German Sympathy Post-World War I

John Maynard Keynes, an English economist, wrote his piece ‘The Economic Consequences of the Peace’ in 1920.  It was a reaction to the Treaty of Versailles which ended World War I.  Keynes seems adamant in his prose that  Europe was excessively punished following the Great War, seen when he wrote “This treaty will sign the death sentence of many millions of German men, women and children”1.  Keynes wrote with the Allies as his audience as they were the authors of this treaty and should be held responsible for these ramifications.  … Read the rest here

Inspiration and the Soul

Wassily Kandinsky, a Russian artist and art theorist, was one of the first painters noted as an abstract artist.  He wrote On the Spiritual in Art in 1912 during the time in which he was a member of the artist group ‘The Blue Rider,’ a group of abstract painters who were planning on doing an exposition but was curtailed because of the onset of World War I.  The language was one geared towards artists and those who were interested in understanding and observing art, using terms and phrases such as ‘observer,’ ‘inspiration,’ and ‘spiritual in art.’  Kandinsky’s intent was to help those less informed about art understand how to observe art and what it takes to create a truly ‘inspired’ work.  … Read the rest here

Females on the Front: The Evolution of Women’s Rights and Societal Roles

Mrs. John Sandford’s work Woman in her Social and Domestic Character was published in 1833 from Industrial England.  The work is difficult to comprehend as its intent reach out to every wife in the country.  The intent of this work was to inform women of the ways in which they are influenced and who they influence as well as their responsibilities as the familial matriarch.  Sandford’s message comes directly from the text when she wrote “Domestic life is a woman’s sphere, and it is there that she is most usefully as well as most appropriately employed”1. … Read the rest here

Passing the Torch: Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden”

In 1899 Rudyard Kipling composed the poem “The White Man’s Burden” in response to the American colonization of the Philippines following the Spanish-American War. With his tone of command urging the white landowners of the United States to “Take up the White Man’s burden”1, Kipling is implying that the USA must now carry the torch of imperialism once held by Great Britain as well as other European nations. Kipling’s message is one of command and warning, by implying that if the United States is to become an imperial power it must commit fully to the duty and complexities inherent with this position of power.… Read the rest here

Standards too Static? Two Perspectives on Rule

The Danger of ExpectationsPhoto Credit:

John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty” touched on salient points of contention following the Enlightenment Period, specifically on “the nature and limit of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society”1.  One can interpret this as how much restriction these leaders should rule with, and with how these rulers should go about administering these restrictions.

Mill also references the ‘Tyranny of the Majority’ as the source of these problems as well.  On top of that, Mill also mentions that these rulers won’t just act through political authority, which “leaves fewer means for escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself”2. … Read the rest here

Dehumanized: the Individual in Regards to Industry

Karl Marx’s “Estranged Labour” details the ruthless system that is ‘The Money System.’  This system strikes chords similar to those of Thomas Hobbes’ theory on the state of nature where every human is in competition with one another; Marx states that “the political economy promotes greed and competition amongst the greedy”1  which adds a layer of economy to Hobbes’ theory.  However, Marx takes it yet another step forward by asserting the dehumanization of those who work in industry. … Read the rest here

Connections through Language and Identity

While reading through Monday’s selections, I couldn’t help but think about the huge connection between language and identity.  Common language makes almost every facet of life so much easier; from letters to speeches to national anthems, language is the simplest yet most crucial way in which we understand one another.  What’s a simpler way to connect with someone than with words that both can understand?

In the simplest manner this is such an easy way to create unity; if I was born in Germany and only spoke German, it would be very difficult to call myself an American, and vice versa. … Read the rest here