Have you ever wondered what is wrong with people who have political views so different from yours?
In Lewis Carroll’s sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865), the day-dreamer Alice wonders what it is like to live on the other side of a mirror’s reflection. The novel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871) recounts the protagonist’s surreal adventures, which follows a pattern parallel to that of the story’s prequel: the first book has the deck of cards as a theme, and uses changes of size as a plot device; while the second one is based on the rules of a game of chess and uses distortions in time and spatial directions as plot devices. This article is about a different type of Wonderland though: Trump’s United States, and its new foreign policy…
The picture above speaks loudly. There’s no room for interpretation. A boy stands on the edge of La Carlota, a military airport in the East of Caracas, after probably having been throwing rocks moments before. On the other side of the fence, a full suited guard aims at him, moments before he shoots to kill. It is illegal to use lethal weapons firearms to control protesters. Another case of unmeasured force by Maduro’s government: victim number 76, on the 83rd day of street-protests called by the country’s opposition. David José Vallenilla was only 23 years old. He must have been a considerable threat to this Bolivarian National Guard, despite the war-like armour and the metal fence that divided the two. The video of this incident, available by a simple Google search of the victim’s name, speaks even louder. Murder.
“Look to Africa, for there a king will be crowned”. This quote from Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican leader of the black self-empowerment movement of the early twentieth century, seems to be unfortunately taken for granted by many illegitimate powerful men in the Black continent. In Gabon, the throne is leading to division and greed.
In the not too distant future, self-driving cars can become an affordable reality. You could be, one day, the proud owner of an automobile with a highly intelligent autopilot that will allow you to catch up on the news while commuting to work, without jeopardising road safety. But think about this: would you rather buy a self-driving car that will always save as many lives as possible; or one that will always save its passengers? If, in order to save you, the autopilot decides to crash into a school bus instead of hitting a motorcycle, just because the bus is more likely to withstand the crash with minimal casualties, would you deem this decision wrong? Who should be responsible for the eventual casualties, the autopilot or the programmers of the car?
The liberal bloc is in need of a vigorous defence of economic liberalism, free markets and an open society if it wants to stay relevant against the rising tide of anti-liberal and anti-globalization movements.
After the independence of the British colonies in America, there was considerable debate over the form the new state was about to take. The new constitution of the United States was at the centre of that debate.
Three clear-sighted public intellectuals stood up to the task of defending the constitution to ensure its ratification: these men were John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.
“If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” In George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, language is increasingly restricted. By removing more and more words from the English language, Big Brother aims to keep the people in line with his oppressive regime. The idea is that if people cannot even talk about rebelling, then how could they think of it? Are our thought processes constrained by our languages? Or do our languages just reflect the way we think? Are we completely missing the point by asking these questions in English?