Tag: culture

Captain Marvel: The Story of Israel and Palestine

Ryan Lau | @RyanLau71R

In Captain Marvel’s first few weeks at the box office, it has performed incredibly well, grossing over $800 million worldwide. Generally, the reviews from the critics reflect its success, but some YouTube channels disagree. Criticizing the movie for its feminist motives, some believed that a radical agenda was ruining Marvel’s movie. In reality, it had more to do with Israel and Palestine.

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Marvel Universe Co-Creator Stan Lee Passes Away at 95

By Brennan Dubé | Canada

Stan Lee was born in New York City on December 22nd, 1922. He spent his younger years growing up in the Bronx doing part-time work writing obituaries and press releases for local papers. He also worked as an Usher boy at the Rivoli Theater on Broadway. In 1939, Lee began working as an assistant at the newly founded Timely Comics (later known as Marvel Comics) division of Pulp Magazine.

In 1942, Stan Lee joined the U.S. military and helped by repairing telegraph poles, writing training manuals and working on training films. After the Second World War, Lee returned to his job of writing comics. In 1961, the first comics under the Marvel Comics brand went public. Lee, of course, helped to revolutionize the business by creating characters that appealed to older generations as well.

Stan Lee and the Marvel Universe

With the birth of Marvel Comics came the expansion of the universe of characters, Marvel began publishing comics for the characters like Hulk, Thor, X-Men, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Loki. This world-building ultimately created the Marvel Universe and there lies the groundwork for the rivalry with DC. Over the years, Stan Lee has appeared in cameo roles in over 35 films and TV shows. He is also expected to appear in Avengers 4, which is set for release on May 3rd of next year. Stan Lee died today at the age of 95 at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.

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Modern-Day Progressives: Regressive Next to Libertarians

By Manuel Martin | United States

Libertarians are true, modern-day progressives seeking to unify and evolve our culture around a common set of voluntary values which the majority of people already hold. Those on the left who consider themselves progressive are not progressing society. Instead, they continue to use an outdated coercive democratic system from 300 years ago.

In fact, modern-day progressives are regressive conservatives. While those on the left who consider themselves progressives wish to change how the political system works, they still wish to conserve the existence of a system which has slaughtered hundreds of millions and continually divides society. Regressing culture to a time when kings and queens had full control over the freedom and self-determination of the average everyday person does not bring progress. It makes no difference if a king or democratically-elected politician strips you of your autonomy.

The truth is, modern-day progressives are not progressive at all. There is nothing progressive about looking to third-party politicians to coercively solve cultural differences. Real progressives seek to free human beings from outdated ideas, old prejudices and the narcissism of those who wish to democratically control individuals within society. Real progressives fight to give everyone human respect to live free from the control of power-hungry politicians. Also, real progressives lift the values and ethics of people in order to unite them and bring about harmony and prosperity.

The Failed Tool of Democracy

The majority of Americans have strong personal values which promote and sustain peace. However, our political values are built upon a regressive democratic system of divisive coercion. Ideas of democracy and coercive government stagnate society in a constant state of actual and social war. The outdated, regressive tool of democracy has led to the slaughter and starvation of hundreds of millions in countless wars. It has democratically caused famines while ensuring power and profits to state benefactors. Democracy is the tool which freed millions from kings and dictators only to simultaneously have them vote for socialist kings and communist dictators.

Democracy was once a promise of a world where people would be free to live the lives they desired, but it has failed. True progressives evaluate the results of their ideas and never double down on failed ones. Democracy or constitutional government may be a good alternative to the unilateral dictates of a king. But by what logic is voting for oppression any better than simply being born into oppression?

It’s time for real progress, a New Frontier if you will; we must progress our culture to one which maximizes human respect, is tolerant of others, values the individual, and respects persuasion and trade over “democratic consensus.”

No Need for Government

Individually and socially, we don’t need government and politicians to live in peace and prosperity.  What society needs is individuals who put character first, value honest relationships, and respect long-held values of responsibility. We need men and women who teach integrity, strong work ethics and respect to their children. In short, everyone must own responsibility for his or her own actions. But moreover, they must take an enlightened position and look out for others, too.

These character traits make someone a valuable and contributing member of society. They are not a result of government, but of culture.

Culture will not flourish if we are naive enough to think voting is anything but an attempt to control the freedoms of others through the use of gun violence disguised as government, law, and democracy.

Your opinion is important, and yes your life matters. However, so does the person who has a different outlook on life. Of course, just because they are different doesn’t mean you should hire a mobster or politician with a gun to force your personal lifestyle on them.

Every action we make in life tilts the world a little bit more towards good or evil. Surely, attempting to control the free will and self-determination of others will always do the latter.

Modern-Day Progressives: Be Consistent

Everything we need to end the ancient idea of coercive government is already out there. Everyone, including you, is already using it. We are all libertarians in our personal dealings with others. Almost no one uses coercion when dealing with others. This, however, is not because governments tell us not to. Rather, we understand that in order for us to be successful human beings, we must rely on voluntary interactions.

We simply need to be consistent in the application of those ideals which we use to guide our everyday actions. We must start voting for politicians who promise to slowly and ethically dismantle the state so we can continue the evolution of our culture to more voluntary interactions, not fewer.

If you’re truly a modern-day progressive that wants to promote peace, prosperity, freedom for all and want to unleash societies ability to maximize human happiness, then we should all extend our libertarian social values to our political decisions. We should start the process of liberating society from the divisive coercion of governmental gun violence.

The best long-term sustainable way to maximize human happiness, peace and prosperity is to raise the cultural ethics of society until everyone recognizes the individual and common benefits of using persuasion instead of coercion, and trade instead of theft and taxes.

Libertarianism is a social philosophy seeking to promote this culture: one where individuals hold voluntary interactions as the primary ethic guiding their relations with others. As people, libertarians want to progress our culture to that ethical standard. Libertarians, thus, are the true progressives. Liberals: try to keep up.

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Collectivism Targets the Weak

Nickolas Roberson | United States

The world as we know it has countless different ideologies and belief systems, each with its own stance on religion, politics, economics, social systems, and numerous other categories and theories. All of these systems provide instructions as to how to live your life, how to treat others, how to think and develop your own ideas and rhetoric. Ideologies provide a sense of order to your existence. However, these creeds and outlooks on human life are not always positive. A great number of these systems are nihilistic, bleak, pessimistic, deceptive, ignorant, spineless, or are downright evil. Some of these villainous philosophies include, but are most certainly not limited to, nihilism, institutionalism, authoritarianism, and possibly the most heinous of them all, collectivism. How is this economic, political, and life-guiding philosophy and its corresponding philosophies so malignant? There are a multitude of reasons, such as the devaluation of the individual and the destruction of natural rights and liberties, but one of the most important notions of collectivism is this: it targets the weak.

What exactly is collectivism? As defined by Merriam-Webster, it is “a political or economic theory advocating collective control especially over production and distribution; emphasis on collective rather than individual action or identity.” It is broken down into a plethora of sub-categories, such as socialism, communism, Marxism, Maoism, Leninism, and a myriad of other such collectivist and totalitarian systems. All of these ideologies and dogmas despise the individual, deeming it as the core determinant of nearly all problems in human society and history, such as poverty, war, inequality, etc. The existence of the collectivist theories is accredited to the poor and weak in society becoming envious towards those who were of higher power and standing than them. They lead to major human catastrophes, such as genocide, great purges, mass man-made famines, and disease. Examples of these catastrophes include the Great Purge in the Soviet Union, the Holodomor, the Great Leap Forward in Maoist China, and many more. In total, collectivism, specifically totalitarian collectivism, has killed at least 50 million people in the past 150 years.

Who are these weak individuals who are targeted by collectivism? They are the feeble-minded, the lying and duplicitous, the bottom-feeders, and those who lack the determination, willpower, and strength to live their lives as true individuals. The only way they can live their lives is to depend on the production and work of others. That is what collectivism offers: instead of being an individual and working to better your own life, you will be a member of the group which will do the work for you instead; you become another cog in the machine.

How does collectivism accomplish this? First, of course, by destroying individualism and the wills of the people in whatever land or nation it wishes to conquer. Once that objective is fulfilled, the collectivist government implements programs and policies that make the people dependent on government, such as social welfare programs and general equality of outcome. These people lose what drives them in life, as they are brainwashed into believing that government, a gluttonous, parasitic mother, will fulfill their every need. The collectivist government takes away all that these people produce, utilizing it for what government needs and wants and then distributing the leftovers to the hungry masses. Unfortunately, these weak people buy into this brainwashing. Instead of defeating the dragon of collectivism, the weak attempt to appease and feed the dragon, believing it will ignore or even protect them. In reality, they’re on the path to their own demise, when the voracious dragon will grow in strength and eventually consume and burn the village, the people, and society as a whole. 

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The Consequences of States Defining Nations

By Joshua D. Glawson | United States

Throughout history, human interaction has led to various cultures, states, and nations. These have brought with them both enrichment and destruction, bonding and division. Sometimes disputes arise over property rights. Other times it is by misunderstanding, negation of contract, or simple vanity of one’s culture or nationality which all can lead to total blindness and self-centeredness. Defining nationalities can benefit in the study of individuals within groups, help to better communication and understanding of others, but it can also have negative consequences of control and limitation. This is especially true when a State defines a nation.

It is imperative to first clarify commonly misused terminology. Many people, including myself, often mistakenly interchange the words ‘State,’ ‘state,’ and ‘nation’. A ‘State’ with an uppercase ‘S’ “is an independent, sovereign government exercising control over a certain spatially defined and bounded area, whose borders are usually clearly defined and internationally recognized by other states.” This includes State sponsored bureaucracy and the monopoly of the use of legitimate force and coercion with laws, regulations, and taxes, etc. One can interchange ‘State’ with ‘government’.

On the other hand, a ‘state’ with a lowercase ‘s’ is simply a part of a country, such as a state within the United States of America. A ‘nation’ is a group of people who have a shared culture, history, religion, language, etc. A ‘nation’ is not a ‘State,’ although there are some nations that have a State of their own. There are also some nations without a State, and still more that occupy part of a state or multiple states. Nations are fluid and socially constructed, and are thus not bound by borders. A ‘Nation-State’ is a State that has only one main nationality. Very few of these exist in the world.

Once people have come to define their State or nation, they tend towards doing whatever benefits it, rather than thinking logically through actions and consequences. They beget an air of superiority with their attachment to their fellow State-people and those of their particular nation. This is natural. As we humans tend towards empathy and sociability from our very nature, it is easier to survive and thrive within groups, and we find personal values that we put on hierarchical scales. If a person finds their State attacked they may be less concerned than if their nation is attacked, if they find stronger attachments to their nation, and of course vice versa.

Many States try to find a commonality within their citizenry in order to propagate a nationality. As a result, their government becomes stronger and more effective in carrying out their particular agendas. They may attempt to do so in many ways, including wording, such as adding a State religion. We see this within the U.S., which put “In God We Trust” on currency in 1956, or adding “One nation, under God,” to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.

States will use their arbitrary borders to determine who to support and oppose, as seen in war and immigration policies, rather than basing it off of the individuals within these borders. On the other hand, nations will collectively determine who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’ based on their nationalistic customs and norms. Similarly to both nations and States, going to a team sporting event, one can easily witness the collectivist competitiveness of people solely based on their team’s geographic location, wanting only the best for theirs and condemning those that oppose them. This can sometimes lead to brawls and destruction, although on a much smaller scale than when actual States and nations go to war.

When colonialism was most prevalent in the world, many people found conflicts with the imposing State establishing and enforcing Western European nationalism of liberal and democratic ideals through creating or infiltrating markets. As seen in China, where various States were trading with the Chinese and others, it was expected that the Chinese people would not only trade but also partake in the national identity of the Europeans. “While bi-culturalism was essential at least on the part of the elite, the colonial system discouraged ambivalence and boundary crossing. Chinese should remain Chinese.” This is to say that only certain people could cross boundaries, but not the Chinese, which is evidence of control through nationalism.

Yet, equally, some believe people are incapable of reaching the same truths as they possess, such as the idea that “the assertion of difference by [his] predecessors put colonialism at odds with a society incapable of capitalism and modern government thus necessitating colonial intervention and education.” In the first quote, it is shown that providing the benefits of colonialism had exclusive extra rights for particular people, whereas the second quote is attempting to assert pompous superiority in determining who is capable and who is not. The second quote is thus evidence of a State imposing nationalistic ideals on another group.

When States are attempting to determine who is of what nationality, we need to ask ourselves what the purpose of such questioning would be. It is typical to hear government statistics which point to the numbers of certain groups of people, genders, sexes, ages, ethnicities, races, cultural norms, etc.

Most people have grown numb to this idea and think it is prudent to collect information on people as seen in this quote: “Ultimately, if we cannot identify any further properties that are unique to ethnic identity, we would be better off substituting the concept of ethnic identity in our theories with concepts such as descent-based identities or identities based on sticky or visible attributes… The negative claim, that ethnicity does not matter, is a discovery of great magnitude. It should have far-reaching consequences for research and data collection, suggesting that we should abandon the large number of theories and data-sets on ethnicity and start again on an entirely different foundation.”

This evidence suggests States use statistics of nations, markets, and the States themselves in order to control rather than simply study. This is to say that State statistics are typically a control mechanism, and States often choose to control nations via any means necessary. Equally so, “If it is true that governments make decisions based on how they believe ethnic groups will respond, then it must also be true that ethnic groups are equally strategic in their behavior toward their governments.” Many nations have also used the coercive force of the State to push out competitive nationalities and hold their particular nation as the highest among the State, even going as far as establishing a newly reformed State under the control of the nation.

Economist and political theorist, Dr. Murray Rothbard, stated, “Not only do statistics gathering and producing go beyond the governmental function of defense of persons and property; not only are economic resources wasted and misallocated, and the taxpayers, industry, small business, and the consumer burdened. But, furthermore, statistics are, in a crucial sense, critical to all interventionist and socialist activities of government (i.e. the State).” He went on to say, “…In order to get ‘into’ the situation that they are trying to plan and reform, they must obtain knowledge that is not personal, day-to-day experience; the only form that such knowledge can take is statistics. Statistics are the eyes and ears of the bureaucrat, the politician, the socialistic reformer. Only by statistics can they know, or at least have any idea about, what is going on…”

Indeed, as specified by one author in regards to the Indonesian State discouraging statistic control of nationalities within their borders, “Independence removed the status gap, and the colonial habit of classifying by race. Officially the new Indonesian Nation-State adopted a policy of assimilation, discouraging, and after 1966 prohibiting, public expressions of Chinese language or culture. The Indonesian censuses dropped colonial-style questions about ethnicity, and officially all citizens became equal.” On one hand, this shows a State using complete terrifying control of a nation by not allowing Chinese and other individuals of self-expression through Chinese language or culture. However, they simultaneously stopped inquiring into the statistics of individuals, thus making people more equal in a strange way.

It is not right or beneficial to everyone to prohibit such a thing as national norms that do not harm anyone else. However, States should not be inquiring about the nationality, ethnicity, gender, sex, race, etc. of people in order to gain statistics of control. These State-run statistics are often used to justify why certain groups or nations of people are not and should not be equal to that of another, such as who is smarter, wealthier, commits less crimes, who is more educated, etc.

The purpose of the U.S. government was supposed to be to protect Life, Liberty, and Property, not to find out how many people live, what they do with their own lives, and how much stuff they own. It is my position that the U.S. State should cease questioning and gathering of statistics of race, gender, sex, ethnicity, and nationalism in order to work towards making people actually more equal under the law. Statistics sway the perceptions and judgments of judges, juries, politicians, and others, rather than analyzing individuals on a case-by-case basis. We should be concerned more with the individual and not about the various nations collectively under the State. Justice is to be blind, and so should the State.

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