What the fuck, indeed.
Inside we are cold and tortured.
Word of the day: Didactic.
Word of the Day for Thursday, March 4, 2010
didactic \dy-DAK-tik; duh-, adjective:
1. Fitted or intended to teach; conveying instruction; instructive; teaching some moral lesson; as, “didactic essays.”
2. Inclined to teach or moralize excessively; moralistic.
The show trial may be defined as a public theatrical performance in the form of a trial, didactic in purpose, intended not to establish the guilt of the accused but rather to demonstrate the heinousness of the person’s crimes.
— Sheila Fitzpatrick, Everyday Stalinism
In class, embarrassed girlish laughter joined the “hee-haws” of our male classmates when centerfolds appeared in the middle of medical lectures, ostensibly to add a wake-up jolt to otherwise uninspired didactic presentations.
— Frances K. Conley M.D., Walking Out on the Boys
While Cooper offers a nice message about the demands of friendship and the need to share and be flexible, her writing is not the least bit didactic or dogmatic.
— Stephen Del Vecchio, review of Pumpkin Soup, by Helen Cooper, Teacher Magazine, May 2000
Didactic comes from Greek didaktikos, “skillful in teaching,” from didaktos, “taught,” from didaskein, “to teach, to educate.”
Those are terrible examples.
Exactly what Wayne tells me not to be when writing creatively.
If not a Communist, then just totally bat-shit crazy. Throughout my Politics class this block, I’ve learned a ton. In turn, I was assigned to write a paper on my own political beliefs- how they identify with or disagree with beliefs of those such as Plato, Machiavelli, Rousseau and Marx. So, I wrote a paper with all my insane theories about how a society should properly function. The result? Well, you’ll see. It might just be crazy enough to work.
Political Traditions of the West
The Utopian State
The following is a brief plan for a Communist and Fascist Utopian State, milder than those ideas originally theorized by Karl Marx and Mussolini.
A Civic Republic:
Political theorists such as Plato, Aristotle, and Mussolini all supported the idea of a community working for a common good, and they had that much right. A Civic Republicanism is necessary for a productive, fully-functioning society. Individual liberty gives too much space for error and conflict. Conflict is only progressive to a point, but after that line is crossed, conflict is a negative product of poor governing. If an individual has too many freedoms, his freedoms may encroach on his neighbor’s freedoms, causing utter discontent within a community. Rights should be limited in order to guarantee equal happiness for the entire population.
Plato’s Utopian ideals failed to take the people’s happiness into account. His complete disregard for the will of the individual was unrealistic. Pleasure is a driving force. If people are dissatisfied, they complain. Complaining leads to upheaval. There’s nothing worse for a government than mutiny, not even war. A government that is destroyed through external forces can be rebuilt. A government that falls apart from the inside is irreparable.
A Government that Serves:
A government should be like a mother to its people, providing for and protecting the whole. Likewise, a people, like a child, should obey and do the most it could for its government; there should be a symbiotic relationship between the two. A people should also fear its government, yet a government should be kind to its people. A government should never harm outright, but a subconscious fear of punishment should be nested within the minds of all who follow it. This implanted fear would prevent uprising and civil war, revolt of the people against the government. There should be no direct acts of violence of a people toward its government or a government toward its people. One should never rebel against the other. A government that does its honest best for the good of the whole should not be questioned. The people have given up their freedoms to be protected by a government, and they should accept the benefits without opposing the governing force. To oppose would result in a forced withdrawal of citizenship from the State; a forced act of freedom, as Rousseau theorized, or exile from the commonwealth. No person should be harmed for their beliefs, but they should be banished from the community, thrown out from its protective barrier, if problems with obedience should arise.
The government should provide things such as comfortable accommodations for its people. It should also serve palatable food. The overall happiness of its people should be prioritized, lest there be revolt; rations should be fully satisfying, enjoyable. Never should a person have to live in a hovel or be forced to eat slop. A government should also provide health and protective services for its people. It should have a nurturing body that heals and releases citizens back into functioning society. It should harbor a guardian group that watches over the community, calmly quelling civil conflict, should it arise. The people should never have to pay for these services. The State should function as a well-oiled machine; a people working for the betterment of the community, and the government working for the betterment of its people.
Equality for All - Eliminating “Wealth”:
A totalitarian society or a dictatorship does not have to directly link to tyranny. A tyrant is one who rules for the benefit of himself, but a wise dictator could do no harm to its people. A leader with the whole of the community in mind would look out for the common good of those within that community. To keep the people united is vital. Unity keeps a system moving forward, and the only result of it is progress.
As Communist Karl Marx stated, we live in an age of commerce, which is also the age of the bourgeoisie. “The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles.” One class, usually the upper-class, exploits the other with their wealth, exhausting the poorer classes’ energies for pitiable wages. For this very reason, as Marx originally and brilliantly theorized, it is necessary to do away with social classes altogether. With a personal spin on the theory, I find that true equality should go even deeper than eliminating a caste system. The doctor should make as much as the coal miner, the musician as the inventor, the writer as the police officer, and no one should be made to labor harder or longer than the other.
Wages should be equal for every profession, and the government should control all professions and all industry. The government, however, should benefit no more than its people. If every person is to do their equal part in society, every person should gain equal shares of income. That which the people spend on themselves- which goes back to the government- should be then invested back into the betterment of the community, rather than the collection of taxes. Because government controls all forms of commerce, it should take care of any upkeep of the district.
The Nature of Man:
St. Augustine theorized that man is inherently evil, and for that reason, religion becomes imposed on all men. If a man is not religious, he is, by association, evil and shunned for it. However, man is not inherently evil, nor is he innately divine. He is as an animal is, with animal instincts, wild and feral in his natural state. In the example of murder in the natural state, if a man were to kill out of anger, he would feel no remorse. If he were to kill out of instinct, he would show no guilt. If he killed accidentally, he likely wouldn’t understand the consequences of his action, if he registered at all what death was to begin with. Through cultivation, man has acquired a learned sense of shame. This does not occur naturally. The conscience is something that develops from nurturing, rather than from nature. This, however, does not make all men bad; it simply makes man a carnal being.
Man was not put on this earth to do evil and he should not be treated as such. As a result, religion should not be forced on him. No one has the true knowledge of what exists beyond this realm, and for that reason, religion should not be imposed on any man by its government, nor should any man impose his beliefs on another. A man can be free to believe what he wishes so long that he does not overstep his bounds. A man does not need a church, temple, or alter to serve his god, but only an open mind. Organized religion is an illegitimate trap for the unsuspecting servant to be robbed; it is a source of business, a commercialized market, and shall therefore be prohibited, as no one makes more for his labors than his brother. There will be no “City of God,” nor there an evil “City of Man.” Only the City of The State will exist, and it will be absolute.
Mussolini was known for removing voting power from the lower classes and giving more privileges to the upper classes- the wealthy, intellectual elite- referring to it as fundamental inequality. I praise his efforts for giving intellectuals more power, but instead of this happening within an already established society and creating “inequality” among its people, it can be avoided at the beginning. A lasting government should be built from the ground up, hand picking its people based on intellect alone. Wealth is insignificant. Because equality is supreme, social classes are nonexistent. The only important factor of a people is its intelligence. Lazy, dim-witted people slow a society down; they impede progress. A society should have the most gifted doctors, scientists, writers, artists, engineers; the brightest of every necessary field of work and no less. A society that settles for less is weak and easily broken. The cleverer the people are originally, the better the breeding will be for generations to come. Within the State, education should be one of the most important concerns.
In the event of failed genetics or mental defects of a civilian, there will be a sector of the community that would cater to the personal needs of these unfortunate individuals. To exile a member of the community for ill-behavior or disobedience is one just matter, but to ostracize those whose disabilities are beyond their control would be immoral. The State should allow for those who are disabled to excel to the highest point of their potential.
Family, Functionality & Sexuality:
One of the biggest roadblocks in a working Utopian society is sex. Because passions drive humans, sexuality is one that is either suppressed or embraced. To suppress sexuality is to avoid the inevitable. People, as animals, will find a way to do the unthinkable if forbidden by a governing force. Preoccupation with sex can hinder a person’s potential in their line of work or in their personal duties within a community. Sex should, therefore, be an open topic. It should be educated in schools at a very young age and never discouraged. Proper safe-sex techniques should be taught to every citizen, as well as every type of contraception freely offered, and there should be no exception to this. Traditional families aren’t likely in a society so sexually free. However, people in a community are expected to care for one another and raise each other. A community should rear its children, regardless of who mothered a particular child. People are to be taught proper responsibility for their actions through their education, and with this learned responsibility comes the necessity for caring for every person, whether a child, adult, or an elderly citizen. No selfish, insensible person should ever be tolerated.
Finally, the State should always be passive until forced otherwise. Unlike Mussolini’s ideals, war should never be the focal point of a society. It turns the potentially positive, progressive atmosphere of the social order into a negative, barbaric community. Still, the State should have its strong soldiers and protectors, and best scientists to develop weapons and biological warfare in the event of battle. Because the State has bred its civilians from the best, most educated and most intellectual elite, it should have advanced warfare at hand if necessary, and, as Machiavelli rightfully proposed, the State should constantly be prepared for combat. This is all for the well being of the State.
Ha, oh God. Don’t judge me.
So, it seems as if I’ve landed myself a really nice Blackberry Curve today, after going in to exchange my crappy, non-working Samsung for an upgraded beauty. So far, I’m quite satisfied with the change. The only strange thing that I’ve found is that I can only set one alarm at a time. Maybe I just haven’t fully figured it out yet, but I’m a three-alarm type of gal. I need those for various events over the course of a day that I’d forget if not reminded. So, we’ll see how that goes.
I got the purple one. The pink was just too flamboyant and the black was too boring.
Maybe I’ll love this phone. Or maybe it will break and disappoint me like all of the rest. We shall see…
Oh, Davey. Some of the things you show me are awful, but this was a real winner. I had to favorite this (all three of them, actually).
Zach Galifianakis, you’re my new hero. You just look so darn cuddly and ready to cry at the drop of a hat. Let’s hug.
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