Category Archives: opinion
This week on Facebook: Judao-Christian and Greco-Roman values is under vicious attack everywhere, or so the writer of ‘Return of the Dark Ages’ (1) believes. The article seems to be written as defence for the values of Western Philosophy, and yet it is the ethos of this Western Philosophy that suggests its evolving interpretation into the beginning of a new dark age (2). Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: I thought the term ‘dark age’ to be rather carelessly used recently, especially in the context of Homer and the fall of Troy. The term “Dark Ages” is now rarely used by historians because of the value judgment it implies, although it is sometimes taken to derive its meaning from the dearth of information about the period. The latter being certainly true of the Greek Dark Age (1) between the collapse of the Mycenaean civilisation and the GreekArchaic Period. Perhaps the Greek dark age that occurred between the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age is the only period in Western history deserving to be called a dark age¹. There really is a dearth of information about this period in Western history, something that is not true about what became to be understood in Western Philosophy as The Dark Ages. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Last week I suggested that renaming Woody Allan’s 1972 vignette to ‘Are the Findings of Writers and Historians Who Do Sexual Research and Experiments Accurate?’ may have contemporary connections. Of course it may simple be that the internet has allowed us all to take whatever view we may choose regarding history and to even publish papers on such views. Manipulating the truth is not new, even Homer realised that sex and the gods were important in the patriarchal society of the time and portrayed Helen of Sparta as the most beautiful woman in the world — adding a war that divides the gods in their choice of sides. Just a myth or a myth with a hint of reality?
This week on Facebook: I could have given this post the title ‘Everything you wanted to know about Helen but were afraid ask’, however Helen’s escape in Woody Allen’s film vignette has nothing to do with the Helen of Troy, which is what this post is about. Although it has just occurred to me that it may do! Woody Allen asked in his film, ‘Are the Findings of Doctors and Clinics Who Do Sexual Research and Experiments Accurate?’. If we change ‘doctors and clinics’ to ‘writers and historians’, the interpretation of Helen’s role in the Trojan War may have more in common with Woody Allen’s question than we would like to think.
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This week on Facebook: I am repeating myself here, in my 2011 post with the title ‘A Universal Debt!’ I recalled, “That someone looked into world indebtedness and facetiously drew the conclusion that The Earth must be in debt to the rest of The Universe. This was because every country in the world had an external debt load (barring about three). Obviously the earth is not in debt to someone else in the universe — unless you are a conspiracy theorist — but it is true that there is a global indebtedness. What really matters, is not the debt, but the ability to pay off the debt with the interest that the debt accrues and the consequences of any inability to do this.” [sic]
All classes alike thus build their plans, the rich to spend more and save less, the poor to spend more and work less. John Maynard Keynes (1919)
For those of us living in the Western world global debt is something that the majority of its citizens do not take seriously as no end is foreseen to the ever increasing economic growth of the Western world. Today global debt is increased and the global citizenry has increased along with its indifference to deficit finance becoming the norm. Matt’s following cartoon repeats that joke, but as Yanis Varoufakis writes in his book ‘Adults In The Room’, politicians and their financiers are using world debt to ensnare us all in a global plutocracy.
This week on Facebook: Posting an article on ‘Xi Jinping’s Vision for Global Governance by Kevin Rudd’, prompted a colleague in the USA to remark that perhaps China was not as financially stable as was assumed and that the tariffs introduced by President Trump are to China’s disadvantage. Another colleague in the USA probably shares that view and would add to it the financial, military and political superiority that is assumed by the USA. Yet it the Western World’s hunger for a continuance of their debt based economic growth that led to the post WWII hegemony of the USA is now being challenged by China. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Money and debt caused me to review my postings from five years ago, and one from even earlier (2011). I posted Money money money…. in January 2013 and then Crises & Credit in February, the first article posted being somewhat allegorical and intending to be amusing. However, it did lead to the second article, which is intended to be specifically about private debt but mentioning both private and public debt. The difference being that private debt is the debt accumulated by individuals or private businesses in the debts of personal loans, credit cards, or business loans (including corporate bonds). Whereas public debt is the sum of the financial obligations incurred by the State and its public administrations. This debt can be accumulated by the government directly or a government agency at any level and is recovered by taxation and income from the sale of government bonds (gilts).
This week on Facebook: Sometimes a word or a particular set of words keep buzzing around in my brain and simply will not stop their buzz, buzz, buzz, until I resolve where it, or they, came from. So it was with ‘old aunt Harriet’, I knew that I had heard it used in a song but couldn’t remember the piece. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Occasionally at my monthly meeting with an ex-colleague we talk about art, he paints watercolours (as far as I am aware they are restricted to inanimate subjects) and has what I would call an ‘artistic bent‘. We may all understand what is meant by an artistic bent, but an internet search for articles that may relate to artistic bent (be it a colloquial expression or an idiom) were difficult to find, as were related terms that could have the same meaning or inference (for example: artistic flair). I frequently claim that I have no artistic bent at all, especially in terms of art (painting) or in recognising a photographic image worth capturing. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: I never realised that I was living in what is called a Liberal Democracy, I would certainly not connect such a democracy with the Liberal Party here in the UK. It does however appear to be consistent with what one of my Facebook colleagues called Liberal Authoritarianism¹ and is increasingly illiberal. So what is a Liberal Democracy? It seems that even trying to define such a thing as a Liberal State² only succeeds in further dividing a disparate demos.
A fully liberal state is a state in which every citizen has equal rights and liberties, which are as extensive as they could be consistently with all others having the same rights and liberties. In these states this equality of rights and liberties coexists with a considerable socio-economical inequality. This raises questions about the extent to which these states are just and can be called true democracies. Liberal Democracy
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