slavery and human rights, expressive autumn, dodging a relationship bullet

Inhuman Bondage: On Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights

When it comes to the consequences of abolition, Blackburn presents a rather somber assessment. Antislavery ideas were always linked to notions of liberty and progress, but less often to racial equality. As they extended their empires across the globe in the late nineteenth century, European powers “claimed to be inspired by abolitionist principles” even when acting in blatantly racist ways. Everywhere in the Western Hemisphere, new systems of racial and labor subordination succeeded plantation slavery. Emancipation’s economic impact turned out to be less drastic than many had hoped or feared. The export value of the main crops—American cotton, Brazilian coffee and Cuban sugar—quickly recovered.

Blackburn is particularly pessimistic about the postslavery United States, warning against a scholarly tendency to “exaggerate the gains made by former slaves and their descendants.” While acknowledging the remarkable effort during Reconstruction to create an interracial democracy in the South, he sees that era as a minor detour on the road to a new system of racial domination based on segregation, disenfranchisement and economic subordination. He goes so far as to say that in the entire hemisphere, “the blacks of the US South gained least from the ending of slavery.”

 

Who settled the Americas. Setting aisde the indigeuos people already here and who were doing quite well, remarkably of the total settlers who crossed the Atlantic to The New World, 80 percent of those between 1500 and 1820 were slaves. This look at slavery weighs the economic impact along with the snail’s pace of abolition. The idea or ideals of abolition were there almost from the beginning. A lot of high minded folks called themselves abolitionists, but they remained a minority for years. Even those not interested in the history of slavery, human rights and states rights might find this article interesting in terms of how slow progress can be. Progressives, some anyway, become easily discouraged. We started a group, got on the internets, we voted – where’s all the change we wanted. It took 320 years and a war to end slavery. Even then it was not until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that Jim Crow really ended.

expressive autumn wallpaper

We hear it so often that even those not on the far Right might take it as a given that liberal thinkers in the US have a history of being a little elite. On the contrary, early on in the modern progressive movement 9early 20th century) intellectuals were prone to enjoying their solitude. Snobbery and the desire to have large quantities of solitude are frequently confused. So you think you’re too good to spend time with the rest of us. From a review of Robert Vanderlan’s Intellectuals Incorporated: Politics, Art and Ideas inside Henry Luce’s Media Empire

Luce was no Eliot or Sartre. He was a man of sizable intellectual ambition whose deepest talent was for business, and through three magazines—Time, Life and Fortune—he created an extraordinary media empire. Luce’s profit-motivated kingdom had to be in New York, “a city whose position at the heart of the emerging consumer culture disciplined more than it liberated,” in Vanderlan’s words. The irony of Vanderlan’s story is that many of the same New York intellectuals who appeared in the pages of Partisan Review—Dwight Macdonald, Irving Howe, and Daniel Bell, for example—wrote for Time and Fortune as well. Margaret Bourke-White and Walker Evans also took pictures for Luce. Luce gave these artists and intellectuals more than a salary. He gave them access to an audience, a massive audience, and in doing so he influenced the course of their careers.

Vanderlan’s subject is “the interstitial intellectual,” neither fully autonomous nor coercively employed. Such a subject requires him to trace a historical trajectory. American intellectuals veered toward bohemian autonomy in the 1920s, decrying the pursuit of money as vulgar. Then came the Great Depression. Not only had the imperative of making money, or making a living, grown unforgiving, but the cherished autonomy of the 1920s could be experienced over time as unwanted solitude.

 

[  ]…By the 1950s, in Vanderlan’s view, creativity was vanishing from within the Luce empire. At fault were Luce’s calcifying conservatism and “the strengthening of the Cold War consensus” in America. Intellectuals began their long escape into academia and journalists their descent into grubby commercialism. Intellectuals went one way, magazines another, and a tenuous middle ground was lost. This narrative of structural decline is reductive; it exaggerates the aloofness of academia and the crassness of American journalism in the second half of the twentieth century; but for Vanderlan it confirms the historical salience of Luce’s magazines. In their best years, the Luce magazines furnished “a model worth emulating.”

 

There is also a difference between distance by way of autonomy and that created by a growling stomach. The modern media reflects the older Luce. We live with the kind of media framing that declares the NYT liberal because Paul Krugman is a resident Keynesian. What else is close to liberal about the Times, how it helped the Bush administration sell the invasion of Iraq as the best thing since sprinkles on cupcakes. Anyone who discusses ideas – repeating memes like a parrot doesn’t count as discussing ideas ( Fox News, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal) is simply called some names. The pursuit of knowledge is dismissed as elitist. While the net still has promise people are as misinformed as ever. This book is not the first to suggest we lost our way as we as a nation became more frightened.

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They were made for each other or some bullets are destined to be dodged – Sexist men and women

The results showed that men who were keen on ‘one-night stands’ were more likely to use ag-gressive strategies when flirting with women, and women who were also open to casual sex were more likely to respond to this type of aggressive courtship. In addition, men with negative, sexist attitudes towards women, justifying male privilege, were more likely to use assertive strategies, which may serve to ‘put women in their place’ in a submissive or yielding role during courtship. Women with sexist attitudes towards members of their own gender were more likely to be res-ponsive to men’s assertive strategies. This suggests that they find men who treat them in a dominant way during courtship more desirable, because it is consistent with their sexist ideology.

Hall and Canterberry conclude: “Our results suggest that assertive courtship strategies are a form of mutual identification of similarly sexist attitudes shared between courtship partners. Women who adopt sexist attitudes are more likely to prefer men who adopt similar attitudes. Not only do sexist men and women prefer partners who are like them, they prefer courtship strategies where men are the aggressors and women are the gatekeepers.”

 

In the movies it is usually the nerdy guy, the nice buy that to some degree envies the aggressive guy who gets the girl. In real life it might be the destiny of individual sexual ideologies working behind the scenes to save them from a doomed relationship.

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