On January 8, 1918, less than one year after the United States had declared war on Germany and its allies in the First World War, President Woodrow Wilson gave an address before a joint session of Congress in which he proclaimed "Fourteen Points" that were intended to be our war aims. Wilson’s clarion call upon bringing America into this European conflict had been to “Make the world safe for democracy.”
Communism, for a long time, was simply “Bolshevism” in the western world. The Russian term means “majority” and it originated during the Second Party Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party in Brussels in 1903. Party Chairman Vladimir I. Lenin caused a procedural vote during the congress regarding who should be allowed to join the party. Lenin favored limiting membership in the party to professional revolutionaries, while his opponents favored allowing in those who generally supported the party but who were not constant agitators. Lenin won the procedural vote and so cast his faction thereafter as “Bolsheviks,” while the side which lost was called “Mensheviks” or “minority.”
There is little doubt that the nation of China has enormous potential and that Chinese civilization has had a profound influence upon the rest of eastern Asia. Several of the world’s moral and metaphysical systems — Taoism, Confucianism, Mahayana Buddhism, among others — either originated in China or flourished there. China is a huge amalgamation of different spoken languages, as well as such diverse land areas as tropical rainforests, soaring mountain ranges, glaciers, vast rivers with terraced farmlands in their valleys, and formidable deserts.
In last Saturday’s print edition of The Economist magazine (left), staff writers attempted to compare today’s Internet with the publication of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses in 1517. Claiming that by nailing his complaints onto a bulletin board, Luther started the Reformation. This was done, according to The Economist’s rewriting of history, “when Martin Luther and his allies took the new media of their day — pamphlets, ballads and woodcuts — and circulated them through social networks to promote their message of religious reform.” From there the article concentrates on the alleged “social network” that Luther had to promote his views, rather than on the message — the information — contained in those views:
The Cato Institute’s newspaper ad reminding citizens that December 15th was Bill of Rights Day summarized the desperate shape those first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States is in, thanks to an overweening government and an uninformed citizenry. Reviewing each of the amendments, Cato pointed to specific infringements of each of them, concluding that “It’s a disturbing picture, to be sure, but not one the Framers of the Constitution would have found altogether surprising. They would sometimes refer to written constitutions as mere “parchment barriers” [to totalitarian government].