carried out for the sake of the infant, or for the sake of the family as a whole. If Louis Repouille’s son was ‘just like dead all the time’, then he may have been so profoundly brain- damaged that he was not capable of suffering at all. That is also likely to have been true of the comatose Samuel Linares. In that case, while caring for him would have been a great and no doubt futile burden for the family, and in the Linares case, a drain on the state’s limited medical resources as well, the infants were not suffering, and death could not be said to be in, or contrary to, their interests. It is therefore not euthanasia, strictly speaking, as I have defined the term. it might nevertheless be a justifiable ending of a human life.
Since cases of infanticide and non-voluntary euthanasia are the kind of case most nearly akin to our previous discussions of the status of animals and the human fetus, we shall consider them first.
JUSTIFYING INFANTICIDE AND NON-VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA
As we have seen, euthanasia is non-voluntary when the subject has never had the capacity to choose to live or die. This is the situation of the severely disabled infant or the older human being who has been profoundly intellectually disabled since birth. Euthanasia or other forms of killing are also non- voluntary when the subject is not now but once was capable of making the crucial choice, and did not then express any preference relevant to her present condition.
The case of someone who has never been capable of choosing to live or die is a little more straightforward than that of a person who had, but has now lost, the capacity to make such a decision. We shall, once again, separate the two cases and take the more straightforward one first. For simplicity, I shall concentrate on infants, although everything I say about them would apply to older children or adults whose mental age is and has always been that of an infant.
Life and Death Decisions for Disabled Infants
If we were to approach the issue of life or death for a seriously disabled human infant without any prior discussion of the ethics of killing in general, we might be unable to resolve the conflict between the widely accepted obligation to protect the sanctity of human life, and the goal of reducing suffering. Some say that such decisions are ‘subjective’, or that life and death questions must be left to God and Nature. Our previous discussions have, however, prepared the ground, and the principles established and applied in the preceding three chapters make the issue much less baffling than most take it to be.
In Chapter 4 we saw that the fact that a being is a human being, in the sense of a member of the species Homo sapiens, is not relevant to the wrongness of killing it; it is, rather, characteristics like rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness that make a difference. Infants lack these characteristics. Killing them, therefore, cannot be equated with killing normal human beings, or any other self-conscious beings. This conclusion is not limited to infants who, because of irreversible intellectual disabilities, will never be rational, self-conscious beings. We saw in our discussion of abortion that the potential of a fetus to become a rational, self-conscious being cannot count against killing it at a stage when it lacks these characteristics – not, that is, unless we are also prepared to count the value of rational self-conscious life as a reason against contraception and celibacy. No infant – disabled or not – has as strong a claim to life as beings capable of seeing themselves as distinct entities, existing over time.
The difference between killing disabled and normal infants lies not in any supposed right to life that the latter has and the former lacks, but in other considerations about killing. Most obviously there is the difference that often exists in the attitudes of the parents. The birth of a child is usually a happy event for the parents. They have, nowadays, often planned for the child. The mother has carried it for nine months. From birth, a natural affection begins to bind the parents to it. So one important reason why it is normally a terrible thing to kill an infant is the effect the killing will have on its parents.
It is different when the infant is born with a serious disability. Birth abnormalities vary, of course. Some are trivial and have little effect on the child or its parents; but others turn the normally joyful event of birth into a threat to the happiness of the parents, and any other children they may have.
Parents may, with good reason, regret that a disabled child was ever born. In that event the effect that the death of the child will have on its parents can be a reason for, rather than against killing it. Some parents want even the most gravely disabled infant to live as long as possible, and this desire would then be a reason against killing the infant. But what if this is not the case? in the discussion that follows I shall assume that the parents do not want the disabled child to live. I shall also assume that the disability is so serious that – again in contrast to the situation of an unwanted but normal child today – there are no other couples keen to adopt the infant. This is a realistic assumption even in a society in which there is a long waiting- list of couples wishing to adopt normal babies. It is true that from time to time cases of infants who are severely disabled and are being allowed to die have reached the courts in a glare of publicity, and this has led to couples offering to adopt the child. Unfortunately such offers are the product of the highly publicised dramatic life-and-death situation, and do not extend to the less publicised but far more cormnon situations in which parents feel themselves unable to look after a severely disabled child, and the child then languishes in an institution.
Infants are sentient beings who are neither rational nor self- conscious. So if we turn to consider the infants in themselves, independently of the attitudes of their parents, since their species is not relevant to their moral status, the principles that govern the wrongness of killing non-human animals who are sentient but not rational or self-conscious must apply here too. As we saw, the most plausible arguments for attributing a right to life to a being apply only if there is some awareness of oneself as a being existing over time, or as a continuing mental self. Nor can respect for autonomy apply where there is no capacity for autonomy. The remaining principles identified in Chapter 4 are utilitarian. Hence the quality of life that the infant can be expected to have is important.
One relatively common birth disability is a faulty development of the spine known as spina bifida. Its prevalence, varies in different countries, but it can affect as many as one in five hundred live births. In the more severe cases, the child will be permanently paralysed from the waistdown and lack control of bowels or bladder. Often excess fluid accumulates in the brain, a condition known as hydrocephalus, which can result in intellectual disabilities. Though some forms of treatment exist, if the child is badly affected at birth, the paralysis, incontinence, and intellectual disability cannot be overcome.
Some doctors closely connected with children suffering from severe spina bifida believe that the lives of the worst affected children are so miserable that it is wrong to resort to surgery to keep them alive. Published descriptions of the lives of these children support the judgment that these worst affected children will have lives filled with pain and discomfort. They need repeated major surgery to prevent curvature of the spine, due to the paralysis, and to correct other abnormalities. Some children with spina bifida have had forty major operations before they reach their teenage years.
When the life of an infant will be so miserable as not to be worth living, from the internal perspective of the being who will lead that life, both the ‘prior existence’ and the ‘total’ version of utilitarianism entail that, if there are no ‘extrinsic’ reasons for keeping the infant alive – like the feelings of the parents – it is better that the child should be helped to die without further suffering. A more difficult problem arises – and the convergence between the two views ends – when we consider disabilities that make the child’s life prospects significantly less promising than those of a normal child, but not so bleak as to make the child’s life not worth living. Haemophilia is probably in this category. The haemophiliac lacks the element in normal blood that makes it clot and thus risks prolonged bleeding, especially internal bleeding, from the slightest injury. if allowed to continue, this bleeding leads to permanent crippling and eventually death. The bleeding is very painful and although improved treatments have eliminated the need for constant blood transfusions, haemophiliacs still have to spend a lot of time in hospital. They are unable to play most sports and live constantly on the edge of crisis. Nevertheless, haemophiliacs do not appear to spend their time wondering whether to end it all; most find life definitely worth living, despite the difficulties they face.
Given these facts, suppose that a newborn baby is diagnosed as a haemophiliac. The parents, daunted by the prospect of bringing up a child with this condition, are not anxious for him to live. Could euthanasia be defended here? Our first reaction may well be a firm ‘no’, for the infant can be expected to have a life that is worth living, even if not quite as good as that of a normal baby. The ‘prior existence’ version of utilitarianism sup- ports this judgment. The infant exists. His life can be expected to contain a positive balance of happiness over misery. To kill him would deprive him of this positive balance of happiness. Therefore it would be wrong.
On the ‘total’ version of utilitarianism, however, we cannot reach a decision on the basis of this information alone. The total view makes it necessary to ask whether the death of the haemophiliac infant would lead to the creation of another being who would not otherwise have existed. In other words, if the haemophiliac child is killed, will his parents have another child whom they would not have if the haemophiliac child lives? If they would, is the second child likely to have a better life than the one killed?
Often it will be possible to answer both these questions affinnatively. A woman may plan to have two children. If one dies while she is of child-bearing age, she may conceive another in its place. Suppose a woman planning to have two children has one normal child, and then gives birth to a haemophiliac child. The burden of caring for that child may make it impossible for her to cope with a third child; but if the disabled child were to die, she would have another. It is also plausible to suppose that the prospects of a happy life are better for a normal child than for a haemophiliac.
When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life, the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. The loss of happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. Therefore, if killing the haemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others, it would, according to the total view, be right to kill him.
The total view treats infants as replaceable, in much the same way as it treats non-self-conscious animals (as we saw in Chapter 5). Many will think that the replaceability argument cannot be applied to human infants. The direct killing of even the most hopelessly disabled infant is still officially regarded as murder; how then could the killing of infants with far less serious problems, like haernophilia, be accepted? Yet on further reflection, the implications of the replaceability argument do not seem quite so bizarre. For there are disabled members of our species whom we now deal with exactly as the argument suggests we should. These cases closely resemble the ones we have been discussing. There is only one difference, and that is a difference of timing – the timing of the discovery of the problem, and the consequent killing of the disabled being.
Prenatal diagnosis is now a routine procedure for pregnant women. There are various medical techniques for obtaining information about the fetus during the early months of pregnancy. At one stage in the development of these procedures, it was possible to discover the sex of the fetus, but not whether the fetus would suffer from haemophilia. Haemophilia is a sex- linked genetic defect, from which only males suffer; females can carry the gene and pass it on to their male offspring without themselves being affected. So a woman who knew that she carried the gene for haemophilia could, at that stage, avoid giving birth to a haemophiliac child only by finding out the sex of the fetus, and aborting all males fetuses. Statistically, only half of these male children of women who carried the defective gene would have suffered from haernophilia, but there was then no way to find out to which half a particular fetus belonged. Therefore twice as many fetuses were being killed as necessary, in order to avoid the birth of children with haemophilia. This practice was widespread in many countries, and yet did not cause any great outcry. Now that we have techniques for identifying haemophilia before birth, we can be more selective, but the principle is the same: women are offered, and usually accept, abortions in order to avoid giving birth to children with haemophilia.
The same can be said about some other conditions that can be detected before birth. Down’s syndrome, formerly known as mongolism, is one of these. Children with this condition have intellectual disabilities and most will never be able to live in- dependently, but their lives, like those of small children, can be joyful. The risk of having a Down’s syndrome child increases sharply with the age of the mother, and for this reason prenatal diagnosis is routinely offered to pregnant women over 35. Again, undergoing the procedure implies that if the test for Down’s syndrome is positive, the woman will consider aborting the fetus and, if she still wishes to have another child, will start another pregnancy, which has a good chance of being normal.
Prenatal diagnosis, followed by abortion in selected cases, is common practice in countries with liberal abortion laws and advanced medical techniques. I think this is as it should be. As the arguments of Chapter 6 indicate, I believe that abortion can be justified. Note, however, that neither haemophilia nor Down’s syndrome is so crippling as to make life not worth living, from the inner perspective of the person with the condition. To abort a fetus with one of these disabilities, intending to have another child who will not be disabled, is to treat fetuses as interchangeable or replaceable. If the mother has previously decided to have a certain number of children, say two, then what she is doing, in effect, is rejecting one potential child in favour of another. She could, in defence of her actions, say: the loss of life of the aborted fetus is outweighed by the gain of a better life for the normal child who will be conceived only if the disabled one dies.
When death occurs before birth, replaceability does not conflict with generally accepted moral convictions. That a fetus is known to be disabled is widely accepted as a ground for abortion. Yet in discussing abortion, we saw that birth does not mark a morally significant dividing line. I cannot see how one could defend the view that fetuses may be ‘replaced’ before birth, but newborn infants may not be. Nor is there any other point, such as viability, that does a better job of dividing the fetus from the infant. Self-consciousness, which could provide a basis for holding that it is wrong to kill one being and replace it with another, is not to be found in either the fetus or the newborn infant. Neither the fetus nor the newborn infant is an individual capable of regarding itself as a distinct entity with a life of its own to lead, and it is only for newborn infants, or for still earlier stages of human life, that replaceability should be considered to be an ethically acceptable option.
It may still be objected that to replace either a fetus or a newborn infant is wrong because it suggests to disabled people living today that their lives are less worth living than the lives of people who are not disabled. Yet it is surely flying in the face of reality to deny that, on average, this is so. That is the only way to make sense of actions that we all take for granted. Recall thalidomide: this drug, when taken by pregnant women, caused many children to be born without arms or legs. Once the cause of the abnormal births was discovered, the drug was taken off the market, and the company responsible had to pay compensation. If we really believed that there is no reason to think of the life of a disabled person as likely to be any worse than that of a normal person, we would not have regarded this as a tragedy. No compensation would have been sought, or awarded by the courts. The children would merely have been ‘different’. We could even have left the drug on the market, so that women who found it a useful sleeping pill during pregnancy could continue to take it. If this sounds grotesque, that is only because we are all in no doubt at all that it is better to be born with limbs than without them. To believe this involves no disrespect at all for those who are lacking limbs; it simply recognises the reality of the difficulties they face.
In any case, the position taken here does not imply that it would be better that no people born with severe disabilities should survive; it implies only that the parents of such infants should be able to make this decision. Nor does this imply lack of respect or equal consideration for people with disabilities who are now living their own lives in accordance with their own wishes. As we saw at the end of Chapter 2, the principle of equal consideration of interests rejects any discounting of the interests of people on grounds of disability.
Even those who reject abortion and the idea that the fetus is replaceable are likely to regard possible people as replaceable. Recall the second woman in Parfit’s case of the two women, described in Chapter 5. She was told by her doctor that if she went ahead with her plan to become pregnant immediately, her child would have a disability (it could have been haemophilia); but if she waited three months her child would not have the disability. If we think she would do wrong not to wait, it can only be because we are comparing the two possible lives and judging one to have better prospects than the other. Of course, at this stage no life has begun; but the question is, when does a life, in the morally significant sense, really begin? in Chapters 4 and 5 we saw several reasons for saying that life only begins in the morally significant sense when there is awareness of one’s existence over time. The metaphor of life as a journey also provides a reason for holding that in infancy, life’s voyage has scarcely begun.
Regarding newborn infants as replaceable, as we now regard fetuses, would have considerable advantages over prenatal diagnosis followed by abortion. Prenatal diagnosis still cannot detect all major disabilities. Some disabilities, in fact, are not present before birth; they may be the result of extremely pre- mature birth, or of something going wrong in the birth process itself. At present parents can choose to keep or destroy their disabled offspring only if the disability happens to be detected during pregnancy. There is no logical basis for restricting parents’ choice to these particular disabilities. If disabled newborn infants were not regarded as having a right to life until, say, a week or a month after birth it would allow parents, in consultation with their doctors, to choose on the basis of far greater knowledge of the infant’s condition than is possible before birth. All these remarks have been concerned with the wrongness of ending the life of the infant, considered in itself rather than for its effects on others. When we take effects on others into account, the picture may alter. Obviously, to go through the whole of pregnancy and labour, only to give birth to a child who one decides should not live, would be a difficult, perhaps heartbreaking, experience. For this reason many women would prefer prenatal diagnosis and abortion rather than live birth with the possibility of infanticide; but if the latter is not morally worse than the former, this would seem to be a choice that the woman herself should be allowed to make.
Another factor to take into account is the possibility of adoption. When there are more couples wishing to adopt than nor- mal children available for adoption, a childless couple may be prepared to adopt a haemophiliac. This would relieve the mother of the burden of bringing up a haemophiliac child, and enable her to have another child, if she wished. Then the replaceability argument could not justify infanticide, for bringing the other child into existence would not be dependent on the death of the haemophiliac. The death of the haemophiliac would then be a straightforward loss of a life of positive quality, not outweighed by the creation of another being with a better life.
So the issue of ending life for disabled newborn infants is not without complications, which we do not have the space to discuss adequately. Nevertheless the main point is clear: killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all.
Other Non-voluntary Life and Death Decisions
In the preceding section we discussed justifiable killing for beings who have never been capable of choosing to live or die. Ending a life without consent may also be considered in the case of those who were once persons capable of choosing to live or die, but now, through accident or old age, have permanently lost this capacity, and did not, prior to losing it, express any views about whether they wished to go on living in such circumstances. These cases are not rare. Many hospitals care for motor accident victims whose brains have been damaged beyond all possible recovery. They may survive, in a coma, or perhaps barely conscious, for several years. In 1991, the Lancet reported that Rita Greene, a nurse, had been a patient at D.C. General Hospital in Washington for thirty-nine years without knowing it. Now aged sixty-three, she had been in a vegetative state since undergoing open heart surgery in 1952. The report stated that at any given time, between 5,000 and 10,000 Americans are surviving in a vegetative state. In other developed countries, where life-prolonging technology is not used so aggressively, there are far fewer long-term patients in this condition.
In most respects, these human beings do not differ importantly from disabled infants. They are not self-conscious, rational, or autonomous, and so considerations of a right to life or of respecting autonomy do not apply. If they have no experiences at all, and can never have any again, their lives have no intrinsic value. Their life’s journey has come to an end. They are biologically alive, but not biographically. (If this verdict seems harsh, ask yourself whether there is anything to choose between the following options: (a) instant death or (b) instant coma, followed by death, without recovery, in ten years’ time. I can see no advantage in survival in a comatose state, if death without recovery is certain.) The lives of those who are not in a coma and are conscious but not self-conscious have value if such beings experience more pleasure than pain, or have preferences that can be satisfied; but it is difficult to see the point of keeping such human beings alive if their life is, on the whole, miserable.
There is one important respect in which these cases differ from disabled infants. In discussing infanticide in the final section of Chapter 6, 1 cited Bentham’s comment that infanticide need not ‘give the slightest inquietude to the most timid imagination’. This is because those old enough to be aware of the killing of disabled infants are necessarily outside the scope of the policy. This cannot be said of euthanasia applied to those who once were rational and self-conscious. So a possible objection to this form of euthanasia would be that it will lead to insecurity and fear among those who are not now, but might come to be, within its scope. For instance, elderly people, knowing that non-voluntary euthanasia is sometimes applied to senile elderly patients, bedridden, suffering, and lacking the capacity to accept or reject death, might fear that every injection or tablet will be lethal. This fear might be quite irrational, but it would be difficult to convince people of this, particularly if old age really had affected their memory or powers of reasoning.
This objection might be met by a procedure allowing those who do not wish to be subjected to non-voluntary euthanasia under any circumstances to register their refusal. Perhaps this would suffice; but perhaps it would not provide enough reassurance. if not, non-voluntary euthanasia would be justifiable only for those never capable of choosing to live or die.
JUSTIFYING VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA
Under existing laws in most countries, people suffering unrelievable pain or distress from an incurable illness who beg their doctors to end their lives are asking their doctors to risk a murder charge. Although juries are extremely reluctant to convict in cases of this kind the law is clear that neither the request, nor the degree of suffering, nor the incurable condition of the person killed, is a defence to a charge of murder. Advocates of voluntary euthanasia propose that this law be changed so that a doctor could legally act on a patient’s desire to die without further suffering. Doctors have been able to do this quite openly in the Netherlands, as a result of a series of court decisions during the 1980s, as long as they comply with certain conditions. In Ger- many, doctors may provide a patient with the means to end her life, but they may not administer the substance to her.
The case for voluntary euthanasia has some common ground with the case for non-voluntary euthanasia, in that death is a benefit for the one killed. The two kinds of euthanasia differ, however, in that voluntary euthanasia involves the killing of a person, a rational and self-conscious being and not a merely conscious being. (To be strictly accurate it must be said that this is not always so, because although only rational and self-conscious beings can consent to their own deaths, they may not be rational and self-conscious at the time euthanasia is contemplated – the doctor may, for instance, be acting on a prior written request for euthanasia if, through accident or illness, one’s rational faculties should be irretrievably lost. For simplicity we shall, henceforth, disregard this complication.)
We have seen that it is possible to justify ending the life of a human being who lacks the capacity to consent. We must now ask in what way the ethical issues are different when the being is capable of consenting, and does in fact consent.
Let us return to the general principles about killing proposed in Chapter 4. 1 argued there that killing a self-conscious being is a more serious matter than killing a merely conscious being. I gave four distinct grounds on which this could be argued:
1. The classical utilitarian claim that since self-conscious beings are capable of fearing their own death, killing them has worse effects on others. 2. The preference utilitarian calculation that counts the thwarting of the victim’s desire to go on living as an important reason against killing. 3. A theory of rights according to which to have a right one must have the ability to desire that to which one has a right, so that to have a right to life one must be able to desire one’s own continued existence. 4. Respect for the autonomous decisions of rational agents.
Now suppose we have a situation in which a person suffering from a painful and incurable disease wishes to die. if the individual were not a person – not rational or self-conscious – euthanasia would, as I have said, be justifiable. Do any of the four grounds for holding that it is normally worse to kill a person provide reasons against killing when the individual is a person who wants to die?
The classical utilitarian objection does not apply to killing that takes place only with the genuine consent of the person killed. That people are killed under these conditions would have no tendency to spread fear or insecurity, since we have no cause to be fearful of being killed with our own genuine consent. If we do not wish to be killed, we simply do not consent. In fact, the argument from fear points in favour of voluntary euthanasia, for if voluntary euthanasia is not permitted we may, with good cause, be fearful that our deaths will be unnecessarily drawn out and distressing. In the Netherlands, a nationwide study commissioned by the government found that ‘Many patients want an assurance that their doctor will assist them to die should suffering become unbearable.’ Often, having received this assurance, no persistent request for euthanasia eventuated. The availability of euthanasia brought comfort without euthanasia having to be provided.
Preference utilitarianism also points in favour of, not against, voluntary euthanasia. Just as preference utilitarianism must count a desire to go on living as a reason against killing, so it must count a desire to die as a reason for killing.
Next, according to the theory of rights we have considered, it is an essential feature of a right that one can waive one’s rights if one so chooses. I may have a right to privacy; but I can, if I wish, film every detail of my daily life and invite the neighbours to my home movies. Neighbours sufficiently intrigued to accept my invitation could do so without violating my right to privacy, since the right has on this occasion been waived. Similarly, to say that I have a right to life is not to say that it would be wrong for my doctor to end my life, if she does so at my request. In making this request I waive my right to life.
Lastly, the principle of respect for autonomy tells us to allow rational agents to live their own lives according to their own autonomous decisions, free from coercion or interference; but if rational agents should autonomously choose to die, then respect for autonomy will lead us to assist them to do as they choose.
So, although there are reasons for thinking that killing a self-conscious being is normally worse than killing any other kind of being, in the special case of voluntary euthanasia most of these reasons count for euthanasia rather than against. Surprising as this result might at first seem, it really does no more than reflect the fact that what is special about self-conscious beings is that they can know that they exist over time and will, unless they die, continue to exist. Normally this continued existence is fervently desired; when the foreseeable continued existence is dreaded rather than desired however, the desire to die may take the place of the normal desire to live, reversing the reasons against killing based on the desire to live. Thus the case for voluntary euthanasia is arguably much stronger than the case for non-voluntary euthanasia.
Some opponents of the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia might concede that all this follows, if we have a genuinely free and rational decision to die: but, they add, we can never be sure that a request to be killed is the result of a free and rational decision. Will not the sick and elderly be pressured by their relatives to end their lives quickly? Will it not be possible to commit outright murder by pretending that a person has requested euthanasia? And even if there is no pressure of falsification, can anyone who is ill, suffering pain, and very probably in a drugged and confused state of mind, make a rational decision about whether to live or die?
These questions raise technical difficulties for the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia, rather than objections to the under- lying ethical principles; but they are serious difficulties nonetheless. The guidelines developed by the courts in the Netherlands have sought to meet them by proposing that euthanasia is acceptable only if
Euthanasia in these circumstances is strongly supported by the Royal Dutch Medical Association, and by the general public in the Netherlands. The guidelines make murder in the guise of euthanasia rather far-fetched, and there is no evidence of an increase in the murder rate in the Netherlands.
It is often said, in debates about euthanasia, that doctors can be mistaken. In rare instances patients diagnosed by two competent doctors as suffering from an incurable condition have survived and enjoyed years of good health. Possibly the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia would, over the years, mean the deaths of a few people who would otherwise have recovered from their immediate illness and lived for some extra years. This is not, however, the knockdown argument against euthanasia that some imagine it to be. Against a very small number of unnecessary deaths that might occur if euthanasia is legalised we must place the very large amount of pain and distress that will be suffered if euthanasia is not legalised, by patients who really are terminally ill. Longer life is not such a supreme good that it outweighs all other considerations. (if it were, there would be many more effective ways of saving life – such as a ban on smoking, or a reduction of speed limits to 40 kilometres per hour – than prohibiting voluntary euthanasia.) The possibility that two doctors may make a mistake means that the person who opts for euthanasia is deciding on the balance of probabilities and giving up a very slight chance of survival in order to avoid suffering that will almost certainly end in death. This may be a perfectly rational choice. Probability is the guide of life, and of death, too. Against this, some will reply that improved care for the terminally ill has eliminated pain and made voluntary euthanasia unnecessary. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, whose On Death and Dying is perhaps the best-known book on care for the dying, has claimed that none of her patients request euthanasia. Given personal attention an the right medication, she says, people come to accept their deaths and die peacefully without pain.
Kubler-Ross may be right. It may be possible, now, to eliminate pain. In almost all cases, it may even be possible to do it in a way that leaves patients in possession of their rational faculties and free from vomiting, nausea, or other distressing side-effects. Unfortunately only a minority of dying patients now receive this kind of care. Nor is physical pain the only problem. There can also be other distressing conditions, like bones so fragile they fracture at sudden movements, uncontrollable nausea and vomiting, slow starvation due to a cancerous growth, inability to control one’s bowels or bladder, difficulty in breathing, and so on.
Dr Timothy Quill, a doctor from Rochester, New York, has described how he prescribed barbiturate sleeping pills for ‘Diane’, a patient with a severe form of leukaemia, knowing that she wanted the tablets in order to be able to end her life. Dr Quill had known Diane for many years, and admired her courage in dealing with previous serious illnesses. in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr Quill wrote:
It was extraordinarily important to Diane to maintain control of herself and her own dignity during the time remaining to her. When this was no longer possible, she clearly wanted to die. As a former director of a hospice program, I know how to use pain medicines to keep patients comfortable and lessen suffering. I explained the philosophy of comfort care, which I strongly believe in. Although Diane understood and appreciated this, she had known of people lingering in what was called relative com- fort, and she wanted no part of it. When the time came, she wanted to take her life in the least painful way possible. Knowing of her desire for independence and her decision to stay in control, I thought this request made perfect sense…. In our discussion it became clear that preoccupation with her fear of a lingering death would interfere with Diane’s getting the most out of the time she had left until she found a safe way to ensure her death.
Not all dying patients who wish to die are fortunate enough to have a doctor like Timothy Quill. Betty Rollin has described, in her moving book Last Wish, how her mother developed ovarian cancer that spread to other parts of her body. One morning her mother said to her:
I’ve had a wonderful life, but now it’s over, or it should be. I’m not afraid to die, but I am afraid of this illness, what it’s doing to me…. There’s never any relief from it now. Nothing but nausea and this pain…. There won’t be any more chemotherapy. There’s no treatment anymore. So what happens to me now? I know what happens. I’ll die slowly …. I don’t want that …. Who does it benefit if I die slowly? if it benefits my children I’d be willing. But it’s not going to do you any good …. There’s no point in a slow death, none. I’ve never liked doing things with no point. I’ve got to end this.
Betty Rollin found it very difficult to help her mother to carry out her desire: ‘Physician after physician turned down our pleas for help (How many pills? What kind?).’ After her book about her mother’s death was published, she received hundreds of letters, many from people, or close relatives of people, who had tried to die, failed, and suffered even more. Many of these people were denied help from doctors, because although suicide is legal in most jurisdictions, assisted suicide is not.
Perhaps one day it will be possible to treat all terminally ill and incurable patients in such a way that no one requests euthanasia and the subject becomes a non-issue; but this is now just a utopian ideal, and no reason at all to deny euthanasia to those who must live and die in far less comfortable conditions. It is, in any case, highly paternalistic to tell dying patients that they are now so well looked after that they need not be offered the option of euthanasia. It would be more in keeping with respect for individual freedom and autonomy to legalise euthanasia and let patients decide whether their situation is bearable.
Do these arguments for voluntary euthanasia perhaps give too much weight to individual freedom and autonomy? After all, we do not allow people free choices on matters like, for instance, the taking of heroin. This is a restriction of freedom but, in the view of many, one that can be justified on paternalistic grounds. If preventing people from becoming heroin addicts is justifiable paternalism, why isn’t preventing people from having themselves killed?
The question is a reasonable one, because respect for individual freedom can be carded too far. John Stuart Mill thought that the state should never interfere with the individual except to prevent harm to others. The individual’s own good, Mill thought, is not a proper reason for state intervention. But Mill may have had too high an opinion of the rationality of a human being. It may occasionally be right to prevent people from making choices that are obviously not rationally based and that we can be sure they will later regret. The prohibition of voluntary euthanasia cannot be justified on paternalistic grounds, how- ever, for voluntary euthanasia is an act for which good reasons exist. Voluntary euthanasia occurs only when, to the best of medical knowledge, a person is suffering from an incurable and painful or extremely distressing condition. In these circumstances one cannot say that to choose to die quickly is obviously irrational. The strength of the case for voluntary euthanasia lies in this combination of respect for the preferences, or autonomy, of those who decide for euthanasia; and the clear rational basis of the decision itself.
NOT JUSTIFYING INVOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA
Involuntary euthanasia resembles voluntary euthanasia in that it involves the killing of those capable of consenting to their own death. It differs in that they do not consent. This difference is crucial, as the argument of the preceding section shows. All the four reasons against killing self-conscious beings apply when the person killed does not choose to die.
Would it ever be possible to justify involuntary euthanasia on paternalistic grounds, to save someone extreme agony? It might be possible to imagine a case in which the agony was so great, and so certain, that the weight of utilitarian considerations favouring euthanasia override all four reasons against killing self-conscious beings. Yet to make this decision one would have to be confident that one can judge when a person’s life is so bad as to be not worth living, better than that person can judge herself it is not clear that we are ever justified in having much confidence in our judgments about whether the life of another person is, to that person, worth living. That the other person wishes to go on living is good evidence that her life is worth living. What better evidence could there be?
The only kind of case in which the paternalistic argument is at all plausible is one in which the person to be killed does not realise what agony she will suffer in future, and if she is not killed now she will have to live through to the very end. On these grounds one might kill a person who has – though she does not yet realise it – fallen into the hands of homicidal sadists who will torture her to death. These cases are, fortunately, more commonly encountered in fiction than reality.
If in real life we are unlikely ever to encounter a case of justifiable involuntary euthanasia, then it may be best to dismiss from our minds the fanciful cases in which one might imagine defending it, and treat the rule against involuntary euthanasia as, for all practical purposes, absolute. Here [R. M.] Hare’s distinction between critical and intuitive levels of moral reasoning (see Chapter 4), is again relevant. The case described in the preceding paragraph is one in which, if we were reasoning at the critical level, we might consider involuntary euthanasia justifiable; but at the intuitive level, the level of moral reasoning we apply in our daily lives, we can simply say that euthanasia is only justifiable if those killed either
1. lack the ability to consent to death, because they lack the capacity to understand the choice between their own continued existence or non-existence; or 2. have the capacity to choose between their own continued life or death and to make an informed, voluntary, and settled decision to die.
ACTIVE AND PASSIVE EUTHANASIA
The conclusions we have reached in this chapter will shock a large number of readers, for they violate one of the most fundamental tenets of Western ethics – the wrongness of killing innocent human beings. I have already made one attempt to show that my conclusions are, at least in the area of disabled infants, a less radical departure from existing practice than one might suppose. I pointed out that many societies allow a pregnant woman to Ml a fetus at a late stage of pregnancy if there is a significant risk of it being disabled; and since the line between a developed fetus and a newborn infant is not a crucial moral divide, it is difficult to see why it is worse to kill a newborn infant known to be disabled. In this section I shall argue that there is another area of accepted medical practice that is not intrinsically different from the practices that the arguments of this chapter would allow.
I have already referred to the birth defect known as spina bifida, in which the infant is born with an opening in the back, exposing the spinal cord. Until 1957, most of these infants died young, but in that year doctors began using a new kind of valve, to drain off the excess fluid that otherwise accumulates in the head with this condition. In some hospitals it then became standard practice to make vigorous efforts to save every spina bifida infant. The result was that few such infants died – but of those who survived, many were severely disabled, with gross paralysis, multiple deformities of the legs and spine, and no control of bowel or bladder. Intellectual disabilities were also common. in short, the existence of these children caused great difficulty for their families and was often a misery for the children themselves.
After studying the results of this policy of active treatment a British doctor, John Lorber, proposed that instead of treating all cases of spina bifida, only those who have the defect in a mild form should be selected for treatment. (He proposed that the final decision should be up to the parents, but parents nearly always accept the recommendations of the doctors.) This principle of selective treatment has now been widely accepted in many countries and in Britain has been recognised as legitimate by the Department of Health and Social Security. The result is that fewer spina bifida children survive beyond infancy, but those who do survive are, by and large, the ones whose physical and mental disabilities are relatively minor.
The policy of selection, then, appears to be a desirable one:but what happens to those disabled infants not selected for treatment? Lorber does not disguise the fact that in these cases the hope is that the infant will die soon and without suffering. it is to achieve this objective that surgical operations and other forms of active treatment are not undertaken, although pain and discomfort are as far as possible relieved. If the infant happens to get an infection, the kind of infection that in a normal infant would be swiftly cleared up with antibiotics, no antibiotics are given. Since the survival of the infant is not desired, no steps are taken to prevent a condition, easily curable by ordinary medical techniques, proving fatal.
All this is, as I have said, accepted medical practice. in articles in medical journals, doctors have described cases in which they have allowed infants to die. These cases are not limited to spina bifida, but include, for instance, babies born with Down’s syndome and other complications. In 1982, the ‘Baby Doe’ case brought this practice to the attention of the American public. ‘Baby Doe’ was the legal pseudonym of a baby born in Bloomington, Indiana, with Down’s syndrome and some additional problems. The most serious of these was that the passage from the mouth to the stomach – the oesophagus – was not property formed. This meant that Baby Doe could not receive nourishment by mouth. The problem could have been repaired by surgery – but in this case the parents, after discussing the situation with their obstetrician, refused permission for surgery. Without surgery, Baby Doe would soon die. Baby Doe’s father later said that as a schoolteacher he had worked closely with Down syndrome children, and that he and his wife had decided that it was in the best interests of Baby Doe, and of their family a whole (they had two other children), to refuse consent f the operation. The hospital authorities, uncertain of their leg position, took the matter to court. Both the local county court and the Indiana State Supreme Court upheld the parents’ rig] to refuse consent to surgery. The case attracted national made attention, and an attempt was made to take it to the U.S. Supreme Court, but before this could happen, Baby Doe died.
One result of the Baby Doe case was that the U.S. government headed at the time by President Ronald Reagan, who had come, to power with the backing of the right-wing religious ‘Moral Majority’, issued a regulation directing that all infants are to be given necessary life-saving treatment, irrespective of disability. But the new regulations were strongly resisted by the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. In court hearings on the regulations, even Dr C. Everett Koop, Reagan’s surgeon-general and the driving force behind the attempt to ensure that all infants should be treated, had to admit that there were some cases in which he would not provide life sustaining treatment. Dr Koop mentioned three conditions in which, he said, life-sustaining treatment was not appropriate anencephalic infants (infants born without a brain); infants who had, usually as a result of extreme prematurity, suffered such severe bleeding in the brain that they would never be able to breathe without a respirator and would never be able even to recognise another person; and infants lacking a major part of their digestive tract, who could only be kept alive by means o a drip providing nourishment directly into the bloodstream.
The regulations were eventually accepted only in a watered down form, allowing some flexibility to doctors. Even so, a subsequent survey of American paediatricians specialising in the care of newborn infants showed that 76 percent thought that the regulations were not necessary, 66 percent considered the regulations interfered with parents’ right to determine what course of action was in the best interests of their children, and 60 percent believed that the regulations did not allow adequate consideration of infants’ suffering.
In a series of British cases, the courts have accepted the view that the quality of a child’s life is a relevant consideration in deciding whether life-sustaining treatment should be provided. In a case called In re B, concerning a baby like Baby Doe, with Down’s syndrome and an intestinal obstruction, the court said that surgery should be carried out, because the infant’s life would not be’demonstrably awful’. in another case, Re C, where the baby had a poorly formed brain combined with severe physical handicaps, the court authorised the paediatric team to refrain from giving life-prolonging treatment. This was also the course taken in the case of Re Baby J: this infant was born extremely prematurely, and was blind and deaf and would probably never have been able to speak.
Thus, though many would disagree with Baby Doe’s parents about allowing a Down’s syndrome infant to die (because people with Down’s syndrome can live enjoyable lives and be warm and loving individuals), virtually everyone recognises that in more severe conditions, allowing an infant to die is the only humane and ethically acceptable course to take. The question is: if it is right to allow infants to die, why is it wrong to kill them?
This question has not escaped the notice of the doctors involved. Frequently they answer it by a pious reference to the nineteenth-century poet, Arthur Clough, who wrote:
Thou shalt not kill; but need’st not strive Officiously to keep alive.
Unfortunately for those who appeal to Clough’s immortal lines as an authoritative ethical pronouncement, they come from a biting satire – ‘The Latest Decalogue’ – the intent of which is to mock the attitudes described. The opening lines, for example, are:
Thou shalt have one god only; who Would be at the expense of two. No graven images may be Worshipped except the currency.
So Clough cannot be numbered on the side of those who think it wrong to kill, but right not to try too hard to keep alive. is there, nonetheless, something to be said for this idea? The view that there is something to be said for it is often termed ‘the acts and omissions doctrine’. It holds that there is an important moral distinction between performing an act that has certain consequences – say , the death of a disabled child – and omitting to do something that has the same consequences. if this doctrine is correct, the doctor who gives the child a lethal injection does wrong; the doctor who omits to give the child antibiotics, knowing full well that without antibiotics the child will die, does not.
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Posted: December 21, 2016 at 7:01 pm
Nootropic is not a new thing in this world. This particular term has been around in the health industry since the early 1970s. If you split the word Nootropic into two parts. The first part of noos in Greek means mind. The second part of tropos in Greek means to turn towards. The whole word means Towards the Mind.
Nootropics have known as Smart Drugs to most people. But, you can refer these Smart Drugs as intelligence boosters or cognitive enhancers. These Nootropic supplements help you to improve your memory potential, concentration and cognitive function. Also, they can improve the long-term health of your brain.
What is Nootropics?
Usually, Nootropics is available on the online market in both pill and powder form. Some made with natural substances or man-made chemicals. Herbal or natural Nootropics are plant based. Or any kind of plant-derived compounds. They have shown to be able to help you to enhance your health and cognitive ability.
Some of the best Nootropics made from herbal on the market are Bacopa Monnieri, Huperzine A, Alpha GPC, Cats Claw, L-Theanine & L-Tyrosine. These Herbal Nootropics are as effective as the synthetic Nootropics if not better. Also, If you want to boost up your results, you can stack several of them together.
How do Nootropics work for you?
On todays market. The majority of Nootropics (eg. Glutamate. Dopamine. Acetylcholine and Serotonin) are affecting the neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals. They act as the information messengers between nerve cells of your brain. These nerve cells called neurons. Neurotransmitters are the messengers. They relay signals to your brain. To tell your lungs to breathe or your heart to beat.
But, these messengers also play a crucial role in the cognitive function of your body. Nootropics alter the neurotransmitters to your advantage to improve how your brain functions. Some Nootropics on the market act as vasodilators. They work by boosting the flow of oxygen and blood to your brain. But, all have the same cognitive enhancing effect on your brain.
What are the benefits of Nootropic supplements?
Countless studies have proven Nootropics can provide enhanced effects on your cognitive function. This has led doctors using Nootropics for many years. They help patients to treat various conditions. Most conditions related to the brain, such as Alzheimers. ADHD and Huntingtons disease. When people realized what Nootropics can do. They will understand why Nootropics has used to treat these diseases.
But, for those people who are not suffering from the above conditions. They can still take this kind of drugs and gain benefits.
These benefits are mood enhancement. Reduced symptoms of stress and depression. Better coordination. Increased motivation and attention.
Also, they can increase memory and learning abilities.
As the chemistry of the brain for everyone is different. Different people will experience different on the effect of the same dosage. But, most important of all, people realized that Nootropic supplement does work for them. It is not some kind of pie in the sky idea. Nootropics can give you a great amount of health benefits.
Nootropic supplements are legal and safe
The side effects of Nootropic supplements are rare. They are not toxic. Despite they labeled as Smart Drugs. They are actually suitable for your daily consumption over a long period of time.
They are legal and safe for you to take as your health supplements. Nootropics have existed since the early 1970s. Many people discovered this Smart Drugs. They found the cognitive benefits are just irresistible for anyone not to notice.
To overcome issues of losing concentration. Bad mood and loss of memory, etc. You can take Nootropic supplement as your dietary supplement to help you. Whether you are someone who is having some kind of cognitive disorder. Young or old. Or just a healthy person. Nootropic supplements can offer cognitive benefits for any user. Regardless of what you are in this world.
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Posted: December 12, 2016 at 7:43 pm
No architecture has existed since 1700. A moronic mixture of the most various stylistic elements used to mask the skeletons of modern houses is called modern architecture. The new beauty of cement and iron are profaned by the superimposition of motley decorative incrustations that cannot be justified either by constructive necessity or by our (modern) taste, and whose origins are in Egyptian, Indian or Byzantine antiquity and in that idiotic flowering of stupidity and impotence that took the name of neoclassicism.
These architectonic prostitutions are welcomed in Italy, and rapacious alien ineptitude is passed off as talented invention and as extremely up-to-date architecture. Young Italian architects (those who borrow originality from clandestine and compulsive devouring of art journals) flaunt their talents in the new quarters of our towns, where a hilarious salad of little ogival columns, seventeenth-century foliation, Gothic pointed arches, Egyptian pilasters, rococo scrolls, fifteenth-century cherubs, swollen caryatids, take the place of style in all seriousness, and presumptuously put on monumental airs. The kaleidoscopic appearance and reappearance of forms, the multiplying of machinery, the daily increasing needs imposed by the speed of communications, by the concentration of population, by hygiene, and by a hundred other phenomena of modern life, never cause these self-styled renovators of architecture a moment’s perplexity or hesitation. They persevere obstinately with the rules of Vitruvius, Vignola and Sansovino plus gleanings from any published scrap of information on German architecture that happens to be at hand. Using these, they continue to stamp the image of imbecility on our cities, our cities which should be the immediate and faithful projection of ourselves.
And so this expressive and synthetic art has become in their hands a vacuous stylistic exercise, a jumble of ill-mixed formulae to disguise a run-of-the-mill traditionalist box of bricks and stone as a modern building. As if we who are accumulators and generators of movement, with all our added mechanical limbs, with all the noise and speed of our life, could live in streets built for the needs of men four, five or six centuries ago.
This is the supreme imbecility of modern architecture, perpetuated by the venal complicity of the academies, the internment camps of the intelligentsia, where the young are forced into the onanistic recopying of classical models instead of throwing their minds open in the search for new frontiers and in the solution of the new and pressing problem: the Futurist house and city. The house and the city that are ours both spiritually and materially, in which our tumult can rage without seeming a grotesque anachronism.
The problem posed in Futurist architecture is not one of linear rearrangement. It is not a question of finding new moldings and frames for windows and doors, of replacing columns, pilasters and corbels with caryatids, flies and frogs. Neither has it anything to do with leaving a faade in bare brick, or plastering it, or facing it with stone or in determining formal differences between the new building and the old one. It is a question of tending the healthy growth of the Futurist house, of constructing it with all the resources of technology and science, satisfying magisterially all the demands of our habits and our spirit, trampling down all that is grotesque and antithetical (tradition, style, aesthetics, proportion), determining new forms, new lines, a new harmony of profiles and volumes, an architecture whose reason for existence can be found solely in the unique conditions of modern life, and in its correspondence with the aesthetic values of our sensibilities. This architecture cannot be subjected to any law of historical continuity. It must be new, just as our state of mind is new.
The art of construction has been able to evolve with time, and to pass from one style to another, while maintaining unaltered the general characteristics of architecture, because in the course of history changes of fashion are frequent and are determined by the alternations of religious conviction and political disposition. But profound changes in the state of the environment are extremely rare, changes that unhinge and renew, such as the discovery of natural laws, the perfecting of mechanical means, the rational and scientific use of material. In modern life the process of stylistic development in architecture has been brought to a halt. Architecture now makes a break with tradition. It must perforce make a fresh start.
Calculations based on the resistance of materials, on the use of reinforced concrete and steel, exclude “architecture” in the classical and traditional sense. Modern constructional materials and scientific concepts are absolutely incompatible with the disciplines of historical styles, and are the principal cause of the grotesque appearance of “fashionable” buildings in which attempts are made to employ the lightness, the superb grace of the steel beam, the delicacy of reinforced concrete, in order to obtain the heavy curve of the arch and the bulkiness of marble.
The utter antithesis between the modern world and the old is determined by all those things that formerly did not exist. Our lives have been enriched by elements the possibility of whose existence the ancients did not even suspect. Men have identified material contingencies, and revealed spiritual attitudes, whose repercussions are felt in a thousand ways. Principal among these is the formation of a new ideal of beauty that is still obscure and embryonic, but whose fascination is already felt even by the masses. We have lost our predilection for the monumental, the heavy, the static, and we have enriched our sensibility with a taste for the light, the practical, the ephemeral and the swift. We no longer feel ourselves to be the men of the cathedrals, the palaces and the podiums. We are the men of the great hotels, the railway stations, the immense streets, colossal ports, covered markets, luminous arcades, straight roads and beneficial demolitions.
We must invent and rebuild the Futurist city like an immense and tumultuous shipyard, agile, mobile and dynamic in every detail; and the Futurist house must be like a gigantic machine. The lifts must no longer be hidden away like tapeworms in the niches of stairwells; the stairwells themselves, rendered useless, must be abolished, and the lifts must scale the lengths of the faades like serpents of steel and glass. The house of concrete, glass and steel, stripped of paintings and sculpture, rich only in the innate beauty of its lines and relief, extraordinarily “ugly” in its mechanical simplicity, higher and wider according to need rather than the specifications of municipal laws. It must soar up on the brink of a tumultuous abyss: the street will no longer lie like a doormat at ground level, but will plunge many stories down into the earth, embracing the metropolitan traffic, and will be linked up for necessary interconnections by metal gangways and swift-moving pavements.
The decorative must be abolished. The problem of Futurist architecture must be resolved, not by continuing to pilfer from Chinese, Persian or Japanese photographs or fooling around with the rules of Vitruvius, but through flashes of genius and through scientific and technical expertise. Everything must be revolutionized. Roofs and underground spaces must be used; the importance of the faade must be diminished; issues of taste must be transplanted from the field of fussy moldings, finicky capitals and flimsy doorways to the broader concerns of bold groupings and masses, and large-scale disposition of planes. Let us make an end of monumental, funereal and commemorative architecture. Let us overturn monuments, pavements, arcades and flights of steps; let us sink the streets and squares; let us raise the level of the city.
I COMBAT AND DESPISE:
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futurism – unknown.nu
Posted: December 8, 2016 at 5:11 pm
That is so offensive! Don’t you know that only the Northern Hemisphere has Winter in December! note (they also forgot that some religions DO celebrate the Winter Solstice as such, as well as forgetting that Christmas takes place a few days AFTER the Winter Solstice) “And in a gutless act of political correctness, ‘Pizza Day’ will now be known as ‘Italian-American Sauced Bread Day.'” This title, taken from an infamous Catch Phrase of the Daily Mail, a British tabloid newspaper, can refer to one of two things. In some cases, this might be literally about political correctness taken too far, presented through a Granola Girl or Soapbox Sadie who embodies the negative aspects of the PC movement. It may also involve Moral Guardians attempting to Bowdlerize a work in order to remove anything, no matter how trivial, that might be considered “offensive”. However, in other cases, the accusations of political correctness are baseless. Along the same lines, a governmental authority (often a local council or Media Watchdog) is accused of being over-zealous to the point of parody in trying to avoid offense to minority groups – not unlike the Culture Police but in the other direction. Certain words or phrases are said to have been “banned”, as if, say, Chipping Sodbury Borough Council has any effective power over the English language or, indeed, anything. Often, the body in question are not only being overly cautious, they’re actually oppressing the group that is the target of their actions, and are shocked should their targets explain that a patronizing, paternalistic attitude can be just as offensive as the perceived slight. On the other hand, since this is often a satire we’re dealing with, it’s just as likely that the mere hint of the word “offense” will indeed result in the offending work being Banned In Chipping Sodbury. Politically Correct History is a specific variant where Common Knowledge historical accounts are treated as Fanon to avoid Unfortunate Implications such as Values Dissonance or having to explain Aluminum Christmas Trees. Usually, a range of urban myths are presented as examples of Political Correctness Gone Mad, such as …
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Anime & Manga
“I know what youre thinking now. Youre thinking ‘Oh my god, thats treating other people with respect gone mad!'”
Everyone: Whose faith is the right one, it’s anybody’s guess. Man in turban and Santa suit holding up a phone: What matter most is camera phone for twenty dollar less!
Announcer: It’s Asian American Doll, we made her from a place of fear! (gong sound effect) I specifically said no gong!
Anime & Manga
[On his Nan abusing the term to confusion] “In the old days, you could get your head and you could submerge it in a vat of boiling acid, and now they’re going ‘Oh, don’t do that, what if Jews see it? It’ll annoy the Jews’.”
Jeff: So, Walter, Happy Holidays!
Walter: *beat* You’re really going to do this, huh?
Jeff: So, Walter, Happy Holidays!
Walter: Screw you, it’s Merry Christmas!
Lance: Always trying to shut the white man down. Conspiracy Brother: THAT’S RIGHT! That’s Right!… Oh, that ain’t right.
Wesley: Apparently she felt I’d disrespected the Hacklar’s culture by killing it.
JD: It’s so great because the residents are practically our slaves. In JD’s head: Ah! I just said “slave” to my new, black girlfriend!
JD: We should, like, make him be our personal slave.
Turk’s Brother: Our personal what now?
JD: Uh, I didn’t mean-
Turk’s Brother: How about this? How about he be the house slave, and I be the field slave. That sound like fun to you?
JD: No, that doesn’t sound fun at all.
Turk: What’s going on?
Turk’s Brother: I forgot how much fun it was messing with Alfalfa here!
Liz: Can’t one human being not like another human being? Can’t we all just not get along? Steven: Liz, I wish it could be like that. And maybe someday our children or our children’s children will hate each other like that, but it just doesn’t work that way today. Liz: So what you’re saying is that any woman that doesn’t like you is a racist. Steven: No, no, no, no, no. Some women are gay.
Paul: I just blacked out.
Mike: Uhh, excuse me, you African-Americaned out.
One greeting card to cover everything
Confusing yes, no one will guess
We left out Kwanzaa!
We felt so guilty when he was all through It seemed there was one of two things we could do Live without food in the nude in a cave Or next year have someone say grace besides Dave
Ellis: Wouldn’t it be easier to call them by stuff that makes sense, like “High Elves,” “Wood Elves,” “Sea Elves,” “Cave Elves”… Sarine: … What? Ellis: No… “cave elves” sounds kinda stupid. How about “Dark Elves”? “Night Elves”? “Black Elves”? “Angry, Disenfranchised Minority Elves”? On second thought, go back to calling them by unpronounceable crap.
Dog: *barks* Guys: THAT’S OFFENSIVE!
[BlizzardRep]: Phylumism, were it an actual thing, would go against everything we stand for as a corporation.
[An00barak]: yes thats what ive been saying thank you thank you
[An00barak]: >88> >8
Fafa: Then what do I call them?!
Mario: Gentlemen or women of the country music persuasion.
Lelouch: NOT IF HER HEAD EXPLODES!!!
Dan: I don’t like the way you said “black.”
Pat: [talking to the game] Get away, you bouncing monkeys! D.K. Junior: Again with the hate speech! Pat: What did I say? D.K. Junior: Do you know how offensive it is to use the “M word”? Pat: The “M word”…what, monkey? Butbut that is a monkey! A green monkey! D.K. Junior: Specieist! The “M word” is no longer acceptable to say. “Evolutionary challenged simian” is the preferred nomenclature. Pat: When did that change? D.K. Junior: A few days ago.
Principal Skinner: When I look in my closet, I don’t see male clothes or female clothes. They’re all the same.
Edna Krabappel: Are you saying that men and women are identical?
Skinner: Oh, no, of course not! Women are unique in every way.
Lindsey Naegle: Now he’s saying men and women aren’t equal!
Skinner: No, no, no! It’s the differences of which there are none that makes the sameness exceptional. Just tell me what to say!
Dr. Hibbert: Yes, I remember Bart’s birth well. You don’t forget a thing like Siamese Twins!
Lisa: I believe they prefer to be called “conjoined twins”.
Dr. Hibbert: And Hillbillies prefer to be called “sons of the soil”. But it ain’t gonna happen.
Doctor Orpheus: Wow.
Iggy: So this medical caregiver of indeterminate gender, because nurses can be male or female, says to his or her disabled, or should I say differently-abled patient, “Why do you have a penguin on your head? They’re endangered!” Haaa!
Rick: Well, that’s retarded.
Anime & Manga
71-Hour Ahmed: Be generous, Sir Samuel. Truly treat all men equally. Allow Klatchians the right to be scheming bastards.
Shakespeare: Who are you, exactly, and, more to the point, who is this gorgeous blackamoor lady? Martha: (British, of Ghanaian and Iranian descent) What did you say? Shakespeare: (apologizing) Oops. Isn’t that a word we use nowadays? An Ethiop girl, a swarth, a Queen of Afric? Martha: (angry) I can’t believe I’m hearing this. The Doctor: It’s political correctness gone mad.
Jeff: Well, Walter, you look very festive. Happy Holidays! Walter: You know, there’s something I’ve been wanting to say for a while: Screw you, it’s Merry Christmas!
Ricky: [laughing] Leprechauns don’t exist!
Karl: It’s the same thing, though. If they did, they’d go, “Don’t call ’em that”
Karl: [beat] Gnomes, or… [Ricky and Steve burst out laughing]
News and Other Media
Go here to read the rest:
Posted: at 5:06 pm
This paper is made available with the permission of the World Future Society, Bethesda, MD
Readers should know that Dr. Graves was not entirely satisfied with this piece as it appeared in The Futurist, though it is by far the most popular of his articles and quite readable as an introduction to the theory.
Significant portions of this article were crafted by editor Ed Cornish using Dr. Graves’s basic ideas and principles. Graves was also not entirely happy with some of these depictions of levels such as GT and HU, as well as parts of the commentary added by the editor. The portions with heavy editorial involvement are indented.
Human Nature Prepares for a Momentous Leap
by Clare W. Graves
[From The Futurist, 1974, pp. 72-87. Edited with embedded comments by Edward Cornish, World Future Society.]
View Summary Table from the Article
A new psychological theory holds that human beings exist at different levels of existence. At any given level, an individual exhibits the behavior and values characteristic of people at that level; a person who is centralized at a lower level cannot even understand people who are at a higher level. In the following article, psychologist Clare Graves outlines his theory and what it suggests regarding man’s future. Through history, says Graves, most people have been confined to the lower levels of existence where they were motivated by needs shared with other animals. Now, Western man appears ready to move up to a higher level of existence, a distinctly human level. When this happens there will likely be a dramatic transformation of human institutions.
For many people the prospect of the future is dimmed by what they see as a moral breakdown of our society at both the public and private level. My research, over more than 20 years as a psychologist interested in human values, indicates that something is indeed happening to human values, but it is not so much a collapse in the fiber of man as a sign of human health and intelligence. My research indicates that man is learning that values and ways of living which were good for him at one period in his development are no longer good because of the changed condition of his existence. He is recognizing that the old values are no longer appropriate, but he has not yet understood the new.
The error which most people make when they think about human values is that they assume the nature of man is fixed and there is a single set of human values by which he should live. Such an assumption does not fit with my research. My data indicate that man’s nature is an open, constantly evolving system, a system which proceeds by quantum jumps from one steady state system to the next through a hierarchy of ordered systems.
Briefly, what I am proposing is that the psychology of the mature human being is an unfolding, emergent, oscillating, spiraling process marked by progressive subordination of older, lower-order behavior systems to newer, higher-order systems as man’s existential problems change. These systems alternate between focus upon the external world, and attempts to change it, and focus upon the inner world, and attempts to come to peace with it, with the means to each end changing in each alternatively prognostic system. Thus, man tends, normally, to change his psychology as the conditions of his existence change. Each successive state, or level of existence, is a state through which people pass on the way to other states of equilibrium. When a person is centralized in one state of existence, he has a total psychology which is particular to that state. His feelings, motivations, ethics and values, biochemistry, degree of neurological activation, learning systems, belief systems, conception of mental health, ideas as to what mental illness is and how it should be treated, preferences for and conceptions of management, education, economic and political theory and practice, etc., are all appropriate to that state.
In some cases, a person may not be genetically or constitutionally equipped to change in the normal upward direction when the conditions of his existence change. Instead, he may stabilize and live out his life at any one or a combination of levels in the hierarchy. Again, he may show the behavior of a level in a predominantly positive or negative manner, or he may, under certain circumstances, regress to a behavior system lower in the hierarchy. Thus, an adult lives in a potentially open system of needs, values and aspirations, but he often settles into what appears to be a closed system.
Human existence can be likened to a symphony with six themes. In a symphony, the composer normally begins by stating his themes in the simplest possible manner. In human existence, our species begins by stating in the simplest way those themes which will preoccupy us through thousands of variations. At this point in history, the societal effective leading edge of man in the technologically advanced nations is currently finishing the initial statement of the sixth theme of existence and is beginning again with the first theme in an entirely new and more sophisticated variation. That is, man has reached the point of finishing the first and most primitive ladder of existence: the one concerned with the emergence of the individual of the species Homo sapiens and his subsistence on this planet. The first six levels of existence, A-N through F-S, have accordingly been called Subsistence Levels. (A stands for the neurological system in the brain upon which the psychological system is based; N for the set of existential problems that the A neurological system is able to cope with. Thus, in the A-N state, one calls on the A system to solve the N problems of existence.) These six subsistence levels comprise the initial statement of man’s themes in its very simplest form.
The six subsistence levels of man’s existence have as their overall goal the establishment of individual survival and dignity. Once having become reasonably secure, both physically and psychologically, in his existence, the individual becomes suddenly free to experience the wonder and interdependence of all life. But he must notice at the same time that the struggle for man’s emergent individuality has imperiled the very survival of that life. Thus, just as early man at the most primitive level of subsistence (A-N), had to use what power he could command to stabilize his individual life functions, so G-T man, the individual who has reached the first level of being must use what knowledge he can command to stabilize the essential functions of interdependent life. Similarly, B-O or tribal man gathered together in communities to insure his individual, physical survival, and our G-T man of the future must form communities of knowledge to insure the survival of all viable life upon this Earth. We see therefore that the six themes constantly repeat, even though man progresses from the simple statement of individual subsistence to the variation of the interdependence of life. This stately succession of themes and movements is the general pattern of the levels of existence.
In this discussion of man’s present and future, the first three subsistence levels must still concern us because many people, from aborigines to newly emergent nations, are still living at these levels of existence.
Here are brief descriptions of the levels as I have come to know them through my research:
Some Characteristics of Various Levels
Automatic Existence (First Subsistence Level)
Man at the first subsistence level (A-N), the automatic state of physiological existence, seeks only the immediate satisfaction of his basic physiological needs. He has only an imperative need-based concept of time and space and no concept of cause or effect. His awareness excludes self and is limited to the presence of physiologically determined tension when it is present, and the relief of such tension when it takes place. He lives a purely physiological existence. Man the species, or man the individual, does not have to rise above this level to continue the survival of the species. He can continue the survival of the species through the purely physiological aspect of the process of procreation. He can live what is for him, at the A-N level, a productive lifetime, productive in the sense that his built-in response mechanisms are able to reduce the tensions of the imperative physiological needs and a reproductive lifetime. But this level of existence seldom is seen in the modern world except in pathological cases.
As soon as man, in his food-gathering wanderings, accrues a set of Pavlovian conditioned reflexes, which provide for the satisfaction of his imperative needs, and thus enters his ‘Garden of Eden,’ he slides almost imperceptibly out of this first stage into the second existential state, and established form of human existence, the tribalistic way of life.
Tribalistic Existence (Second Subsistence Level)
At the second subsistence level, the B-O autistic state of thinking, man’s need is for stability. He seeks to continue a way of life that he does not understand but strongly defends. This level of man has just struggled forth from striving to exist and now has his first established way of life. This way of life is essentially without awareness, thought, or purpose, for it is based on Pavlovian classical conditioning principles. Therefore, B-O man beliefs his tribalistic way is inherent in the nature of things. As a result he holds tenaciously to it, and strives desperately to propitiate the world for its continuance.
At this level a seasonal, or naturally based concept of time prevails and space is perceived in an atomistic fashion. Causality is not yet perceived because man perceives that forces at work to be inherent. Here a form of existence based on myth and tradition arises, and being is a mystical phenomenon full of spirits, magic and superstition. Here the task of existence is simply to continue what it seems has enabled my tribe to be.
But here, more by chance than by design, some men achieve relative control of their spirit world through their non-explainable, elder-administered, tradition-based way of life a way of life which continues relatively unchanged until disturbed from within or without. When the established tribal way of life assures the continuance of the tribe with minimal energy expenditure by solving problems N by neurological means A, it creates the first of the general conditions necessary for movement to a new and different steady state of being. It produces excess energy in the system which puts the system in a state of readiness for change. But unless another factor, such as dissonance or challenge, comes into the field, the change does not move in the direction of some other state of being. Instead, it moves toward maximum entropy and its own demise, since it becomes overloaded with its accretion of more and more tradition, more and more ritual. If, however, when the state of readiness is achieved, dissonance enters, then this steady state of being is precipitated toward a different kind of change. This dissonance arises usually in youth, or in certain minds which are not troubled by memories of the past and are capable of newer and more lasting insights into the nature of man’s being. Or it can come to the same capable minds when outsiders disturb the tribe’s way of life.
When, at the B-O level, readiness for change occurs, it triggers man’s insight into his existence as an individual being separate and distinct from other beings, and from his tribal compatriots as well. As he struggles, he perceives that others – other men, other animals, and even the spirits in his physical world – fight him back. So his need for survival comes to the fore.
With this change in consciousness, man becomes aware that he is aligned against predatory animals, a threatening physical universe, and other men who fight back for their established way of existence, or against him for the new way of existence he is striving to develop. Now he is not one-with-all, for he is alone in his struggle for his survival against the draconic forces of the universe. So he sets out in heroic fashion to build a way of being which will foster his individual survival.
Egocentric Existence (Third Subsistence Level)
At the egocentric level (C-P), raw, rugged, self-assertive individualism comes to the fore. This level might be termed ‘Machiavellian,’ for within it is all the author of The Prince considered the essence of being human. History suggests to us that the few who were able to gain their freedom from survival problems surged almost uncontrollably forward into a new way of being, and also dragged after them the tribal members unable to free themselves of the burden of stagnating tribalistic existence. History also suggests that the few became the authoritarians while the many became those who submitted. The many accepted the might-is-right of the few because such acceptance assured their survival. This was so in the past and it is still so today.
This Promethean (C-P) point of view is based on the prerogatives of the haves and the duties of the have-nots. Ultimately, when this way of life, based historically on the agricultural revolution, is established, life is seen as a continuous process with survival dependent on a controlled relationship. Fealty and loyalty, service and noblesse oblige become cornerstones of this way of life. Assured of their survival, through fief and vassalage, the haves base life of the right way to behave as their might dictates. A system develops in which each individual acts out in detail, in the interest of his own survival, how life is to be lived, but online a small number ever achieve any modicum of power and the remainder are left to submit.
Both the authoritarian and the submissive develop standards which they feel will insure them against threat, but these are very raw standards. The submissive person chooses to get away with what he can within the life style which is possible for him. The authoritarian chooses to do as he pleases. He spawns, as his raison d’tre, the rights of assertive individualism. These rights become, in time, the absolute rights of kings, the unassailable prerogatives of management, the inalienable rights of those who have achieved positions of power, and even the rights of the lowly hustler to all he can hustle. This is a world of the aggressive expression of man’s lusts openly and unabashedly by the ‘haves,’ and more covertly and deviously by the ‘have nots.’
Now man moves to the lasting security level of need and learns by avoidant learning. As he moves to the D-Q level he develops a way of life based on the conviction that there must be a reason for it all, a reason why the have shall possess so much in life yet be faced with death, and a reason why the have not is forced to endure a miserable existence. This search leads to the belief that the have and have not condition is a part of a directed design, a design of the forces guiding man and his destiny. Thus, the saintly way of life, based on one of the world’s great religions or great philosophies, comes to be. Here man creates what he believes is a way for lasting peace in this life or everlasting life, a way which, it seems to him, will remove the pain of both the have and the have not. Here he seeks salvation.
Saintly Existence (Fourth Subsistence Level)
At the saintly level (D-Q), man develops a way of life based on ‘Thou salt suffer the pangs of existence in this life to prove thyself worthy of later life.’ This saintly form of existence comes from seeing that living in this world is not made for ultimate pleasure, a perception based on the previous endless struggle with unbridled lusts and a threatening universe. Here man perceives that certain rules are prescribed for each class of men and that these rules describe the proper way each class is to behave. The rules are the price man must pay for his more lasting life, for the peace which he seeks, the price of no ultimate pleasure while living. The measure of this worthiness is how much he has lived by the established rules. But, after security is achieved through these absolutistic rules, the time comes when some men question the price. When this happens, the saintly way of life is doomed to decay, since some men are bound to ask why they cannot have some pleasure in this life. Man then struggles on through another period of transition to another level, now slipping, now falling in the quest for his goal. When man casts aside the inhuman aspect of his saintly existence, he is again charged with excess energy because his security problems are solved; but this very solution has created the problems R, how to build a life that will offer pleasure here and now, which eventually he meets through the neurological means of system E.
Materialistic Existence (Fifth Subsistence Level)
At the materialistic level (E-R_, man strives to conquer the world by learning its secrets, rather than through raw, naked force as he did at the C-P level. He tarries long enough here to develop and utilize the objectivistic, positivistic, operationalistic, scientific method so as to provide the material ends for a satisfactory human existence in the here and now. But once assured of his own material satisfaction he finds he has created problems S, a new spiritual void in his being. He finds himself master of the objective physical world but a prime neophyte in the subjectivistic, humanistic world. He has achieved the satisfaction of a good life through his relative mastery of the physical universe, but it has been achieved at a price, the price of not being liked by other men for his callous use of knowledge for himself. He has become envied and even respected, but he is not liked. He has achieved his personal status and material existence at the expense of being rejected even by his use of neurological sub-system F, and begins man’s move to his sixth form of existence.
Personalistic Existenence (Sixth Subsistence Level)
At the personalistic level (F-S), man becomes centrally concerned with peace with his inner self and in the relation of his self to the inner self of others. He becomes concerned with belonging, with being accepted, with knowing the inner side of self and other selves so harmony can come to be, so people as individuals can be at peace with themselves and thus with the world. And when he achieves this, he finds he must become concerned with more than self or other selves, because while he was focusing on the inner self to the exclusion of the external world, his outer world has gone to pot. So how he turns outward to life and to the whole, the total universe. As he does so he begins to see the problems of restoring the balance of life which has been torn asunder by his individualistically oriented, self-seeking climb up the first ladder of existence.
As man moves from the sixth or personalistic level, the level of being with self and other men, the seventh level, the cognitive level of existence, a chasm of unbelievable depth of meaning is crossed. The gap between the sixth level (the F-S level) and the seventh (the G-T level) is the gap between getting and giving, taking and contributing, destroying and constructing. It is the gap between deficiency or deficit motivation and growth or abundance motivation. It is the gap between similarity to animals and dissimilarity to animals, because only man is possessed of a future orientation.
Cognitive Existence (First Being Level)
Once we are able to grasp the meaning of passing from the level of being one with others to the cognitive level (G-T) of knowing and having to do so that all can be and can continue to be, it is possible to see the enormous differences between man and other animals. Here we step over the line which separates those needs that man has in common with other animals and those needs which are distinctly human.
Man, at the threshold of the seventh level, where so many political and cultural dissenters stand today, is at the threshold of being human. He is truly becoming a human being. He is no longer just another of nature’s species. And we, in our times, in our ethical and general behavior, are just approaching this threshold, the line between animalism and humanism.
Experientialistic Existence (Second Being Level)
At the second being level, the experientialistic level (H-U), man will be driven by the winds of knowledge, and human, not godly, faith. The knowledge and competence acquired at the G-T level will bring him to the level of understanding, the H-U level. If every man leaps to this great beyond, there will be no bowing to suffering, no vassalage, no peonage. Man will move forth on the crests of his broadened humanness rather than vacillate and swirl in the turbulence of his animalistic needs. His problems, now that he has put the world back together, will be those of bringing stabilization to life once again. He will need to learn how to live so that the balance of nature is not again upset, so that individual man will not again set off on another self-aggrandizing binge. His values will be set not by the accumulated wisdom of the elders, as in the B-O system, but by the accumulated knowledge of the knowers. But here again, as always, this accumulating knowledge will create new problems and precipitate man to continue up just another step in his existential staircase.
Applying Gravess Theory to Management
Graves criticizes management training programs for trying, in all too many instances, to change managers’ beliefs and ways of behaving so as to bring them more in line with the organization’s pre-existing methods and beliefs. For instance, such programs may manage from a hierarchical to a team management.
These programs do not try to fit managerial development to the beliefs and ways of behaving that are those of the managing person,” says Graves. They attempt, instead, to get the manager to change his beliefs. When organizations foster this kind of incongruency, they cast the manager into a severe value crisis, which often affects his performance adversely.
A second mistake of management, he says, is that it typically does not manage people the way they want to be managed. For instance, many persons like participation management but others do not, yet management has implicitly assumed that participation affects all persons in more or less the same way. In fact, people with an authoritarian cast of mind or with weak independence needs apparently are unaffected or even negatively affected by an opportunity to participate in decision-making.
Graves’s research indicates that a worker with a closed personality normally prefers to be managed by the style congruent with his level of existence. If his personality is still open and growing, he prefers to be managed by a supervisor at the next higher level. For example, a closed personality at the D-Q level prefers a paternalistic form of management, while a worker with an open personality at the same level would like to be managed by E-R methods, which allow more freedom for individual initiative.
Personalistic Values Now Flower in America
Using this framework to approach current American society, we can easily see an efflorescence of personalistic (F-S) values in the popularity of such things as Salem, yoga, the encounter group, the humanistic psychology movement and participatory decision-making in management. By all these means and many others, personalistic (F-S) man endeavors to achieve self-harmony and harmony with others. These individuals do not, of course, see their striving for harmony with the human element as merely a stage they are going through, but as the ultimate, the permanent goal of all life. This short-range vision, which views the current goal as the ultimate goal of life, is shared by human beings at every level of existence for as long as they remain centralized in that particular level.
Using the Theory of Levels, we see that the so called generation gap of the recent past was in reality a values gap between the D-Q and the E-R and F-S levels of existence. For example, many of the parents of F-S youth subscribed to E-R values, which emphasize proving one’s worth by amassing material wealth. To individuals operating at this level it was inconceivable that their children might reject competition for cooperation and seek inner self-knowledge rather than power, position and things. Worse yet to the E-R parents was the devotion of these young people to foreigners and minority groups who, according to E-R thinking, deserved their unfortunate condition because the were too weak or too stupid to fight for something better. Thus, the foreigners and minorities were characterized as lazy and irresponsible and the youth who defended them as lily-livered bleeding hearts.
In turn, F-S youth contributed to the confrontation because their civil disobedience and passive resistance offended their parents more than outright violence ever could have. These young people not only challenged Might (and therefore Right), but offered no new Might and Right to replace that which they mocked. Consequently, they were rightly (to the E-R mentality) called anarchists, and it was widely said that such permissiveness was wrecking the values which made America great. Of course, our hindsight now tells us that America was not, in fact, “wrecked,” and today one can see a great many of the E-R parents who protested against anarchy getting in touch with themselves at Esalen and advocating theories of participative management.
Another outgrowth of the transition of our society from E-R to F-S values was the de-emphasis of technology. Technology was the principal means by which E-R man conquered the world. He did not, like his ancestor C-P man, use force alone, but rather he attempted to understand the natural laws in order to conquer men and nature. Because of the close historical association of technology with E-R values, the emerging F-S consciousness could not help but view technology as a weapon of conquest. Thus, along with rejecting conquest, F-S man rejected technology and in its place set up its exact opposite: Nature. In other words, the exploration of inner man and a return to nature (including all manner of idealized natural foods) replaced the exploitation of nature and other human beings in a quest for material wealth.
The idea of a future suffered a similar fate. American E-R man was always insistent that he had a great future, a manifest destiny somehow enhanced by never having lost a war. Therefore, F-S man, in his rebellion, was forced to throw the future into the same garbage heap as technology, erecting in its place the here and now.
Picture, if you will, F-S man seated in a yoga position, contemplating his inner self. He has completed the last theme of the subsistence movement of existence. There are no new deficiency motivations to rouse him from his meditations. In fact, he might well go on to contemplating his navel to the day of his death, if he only had some suitable arrangement to care for his daily needs. And it is quite possible for a few F-S individuals to live this way. But what happens when the majority of a population begins to arrive at the F-S level of existence? Who is left to care for their daily needs? Who is left to look after the elaborate technology which assures their survival? If we return to F-S man seated in his yoga position, we see that what finally disturbs him is the roof falling in on his head.
This roof can be called the T problems, the ecological crisis, the energy crisis, the population crisis, limits to growth, or any other such thing which is enough of a disturbance to awaken F-S man. Naturally enough, his first reaction will be that evil technology is taking over and that all the good feeling and greenery which made the Earth great is in the process of being wrecked forever. (We remember that attitude from the days when his father, E-R man, had much the same erroneous notion.) F-S man is correct in the sense that his entire way of life, his level of existence, is indeed breaking down: It must break down in order to free energy for the jump into the G-T state, the first level of being. This is where the leading edge of man is today.
The People that Drive Managers Crazy
Most people in organization in the western world are in the middle levels of existence (D-Q, E-R, and, increasingly, F-S). Managers are used to dealing with such people. Occasionally, however, a manager must deal with people at either a lower or higher level, and then his customary methods fail, Graves says.
People at the C-P level (Egocentric) are found frequently in very impoverished areas. These people exhibit the least capability to perform in a complex industrial world. When a job is available, they do not apply. If they get a job, they do not show up for work or they soon quit. While they are on the job, their habits are so erratic that little work is actually accomplished. Exasperated managers find such people unemployable. Society labels them hardcore unemployed.
To a Gravesian, people at the C-P level are employable, but they must be managed in a special way. The Graves theory holds that C-P people are driven primarily by the need to solve immediate survival problems. Applying the theory, a Gravesian manager would arrange the work situation so that the immediate survival needs of the worker are not threatened and would give him work that can be learned almost immediately.
The manager would also change the hiring requirements so that they do no threaten a C-P person. For instance, the Gravesian manager would simplify and speed up the processing of applications so that people know in minutes if they are hired and, if not hired, are taken immediately to some place where they might find jobs. He would make sure that C-P people are not supervised by self-righteous, do-good managers.
The hard-core unemployed person lives in a world of immediacy, says Graves. Often he must pay money down for almost everything he gets, and because of his immediate reactions to the crises he faces, he may be an absentee problem. To counteract these problems, a member of the organization might be assigned to administer an emergency fund to help the C-P person through difficult periods.
At the opposite extreme, managers must also deal with another group of people whom they find extremely troublesome, the G-T and H-U people. Ironically, these are among the most competent people. They possess knowledge needed to improve productivity in the organization, but often they are kept from improving productivity by ancient policies, inane practices, out-moded procedures and inappropriate managerial styles.
The G-T and H-U people want autonomy, the freedom to do their jobs the best way they know. When management requires such a person to procure permission to institute change when he sees change is needed, it stifles what he can contribute.
The sacred channels of communication seriously hamper the productivity of G-T people, who want to be able to decide when they know what to do. When he doesn’t know, the G-T is motivated to seek guidance from those who do know. But a G-T employee’s motivation becomes negative when he must waste time going through channels which require him to explain what does not need to be explained to people who do not need to have it explained to them.
The G-T worker reacts negatively when required to ask an administrator’s approval for materials he needs in order to be productive. He reacts positively when he can tell his supervisor what he needs to do a job and when the supervisor considers that it is his job to do as his subordinate says. The G-T employee believes that he, not a superior, should make the decisions whenever he is competent to make it, and most G-T workers know that their supervisors are not competent to make the decision.
People who operate at the Being levels are typically competent regardless of their surroundings. Therefore, their productivity is not a function of lower-level incentives. Threat and coercion do not work with them, because they are not frightened people. Beyond a certain point, pecuniary motives do not affect them. Status and prestige symbols, such as fancy titles, flattery, office size, luxurious carpeting, etc., are not incentives to them. Many of them are not even driven by a need for social approval. What is important to them is that they be autonomous in the exercise of their competence, that they be allowed all possible freedom to do what needs to be done as best they can do it. In other words, they want their managers to let them improve productivity the way they know it can be improved. They do not want to waste their competency doing it management’s way simply because things always have been done that way.
G-T people are becoming more prevalent, says Graves. They must do their own managing of their own work and of their own affairs. Their procedures must be their own, not those that tradition or group decision-making have established. When G-T employees are autonomous and are properly coupled with jobs that utilize their competence, one can expect optimum productivity from them.
An H-U employee does not resist coercion and restrictions in a flamboyant manner as does the G-T type, but he will avoid any relationship in which others try to dominate him. He must therefore be approached through what Graves calls “acceptance management” – management which takes him as he is and supports him in doing what he wants to do. It is useless, says Graves, to get an H-U employee to subordinate his desires to those of the organization. Instead, the organization must be fitted to him. If he cannot get the acceptance he wants, an H-U employee will quietly build a non-organizationally oriented world for himself and retire into it. He will do a passable but not excellent job. If there is no change in management and he cannot go elsewhere, he will surreptitiously work at what is important to him while putting up a front to management.
Human Progress Can Be Arrested
At this point it might be good to take a closer look at what happens when man changes levels of existence. The process itself is similar to some very basic phenomena in quantum mechanics and brain physiology, suggesting that it may in fact derive from the same laws of hierarchical organization. Basically, man must solve certain hierarchically ordered existential problems which are crucial to him in his existence. The solution of his current problem frees energy in his system and creates in turn new existential problems. (For instance, both the self-centering and other-awareness of the F-S state are necessary if the G-T problems of how life can survive are to be posted.) When new problems arise, higher order dynamic neurological systems are biochemically activated to solve them.
Will man inevitably progress, both as an individual and as a species, to higher levels of existence? Or can he become fixed at some level, even regress? The answer is that man can indeed become fixed at one level, and he can regress. A frightening example of cultural regression to the most primitive level of existence is that of the Ik tribe of Uganda which, after losing its lands, degenerated past any recognizable sign of humanity. (See anthropologist Colin Turnbull’s book, The Mountain People.) Many tribes of American Indians at the end of the last century shared a like fate. Despite this, we must remember that the tendency for man to grow to higher states is always present, and may be likened to the force that enables a tree to crack boulders so that each year it can add another ring to its heartwood. Like the tree, man is most often stunted in his growth by external circumstance: poverty, helplessness, social disapproval and the like. Often, the full expression of the level of existence at which man finds himself is simply not possible. Few people, for instance, have the opportunity of fully indulging their E-R values by attempting to conquer man and nature. Consequently, man often is halted at this level and develops the lust for power which is so frequently believed to be universal in man.
Man, the species, must fully realize each level of existence if he is to rise to the next higher level, because only by pursuing his values to their limits can he recognize the higher-order existential problem that these particular values do not apply to. E-R man had to become powerful over nature in order to see that beyond the problem of power was the problem of knowing the inner self: the F-S level. He could not very well coerce or manipulate his neighbor into knowing himself. Therefore, his useless E-R values inevitably began to disintegrate as a way of life. Thus it seems that a moral breakdown regularly accompanies the transition from one level of existence to another. Man drops his current way of perceiving and behaving, and searches his cast-off levels for a way of behaving that will solve his new problem. In his frustration, E-R man may protest that he sacrificed for what he got (D-Q level) or make an appeal to law and order (C-P level) to end the demonstrations against him. All this will be to no avail because, naturally, no lower level behavior will solve his new higher-order problem. E-R man will be forced to take the first steps towards a new way of perceiving and behaving: the F-S system. With his first step he becomes F-S man, both because he is now understanding and respectful of the inner self of others rather than being powerful and manipulation, but because the greater part of his energy is now devoted to the problem of how to achieve community through personal and interpersonal experiencing.
We can therefore see that our time at each level of existence is divided between an embryonic period of identifying the values needed to solve the new existential problem, a period of implementing the values toward the solution of the problem, and a period of values breakdown following the successful solving of the problem. It is this final phase of break-down which causes such periodic dismay in society, but dissolution is necessary so that man can be free to recognize new existential problems. There is, in addition, an appearance of breakdown which results from the realization of the new values themselves, because these new values are so often the exact antithesis of the old. In that sense, the new values do represent the ultimate breakdown of the current basis of society, or of the individual’s way of life.
Finally, there is a singular empirical fact associated with man’s transitions from one level of existence to another. As our species moves up each step on each ladder of existence, it spends less and less time at each new level. It took literally millions of years for our ancestors to become tribalistic B-O man, while in the technologically advanced nations today man is moving from the E-R level through F-S to G-T in a scant twenty years. There is every reason to expect we will remain for a long time at the G-T level, then a shorter time at the H-U and other second ladder levels. At the G-T level, man will begin the task of subsistence again but in a new and higher order form (the survival of the human race), assuming, of course, that no external circumstances, such as a major war or other catastrophe, intervene to arrest our growth.
Levels of Existence
First Subsistence Level (A-N): Man at this level is motivated only by imperative periodic physiological needs. He seeks to stabilize his individual body functions. This level of existence is perfectly adequate to preserve the species, but it is seldom seen today except in rare instances, as in the Tasaday tribe, or in pathological cases.
Second Subsistence Level (B-O): At this level, man seeks social (tribal) stability. He strongly defends a life he does not understand. He believes that his tribal ways are inherent in the nature of things, and resolutely holds to them. He lives by totems and taboos.
Third Subsistence Level (C-P): Raw, self-assertive individualism comes to the fore at this level, and the term Machiavellian may be used. This is the level where might makes right thinking prevails. There is an aggressive expression of mans lusts, openly and unabashedly by the haves, more covertly and deviously by the have nots. Anyone dealing with the C-P type must resort to the threat of sheer naked force to get him to do anything.
Fourth Subsistence Level (D-Q): At this level, man perceives that living in this world does not bring ultimate pleasure, and also sees that rules are prescribed for each class of people. Obedience to these rules is the price that one must pay for more lasting life. D-Q people generally subscribe to some dogmatic system, typically a religion. These are the people who believe in ‘living by the Ten Commandments,’ obeying the letter of the law, etc. They work best within a rigid set of rules, such as army regulations.
Fifth Subsistence Level (E-R): People at the E-R level want to attain mastery of the world by learning its secrets rather than through brute force (as at the C-P level). They believe that the man who comes out on top in life fully deserves his good fortune, and those who fail are ordained to submit to the chosen few. E-R people tend to be somewhat dogmatic, but they are pragmatic, too, and when they find something that works better theyll change their beliefs.
Sixth Subsistence Level (F-S): Relating self to other human selves and to his inner self is central to man at the F-S level. Unlike the E-R people, F-S man cares less for material gain or power than he does for being liked by other people. He’s ready to go along with whatever everyone else thinks is best. He likes being in groups; the danger is that he gets so wrapped up in group decision-making that little work gets done.
First Being Level (G-T): The first being level is tremendously different from the earlier subsistence levels, says Graves. Here as man, in his never-ending spiral, turns to focus once again on the external world and his use of power in relation to it, the compulsiveness and anxiousness of the subsistence ways of being are gone. Here man has a basic confidence that he, through a burgeoning intellect freed of the constriction of lower level anxieties, can put the world back together again. If not today, then tomorrow. Here he becomes truly a cooperative individual and ceases being a competitive one. Here he truly sees our interdependence with all things of this universe. And here he uses the knowledge garnered through his first-ladder trek in efforts to put his world together again, systemically.
Second Being Level (H-U): People operating in an H-U fashion have been rare in Graves’s studies. Almost all of Gravess subjects who so behaved have been in their late fifties and beyond. What typifies them is a peculiar paradoxical exploration of their inner world. They treat it as a new toy with which to play. But even though playing with it, they are fully aware that they will never know what their inner selves are all about. Graves says this idea is best illustrated by a poem of D. H. Lawrence, Terra Incognita.
Summary Table from the Article (click for .pdf version)
Man Now Faces Most Difficult Transition
The present moment finds our society attempting to negotiate the most difficult, but at the same time the most exciting, transition the human race has faced to date. It is not merely a transition to a new level of existence but the start of a new movement in the symphony of human history. The future offers us, basically, three possibilities: (1) Most gruesome is the chance that we might fail to stabilize our world and, through successive catastrophes regress as far back as the Ik tribe has. (2) Only slightly less frightening is the vision of fixation in the D-Q/E-R/F-S societal complex. This might resemble George Orwell’s 1984 with its tyrannic, manipulative government glossed over by a veneer of humanitarian sounding doublethink and moralistic rationalizations, and is a very real possibility in the next decade. (3) The last possibility is that we could emerge into the G-T level and proceed toward stabilizing our world so that all life can continue.
If we succeed in the last alternative, we will find ourselves in a very different world from what we know now and we will find ourselves thinking in a very different way. For one thing, we will no longer be living in a world of unbridled self-expression and self-indulgence or in a world of reverence for the individual, but in one whose rule is: Express self, but only so that all life can continue. It may well be a world which, in comparison to this one, is rather restrictive and authoritarian, but this will not be the authority of forcibly taken, God-given or self-serving power; rather it will be the authority of knowledge and necessity. The purpose of G-T man will be to bring the earth back to equilibrium so that life upon it can survive, and this involves learning to act within the limits inherent in the balance of life. We may find such vital human concerns as food and procreation falling under strict regulation, while in other respects society will be free not only from any form of compulsion but also from prejudice and bigotry. Almost certainly it will be a society in which renewable resources play a far greater role than they do today: wood, wind and tide may be used for energy; cotton and wool for clothing, and possibly even bicycles and horses for short trips. Yet while more naturalistic than the world we know today, at the same time the G-T world will be unimaginably more advanced technologically; for unlike F-S man, G-T man will have no fear of technology and will understand its consequences. He will truly know when to use it and when not to use it, rather than being bent on using it whenever possible as E-R man has done.
The psychological keynote of a society organized according to G-T thinking will be freedom from inner compulsiveness and rigidifying anxiety. G-T man, who exists today in ever increasing numbers, does not fear death, nor God, nor his fellow man. Magic and superstition hold no sway over him. He is not mystically minded, though he lives in the most mysterious of mystic universes. The G-T individual lives in a world of paradoxes. He knows that his personal life is absolutely unimportant, but because it is part of life there is nothing more important in the world. G-T man enjoys a good meal or good company when it is there, but doesn’t miss it when it is not. He requires little, compared to his E-R ancestor, and gets more pleasure from simple things than F-S man thinks he (F-S man) gets. G-T man knows how to get what is necessary to his existence and doesn’t not want to waste time getting what is superfluous. More than E-R man before him, he knows what power is, not to create and use it, but he also knows how limited is its usefulness. That which alone commands his unswerving loyalty, and in whose cause he is ruthless, is the continuance of life on this earth.
The G-T way of life will be so different from any that we have known up to now that its substance is very difficult to transmit. Possibly the following will help: G-T man will explode at what he does not like, but he will not be worked up or angry about it. He will get satisfaction out of doing well but will get no satisfaction from praise for having done so. Praise is anathema to him. He is egoless, but terribly concerned with the rightness of his own existence. He is detached from and unaffected by social realities, but has a very clear sense of their existence. In living his life he constantly takes into account his personal qualities, his social situation, his body, and his power, but they are of no great concern to him. They are not terribly important to him unless they are terribly important to you. He fights for himself but is not defensive. He has no anxiety or irrational doubt but he does feel fear; he seeks to do better, but is not ambitious. He will strive to achieve- but through submission, not domination. He enjoys the best of life, of sex, of friends, and comfort that is provided, but he is not dependent on them.
Posted: November 27, 2016 at 9:53 am
Question: what do public education, public roads, and earned benefits have in common with each other?
Answer: They all are in danger in the upcoming presidency of the great populist and (white) working-class hero, Donald Trump.
Trump has announced that he is nominating Betsy DeVos, a member of the DeVos family of Michigan, which rivals the Koch family of Kansas in its wealth and dedication to right-wing, corporatist causes. Tierney Sneed of Talking Points Memo reports
Much of DeVos political activity has been focused on the expansion of charter schools and school vouchers, putting her selection in line with Trumps campaign proposal to shift $20 billion in federal education funding into state block grants to enroll children in charter and private schools. The DeVos family bankrolled a failed 2000 Michigan ballot initiative that would have required that students enrolled in failing public school districts be offered vouchers for private school tuition. Though the measure was rejected soundly by voters, the DeVoses doubled down on the issue and formed a political action committee to support pro-voucher candidates nationwide, according to ChalkBeat, a nonprofit news organization focused on education. They also operate philanthropic organizations known for giving to entities aligned with the charter school movement, including faith-based schools and conservative think tanks, Inside Philanthropy reported.
Charter schools usually are not good for students, but generally profitable for the private companies sponsoring them- with taxpayer money. That sounds like the motivation for Donald Trump’s transportation plan, under which as currently written
the federal government would offer tax credits to private investors interested in funding large infrastructure projects, who would put down some of their own money up front, then borrow the rest on the private bond markets. They would eventually earn their profits on the back end from usage fees, such as highway and bridge tolls (if they built a highway or bridge) or higher water rates (if they fixed up some water mains). So instead of paying for their new roads at tax time, Americans would pay for them during their daily commute. And of course, all these private developers would earn a nice return at the end of the day.
At least Trump was less antagonistic during the primary campaign toward earned benefits than were most of his rivals. Now that he has been elected, however, that is beginning to change. Jonathan Chait observes that in a Fox News interview with Brett Baier
Your solution has always been to put things together, including entitlement reform, says Baier, using Republican code for privatizing Medicare. Ryan replies, If youre going to repeal and replace Obamacare, you have to address those issues as well. Medicare has got some serious issues because of Obamacare. So those things are part of our plan to replace Obamacare.
Chait notes, however, “The Medicare trust fund has been extended 11 years as a result of the passage of Obamacare, whose cost reforms have helped bring health care inflation to historic lows. It is also untrue that repealing Obamacare requires changing traditional Medicare.”
Ironies abound. Trump has gotten cold feet about deporting illegal immigrants, now asserting instead that his Administration will get tough on those who have committed crimes, which bears a curious resemblance to President Obama’s policy. He speaks now of his signature wall on the Mexican border as part wall, part fence, not unlike the current structure.
But Trump was portrayed as a different kind of Republican candidate, and expected to be a different kind of Republican President. Guess again. While focused on squeezing from the presidency as much income for his businesses as he can, Trump is embarking on a plan to intertwine the federal government with the market to enrich the private sector at the expense of the American public and make crony capitalism the hallmark of his Adminstration. (WARNING: Video below is from a conservative libertarian legal outfit.) The campaign cry of “Crooked Hillary” should now be seen as a case of a plutomaniac with a serious case of envy.
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