Cameron on European Union

3 Points

Cameron makes a point to emphasize that Europe’s transition from warfare to tranquility did not happen overnight and took serious determination and willpower of its people over a span of time.

He also contends that millions of people now live in freedom, from the Baltic to the Adriatic, which was the main purpose of the European Union when it was initially formed. Now, almost a half-century later, the goal of the European Union is to sustain and promote peace and prosperity.… Read the rest here

Nehru on Marxism, Capitalism, and Non-alignment

3 Points

Nehru believed that the violence present in communist nations was inherent and deep-rooted, while the violence of Communist nations was leading Russia to peace, cooperation, and freedom of its people.

He emphasizes Russia’s fortitude and resilience, while the rest of the world was regressing and deteriorating. “With all her blunders, Soviet Russia had triumphed over enormous difficulties and taken great strides toward this new order while the rest of the world was in the grip of the depression and going back in some ways […]”

Nehru expresses the need for India to attribute to the task of achieving economic development.… Read the rest here

Churchill’s “Iron Curtain”

Interesting Points:

1) Churchill emphasizes that it is the West’s task to ensure the prevention of another world war.

2) He calls upon a variety of organizations, including the legal offices, the United Nations, and each of the powers to prepare and assemble the proper tools and plans for what is to come. Churchill notes that he had previously wished for the same actions to take place following the first world war.

3) It was Churchill’s phrase, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent” that made people realize that things were going to change between the democratic West and the Communist East.… Read the rest here

Keynesian Economics

3 Points:

Keynes compares the livelihood of Europe before and after the war. He boasts about how self-sufficient Europe was, with the population secured for itself with dedicated organization and steady income of supplies. He believes the disruption of this system has contributed to the decline in livelihood.

To follow his first point, Keynes warns the population of the lurking danger of the rapid decline in the standard of living that will leave people starved, as well as mentally and physically disabled.… Read the rest here

Darwin and Natural Selection

Author: Charles Darwin, born in 1809 in Great Britain, was from an intellectual family that made up of some of the leading intellectuals of the 18th century. While Darwin had initially planned on pursuing medical studies, he switched to divinity studies while attending Cambridge University, where he discovered his passion for science.

Context: During the time of his influential writings, most Europeans believed that God created the world in seven days, as assured by the Bible.… Read the rest here

Veblen’s Conspicuous Consumption

Author: Thorstein Veblen was born in 1857 in Wisconsin and moved to Minnesota where he spent the majority of his childhood working on his family’s farm. His family was a part of an immigrant farming community that stressed hard work and dedication, explains his disdain for the effects of capitalism, as shown in his book The Theory of the Leisure Class.

Context: Veblen wrote about Conspicuous Consumption in 1902 in his book The Theory of the Leisure Class and coined the phrase as a way to describe the behavioral characteristics of the emerging social class that was a result of  acquired wealth during the Second Industrial Revolution.… Read the rest here

Mazzini on Social Change

Writing in 1852, Mazzini served as a national figure, advocating for the nationalism of Italian democracy. He saw Europe not as a unified whole, but a fractured state full of violence and crises. For Mazzini, they key to peace was unity. In his eyes, Europe was taking two two forms: social and nationalities. “I say, which all have agreed to call social, because, generally speaking, every great revolution is so far social, that it cannot be accomplished either in the religious, political, or any other sphere, without affecting social relations […]” Mazzini notes that no tangible change can be made in society without, first, a social change.… Read the rest here

Silesian Weavers

Heinrich Heine’s poem, “Silesian Weavers” was inspired by a protest over the working conditions of weaving laborers in Silesian, Prussia. The poem confronts the issue of workers’ rights and their continuous exploitation and oppression by the rich and, along with worker riots, served as a key asset for the revolution that subsequently forced the King of Prussia to allow his people a constitution.

Heine’s poem, which pays sympathy to the working class, was intended to inspire and even arouse anger amongst his lower-class compatriots.… Read the rest here

von Herder: Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind

In his “Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind,” von Herder writes about the importance of cultural nationalism and the value of local culture. A German scholar, he believes that the people of Germany are brought together by their shared language and customs, and that these attributes make the nation unique to other countries. He compares a nation-body to that of a family and believes that the two are inherently the same because they are both natural.… Read the rest here

Revolutionaries in France and America

De Gouge was a playwright and a political activist in 18th century France. In her “Declaration of the Rights of Women,” she addresses the unscrupulous oppression under which women have endured and the prejudice that have surrounding prejudice implemented by their male counterparts. De Gouge renounces the male-written law not only in the private sphere but also in the public sphere by stating that “our French legislators have long ensnared by political practices now out of date.” She requests women to question what they have gained from the revolution and asks them to acknowledge all that they have been denied.… Read the rest here