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Humanism, Transhumanism and Posthumanism

Posted: July 3, 2016 at 6:33 pm

1.

Many philosophers argue that humans are a distinctive kind of creature and that some capacities that distinguish humans from nonhumans give us a moral dignity denied to nonhumans. This status supposedly merits special protections that are not extended to nonhumans and special claims on the resources to cultivate those capacities reserved for humans alone.

However, I will argue that if we are committed to developing human capacities and welfare using advanced (NBIC) technologies (see below) our commitment to other humans and our interest in remaining human cannot be overriding. This is because such policies could engender posthumans and the prospect of a posthuman dispensation should, be properly evaluated rather than discounted. I will argue that evaluation (accounting) is not liable to be achievable without posthumans. Thus transhumanists who justify the technological enhancement and redesigning of humans on humanist grounds have a moral interest in making posthumans or becoming posthuman that is not reconcilable with the priority humanists have traditionally attached to human welfare and the cultivation of human capacities.

2.

To motivate this claim, I need to distinguish three related philosophical positions: Humanism, Transhumanism and Posthumanism and explain how they are related.

Humanism (H)

For the purposes of this argument, a philosophical humanist is anyone who believes that humans are importantly distinct from non-humans.

For example, many humanists have claimed that humans are distinguished by their reasoning prowess from nonhuman animals. One traditional view common to Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Rousseau, Kant and others is that humans are responsive to reasons while animals respond only to sensory stimuli and feeling. Being rational allows humans to bypass or suppress emotions such as fear or anger and (for better or worse) cultivate normatively sanctioned forms of action and affection.

Responsiveness to reasons is both a cognitive and a moral capacity. The fact that I can distinguish between principles like equality and freedom, for example, allows me to see these as alternative principles of conduct: The power to set an end any end whatsoever is the characteristic of humanity (as distinguished from animality) (Kant 1948, 51).

Most humanists claim that the capacities such as rationality or sociability that distinguish us from cats, dogs and chimps also single us out for special treatment.[1]

For Kant, this capacity to choose the reasons for our actions to form a will, as he puts it, is the only thing that is good in an unqualified way (Kant 1948, 62).

Even thinkers who allow that the human capacity for self-shaping is just one good among a plurality of equivalent but competing goods claim that autonomy confers a dignity on humans that should be protected by laws and cultivated by the providing the means to exercise it.

Thus most humanists hold some conception of what makes a distinctively human life a valuable one and have developed precepts and methods for protecting and developing these valuable attributes.

At the risk of oversimplifying, the generic humanist techniques for achieving this are politics and education.

For example, in Politics 1 Aristotle claimed that virtues like justice, courage or generosity need a political organization to provide the leisure, training, opportunities and resources to develop and exercise these valuable traits:

Hence it is evident that the state is a creation of nature, andthat man is by nature a political animal. And he who by nature and notby mere accident is without a state, is either a bad man or above humanity;he is like the

Tribeless, lawless, hearthless one,

whom Homer denounces- the natural outcast is forthwith a lover of war; he may be compared to an isolated piece at draughts

Rousseau and Marx, likewise see the political as the setting in which humans become fully human. Liberal political philosophers may be more wary of attributing intrinsic value to politics but most see the social goods secured by it as thesine qua non of a decent existence.

Transhumanism (H+)

Transhumanists share core humanist values and aspiration. They think that human-distinctive attributes like rationality and autonomy are good, as are human social emotions and human aesthetic sensibilities.

They also think that these capacities should be cultivated where possible and protected: e.g. by ensuring basic liberties and providing the resources for their fullest possible development.

However, they believe that the traditional methods that humanists have used to develop human capacities are limited in their scope by the material constraints of human biology and that of nature more generally.

Our biological and material substrate was not a political issue until relatively recently because we lacked the technological means to alter it. Although philosophers like Aristotle, Hume and Kant proposed theories of human nature, this nature was essentially an encapsulated black box. One could know what it did and why it did it, but not how it did it. Thus a basic cognitive function, such as imagination is described by Kant as ahidden art in the depths of the human soul, whose true operations we can divine from nature and lay unveiled before our eyes only with difficulty (Kant 1978, A1412/B1801).

Transhumanists believes that prospective developments in a suite of technologies called the NBIC technologies and sciences will at last allow humans unprecedented control over their own and morphology.

NBIC stands for Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology, and Cognitive Science.

The smarter we are the more effectively we can develop techniques for developing human capacities: e.g. by eliminating starvation or scarcity with new agricultural and manufacturing techniques, finding cures for diseases or by becoming better democratic deliberators.

Thus if advancing human welfare is a moral priority, and extending human cognitive capacities is the best way of achieving this, we should extend our cognitive capacities using NBIC technologies all other things being equal (A supplementary argument for a transhuman politics assumes that certain capacities are necessarily characterized in terms of some end or fulfilment. Thus they are exercised appropriately when their possessor strives to refine and improve them See Mulhall 1998).

The exercise of rationality requires many cognitive aptitudes: perception, working and long-term memory, general intelligence and the capacity to acquire cultural tools such as languages and reasoning methods. There appear to have been significant increases the level of general intelligence in industrialized countries during the twentieth century particularly at the lower end of the scale. These may be explained by public health initiatives such as the removal of organic lead from paints and petrol, improved nutrition and free public education.

These increases, if real, are a clear social good. However, there seems to be a limit to the effect of environmental factors upon cognitio
n because the efficiency of our brains is constrained by the speed, interconnectedness, noisiness and density of the neurons packed into our skulls.

Thus the best scientists, philosophers or artists currently alive are no more intelligent or creative than Aristotle, Descartes, Leibniz or Kant. There are far more thinkers on the planet than in Aristotles time and they are better equipped than ever before but their minds, it seems, are no more able than those of previous artists, scientists and philosophers.

For transhumanist thinkers like Nick Bostrom and Ray Kurzweil, this suggests that many major improvements of intelligence will require us to escape our biology by outsourcing our thinking to non-biological platforms such as computing devices. The components of the fastest computers operate tens of millions times faster than the spiking frequency of the fastest human nerve cell (neuron) so this suggests an obvious way in which humans transcend the biological limitations on our brains.[2]

Many early 21st century humans offload the tedious tasks like arithmetic, memorizing character strings like phone numbers or searching for the local 24-hour dry cleaner to computing devices. Transhumanists claim that the process of outsourcing biologically based cognition onto non-biological platforms is liable to accelerate as our artificially intelligent devices get more intelligent and as we devise smarter ways of integrating computing hardware into our neurocomputational wetware. Here the convergence of nanotechnology, information technology and biotechnology is liable to be key.

Brain Computer Interfaces like the BrainGate BCI show that it is possible to directly interface computer operated systems with neural tissue, allowing tetraplegic patients to control devices such as robotic arms with their thoughts.

Transhumanists see future humans becoming ever more intimate with responsive computer systems that can extend physical functions using robotic limbs or arms well as cognitive functions such as perception or working memory.

Thus it seems quite possible that future humans or transhumans will be increasingly indistinguishable from their technology. Humans will become cyborgs or cybernetic organisms like the Borg in the TV series Star Trek with many of the functions associated with thinking, perception and even consciousness subserved by increasingly fast and subtle computing devices.

As Star Trek aficionados will be aware, the Borg do not seem to represent an attractive ideal for the humanist who values individual autonomy and reason. The Borg area technological swarm intelligence like an ant or termite colony whose individual members are slaved to goals of the Collective.

Collectively the Borg possesses great cognitive powers and considerable technical prowess though these powers emerge from the interactions of highly networked drones, each of which has its human rationality, agency and sociability violently suppressed.

However, many argue that it is nave to associate the status of the cyborg with that of dehumanized machines.

The cognitive scientist and philosopher Andy Clark has argued that the integration of technology into biology is a historical process that has defined human beings since the development of flint tools, writing and architecture. We are, in Clarks words, Natural Born Cyborgs whose mental life has always extruded into culturally constructed niches such as languages and archives:

The promise, or perhaps threatened, transition to a world of wired humans and semi-intelligent gadgets is just one more move in an ancient game. . . We are already masters at incorporating nonbiological stuff and structure deep into our physical and cognitive routines. To appreciate this is to cease to believe in any post-human future and to resist the temptation to define ourselves in brutal opposition to the very worlds in which so many of us now live, love and work (Clark 2003, 142).

If this is the case, then perhaps the wired, transhuman future that I am sketching here will still be inhabited by beings whose aspirations and values will be recognizable to humanists like Aristotle, Rousseau and Kant.

These transhuman descendants might still value autonomy, sociability and artistic expression. They will just be much better at being rational, sensitive and expressive. Perhaps, also, these skills will repose in bodies that are technologically modified by advanced biotechnologies to be healthier and far more resistant to ageing or damage than ours. But the capacities that define that humanist tradition here are not obviously dependent on a particular kind of physical form.

For this reason transhumanists believe that we should add morphological freedom the freedom of physical form to the traditional liberal rights of freedom of movement and freedom of expression. We should be free do discover new forms of embodiment e.g. new ways of integrating ourselves with cognitive technologies in order to improve on the results of traditional humanizing techniques like liberal arts education or public health legislation.

Posthumanism (SP)

As someone who shares many of the humanist values and aspirations that Ive described, Ill admit to finding the transhuman itinerary for our future attractive. Perhaps some version of it will also be an ecological and economic necessity as we assume responsibility for a planetary ecosystem populated by nine billion humans.

However, there is a catch. While the technological prospectus Ive given may result in beings that are recognizably like us: only immeasurably smarter, nicer, weller and more capable. It might produce beings that are not human at all in some salient respect.

Such technologically engendered nonhumans or posthumans may not be the kinds of beings to which humanist values apply. They may still be immeasurably smarter and more robust than we are, but also alien ways that we cannot easily understand.

I call the position according to which there might be posthumans Speculative Posthumanism to distinguish it from posthuman philosophies not directly relevant to this discussion.

The speculative posthumanist is committed to the following claim:

(SP) Descendants of current humans could cease to be human by virtue of a history of technical alteration.

Clearly, this is a very schematic statement and needs some unpacking.

For example, it does not explain what ceasing to be human could involve. If Clark and the transhumanists are right, then ceasing to be human is not just a matter of altering ones hardware or wetware. A human cyborg modified to live in hostile environments like the depths of the sea or space might look strange to us but might use a natural language whose morphology and syntax is learnable unmodified humans, value her autonomy and have characteristic human social emotions such as exclusive feelings towards other family members or amour-propre.[3] Thus many of the traits with which we pick out humans from nonhumans could well generalize beyond morphology.

Some argue that the self-shaping, reflective rationality that Kant thought distinguished humanity from animality is an obvious constituent of a human essence. An essential property of a kind is a property that no member of that kind can lack. If this is right, then losing the capacity for practical rationality by some technological process (as with the Borg) is a decisive, if unappealing, path to posthumanity.

It can be objected of course that members of the human species (very young children) lack the capacity
to exercise reflective rationality while other humans (individuals with severe mental disabilities) are not able to acquire it. Thus that it cannot be a necessary condition for humanity. Being rational might better be described as a qualification for moral personhood: where a person is simply a rational agent capable of shaping its own life and living on fair terms with other persons.

If posthumans were to qualify as moral persons by this or some other criterion we appear to have a basis for a posthuman republicanism. The fact that other beings may be differently embodied from regular humans intelligent robots, cyborgs or cognitively enhanced animals does not prevent us living with them as equals.

However, it is possible to conceive of technological alterations producing life forms or worlds so alien that they are not recognizably human lives or worlds.

In a 1993 article The Coming Technological Singularity: How to survive in the posthuman era the computer scientist Vernor Vinge argued that the invention of a technology for creating entities with greater than human intelligence would lead to the end of human dominion of the planet and the beginning of a posthuman era dominated by intelligences vastly greater than ours (Vinge 1993).

For Vinge, this point could be reached via recursive improvements in the technology. If humans or human-equivalent intelligences could use the technology to create superhuman intelligences the resultant entities could make even more intelligent entities, and so on.

Thus a technology for intelligence creation or intelligence amplification would constitute a singular point or singularity beyond which the level of mentation on this planet might increase exponentially and without limit.

The form of this technology is unimportant for Vinges argument. It could be a powerful cognitive enhancement technique, a revolution in machine intelligence or synthetic life, or some as yet unenvisaged process. The technology needs to be extendible in as much that improving it yields corresponding increases in the intelligence produced. Our only current means of producing human-equivalent intelligence is non-extendible: If we have better sex . . . it does not follow that our babies will be geniuses (Chalmers 2010: 18).

The posthuman minds that would result from this intelligence explosion could be so vast, according to Vinge, that we have no models for their transformative potential. The best we can do to grasp the significance of this transcendental event is to draw analogies with an earlier revolution in intelligence: the emergence of posthuman minds would be as much a step-change in the development of life on earth as the The rise of humankind.

Vinges singularity hypothesis the claim that intelligence-making technology would generate posthuman intelligence by recursive improvement is practically and philosophically important. If it is true and its preconditions feasible, its importance may outweigh other political and environmental concerns for these are predicated on human invariants such as biological embodiment, which may not obtain following a singularity.

However, even if a singularity is not technically possible or not imminent the Singularity Hypothesis (SH) still raises a troubling issue concerning our capacity to evaluate the long-run consequences of our technical activity in areas such as the NBIC technologies. This is because Vinges prognosis presupposes a weaker, more general claim to the effect that activity in NBIC areas or similar might generate forms of life which might be significantly alien or other to ours.

If we assume Speculative Posthumanism it seems we can adopt either of two policies towards the posthuman prospect.

Firstly, we can account for it: that is, assess the ethical implications of contributing to the creation of posthumans through our current technological activities.

Vinges scenario gives us reasons for thinking that the differences between humans and posthumans could be so great as to render accounting impossible or problematic in the cases that matter. The differences stressed in Vinges essay are cognitive: posthumans might be so much smarter than humans that we could not understand their thoughts or anticipate the transformative effects of posthuman technology. There might be other very radical differences. Posthumans might have experiences so different from ours that we cannot envisage what living a posthuman life would be like, let alone whether it would be worthwhile or worthless one. Finally, the structure of posthuman minds might be very different from our kind of subjectivity.

Moral personhood presumably has threshold cognitive and affective preconditions such as the capacity to evaluate actions, beliefs and desires (practical rationality) and a capacity for the emotions, and affiliations informing these evaluations. However, human-style practical reason might not be accessible to a being with nonsubjective phenomenology. Such an entity could be incapable of experiencing itself as a bounded individual with a life that might go better or worse for it.

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The Seasteading Institute Discussion Forum

Posted: June 26, 2016 at 10:51 am

Log In Welcome to the discussion forum of The Seasteading Institute [Admin] (1) Mid-Atlantic Ridge [Engineering] (9) Making Seasteading a social movement in EU [General] (4) Oceanic business alliance | key player network | ocean colonization | big five ( 2 3 ) [Business] (42) FloatingPod project [Engineering] (12) I think nations will invest in Seasteading [General] (9) Islands that “harvest” and use floating debris; vis a vis Pacific Patch [Wild Ideas] (3) Which MATERIAL to use for FloatingPod [Engineering] (2) A Beachhead for Seasteading: an Inland Floating City [General] (6) New forum member here [Introductions] (8) Breakwater Design ( 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ) [Engineering] (226) Introducing the Ocean Star [Engineering] (6) Picture the Ramform ( 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 ) [General] (356) Chesapeake Light Tower For Sale [General] (2) Libertarian societies today [General] (4) Anti-Corruption Infrastructure [Law and Politics] (16) Floating Sovereignty [General] (13) Seasteading/Gulfsteading Related Books & Authors [General] (1) Picture the Plate Shell [Engineering] (2) Business Creation and/or Development on Seastead Platform Overwhelming Hurdle [Business] (10) Casting concrete structures up from the sea floor [Wild Ideas] (13) New floating wind farm [Business] (7) Google/Alphabet to build “digital city”? [Uncategorized] (13) Dreamspaces which exist on Earth [General] (2) What can/will be a host nation? [General] (10) Floating Island Harbor / Breakwater City ( 2 3 4 5 6 7 ) [General] (138) Uses for a shipstead in the San Francisco Bay Area [Business] (8) The incident with USS Donald Cook in the Baltic and its impications for seasteading [Law and Politics] (2) Want to get involved in seasteading, suggestions for a useful vocation to pick up [Introductions] (2) Long-range fuel-efficient Transportation [General] (20) next page Home Categories FAQ/Guidelines Terms of Service Privacy Policy

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Nihilists – definition of Nihilists by The Free Dictionary

Posted: June 21, 2016 at 6:33 am

nihilism (n-lzm, n-) n.

1. Philosophy The doctrine that nothing actually exists or that existence or values are meaningless.

2. Relentless negativity or cynicism suggesting an absence of values or beliefs: nihilism in postwar art.

a. Political belief or action that advocates or commits violence or terrorism without discernible constructive goals.

b. also Nihilism A diffuse, revolutionary movement of mid-19th-century Russia that scorned authority and tradition and believed in reason, materialism, and radical change in society and government through terrorism and assassination.

4. Psychiatry A delusion, experienced in some mental disorders, that the world or one’s mind, body, or self does not exist.

nihilist n.

nihilistic adj.

nihilistically adv.

1. a complete denial of all established authority and institutions

2. (Philosophy) philosophy an extreme form of scepticism that systematically rejects all values, belief in existence, the possibility of communication, etc

3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a revolutionary doctrine of destruction for its own sake

4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the practice or promulgation of terrorism

[C19: from Latin nihil nothing + -ism, on the model of German Nihilismus]

nihilist n, adj

nihilistic adj

(Historical Terms) (in tsarist Russia) any of several revolutionary doctrines that upheld terrorism

n.

1. total rejection of established laws and institutions.

2. anarchy, terrorism, or other revolutionary activity.

a. the belief that all existence is senseless and that there is no possibility of an objective basis for truth.

b. nothingness or nonexistence.

4. (cap.) a 19th-century Russian political philosophy advocating the violent destruction of social and political institutions to make way for a new society.

nihilist, n., adj.

ni`hilistic, adj.

the belief that existence is not real and that there can be no objective basis of truth, a form of extreme skepticism. Cf. ethical nihilism. nihilist, n., adj.

the principles of a Russian revolutionary movement in the late 19th century, advocating the destruction of government as a means to anarchy and of ten employing terrorism and assassination to assist its program. nihilist, n., adj. nihilistic, adj.

total rejection of established attitudes, practices, and institutions. nihilist, n. nihilistic, adj.

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Urban Dictionary: liberal

Posted: June 19, 2016 at 3:49 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Rockwell’s "Golden Rule" – Norman Rockwell Museum

Posted: June 16, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Golden Rule, 1961. Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, April 1, 1961. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN

This week the United Nations rededicated a large mosaic of Norman Rockwells iconic 1961 illustration, Golden Rule, which hangs in their New York City Headquarters.The workoriginally presented to the UN in 1985 as a gift on behalf of the United States by then First Lady Nancy Reaganwas restored by Williamstown Art Conservation Center, which over the years has repaired numerous objects from Norman Rockwell Museums collection as well (including Rockwells 1953 United Nationsdrawing, which was the artists earliest conceptions for Golden Rule). Here is a little more background on both artworks, currently on view and part of the collection of Norman Rockwell Museum.

United Nations

Conceived in 1952 and executed in 1953, this drawing was inspired by the United Nations humanitarian mission. Though it was carefully researched and developed, Rockwells idea never made it to canvas. He said he didnt quite know why he grew tired of the pieceperhaps it was too ambitious. At the height of the Cold War and two years into the Korean War, his concept was to picture the United Nations as the worlds hope for the futurehe included sixty-five people representing the worlds nations, waiting for the delegates to straighten out the world, so that they might live in peace and without fear. In the end Rockwell abandoned the illustration, saying that it seemed empty and pretentious, although he would reference it again many years later.

Golden Rule

In the 1960s, the mood of the country was changing, and Norman Rockwells opportunity to be rid of the art intelligentsias claim that he was old-fashioned was on the horizon. His 1961 Golden Rule was a precursor to the type of subject he would soon illustrate. A group of people of different religions, races and ethnicity served as the backdrop for the inscription Do Unto Other as You Would Have Them Do Unto You. Rockwell was a compassionate and liberal man, and this simple phrase reflected his philosophy. Having traveled all his life and been welcomed wherever he went, Rockwell felt like a citizen of the world, and his politics reflected that value system.

Id been reading up on comparative religion. The thing is that all major religions have the Golden Rule in Common. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Not always the same words but the same meaning.Norman Rockwell, The Norman Rockwell Album.

From photographs hed taken on his 1955 round-the-world Pam Am trip, Rockwell referenced native costumes and accessories and how they were worn. He picked up a few costumes and devised some from ordinary objects in his studio, such as using a lampshade as a fez. Many of Rockwells models were local exchange students and visitors. In a 1961 interview, indicating the man wearing a wide brimmed hat in the upper right corner, Rockwell said, Hes part Brazilian, part Hungarian, I think. Then there is Choi, a Korean. Hes a student at Ohio State University. Here is a Japanese student at Bennington College and here is a Jewish student. He was taking summer school courses at the Indian Hill Museum School. Pointing to the rabbi, he continued, Hes the retired postmaster of Stockbridge. He made a pretty good rabbi, in real life, a devout Catholic. I got all my Middle East faces from Abdalla who runs the Elm Street market, just one block from my house. Some of the models used were also from Rockwells earlier illustration,United Nations.

See the originals: Golden Rule and United Nations are currently on view at Norman Rockwell Museum.

View the restoration of RockwellsUnited Nations painting below:

Related Links:

Golden Rule, iconic Norman Rockwell mosaic, rededicated at UN Headquarters, UN News Centre, February 5, 2014

The Golden Rule: Restoring the Norman Rockwell Mosaic at the United Nations, Art Conservator, Summer 2013

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Entheogens – Salvia Forum | Psychoactive Plants

Posted: June 10, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Entheology is a term I invented to describe the theology of entheogens and have since devoted much of my time exploring this topic. We’re simply doing our small part to preserve and to promote the sacred knowledge that is being lost to history, both consciously and unconsciously. We continue to build a carefully-selected database of articles specifically related to entheogens, religion, ethnobotanicals, shamanic cultures and the politics that go with it. We also offer concise and unique information for any curious modern-day spiritual explorer, including an RSS feed below, so you can be automatically notified of new articles when they’re posted. Please read about the new focus under the “ABOUT US > Who We Are” tab on our completely re-made site.

VIEW THE NEW ENTHEOLOGY – A LABOR OF LOVE.

The LARGEST ONLINE Entheogen Forum is HERE. The TOP RATED Entheogen Vendor Rating Site is HERE. Entheogens can give access to spiritual dimensions of consciousness that are indistinguishable from classic religious mysticism, yet only a few are presently protected under religious freedom laws. Awakening experiences instantly reveal how important it is to fight to keep the knowledge of these plants alive, as well as the cultures that have cultivated them for centuries.

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Project Censored – The News that Didn’t Make the News and Why

Posted: May 11, 2016 at 9:41 pm

Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us. San Diego Review

Activist groups like Project Censored… are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up. Amy Goodman

[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America…. Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens. Los Angeles Times

Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure. Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers

Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored. Greg Palast

For ages, Ive dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isnt necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesnt exist, but we always have Project Censoreds yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched. Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.

Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times. Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States

At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter…. It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust…. It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored. Dahr Jamail

Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report whats really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americansnow more than everneed those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one thats wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, andmost important whats now left of its democracy. Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.

[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives. Ralph Nader

Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know. Cynthia McKinney

In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ah-ha moments where we understand just how weve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war. Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.

Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried. Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.

One of the most significant media research projects in the country. I. F. Stone

Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have… a vital contribution to our democratic process. Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumers Union

Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism. Walter Cronkite

The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous years 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the opinion section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatchers career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of Junk Food News, in which CNN and Fox News devoted more time to Gangnam Style than the renewal of Ugandas Kill the Gays law. Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywoods deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censoreds profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker. -Publishers Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)

Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this years NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work. Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University

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The Body, Post Humans and Cyborgs – Switch

Posted: May 4, 2016 at 7:43 am

The Body, Post Humans and Cyborgs: The Influence of Politics of Identity and Emerging Digital and Bio-Technologies on Human Representation in Late 20th Century Art by Geri Wittig Since the advent of graphical browsers on the internet in 1993 and the subsequent explosion of the World Wide Web, the phenomenon of the internet has become increasingly visible in popular culture. It is not a truly popular medium, because although internet users, that is primarily web users, are becoming a far wider ranging demographic than the original government and academic internet user, it is still a rather limited group. However, it is a popular medium in that even if an individual has not actually been on the internet, with the proliferation of URL’s popping up in advertising, publishing, and television, they are most likely aware of its existence and of the dialogue that surrounds its possible impact on society.

This changing demographic and popularization of the internet are having an impact on the nature of this communication network. New types of social interaction have been emerging on the internet and these developing social exchanges and structures are adding new layers to postmodern discourse. Enough time has passed for these phenomena to have been observed and analyzed by theorists in a variety of academic fields, including cultural studies, philosophy, media studies, sociology, art, etc., that the discourse around computer mediated communication is maturing and the literature related to computers in the cultural landscape is growing at a fast pace. The field of art and technology is increasingly moving into the sphere of activity that was largely dominated by photography during the 80’s and early 90’s, that is the arena in the artworld where postmodern discourse takes place.

Within the artworld of the ’80s and the early ’90s, a great deal of activity took place around the particular area of postmodern discourse known as the politics of identity. The politics of identity, with its emphasis on the politics of gender, race, ethnicity, and subject position was a rich area of production for many artists. High profile artists, such as Barbara Kruger and Jeff Koons, whose work was informed by the politics of identity, brought this discourse to the forefront of the artworld.

There was a great deal of focus put on the body in identity politics during this time period and this attention directed at the body was reflected in the artworld. The body continues to be a focus in artwork that addresses identity, but the representation of, attitude towards, and questions about, the human body and identity are changing as emerging technologies in the areas of telecommunications and biotechnology effect the discourse of identity politics.

There is currently a great deal of activity in the field of the cultural studies of science and technology concerning issues of identity in terms of post humans and cyborgs. These issues are emerging in the artworld as evidenced in three prominent international exhibitions that have taken place in the past few years: Post Human, an exhibition which began at the FAE Musee d’Art Contemporain, in France in the spring of 1992, traveled to Italy and Greece, then ended at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg, in Hamburg, Germany in the spring of 1993; Documenta IX, in Kassel, Germany during the summer of 1992; and last year’s Venice Biennale, Identity and Alterity. All three exhibitions, in their curatorial vision, contained some element of the impact of technology on human identity and raised questions about the post human condition.

The Post Human exhibition was primarily concerned with these issues. In his curatorial statement, Jeffrey Deitch states:

Social and scientific trends are converging to shape a new conception of self, a new construction of what it means to be a human being.1

Although the tone of the exhibition at times seemed somewhat sensational, the issues concerning advances in biotechnology, computer sciences and the accompanying changes in social behavior, that the exhibition draws attention to, are questions which are having an important impact on the politics of identity.

Jan Hoet, the curator of Documenta IX, reveals the anxiety that can be produced by the uncertainty of the impact of science and technology on human identity combined with an extreme postmodern theory that can be paralyzing in its relativity.

At a time when experiences are becoming less and less concrete – more virtual, in fact – only total intersubjectivity, only the awareness of specific concreteness and physicality, can provide a new impetus . . . Reassembly of atomized experiences, reorganization beyond all scientific systems; reconstruction of an existential sensory network: this must be among the aims of art. The body must be talked about once more; not physically but emotionally; not superficially but mentally; not as an ideal but in all its vulnerability.2

The Venice Biennale of 1995, points to questions of postmodern identity in its title, Identity and Alterity. The curator, Jean Clair, also draws attention to the uncertainty of this transitional time in society:

If this retrospective was to have meaning then it should be exploited as an opportunity to assay the validity of the theories that have been propounded during the course of this century. The last decade has seen the collapse of all the ideologies and utopias upon which the last one hundred years have fed.3

Sherry Turkle, professor of the sociology of science at MIT, speaks of this transitional period as a liminal moment:

. . . a moment when things are betwixt and between, when old structures have broken down and new ones have not yet been created. Historically, these times of change are the times of greatest cultural creativity; everything is infused with new meanings.4

The cyborg question is very complex as there is an incredible array of ways of categorizing cyborgs. There are many actual cyborgs among us in society. Anyone with an artificial organ, limb or supplement, such as a pacemaker, is a cyborg, but cyborg anthropology’s concern is focused more on the social impact of human/machine integration and speaks more in terms of a cyborg society. Cyborg anthropology views the postmodern state as a mix of humans, eco-systems, machines and various complex softwares (from laws to the codes that control nuclear weapons) as one vast cybernetic organism.

Postmodern theory strongly informs the cultural studies of science and technology and the concept of the fluidity of identity and its manifestation in interactive narrative on the internet is a current topic of discourse. Sherry Turkle, who studied with Lacan in the late 60’s, early 70’s, describes in her most recent book, Life on the Screen, how theories that seemed right but abstract become clear in the context of computing. In computing, theories of constructing the self with language and the permeability of boundaries becomes manifest. Computing is made up of a set of languages. It is on the internet that the decentred nature of identity can be easily seen. Individuals who participate in interactive narrative on the internet can move through many selves while constructing a self and all this happens completely in text.

The artworld is now positioning itself to participate more fully in this discourse. Steps are taking place to bring the institutions and structures, that largely construct the high visibility artworld, further into the art and technology arena, particularly in the digital aspect. Institutions, such as SFMOMA and the Whitney in New York, have constructed web sites, some with project pages where interactive narrative art projects have the potential to take place. The high profile art magazines, where a great deal of art discourse takes place, are building their digital literacy. Art Forum has brought on R.U. Sirius, formerly of Mondo 2000, to write a bi-monthly column concerned with digital issues. In the April issue of Flash Art, “Aperto”, Flash Art’s new virtual exhibition, premiered with an exhibition called “Technofornia.” These exhibitions which will highlight the art currently being shown in a particular city or region, exists as a cohesive exhibition only on the pages of Flash Art and its web site. As the artworld expands into the digital realm, the focus on remote humans embodied in real time digital systems will exist alongside the preoccupation with the body, as issues of organic vs. non-organic, post humans and cyborgs emerge to inform the politics of identity.

10/96

2 Roland Nachtigaller and Nicola von Velsen ed., Documenta IX, (Stuttgart: Edition Cantz, 1992), p. 18.

3 Identity and Alterity. Figures of the Body 1895-1995, (Venice: Marsilio Editori, 1995), forward.

4 Pamela McCorduck, “Sex, Lies and Avatars,” Wired, April, 1996, p.109.

Deitch, Jeffrey. Post Human. Amsterdam: Idea Books, 1992.

Documenta IX. Stuttgart: Edition Cantz, 1992.

Hables Gray, Chris, ed. The Cyborg Handbook. New York: Routledge, 1995.

la Biennale di Venezia 1995: Identity and Alterity. Venice: Marsilio Editori, 1995.

Lunenfeld, Peter. “Technofornia.” Flash Art, March-April, 1996,p. 69-71.

McCorduck, Pamela. “Sex, Lies and Avatars.” Wired, April, 1996, p. 106-110, 158-165.

Stone, Allucquere Rosanne. The War of Desire and Technology at the Close of the Mechanical Age. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1995.

Stryker, Susan. “Sex and Death Among the Cyborgs.” Wired, May, 1996, p.134-136.

Turkle, Sherry. Life on the Screen. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

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Liberty – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: March 28, 2016 at 1:45 am

Liberty, in philosophy, involves free will as contrasted with determinism.[1] In politics, liberty consists of the social and political freedoms enjoyed by all citizens.[2] In theology, liberty is freedom from the bondage of sin.[3] Generally, liberty seems to be distinct from freedom in that freedom concerns itself primarily, if not exclusively, with the ability to do as one wills and what one has the power to do; whereas liberty also takes into account the rights of all involved. As such, liberty can be thought of as freedom limited by rights, and therefore cannot be abused.

Philosophers from earliest times have considered the question of liberty. Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121180 AD) wrote of “a polity in which there is the same law for all, a polity administered with regard to equal rights and equal freedom of speech, and the idea of a kingly government which respects most of all the freedom of the governed.”[4] According to Thomas Hobbes, “a free man is he that in those things which by his strength and wit he is able to do is not hindered to do what he hath the will to do” (Leviathan, Part 2, Ch. XXI).

John Locke (16321704) rejected that definition of liberty. While not specifically mentioning Hobbes, he attacks Sir Robert Filmer who had the same definition. According to Locke:

John Stuart Mill (18061873), in his work, On Liberty, was the first to recognize the difference between liberty as the freedom to act and liberty as the absence of coercion.[6] In his book, Two Concepts of Liberty, Isaiah Berlin formally framed the differences between these two perspectives as the distinction between two opposite concepts of liberty: positive liberty and negative liberty. The latter designates a negative condition in which an individual is protected from tyranny and the arbitrary exercise of authority, while the former refers to the liberty that comes from self-mastery, the freedom from inner compulsions such as weakness and fear.

The modern concept of political liberty has its origins in the Greek concepts of freedom and slavery.[7] To be free, to the Greeks, was to not have a master, to be independent from a master (to live like one likes).[8] That was the original Greek concept of freedom. It is closely linked with the concept of democracy, as Aristotle put it:

“This, then, is one note of liberty which all democrats affirm to be the principle of their state. Another is that a man should live as he likes. This, they say, is the privilege of a freeman, since, on the other hand, not to live as a man likes is the mark of a slave. This is the second characteristic of democracy, whence has arisen the claim of men to be ruled by none, if possible, or, if this is impossible, to rule and be ruled in turns; and so it contributes to the freedom based upon equality.”[9]

This applied only to free men. In Athens, for instance, women could not vote or hold office and were legally and socially dependent on a male relative.[10]

The populations of the Persian Empire enjoyed some degree of freedom. Citizens of all religions and ethnic groups were given the same rights and had the same freedom of religion, women had the same rights as men, and slavery was abolished (550 BC). All the palaces of the kings of Persia were built by paid workers in an era when slaves typically did such work.[11]

In the Buddhist Maurya Empire of ancient India, citizens of all religions and ethnic groups had some rights to freedom, tolerance, and equality. The need for tolerance on an egalitarian basis can be found in the Edicts of Ashoka the Great, which emphasize the importance of tolerance in public policy by the government. The slaughter or capture of prisoners of war was also condemned by Ashoka.[12] Slavery was also non-existent in the Maurya Empire.[13] However, according to Hermann Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund, “Ashoka’s orders seem to have been resisted right from the beginning.”[14]

Roman law also embraced certain limited forms of liberty, even under the rule of the Roman Emperors. However, these liberties were accorded only to Roman citizens. Many of the liberties enjoyed under Roman law endured through the Middle Ages, but were enjoyed solely by the nobility, never by the common man. The idea of unalienable and universal liberties had to wait until the Age of Enlightenment.

The social contract theory, most influentially formulated by Hobbes, John Locke and Rousseau (though first suggested by Plato in The Republic), was among the first to provide a political classification of rights, in particular through the notion of sovereignty and of natural rights. The thinkers of the Enlightenment reasoned that law governed both heavenly and human affairs, and that law gave the king his power, rather than the king’s power giving force to law. The divine right of kings was thus opposed to the sovereign’s unchecked auctoritas. This conception of law would find its culmination in the ideas of Montesquieu. The conception of law as a relationship between individuals, rather than families, came to the fore, and with it the increasing focus on individual liberty as a fundamental reality, given by “Nature and Nature’s God,” which, in the ideal state, would be as universal as possible.

In On Liberty, John Stuart Mill sought to define the “…nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual,” and as such, he describes an inherent and continuous antagonism between liberty and authority and thus, the prevailing question becomes “how to make the fitting adjustment between individual independence and social control”.[15]

England and following the Act of Union 1707 Great Britain, laid down the cornerstones to the concept of individual liberty.

In 1166 Henry II of England transformed English law by passing the Assize of Clarendon act. The act, a forerunner to trial by jury, started the abolition of trial by combat and trial by ordeal.[16]

In 1215 the Magna Carta was drawn up, it became the cornerstone of liberty in first England, Great Britain and later, the world.

In 1689 the Bill of Rights grants ‘freedom of speech in Parliament’, which lays out some of the earliest civil rights.[19]

In 1859 an essay by the philosopher John Stuart Mill, entitled On Liberty argues for toleration and individuality. If any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility.[20][21]

Also in 1859, Charles Darwin, wrote On The Origin of Species expounding the theory of natural selection. Thomas Henry Huxley defends Darwin against religious fundamentalists who decry his work.[22]

In 1958 Two Concepts of Liberty, by Isaiah Berlin, determines ‘negative liberty’ as an obstacle, as evident from ‘positive liberty’ which promotes self-mastery and the concepts of freedom.[23]

In 1948 British representatives attempt to and are prevented from adding a legal framework to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (It was not until 1976 that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights came into force, giving a legal status to most of the Declaration) [24]

The United States of America was one of the first nations to be founded on principles of freedom and equality, with no king and no hereditary nobility. According to the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence, all men have a natural right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. But this declaration of liberty was flawed from the outset by the presence of slavery. Slave owners argued that their liberty was paramount, since it involved property, their slaves, and that the slaves themselves had no rights that any White man was obliged to recognize. The Supreme Court, in the Dred Scott decision, upheld this principle. It was not until 1866, following the Civil War, that the US constitution was amended to extend these rights to persons of color, and not until 1920 that these rights were extended to women.[25]

By the later half of the 20th century, liberty was expanded further to prohibit government interference with personal choices. In the United States Supreme Court decision Griswold v. Connecticut, Justice William O. Douglas argued that liberties relating to personal relationships, such as marriage, have a unique primacy of place in the hierarchy of freedoms.[26] Jacob M. Appel has summarized this principle:

I am grateful that I have rights in the proverbial public square but, as a practical matter, my most cherished rights are those that I possess in my bedroom and hospital room and death chamber. Most people are far more concerned that they can control their own bodies than they are about petitioning Congress.[27]

In modern America, various competing ideologies have divergent views about how best to promote liberty. Liberals in the original sense of the word see equality as a necessary component of freedom. Progressives stress freedom from business monopoly as essential. Libertarians disagree, and see economic freedom as best. And, starting in the early 21st century, the Tea Party movement sees big government as the enemy of freedom.[28][29]

France supported the Americans in their revolt against English rule and, in 1789, overthrew their own monarchy, with the cry of “Libert, galit, fraternit”. The bloodbath that followed, known as the reign of terror, soured many people on the idea of liberty. Edmund Burke, considered one of the fathers of conservatism, wrote “The French had shewn themselves the ablest architects of ruin that had hitherto existed in the world.”[30]

According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics, liberalism is “the belief that it is the aim of politics to preserve individual rights and to maximize freedom of choice”. But they point out that there is considerable discussion about how to achieve those goals. Every discussion of freedom depends of three key components: who is free, what are they free to do, and what forces restrict their freedom.[31] John Gray argues that the core belief of liberalism is toleration. Liberals allow others freedom to do what they want, in exchange for having the same freedom in return. This idea of freedom is personal rather than political.[32] William Safire points out that liberalism is attacked by both the Right and the Left: by the Right for defending such practices as abortion, homosexuality, and atheism, by the Left for defending free enterprise and the rights of the individual over the collective.[33]

According to the Encyclopdia Britannica, Libertarians hold liberty as their primary political value.[34] Libertarian philosophers hold that there is no tenable distinction between personal and economic liberty that they are, indeed, one and the same, to be protected (or opposed) together. In the context of U.S. constitutional law, for example, they point out that the constitution twice lists “life, liberty, and property” without making any distinctions within that phrase.[35] Their approach to implementing liberty involves opposing any governmental coercion, aside from that which is necessary to prevent individuals from coercing each other.[36] This is known as the non-aggression principle.[37]

According to republican theorists of freedom, like the historian Quentin Skinner[38][39] or the philosopher Philip Pettit,[40] one’s liberty should not be viewed as the absence of interference in one’s actions, but as non-domination. According to this view, which originates in the Roman Digest, to be a liber homo, a free man, means not being subject to another’s arbitrary will, that is to say, dominated by another. They also cite Machiavelli who asserted that you must be a member of a free self-governing civil association, a republic, if you are to enjoy individual liberty.[41]

The predominance of this view of liberty among parliamentarians during the English Civil War resulted to the creation of the liberal concept of freedom as non-interference in Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan.[citation needed]

Socialists view freedom as a concrete situation as opposed to a purely abstract ideal. Freedom involves agency to pursue one’s creative interests unhindered by coercive social relationships that one is forced to engage in in order to survive under a given social system. From this perspective, freedom requires both the material economic conditions that make freedom possible alongside the social relationships and institutions conducive to freedom. As such, the socialist concept of freedom is held in contrast to the liberal concept of freedom.[42]

The socialist conception of freedom is closely related to the socialist view of creativity and individuality. Influenced by Karl Marx’s concept of alienated labor, socialists understand freedom to be the ability for an individual to engage in creative work in the absence of alienation, where alienated labor refers to work people are forced to perform and un-alienated work refers to individuals pursuing their own creative interests.[43]

For Karl Marx, meaningful freedom is only attainable in a communist society characterized by superabundance and free access, which would eliminate the need for alienated labor and enable individuals to pursue their own creative interests, leaving them to develop their full potentialities. This goes alongside Marx’s emphasis on the reduction of the average length of the workday to expand the “realm of freedom” for each person.[44][45] Marx’s notion of communist society and human freedom is thus radically individualistic.[46]

“This also is remarkable in India, that all Indians are free, and no Indian at all is a slave. In this the Indians agree with the Lacedaemonians. Yet the Lacedaemonians have Helots for slaves, who perform the duties of slaves; but the Indians have no slaves at all, much less is any Indian a slave.”

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Progress – definition of progress by The Free Dictionary

Posted: March 25, 2016 at 12:44 pm

progress (prgrs, -rs, prgrs) n.

1. Forward or onward movement, as toward a destination: We made little progress on our way home because of the traffic.

2. Development, advancement, or improvement, as toward a goal: The math students have shown great progress.

3. A ceremonial journey made by a sovereign through his or her realm.

1. To move forward or onward: The ship progressed toward the equator.

2. To develop, advance, or improve: Research progressed on the new vaccine.

3. To increase in scope or severity, as a disease taking an unfavorable course.

Going on; under way: a work in progress.

1. movement forwards, esp towards a place or objective

2. satisfactory development, growth, or advance: she is making progress in maths.

3. advance towards completion, maturity, or perfection: the steady onward march of progress.

4. (modifier) of or relating to progress: a progress report.

5. (Biology) biology increasing complexity, adaptation, etc, during the development of an individual or evolution of a group

6. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) Brit a stately royal journey

7. in progress taking place; under way

8. (intr) to move forwards or onwards, as towards a place or objective

9. to move towards or bring nearer to completion, maturity, or perfection

[C15: from Latin prgressus a going forwards, from prgred to advance, from pro-1 + grad to step]

n., v. n.

1. advancement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage.

2. the development of an individual or society in a direction considered superior to the previous level.

3. growth or development; continuous improvement: to show progress in muscular coordination.

4. forward or onward movement: the progress of the planets.

5. an official tour or procession, as by a sovereign or dignitary.

6. to go forward or onward in space or time.

7. to grow or develop; advance: a disease progressing slowly.

in progress, going on; under way.

You say that there is progress when something improves gradually, or when someone gets nearer to achieving or completing something.

Many things are now possible due to technological progress.

His doctors are very pleased with his progress.

Progress is an uncountable noun. Don’t talk about ‘progresses’ or ‘a progress’.

You can say that someone or something makes progress.

She is making good progress with her studies.

We haven’t solved the problem yet, but we are making progress.

Be Careful! Don’t use ‘do’. Don’t say, for example, ‘She is doing good progress.

Imperative Present Preterite Present Continuous Present Perfect Past Continuous Past Perfect Future Future Perfect Future Continuous Present Perfect Continuous Future Perfect Continuous Past Perfect Continuous Conditional Past Conditional

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