the ten hour work day, cotton weed, the libertarian admiration for dictators

The struggle for labor rights in the newly created United States started early on. A full history is a little more than I have time for, but in honor of Labor Day I did want to note at least one highlight:

By the early 1800s the eastern US was well on its way to becoming an industrial power. There were new canals, new railroads and lots of coal mining. There were no standards for working conditions or hours. Seth Luther‘s “Ten-Hour Circular.” was a circular published in the early 1800s which told of the ‘excessive toil” of miners, carpenters and other laborers. Among other things it advocated a limit on working days to 10 hours with two hours for meals. Being so close to the Revolutionary War and the rhetoric used at the time, labor activists also recalled some of the same language to describe their struggle – Luther referred to “the blood” of “Fathers shed on our battle-fields in the War of the Revolution” and asserted that “no earthly power shall resist our righteous claims with impunity” (Juravich et al. 1996, 24). Nicholas B. Wainwright notes in Philadelphia: A 300-Year History employers saw “no reason to respect the ‘rights’ of laborers.”[2] As a result, laborers lacked job security, sanitary conditions, fair wages and labor standards. In this Boston circular, workers comment, “We have been too long subjected to odious, cruel, unjust, and tyrannical systems which compels the operative Mechanic to exhaust his physical and mental powers by excessive toil, until he has no desire to eat and sleep, and in many cases he has no power to do either from extreme debility.”The “Ten-Hour Circular” lead to a general strike by workers in Boston which spread to Philadelphia, both cities started to subscribe to the ten-hour work day, six days a week.

green, nature,

cotton weed wallpaper

Scripps Research Scientists Produce First Stem Cells From Endangered Species in Hopes of Strengthening Populations

Starting with normal skin cells, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have produced the first stem cells from endangered species. Such cells could eventually make it possible to improve reproduction and genetic diversity for some species, possibly saving them from extinction, or to bolster the health of endangered animals in captivity.

 

I have mixed feelings about findings like this or similar research where an endangered species might be cloned. It’s great to have these tools just in case, yet they are science versions of Hail Mary passes. Preserving habitat and wildlife corridors, combined with working on ways for wildlife to coexist with 6.5 billion humans(and growing) is the best course to save species.

australia, ocean, sea, water, misty

tasmania blue surf wallpaper

Why libertarians apologize for autocracy – The experience of every modern democratic nation-state proves that libertarianism is incompatible with democracy

Given their professed interest in admirers of Mussolini, it is curious that American conservatives and libertarians have not seen fit to discuss the view of fascism held by one of the heroes of modern American libertarianism, the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises. In his book “Liberalism,” published in 1927 after Mussolini had seized power in Italy, Mises wrote:

It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aimed at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has for the moment saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history.

Friedrich von Hayek, who was, along with von Mises, one of the patron saints of modern libertarianism, was as infatuated with the Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet as von Mises was with Mussolini,….

Michael Lind more than holds up his end of the intellectual arguments against libertarianism and conservatism, but the worse thing he does n terms of indictment, is to quote the more popular leaders of libertarians thought.

Some people are simply not adapt at self-reflection. many libertarians share that trait. Thus they are like fan-boys who cannot or will out carry their libertarian ideals to their logical conclusion. While it is certainly true that Rand and objectivism are not the only branch of libertarianism, they all share a common theme in how society would ultimately be compartmentalized, the John Galts or Pinochets or Mussolini at the top. Individual libertarians never see themselves as being in the middle or bottom of that ideological pyramid scheme.Another possibility is that many libertarians have self-respect issues and fell they should be subservient to their superiors. It is difficult for me to comprehend that type of thinking, but the worship of authority for its own sake, for the sake of order, for the sake of pure tradition is what drives part of the fascist mind.

le petit journal- emouvant suicide de deux soeurs jumelles

A rough translation of the story,

Touching suicide of two twin sisters

In one of those pretty Pyrenean rivers, which sometimes run in their torrent rushing waters have been found in recent days, the bodies of two girls, twin sisters. These girls loved this deep affection, this love is fatal encounter so often in twins and Alexandre Dumas so well portrayed in his Corsican Brothers. But recently, the family troubles had rendered gloomy. One of them wanted to marry and the parents refused their consent, the other pleaded in vain and, having failed at the bend, she designed a grief no less great than his sister.
Then they resolved to die together.

Under the pretext of a walk, they departed the house, and reached the banks of the river, they threw them together. The only current separated them, we found one, first, the other was found a few days later … They had thirty years.
The whole area has been painfully touched by this tragic testimony of fraternal attachment which nothing could break, not even death.

Le Petit Journal Illustrated October 8, 1905

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