Communism Communism is represented by a variety of schools of thought, which broadly include Marxism, anarchism and the political ideologies grouped around both. All these hold in common the analysis that the current order of society stems from its economic system, capitalism, that in this system, there are two major social classes: the proletariat - who must work to survive, and who make up a majority of society - and the capitalist class - a minority who derive profit from employing the proletariat, through private ownership of the means of production, and that political, social and economic conflict between these two classes will trigger a fundamental change in the economic system, and by extension a wide-ranging transformation of society. The primary element which will enable this transformation, according to communism, is the social ownership of the means of production. Because of historical peculiarities, communism is commonly erroneously equated to Marxism-Leninism in mainstream usage.
Religious views of Albert Einstein Albert Einstein, 1921. Albert Einstein's religious views have been studied extensively. He said he believed in the "pantheistic" God of Baruch Spinoza, but not in a personal god, a belief he criticized. He also called himself an agnostic, while disassociating himself from the label atheist, preferring, he said, "an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being. Early childhood Einstein was raised by secular Jewish parents. . . . Beliefs Einstein used many labels to describe his religious views, including "agnostic", "religious nonbeliever" and a "pantheistic" believer in "Spinoza's God Personal God and the afterlife Einstein expressed his skepticism regarding an anthropomorphic deity, often describing it as "naïve" and "childlike". On 22 March 1954 Einstein received a letter from Joseph Dispentiere, an Italian immigrant who had worked as an experimental machinist in New Jersey. Determinism
Socialism Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership may refer to forms of public, collective or cooperative ownership, or to citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, though social ownership is the common element shared by its various forms. Etymology The origin of the term "socialism" may be traced back and attributed to a number of originators, in addition to significant historical shifts in the usage and scope of the word. For Andrew Vincent, "[t]he word ‘socialism’ finds its root in the Latin sociare, which means to combine or to share. The related, more technical term in Roman and then medieval law was societas. History Early socialism Paris Commune First International Second International Early 20th century
Terror management theory In social psychology, terror management theory (TMT) proposes a basic psychological conflict that results from having a desire to live but realizing that death is inevitable. This conflict produces terror, and is believed to be unique to human beings. Moreover, the solution to the conflict is also generally unique to humans: culture. The simplest examples of cultural values which manage the terror of death are those that purport to offer literal immortality (e.g. belief in afterlife, religion). However, TMT also argues that other cultural values – including those that are seemingly unrelated to death – offer symbolic immortality. Because cultural values determine that which is meaningful, they are also the basis for self-esteem. TMT is derived from anthropologist Ernest Becker's 1973 Pulitzer Prize-winning work of nonfiction The Denial of Death, in which Becker argues most human action is taken to ignore or avoid the inevitability of death. Background TMT and self-esteem
Dictatorship Dictatorship is a form of government ruled by a single leader. The political authority is often monopolized by a single person or a political party, and exercised through various oppressive mechanisms. Other scholars[who?] stress the omnipotence of the State (with its consequent suspension of rights) as the key element of a dictatorship and they argue that such a concentration of power can be legitimate or not depending on the circumstances, objectives and methods employed. History Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong meets with U.S. In the 19th and 20th centuries, traditional monarchies gradually declined and disappeared. Between the two world wars, four types of dictatorships have been described: constitutional, the communist (nominally championing "dictatorship of the proletariat"), the counterrevolutionary, and the fascist, and many have questioned the distinctions among these prototypes. Roman Empire 19th century Latin America caudillo Types
Post-structuralism Post-structuralism is a label formulated by American academics to denote the heterogeneous works of a series of mid-20th-century French and continental philosophers and critical theorists who came to international prominence in the 1960s and '70s. A major theme of post-structuralism is instability in the human sciences, due to the complexity of humans themselves and the impossibility of fully escaping structures in order that we might study them. Post-structuralism is a response to structuralism. Structuralism is an intellectual movement developed in Europe from the early to mid-20th century. Theory General practices The author's intended meaning is secondary to the meaning that the reader perceives. Destabilized meaning In the post-structuralist approach to textual analysis, the reader replaces the author as the primary subject of inquiry. In his essay "Signification and Sense," Emmanuel Levinas remarked on this new field of semantic inquiry: Deconstruction
Anarchy Anarchy has more than one definition. Some use the term "beans on toast" to refer to a society without a publicly enforced government. When used in this sense, anarchy may or may not be intended to imply political disorder or lawlessness within a society. Many anarchists complain with Anselme Bellegarrigue that "[v]ulgar error has taken 'anarchy' to be synonymous with 'civil war.'" Etymology The word anarchy comes from the ancient Greek ἀναρχία, anarchia, from ἀν an, "not, without" + ἀρχός arkhos, "ruler", meaning "absence of a ruler", "without rulers"). Anarchy and political philosophy Anarchism Immanuel Kant on anarchy As summary Kant named four kinds of government: A. Anarchy and anthropology Some anarchist anthropologists, such as David Graeber and Pierre Clastres, consider societies such as those of the Bushmen, Tiv and the Piaroa to be anarchies in the sense that they explicitly reject the idea of centralized political authority.
Post-materialism In sociology, post-materialism is the transformation of individual values from materialist, physical and economic to new individual values of autonomy and self-expression. Post-materialism is a tool in developing an understanding of modern culture. It can be considered in reference of three distinct concepts of materialism. Depending on which of the three above notions of materialism are being discussed, post-materialism can be an ontological postmaterialism, an existentialistic postmaterialism, an ethical postmaterialism or a political-sociological postmaterialism, which is also the best known. History The sociological theory of post-materialism was developed in the 1970s by Ronald Inglehart. The theory of intergenerational change is based on two key hypotheses: The Scarcity HypothesisThe Socialisation Hypothesis The Scarcity Hypothesis Inglehart assumed that individuals pursue various goals in something akin to a hierarchical order. The Socialization Hypothesis Notes
Capitalism The degree of competition, role of intervention and regulation, and scope of state ownership varies across different models of capitalism. Economists, political economists, and historians have taken different perspectives in their analysis of capitalism and recognized various forms of it in practice. These include laissez-faire capitalism, welfare capitalism, crony capitalism and state capitalism; each highlighting varying degrees of dependency on markets, public ownership, and inclusion of social policies. The extent to which different markets are free, as well as the rules defining private property, is a matter of politics and policy. Etymology The term capitalist as referring to an owner of capital (rather than its meaning of someone adherent to the economic system) shows earlier recorded use than the term capitalism, dating back to the mid-17th century. Economic elements The essential feature of capitalism is the investment of money in order to make a profit.
Friedrich Nietzsche Thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful! It is precisely facts that do not exist, only interpretations. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, whose critiques of contemporary culture, religion, and philosophy centered on a basic question regarding the foundation of values and morality. See also: The Antichrist Beyond Good and Evil Thus Spoke Zarathustra Quotes Have you grasped nothing of the reason why I am in the world? Mathematics would certainly have not come into existence if one had known from the beginning that there was in nature no exactly straight line, no actual circle, no absolute magnitude. The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently. I am utterly amazed, utterly enchanted! The Birth of Tragedy (1872) Art is the supreme task and the truly metaphysical activity in this life…
Monarchy Monarchy was the most common form of government until the 19th century, but it is no longer prevalent. Where it exists, it is now usually a constitutional monarchy, in which the monarch retains a unique legal and ceremonial role, but exercises limited or no political power: under the written or unwritten constitution, others have governing authority. Currently, 44 sovereign nations in the world have monarchs acting as heads of state, 16 of which are Commonwealth realms that recognise Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state. All European monarchies are constitutional ones, with the exception of the Vatican City, but sovereigns in the smaller states exercise greater political influence than in the larger. Etymology The word monarch (Latin: monarcha) comes from the Greek language word μονάρχης, monárkhēs (from monos, μόνος, "one/singular", and ἄρχω, árkhō, "to rule" (compare archon, ἄρχων, "leader/ruler/chief")) which referred to a single, at least nominally absolute ruler.
Postmodern literature Postmodern literature is literature characterized by heavy reliance on techniques like fragmentation, paradox, and questionable narrators, and is often (though not exclusively) defined as a style or trend which emerged in the post–World War II era. Postmodern works are seen as a reaction against Enlightenment thinking and Modernist approaches to literature. Postmodern literature, like postmodernism as a whole, tends to resist definition or classification as a "movement". While there is little consensus on the precise characteristics, scope, and importance of postmodern literature, as is often the case with artistic movements, postmodern literature is commonly defined in relation to a precursor. Background Notable influences Other early twentieth century novels such as Raymond Roussel's Impressions d'Afrique (1910) and Locus Solus (1914), and Giorgio de Chirico's Hebdomeros (1929) have also been identified as important "postmodern precursor[s]".