© Chris Tyne 12/10/2015
The elephant in the room is animal agriculture and we're all ignoring it. I want to do something about it because it's absolutely HUGE. However what is interesting about it is karma. If you think about it, our demise will be vindication for the atrocities we're all committing in the name of food. Sustainability in the livestock industry is all about growing profits. Politics is such is that it doesn't seem to matter that in a very short period of time it will not matter how much profit is generated for whatever reason because dead water, land and air will put a stop to that. The trillionaires who have the power to make a difference have chosen traditional constraint over cultural enhancement. Globalisation will not replenish resources because continual economic advancement equates to even more ecological extinction. Their belief that there is another globe of earth beyond the ice sheets of Antarctica, well founded or not, isn't going to save our home. Only we can do that and the only way to do that is to influence supply and demand. In a capitalistic world, supply and demand represents the socialism of trade practice. The more we consumers buy of a particular product, the more it is produced and along with the theoretical economic law of supply and demand, when supply increases the price will tend to drop and where demand increases the price will tend to increase. But and it's a Big BUTT, this theory does not apply to the meat industry. Demand for that pound of flesh is increasing and supply cost seems to be leveled or decreasing while the real cost of diminishing returns remains hidden. That cost is our home. Consumers are paying for the taste of animal flesh with our water, our oxygen and our land. In short we are eating Earth quicker than our culture is able to change to change it. And while the idea of this is nothing new, the reality of it is earth shattering. The globalisation of western meat eating tastes isn't going to cut it either, particularly when globalisation contains control measures like ID stamping that are now being implemented for when the dung truly does hit the fan. Philanthropists know that culturalism is about what people can't change as opposed to what they can, after indoctrination that we've all been through as children. Yet what we have been raised to believe about eating others is about to come back and venomously bite us in the proverbial jugular. I know it's hard to believe or care about for that matter, especially when in the third age of your life, that the destruction of your world is the result of a bad meat eating problem. But rather than simply ignore or worry, I think what can I do to help myself, my family and others to change direction and I do admit to shaking my head from side to side often. Is it the responsibility of governments to tell us what we can or can't eat because of ecological and environmental destruction? Not that I think they will while the shit that is hitting the fan is able to be kept hidden along with the real flow of money. Should governments force us to change as opposed to continuing the non censoring of scientific research about our impending doom? Are the trilionaires right, we are not worth caring about because we would not thank them for it, instead wanting the industrial 'privileges' they have, and we have Buckley's chance of ever getting. Modern animal agriculture is the biggest karmic volcano we've got coming to us and it's like we're trapped in an arena with a dung filled crater about to implode us all down its thunder-box. Just sayin'
© Chris Tyne 12/10/2015
I visited down my body’s distant rocky shore,
Across the sand dunes of time
and the oceans of space.
The rains opened to free the shadows hidden,
A crack in the crust, barely visible,
set forth dreams.
The innocence rose bloomed in echoes
How beautiful her voice,
So majestic the breaths of change,
a silken touch
Lemon yellow careens to light the soul
A peaceful lens to show the way.
Now more sand than rocks
touch my feet.
In this world we have come to believe that to accept or to be accepting is to like what it is that we are accepting. That to embrace something means we are helpless and can not change it. We have simply given up. That of course is a fallacy. When you are brave enough to accept something, you are releasing the judgement behind it. You are realizing that yes this is how something or someone is in this moment, or how YOU are in this moment, and you are okay with that because there is a reason for it, even if we are unaware of what the purpose is. Of course that is because Everything has a purpose. It is this acceptance that allows us to grow and ultimately change our course of action. It allows us to find gratitude in it because we are now looking at everything surrounding it with new eyes. Things become less about changing a person, process, situation and more about changing how we perceive things; therefore the change becomes US, not this seemingly outside force that is beyond us. As individuals we are then not then just 'one', we are one of many setting forth the ripples that will in time become the waves of change.
Past the fear:
I like to push the bar every now and again. I like to take myself out of my comfort zone every once in a while just to keep things fresh. Tonight I am about to do that again. I am going to attempt something that I haven't dared to do (again) in almost 20 years.
In this new adventure I wondered why is it sometimes we quite doing something we enjoy after receiving someones version of honest criticism and other times we just carry on?
Does it depend on how negative the opinions are? Is it our own insecurities? Is it that we then conform our view to then match their opinions? Is it all of these?
I feel perhaps it is all of these factors. When I stopped doing certain things I remember thinking that maybe I do suck, regardless of how many times I was told otherwise. I still have that.
Normally I listen to the criticism and take it at face value. It is only their opinion and if there is something there that I can use to improve what ever it is I am doing then great, if not so what. My day goes on and I continue......Until it is something that I am fired up about. I mean I am eating and dreaming it!!
And maybe that is the lesson.
Their opinion is only that and we are entitled to it, but perhaps we need to learn how to either keep those to ourselves or find gentler ways to present them. Maybe we need to learn not to be so judgemental of others or ourselves. Most of us don't expect perfection from others, so why do we expect it of ourselves?
Mostly I feel we need to show compassion and honor for the bravery of others who can step past the fear and dare to shine and pursue their passions regardless of the opinions of others, for when they do that they do shine! And in that process we all know that it starts within ourselves, now we need to actually walk the talk!
Tonight, as my body is entering a nervous fit and my mind is on overload, I will show myself that compassion and allow myself to break free of the fear and re-enter the one piece of my life that I could not quite stop, because I deserve that. I deserve to be free to do what makes my heart sing...we all deserve to break free of the fear and do what makes us shine with joy.
It is infinite...
Rainbows surround the sun, messages from the moon.. things are speeding up...and change will come...soon
read more gentle opinions on One Earth blogspot
“Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.” ~ Joan Didion
Are you living like the world is about to end and everything needs to be finished urgently, on time, in accordance to schedule and with the minimum of fuss.. phew! don't even have time to achieve a personal goal?
Surprisingly, in a fast paced working environment, achieving a goal can feel frustratingly slow, particularly if that goal is about changing something about the self, like trying to lose weight. Here, time might be the prohibition restricting learning and how to change the self, in terms of balancing diet, exercise, making a living and creating a lifestyle. Cultural norms may be another inhibitor where the intention to change might be at odds with our involvement in the established culture of the family or social unit we're closely attached to. When seeking to change an eating habit, addiction to the habit might be the barrier needing to be diminished before the question of the habit can be tackled head on. When thinking about change, one of the most difficult questions to answer can be what exactly is meant by change and how that meaning can be integrated into what exists, so that what does exist can be eased into being different without unbalancing the scales too much and causing unplanned, unprepared or unwanted additional changes. Which of course, is what tends to happen with ideological change that has no foundation of clarity about it and as a consequence no clear sense of direction in terms of accessing the most appropriate resources for the job at hand. For example, goal setting to lose weight when secretly harbouring an intention to not challenge taste buds, reduces goal integrity with an almost tongue in cheek, self-induction into how to slide a change goal into a weight loss battle. Or, maybe the intention to lose weight is true to form, but the will power to forge the intention against unwanted peer pressure or cultural norms, is lacking. If you had the intention, will power, time, family support, peer support, cultural support, and an understanding work place, how long do you think it would take you to lose weight if you wanted to? More to the point, if you knew what your body’s dietary and/or exercise weight loss personable’s were, before committing to any weight loss goals, could this information help to speed up the achievement of weight loss goals? In my mind, the more knowledge I had about my naturopathy and dietetic tolerances, food chain morality, exercise physiology and work load reduction opportunities, the better prepared I could be to achieve my weight loss goal. However in the real world, this kind of knowledge aligns with wisdom and wisdom, as you know, can be a lost ambition when you're too busy to notice. A lack of learning resources in the desired goal area of change can be what feels slow in any process of changes as well as the lack of the desire, or the lack of a sense of time, to learn. Learning is the series of changes that can amount to one moment of difference at the end of the trial of learning endurance, should the learning not be acknowledged. When noticed, each moment of learning becomes a change that does not appear slow, but instantaneous with fresh perspective. A series of minute instantaneous changes of fresh perspectives is what furthers the chain of command, known simply as change, and the more laborious the process seems to be, the less capable those changes of growth are in shaping us into our goal of changing for the better. Could it be that learning how to achieve a desired final product labelled as change is what makes real changes disappear and the desired change appear to us as slow?
If learning is the reason why conscious change appears slow, then why not slow down the learning process to speed up the goal of change? It might well be that it is learning capability that determines how fast or slow a desired goal change takes, not the goal itself: And as learning and teaching specialist Dr. Howard Gardner says, people learn in a variety of ways and with a variety of multiple intelligences. What this essentially means is that for every weight loss goal there is an intelligence attached to it and that intelligence has its own unique way of learning something new. That is if the intelligence wants to learn something new. Sometimes, the task is so difficult, learning about it becomes prohibitive unless there is someone who can support its development, and even then there is no guarantee that the learning has a purpose, should the attention of the learner be on something other than the goal. So, if what is being classified as slow, is not slow at all, but an outcome of a process that contains within it a multitude of synapses, all with their own unique way of changing each other, what could this mean for the incumbent brain owner? Could it mean that the brain responds in accordance to the pressures placed upon it by its owner and if so, that the thinking of the owner has the linguistic power to influence itself with mood, emotion and attention in the direction, and for the benefit of the goal classified as the desired change? If yes, then this may mean that all of the time the change is in each and every moment of the intention of the thinking creature that is us. We are the change we are seeking and the only weight or habit loss that happens without thinking is the one that we all experience after we've died. So how can we speed up a consciously expressed goal of change? By recognising that everything we thinking doers do is part of an intrinsic learning process, and sometimes we can be busy thinking about a multitude of different things, every single day, depending on how busy living we are. Slowing down the process of learning also requires learning about how to manage everything on your plate, especially when there is far too much on your plate to palate. In this way, the first weight loss that needs to be thoughtfully and thoroughly sorted, when seeking to gain personal weight loss, is the unpalatable weight that is on your doing plate. Finding the time and peer support, when needing to learn how to learn about the intricate nature of your goal, could be the real reason why goal changes sometimes end up feeling despairingly slow. Inserting a Kaizen like, reflect and review, writing process into the achievement of any personal change goal, may be the key to slowing down those thoughts of change, effectively speeding up a weight loss program, if weight loss is truly the change that you want to see. Sometimes what we think and say we want can emerge as quite contrary to underlying intentions, particularly during stressful times. In the meantime, recognising that any goal of change needs lots of tiny changes to survive and thrive might help, in the understanding of change as not so much slow, but clicking in tempo with who we truly are at any given moment in time. For change not only exists when achieving a goal, but also when turning away from that goal and the way to go with your unique flow of learning, and not beat yourself up when expectation rears its ugly head, is through acceptance. No one is perfect and all anyone can only do is the best they are able with the resources they have at any given moment in time and this is okay. Feeling pressured or rushed leads to recognised and un-recognised mistakes and this is okay when the pressure is accepted, as one of the resources pushing down on the tiny changes one is learning to make sense of, in order to move a fraction closer to the truth of the expressed goal. No matter what any other person says, or how you may agree or disagree with their communication, what you think is more important to your sense of well being about how you are travelling along that challenging road toward the light that you have named change. While it may be true that your path to change is not one that you journey alone and those who journey with you may not share your vision, desire or intent to achieve whatever goal is set, I wish you well. I wish you fruitful learning and bountiful changes of mind for mood and passion; But most of all I wish you many ingenious changes in your synapses towards success, so you may achieve the reality of your goals, not slowly, but instantaneously, thoughtfully and creatively in time, until you reach the end. © Chris Tyne 24/04/2015
#changes #learning #growing #acceptance #kaisen #multiple intelligences #NLP
A little while ago, a treasured online friend reminded me of how important it is to express gratitude when trying to make the best out of a bad situation. Recently, I was reminded of this friend while watching the Angelina Jolie directed movie Unbroken, in which forgiveness is promoted as the key to overcoming torture, abuse, victimisation and trauma. Forgiveness and gratitude are two emotions promoted by self-development leaders as being important in the furthering of positive change. I personally know that without forgiveness there can be no real sense of gratitude, no matter how much it may be expressed by an individual as being an I am. It is heartfelt forgiveness that frees the mind from the emotional claims that bind it to the past. It was forgiveness that gave me back my future and for this I am grateful ~ Chris Tyne.
One of the common misconceptions about change is that people are clear about what they're talking about when sharing change information. Even more is the conception that people understand what others are referring to when discussing issues of change. The truth is there are so many differing perceptions about what the word of change means, that discussions about change can quickly disintegrate into cross purpose communications, without people even being aware that they've lost vital connection with each other.
A social systems theory approach to change communication includes exploring life experiences, traditional beliefs and conversational biases. However, life in general doesn’t get to analyse why people think the way they do. Exchanges about change can become very heated, especially in matters of power and control like social justice.
In the 21st Century, the verb and noun called Change is rapidly becoming as over used as the verb, noun and adjective called Love. Modern advertising uses the word Change like it’s about gaining access to free lollies instead of being the complex jigsaw puzzle it is. Change, lost from its’ reflective qualities, desensitizes the listener from taking its’ word seriously. Today Change is more about it being a marketing fashion statement than the huge geophysical human force it is.
In change analytics, putting the word Change into context can be as complex as putting together an overwhelming jigsaw puzzle. It’s not impossible if the puzzle is small, despite any tedium to getting started. However trying to put a seven billion piece jigsaw together can be a dangerous task because of all of its differentials. Change jigsaw stakeholders bring with them conflicts of perception. The bigger the jigsaw the more conflict there is. In this way the Jigsaw here is of a Butterfly.
In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions which, from a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system, can result in large differences in another state. The resolution proposed here is to behave Kaisen as carefully as possible, when putting together your jigsaw puzzle in any world not lacking in chaos.
© Chris Tyne, 2012
“Nature is forever changing and we must learn to accept it.” Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote into his private diary . “go with the flow of life” and “Our body is like a river and our soul is like a vapour.” I think the earth might agree.
Today some human bodies are more like obese rolls of fat and our soul (scientifically called the psyche) is better known as the brain. To go with the flow of modern life might be, sitting on your butt for most of the day, staring into the visual aids of rapidly changing technology. It might be about diabetes from digesting too much genetically modified and processed ‘food stuffs’. It might be about how the ‘soul’ represents the bio-psychology of the human brains plasticity to change, and just like it was in Marcus Aurelius time, it might be about the military. Humans claiming authority over life that belongs to Earth.
Humans enacting their authority to do this in the name of their Gods, just like Marcus Aurelius.
In Marcus Aurelius day, God was Zeus. The earthly nature of his forever changing was all about the human heart and how its body flowed like a river, and how its soul vaporised from its rhythm. Nature is forever changing referred to the activities of Zeus on the ground and how Marcus had to learn to accept it.
Today, despite industrial advances and sophistication, I think not a great deal has changed since his time. People are still learning to accept the activities of Zeus but not as a mythical God, more as a game of economic strategy and war.
Taurus born Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD. He was the head of all military command. He legitimized Gladiator wars, sometimes alone and sometimes in partnership with other ‘royals’. Today, he is considered by some to be the last of the "Five Good Emperors". He is also considered by some to be an important Stoic philosopher who did not care much for Christianity.
Marcus Aurelius modern claim to fame are his personal diary entries during the decade of 170 to 180. The distribution of his private diaries after his death has increasingly secured him the reputation of being a philosopher king within his lifetime. During his reign, Marcus was considered by his peers to be
"More philanthropic and philosophic"
Than other Roman Emperors of the time.
The historian Herodian wrote
“Alone of the Emperors he gave proof of his learning not by mere words or knowledge of philosophical doctrines but by his blameless character and temperate way of life.”
It seems Marcus was more ‘understanding’ than most and believed in self-improvement through reflective writing. Despite his philosophical leanings, Marcus was a man of his time and he carried out his traditional duties of Emperor as best he could.
The importance of his influence upon the modern term “go with the flow” is that Marcus is credited as being the first one to coin the saying. He wrote a lot about his thoughts of happiness and from his meditations going with the flow implied that keeping the peace, even if that peace was about war, was important. In other words, it was better to get along with other people, in accordance to traditional convention, than to make waves against it and upset the social and cultural flow of early 2nd Century political life.
While ‘going with the flow’ is the more popular expression today, there is also some debate about what it truly means. Most references cited on the internet seem to agree that going with the flow is about a desire to be socially accepted and that to achieve that desire you are to:
While political ‘go with the flow’ activities both positively and negatively impact on culture and society, for example: through democratic voter apathy or motivations, what about the introduction of the psyche? When Marcus referred to the soul in his meditations, he had no idea that centuries into the future, people called Freud and Jung would be talking about his soul in terms of accepted norms about the psyche.
In his day, the Stoics taught materialism, in which everything, including God and words, was material. Even emotions were considered to be material because of their physical manifestations of say crying and smiling. Not even nothing was immaterial because the Roman world view of the stoic individual was pantheistic, meaning that Stoic Marcus Aurelius believed a divine reality pervaded everything, even nothing, for even in nothing divinity, which in his view arose from fire, remained.
There were two kinds of matter in his philosophy. The larger matter, that could be seen and touched, and the finer matter, that was in the breath and in the spirit of life holding everything together. The Greek God Zeus (the “war” God considered to be of reason) was considered by the Stoics to be ‘a perfectly good and wise vapour of gas’ and as all life began and ended with fire, praying to Zeus as the King of all of the Greek Gods, represented a life of purpose and meaning in the name of fiery wrath. The Stoics also considered that the known Gods of the time did not actually do the things attributed to them, but were rather descriptors of natural events. For example, Zeus as Fire had to have a wife who ‘ inflamed’ him. Therefore, his wife, Hera was as Air.
Marcus believed the human soul stretched throughout the body and had eight parts:
As the Stoics believed that their Universe was like their own giant living body, where all parts were interconnected and influencing of each other (much like the economic ripple effect referred to by economic rationalists of today) everything was pre-determined. Therefore, Marcus believed in fate.
However, it is from the stoic realm of free will that Marcus considered his heart as a river of nature forever changing, yet ago with the flow. As his ageing heart was his soul (psyche) and his soul was his heartbeat, and this combination represented a Zeus river of Hera filled blood, human free will had to be like the river of blood, flowing into and out of his heart in accordance to his will. For men, like Marcus, irrespective of any want for a quiet life, commanded political and lawful wars. Men lived and died under his command in the name of Zeus. His stoic rule upheld the will of one man to take the will of another. This meant that nature forever changing was actually like a ‘river with eddies in its current’. In Stoic philosophy this was more than acceptable because all Gladiator men were being carried down the river to perfection and the will to resist this river was an allowable rule under ‘go with the flow’. The harsh reality was, that despite how people may have felt, go with the flow was about getting on with the business of the establishment, irrespective of how much the emotional self may have disagreed with the business. Again, I think that despite industrial progress, not much seems to have changed in the will of human kind from Marcus Aurelius time to ours.
Aurelius and the Stoics believed that, as the world was once fire, the world would become fire again. Therefore, their wars of fire were permitted acts of the divinity of the king of all Gods, Zeus, and to go with the flow in accordance with the divinity of Zeus was a 2nd Century Roman virtue that was more than acceptable.
As reason was the hallmark of a wise Stoic, Aurelius had to practice indifference to everything, but the virtues of his realm, and he could not be seen to be distressed by external circumstances, passions or emotions. The very fact that Marcus Aurelius kept a diary seems to indicate that he was indeed a creative individual who had a need to explore, if not unburden himself of, the philosophical ideals arising from the conflicts he faced in his traditional role of leader of a Gladiator Society.
In war-time, Stoicism developed it strength from its belief in all people as being manifestations of the one universal spirit. The universal spirit in the mind of Aurelius would have been the capability of his military force to win and keep him and Roman society safe from the enemy. Achievement of this would have required the stoic ability to connect with inner calm, logically reflect about possible options and make split second decisions about how to ‘go with the flow’. Stoicism under Zeus offered Aurelius the difference between being murdered, imprisoned, injured or de-throned and living to tell the tale. He was able to ‘go with the flow’ by living a life disciplined by his philosophy and he reflected upon and reviewed his decisions privately as evidenced by his diaries. He wrote:
“Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All of these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill... I can neither be harmed by any of them, for no man will involve me in wrong, nor can I be angry with my kinsman or hate him; for we have come into the world to work together...”
Should information age people work together to consider the original relevance of ‘go with the flow’ when making decisions about our future? I think mother earth would say yes.
Now that we know that our bodies are scientifically akin to all mammals, that our minds are located in our heads instead of our hearts, that Zeus is not the king of all Gods, but only one of the many and that global economics is the nature forever changing against the earth: Is Marcus Aurelius stoic definition of ‘go with the flow’ applicable in today’s market? Do we really want to accept traditional warfare as the way forward or do we want the Age of Aquarius teach us something else? In other words, is it time to stop going with the flow, no matter how easy it may be to do so? My short answer, on behalf of preserving life on earth, is yes.
“Nature is forever changing and we must we learn to accept that” wrote Marcus Aurelius in 167 AD
It is now 2012 AD and it is no longer the nature of society that is forever changing, but the very nature of the earth that human society depends on for evolution. The God of fire has changed the ecological footprint of the earth and the children of today are about to face the consequences of that furnace.
In Marcus Aurelius meditations, to go with the flow is not about making a change. It is about accepting what is. It is a reinforcement of societal norms that condones and further enables tradition.
Marcus lived at the beginning of the Pisces Age where traditionalists arguably still practised the ‘bold behaviours’ of the Aries age, but with a growing sense of passivity. Today, we are coming to the end of the Pisces Age of philosophical growth and enlightenment. How this will be interpreted into the new age of Aquarius is already being experienced as a Lions showcase of technology and entertainment. The true implications of the ‘new age’ is anyone’s guess, but one thing is for certain, global peace will only be achieved by trying something different, like protecting and sustaining earthly life instead of setting fire to it. Putting the brakes on traditional economic rationalism with a new wave of reasonable humanitarian preparedness might help to get us ready for the Age of Aquarius. The global increase in corporate philanthropy seems to support this, but this is but a spit in the ocean. The bio-diversity of life earth depends on to sustain life, is diminishing at a rapid rate, while the people who need this life are increasing and yet the economic wars continue. Are the decisions of yesterday, tomorrow’s unsolvable problem? Did our fore-fathers condemn us to death long before we were born?
The nature forever changing in the 21st century is happening now and if you are to believe Marcus, the outcome rests in the fateful hands of his traditional fire God. It’s going to be interesting to see if the Age of Aquarius has the capability to pull life out of the Zeus mentality. I think the capability is there, but is it strong enough to stop wars from successfully ending the world as we know it? I sincerely hope so because I'm buying into the new generation of information natives as being the ones who will lead the way into a new kind of harmonious existence, where materialism is no longer about stoicism or Greek Gods, but about the real spirit of earthly life, biology.
I think going with the flow today is about not so much about stoicism, but about resilience and sustainability. This is the positive psychology approach to climate change. Yet already the USA military are using this approach to enhance their soldier’s ability to endure more war.
The earth is changing and the over concentration on technology may well find us the victims of a Zeus called climate change that may or may not have been due to human activities. Irrespective of what may be at fault, the fact remains that while it might be too late to do something about the loss of fresh water from the rapidly melting polar glaciers, it is not too late to start changing our ways in favour of cultivating earth as a living, life-giving organism instead of the burning rock Marcus believed it to be.
“Change is by way of nature and in the way of nature there can be no evil”
Marcus wrote at the beginning of the era that is now coming to an end. The new dawn is on the horizon and changing the nature of flow is your call and it’s also mine. To prevent the earth from deciding our fate, now is the time to focus on healing the damage already done. The new nature forever changing will be the power of the earth to change us in accordance to its need to survive. Earth will decide the fate of human Gods, and earth will decide the fate of human life, and no amount of good or evil philosophical meditation will stop her activities of flow once her self-healing gets under way. The only way we can slow down our extinction is through preventative activities of environmental renewal. Ignoring the earth will not make it go away because earth’s nature is our only reality. If we want to live we have to stop plundering for marketing purposes and find a better way to live and this does not mean going with the flow. It means taking the time to consider how to make some life-giving changes by no longer taking earth for granted.
© Chris Tyne, 2012.
What does it mean when a Constitution is changed?
For that matter what does it mean when a Constitution is written?
After a war, it means that human culture is now under the control of a dominating force. A power enforcing the rules of its kind.
William Dampier, a former pirate, was the first British citizen to see, what is now known as, Australia. In 1688, he explored the north-west coast of Australia in, Cygnet, his small trading vessel. He made another voyage in 1699, before returning to England. He described some of the flora and fauna of the land he had witnessed. He was the first man to report to the British that he had seen large hopping animals (Kangaroos).
The Kingdom of Great Britain was the first power to officially claim any area on the Australian mainland. A vastness named New South Wales was defined by Lieutenant James Cook's proclamation. The proclamation excluded: Van Diemen's Land, now known as Tasmania because it had already been claimed for the Netherlands by Abel Tasman in 1642. A small part of the mainland south of 38°, now known as southern Victoria, and the west coast of the continent, now known as Western Australia was claimed by Louis de Saint Aloüarn for France in 1772.
Today, Australia and Tasmania are part of the British Commonwealth which is united under the Australian Constitution. Prior to the Constitution, Australia was made up of colonies with customs houses, railway gauges and military. It was neither natural nor inevitable that Australia would be united, yet through the dedication and hard work of a small group of people, the colonies eventually came together to form the Australian nation in 1901.
January 1901 marks the birth of the Australian Constitution. Aboriginals were not involved in the development of the Constitution as they were not considered as humans by the law makers.
In 1901, the only two laws that related to Aboriginals were:
1. The government was allowed to make special laws for Aboriginals only and
2. Aboriginals were counted as flora rather than human beings in the Commonwealth.
This meant that when the number of people in a state, or in the whole country was counted, Aboriginal flora was not counted. The laws also meant that Aboriginals were excluded from any rights, responsibilities and benefits of migrant Australia.
It took a ten year, constitutional awareness campaign for Aboriginal people to be released from the burden of these laws. As a result of the campaign, word of mouth facilitated that the Aboriginal laws were unfair and needed to be changed. 66 years after the Constitution was written, the Australian Commonwealth Government held a referendum to erase or retain the two laws that related to Aboriginals.
In the 1967 referendum, a sheet of voting paper was given to Australian citizens and on this piece of paper, voters were asked whether these laws should be changed.
The voters were to mark either Yes or No to a question about equality.
Over 91% of Australian citizens voted yes for equality and as a result, the constitution was changed. The two laws that discriminated against Aboriginals were banished.
The 1967 Referendum changed the way Aboriginal people were treated. Aboriginal people were now human in the eyes of Constitutional Law. Now Aboriginal people were obligated by the same laws as everyone else.
This change meant Aboriginal people could travel from State to State and State to Territory and not be discriminated against under the Constitution. The large amount of people who voted “Yes” demonstrated that migrant Australians believed in Aboriginal equality as humans under the law. Aboriginal people were now Australian people too.
So, what does it mean when a Constitution is changed?
What does it mean when a Constitution is written?
© Chris Tyne, 2012.
On December 21, 2012, humankind will meet its doom by either
If not, I hate to break this to you, but you might have to rush out and buy those Christmas presents, you've been putting off getting the rellies, because you were not going to be here.
Seriously, did the Maya, whose civilisation peaked between A.D 250 and A.D 900, really predict the end of the world in 2012, or is this another George Orwell’s 1984?
If it does happen, and we all leave the earth on the 21 December 2012, then I bid you a fond farewell adding, from the bottom of heart, that I have appreciated your little visits to my humble website; Plus I do hope that the life you have lived was a good one. Not that it will matter because we're all with that spirit in the sky now, especially if you are not reading this, so I guess I'll see you there.
However, if you are still here, then I’d like to congratulate you on getting this far into this article, and as a reward I’d like you to be able to tell your friends that you knew the prophesy was a load of hogwash all of the time (the fact that you did think it was going to happen, even for a nanosecond, can be our little secret).
To help, back up your denial argument convincingly, I am reproducing the information 'our saviour' Brian Handwerk shared with the National Geographic way back in November 9, 2009. To think, people were scared even then!
On that day, Brian advised his readers that “the only thing that is all too real about the coming end of the world is fear”.
I think fear is a perfectly reasonable word to use to describe a change of impending doom resulting in imminent death. Not a happy thought, that’s for sure.
Yet, in 2009 NASA was getting thousands of questions about the 2012 doomsday predictions. David Morrison, Senior Scientist with the NASA Astrobiology Institute said to Brian “ People are genuinely frightened”. David also said
"I've had two teenagers who were considering killing themselves, because they didn't want to be around when the world ends. Two women said they were contemplating killing their children and themselves so they wouldn't have to suffer through the end of the world." Not good. Not good at all.
So, now that we’re remarkably close to the very edge, I think that it is more than time to ease some of those scary thoughts so you can indulge in a little retail therapy.
Happy New Year!
2012 MYTH 1
Maya Predicted End of the World in 2012
The Maya calendar doesn't end in 2012, as some have said. Plus, "the ancients never viewed that year as the time of the end of the world" said Archaeologists.
But December 21, 2012, (give or take a day) was nonetheless momentous to the Maya.
"It's the time when the largest grand cycle in the Mayan calendar—1,872,000 days or 5,125.37 years—overturns and a new cycle begins," said Anthony Aveni, a Maya expert and archaeo-astronomer at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.
The Maya kept time on a scale few other cultures have considered.
During the Empire's heyday, the Maya invented the Long Count—a lengthy circular calendar that "transplanted the roots of Maya culture all the way back to creation itself," Aveni said.
During the 2012 winter solstice, time runs out on the current era of the Long Count calendar, which began at what the Maya saw as the dawn of the last creation period: August 11, 3114 B.C. The Maya wrote that date, which preceded their civilization by thousands of years, as Day Zero, or 126.96.36.199.0.
In December 2012 the lengthy era ends and the complicated, cyclical calendar will roll over again to Day Zero, beginning another enormous cycle.
"The idea is that time gets renewed, that the world gets renewed all over again—often after a period of stress—the same way we renew time on New Year's Day or even on Monday morning," said Aveni, author of The End of Time: The Maya Mystery of 2012.
2012 MYTH 2
Breakaway Continents Will Destroy Civilization
In some 2012 doomsday prophecies, the Earth becomes a death trap as it undergoes a "pole shift."
The planet's crust and mantle will suddenly shift, spinning around Earth's liquid-iron outer core like an orange's peel spinning around its fleshy fruit. (See what Einstein had to say about pole shifts.)
2012, the movie, envisions a Maya-predicted pole shift, triggered by an extreme gravitational pull on the planet—courtesy of a rare "galactic alignment"—and by massive solar radiation destabilizing the inner Earth by heating it.
Breakaway oceans and continents dump cities into the sea, thrust palm trees to the poles, and spawn earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and other disasters. (Interactive: pole shift theories illustrated.)
Scientists dismiss such drastic scenarios, but some researchers have speculated that a subtler shift could occur—for example, if the distribution of mass on or inside the planet changed radically, due to, say, the melting of ice caps.
Princeton University geologist Adam Maloof has extensively studied pole shifts, and tackles this 2012 myth in 2012: Countdown to Armageddon, a National Geographic Channel documentary airing Sunday, November 8. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News and part-owns the National Geographic Channel.)
Maloof says magnetic evidence in rocks confirm that continents have undergone such drastic rearrangement, but the process took millions of years—slow enough that humanity wouldn't have felt the motion (quick guide to plate tectonics).
2012 MYTH 3
Galactic Alignment Spells Doom
Some sky-watchers believe 2012 will close with a "galactic alignment," which will occur for the first time in 26,000 years (for example, see the Web site Alignment 2012).
In this scenario, the path of the sun in the sky would appear to cross through what, from Earth, looks to be the midpoint of our galaxy, the Milky Way, which in good viewing conditions appears as a cloudy stripe across the night sky.
Some fear that the line up will somehow expose Earth to powerful unknown galactic forces that will hasten its doom—perhaps through a "pole shift" (see above) or the stirring of the super massive black hole at our galaxy's heart.
Others see the purported event in a positive light, as heralding the dawn of a new era in human consciousness.
NASA's Morrison has a different view.
"There is no 'galactic alignment' in 2012," he said, "or at least nothing out of the ordinary."
He explained that a type of "alignment" occurs during every winter solstice, when the sun, as seen from Earth, appears in the sky near what looks to be the midpoint of the Milky Way.
Horoscope writers may be excited by alignments, Morrison said. But "the reality is that alignments are of no interest to science. They mean nothing," he said. They create no changes in gravitational pull, solar radiation, planetary orbits, or anything else that would impact life on Earth.
The speculation over alignments isn't surprising, though, he said.
"Ordinary astronomical phenomena are imbued with a sense of threat by people who already think the world is going to end."
Regarding galactic alignments, University of Texas Maya expert David Stuart writes on his blog that "no ancient Maya text or artwork makes reference to anything of the kind."
Even so, the end date of the current Long Count cycle—winter solstice 2012—may be evidence of Maya astronomical skill, said Aveni, the archaeo-astronomer.
"I don't rule out the likelihood that astronomy played a role" in the selection of 2012 as the cycle's terminus, he said.
Maya astronomers built observatories and, by observing the night skies and using mathematics, learned to accurately predict eclipses and other celestial phenomena. Aveni notes that the start date of the current cycle was likely tied to a solar zenith passage, when the sun crosses directly overhead, and its terminal date will fall on a December solstice, perhaps by design.
(Take a Maya Empire quiz.)
These choices, he said, may indicate that the Maya calendar is tied to seasonal agricultural cycles central to ancient survival.
2012 MYTH 4
Planet X Is on a Collision Course With Earth
Some say it's out there: a mysterious Planet X, aka Nibiru, on a collision course with Earth—or at least a disruptive flyby.
A direct hit would obliterate Earth, it's said. Even a near miss, some fear, could shower Earth with deadly asteroid impacts hurled our way by the planet's gravitational wake.
Could such an unknown planet really be headed our way in 2012, even just a little bit?
"There is no object out there," NASA Astro-Biologist Morrison said. "That's probably the most straightforward thing to say."
The origins of this theory actually predate widespread interest in 2012. Popularized in part by a woman who claims to receive messages from extraterrestrials, the Nibiru doomsday was originally predicted for 2003.
"If there were a planet or a brown dwarf or whatever that was going to be in the inner solar system three years from now, astronomers would have been studying it for the past decade and it would be visible to the naked eye by now," Morrison said.
"It's not there."
2012 MYTH 5
Solar Storms to Savage Earth
In some 2012 disaster scenarios, our own sun is the enemy.
Our friendly neighbourhood star, it's rumoured, will produce lethal eruptions of solar flares, turning up the heat on Earthlings.
Solar activity waxes and wanes according to approximately 11-year cycles. Big flares can indeed damage communications and other Earthly systems, but scientists have no indications the sun, at least in the short-term, will unleash storms strong enough to fry the planet.
"As it turns out the sun isn't on schedule anyway," NASA astronomer Morrison said. "We expect that this cycle probably won't peak in 2012 but a year or two later." (See "Sun Oddly Quiet—Hints at Next 'Little Ice Age'?")
2012 MYTH 6
Maya Had Clear Predictions for 2012
If the Maya didn't expect the end of time in 2012, what exactly did they predict for that year?
Many scholars who've pored over the scattered evidence on Maya monuments say the empire didn't leave a clear record predicting that anything specific would happen in 2012.
The Maya did pass down a graphic—though undated—end-of-the-world scenario, described on the final page of a circa-1100 text known as the Dresden Codex. The document describes a world destroyed by flood, a scenario imagined in many cultures and probably experienced, on a less apocalyptic scale, by ancient people's (more on the Dresden Codex).
Aveni, the archaeo-astronomer, said the scenario is not meant to be read literally—but as a lesson about human behaviour.
He likens the cycles to our own New Year period, when the closing of an era is accompanied by frenetic activities and stress, followed by a rebirth period, when many people take stock and resolve to begin living better.
In fact, Aveni says, the Maya weren't much for predictions.
"The whole timekeeping scale is very past directed, not future directed," he said. "What you read on these monuments of the Long Count are events that connected Maya rulers with ancestors and the divine.
"The farther back you can plant your roots in deep time the better argument you can make that you're legit," Aveni said. "And I think that's why these Maya rulers were using Long Count time.
"It's not about a fixed prediction about what's going to happen."
So there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth of a 2009 NASA scientist.
2012 by Shaahin Cheyene
Filmaker Shaahin Cheyene has also explored the mysteries of the “end” of the Mayan Calendar and he made a movie about it called. 2012 Prophesy Change. Shaahin challenges people to not only learn more about the truth, lies, myths and possibilities surrounding 21 December 2012, but to find out how you can discover what you can do, to not only survive in challenging times, but to thrive.
The thrive concept will be explored on Chan6es in 2013: But for now I’d highly recommend that, if you are still here on the 22 December 2012, why not grab a DVD copy of 2012 Prophesy Change, just for some light relief: And count your blessings over the Christmas holiday period.
You might also fancy popping a few of those ‘blessings’ into your new year’s resolution to live a long, happy, loving, caring, gratuitous and fulfilling life. Then again you might not, but whatever you do, live.
© Chris Tyne, 2012.
You can make positive deposits in your own economy every day by reading and listening to powerful, positive, life-changing content and by associating with encouraging and hope-building people ~ Zig Ziglar.
“So what do you think about the new place?”
“it’s al-right, I’d much rather be in the old place, but I will adapt. There’s lots of changes in between.”
This is a brief conversation I had yesterday with a close friend of mine, who I will call B.
B recently moved business premises, because the company employing B decided to shatter the headquarters superstore into a state-wide shower of localised customer service outlets.
There has been a shift in personnel too and the people, B was once working with, have been assigned to other places, leaving B as the only member of the original team left standing in the locality of the old headquarters.
Despite the briefness of the conversation I had with my old friend, I was fascinated by B’s perspective of organisational change. B’s expectation of more changes to come before getting to changed, intrigued me because B doesn't like change, especially if that change is initiated by someone else. I found myself immediately crediting B with a tolerance for other people’s goals, until it dawned on me that we were sitting on the alert signal of traffic lights.
While it seemed to be that the organisation was about “all systems go” for an increase in the amount of green going into the till, my friend saw the change like an orange traffic light, with the promise of red or the promise of green, depending on how factors, beyond B’s control, went. The light may go up or it may go down. He was sitting at orange waiting for the order to go or the order to stop.
B’s preference is for the past. B lives in the music of his childhood and follows the same routine of activities every single day. B likes to maintain life and rides the waves of change with a mixture of fear and excitement. B likes novelty changes, but simply can’t afford them.
The strategic specification tsunami took the old life away and its waves caused a storm that helped increase B’s income and that pleased B. Yet, what was once an accessible place for customers and staff is gone and in its place a smaller, less appointed place has been born. In the old headquarters customers had plenty of room to park. The new premises has limited parking facilities and B wonders how this is going to impact on customer trade, but the decision was out of B’s hands. Such is the nature of organisational changing. The process from change decision birth, through its life of changing and onto its final death as changed is the complete life cycle of business. This life cycle contains lots of other change project life cycles and a premise move is a big one because the very nature of changing lasts until the extinction of the species. The species in this case is B’s customer service environment that was re-organised in accordance to a foreign strategic planners vision, and in so doing the need for space for customers to park has become an after-sight.
For all employed people to enact a desired change goal, as say written up as a strategic plan, the changing process tends to reflect an empowerment of multiple intelligences¹. Under the umbrella of Professor Howard Gardner's theory of intelligences, the outcome of any new learning curve (moving premises) is largely the result of the learning preferences of the doers. Moving premises is a learning curve for those who have not done it before. Fortunately for B he had been there and done that.
In all large organisations, it is always one person who initiates a change idea, that becomes decided through a process of presentation, group discussion and persuasion. The decided change then enters into various performances of communication, which, if it gets enough nodding heads, culminates into a jumble of input and output variables. In this case the new jelly bean stores forgot to incorporate parking into the engineering specification. An important variable that may cost B’s livelihood if the customers can’t shop because there is nowhere to stop and park their vehicles. Front line people like B can see it, the customers can see it, and the decision makers consultation process either forgot to include the front line or didn't think their perspective was important enough.
This omission of customer service from the change blue print might see otherwise loyal customers going elsewhere and it may also see new customers arriving. Time will tell and by watching the orange traffic light, B is not doing any forecasting.
Change for most employees represents something new like eating in a different restaurant, going to see a recently released movie, travelling to experience foreign culture and scenery, investing in a new recipe, taking out a mortgage, leasing a car, starting an accreditation journey. Some employees also come up with change ideas including a re-structure of the organisation. In the quest for bigger and bulging profit margins, innovation can mean the making or breaking of an employment contract.
What nearly all employees have in common is their desire to keep their wage and what almost all non-God fearing humans share is their desire to initiate change in their own image, as opposed to it being impacted upon them. Control of the environment for human gain has been going on since humanity discovered that they could influence the hand of God². But human change actually does mean work and work is all about changing and changing is all about continuous learning that is impacted on modern-day folk all of the time, whether they consider it to be a pessimistic reality or an optimistic one.
The reality is, there are people in this world who make decisions in the name of change and, the economic changing process tsunami that hits the population, depends upon how many permission votes those people get from the circles they represent. The customer vote is a particularly powerful one, for without customers no amount of re-structure will make any difference. In a world of supply and demand, trust is the biggest thread that can be woven into any transactional fabric. Trust is all about fear reduction and not being able to park next to your favourite store.. well you do the equation.
To be successful within a bureaucracy, employees generally have to establish a routine, irrespective of whether or not the employee has more to offer the world in initiative, intelligence or skills. Bureaucratic structures that pigeon-hole employees with status profiles, also stifle customer service and working people like B live this political reality every single day. Where leaders of organisations are expected to initiate change, followers are expected to interpret them, and it is in this interpretation that the best of all intentions can break down. Employees, like B, are not so much expected to make changes, but to ride them out, warts and all, if they want to keep their income steady. So change is a skill denied to some employees until it is required, say during a performance appraisal, where the employee is encouraged to suggest what else they can offer the organisation, as if customer service was not enough.
There are millions of people in the world who need change and by this I mean monetary reward. There are millions of workers in the world who are over ruled by the change decisions of others. Workers who heavily rely on changing in accordance to their own decisions about how to surf the waves.
To gain access to monetary change, workers have to accept the imposition of change, again and again. It’s as simple and as complex as that. In this way, change is essentially about order. The monetary system is structured in accordance to the laws of economic rationalism.⁴ However, for most employees, economic rationalism simply means keeping a roof over their head and food on the table by paying the bills as they come in. When bills get bigger than the financial reward, the desire of the employee to be the best at changing might increase, or diminish, depending on what Professor Martin Seligman⁴ calls their explanatory style. The stress a pessimistic explanatory style can place on an employee, who fears unemployment, can translate an organisational re-structure into one filtrated with anxiety. The result of which could be an ignoring of who is truly giving the orders in any business, the customer. For without customers there would be no business. In a competitive market place, ignoring customer need equates to ignoring the financial reward needs of those investing in the business. Should the customer take their business elsewhere, the investment in time and effort does not get fed. If the investment does not get fed, the employee suffers. It’s an economic dependency that I think requires a re-think about changing as being all about the human side of customer service. It requires this because of the lives of people like B who are constantly on the front line. B absorbs orders from the back and orders from the front and B manages those orders in the best way B can. People like B use the best of their personalities and acquired professional knowledge, to solve human customer problems and provide revenue generation solutions for the employer. People like B are worth their weight in gold.
When an employer decides to make a change, it is people like B who turn the cogwheels and take the knocks. It is people like B who move the decision forward into the arena of changing and it is people like B who wear the mistakes of others with the fragility of their employment servitude and dependency. Organisational decisions are way beyond B’s control, but this does not stop B from adding influence. B knows that in business the true decision maker is the customer. If the customer decides to go elsewhere, no amount of environmental re-structuring is going to make a halfpenny of difference. The loss of parking worries B because if the customers leave, B may also be asked to leave and B's survival depends on the income. The customers listen to B. The customers ask for B and the customers rely on B to give them what they need to get their job done, so they will also get paid. B is an important cog in the wheel of fortune. B is also an important customer of the organisation because good customer service is about knowing your product and people like B have not only bought the products, but have used them and intimately know how they perform. Customer service people, like you and B are the thoroughbreds of all trading posts and your opinions deserve to be recognised. Zig Ziglar explains the customer service role this way,
“ Many years ago, I was selling a product I did not believe in. You guessed it, I did not sell it often. The product was dictation equipment. Since I didn't use dictation equipment for my correspondence, I didn't have a deep belief in the benefits of the product. Consequently, I did not sell it. However, once I began to use the equipment, I began to see the advantages it offered. It saved time and energy when I produced proposals and letters. I began to believe and I began to sell dictation equipment. You have to believe “ ~ Zig Ziglar
B has that belief. Without employees like you and B, there would be no one changing the business of the change decision makers. Even though B has no extrinsic decision-making powers, B’s personal decision to go with the flow, absorb and contribute to the changing landscape means that B can adapt, and a desire for adaptation in order to keep the flow, is the key to my friends resilience in employment.
It could be argued that adaptation is about modifying the environment as opposed to resisting it. This would mean that there is a certain amount of resistance in any adaptation process if the employee is to survive the onslaught of waves. In B’s case the resistance is called denial. Despite any change intelligence my friend may or may not have, the employment contract is about providing a service. This means that should the circumstances of that employment be changed, the process from change to changed rests in the hands of those who can process changing. Professor Howard Gardner helps us to think about any process of changing as containing multiple intelligences in accordance to personality preferences. What this simply means is that people learn best when they are able to learn in their own way. In this case, the learning curve is about acceptance of being denied a voice in A's decision about C (change) that impact upon B. In this way B is the orange light.
There are millions of employees throughout the world who have the changing capability. Anyone who can achieve schooling can succeed in the work place. We are all capable of changing and we are all capable of making change decisions. However not all of us has the prerogative of being the initiator of change and when it does happen the result can cause a lethargy instead of a moving forward, simply because the self – imposed change may be outside the comfort zone of employment conditioning.
My friends acceptance that the move was a ‘had to be done’ helped shift A's decision into C through another day another dollar customer service actions. So while B’s preference was to remain in the old place, B had the emotional intelligence to recognise a lack of decision-making control. B silently mourns the loss of space, toileting facilities and decent air-conditioning, but B also recognises the new place has benefits. B accepts change by modifying personal data for acceptance and this is an internal fight. Through modification of attitude, B is able to contribute to the learning curve through actions that will move B closer to identifying with the new wave. As B’s area of speciality is customer service, B applies customer service to the wave. In so doing, B is able to take control of the wave influencing customer service by going with the flow and offering his expertise to all of the customers involved.
B is a front line worker and line managements actioning of the leading humans decision to change the environment landed on B’s service lap. By replacing the change order into more customer service, B was able to accept defining change impacts as requiring more of the same. Serving the changing process allowed B to take control of the situation by focusing on what had to be done. So B “mucked in” and the new premises emerged with B as key contributor in the changing process. B’s determination to will adaptation with an eye on "more changes to come" helped B to drive a personal stake into the new mould.
B’s psychological traffic light on orange, means that B is prepared for the green to go and B is prepared for the red to stop. B is a customer service solider ready for the next order and until a sometime in the future when his working day arrives as changed, B will keep on changing using service as a powerful register.
© Chris Tyne, 2012
“ Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw
This quote is quite regularly used as an introduction to a blog, just like I have used it here. It seems most suitable for many advisory blog causes from capitalist and altruistic change advocacies to well-being philosophies to wealth generation opportunities. The plethora of interpretations arising from Shaw’s statement, intrigued me so much, that I found myself wanting to hear Shaw’s side of the story. So I began a little desk top research that, after seven days of scouring the internet, resulted in no factual confirmation that Shaw actually authored this quote. However, what I did find led me to think that if Shaw did say what he is being quoted as saying, the catalyst, if not the true facilitator of his opinion, might well be the American author Henry George, and for some reason unknown, George Bernard Shaw suffers the credit. I say suffer because Shaw was a passionately opinionated man, whose orations regularly found him extensively popular from applause or in front of booing political audiences. After seven days of reading and scouring the internet pot in search of whatever I could find about Shaw, I’d say that if he was alive today, he would not be amused, but swamped and over whelmed with the many and varied wild interpretations about what he really meant by progress and change.
George Bernard Shaw was born at the end of the great famine of Ireland, under the fire sign of Leo in the equally fiery Chinese dragon year of 1856. He was youngest child and only son of, a female dominated, Irish working class family. In Shaw's world both creativity and hard work were embraced.
In the year he was born, The Irish Parliamentary Party was striving to attain Irish democracy under Home Rule, as opposed to being governed by and from England. In 1856, Ireland was very much a part of Britain, and Britain had just used its men to defeat Russia in the Crimean War. Policemen were also being employed in greater numbers, to enforce Queen Victoria’s laws’, in every town throughout Britain and British Ireland. When Shaw was two years old, the British Parliament forced India under the umbrella of British rule and Queen Victoria was crowned Empress of India.
When Shaw was a teenager, Scotsman Alexander Bell invented the telephone. By the time he was 30, the world's first recording of the human voice had been heard, the first public electric lighting of London had replaced the old gas lamps, the first electric railway had been opened, the gramophone had been invented and education (an institution that Shaw despised) was now compulsory for children aged 5 to 10 years old. By the time Shaw began his career as a professional art and music critic, industrially progressive thinking was being peddled aggressively, not only by British Authors, but by American authors too.
In the second half of the 19th Century, socialism was on the rise, partly as an outcome of the industrial revolution, partly as a result of the gentry's identifications of their growing needs from the working class, partly because of the rise of working class snobbery and partly as a fashion statement of emerging middle class Fabian Victorians.
In 1882, Shaw was particularly moved by his attendance at a London promotion of the book Progress and Poverty by its' American author, Henry George.
Henry George was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania under the astrological sign of Virgo in the Chinese Year of the Earth Pig. He was the second born of ten children. His father, Richard George, was a publisher of religious texts and a devout Episcopalian who sent George to the Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia. George left the academy without graduating and went to sea as a foremast boy at age 15.
When 26 year old Shaw met 43 year old Henry George in 1882, Henry was peddling his self-published work Progress and Poverty (1879), which was essentially a treatise about inequality, the cyclic nature of industrial economies, and the use of the land value tax as a remedy.
Shaw had grown up with working parents who had suffered the great potato famine of Ireland and where the main cause of disaffection was land as property.
In 1846 it was reported to British Parliament that
"It would be impossible to adequately describe the privations which they [Irish labourer and his family] habitually and silently endure . . . in many districts their only food is the potato, their only beverage water . . . their cabins are seldom a protection against the weather... a bed or a blanket is a rare luxury . . . and nearly in all their pig and a manure heap constitute their only property."
Irish, working man Shaw was inspired by American George by crediting George's book about equality as 'changing the whole current of his life'. So much so, that Shaw furthered his interest in equality by reading the English version of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital from cover to cover whereupon he fell in love with the ideals of communism. As a result of his passion for social justice, Shaw decided to commit himself to the communist left of British socialism and joined the emerging Fabian Society with a social justice thirst for righting the capitalist wrongs against people like his family.
Shaw’s Fabian Society was a British socialist organization whose purpose was to advance the principles of democratic socialism in a gradualist and reformist way rather than a revolutionary one. In other words, the Fabian Society favoured gradual change rather than revolutionary change and Shaw’s was a leading Fabian.
The first Fabian Society pamphlets advocating tenets of social justice coincided with the zeitgeist of Liberal reforms during the early 1900s. The Fabian proposals however were considerably more progressive than those that were enacted in the Liberal reform legislation. The Fabians lobbied for the introduction of a minimum wage in 1906, for the creation of a universal health care system in 1911 and for the abolition of hereditary peerages in 1917.
The Fabians favoured the nationalisation of land rent, believing that rents collected by landowners were unearned, an idea which drew heavily from the work of Henry George.
In the early 1900's, Fabian Society members advocated the ideal of a scientifically planned society and supported eugenics by way of sterilization. This is credited to the passage of the Half-Caste Act, and its subsequent implementation in Australia, where children were systematically and forcibly removed from their parents, so that the British colonial regime could "protect" the Aborigine children from their parents. In 2008, the Australian Labour Party Prime Minister apologised to the Aboriginal people, for the outcomes of the implementation of the Half-Caste Act.
As a Fabian, Shaw defended the Half-Caste Act. He was a strong advocate of Eugenics as a social philosophy for the improvement of human hereditary traits and he was an Imperialist with communist leanings.
In 1900 the Society produced Fabianism and the Empire, the first statement of its views on foreign affairs (drafted by Shaw) that incorporated the suggestions of 150 Fabian members. The foreign affairs statement was directed against the liberal individualism of those such as John Morley and Sir William Harcourt. It claimed that the classical liberal political economy was outdated, and that imperialism was the new stage of the international polity.
Imperialism, as defined by the Dictionary of Human Geography, is
"the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationship, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination."
Imperialism, as described by that work is primarily a Western undertaking that employs "expansionist, mercantilist policies". Lewis Samuel Feuer identifies two major subtypes of imperialism; the first is "regressive imperialism" identified with pure conquest, unequivocal exploitation, extermination or reductions of undesired people's, and settlement of desired people's into those territories, an example being Nazi Germany. The second type identified by Feurer is "progressive imperialism" that is founded upon a cosmopolitan view of humanity, that promotes the spread of civilization to allegedly "backward" societies to elevate living standards and culture in conquered territories, and allowance of a conquered people to assimilate into the imperial society, examples being the Roman Empire and British Empire.
In contrast to Shaw's commitment to Fabian eugenic imperialist socialism, Henry George independently professed a socialism where all land should belong to all living and that the government should be the equitable coordinators of that land. He laid the blame of poverty squarely on the shoulders of land values. In Progress and Poverty he advocated:
“ It is not the relations of capital and labour, not the pressure of population against subsistence, that explains the unequal development of society. The great cause of inequality in the distribution of wealth is inequality in the ownership of land. Ownership of land is the great fundamental fact that ultimately determines the social, the political, and consequently the intellectual and moral condition of a people. And it must be so. For land is the home of humans, the storehouse we must draw upon for all our needs. Land is the material to which we must apply our labour to supply all our desires. Even the products of the sea cannot be taken, or the light of the sun enjoyed, or any of the forces of nature utilized, without the use of land or its products. On land we are born, from it we live, tho it we return again. We are children of the soil as truly as a blade of grass or the flower of the field. Take away from people all that belongs to land, and they are but disembodied spirits. Material progress cannot rid us of our dependence on land; it can only add to our power to produce wealth from land. Hence, when land is monopolized, progress might go on to infinity without increasing wages or improving the condition of those who have only their labour. It can only add to the value of land and the power its possession gives. Everywhere, in all times, among all peoples, possession of land is the base of aristocracy, the foundation of great fortunes, the source of power.”
As a new world American, Henry George had the unique opportunity of observing the topographical and anthropological formation of an industrially influenced society—the change of an encampment into a thriving metropolis. He saw a city of tents and mud change into a fine town of paved streets and decent housing, with tramways and buses: And as he saw the beginning of wealth, he noted the first appearance of pauperism. He saw degradation forming as he saw the advent of leisure and affluence, and he felt compelled to discover why they arose concurrently. Henry George was suggesting that investment in land was the answer to rising above poverty. George Bernard Shaw was also aware that inequitable control of land caused poverty in times of famine.
While Henry George was unable to read Marx, because this work hadn't been translated into English before his self-publication of Progress and Poverty, George Bernard Shaw had this opportunity. This opportunity furthered Shaw’s determination about sharing Henry’s ideals that all land should be subjected to altruistic central governance. However, George took his ideas further than Henry’s observations by suggesting that communism held the answer. While Henry George’s ideas were largely ignored by the masses at the time of publication, George Bernard Shaw infiltrated his ideas into British society using the media of criticism and drama. He believed that it was the wealthy who should change to accommodate the needs of those poorer, as opposed to the other way around, and he utilised his influence of middle and upper class circles of British society to further this message with subtleties; Like in Pygmalion when Henry Higgins tells his ‘social experiment’ that she is the one who has to change because he is not going to change. In this way, George was sending a message that the person with the power to refuse gentrified un-change was the bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza. Henry’s refusal to change also increases the power of Eliza to take control of her own situation, once she has integrated his phonetics into her own. In this way, Eliza has the opportunity to become more informed than Henry and Shaw’s message, about integrating new ways of thinking into society through the use of self-development and oration, reverberates with his own socialist propaganda efforts. Yet, even today, the question remains open about why anyone would want to belong to a gentrified social circle that, according to Henry George, induces more human poverty by capitalising on the inclusive wants of the most dis-empowered.
Shaw answers this question in his original play, when Eliza the “Pygmalion” comes to life in Henry’s phonetic image. In his original version of Pygmalion, Eliza retains her pride and triumph of emancipation beyond the end of the play, where in the last scene Higgins goes out onto the balcony to watch her departure. He is happy that he 'sculptured' Eliza into life and he is happy to see her take her leave to live her own life. In other words, Higgins is pleased to have supported the emancipation of Eliza and Eliza is empowered to take on the duty of being responsible for living her own life.
While he was married to the celibate Irish heiress Charlotte, George advocated the freedom from unequal rights to be the duty of women as opposed to the duty of men. In 1891 in his Freedom for Women he wrote:
“ Unless woman repudiates her womanliness, her duty to her husband, to her children, to society, to the law, and to everyone but herself, she cannot emancipate herself. It is false to say that woman is now directly the slave of man: she is the immediate slave of duty; and as man's path to freedom is strewn with the wreckage of the duties and ideals he has trampled on, so must hers be.”
Yet the American's changed the ending of Pygmalion to what they considered to be a happier ending for increased box office profits and Shaw was livid. Imagine the sense of injustice he must have felt for not having his social justice statement, of the emancipation of women, repudiated in favour of capitalizing from the ignorance of the audience. Shaw was inflamed and spent many of his years trying to get the ending changed back, without success.
Shaw’s friend, Beatrice Webb wrote in her diary:
"Bernard Shaw is a marvellously smart witty fellow with a crank for not making money. I have never known a man use his pen in such a workmanlike fashion or acquire such a thoroughly technical knowledge of any subject upon which he gives an opinion. As to his character, I do not understand it. He has been for twelve years a devoted propagandist, hammering away at the ordinary routine of Fabian Executive work with as much persistence as Graham Wallas or Sidney (Webb). He is an excellent friend - at least to men - but beyond this I know nothing.... Adored by many women, he is a born philanderer. A vegetarian, fastidious but unconventional in his clothes, six foot in height with a lithe, broad chested figure and laughing blue eyes. Above all a brilliant talker, and, therefore, a delightful companion."
The similarity between Henry George and George Bernard Shaw lay in their belief in emancipating people from the circumstances of poverty. Henry considered that people needed to think more about the consequences of buying into capitalism and George considered people needed to be led away from buying into capitalism through legislated political action. Both agreed that the government should take responsibility for equitable distribution of land to ensure a moralization of property values in favour of fairer wages. Both agreed that greed arising from any possession of the earth, that rightfully belonged to no one, should not be the reason for any human poverty. Shaw also agreed with the morality of Henry George’s Progress and Poverty’s message, that civilisations are destroyed by the very process that produces its growth, (and that is ) the unequal distribution of wealth and power.
“ Inequality is the necessary result of material progress wherever land is monopolized. These rights are denied when the equal right to land is denied—for people can only live by using land. Equal political rights will not compensate for denying equal rights to the gifts of nature. Without equal rights to land, political liberty is merely the right to compete for employment at starvation wages.The world is pulsing with unrest. There is an irreconcilable conflict between democratic ideas and the aristocratic organization of society. We cannot permit people to vote, then force them to beg. We cannot go on educating them, then refusing them the right to earn a living. We cannot go on chattering about inalienable human rights, then deny the inalienable right to the bounty of the Creator. While there is still time, we may turn to justice. If we do, the dangers that threaten us will disappear. With want destroyed and greed transformed, equality will take the place of jealousy and fear.” ~ Henry George.
In a letter to Henry James dated 17 January 1909, Shaw wrote,
“ I, as a Socialist, have had to preach, as much as anyone, the enormous power of the environment. We can change it; we must change it; there is absolutely no other sense in life than the task of changing it. What is the use of writing plays, what is the use of writing anything, if there is not a will which finally moulds chaos itself into a race of gods.”
Both Henry George and George Bernard Shaw agreed that the refusal of the individual to think, the refusal of the individual to act against the will of traditional progress, and the inability of government to protect the interests of humanity by prohibiting capitalist property interests, lay at the heart of human poverty.
With all of the above in mind, I again ask, what could the quotes meaning of progress, change and those who cannot change, be?
capitalism vs socialism : “Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”
Should progress be the freeing of land ownership, should progress be the right of the individual to retain their identity despite articulation, should progress be a reduction in capitalism in favour of altruism, should progress be a rejection of capitalist monetary policies in favour of a cooperative society managed by government, what now is the impossibility of progress? I think that, irrespective of whether the quote reflects the work of George Bernard Shaw or Henry George, the progress being referred to is socialism.
Therefore, in my mind, the story behind the quote is:-
“Socialism is impossible without change, and capitalists who cannot change their minds in favour of socialism cannot change anything.”
Can you imagine the change implications of this in your society and the role that you play in its progress? My imagination now makes me think of this:
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man” ~ George Bernard Shaw.
" There is danger in reckless change, but greater danger in blind conservatism " ~ Henry George
At the end of the day, with both of these great influencers gone from the earth, does it matter how the quote is interpreted if it furthers the cause it is applied to? In terms of authenticity of purpose, I would vote yes. In terms of creative licence of something that is freely available on the internet, I'd also vote yes.
If you can offer a link to documented evidence of how Shaw is the rightful author of the progress is impossible without change quote, please share the reference here, and in so doing, support or refute this socialist conclusion. Looking forward to your connection. © Chris Tyne, 2012.