Underlying the thoughts and considerations that are to follow are two main emotions. For one, unease; a feeling which stems from a failure to understand how it is possible to support two contradictory ideologies, and still believe them capable of coexisting peacefully: libertarianism on the one side; socialism on the other. For another, anger; a feeling which stems from the lack of consistency with which current rules and conventions, which we are all expected to follow, are being made.
Finally some space. With two quick steps she shuffles forward onto the ramp, her right foot leading the way restlessly, knocking into the trailing leg of the tall man just ahead. He turns his shiny head ever so slightly, an indication, surely, that he wishes not to be kicked again. Head bowed, she moves her focus elsewhere, onto the red and white plastic stripes aligned at regular intervals along the wooden planks. It is an established tactic of hers, trying to supress the waves of overwhelming impatience, rising rapidly from her toes upward like the water in a clogged sink. The wind slaps her across the face as soon as solid ground reappears beneath her. Hastily she swings a leather pouch across her right shoulder and settles into her walking pace, fast enough to distance herself from the fellow passengers. She despises walking behind people, forced to adapt to their constantly changing speeds. But this afternoon is especially bad. Ever since the news broke out everything has been chaos, and all she desires now is the comfort of her small flat, a sage tea and a cigarette. Give it time, Marie. These things always blow over in the end.
The word ‘idealistic’ is becoming increasingly linked to dogmatism, to extremes that few wish to identify themselves with. In this sense it is becoming dirty, foul, insulting; the hidden, or perhaps no longer hidden connotations associated with it suggesting a mindset of being undemocratic and irresponsible. Yet idealism may also be used in a very contrasting way, in the sense of political consistency: a fight against double standards and unjust, situational treatment of citizens. Idealism in this sense is a worthwile pursuit, because it allows not just the determination of underlying principles reflected in certain value-based needs, but far more the homogenous installation and application of these principles in a system that represents all citizens, and not just those who happen to find themselves in a specific jurisdiction at a particular moment in time.
Since the founding of the EU in Maastricht in 1993, the European idea has surpassed mere economic cooperation to both political and social spheres, and beyond. Citizens living within any of the countries encompassed by this label increasingly identify with ‘being’ European, and certain European ideals have begun to crystallise out. Values such as human rights, freedom of speech, the acceptance of racial and religious diversity; the list is long, and the shared support of such values, indeed their implementation, universal. Through its creation the European idea has opened the door for a shift away from extreme forms of nationalism that ultimately lead to conflict, and offered the possibility of collectively solving previously untouchable problems. This extension of human cooperation into the field of politics that was formerly kept isolated between nations thus presents us with a real opportunity for meaningful change. Such potential has quickly become reality, and European citizens have seen their average quality of life rapidly augment: open borders; a reliable and trustworthy judicial system; the establishment of vast safety nets by the state, to name just a few.
Although considered acceptable on an individual basis by many, little has changed to the cannabis laws across most of Europe over the last few years. Not, actually, since its reclassification in Britain from Class C to Class B drug in May 2008, moving it up the scale away from ‘soft drugs’ like anabolic steroids, and towards the ‘harder drugs’ of the Class A crack and cocaine, amongst others. In the aftermath of this change in policy, Professor David Nutt was sacked from his position as head of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (the UK government’s official advisory body) for outing criticism against the decision in light of scientific evidence. It is my belief that this is just one example of politicians refusing to reflect upon the state of cannabis legality from a neutral standpoint, and I will now attempt to bring some transparency into the picture.
In the absence of rationality
Irrationality is the glorifier –
the beast from within;
the power grabber, the urge fulfiller –
the searcher for support of a
quenching our needs like a sun going
down, that makes smiles from frowns.
Irrationality is a traitor – a
lone wolf in the pack;
left hunting for faith in times of
danger and discrepancy.
Irrationality the being,
a soul satisfactor,
creating love and hate through the
medium of jealousy.
M.R – 29.06.2014
The 4-fourth and 5-fifth
the starts start of the
news new where four fifths white and
he who knew is frozen too –
it’s that time of year again.
At the bottom of the rock where
the rock bottom has adjourned him;
those eyes start burning but his
mind starts turning.
It is within this one act of
that the following becomes clear:
extinguish the fear and not fear the extinguished
would be the aim of the game
which he himself doesn’t play –
but for everyone else:
it’s that time of year again.
M.R – 18.01.2014
download link and contents posted below
This is a project which Jonas and I worked on over the last few years, the first edition of which we completed last November.
The underlying idea is an expansion of the social contract developed in political philosophy, using it as a basis for solving many of the problems we have seen in the world we are growing up in.
1. Opening thoughts on a new social contract
2. Current distribution of wealth
3. What is a maximum socially acceptable annual income?
4. Capitalism and the economy
5. Tax avoidance
6. Benefits and return responsibility
7. Where to invest under a new social contract?
II. Education [by Theresa Ehler]
IV. Underpaid sectors of society
V. Minimum wage
8. Electoral content and structure
I. Is there an ideal electoral system
II. Election candidates: individual vs. policies
III. Election promises
10. Closing thoughts on a new social contract