A mountain of studying

mountain-image-16

Mountain

There’s a mountain of things to study, but I’m sure it’ll be beauty, much like how reality has a pastel-like beauty when I relax my eyes and take it all in. This is going to be an interesting study guide:

Max Weber says we perceive power as legitimate or illegitimate. I’ll remember it by his name, Max. Max could be short for Maximilian, the monarch.. I’m sure he thought about power and its legitimacy.

Legitimate power is Authority, like a police officer pulling someone over. Coercion is illegitimate power, power we see as wrong, like the bank teller with a gun to her head.

They say The State claims the exclusive right to use violence, and the right to punish everyone who uses violence. It’s interesting to think that the fundamental foundation of any political order is violence. It’s the enforcer, the concrete, the fear, the pride.

Weber say three sources of Authority: Traditional, Rational-legal, and Charismatic. Traditional seems easy, it is how we lived back in the tribal days. We would follow tradition and listen to the monarchs. Rational-legal Authority has it’s root in the name: the law. Authority comes from the position, such as the president, rather than the person.

Charismatic Authority was a beautiful read. Charisma means a gift freely and graciously given. This Authority is god-given and moves people, such as Joan of Arc. She was a farmer’s daughter who heard a voice telling her God had a special assignment for her. In a time where woman were simply breeding cattle, she led armies and changed society.

Max Weber coined the Routinization of charisma, which is to say that Charismatic leaders authority transitions to one of the other two kinds of Authorities postmortem because there is no replacement – there is no second Joan of Arc. I shouldn’t forget Charismatic Authority because of the bewildering Joan of Arc. I love that she entirely embraced hearing voices, something that feels so taboo in our society.

The city-state was a centralized city whose power radiated outward like a spider’s web. Generally, a monarchy was established in each city-state. I loved this part because it reminded me of Europe and how there are villages webbed between castles, historical evidence of these city-states.

Democracy is a government whose authority comes from the people. Demos means common people and kratos means power. In Greek mythology, Kratos was the personification of strength and power.

Revolution is armed resistance designed to overthrow and replace a government. It makes sense they use armed resistance, remembering that The State holds the exclusive right to use violence.

Direct Democracy is when each person’s vote counts toward the elected. This was interesting because a lot of people don’t understand how the election system works in the United States. We are a representative democracy, in which citizens vote for other citizens to represent them in Washington. This is the nature of our delegate system. It’s interesting that Mr. Sanders won in so many states by popular vote, but Hillary won because they assign certain delegates more “voting weight.” Although Bernie might win by a good %8 of the people in the state, Hillary takes it all home.

Interestingly enough, Citizenship is rather new to the human scene, and it means that by virtue of birth and residence people have basic rights. There is a wonderful excerpt from Thomas Jefferson that says “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” This man would be on a government watch list if he proclaimed this in our society, but the U.S. did just finish separating from the tea-drinking folk.
Universal citizenship is everyone having the same basic rights because they were born in a country. Essentially, citizenship boils down to basic rights.

Dictatorship is a form of government in which an individual has seized power. Think of Korea. An Oligarchy is a form of government in which a small group of individuals hold power. It is rule of the many by the few. Think of a military coup that seize control – the commanders form the Oligarchy. Oligos means few in and arkho means rule/command in Greek, together forming Oligarchy. Totalitarian is a form of government that exerts almost total control over the people. Think of Hussein from “The Merry Folk,” where to joke about the man was to have your tongue cut out.

Primaries are the pre-elections where voters decide who will represent their party – the election before the election. I’ll remember that one. Voter apathy is where we don’t feel voting matters. Interestingly, increasing amount of money and education raise the likelihood of someone voting.

Special-interest groups are people how share an interest, being able to be mobilized for political action. They will raise hell if you try and mess with their issue, such as dairy. Lobbyists are people who are paid to influence legislation on behalf of their clients. Often, they have many contacts and work by communicating or pressuring legislators. The revolving door is a phenomenon by which those in legislator become lobbyists after leaving office due to their in-crowd nature. We have even passed laws against this, but they just re-termed their name to strategic consultant. Lobbyists lobby and have much better access for getting their side across to those who matters. There is a funny comic in the book where citizens are walking through a maze to reach legislators, but Lobbyists are in a single-file line in front of the legislators door. I’ll remember it by the word lobby – they get to be comfy in the lobby and then meet the legislator, rather than wandering around a maze.

Political action committees do just what their name states, influence legislation, aka political action, with a ton of money.

Anarchy is when there is political disorder due to absence or collapse of government. They always say, “It was anarchy.”

Pluralism is the diffusion of power among many interest groups that prevent any one group from gaining too much power. Think of the word plural to remember many. This is the basis of checks and balances, the way we set up the U.S. so nobody was a powerhouse. We have the legislative, executive, and judicial branch.

C. Wright Mills likes to talk about the Power Elite, a group of powerful people who wield all the power of the world. They have an excerpt in the book about a man who easily influenced German legislature, and he claims to be part of this group. It reads really convincing. I’ll remember it by his name, Wright – it doesn’t sound Wright that there is a power elite, AKA ruling class.

War is armed conflict between nations of politically distinct groups.

Nicholas Timasheff wrote about three essential conditions for war : Antagonistic situation, cultural tradition of war, and fuels. I wrote write a lot about it, but it’s basis is a central conflict, tendency to war, and motivating factors. I’ll remember it by Timash – it sounds like too mash, or too much war. Timash war. It’s silly, but he really does test us on names a lot. Timash war.

Terrorism is violence or its threat to produce fear in order to attain political objectives. It is usually used by the less powerful side, as they cannot fight all out. Just think about 9/11 and what it has done to the U.S.

Economy is a system of producing and distributing goods and services.

Pastoral societies are based on the pasturing of animals. Think of a pasture with animals. Horticultural societies are based on cultivating plants. Both of these societies fostered inequality because humans were able to stay in the same place and amass food. This led to people exploring other trades, leading to differences, and such inequality at that time.

Thorstein Veblen coined the term conspicuous consumption, which refers to a change from Protestant ethic to an eagerness to show off wealth by the consumption of goods. If you don’t know, the Protestant ethic is a theory that the rise of capitalism is due to Protestant’s views on the afterlife. They felt that if you were well-off, that means that you are held in god’s graciousness. Hence, Protestants would amass wealth and invest it in order to make more, and thereby feel to be blessed by God. In those times, they hoarded money as a sign of their piety; however, in teh early 1900s, this began to change and Veblen coined the term conspicuous consumption. I’ll remember it by the two words, conspicuous and consumption. ThorSTEIN: STEIN is a jewish ending to many of their last names, which will remind me of money and then Protestant Ethic. It’s a cheesy, maybe racey way to remember this.

Biotech society is where many feel we are headed, a society centered around applying and altering genetic structure. There is a lot of headway in this field, such as combining spider’s silk with goat’s mammary glands and having animals grow human organs, if I recall correctly.

Capitalism is based on private ownership of the means of production, market competition, and the pursuit of profit. Geez, just think of a store and you’ll remember this one.
Laissez-faire capitalism, or pure capitalism, is where the goernment doesn’t interfere in the market. I’ll remember it because I sometimes say Laissez-faire as a way to say laid-back, which makes sense because it refers to government non-involvement. We do have government involvement in the U.S., and I feel it is a good thing. An example is the FDA, which makes sure things are safe for consumption. Otherwise, many would sell poison with a smile. It’s tragic.

Post-industrial societies are based on information, services, and high technology. Just think of Silicon Valley and you’ll get this one. It was coined by Daniel Bell. I guess I can remember his name by his initials: D.B. can stand for DataBase, which is all about technology. AKA Postmodern or information society.

Global village is a term I find endearing. It refers to how what happens in one nation affects others, much like in the same village. It is an interconnectedness that has arisen recently.

Welfare(State) Capitalism is where individuals own the means of production but the state participates in regulations. This is how it is in the U.S.. Think back to the FDA example. Think of the term Welfare, which means well-being. We have Capitalism, but have in place a system to support the general welfare of society.

Socialism is an economy in which there is public ownership of the means of production, central planning, and distribution of goods without a profit motive.

Market forces refer to supply and demand.

Welfare (Democratic) Socialism is a hybrid economic system in which individuals own many means of production, but state has ownership over those industries deemed essential to the public welfare. I believe an example of this is Sweden.

Convergence theory refers to the view that capitalists and socialists each adopt features of the other. An example of this is how Russia and China have adopted capitalist features, such as private ownership and stimulus packages, for example. Another would be the United States’ increasing hand in private industry, and the direction health care is headed.

The global superclass is the idea that 20 to 50 individuals make the world’s major decisions.

This was an interesting way to study for my Final. This is one of the chapters, and I plan on writing a bit more. Most of the terms will stick with me now ūüôā That was Chapter 10!

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The Merry Folk

Note: This may put a damper on your night. It’s after a rough Sociology chapter. This is one of my first attempts at a poem. There’s a book of poems coming, and I hope to learn from it. It was enjoyable to write.

merry folk

Playing

Play, Play, Play
It’s what the merry folk say
It’s good to listen to what they say
What the merry folk say

Made for a dark night
reading, those readings
Readings plagued with fright
to be with those readings
always, always a dark night

It put a damper,
damper on the night

Learned about Hussein
it went against the grain
if a joke you’d had sung
he’d cut out your tongue

Another’s first born son
Never learned to run
Rather, became an explosive

Play, Play, Play
It’s what the merry folk say
It’s good to listen to what they say
What the merry folk say

What the merry folk say
It’s what the merry folk say
Listen, they say
Play,
Play,
Play!

 

Smooth, calm pond

Smooth

Smooth was how I would chance glances at you in ninth grade Biology, hoping not to make eye contact, but melting – really, just freezing – when we locked eyes. It was smooth how a mutual friend of ours worked on convincing me to talk to you, pointing out how you were really something. I couldn’t resist imagining you when our Biology teacher mentioned he would not be surprised if two people in the class ended up married, even though I wanted to resist that image so much. It felt wrong.

A blush would always smooth over my face when I met your eyes – I don’t think I would have been cold in the dead of winter it warmed my body so much. Was it smooth that I held out for you in the face of my shyness? I remember an opinionated, disliked classmate confessing to me in what seemed to be a statement: “I like you the most, but I know you would say no.” I didn’t know what to say, and so I didn’t say anything. They were right, I would have said no.

It felt like a smooth transition throughout the years, my infatuation that is. It went from a wishful longing to a calm acceptance of the status quo: I wasn’t going to make the first move. There were others who pulled out my sweet gaze, but none paralyzed the way you did. You were a siren pulling me away from any other. Ultimately, I know if was my choice, but why did it have to be. I remember 11th grade, your friend saying, “This is you in the picture, and that is changefulseasons. You like it, don’t you?” They knew I was in ear shot, and is it the romantic in me that imagines that drawing as naughty? Perhaps it was the tone, but I always felt there was something there. Long gazes and coy smiles.

At years end, our final year, I did get asked about you by a few. It seems those observant few could tell, or perhaps they had heard it through the grapevine – that’s what the confessor had said. That one¬†had been aggressively mean about it, but most were sweet and I liked that. There were a lot more hugs that year, I was more open.¬†Somebody said the blushing was hormones, and I liked that. It felt like a stepping stone. I do hope your well, and there is no bitterness in my heart. I smile sweetly, and it was a smooth path to this smile. To those others, it would have been nice for things to not have been smooth, for a bit of entanglement. My heart was a smooth, calm pond. It would have been nice for another to swim here. That’s how it goes though, and I can only look forward, forward to what is to come and to what is.

Childhood

Childhood

I was short. Well, I suppose I was always shorter than I am now. A memory that stands out to me is my 1st or 2nd grade teacher telling me she would pray for me when I told her I was going home sick. It’s funny, the things that really stand out to me are the things that took me by surprise. I had never heard anything like that before. This one student’s cheesy grin caught my eye while we were talking, his front tooth was gold. You know, he told me it was made out of gold, and that the silver in his mouth was actual silver. The way I stared into his eyes… He pointed up at the sun and told me that the Earth is rotating around it. Was I stunned? I don’t know, really. I remember being silent. Perhaps we played after that, kickball probably. I wonder if he remembers that. Oh, another memory of a toy that sends a little helicopter up into the sky when you pull the string really fast. It was special.

It’s funny, I seem to forget that stunned wonder I felt so naturally. That could be one of the reasons I picked up fantasy. It was a love, that feeling of exploration. I did cherish good times. In class today, we talked about how many parent’s don’t take their children to funerals, or talk about death. In the moment, I felt that it should be okay to do that… It came to me later, I was deathly afraid of my parents passing away when I was young. How many times did they comfort me about that? Oh, and I always asked “Am I” before going to sleep. It’s short for am I going to have a bad dream. Mom would croon back, “No, no, no.” Sometimes I can play with her nowadays, asking her. She doesn’t like that.

Purrrpose

Purpose

P – Pleasant
U – Understanding
R – Relaxing
O – Open
S – Sanguine
E – Energy

These upcoming weeks of relaxation¬†and little personal goals¬†are going to work towards this purpose ūüôā A little hunky-dory attitude¬†shouldn’t hurt anybody! Purrrpose… I can see this one purring at me. This kind of grounding will be a nice jumping-off point for the adventure that is sure to follow at the tail-end of this year!

Tango – Grab the passion

Tango

Angry

Angry is a festive emotion. Angry is cheerfully yelling at those rambunctious, rowdy children to get off your lawn. Angry is crooning “Oh yoouuu” when things don’t work out according to plan, like when the drink you ordered just didn’t come out right. Anger is natural, it springs up when those little challenges come and visit. In my experience, anger is tinder that can be used in many, many ways. Crooning, attempting some wit, or just embracing the comments cheerfully can make for a nice dance, where you swing your lovely dance partner out a few steps and then they come right back.¬†Gaze fiercely into the eyes.

Now, I know Mr. Angry can be a persistent bugger, following the orders of his Queen Bee, Mrs. Nag-a-lot. Well, here’s what I have to say. Treat him charmingly, and, and tango! No, no, no, not tango as in mano y mano, but tango – that seductive, fierce dance. Tango for the show of it, for the love of it, for the entertainment of it. Tango to fight the good fight, for the good life. There’s always some kind of love in a dance, and they all learn how to dance through practice. Get out there and tango for us. I want to applaud your tango!

Pronouncing angry as “Ahnnn Gree” and throwing your head up to the sky with a debonair gaze does dance as the tango does.

Blankness: Embracing wax and wane

Blank

It was sad day when the east sky went blank, with no golden chariot to call my sun. Here were dark days where passion did not pursue me, and I sat patiently under the moon, cross-legged and down-trodden. Lost to me were those days easily seen, where I would follow the paths so clear to sight. Those days were so safe. Now I feel alone, having lost that innocent comfort nourished by light of day.

Now I sat under the moon, learning how blank my mind, body, and spirit were. When I did look up at the moon, I grew calm watching her, noticing the subtle changes in her form as she danced across the sky, effortlessly weaving tapestry upon tapestry with the clouds and stars.¬†Her silvery grace I grew fond of over the course of many moons. I’ve learned of her luminous nature, and now even the darkest sky with just a sliver of the moon feels less blank than that old eastern sky. She adorns my heart’s sky.

It was fearful embracing the night sky, but it is beauty that the moon causes the tides ebb and flow and that walking by her light allows me to stumble on the most mesmerizing thickets. Watching her dance has taught me an adventurousness and vulnerability I now hold close.

sun-and-crescent-moon-tattoo