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World Government

[Revised entry by Catherine Lu on January 5, 2021. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] "World government" refers to the idea of all humankind united under one common political authority. Proposals for a unified global political authority have existed since ancient times - in the ambition of kings, popes and emperors, and the dreams of poets and philosophers. Recently, some have argued that a world government is already here, or nascent in contemporary conditions of capitalist globalization. There is much debate about whether global institutional developments towards a world state are inevitable or [More]

Back to the Classroom: The Best Teachers are the Students Themselves

 During my whole professional life, I always enjoyed teaching. It was part of my life, part of what I am, part of the way I relate with the world. I made mistakes, at times made a fool of myself, sometimes I was ashamed of how poor a teacher I was. But I always did my best. And I think my students, some of them at least, appreciated my effort. And most of them enjoyed being students, just as I did when I was their age.  I don't know how it happened, but a few months of folly have been enough to turn universities into jails, the students as prisoners, and teachers as prison guards. And teaching was transformed into an odious chore. A senseless ritual performed in front of a computer screen, the students reduced to small 2-D squares, as real as the characters of a videogame.  On the media, everywhere the students were insulted, humiliated, insulted, told over and over that they are little more than walking bags full of viruses, plague-spreaders, irresponsible, vicious, self-centered individuals unable to restrain their instincts and harming their elders because of that.  This is truly a disaster. Going to school is one of the few remaining chances that the young have to socialize and become functional adults. Chuck Pezeshki said it very well in his latest post on his blog "If we’re to start understanding why the enforced collapse of socialization matters to all students, we’re going to have to come to terms with what we [More]

The Ghosts of 2020. And the Ghosts of 2021

  The devil scene from Walt Disney's 1940 "Fantasia" movie. A fitting representation of the nightmare that 2020 has been. This clip is especially fitting because you may notice how the devil doesn't really do anything bad during the whole scene. He summons ghosts and demons, they scream, they fly, they dance, but they don't touch anything, don't harm anyone. Evil is a characteristic of our mind: we create evil and we suffer its consequences because we believe in our own creation. Perhaps we could hear bells dispelling evil in 2021, as it happens in the movie at 5:40? Maybe, but it is also possible that we'll create even worse ghosts than anything seen in 2020. Whatever the case, as always, we'll remain dominated by the ghost that we ourselves create. [More]