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George Monbiot was as invigorating and interesting

Le 23 November 2017, 09:59 dans 健康 0

•  as ever in his article. But he missed out one crucial element in this debate if we are to create what the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) would call an “educated democracy”, and that is the education bit of it!

Referendums based on knowledge, critical debate, real facts and understanding may be part of the answer to our inadequate democracy, along with other reforms (proportional representation, elected second chamber, written constitution, republic etc) but an initial requirement and priority must be for the government to support decent practical political education for all. The WEA, founded in 1903 at a time of great change, was a key player for this agenda then, and as the largest adult education provider today it remains well placed to continue to play its part in this.

In Part IV.—Democracy and National

Le 29 September 2017, 12:30 dans Humeurs 0

In Part IV.—Democracy and National Service—an attempt has been made to deal with a problem which faces us at the moment. Democracy is not unlike other human institutions: it will not stand merely by its own virtue. If it lacks the loyalty, courage, and strength to defend itself when attacked, it must perish as certainly as if it possessed no virtue whatsoever. Manhood suffrage implies manhood service. Without the acceptance of this principle Democracy is merely an imposture.

I prefer 'National Service' to 'Conscription,' not because I shrink from the word 'Conscription,' but because 'National Service' has a wider sweep. The greater includes the less. It is not only military duties which the State is entitled to command its citizens to perform unquestioningly in times of danger; but also civil duties. It is not only men between the ages of twenty and thirty-eight to whom the State should have the right to give orders; but men and women of all ages. Under conditions of {xiii} modern warfare it is not only armies which need to be disciplined; but whole nations. The undisciplined nation, engaged in anything like an equal contest with a disciplined nation, will be defeated.
The Coalition Government
This volume was in type before the Coalition Government was formed; but there is nothing in it which I wish to change in view of that event. This book was not undertaken with the object of helping the unionists back into power, or of getting the Liberals out of power.

The new Cabinet contains those members of the late one in whom the country has most confidence. Lord Kitchener, Sir Edward Grey, Mr. Lloyd George, and Mr. Churchill have all made mistakes. In a great crisis it is the bigger characters who are most liable to make mistakes. Their superiority impels them to take risks which the smaller men, playing always for safety, are concerned to avoid.

The present Ministry also contains representatives of that class of politicians which, according to the view set forth in the following pages, is primarily responsible for our present troubles. Lawyer-statesmanship, which failed to foresee the war, to prepare against it, and to conduct it with energy and thoroughness when it occurred, still occupies a large share of authority. Possibly ministers of this school {xiv} will now walk in new ways. In any case, they are no longer in a position of dangerous predominance.

The Coalition Government, having wisely refused to part with any of those men who rose to the emergency, and having received an infusion of new blood (which may be expected to bring an accession of vigour) starts upon its career with the goodwill and confidence of the People.

primitive tribes that were

Le 17 August 2017, 06:41 dans Humeurs 0

Unfortunately, the trail was so good that the Mexican government eventually decided to slick itwith asphalt and turn it into a road. Trucks began showing up in Yerbabuena, and in them, foodsthe Tarahumara had rarely eaten—soda, chocolate, rice, sugar, butter, flour. The people ofYerbabuena developed a taste for starch and treats, but they needed money to buy them, so insteadof working their own fields, they began hitching rides to Guachochi, where they worked asdishwashers and day laborers, or selling junk crafts at the train station in Divisadero.
“That was twenty years ago,” ángel said. “Now, there are no runners in Yerbabuena.”
The Yerbabuena story really scares ángel, because now there’s talk that the government has founda way to run a road along the canyon floor and right into this settlement. Why they would put aroad in here, ángel doesn’t have a clue; the Tarahumara don’t want it, and they’re the only oneswho live here. Only drug lords and illegal loggers benefit from Copper Canyon roads, whichmakes the Mexican government’s obsession with backcountry road-building rather bewildering—or, considering how many soldiers and politicians are linked to the drug trade, rather not.
“That’s exactly what Lumholtz was afraid would happen,” I thought to myself. A century ago, thefarseeing explorer was already warning that the Tarahumara were in danger of disappearing.
“Future generations will not find any other record of the Tarahumares than what scientists of thepresent age can elicit from the lips of the people and from the study of their implements andcustoms,” he predicted. “They stand out to-day as an interesting relic of a time long gone by; as arepresentative of one of the most important stages in the development of the human race; as one ofthose wonderful the founders and makers of the history of mankind.”
“There Rarámuri who don’t respect our traditions as much as Caballo Blanco,” ángellamented. “(are) El Caballo sabe—the Horse gets it.”
I slumped against the wall of ángel’s schoolhouse, my legs twitching and head pounding fromexhaustion. It had been grueling enough to get this far, and now it looked like the hunt had justbegun.
Chapter 6

Salvador and I set off the next morning, racing the sun to the rim of the canyon. Salvador set abrutal pace, often ignoring switchbacks and using his hands to scrabble straight up the cliff facelike a convict scaling a prison wall. I did my best to keep up, despite my growing certainty thatwe’d just been tricked.

Voir la suite ≫