Would most humans kill other humans if there were no punitive authority? That is a fascinating question, but inessential to the column for now, though it will be interesting to ask yourself what are the crimes you will commit if you are absolutely sure you will get away. What is relevant for the moment is the fact that just a handful of criminals, sadists and other deranged people are enough to create a riot. The rest can hug, it doesn’t make a difference.
Members of both parties worked through the weekend to come to an agreement and, at the last minute, Pelosi decided it would be better for the House to introduce their own coronavirus relief plan. Her reasoning? There weren’t enough progressive items in the bill and Democrats saw this as the perfect opportunity to fundamentally transform America into what they think it should be.
Over the past 25 years, however, the United States has done a remarkable job of squandering that invaluable reputation for responsible leadership and basic competence. The list of transgressions is long: there is former President Bill Clinton’s irresponsible dalliance with a White House intern, former President George W. Bush’s administration’s failure to heed warnings of a terrorist attack before 9/11, the Enron and Madoff scandals, the bungled responses to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Maria in 2017, the inability to either win or end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the ill-advised interventions in Libya, Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere, the Wall Street meltdown of 2008, the Boeing 737 Max debacle, the Republican-led gridlock in Washington, and so on. Nor should we forget the long-concealed criminal misdeeds of Harvey Weinstein (and many others) and the sordid tale of the very well-connected Jeffrey Epstein, whose conveniently timed demise in a New York jail may prevent us from ever knowing the full extent of his—and others’—misconduct.
As 2020 picks up pace, far-right politics is no longer the province of the fringe. It has encroached onto, and defined, the parameters of the political centre. And if these growth trends persist, it will continue to determine how the centre works throughout the coming decade.
A huge proportion of American workers simply don’t have the economic power to stay home, whether to care for family members or even to give themselves a chance to recover from a viral infection in solitude, or the legal right to take off from work without losing their jobs or pay.
All lifestyles, with no exception, cause disease by their very nature, because they separate you from God. They are designed to fill you with worldly distractions, pleasures, and fame. Even if you don’t actively worship Satan, if you are not consciously serving the will of God, you are serving the will of the father of lies. Satan will approve of any lifestyle you choose. If you participate in anything that could even be construed as a lifestyle, or one where a corporation sees you as a marketing opportunity or audience segment, you have fallen for a lie, and will undoubtedly suffer as a direct result of your behavior.
The answer is that the word “hate” has simply become a rhetorical trick used to delegitimize opposing opinions and prevent us from having to honestly engage with the other side’s point of view.
The solution to our privacy problems, suggested Hansson, was actually quite simple. If companies couldn’t use our data to target ads, they would have no reason to gobble it up in the first place, and no opportunity to do mischief with it later. From that fact flowed a straightforward fix: “Ban the right of companies to use personal data for advertising targeting.”
Her radical proposition is that we practice “full surrogacy” by abolishing the family. That means caring for each other not in discrete private units (also known as nuclear households), but rather within larger systems of care that can provide us with the love and support we can’t always get from blood relations—something Lewis knows all too well.
Instead of governing through the legislative process, he intends to govern like a dictator, pen and phone in hand, enacting extremely sweeping diktats through one-man rule. This is pretty much what his heroes, such as Fidel Castro of Cuba, Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, and Nicaragua’s Sandinistas did: proclaim the democratic bona fides, quiet the critics and fool the New York Times — and then move in for the kill, going all in on the maximo leader dictatorship model, proclaiming it in the name of “the people.”
The larger takeaway is that the tech industry’s culture of providing abundant perks has cultivated a level of employee entitlement that I find shocking. The infantilization of tech workers that I witness on a day-to-day basis is alarming but inevitable when everything is taken care of for them: Meals and snacks are prepared to their requests, dishes they throw in the sink will magically disappear, and their free kombucha spilled all over the floor will be cleaned up by someone else.
Gay and lesbian people have a more than fourfold higher rate of suicide than the general population. Among transgender people, the gulf is even wider. LGBTQ people are more than twice as likely as heterosexuals to experience depression and anxiety and to misuse substances, which can all fuel HIV risk.
Harsh? Perhaps, but take a look at the statistics: the poor borrow more, save less, smoke more, exercise less, drink more, and eat less healthfully. Offer money management training and poor people are the last to sign up. When responding to job ads, they often write the worst applications and show up at interviews in the least professional attire.
Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister, once called poverty a “personality defect.”
Though not many politicians would go quite so far, this view that the solution resides with the individual is not exceptional. From Australia to England and from Sweden to the United States, there is an entrenched notion that poverty is something people have to overcome on their own.
After Xi came to power, Huawei lost whatever autonomy it may have enjoyed. Like every other Chinese company, it must follow the CPC’s orders. Until 2017, this remained an implicit understanding; with the adoption of the National Intelligence Law that year, it became a formal obligation.
Our experiment in self-government has progressed to the point where the differences in our increasingly complex country are now the salient feature of public life. They are certainly not as fundamental as the questions of slavery or civil rights, but they are deep and growing deeper nonetheless. The role and size of government, individual rights to privacy, immigration, the definition of marriage and the like are all driving polarization, not just in Washington, but in Peoria and Albuquerque and Manchester. The result is a country that is becoming shriller, more willing to demonize opponents and less united. This deep corrosion of political life is directly responsible for Americans’ growing sense of alienation.
Victim ideology has now seeped into the world at large — just consider the Democratic 2020 presidential candidates’ fierce competition to level the most sweeping accusations of white supremacy and racism against their fellow Americans. Even were viewpoints that challenge campus orthodoxies less stigmatized, the idea that America endemically oppresses certain favored victim groups would continue wreaking havoc on public policy and civil peace.
How about we start to encourage the return of what Susan Sontag once (unusually memorably) called ‘a little civic fortitude’? That we encourage people to stand up in defence of people who are being defamed? It has been suggested before. Last year after Jordan Peterson and the late Roger Scruton suffered attempted bulldozings in quick succession, Niall Ferguson wrote in the Sunday Times that perhaps public intellectuals and academics in the West ought to develop some policy like Nato’s Article 5: that is, a ‘one for all, all for one’ policy. The only problem with which, as Ferguson conceded, is that it is not as clear as it is with Nato who is in and who is out.
The bottom line is that the extremely thin atmosphere on Mars, and the absence of a strong global magnetic field, result in a complex and potent particle radiation environment. There are lower energy solar wind particles (like protons and helium nuclei) and much higher energy cosmic ray particles crashing into Mars all the time. The cosmic rays, for example, also generate substantial secondary radiation – crunching into martian regolith to a depth of several meters before hitting an atomic nucleus in the soil and producing gamma-rays and neutron radation.
Clarendon is a slab serif typeface originally designed by Robert Besley in 1845. It was the very first typeface to be patented, although the patent expired after three years so it was quickly copied by other foundries.
Following in the footsteps of the great cultural critic Jacques Barzun, we can say that decadence refers to economic stagnation, institutional decay and cultural and intellectual exhaustion at a high level of material prosperity and technological development. Under decadence, Barzun wrote, “The forms of art as of life seem exhausted, the stages of development have been run through. Institutions function painfully. Repetition and frustration are the intolerable result.” He added, “When people accept futility and the absurd as normal, the culture is decadent.” And crucially, the stagnation is often a consequence of previous development: The decadent society is, by definition, a victim of its own success.
We are on the cusp of the biggest economic transformation, of any kind, for 200 years. While arguments rage about plant- versus meat-based diets, new technologies will soon make them irrelevant. Before long, most of our food will come neither from animals nor plants, but from unicellular life. After 12,000 years of feeding humankind, all farming except fruit and veg production is likely to be replaced by ferming: brewing microbes through precision fermentation.
Of these components, at least four political principles are common to the various species of liberalism (all of which relate to its core moral premise about freedom). They are familiar to most citizens in liberal regimes: democracy, the rule of law, individual rights, and equality…Several trends and shock events have combined to create a sense of rolling crisis. This certainly traces back to the Great Recession; arguably, it began as far back as the 9/11 attacks. But what’s clear is that liberalism’s peril became acute in 2016, when the twin shocks of Brexit and Trump proved that illiberal right-wing populism had emerged as a serious challenge to liberal hegemony.
While very-low-income households and persons have long been part of the urban landscape in both the United States and Europe, city officials in the past often recognized that low-income neighborhoods were simply something that had to be tolerated. Although reformers often complained of the unclean and allegedly immoral nature of these places, a lack of government power — and resistance from private owners — prevented city officials from abolishing the areas of cities that provided housing. This housing — however sub-optimal it may have been — was preferable to homelessness.
He described the “bond which united the French people to each other” as “first and foremost a family tie from the humblest to the king.” France’s prominence during the monarchy, which he called a “miracle,” was due to the fact that it was ruled by “a family, a royal family” and to the “original transmission of power from male to male.” (Democratic France, as it happens, has never had a female president.) Bourbon was treated with deference by other participants. He was referred to as “your Royal Highness” by the chairman of the Georgian WCF, Levan Vasadze.
One fascinating study Klein quotes found that “priming white college students to think about the concept of white privilege led them to express more racial resentment in subsequent surveys.” Anti-racist indoctrination actually feeds racism. So tribalism deepens.
If people can choose to reject life-saving treatments, the authors ask, why shouldn’t they be allowed to elect a surgery that will leave them disabled? If a person can elect to have plastic surgery, which is often used to make the body conform better to social ideals, why shouldn’t people also be allowed to change it in ways that society is less comfortable with? Lastly, they argue that according to the limited data available, people who seek and achieve their desired amputations feel relief from their suffering, a relief that they are unable to get by other means.
Taken together, these figures amount to what the report’s authors call a “global democratic recession”. The tipping point, they suggest, took place around 2005 and has led now to the “highest level of democratic discontent on record”. What is critical here is that people are growing increasingly dissatisfied not just with their political leaders but with the democratic systems that put them in place. Democracy itself is in trouble.