Integration and Culture: What are the Next Steps?

The article “Is multi-kulti dead?” which focuses on integration of immigrants in Europe—specifically Germany—sparked my reflections on meanings of nationalism and culture. In this piece from The Economist, Germany is initially portrayed as an unaccepting, nationalist state that is unwilling to integrate foreigners into the German state. With the influx of immigrants and new religions, many Germans desire “’sharply restricting’ Muslim religious practice…[and] a third think the country is overrun with foreigners and a tenth say they want a strong Fuhrer.”1  Germany has long been a non-pluralistic, nationalist state.… Read the rest here

The Treaty of Versailles: Fair or Unfair?

The Treaty of Versailles, signed June 28 1919 at the Paris Peace Conference, was a treaty created by the Allied powers that ended the war five years after it started. The treaty reprimanded and condemned Germany for its overt aggression that started the war. The Allied powers—specifically the Big Three of the United States, Great Britain, and France—sought reparation for damages resulting from the war. The treaty disallowed Germany from entering the League of Nations for fifteen years, gave France certain territories back, created a demilitarized zone, and weakened Germany’s armed forces.… Read the rest here

The Effects of Spiritual Art

Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian artist, theorist, and musician, born in Moscow in 1866. His belief contrasted the typical perception of art, for he perceived art through a spiritual and musical lens. He was a proud, emphatic leader of the abstract art movement in the 1900s. Through his works and ideas, he changed the foundation of art in the 1900s and beyond, forming the basis for modern art.1 Inspired by Monet and other painters of the time period, he sought to convince artists that they had a mission to convey a deeper message in their works.… Read the rest here

Victorious Victorian ideals?

Samuel Smiles, a Scottish reformer involved in the Chartist movement, declared that individualism leads to success of society. Written in 1882, his book Self-Help inspired progress through rationality, attention to detail, and “patience and perseverance.”1 Smiles, a Victorian who promoted Victorian ideals, detested inheritance and rather believed that success should be determined through—or rather achieved by—relentless determination. Victorian ideals practiced in Britain during this time period separated Britain from the rest of the world, notably countries such as France, who dabbled through numerous Revolutions seeking to find the truth to society’s success.… Read the rest here

Imperialism and “The horror!”

Jules Ferry, a two-time prime minister of France, supported the ideals of Imperialism. In 1884 France, competition amongst Britain, Germany, and the United States sparked a sense of urgency in people like Ferry. Germany conquered nations in Africa, prevailing over Britain and creating pressure in Britain. Ferry notes that this competition, as well as supply and demand and freedom of trade are major problems. In a proud, almost desperate tone, he insists that “the superior races have a right because they have a duty.… Read the rest here

Does the “Tyranny of the Majority” Exist Today?

Marquis de Condorcet and John Stuart Mill write about equality, perfection, and liberty in late 18th-early 19th century Europe. Condorcet, who wrote Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind while in hiding, presents his hopes for the future well-being of society. These hopes consists of the elimination of inequality between nations, equality progression within each respective nation, and the true perfection of mankind.1 Condorcet’s hopefulness arises from his confidence of the Enlightenment period.… Read the rest here

Treat Everyone Like a Valentine

Marx, Saint-Simon, and Owen both address the inherent issues of capitalism. In his writing of “Estranged Labour”, Marx suggests that the worker will never be satisfied because of labor’s “alienation.” As workers produce more, the owners and employers take in the product and become wealthier—the workers gain little. Individuals work for survival purposes; they do not partake in labor because of any passion or interest. Because the worker gains nothing except for the ability to survive, the worker becomes alien to not only himself, but society.… Read the rest here

Nationalism’s Evolution

In the readings, I began to notice nationalism’s incredible power in speaking to the people and uniting the people. The nationalism practiced in the 18th century consisted of countries such as France and Germany caring about one common identity and language for communication purposes. Herder states: an empire made up of a hundred peoples and a 120 provinces which have been forced together is a monstrosity, not a state-body.1 However, there should always be some room left for accepting other languages, cultures, and ideas because these other languages can help provide important viewpoints and perspectives that the society can use to its advantage.… Read the rest here