Peter the Great and Progress

In an attempt to create a more progressive and modern Russia, Peter the Great consolidated his own power by successfully subjugating the aristocracy and Russian Orthodox Church.  A group of perpetual troublemakers, the gentry were given official duties and rank according to the Table of Ranks.  Futhermore the rank of the noble was directly related to that individuals relationship with the Emperor, completely discounting the traditional hereditary mestnichestvo.  By establishing a meritocracy the best and brightest would in theory have the highest ranks in the government.  … Read the rest here

What was Peter the Great Trying to Do?

Peter the Great is often times credited for transforming Russia and his reign is viewed as a great watershed moment in Russian history. As you read the two articles and two primary sources for Friday, think about how Peter’s reforms could lead to progress for Russia. Comment in 200-400 words, with specific examples, on how Peter’sTable of Ranks and Spiritual Regulation promoted progress. You may also comment on any limitations you see in the reforms’ abilities to reach the intended goals.… Read the rest here

Hungry, Hungry Hippos

[Marx, St. Simon, and Smith enjoy a casual evening gamenight together: The three are gathered in a small, softly lit apartment. Plainly furnished and with a worn in feel it could be any of the three. They are conversing easily around a small board game table and Smith reaches down into a bag at his feet]

Smith: [while rummaging around] Well…since it is my week to provide entertainment, I have brought choices! Three classic games for us to choose from.… Read the rest here

Plato and More: A Discussion on Democracy

(Plato appears in Sir Thomas More’s chamber in Henry VIII’s castle)

More: So we meet again, Plato.

Plato: Greetings, Sir More.

M: So what shall the topic be for today’s cross-time continuum conversation?

P: I was thinking about discussing the topic of democracy today.

M: Why not. I’ll let you begin.

P: Let us first define the term democracy. Democracy is a state where freedom reigns supreme as the defining characteristic; the people may live life as they please, may take up any profession they please, and may speak without fear of unlawful censorship or persecution.… Read the rest here

Discussion on Democracy

The Pessimist and the Optimist

(Plato has invited Sir Thomas More in his abode for an intellectual discussion)

Plato(P)
Sir Thomas More(T)

T: Hello, and thank you for having me this evening.

P: Greetings to you too. The pleasure is all mine as I do enjoy having these discussions that contribute to our understanding of the world.

T: Even so, I mean, a person of your stature couldn’t possibly have the leisure to entertain a fellow like me.… Read the rest here

Dialogue between Plato and More

Plato and More meet to discuss the idea of democracy as a form of government.

 

Plato: A democracy being a proper form of government – you cannot be serious Thomas.

 

More: Yes I am quite serious. It will allow for the country to prosper and for the citizens to elect officials and create a society full of happiness.

 

P: Democracy is a joke and does not work. Look at the state and Greece and Athens right now.… Read the rest here

Discussion on Capitalism

Marx: We are gathered here today to discuss our current economic, political, and social situation.

Smith: Politics? Social situation? I’m only here to talk about economics….

Marx: Well Smith when you improve the lives of citizens, and arrange politics so that it will benefit the people, economics will also improve.

Smith: Marx I’d have to disagree. You must first improve the economy in order to improve the lives of citizens.

Marx: But Smith the history of all societies has always been a struggle between classes: the struggle between the oppressed and the oppressor!… Read the rest here

Locked Out

[Karl Marx sits in the hallway of his dorm room.  Claud de Rouvroy, who goes by “Simon”, trips over Marx’s outstretched feet.]

 

K: [quickly pulls his feet back] Ooh, sorry, man!

S: [getting up] Don’t worry about it… er, what are you doing?

K: I’m locked out of my room… Adam’s MIA. Have you seen him?

S: [dropping his bag and sitting down] Nah, not since Econ this morning. I’m kind of glad, though… it got a little intense today.… Read the rest here

Two Old Friends Are Reacquainted

Thomas More and Plato, two old friends, run into one another at a Starbucks one day.

Plato: Is that—It can’t be… Thomas More?! Long time no see! How long has it been? Five years?

More: Plato! Wow good so see you, how have you been?

P: Not so good actually.  My teacher, Socrates was unjustly executed for his teachings, or as they put it “corrupting of young minds.”

M: Yeah man I heard about that. I’m so sorry.… Read the rest here

St. Simon and Smith vie for the job

The year is 2012, and St. Simon and Adam Smith appear in the corporate headquarters of a multi-national corporation known for its sleek computers and cell phones. Both are interviewing for the position of Chief Executive Officer. The two men acknowledge each other and sit in a terse silence while waiting to be called in to their interviews. Smith turns on CNN to lessen the tension.

St. Simon: Ha! Look at that. The employees in our China plant are revolting again.… Read the rest here