Tag Archives: book
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
This week on Facebook: In the 10th edition of their Democracy Index, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently reported the worst performance in global democracy since 2010-11 in the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis. A special focus of this year’s report is the state of media freedom around the world and the challenges facing freedom of speech. The report aims to give a snapshot of democracy worldwide and includes 165 independent states and two territories which cover almost the entire world population.
Five categories are used to score each country: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation, and political culture. Based on around 60 indicators each country is placed into one of four types of regime: “full democracy”, “flawed democracy”, “hybrid regime” or “authoritarian regime”. The Democracy Index regards freedom of expression as essential for democracy to take root and flourish. The quality of democracy in any country may in large measure be gauged by the degree to which freedom of speech prevails. Societies that do not tolerate dissent, heresy and the questioning of conventional wisdom cannot be “full democracies”. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Following my reading of the articles in Bloomberg’s Weekend Edition (This Week was China Week), it’s apparent that we are committed to ideologies, politicians in particular — in my view — being particularly committed to the authoritarian ideology of China’s master plan, which I posted this month. However, in whatever form they may come in, the adherence to a particular ideology produces its own zealots. Comments on the social media confirm this view, but what about the many more who do not involve themselves in ideological discussions! Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: It could be thought odd, even hypocritical, that NATO (as led by the USA) is so selective and clearly so inept at using military force to spread democracy. Democracy, it now appears, being as inconsequential to the USA as it is to communist China! Tibet was invaded by China in 1950, the Tibetan government in Lhasa appealed for help to both Britain and the United States (both NATO members) but non was given.
The Free Tibet campaign still has many adherents, unlike last week’s post ‘Democracy in Xinjiang‘ when the USSR’s loyalties switched to Chairman Mao and the Russians helped the communist People’s Liberation Army recapture Uighur East Turkestan. In 1949 East Turkistan became Xinjiang when it was once again integrated into Communist China. China’s expansion westward is reminiscent of Japan’s reasons for its empirical expansion during world war II. To the Chinese, there is the added dimension of interpreting their cultural history and the memory of the humiliation inflicted on China by western economic and military hegemony in Asia. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Last week Murray N. Rothbard wrote in the introduction to La Boetie’s Discourse that, How can a free and very different world be brought about? How in the world can we get from here to there, from a world of tyranny to a world of freedom? This prompted me to republish the following quotation made fifty-seven years ago by Aldous Huxley at Berkely University:
It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude. (Aldous Huxley – Berkeley 1962)
This week on Facebook: ‘The Inscrutable Chinese¹’ is a western expression that is rarely used these days and amongst those of my generation (who may have understood its true intent), it was more often used to represent someone whom could not possibly be understood by any occidental. So, “Who are the Chinese?” Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: The subject of global inequality is clearly one that presents a global dilemma in the search for a rational between the inequalities that economic growth has introduced with the advances in technology¹. The latter being this week’s subject as the harbinger of global inequality that is now being experienced by the developed world. Would that it were that simple, but many more factors are involved and while a scapegoat for global economic woes may be desirable, its use is only papering over the cracks that are now being revealed.
This week on Facebook: While listening to a lecture by John Maynard Keynes the famed economist, Peter Drucker realised that Keynes and all the brilliant economics students in the room were interested in the behaviour of commodities while he was interested in the behaviour of people. An epiphany that would eventually lead to his career as a management consultant. Nevertheless, both sought an approach to economic growth that addressed income inequality without advocating that income be distributed equally. Read more of this post
All Fool’s Day seems an appropriate time to post a short piece about; Morituri te Salutant, Jean-Léon Gérôme, John Donne, Christina Rossetti, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Winnie the Pooh, an allusion to H. Rider Haggard (well, more Horace Rumpole really): leading to the ‘Money Advice Service’ on UK funeral costs. Read more of this post
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