CoViD-19 Curation

For decades, globalisation has been narrowing the scope of national sovereignty.

CoViD-19 threatens to become one of the most difficult tests faced by humanity in modern history. Perhaps there shall be not so many deaths as at the time of the Spanish flu, but this time the economic impact is going to be much greater and has made people more agitated. As the pandemic has spread it has taken lives, stirred anxiety and political drama, overwhelmed health systems, and triggered potentially lasting geopolitical change.

The International Monetary Fund says the global economy now faces its worst downturn since the Great Depression, and Oxfam International has warned that half a billion people could be pushed into poverty as a result of the unfolding crisis. The world’s most vulnerable places are at stake. The most vulnerable, poorest and greatest-at-risk populations are the ones the richer countries should take care of and support, making sure that those places shall not become politically destabilised even more than they are often already.
Water, sanitation and hygiene are vital for any attempts to manage the rate of inevitable infections and have been areas of the core work of many health organisations for decades.

Today the tally of CoViD-19 deaths has surpassed 100,000 in Brazil ― the second country in the world to do so after the United States of America ― with many of these deaths avoidable but for the Brazilian government’s inefficient and disoriented response to the pandemic. The same as in the United States the current government has failed in following World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations to contain the spread of the coronavirus, including good hygiene practices and social distancing. The government has not delivered the necessary complementary measures of ensuring that its most vulnerable citizens also had access to water, food and other essential resources for self-care.

There has been no Minister of Health since May and no nationwide coordination to support marginalized people, indigenous people, and other traditional communities such as the Afro-Brazilian Quilombo. This results in the tragic numbers of 100,000 deaths and almost 3 million contaminated that Brazil reached today.

“We cannot accept the government’s failure to respond to the pandemic. Many government actions could have been taken to avoid the numbers we are reaching today. The Public Prosecutor’s Office must carry out the necessary investigation,”

said Teresa Liporace, Executive Director of IDEC.

Najwa*, 48, is standing in her partially damaged kitchen in Harasta, Eastern Ghouta, Rural Damascus.

Almost ten years of war and now coronavirus. Syrians fear the worst.

In a war-torn Syria, it is even worse for people who become infected, because most of the hospitals do not exist anymore. Even before coronavirus hit, four out of five Syrians lived below the poverty line. For millions, the almost decade-long war has been a time of fear, confusion and huge loss; of livelihoods and belongings, homes and family members and, for too many, the loss of dreams. Now, the coronavirus has brought a double humanitarian crisis to their country, bringing even greater challenges to people’s lives and pushing them into extreme survival measures. The coronavirus crisis itself is no more dangerous than any other challenge the people here have had to endure, but its economic repercussions could prove disastrous.

After half a year of the corona crisis, most people are convinced this CoViD-19 pandemic will have a permanent impact on the way we approach work and how we shall consume in the future. With continued physical distancing to prevent the spread of the disease, businesses are adapting quickly to ensure continuity of operations. One advantage might be that more companies shall come to try to have the work done at home of their employees, which shall save them logistic costs, but bring the costs for heating and water for the employees to their bill except when a solution is found to compensate that. For the traffic congestion, air and carbon pollution, it will a much better solution to have fewer people having to go on the road to go to work.

It is vital to build a foundation for business continuity and to make sure the employed people feel valued but also protected enough.

In adapting their operations through remote connections, companies shall have to focus more on the human connection, taking into account the personal lives of all the individuals who comprise their multigenerational workforce. Regardless of age and life stage, most people are willing to go back to work and to have as soon as possible, life as normal. All want to continue to make a meaningful contribution and technology is helping light the way. The last few months we have seen the increase of electronic tools and better communication tools for work via the internet.

Business leaders, in this period of great uncertainty, must consider new ways to ensure business continuity and organisational resilience. A multigenerational workforce, with four or five generations working alongside each other — if not physically, then virtually — helps to meet these challenges.

Adapting policies and practices to meet employees’ needs across a spectrum of age and life-stages builds the workforce of the future. Age-diverse teams contribute to greater innovation. They can help address vital questions in dramatically new environments: how teams work together, how a supply chain is managed and how other essential operations are prioritised.

The stereotype of older workers as technophobes is wrong and counterproductive. Workers across the age span have proven to be adept at teleworking. This realisation will have lasting consequences and is something we should look forward to be something which shall not only stay but shall find imitation by many companies. At the same time, younger workers are more likely to be mentors in tech solutions, just as many older workers can share their institutional knowledge and experience.

Problem with the current situation is that in no particular country there is enough experience with this disease. There is no playbook on how to respond to CoViD-19 as the future of work changes before our eyes. The pandemic has, for example, hastened the adoption of remote working and other initiatives to engage and sustain the workforce. Because there is no such thorough knowledge of a solution, everybody should look for a co-operation over the boarders. More than ever, collaboration internally and externally will be vital to recovery.

In Europe, we shall have to take care nobody shall go for falling in the Trump trap. Several populists may follow his direction. Sensible people can only hope that thanks to Trump’s mishandling of the CoViD-19 pandemic and the economic crisis it unleashed, Republican and Trump-leaning independent voters would come to their senses. Though we should be very careful, not to hope beyond the stars that Trump has no chances to become re-elected, which would make the situation for the States and world-safety, even worse than it is already.  Defiance of the establishment gave Trump credibility among Republican voters, who believed that mainstream politicians ignored their interests and many do not appreciate it that they become restricted in keeping their business open so that they can earn enough money (no matter more people shall become infected). Trump also uses the weapon of fear, making people afraid of the chaos which could erupt if his state troops do not bring order in the towns and silence the coloured people. As with illegal immigration, Trump has tried to tie peoples’ fear for their safety with broader anxiety about cultural change. For Trump illegal immigrants are for more dangerous than the “Chinese disease”. For him, all those immigrants wanting to come to the States are criminals and threats to traditional American values. Trump also portrays mayors and governors, who want to declare a lockdown or bring corona measures in their districts, as saboteurs of the country. Idem ditto are the protesters as rioters considered a threat to their Great Nation, the American culture and history. They are not just lobbing Molotov cocktails; they are tearing down America’s heroes. At the same time, Trump keeps telling lies one after the other, and doing as if he is taking care that ‘his America’ shall create soon the best vaccine ever. A lot of Americans seem not interested in Biden’s promises to improve health care, address racial injustices, build infrastructure, or repair America’s relationships with allies. They are worried about soaring crime rates, never-ending protests, and what they see as attacks from the left on traditional values and institutions. They trust Trump to tackle crime and believe his warning that “Sleepy Joe” will disregard their fears. We do know that far more people in the US have died as a result of Trump’s bungled CoViD-19 response than there have died from homicide in a typical year, but that is not what most Americans shall come to see or believe.

Financially Mexico is not better off than its neighbour. Mexicans had suffered the greatest financial impact, with 58% reporting that their finances had declined in the past month. Next in line were the Philippines and India, where 50% and more reported a drop.

Vietnam, which took drastic safety measures, showed itself as optimistic, their household finances having actually improved from the previous month.

Around the world, desperate efforts are underway to find a solution to soften the corona restrictions and to allow life to come back to normal, though most governments say the normal shall be another normal than before corona.

New ideas and bold solutions can surface from this disaster. Let’s continue to share promising practices that will work well in the current environment and beyond.

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Preceding

The unseen enemy

The Climate Crisis and the Need for Utopian Thinking

Blow to legitimacy of the capitalist system

A recovery plan for Europe

The Paradox of Capitalism

The European Union – the environmental challenges and your voice

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Additional reading

  1. What Did We Do?
  2. Redeeming Our World
Posted in Crisis, Economy, News and Politics, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keeping healthy whilst not going to far away from home

The past weekend it became too busy in many places where people came to look for cooler temperatures and for some water to swim in.

With lockdown many people were restricted to their small flat or little house, feeling like imprisoned in their own house. We can imagine for some this made their frustration grow. For many, all confrontation with inactivity has been detrimental to their physical and mental health.

Lots of people forget that this time of lockdown could also be used to come closer to the inner self and to start an own fitness program for the soul and body, a regulator for the renewal of the own self.

We may not forget that physical activity reduces the risk of chronic disease and eases anxiety. A virus can catch us more easer when we are not healthy enough or weak.

Physical activity does not have to mean that we have to sweat and suffer. Very easy, simple movements, like walking can already help. Each of us can now take more time to improve his or her defense activity and work at the his or her metabolic health.

Those who feel stressed by the present limitations should find out they can liberate themselves by daring to put the workload aside and to think of better times and relaxation, now creating more time for the self, not having to go to work so much or having the opportunity to do the work at home in the own time.  Working at home can be a blessing but also a curse. So from the beginning doing work from home, make sure that work does not chain you in your own place. Let yourself be the boss of the time regulation.

What is important is that you exchange time for work, exercise and relaxation in good order. Do not sit for too long. Regularly stand up and move around. When going to exercise let it not happen once a week or in a fortnight, or take care that it does not happen occasionally with heavy programs, but happens regularly. Exercising regularly helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, various cancers and obesity. It has also been shown to ease anxiety and depression and reduce the risk of dementia.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided some simple tips to help keep as active as possible at home.

These include:

online fitness classes; dancing for a few minutes; walking up and down stairs; playing active video games; working out with a skipping rope; and doing stretching, muscle strength and balance training exercises.


The WHO recommends being as active as possible at home.
Image: WHO

The Be Active campaign is aimed at people of all ages and abilities and is part of the WHO’s wider #HealthyAtHome challenge, which suggests ways to look after our mental and physical health during coronavirus restrictions.

The WHO recommends 30 minutes of physical activity per day for healthy adults staying home, and one hour for children.

I would advise regular short breaks in a day. Standing up from sitting, walking around for a few minutes, going up and down the stairs, and twice in the day going for a longer stroll, makes a difference. Do not forget that already three or four minutes of light intensity movement, such as walking or stretching, helps already to improve circulation and muscle activity.

Plus, regular physical activity can help to lift overall mood and provide structure to days spent at home.

When you are not alone in the house, going out with two is always more pleasant than doing the exercise of getting some fresh breath alone. All activity can be done close to your house. You do not need to travel far away to relax or to exercise outdoors. A park nearby or the fields shall do.

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Please read also

  1. Pandemic Anxiety Busters~
  2. Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~
  3. 7 Ways To Boost Your Immune System in Lockdown
  4. How2 deal with Anxiety/Overthinking.
Posted in News and Politics, Sport, Welfare and Health | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Hero of the greatest …. failures

To be honest, I never thought Donald Trump would ever reach the possibility to become president of the United Nation of America, the “greatest nation of the world”. Though, he promised the voters to make it “Great Again”!

I wonder what American themselves think about their 45th president and if they sincerely think he made America great again?!?

His attitude and his bullying was already a known negative factor before he was chosen. He did not find it necessary to bring any change in his way of life and in directing or controlling others. Most of all he would love to control the whole world and he clearly let others know he want to have his say in the way how they do things.

The Trump administration wanted to have a finger everywhere in the porridge and created a Middle East plan where daughter Ivanka Trump retweeted a tweet suggesting that only Iran and the Palestinians opposed the plan. Her father, showed the world he can play for God and swayed with the Bible to let the world know God is on his side. Following the Arab League step, and a meeting in Saudi Arabia, the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation also unanimously rejected the plan.
The Big deal Trump promised Iran, his “maximum pressure” policy has all but eliminated the chance for some good U.S.-Iranian diplomacy in the months past and to come.
While many ordinary Iranians are suffering, the economy is not in total free fall, as many in Washington hoped for. Instead, the country has shown signs of economic recovery, with domestic production and employment increasing. According to Iran’s Central Bank chief Abdolnaser Hemmati, Iran’s nonoil gross domestic product grew by 1.1 percent last year. Prominent Iranian economist Saeed Laylaz also contends that Iran’s economy can weather the coronavirus pandemic and may experience growth this year despite the virus.

That coronavirus pandemic, or how Trump loved to call it the Chinese disease would be gone by Easter 2020 and would never reach that 100 000 infected people virologist warned for. He did not seem to be interested in securing the health of the American citizens, but was more interested to safeguard the economy.

The national tally of the disease that would never last past April (according to Mr. Trump), surpassed 50,000 cases per day just before Independence Day, and the U.S. smashed its record for daily cases on July 17 with more than 75,000 new incidents reported. Since then, new cases have flattened to about 65,000 per day as the outbreak’s growth has reached equilibrium in places such as Arizona. People should not be lulled into complacency, what their president and his party love to do, though, as the U.S. has seen a similar plateau before. The nation’s outbreak had grown exponentially during March, until settling into 20,000 to 30,000 new cases per day by the beginning of April.

Officially this made that by the 1st of August ‘only’ 60 817 new infections for that day were noticed, giving a total of 4,764,588 infected and 157,905 deaths. I wonder if the 2,363,165 who recovered would still be so happy with the measures or non-measures of their president.

That president wants his people to believe he has everything in control and his country has the greatest virologists and pharmaceutical companies who shall soon outperform the world with their amazing corona vaccines.

The stage of an epidemic is already long passed and in North and South America there are the deniers of this pandemic which brings casualties in all layers of the population.

The president wanted to postpone the elections, but he too should come to see that the United States enters the final months of the presidential election campaign, and that it has become time that the American awaken from their dream of their “America to become great again”, because their president managed more to make it smaller and worse, also more divided.

Most Americans seem more interested in their economic welfare instead of their health welfare. We would understand that they got by now preoccupied with the coronavirus pandemic, issues of racial injustice, and their own challenges in a collapsed economy with a dismal outlook, but the apparatus of the Trump administration might be more mighty than we in Europe might imagine.

For us Europeans, we had several moments we held our hand at our heart and were afraid this man of no reasonable thinking would endanger the whole world.

Most damaging to U.S. strategic interests and global stability is Trump’s complete mishandling of Iran, the Middle-East, Korea, Russia and China, where he has veered between mere transactional tactics and his desire for photo-ops with authoritarian strongmen. The relationship with his co-equal Putin may not clear yet, but who knows what shall come to light in fifty years time. The very large Phase One Deal with China, did not bring a solution for the frictions with China. It was said that by 2020, Trump’s trade wars could cost the global economy $700 billion, the International Monetary Fund estimates. More tariffs would have cost more still.

In Europe we saw several farmers who had hard times because of Trumps trade war. Clearly, the United States gained little from the self-destructive trade war that Trump had started and does not seem finished yet. His paranoic idea about China doing its espionage also by the very popular TikTok, a Chinese video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based internet technology company, shall bring us some soap episodes in the coming weeks. For most American viewers Fox keeps presenting a marvelous Trump world, where everything seems to be evolving as great as possible, though I am afraid is the U.S.A. would have this man for another term, this would bring America deeper and deeper in the bear pit.

Hopefully, there shall be enough Americans wanting to raise their voice and call others to wake up to change direction while it is still possible.

Trump’s slogan of America First in practice translates to America Alone. But Americans should know in this world of globalisation we all need each other, and we have to live on good terms with each other. We also should be aware that China is enormously growing, and if we are not careful it shall rise above all our heads.

The Trump administration has made no effort to find areas of cooperation with China, such as climate change, even as the United States challenges and confronts China on issues such as intellectual property theft, unfair trade practices, and control over the South China Sea. However, one should watch out for the man with the hidden agenda, who with Putin has his hands on the same stomach and shall be willing to please certain leaders in other countries to help him to get elected. (Give a little, take a little.)

Let the Americans not be blind for what happened with Russia in 2016 and that somehow Mr. Trump’s plea is still to be heard over there. We also know from former National Security Advisor John Bolton that Trump, at the June 2019 G-20 summit in Japan, pleaded with Xi to help him win re-election.

I am curious how many Americans now shall dare to question:

“Is it ever appropriate for the president or presidential candidate to accept or solicit foreign assistance of any kind in his or her election?”

Americans their eyes should open, and see what damage (more than good) this 45th president has done to the great nation. This man of grand words and lots of gestures, changing like the wind is like an uncontrollable illness or virus. He laughed away the Chinese disease as a whimsical little flue. Hopefully, more Americans do know better by now. Hopefully, they also shall have come to see that Donald Trump is like a virus the world better can avoid recurring. The Great Nation its recovery from the pandemic and the economic collapse is dependent on other countries for public health, for trade, and for peace and security. As November approaches, Trump’s disastrous lack of any coherent policy to advance U.S. interests and to keep Americans healthy, prosperous, and safe — as well as his still-accumulating string of failures — should be at the centre of the country’s debate.

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Find also to remember

  1. Are United States of America citizens going to show their senses
  2. Some quotes Americans should remember when going to the ballot office
  3. 2016 in review Politics #1 Year of dissonance
  4. A busy 2017 #2 From hero to zero
  5. Does he really not know #1 Lies and money laundering
  6. Does he really not know #2 Casinos and inner circles
  7. A view in the past and a blusterer making me afraid to spend words on him
  8. To protect our democratic system #1 Danger of fake and malicious social media accounts
  9. Time to get out of the gridlock
  10. Donald Trump his America
  11. United in an open society relying not on command and control but on freedom
  12. American social perception, classes and fear mongering
  13. The man outranking the others having the trump card
  14. Trump’s main effort to crack down on “illegal immigration”
  15. 2019 was #1 a Year of Raising fire and voices
  16. 2019 was #2 a Year of much deceit in the U.S.A.
  17. 2019 was #3 a Year of much deceit in the News World
  18. United States of America once more showing how it wants to Distort Historical Facts and Truth
  19. Is it really true that Anti-Semitism will never be tolerated?
  20. Trump brand of migrant demonization #1
  21. Jews the next scapegoat for Donald Trump
  22. The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
  23. Trump has been buffetted by accusations of misconduct
  24. Fearmongering succeeded and got the bugaboo a victory
  25. Manipulated content on social media
  26. Voted against their system
  27. Who can tackle Donald Trump
  28. Incidents of hate have become commonplace in the U.S.A. anno 2017
  29. Trouble is coming to Bashan (Golan)
  30. The unseen enemy
  31. In denial, Donald Trump continues to insist that nothing serious is at hand and everything is in control
  32. According to Pew Most White Evangelicals Don’t Think COVID-19 is a Medical Crisis
  33. A president daring to use the Bible for underlining his hate speech
  34. Trump going over the top bringing a blasphemous act

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Additional reading

  1. God Isn’t a Republican
  2. Max Lucado: I Had a Dream That Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Reached a Truce
  3. Mountains of information, disinformation and breaking away
  4. Leaders in disguise
  5. American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder
  6. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  7. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  8. He Becomes a Fool Through His Endless Desire
  9. Looking at an American nightmare
  10. From Guestwriters 2016 in review
  11. A new decade, To open the eyes to get a right view
  12. A Progressive Call to Arms
  13. Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms
  14. Russian involvement in US elections
  15. The twist of politics and expression
  16. Darkest just before dawn
  17. Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #1
  18. Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #2
  19. An American Embassy to the Eternal Capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem
  20. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #1 Abrahamic religions
  21. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #2 War on God’s Plan, Name and title
  22. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #2 War on God’s Plan, Name and title
  23. Today’s thought “Turning over the page” (December 31)
  24. Signs of the times – End of the Iran nuclear deal?
  25. A vibrant and inclusive movement within the American Jewish community
  26. Another Jewish Voice on Trump’s plan: No peace without equality and mutual respect
  27. Deal of the century or roadmap to apartheid?
  28. Deal or no deal
  29. Signs of the times – “A new deal with Russia?”
  30. Signs of the times – “The US, Israel and the Golan Heights”
  31. This fighting world, Zionism and Israel #1
  32. What Steve Bannon really wants
  33. Trump Dragging the Jews and Israel into the scrum, using both as one more weapon in his racist rants.
  34. Trump’s rhetoric is infusing a culture of Anti-Semitism
  35. The one that exploded the great American story that lay beneath it
  36. Shall the American again being put to the test
  37. Dear Mr. President – A Response to the “Shithole Countries” Comment
  38. The Trump clan declares itself a Kennedy-like dynasty
  39. Fascinating times to the Bible reader
  40. Signs of the Times – “A Middle East assassination”
  41. The Weight of History
  42. Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’
  43. Yup

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Further related

  1. Republican renomination of Trump to be held in private
  2. Coronavirus: Trump Administration Overspent On Ventilators By As Much As $500 Million – Democrats’ Report Says
  3. US President Donald Trump Will Soon Block TikTok
  4. Nicolais: Trump is losing it, but what he really fears is being a loser
  5. As Trump’s ban looms, Tik Tok sale uncertain – New Report
  6. Trump’s delay-the-election tweet was just a distraction
  7. Corona crisis: Trump turns: party conference in Florida canceled – politics
  8. Joe Biden to make his Vice Presidential pick this coming week
  9. NYT Compares Trump To Segregationist George Wallace
  10. Gossip: Trump-Ticktok War Goes Messier As China Company Rejects Ban
  11. The Mail Gaze
  12. GOP: Renomination of Trump to be held in private
  13. Of Bible Burning, BLM, Antifa, and the New Fascism
  14. Sunday News Roundup: Chicago Killings, Covid-19 Fraud and Biden Will Never Debate Trump
  15. Jesse Watters: ‘You Can Feel The Momentum Shift In The Presidential Race’
  16. The “Trump vaccine”
  17. Scarface Blames Donald Trump For U.S. Coronavirus Death Total
  18. Israeli Annexation in a Historical Perspective
  19. Everything We Suspected about Donald Trump Has Come True
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Tinderbox for domestic violence

In many countries where there was a lockdown sadly enough, we could notate an increase in domestic violence.

Once more South-Africa may dare to crown the crown here. It looks like those men over there want to blame women for all the difficulties and to be the source of infections. For many, this corona pandemic is used to get rid of their wife(s).

South African men often hold patriarchal views about women, seeing them as inferior. In a country with dramatic crime rates, women fear not only a lack of social equality but also for their safety. The high rate of unemployment and economic inequality, especially in the post-pandemic era, have created a tinderbox for domestic violence. Police say the end of the nine-week ban on alcohol sales contributed to a spike in crime and gender-related violence directed at women and children.

South Africans are simmering with anger over the ugly trend of violence against women — an old story in the country, which has been struggling with femicide for decades. However, the rash of post-coronavirus violence has revitalized the movement. The hashtag #StopKillingWomen trended on social media, with thousands of users condemning the increasing rates of violence against women and calling for justice.

Twenty-one women and children have been killed in recent weeks, said President Cyril Ramaphosa while responding to the issue in a televised presidential address. That figure is likely to be an underestimate, counting only prominent victims.

> Read more:

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An A-Z for a world which has to change.

Every crisis creates an opportunity to look back on what went before, what went wrong or what has to change. Too many people say “The world will never be the same after this crisis.” but we are afraid we too often see history repeating itself.
Too often man forget to take his roadmap or his A-to-Z with him and therefore forgets his way or even gets lost!

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We need to remember that this is just one of several global crises we face and that it will not be the last one.

If it is going to change our world in profound ways, that still has to be seen in ten years time, because often by that time most people have already forgotten what went on ten years ago.

Here is a suggested A-Z of some of what we will need to draw on:

Adaptability, Basic Income, Care, Co-operation, Democracy, Economy, Equality, Food poverty, Global politics, Growth, Homelessness, Inclusion, Investment, Jobs, Knowledge, Localism, Markets, Mutuality, Nationalism, Openness, Politics, Production, Quality of life, Questioning, Rationality, Resilience, Solidarity, State, Sustainability, Trust, Universalism, Value, War, Wealth, Xenophobia, Young people, Zeitgeist.

Eddie Playfair

In the midst of a global coronavirus pandemic which threatens many lives, we need to remember that this is just one of several global crises we face which will change our world in profound ways. All these challenges require us to alter the way we think and the way we tell our story.

Here is a suggested A-Z of some of what we will need to draw on:

Adaptability: We have a tremendous capacity to adapt to changed circumstances and innovate but only as long as we feel safe and our basic needs are met. Through education, we can nurture our capacity for change but we also need to ensure that the people who face the most disruption get the most support.

Basic Income: in a crisis, it is clear how essential it is to protect every citizen’s basic income. Human welfare shouldn’t be conditional, and it shouldn’t take a…

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Posted in Crisis, Economy, Education, Environment and Ecology, Food, News and Politics, Poverty, Thoughts of others, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Climate Crisis and the Need for Utopian Thinking

Erstwhile: A History Blog

Contributing editor Graeme Pente highlights the prescience of nineteenth-century utopian thinker J.A. Etzler and what that might offer us in the face of climate catastrophe.

katrina-floods_3410529b Flooding in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina. Credit AP.

The future is grim. David Wallace-Wells’s recent New York Times bestseller The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming (2019) looks unflinchingly at what the latest science on climate change suggests is in store for us humans. Of course, as Wallace-Wells points out, we need not rely on climate models and predictions to glimpse the future; the devastating effects of a warming planet already surround us. And they’re only going to get worse. What he calls the cascading effects of climate change will accelerate and compound. Deadly heat waves, drought and food shortages, wildfires, air pollution, lack of fresh water, ocean acidification, and weather disasters will place increasing stress on our economic, political, and social systems—on, in a…

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Posted in Crisis, Environment and Ecology, News and Politics, Thoughts of others, Warning, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A famous individual by the name of Jesus of Nazareth

Often when people hear about something that smells “social” or “communist” they turn their back, certainly in the United States of America.

A lot of Christians in the United States of America do not seem to understand many lessons from the Nazarene teacher they call Jesus Christ, but whose real name was Jeshua ben Josef, and who is the long-awaited promised Messiah.

One of Karl Marx biographies downplayed the importance of this famous individual by the name of Jesus of Nazareth. David Strauss’s  The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, usually referred to as The Life of Jesus, was published in 1835, when Marx was in his late teens. Strauss didn’t deny the validity of Jesus’s teachings or question his historical existence. In it, Strauss announced his own landmark theory of ‘demythologisation’ as an approach to the Gospels, but he also attempted to use Hegel‘s name and fame in his book as a marketing ploy. His book scandalised or, as in the case of Marx and Engels, excited German readers by arguing that the events of the Gospels weren’t factual occurrences but myths, collectively dreamed up by early Christians many years after Christ.

Bruno Bauer.jpgThe German philosopher and theologian Bruno Bauer, Marx’s close friend and mentor, who became vocally anti-Semitic, describing an immutable racial divide between Jews and Christians, when he was working on his dissertation in Berlin, went further and declared Jesus an outright invention of the Gospel writers. The point was not, however, to undermine the “absolute idea” (in Bauer’s Hegelian vocabulary) of Christianity; it was to establish “human self-consciousness as the highest divinity,” as Marx (borrowing another Hegelian term) summarized the argument. Sacred truths were to be recognized as collaborative human artifacts, without necessarily forfeiting their truth in the process.
The aim of the myths was so-called to demonstrate that philosophy and religion are the same in content and to offer, in an imaginative guise (as in parables), the meaning of the one truth that Substance is unification of the divine nature and of the human, which Christ symbolized and which is realised in the spirit of all humanity. Bauer criticised the idea of God as a transcendent absolute being and retained a notion of universal interests that could direct republican citizens in the construction of a new political and social order, suffused with justice and reason. Problem at that time by many theologians in Germany was that they were strictly Trinitarian thinkers, considering Jesus to be God Who had come to earth, this being beyond the limits of all possible experience and knowledge, being beyond any comprehension. Though many did not dare to bring forward that Jesus was the sent one from God and not God Himself.

Bauer was faithful to the Hegelian Rationalist theology that interpreted all miracles in Naturalistic terms. According to him, Christian theology owed at least as much to Greco-Roman classical philosophy as it owed to Judaism.

For Bauer, the question was how individuals, not anonymous collectivities, responded to the problems and possibilities of their time. When people would have been more aware of what is written in the Holy Scriptures, they would not be so surprised, because all through the Bible we see a portrait of mankind its way of thinking, handling, travels and actions. Looking at the Christian world in Germany it is acceptable that Bauer saw the origins of Christianity and/or Christendom more in literary or fictional rather than mythical ways. Bauer rejected Strauss’s idea that the Christian unity of God and humankind would symbolise the generic perfection of the human race. He contended instead that it expresses the idea that individuals are each capable of rational freedom, transforming themselves and irrational objective conditions to promote progress and the general good. In general that is the great lesson of the Holy Scriptures which seems to be missed by the majority of people. According to the Bible, each person is individually himself or herself responsible for what he thinks and chooses to do and as such for his or her own acts.

Bauer seemed to have a lot of critics on Biblical writings. He shifted toward the left in a polemic against the orthodox Ernst Hengstenberg, a vehement accuser of the Hegelians, and in his Kritik der Geschichte der Offenbarung (1838; “Critique of the History of Revelation”).
In 1906 the Alsatian-German theologian, philosopher, organist, and mission doctor in equatorial Africa, Albert Schweitzer wrote that Bauer

“originally sought to defend the honor of Jesus by rescuing his reputation from the inane parody of a biography that the Christian apologists had forged.”

However, he eventually came to the belief that it was a complete fiction and

“regarded the Gospel of Mark not only as the first narrator, but even as the creator of the gospel history, thus making the latter a fiction and Christianity the invention of a single original evangelist” (Otto Pfleiderer).

As Bauer’s critique of Christianity intensified, he described religion as passivity and self-loss, impeding freedom in personal, social, and political life. Herewith forgetting that the teachings of Christ just demand a stronger self, being able to stand aside from the world. the Nazarene rebbe asked his followers for some self-determination.

Writing on Jewish emancipation, Bauer contended that the real solution was to renounce religion in general and to repudiate the so-called Christian state of Restoration Prussia in particular. Several of those writers at that time demanding to reject Christianity and the Bible as untrue or unjust, made that so many people came to be against socialists and communists, though if they would read more writings of communists they would see that not all communists were against Christianity. The misunderstanding about Marx is also that he said religion was not necessary to govern a state. In which he is right. We do not need any religion to dictate others what to do. People forget that Marx did not say people might have no religious ideas and might not belong to a church or synagogue. People could have their own faith and go to worship services but religion was not necessary to form a government. His idea about the danger having one particular churchgroup being in control of a government can well be seen in the 19th century mishaps in Belgium, where the Roman Catholic Church was satisfying the bosses of the factories and did everything to keep the workers as slaves for the big earners. It took the courage of the Flemish priest from Aalst, Adolf Daens to fight poverty and injustice in the 19th century and to go against the clergy hierarchy in Belgium. He created the “Daensist movement” from which originated in 1893 the Christene Volkspartij inspired by Leo XIII‘s encyclical Rerum novarum. The Christene Volkspartij forced the radicalisation and democratisation of the mainstream Catholic Party.  After him many other priests would defend the poor and those who were exploited. In South America lots of priest saw how the capitalist world tried to squeeze the local original population of the colonies. Several clergy therefore began to resist European church leaders who wished to use their power to dominate and exploit the indigenous people of the colonies. Those missionaries saw how the Church went in against the teachings of Christ. Their protection of the indigenous people became considered a revolt against the Church, which did not mind to use a lot of violence against those priests and hoped by killing many to have them back in line with their capitalist thinking.

Lots of people could not and still do not see how Jesus was a “communist avant la lettre”. All his preachings concern having respect for other human beings and are about not squeezing others or not using others wrongly for own profit.

Also the way how in the 1850s Bauer became vocally anti-Semitic, describing an immutable racial divide between Jews and Christians, was totally against the teachings of the first Christians, who, by the way, were mainly Jews, following their Jewish master Jeshua (Jesus Christ), who shall be (or is considered to be) the King of the Jews.

Bauer criticized the idea of God as a transcendent absolute being and retained a notion of universal interests that could direct republican citizens in the construction of a new political and social order, suffused with justice and reason. He, like Albert Schweitzer, who addressed the critical views of Bruno Bauer in some depth, could not come to see how Jesus is a man of flesh and blood, and therefore he considered it impossible his sayings

to  have entered into his mind to create a collision of such abstract cruelty, So here again, the obvious conclusion is that the saying originated in the community, and was intended to inculcate renunciation of a world which was felt to belong to the kingdom of the dead, and to illustrate this by an extreme example. {Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus}

Strange also that Bauer nor Schweitzer did not come to see that Jesus had given his disciples thorough teaching, because that was what Jesus had done all the time. Jesus also gave his pupils indications to what they had to look for and listen at and how to place it in context with the scrolls. Albert Schweitzer does not seem to recognise that. He writes:

The sending out of the Twelve, too, is simply inconceivable as a historical occurrence. It would have been different had Jesus given them a teaching, a symbol, a view to take with them as their message. But how badly the charge to the Twelve fulfils its purpose as a discourse of instruction! The disciples are not told what they needed to hear, namely, what and how they were to teach. The discourse which Matthew has composed, working on the basis of Luke, implies quite a different set of circumstances. It is concerned with the community’s struggles with the world and the sufferings that it must endure. This is the explanation of the references to suffering which constantly recur in the discourses of Jesus, in spite of the fact that his disciples were not enduring any sufferings, and that the evangelist cannot even make it conceivable as a possibility that those before whose eyes Jesus holds up the way of the cross could ever get into such a position. The Twelve, at any rate, experience no sufferings during their mission, and if they were merely being sent by Jesus into the surrounding districts, they were not very likely to meet with kings and rulers there. {Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus}

For Jesus it was also not important that his disciples would come to meet princes, queens and kings. He sent them out to go to ordinary people and to proclaim the Good News to all who wanted to hear. Many who say utopians, socialists and communist can not be for Christ or for God, are those who probably never read the Bible or who interpret it wrong and can not even see that the evangelists are the chosen pupils or disciples of Jesus Christ. That makes people  like Neil Godfrey write

That this is invented history is also shown by the fact that the evangelists say nothing about the doings of the disciples, who seem to come back again immediately, though to prevent this from being too apparent the earliest evangelist inserts at this point the story of the execution of the Baptist.

The evangelists in their writings, the gospels as well as in the letters or epistles, say a lot about themselves and about the doing of other disciples. Jesus made enough remarks and explained his parables and/or stories to his disciples. Albert Schweitzer, like many others, did not come to see how the promises which Jesus made to his disciples were appropriate to their circumstances and are still appropriate for our circumstances. His teachings are still up-to-date. To project Jesus his teachings onto the 19th century Church, like Bauer and Schweitzer did, was not at all the aim of Christ. Schweitzer’s attitude is therefore unjustified when he writes:

The eschatological discourses are not history, but are merely an expansion of those explanations of the sufferings of the church of which we have had a previous example in the charge to the Twelve. An evangelist who wrote before the destruction of Jerusalem would have referred to the temple, to Jerusalem, and to the Jewish people, in a very different way. {Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus}

Him writing concerning Jesus his words at the Last Supper gives a view how Schweitzer was caught up in the trinitarian churches around him and the non-understanding of the Judaic symbolism.

A man who was present in person, corporeally present, could not entertain the idea of offering others his flesh and blood to eat. To demand from others that while he was actually present they should imagine the bread and wine which they were eating to be his body and blood would have been quite impossible for a real person. It was only later, when Jesus’ actual bodily presence had been removed and the Christian community had existed for some time, that such a conception as is expressed in that formula could have arisen. {Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus}

He is clearly caught up in the Roman Catholic idea that the bread would be really the actual body of Jesus Christ, which it is not. Him not believing that Jesus would have spoken the words at the table makes it even more difficult for him and for others who believed his sayings that Jesus would not have said:

‘This is my blood which will be shed for you,’

We have the symbolic act of taking Jesus closer to us, remembering his act of sacrificial offering, making us liberated by his ransom. The sharing of the bread and wine happens only by those who are partakers of the Body of Christ. Those people feel united in faith with or under Christ and want to live in union with each other. That act of agreement to become united, makes the bond for people who are willing to do their utmost best to live with eachother and with people of other ideas, in respect and under peaceful conditions.
For many may, this sounds naive, but real Christians their goal is to create such a peaceful world and to look forward to that restored nor new world where there shall be peace for ever.

Albert Schweitzer wrote,

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”

That is also the Christian principle. Jesus showed in which way we can serve, and how he as the sent one from God was not only a servant for God but also a servant for man.

It are those with a living faith for Jesus who have their hopes put in that Nazarene master teacher who shall soon come to return. In him, our hope with a foundation shall not be in vain, but does not permit us to sit and wait at the site. Jesus has given enough examples and illustrations or parables to show how he is the way to God and how we should shed light on the life of others by creating around us a better world, believing in Ezekiel’s Vision of the Kingdom.

Particular interests had to be subjected to criticism to test their compatibility with universal emancipation. Utopians mostly are not afraid for such testing and are aware that each idea or each project should be examined for its validity and for it chances to succeed. Failure to self-criticize would lead to stagnation and the conformism of mass society. Bauer’s defense of a critical individualism anticipates the English philosopher John Stuart Mill, though, unlike Mill, Bauer located the agency of historical progress not in competition among particular interests but in the ability to transform those interests consciously.

In restoring Marx to “his nineteenth-century surroundings,” Stedman Jones would like to replace the mythical or, more accurately, heroic image of the man with that of a mere historical character, personally flawed and politically confused. We can find lots of ideas about Marx, some making of him a saint others making of him a devil. Stedman Jones’s implication if Karl Marx essentially belongs to the 19th century, then Marx can’t be too relevant to the 21st, and we ought to go about our thinking and organising without him. Though we should no throw away all Marx his ideas, neither of the writings of many other socialists and communists. With the writings of the utopians those writings should have us to think how to place some ideas of the previous centuries workable for this age and for the next generations.

As a family of believers those faithful to the Bible have enough reasons to share their faith and to express their hope in the God Incorruptible immortal His Good and pleasant news of that world to come, a Kingdom for the seed of King David. We are convinced that it shall be a Kingdom to stay for ever. But before it will be so far the Good News shall have to be preached all over the world, and that is the responsibility of those people who might be called utopians or dreamers in a beautiful and restored world.

Even Albert Schweizer believed in that theme of the Bible that

“Love is the only thing that increases twofold every time it is shared.”

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Also of interest:

  1. A goal is a dream with a plan
  2. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey
  3. We are ourselves responsible
  4. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  5. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  6. 2020 years ago, the road was opened
  7. A Living Faith #12 The Love for Jesus

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Related

  1. The Unknown Christ.
  2. In Search of the Meaning of Life
  3. Life on Earth
  4. Why the World Needs More Compassion
  5. Dynamic goals must always rise out of authentic needs
  6. The Philosophical Groundings of Equality
  7. Neillology on Air: Is Atheism Reasonable? [Debate]
  8. Moral Breakdown Pt2
  9. Where Are We Headed?
  10. Put where we belong
  11. The Rise and Decline of Neo-Evangelicalism
  12. The Only Way to Make Sense of the Gospels
  13. Albert Schweitzer On Inhumanity
  14. There is Hope
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The Paradox of Capitalism

  •  capitalist economy = running for centuries > developed by Adam Smith.
  • foundations of capitalist economy > belief of free market = economic structure wherein expenditure, output and distribution decisions are driven by price mechanisms produced by supply & demand curve => price mechanism = core driver of economy
  • money significant role within addressing core problems in such a system.
  • capitalist economy =/= cut out for an inevitable growth => recessions occur based on either misinterpreted market intelligence, by operating on adverse selection or by having distrust.
  • Trust in business = core value.

 

  • great depression (late 1920’s) = most severely experienced recession in history => effects merged globally where a deflation was observed in industrial production and prices, massive unemployment rates + increasing rate of poverty. >> During crisis banks panicked + followed motto of capital economy in order to rescue themselves; “Every man for himself”.

It is not long ago since we had the dream of living a comfortable and easy life where we can communicate with one another from different geographical locations and having the most distant click at our fingertips. The world we are living in has rapidly changed to a more comfortable state. We couldn’t imagine how an easy life would be. {The Innovation Paradox}

  • Since breakout of internet many companies + enterprises = focused + built on innovation within internet, providing services + facilities towards the customers > innovation = not only boosted economic development of countries + created a globalized market + increased knowledge & creativity in many different fields of studies. {The Innovation Paradox}

With innovation comes technological development and knowledge which results in an easier lifestyle – hence innovation is one of the core elements of the economic development. On the contrary, innovation was also invented for to increase consumption. Matt Haig in his book of “Reasons to stay alive” clearly and simply defines the world of economics;

“THE WORLD IS increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturizer? You make someone worry about ageing. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a TV show? By making them worry about missing out. How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel like they are being left behind. To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business”. {The Innovation Paradox}

  • entire economy depends on demand
  • seek to influence the demand by changing government revenue and spending.
  • Implementing an expansionary fiscal policy with aim of increasing demand =>increase inflation > Paradoxically, on the long run inflation will cause a decrease in demand.
  • 2008 a financial crisis > based on act of adverse selection => many major banks >  Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley > bankrupt.
  • capital economy = based on fact of adding one more dollar to the circulation => about generating more revenue hence adding more players.
  • result of retrenchment + redundancy =  create an increasing number of unemployment => affect the aggregate demand level.>  Furthering this decrease in employment => average disposable income level will decrease => demand curve will slightly turn downwards = economy will suffer from a deflation.
  •  line of capitalism =  drawn by confusion between minimizing costs by downsizing +  maximizing revenue.

The Reflection

The capitalist economy has been running for centuries and was developed by Adam Smith. The foundations of the capitalist economy lies in the belief of the free market often described as an economic structure wherein the expenditure, output and distribution decisions are driven by the price mechanisms produced by the supply and demand curve. Therefore, the price mechanism is the core driver of the economy where prices of goods and services are based upon.

Within a capitalist system that has private control of the means of production and even private sector output, money plays a significant role within addressing the core problems in such a system. The demand and supply system is a tool used to do this. The market system automatically works without policy guidance and supervision. Illustrated by Adam Smith, the invisible hand of competition would make companies more efficient and bring more players to the market. On…

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Looking at: ‘The rich are getting richer, and the poor are… also getting richer’ by Daniel Hannan

The rich are getting richer <> the poor are… also getting richer. video presented by Daniel Hannan.

  • Capitalism led to unprecedented enrichment central fact of Western life.
  • Poor getting richer, infant mortality declines,  life gets extended + literacy on the rise.
  • Hannan makes a claim that puts a burden on him to poof that the declines in poverty happen in those countries that adopt free trade policies.
  • Capitalism =/= about greed > = about incentivizing people to match their skills to their goals + create earned success.
  • Vietnam has embraced free trade, its economy has pulled ahead of protectionist Laos.
  • Myth: Capitalism = plundering developing countries.
  • Reality: Countries that embrace capitalism see dramatic economic improvement = unproven.
  • Hannan mixes terms that are unrelated > swaps free market for capitalism
  • Hannan biggest claim > that  as the rich get richer, the poor get richer too > not supported by most important source he uses to proof this statement: the World Bank. >> In the 2018 report of the World Bank, > chapter Shared Prosperity: Mixed Progress. Shared prosperity examines if the bottom 40 percent share in prosperity. In the chapter it is mentioned that  “To conclude, although most countries have made progress in shared prosperity, the results are mixed.” On page 51 a table is given for 91 countries that shows how the bottom 40 percent of the populace does as compared to the whole populace.

Merit Coba

Index

Introduction
Central statements made by Hannan
His twelve claims evaluated
Overall commentary on the sources Hannan uses
Conclusions about the sources
The examination, including sources

Introduction

The rich are getting richer, and the poor are… also getting richer. What’s driving this wealth creation process? In this video, Daniel Hannan explains why it is capitalism — and capitalism alone — that has led to the unprecedented enrichment that is the central fact of Western life.

On the Eight of October 2018, PragerU published one of their 5-minute videos. The video was called As the Rich Get Richer, the Poor Get Richerand was presented by Daniel Hannan.

Attached is a document in which I go through the list of facts & sources and examine each of them and see if they support his claims. In this post I give a summary my findings.

Central statements made by Hannan
– As…

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The Upbringing of Ideas and the Extrapolation of Capitalism

In our present world there is no need for anti-democratic, anti-egalitarian, reactionary movements, but we do need minds which sincerely want to have an equal justified world where everybody can live in respect with each other.

A democracy can deliver freedom to everybody when society is willing to take care of all the rights of freedom and wants to provide a justified earning system.

Our societies have to be very careful with the trends which are going on in many capitalist countries. There we can notice an acceleration of capitalism to a fascist point, coming to limit the freedom of many people and allowing to exploit a whole group of people.

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To remember:

  • Civilization =/= driven by spontaneity.
  • Concepts created based on existing things <= all creation =  fundamentally unoriginal.
  • The further a concept distances itself from its ‘parent’ concepts = more potential for both success & failure.
  • subversion of ideas = more often than not done with intent of controlling or destroying those who subscribe to them,
  • Neoreaction must seek to repair.
  • established trichotomy of Theonomists, Ethnicist-Nationalists and Techno-Commercialists within the ‘movement’ = often treated as horizontal and equilateral
  • Capitalism of tomorrow = dependent on restoration of traditional cultural values defended by the Theonomists +  assurance & maintenance of ethnic hegemony sought by Ethnicist-Nationalists,
  • Race + culture lie at the core of every civilization, being the forefathers of every creation brought about by it.
  • Capitalism > azmong greatest concepts established + diffused by Europeans.
  • decentralized = demise = preceded by rejection of principles they were founded upon.
  • attacks on our race + culture being more frequent & perceptible than on our economic freedom =>  majority of the right = focused on such matters => ignorant of economics.
  • libertarian + anarcho-capitalist movements = all but entirely subverted by egalitarian philosophy.

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Find also to read:

  1. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey
  2. Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’
  3. Modern Slavery

punkt.

By UffzKyle

Civilization is not driven by spontaneity. Concepts are created based on that which exists in the world, as well as that which has already been created previously. With every new concept springing from at least two pre-existing ideas, all creation is fundamentally unoriginal.

The upbringing of abstractions is what determines their originality (and, consequentially, their potential) in practicality. The further a concept distances itself from its ‘parent’ concepts, the more potential it has – for both success and failure. The process through which that happens is their upbringing. Once an abstraction is distinct enough from those it was based on to be acknowledged as its own idea, it becomes immediately vulnerable to influence from other existing ideas, which may contribute to its expansion, but also potentially corrupt and extrapolate it. This causes ideas to grow increasingly disconnected to their original ‘parents’.

Once an idea has evolved past the…

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