Democratic Party (United States) Since the 1930s, the party has promoted a social liberal platform. Until the late 20th century the party had a powerful conservative and populist wing based in the rural South, which over time has greatly diminished. Today its Congressional caucus is composed mostly of progressives and centrists. History The Democratic Party evolved from the Jeffersonian Republican or Democratic-Republican Party organized by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in opposition to the Federalist party of Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. The party favored republicanism, a weak federal government, states' rights, agrarian interests (especially Southern planters) and strict adherence to the Constitution; it opposed a national bank, close ties to Great Britain, and business and banking interests.
Political economy In the late 19th century, the term economics came to replace political economy, coinciding with the publication of an influential textbook by Alfred Marshall in 1890. Earlier, William Stanley Jevons, a proponent of mathematical methods applied to the subject, advocated economics for brevity and with the hope of the term becoming "the recognised name of a science." Laissez-faire Etymology and usage Legend has it that the term laissaez faire originated in a meeting that took place around 1681 between powerful French Comptroller-General of Finances Jean-Baptiste Colbert and a group of French businessmen headed by a certain M. Le Gendre. When the eager mercantilist minister asked how the French state could be of service to the merchants and help promote their commerce, Le Gendre replied simply "Laissez-nous faire" ("Leave it to us" or "Let us do ["it," the French verb not having to take an object]"). The anecdote on the Colbert–Le Gendre meeting appeared in a 1751 article in the Journal économique, written by French minister and champion of free trade René de Voyer, Marquis d'Argenson—also the first known appearance of the term in print. Argenson himself had used the phrase earlier (1736) in his own diaries, in a famous outburst:
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.
Truth Truth is most often used to mean being in accord with fact or reality, or fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. The commonly understood opposite of truth is falsehood, which, correspondingly, can also take on a logical, factual, or ethical meaning. The concept of truth is discussed and debated in several contexts, including philosophy and religion. Many human activities depend upon the concept, where its nature as a concept is assumed rather than being a subject of discussion; these include most (but not all) of the sciences, law, and everyday life. Definition and etymology Sociotechnical system Sociotechnical systems (STS) in organizational development is an approach to complex organizational work design that recognizes the interaction between people and technology in workplaces. The term also refers to the interaction between society's complex infrastructures and human behaviour. In this sense, society itself, and most of its substructures, are complex sociotechnical systems. The term sociotechnical systems was coined by Eric Trist, Ken Bamforth and Fred Emery, World War II era, based on their work with workers in English coal mines at the Tavistock Institute in London. Sociotechnical systems pertains to theory regarding the social aspects of people and society and technical aspects of organizational structure and processes. Here, technical does not necessarily imply material technology.
Beyond Super-Elites and Conspicuous Consumption: Real Ecological Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century This "Chapter Eighteen" is part twenty of Truthout's continuing series of excerpts from Gar Alperovitz's "America beyond Capitalism." This is an exclusive Truthout series from political economist and author Gar Alperovitz. We are publishing weekly installments of the new edition of "America Beyond Capitalism," a visionary book first published in 2005, whose time has come. Donate to Truthout and receive a free copy. Pluralist Commonwealth strategies aim to undercut forces that permit unrestrained expansion by building up converging lines of foundational restructuring over time, especially those that reduce key inequality and psychological consumption drivers and develop new community cultural norms. Although there is dispute about the precise dimensions of the problem, prudence alone suggests the importance of confronting basic ecological limits.
Barter An 1874 newspaper illustration from Harper's Weekly, showing a man engaging in barter: offering chickens in exchange for his yearly newspaper subscription. The inefficiency of barter in archaic society has been used by economists since Adam Smith to explain the emergence of money, the economy, and hence the discipline of economics itself. However, no present or past society has ever been seen through ethnographic studies to use pure barter without any medium of exchange, nor the emergence of money from barter. Since the 1830s, direct barter in western market economies has been aided by exchanges which frequently utilize alternative currencies based on the labour theory of value, and designed to prevent profit taking by intermediators. Examples include the Owenite socialists, the Cincinnati Time store, and more recently Ithaca HOURS (Time banking) and the LETS system.
Magic (paranormal) Magic or sorcery is an attempt to understand, experience and influence the world using rituals, symbols, actions, gestures and language. Modern Western magicians generally state magic's primary purpose to be personal spiritual growth. Modern theories of magic may see it as the result of a universal sympathy where some act can produce a result somewhere else, or as a collaboration with spirits who cause the effect. The belief in and the practice of magic has been present since the earliest human cultures and continues to have an important religious and medicinal role in many cultures today. Magic is often viewed with suspicion by the wider community, and is sometimes practiced in isolation and secrecy. The word "magic" derives via Latin magicus from the Greek adjective magikos (μαγικός) used in reference to the "magical" arts of the Persian Magicians (Greek: magoi, singular mágos, μάγος), the Zoroastrian astrologer priests of the ancient Persian Empire.
Disruptive innovation Sustaining innovations are typically innovations in technology, whereas disruptive innovations cause changes to markets. For example, the automobile was a revolutionary technological innovation, but it was not a disruptive innovation, because early automobiles were expensive luxury items that did not disrupt the market for horse-drawn vehicles. The market for transportation essentially remained intact until the debut of the lower priced Ford Model T in 1908. The mass-produced automobile was a disruptive innovation, because it changed the transportation market. The automobile, by itself, was not. The current theoretical understanding of disruptive innovation is different from what might be expected by default, an idea that Clayton M.
Exponential Economist Meets Finite Physicist [slimstat f='count' w='ip' lf='resource contains economist'] views this month; [slimstat f='count' w='ip' lf='strtotime equals 2011-07-01|interval equals -1'] overall Some while back, I found myself sitting next to an accomplished economics professor at a dinner event. Shortly after pleasantries, I said to him, “economic growth cannot continue indefinitely,” just to see where things would go. It was a lively and informative conversation. I was somewhat alarmed by the disconnect between economic theory and physical constraints—not for the first time, but here it was up-close and personal. Capital in the Twenty-First Century Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a 2013 book by French economist Thomas Piketty. It focuses on wealth and income inequality in Europe and the United States since the 18th century. It was initially published in French (as Le Capital au XXIe siècle) in August 2013; an English translation by Arthur Goldhammer followed in April 2014.