Tag Archives: people

Political Parties: an Unnecessary Evil

Why eliminating political parties is a big step towards a brighter tomorrow.

First off… has there been a democracy without political parties?

Yes, the United States of America (1789 – 1797) During his two terms as President, George Washington didn’t approve the foundation of political parties.

Why? 

Well, the Father of the USA believed that the creation of political parties would inevitably lead to the birth of party interest.

What’s wrong with party interests?

That in the proccess of decision-making, politicians often overlook the interests of the country, in favor of the interests of their own political party. In other words, what used to be:

“Governnment of the people, by the people, for the people”

is now

“Government of the people, by the people, for the party”.

Priorities of a political party

  1. Winning votes.
  2. Working on re-election.
  3. Defending party interests.
  4. Solving the nation’s problem.

So we, as a people, complain. We look all around us and say “Why the #$% aren’t things being done to clean up this financial mess? Later, when we are tired of complaining, we kick back and turn on the TV.

There, a CNN reporter is evaluating the financial crisis: “Well Tom, it looks like the US debt is on the rise and shows no sign of slowing down.”

Then some “expert” comes on and says “Another month goes by, and no real measures are taken to tackle the economic crisis. Both Democrats and Republicans seem unwilling to compromise and take politically incorrect decisions.” We have all heard the term “politically incorrect”…

What does “politically incorrect” mean?

A “politically incorrect” decision, is a decision that is unfavorable for a political party (results in the loss of votes or support).  What is good for the party can be harmful for the country (and vice versa). Thus, important decisions that should be taken NOW – are delayed undefinetly. Because solving the problems of the nation is priority # 4, not priority #1.

In conclusion

The financial crisis will not be solved, until either:

  1. A political party makes a politically incorrect decision. (fat chance)
  2. We eliminate political parties

We, as a people, must ask ourselves:

What is more important:

Protecting our political party?

or

Protecting our nation’s future?

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The Aztec way of Life

Aztec, a +1000 page book, is the culmination of 12 years of historical research by its author Gary Jennings. First published in 1980, the book narrates the adventures of Mixtli, an aztec native, before & after the arrival of the Spanish conquerors in Mexico. The book serves as a window into a distant time, into an Aztec Empire capable of great beauty and cruelty. But most of all, Aztec demonstrate the unique philosophy of life and way of living of the aztec people.

Tenochtlitan - The Capital of the Aztec Empire

Aztec reminds of us of a time  where everyone believed in “fate”, a place where men coexisted peacefully with nature,  and a society in which money wasn’t the most important thing in the world.

Every time a aztec baby was born, his umbilical cord was cut off. If the baby was a girl, the umbilical cord would be wrapped around a piece of wood and buried under the house. (this should help the girl develop good household skills – the aztecs would say) If the baby was a boy, the umbilical cord would be wrapped around a small wooden shield and given to a warrior. The warrior would then proceed to bury the “shield” in a battlefield. (according to aztec tradition, this would give the boy the courage he needed to be a great warrior) This piece of buried umbilical cord was referred to as an aztec’s “tonali” or fate. The common aztec believe that their human fate was tied to their “tonali” and the will of the gods.

Like many ancient cultures, the aztec’s religion was deeply interwined with the elements of nature. The aztec gods manifested their will through meteorological and astrological acts. Just like the early Christians, the aztecs believed that man and nature where subject to the direct power and intervention of the God(s). But unlike the Europeans of the time who disdained nature, destroyed countless forests and abused of the Earth’s resources; the aztecs lived sorrounded by nature.

Unlike in today’s capitalistic society, money wasn’t  everything in the aztec world. As there was no official currency, the aztec’s often traded using gold powder, copper chunks, jade rocks, and chocolate beans. Honor, prestige, war and power – were more imporant than money. And the aztec tradesmen were members of a guild, known as the Pochteca, and always traded in the name and for the well-being of their Empire. (And unlike those working at Wall Street, these ancient traders would have never allowed their greed to destroy their nation)

And finally... the topic of human sacrifice

Why did the aztecs perform human sacrifices?

According to Aztec folkore, the world and its human inhabitants has been destroyed four times. The first time the entire human population was devoured by jaguars. The second time, destroyed by tornadoes and hurricanes. The third time, by a rain of fire. And finally, by a massive flood like Noah’s (but without survivors). According to aztec religion, these four destructions were sent by the gods because they were not pleased. The gods demanded a more constant supply of human blood, or else they would grow thirsty and destroy. From the aztec point of view, being sacrificied was an honor: they were giving their life for a good cause. Protecting the human race from further divine destruction.

Henceforth the problem: how can you sustain an Empire that constantly requires war prisioners for sacrifice?

The answer is easy: make “fake” wars. During times of peace, the six central Aztec nations would wage their own war simulation, called “Florid Wars”. Every year, 3 Aztecs nations would face off against the other 3 Aztec nations in an open field. The objective of these “Florid Wars” was not to kill the enemy, but to disable and capture prisoners. These “fake” wars would last several days, until all of the generals decided they had captured enough prisioners. Each army would then return to their own nation and commit massive “Florid Sacrifices”. And the gods were pleased.

MEMORABLE QUOTES FROM THE BOOK

Yes, at your age you expect a lot. You can go in any direction you choose. You can go alone or with company. Your companions might travel with you a short or long distance. But at the end of your life, no matter how full your wanderings and days have been, you must learn what everybody eventually learns […] No man has ever lived more than one life, which he himself as choosen and for the most part lived alone.

I believe that memories are the only treasure that humans can ever hope of owning forever.

We had wasted love, which is the most unforgettable waste of all. Time and love are the only two things in the world that one can’t buy, only spend.

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Filed under Books, History

The Elder Paradox

“As I am now, you soon shall be.”

A timeless quote about our brief existence… If old people wandering through the streets like lost souls makes you sad, shouldn´t you be even sadder that one day that lost soul might be you?

That one day, you might stumble upon what used to be blessing… but is now a curse. That instead of being respected, admired, looked after, when you get old your mere existence becomes a burden. A burden to society. A burden to your family. A burden fewer, fewer people are willing to carry.

Vincent Van Gogh - 1890

Something that moves, but can barely see. Something that talks, but is barely heard. Something that feels, but barely feels living. Growing old is truly is a burden to the human spirit…  A burden that no man should have to carry alone.

Like expensive cellphones, elders used to be revered because they were scarce. And much like the Motorolla Razor, once elders started showing up everywhere, people lost interest in them. Are we that shallow?

Mankind made leap forward in the field of medicine this last century.  A huge leap. A leap that hasn´t yet landed.  A leap that doubles the average life of a human being and fills up ours streets with elders. Aren´t we going to take resposibility for the consequences of our actions?

Pointless... isn´t it?

An elder with no loved ones… is like a pilgrim trapped in a paradox staircase. He can walk all he want, but he won´t get anywhere. His soul is trapped in the building or street of yesterday. And so time passes and nothing happens… until one day the soul sits down. Sits down tired of roaming pointlessly about. Sits down to watch the river of time and no longer swim. And so time passes… and now all he wants to do is remain underwater.

Grim… yes. True as well. For millions of elders nowadays life is just that… an uphill routine that only finds rest over the edge. Ideally, the community should be the one taking care of them. Take care of them by incorporating elder care in their social work; promote everyday citizens to share a couple of hours a week with these lost souls.

But since we are not in ideal world, it´s really our duty… no, our obligation as family members to take care of them. If you are not big with helping strangers, then at least focus on your own elderly relatives. Make sure they feel loved, not lost…. Make sure they feel at home, even if they live in retirement.

All this came to my mind

As I watched that old man with sunglasses. Watched him cross the street and nearly get run over by a frenzied car. Saw him jerk in fright from the honks and screams of a maniac. Sat with him at the bus station. And after a full minute of trying, watched how he couldn´t even read his own watch.

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Filed under Culture