January 12th, 2009

Underground, Cuba

"proposal of the 33"

So, I've been reading about the agrarian reforms in Russia in 1906, under the direction of Prime Minister Peter Stolypin. Fascinating stuff. And I come across discussion of the "proposal of the 33", wherein the left-wing members of the Duma (basically, Congress or the Parliament) advocate complete elimination of private property in land ownership. This strikes me as odd, but not too odd considering the revolution is only a few years off.

What's even more odd is if you search Google for "proposal of the 33" you only get ONE result, and it's the text from the book I'm reading ("Liberal Reform in an Illiberal Regime"). Is it just me, or don't you think left-wing thinkers would seize upon this as an important precedent to modern communist and anarchist thought? Particularly scholars of Lenin and revolutionary-era Russia.

I guess it's just me.
Underground, Cuba

More Vocabulary Fun!

* Words from Van Cleve Morris' "Existentialism in Education"

1. Psychometry: (Greek: ψυχή, psukhē, "spirit, soul"; + μέτρον, metron, "measure") is a form of extra-sensory perception in which a psychic is said to be able to obtain information about an individual through paranormal means by making physical contact with an object that belongs to them.

2. erudite: having or showing profound knowledge (I've known this, but forgot)

3. incipient: only partly in existence; imperfectly formed; beginning

4. ancillary: auxiliary; subordinate; secondary (pretty much what I figured, but it's nice to be precise)

5. sociogram: a graphic representation of social links that a person has

6. gibing: matching; being compatible, similar or consistent; coinciding in their characteristics

* Words from Stephen Williams' "Liberal Reform in an Illiberal Regime"

1. accretion: an increase by natural growth or addition

2. dirigiste: centrally planned; that is, under the direction of a central authority, normally the government; contrasts with decentralized.

3. waqf: an inalienable endowment of land that specifies it be used for religious or charitable purposes

4. profligacy: careless wastefulness; shameless and immoral behaviour

5. quitrent: a form of levy or land tax imposed on freehold or leased land by a higher landowning authority

6. fecklessness: worthlessness due to being feeble and ineffectual

7. proroguing: prorogation is the period between two sessions of a legislative body. When a legislature or parliament is prorogued, it is still constituted (that is, all members remain as members and a general election is not necessary), but all orders of the body (bills, motions, etc.) are expunged. (In the British parliament, this has now changed somewhat in that Public Bills can be carried over from one session to another.)

8. torpor: a state of motor and mental inactivity with a partial suspension of sensibility
Underground, Cuba

Douchebag!

My love for Ariel Sharon (sarcasm) is well-known... Olmert is taking a close second these days.

Olmert said Israel would only end military operations if Hamas stops rocketing Israel, as it has done for years, and is unable to rearm after combat subsides. "Anything else will be met with the Israeli people's iron fist," Olmert said. "We will continue to strike with full strength, with full force until there is quiet and rearmament stops."

Not sure about this one... "If you attack us weakly, we will destroy you and countless civilians in your vicinity!!"