Treaty of European Union

3 Points;

1. The Europe once again unite together, for the two wars in the past proved no good to set enemies within the Europe.

2. The union is mainly formed by economic treaties, including single currency and free trade within the EU.

3. The EU also would maintain a consistency in foreign policies, adding more to the unity of Europe.

2 Qs:

1. As the member nations of EU joint ever closer economically, the potential harm exists as well. Just like Greece broke in 2011, the whole Europe was affected by the financial crisis because of internal relation. Is this the reason why Great Britain was not part of EU? Who can help Europe to get out of the crisis when almost every nation in the union was devastated financially?

2. Is EU a new form of multination empire? What is the difference the multination empire and the EU?


The relation between countries eventually is connected by the benefit and gains. When the interest is related together, it is hard to act against each other without hurting one’s own benefit. Perpetual peace may seem impossible during the first few decades of twentieth century, essentially because countries were trying to maximize each own profits, even at the cost of damaging other countries’ interest. Just like what Churchill said, “A nation has no permanent enemies and no permanent friends, only permanent interests. Have no lasting enemy, also have no lasting friend, only have the lasting benefits.” Only by unifying all the countries’ interests, can peace be maintained.



Stalin’s Speech at a Meeting of Voters of The Stalin Electoral District

Three Points:

1. Stalin started his speech with the discussion of the nature of the two world wars, that the first world war was mainly a result of rising capitalism countries’ demand for redistribution of  “sphere of influence” and that the second world war was one of anti-fascism and liberation.

2. He then brought up the point that the second world war served as a test of the Soviet Union in many ways. Constructed as a multi-national union, Soviet Union succeeded in muting the sceptic who doubted if the multi-nation political institution could survive. Soviet Union’s winning of the war also solidified the power of communism.

3. The latter part of the speech focused on the future development of Soviet Union by the next five-year plan. With the heavy industry developing first than light industry and collective agriculture instead of capitalist one, the Soviet Communist party aimed to restore the productivity to pre-war level at a relatively short time and with high efficiency.

Two Questions:

1. If the pre-war five-year plans were focusing on heavy industry as a preparation for the war, why did Stalin and the communist party still focus on heavy industry after the war? It was a quicker route for the GDP to go up but not for the overall living standard of people.

2. It seems that collectivism works quite efficiently towards a collective goal, usually a expanding one (politically or economically). But it lacks the ability to recover once it crashed (Germany, Soviet Union, even Japan during the bubble burst in the 1990s). Do you agree that eventually it is individualism that propel the society forward? Meaning, should people eventually increase their own productivity solely based on personal goal instead of a collective one?

One Observation:

The planned economic policy works against the “natural” development of industrialization by developing heavy industry first. In a time when there is no war, heavy manufacture can result in excess capacity since no one will be using the products once they are made. Stalin described a prospective future in terms of national productivity, but how this prosperity turns into individual’s life is not clear. Nevertheless, Stalin succeeded in winning votes by his plan for the country.

What is Fascism?

Three points:

1. Fascism does not believe perpetual peace and be achieved and maintained. It stresses that competition is always there, and that men eventually have to choose between life and death.

2. Fascism is complete opposite to Marxian Socialism, because it does not believe in public decision making; instead, it is a school of thought that promotes “holiness and heroism,” which constitutes a Fascism State that has will, consciousness and ambition.

3.Benito asserts that the twentieth century was going to be the age of Fascism, as he sees that the nineteenth century, the century of democracy, has come to an end, as liberalism and democracy had entered a chaos situation in which its people live a hard life.

Two questions:

1. Is Fascism only effective under the extremely bad economy during pre-WWII period because it shifted individual interest to collective interest?

2. Since the core idea that keeps fascist fighting is the existence of competitors, what happens when Fascism does defeat all its rivals? What will happens to the state when the collective goal is achieved?



1.Fascism nevertheless has the characteristic of nationalism, yet it is more powerful than nationalism because it calls for a collective consciousness of competition, making it much more aggressive than nationalism.

2.I think its biggest issue is that, it can be a living faith while there are rivals to fight against, but let us say that it somehow defeat all its rivals one day, does not it mean that what holds the fascists together collapse at the moment they win? And when there is no rival, the competitive nature of people, which is what the fascists always believe in, results in a new cycle of chaos again. History repeats itself.

War Sonnets

Author: Rupert Brooke (1837-1887) was an highly talented and educated English poet. He went to King’s College, University of Cambridge, on scholarship. 

Context: War Sonnets was written in 1914, a year when political and economic turmoils reached the highest point. Germany and Italy was demanding for redistribution of the colonials outside of Europe, and France and Britain felt endangered with the rise of Germany and Italy.

Language: Since they are a collection of poems, the language used is rhymed and has emotional impact.

Audience: Rupert is writing to the Britain public and army.

Intention: By illustrating what soldiers will be fighting for, which are the greater good and longer period of peace, Rupert evokes a sense of pride in fighting for one’s own country, so as to justify the war.

Message: Through the poems, Rupert suggests that death is what makes people “rarer than gold.” Dying for one’s own country is something to take pride in, and the nationalism spirit provoked Britain’s intention to go to war.

Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management

Author – Isabella Mary Beeton, popularly known as Mrs. Beeton, was born on 12 March, 1836 in London, England. Her father died when she was still a child and her mother soon married with a widower who had had four children. After finishing her school in Germany, Beeton went back to England as an accomplished pianist. However, with a total of 21 people in her family in England, Isabella had to take care of household chores and babysitting, being the eldest of the five daughters.

Context – The book was a collection of all the articles Mrs. Beeton published on The Englishwomen’s Domestic Magazines between 1859-1861, a time known as the “Victorian Era,” during which the Great Britain was prosperous and peaceful under the reign of Queen Victoria.

Language – Day to day word choices and phrases yet cultivated in terms of logic and flow. A number of poems were included to illustrate certain points, which shows some sophistication of Mrs.Beeton.

Audience – Mainly published in magazines for housewives, Mrs.Beeton’s articles were read by women who ran the housemanagement.

Intention – By encompassing almost every aspect of being a exceptional housewife, Mrs.Beeton’s book was a work that tried to help those housewives who wanted to manage the house better so as to be qualified wives; furthermore, to make men satisfied.

Message – The book talks about, essentially, what good qualities a good housewife should have, such as keeping a habit of rising up early and being economic. It serves as a guidance to the field of household management, which starts with a typical day of a woman running chores ranged from finance to socialization. Following the behavioral suggestions comes all the recipes of foods and drinks. The book as a whole works as a “housewife’s bible” because it sets up a standard and provides methods to help women become better at running chores at home.

The Black Man’s Burden

Author: Edward Morel (1873-1924), a British journalist who was active in the British pacific movement. Opponent of Imperialism.

Context: The Black Man’s Burden was written in 1903, an accelerated stage of Imperialism. This piece particularly draws the public attention to the abuses of European colonization in Africa.

Language: complex sentences; articulate wording; serious tone criticizing how the European imperialism had killed the soul of Africa.

Audience: The audience include people who have some educational background and the imperialists.

Intention: By summarizing the dehumanization brought by the colonization of Europe in Africa, Morel criticizes Imperialism and slavery as crimes that “unrestrained by convention or law.” And he wanted to draw the public’s attention to act against Imperialism and push the pacific movement forward.

Message: The Africa in no way could react against the capital exploitation of the Europeans. Imperialists were killing and exploiting people in Africa which signifies the dark and brutal side of humanity.

Communist Manifesto

Money system is a derivation of land, upon which constructed capitalism. In the first part of the manifesto, Bourgeois and Proletarians, Karl Marx talks about the “oppressor and oppressed” relationship between the two classes. Capitalization of property and lands has changed the social classes from clear division of clergies, aristocracy and peasants into solely two classes, one with capital and the other without. The money system accompanying capitalism set up the ground for “egotistical calculation,” which “has transformed personal worth into mere exchange value.” Money derives from the land but it is not the land; instead, it is an alienation of land. Capital, or private property, can be understood as the transformation and alienation of land, which people work hard for. Because money only has the exchange value but not productive value, proletarians can only earn what is enough for their subsistence. As industry thrives, competition arises between capitalists, for gaining more customer and profit means more private property for the bourgeois. Wages decline as a result of competition, proletarians live a worse life while bourgeois live a better life. When the situation comes to a point, when the majority of the society, proletarians, are so poor that they cannot afford to buy the commodities they produce, the epic of over-production will happen, according to Marx. The suffering of poor and hard life, the fact that working hard doe not pay back proportionally, eventually brings proletarians everywhere together to fight against  the bourgeois. Revolution is inevitable.

On Division of Labor

Smith states that the division of labor significantly improves the productive power in manufacture through three ways: the increased dexterity of workman by repetition, the reduced time brought by the quick transition between workers, and the efficiency brought by the machines. These workers, who perform repetitive and tedious work in order to make accommodations, are only a small part of labor in the industry world. A large quantity and variety of labor is needed in every chain of the manufacturing industry, from collecting the raw material to transporting goods from one place to another. As the industry thrives, more jobs are provided and the economics improves. Therefore it seems that a large supply of labor is good for a country to flourish industrially. In Thomas Malthus’ “Essay on Population,” however, oversize population, which means the people residing on the land exceed the land’s ability to feed them, eventually results in oversupply in the labor market, and the poor will have to live a harder life because the price of labor decrease. “The labourer therefore must work harder to earn the same as he did before,” as Malthus clearly stated in the essay. When putting the two essays together, a question is raised: if the labor lives a worse life while the economy is thriving, who lives a better life? Obviously, the employer.

Is Adam Smith intentionally deviating from the fact that employers are exploiting the labors? He discusses the great efficiency and employment brought by the industrialization, and the peasants actually live a better life than before, in contrast to what Malthus has argued, because, “perhaps, that the accommodation of an European prince does not always so much exceed that of an industrious and frugal peasant, as the accommodation of the latter exceeds that of many an African king, the absolute master of the lives and liberties of ten thousand naked savages.”

The Value of Revolutionary Culture

The nature of revolutionaries is always emotional, and it is essential for all the revolutionaries. The French national anthem, La Marseillaise, was composed and completed in one nightThe anthem calls directly for fighting against tyranny, with the core idea of retrieving liberty from the tyranny by “swords and shield.” As it is stated in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the “natural and imprescriptible” rights of man are “Liberty, Property, Security and Resistance of Oppression.” When a government cannot ensure these rights for its people, it ought to be replaced by a new one. In the process of destroying the old government and constructing a new one, conflict arises between the people who are in control and those controlled – there will be blood. One of the key values of  the revolutionary culture is that, it out speaks about the fact that man could lose his life in fighting, yet it encourages and empowers man to risk his life in order to retrieve other inalienable rights. Thus people must be charged with emotions, mostly through a justification for their actions. For example, in La Marseillaise, it goes:

Shall hateful tyrants, mischief breeding,
With hireling hosts a ruffian band
Affright and desolate the land
While peace and liberty lie bleeding?
To arms, to arms, ye brave!
Th’avenging sword unsheathe!
March on, march on, all hearts resolved
On liberty or death.

By provoking the repressed emotion of the people, the anthem brings people together because it stresses the common resentment towards the tyrants. Peace and Liberty can be achieved only if the public fight bravely for them, even at the cost of their lives. Revolutionaries must be emotional, for without passion, courage and sacrifice, change cannot be taken place.

The Cult of the Supreme Being by Maximilien Robespierre provides French people justification for their revolution in a religious context. He states that the Supreme Being did not “create kings to devour the human race; he did not create priests to harness us, like vile animals, to the chariots of kings and to give to the world examples of baseness, pride, perfidy, avarice, debauchery, and falsehood.” With a rejection to all the behaviors that the Supreme Being did not want to create, Robespierre justifies the French people’s fight against these roles. He also addresses that the revolution is the responsibility of the French people, for the Supreme Being would like to see the justice be brought back to the earth. Robespierre achieved in using religion, as opposed to the way it has been used hundreds of years before, which is to stabilized the political situation and prevent the rise of revolution, to fuel people with motive and emotion so as to push revolution forward.