The winners of the 2012 Nobel Prizes are being announced this week in Stockholm. The Local brings you all the latest news, reactions, and details surrounding the winners and why they won.Nobel’s last will and testament: a background (8 Oct 12)
Nobel in medicine goes to stem cell researchers (8 Oct 12)
Wednesday, October 10th: Chemistry PrizeDavid Landes, 12.15.pm
Just had a look at the website of the Lefkowitz lab and was surprised to find sections for “Lab Halloween Party 2010″ as well as a funny video titled “Why we are pursuing careers in science and not performing arts….”. Who says scientists don’t know how to have fun?David Landes, 12.15.pm
So, three down, three to go for this year’s Nobel Prize announcements. I wasn’t able to follow the whole explanation, but I couldn’t help laugh when the Academy member giving the talk paused, grabbed a cup of coffee, took a sip, and sighed.”Ahh, Thanks to these G-proteincoupled receptors I can really enjoy this cup of coffee,” she remarked.I know that’s what I think every time I down a cup o’ java.Rebecca Martin, 12.09pm via TwitterRebecca Martin, 12.07pm via Twitter
“I didn’t go to sleep last night expecting this call.” Lefkowitz live on the phone from the US. #NobelRebecca Martin, 12.05pm via Twitter
Finally a question on the research… and half of the gathered press, including myself, look a bit lost again. #nobelDavid Landes, 11.58am
They now have Lefkowitz on the phone at the press conference. It’s 6am where he is in the US and this is what he said.”I’m feeling very, very excited.”I was fast asleep and the phone rang but I did not hear it. I must share with you that I wear ear plugs.”My wife gave me an elbow and said ‘phone for you’. And there it was. A total shock and surprise.”I’m thinking it’s going to be a very, very hectic day. I was going to get a haircut…but I’m afraid that will probably have to be postponed.”David Landes, 11.46am
The woman explaining the science involved with G-proteincoupled receptors compared them to a telephone operator switchboard.David Landes, 11.46amWINNERS ANNOUNCED: And the prize goes to:
Robert J. Lefkowitz, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA, and Brian K. Kobilka, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA for studies of G-proteincoupled receptors. Congratulations!Oliver Gee, 11.42am
Speaking of chemistry humour…should I tell you a joke about sodium? Na…………………………………David Landes, 11.40am
Hah! Rebecca, you’ve got my sides splitting…just like an atom! Oh wait…I think that might be a physics joke. Darn. Best to leave the humour to the experts.Rebecca Martin, 11.39am via Twitter
I want to apologize about the rubbish chemistry jokes I have been telling…but all the good ones Argon. #nobelDavid Landes, 11.38am
Yikes! Only minutes away…I can feel the anticipation from here at TL HQ. According to the folks at Thomson Reuters Science Watch, quantum dots may take home the prize.Rebecca Martin, 11.35am via Twitter
Again, just like yesterday, the announcement will be read by Prof Staffan Normark, permanent secretary of the RSAS. Oliver Gee, 11.30am
15 minutes until the announcement… time for a fun fact:2011′s winner, Dan Shechtman, is the fourth Israeli to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry Prize in under a decade. He discovered the iconsahedral phase, which opened the new field of quasiperiodic crystals.Oliver Gee, 11.00am
Two of our interns just took to the streets of Stockholm to ask people which of the Nobel prizes was their favourite… and why. Chemistry did not get a mention:Click here to read Stockholmers’ favourite Nobel prizesRebecca Martin, 10.50am via Twitter
On my way to see who gets this year’s Nobel prize for chemistry. Any last minute bets or guesses? Is it difficult or…elementary? #NobelDavid Landes, 10.40am
With an hour or so to go before we know this year’s Nobel Laureate in chemistry, a quick look at what the experts at the ChemBark chemistry blog have to say reveals that research in “Nuclear Hormone Signaling” has the best chance of winning, at 6-1 odds.The question is…what exactly is nuclear hormone signaling?Oliver Gee, 10.20am
While you’re no doubt sitting with bated breath, waiting for the announcement, here is some trivia for you:Frederick Sanger, a British biochemist, is the only one out of the 160 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2011 who has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry twice.Oliver Gee, 10.01am
Wednesday marks the third Nobel Prize announcement for 2012 with the winners for Chemistry being announced later in the morning. Be sure to check in on Twitter with Rebecca Martin who will be at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and giving us the low down as it happens.Tuesday, October 9th: Physics PrizeDavid Landes, 2.40pm
I realize the excitement of today’s announcement may be starting to wear off, but for those of you out there who just can’t get enough (and fancy yourselves scientifically oriented), check out this thrilling read provided by the Royal Academy as “scientific background” on this year’s Nobel in physics:MEASURING AND MANIPULATING INDIVIDUAL QUANTUM SYSTEMSDoesn’t get much more exciting than that, eh?Oliver Gee, 1.10pm
I am back in the office again and catching my breath after a whirlwind morning at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. That’s enough tweeting from me, but we’ll be updating this blog with a few more nuggets this afternoon, and then back in force again tomorrow for the Nobel Chemistry Prize.David Landes, 1.03pm
Have updated our main article about the physics prize with a few additional nuggets from L’Huillier. Check it out here.Rebecca Martin, 12.51pm
Maybe it will soon be clearer – just received word that The Local’s Oliver Gee snagged a chat with Anne L’Huillier from the Nobel panel. Her answers on The Local soon! David Landes, 12.31pm
I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time getting my head around the research recognized with this year’s Nobel in physics.Of course, we’re journalists, not scientists. At least we managed to spell the winners’ names correctly. As Rebecca pointed out below, David Wineland’s name gave some journalists a headache or two.Indeed, his co-winner Serge Haroche also had his name misspelled a few times…as Harrosche.Oliver Gee, 12.25pm via TwitterRebecca Martin, 12.22pm
There seems to have been some confusion in the Swedish media as to how to spell Wineland’s family name. Both Vineland and Weinland were spotted before everyone finally got it right. Rebecca Martin, 12.21pm
Did you know that both Wineland and Haroche were born in 1944, although in different parts of the world?Oliver Gee, 12.11am via Twitter
“Tried not to expect too much, and it was a wonderful surprise. There are many people who deserve this award.” Haroche live from Paris.Rebecca Martin, 12.10pm
When Swedish national broadcaster SVT managed to get French winner Haroche on the phone – unfortunately on a rather bad line – he said that he would phone his kids to tell them at once. And then he was going to celebrate with a glass of Champagne. Oliver Gee, 11.54am via Twitter
Now we get the details about the two winners and their research. Deep insights into quantum physics. A lot of confused faces here right now.Oliver Gee, 11.51am via Twitter
… For ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems.Oliver Gee, 11.48am via TwitterWINNERS ANNOUNCED:This year’s prize goes to Serge Haroche and Prof David J WinelandOliver Gee, 11.41am via Twitter
Official announcement to say that the official announcement will occur on time.David Landes, 11.38am
The 2012 Nobel prize winner in Physics will be announced by Professor Staffan Normark, Permanent Secretary at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (RSAS) and 7 minutes have been allotted for questions from the gathered press. Rebecca Martin, 11.29am
Did you know that of the 191 individuals awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics since the start, only two are women; Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer 1963. Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize twice, once in Physics and once in Chemistry 1911.Oliver Gee, 11.20am via TwitterRebecca Martin, 11.17am
Also, John Bardeen is the only person who has received the Nobel Prize in Physics twice; once in 1956 and then again in 1972. Rebecca Martin, 11.10am
Did you know the very first Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded in 1901, was awarded to Wilhelm Conrad Rntgen? On November 8th, 1895, he produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range today known as X-rays.Oliver Gee, 11.06am via TwitterOliver Gee, 10.50am via Twitter
The average age of a #Nobel Physics prize winner is 54. That is, incidentally, the number of minutes until this years winner is announced.Oliver Gee, 10.44am via Twitter
On my train to the the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for the #Nobel physics announcement. Any guesses for the winner?Oliver Gee, 10.05pm
In the lead up to the Nobel Prizes, the list of winners is a closely guarded secret (even the winners dont know in advance) – but that doesnt mean you cant speculate. Many have pointed to the Higgs boson discovery as the surefire favourite to win the physics prize today but with so many people involved in the discovery, and only a maximum of three winners allowed, which name(s) will be announced if this is the case?Ill be there at the announcement, be sure to follow me on Twitter for live tweets, pictures, and maybe an interview or two.Rebecca Martin, 9.44am
Did you know that the average age for all the Physics Laureates between 1901 and 2011 – when awarded the prize – is 54?In fact, the most frequent age bracket for Physics Laureates is 45-49 and only one has been under 30 years when getting the award. Lawrence Bragg, who was awarded the Nobel Prize with his father in 1915, was only 25 years old at the time.David Landes, 9.07am
Good morning again and welcome to day 2 of The Local’s Nobel Prize announcement week.Today we’re getting ready to learn who will receive the prize in physics. The announcement is set to be announced at 11.45am local times at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.Interesting fact (courtesy of www.nobelprize.org), the physics prize was the first one mentioned in Alfred Nobel’s will.Also, so far only two of the 191 Nobel Laureates in physics have been women. Monday, October 8th: Medicine PrizeDavid Landes, 5.47pm
Well, that’s a wrap for today. Feel free to scroll through the blog postings below to get a taste of what went down during day one of Nobel Prize announcement week.And tune back in tomorrow (Tuesday) for more Nobel excitement with the announcement of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics, scheduled to take place around midday.Rebecca Martin, 5.41pm
The choice of winners this year is certainly going to ruffle some feathers. The choice has already been called “controversial” due to the research still being in its early stages. However, according to the Karolinska Institute, there was a “lack of candidates” for the 2012 year’s prize. David Landes, 5.19pm
In Japan, Shinya Yamanaka, co-winner of the 2012 Nobel in medicine, held a press conference at his university in Kyoto, telling reporters he’d received a congratulatory call from Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda which made him a little nervous.He also stressed that it would be some time before his discoveries would result in practical treatments for patients.”For many illnesses, another five to ten years worth of research is needed,” he said, according to Japanese TV channel NHK.David Landes, 4.53pm
Newly named Nobel Laureate John Gurdon managed came late to the morning meeting at his lab on Monday…apparently a very unusual occurrence. Even though he’d just been told he won the 2012 Nobel Prize, he managed to keep the news a secret from his colleagues until the announcement was made official in Stockholm.”They couldn’t believe their ears,” Tony Kouzarides of the Gurdon Institute told reporters of his colleauges’ reaction, according to Sweden’s TT news agency.Oliver Gee, 2.53pm
Check out this quick video of The Local’s David Landes interviewing Gran Hansson, Secretary General of the Nobel Committee at Karolinska Institutet, following Monday’s announcement:David Landes, 12.23pm via Twitter
#Nobel committee member Jonas Frisen told me 2012 medicine prize discovery is like finding the ‘master keys’ for cell biology. David Landes, 12.20pm via Twitter
Just spoke to Nobel committee head Gran Hansson about 2012 medicine winners’ reactions when he called to tell them the news. Rebecca Martin, 12.05pm
Last year’s Nobel laureates were awarded 10 million kronor ($1.5 million). This year’s winners will get 8 million. In the summer, the Nobel Foundation announced that it would lower the prize money for the first time in over 60 years. The decrease was motivated by the financial crisis and the European recession. Rebecca Martin, 11.58am
That may have been all from Karolinska but we’ll continue to report on the background and the reactions to the award announcement here.David Landes, 11.53am via Twitter
Well, that’s a wrap from the first Nobel Prize announcement of 2012. Stay tuned to @TheLocalSweden for more #Nobel news this weekRebecca Martin, 11.53am
More information on the winnersOliver Gee, 11:45am
Gran K. Hansson, Secretary of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, who announced the winner and is taking questions, explained that he has spoken to the two winners and said they are equally happy and excited about coming to Stockholm.Oliver Gee, 11:32amWINNERS ANNOUNCED The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka for research into stem cells for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripoint.David Landes, 11.23am via Twitter
Journalists have been kicked out of auditorium for a sound check…or maybe they’ve lost the paper with the winner(s) Rebecca Martin, 11.20am
So far – only 10 women have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, last time was in 2009 when Elizabeth H. Blackburn was given the prize for her discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase. Find the full list of women laureates here.David Landes, 11.14am via Twitter
Auditorium is filling up, but far from overflowing yet…you can feel the anticipation in the room…Rebecca Martin, 11.10am
For a background on the last will and testament of Nobel, make sure to check out this.Oliver Gee, 11:07am
Students take the opportunity to use the Nobel Prize as a platform to protest, holding up banners stating: Research suffers when students are homeless and Student housing a national interest.Rebecca Martin, 11.04am
Did you know that the Nobel Foundation has decreed that a maximum of three people can share most prizes (although the Peace Prize can go to groups)? So, the question is will today’s prize got to one scientist, to two, or to three?David Landes, 10.55am via Twitter
Dagens Nyheter science writer Karin Bojs predicts the Nobel Prize in medicine will be awarded for stem cell research.David Landes, 10.21am
OK…leaving The Local headquarters and heading off to Karolinska. Be sure to keep checking back for updates and live tweets from today’s upcoming announcement.David Landes, 10.01am
In less than two hours, the first 2012 Nobel Prize winner (winners?) will be announced. First up in what will be a week filled with Nobel news will be the prize for Physiology or Medicine, awarded by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet.Last year, three researchers were awarded the prize for discoveries related to the immune system.This year, some experts are speculating that the prize will go to researchers in Japan for 2007 discoveries related to stem cells.Interested in more background on the Nobel Prizes? Check out this past feature from The Local archives about how the man who invented dynamite became a champion for peace. …
The winners of the 2012 Nobel Prizes are being announced this week in Stockholm. The Local brings you all the latest news, reactions, and details surrounding the winners and why they won.Nobel’s last will and testament: a background (8 Oct 12)
A month before the premiere of acclaimed Swedish director Mikael Marcimains film “Call Girl”, the movie has already ruffled feathers in Sweden, not least among the family of slain Prime Minister Olof Palme.Top judge slammmed for Palme probe meet up (26 Sep 12)
‘Palme wanted protection the night he was shot’ (21 Sep 12)
‘Olof Palme was more American than Swedish’ (18 Sep 12)
The film has invoked the wrath of the Palme family, as it is said to feature a prime minister, who in very many ways resembles Sweden’s assassinated Prime Minister Olof Palme, having sex with a minor. In the movie Call Girl my father Olof Palme is accused of having sex with a minor so called paedophilia. This is a very serious crime and would give the offender a long prison sentence, wrote the former prime ministers son, Mrten Palme, in an email to the TT news agency. He isnt mentioned by name, but in the film there are other details given, which makes the character completely identifiable. This accusation is completely unfounded.The film is reportedly based on a late 1970s political scandal in Sweden, where the then justice minister Lennart Geijer was accused of having bought sex from an under-aged prostitute. Daily Dagens Nyheter in 1977 wrote about a secret memo from the police to Palme stating that Geijer, along with several other high-ranking officials, were believed to have been frequenting a brothel with connections to a foreign powers intelligence service.However, the paper was slammed and fined after Geijer backed by Palme denied the existence of such a memo. In 1991, the memo became a public document and its existence verified. However, no investigation has ever proven that Geijer or any of the others had been customers at the infamous brothel. In “Call Girl”, however, it is reportedly the prime minister who has sex with an under-aged prostitute. Mikael Marcimain, the director of the film, defended his work in a text message to TT: We have made a feature film, a work of fiction. A thriller. This is not a documentary. It is a work of art. I have no further comments,” Marcimain wrote. However, the Palme family is not happy with this explanation:Even if the film is a work of fiction it provides a deeply offending defamation of a deceased person – a criminal act. If the intelligence I have received about the content of the film is correct, I have every intention to file a police report,” Mrten Palme wrote to TT. Prime Minister Olof Palme was shot dead by a lone gunman on the evening of February 28, 1986, shortly after leaving a cinema in central Stockholm to walk home with his wife.The murder has never been solved despite hundreds of thousands of leads over two-and-a-half decades.Mikael Marcimain is a Swedish director best know for TV serials “The Laser Man” (Lasermannen) and “How soon is now? (Upp till kamp). “Call Girl”, which is set to premiere in Sweden on November 9th, will be his first feature film. The Local/rmtwitter.com/thelocalsweden …
A lunch lady whose food was “too good” for students at a Swedish school will be able to continue offering her tasty concoctions after local authorities said the episode was a “misunderstanding” — an explanation that doesn’t sit well with the cook.’Don’t take good food out of our school’: students (8 Oct 12)
Lunch lady slammed for food that is ‘too good’ (6 Oct 12)
It feels like a stab in the back, Annica Eriksson, the cook at Vikaskolan in Falun, told The Local.Eriksson sparked reactions around the world when it emerged that she had been instructed to stop baking fresh bread and offering students a fresh vegetable buffet.According to Eriksson, local authorities in Falun told her her food was “too good” and that it was “unfair” to students at other schools, arguing that her menu failed to adhere to a recently introduced nutrition programme.The ensuing wave of negative publicity, including protests from students and teachers, prompted municipality officials to call a meeting with Eriksson to discuss the matter.At the meeting, held Monday afternoon, Eriksson was told by the nutrition project leader Katarina Lindberg that local authorities would not stand in the way of her aspirations to offer pupils home-made bread and fresh vegetables. Annica misunderstood us, of course she can bake her own bread, Lindberg told The Local. She pointed to a statement released by the municipality on Monday which also attributed the episode to “miscommunication”.”What we’ve said that the fruits and vegetables should be chosen according to season; it’s a matter of taking environment and climate considerations into account,” Lindberg is quoted as saying in the statement.While school cook Eriksson was happy to learn she can continue to add her own touch to the food served at Vikaskolan, she expressed her frustration at the municipality’s attempt to describe the matter as a misunderstanding.At a meeting on September 24th I was told that I had to cook like the rest of Faluns schools, Eriksson told The Local.Thats what I did and then parents complained and called the press.According to Eriksson, other officials at the meeting explained that she needed to follow the guidelines of a 2011 nutrition project aimed at bringing up the level of school cooking within all schools of Falun.She left the meeting confused as to why Falun municipality officials deemed her methods as unsatisfactory with respect to the nutrition programme.Eriksson now believes Lindberg and others local officials in Falun felt compelled to act after being backed into a corner by a storm of negative publicity.Now they are saying they never told me to bring down the level of cooking and that its my mistake,” she said.While Lindberg acknowledged that her colleagues were aware of the negative publicity, she emphasized that the interests of the children were what really mattered.We are all affected by the events and the media attention this received, Lindberg said.This is about childrens food, that is our future.Sanne Schim van der LoeffFollow The Local on Twitter …
by Stefan Molyneux
There is a scene in the movie Barfly where a woman turns to the main character and says “I can’t stand people. I hate them. Do you hate them?”
He turns to her and drawls, “No, but I seem to feel better when they’re not around.”
By his own report, Albert Nock didn’t like people very much. “Someone asked me years ago if it were true that I disliked Jews, and I replied that it was certainly true, not at all because they are Jews, but because they are folks, and I don’t like folks.”
He never cried as a child, and as a young man he had a ferocious temper, so it’s hard to imagine that he came by his distaste for mankind as a result of a stalwart dedication — endlessly rejected and attacked, as is generally the case — to improving the lot of his fellow citizens. Nock did not lose faith with mankind and end up bitter; he started off bitter, so it cost him much less to clearly see the follies of those around him.
So before you start this book, fair warning is in order.
Our Enemy, the State is founded on a pessimism so deep, so profound, and so bottomless that it is as if we are Pandora, opening the creaky, face-blasting chest of demons, and finding at the bottom not a glowing spirit of hope, but a grey bag of words that, when we touch them, dissolve us into blowing ash.
Nock builds this case slowly, carefully, and relentlessly. He divided general decision-making into social power and state power. The expansion of state power, he argued, always comes at the expense of social power, resulting in a continual escalation of statism, until the inevitable fascist or totalitarian collapse. He differentiates between the state (which Nock always capitalized: “the State”) and “government”; the state is theft and exploitation, while government is the spontaneous problem solving that always arises in the absence of centralized coercion.
Nock also understood that, like all animals, people always want something for nothing — and there’s no better way to get something for nothing than to manipulate the credulous masses into surrendering liberty and risk to the almighty political machinery of the state. As he repeatedly points out, people always forget that when you ask the state to do something for you, it will always end up doing something to you.
The state is founded on conquest and confiscation — this much is understood about the ancient world by most educated people, but Nock makes a powerful case that the same principles drove the foundation of the American Republic as well. The British ban on westward expansion stalled the insatiable greed of land speculation, and this drove the Founders — rabid speculators almost to a man — to risk political independence.
The unraveling of the myth of the noble founding of America opens the door — a trapdoor, really — to a special kind of despair faced by those who recognize that high moral language is almost always a cover for endless subterranean pickpocketing.
Moralists generally hope that when evil is exposed, good people rally to beat back the darkness; however, when high moral language is invented and used by evil to cover itself — and greedily accepted by those hoping to profit from the injustices of state power — then the robbers of mankind hold all the weapons — physical, emotional, and linguistic — and all hope is effectively lost.
As Nock points out, no revolution has succeeded in the West since the mid-19th century, and none can be expected to succeed anytime soon. No less an authority than Lenin himself is quoted as saying that no revolution can be expected to succeed unless the soldiers and the police are discontented, and nothing of the sort appears imminent anywhere across Western civilization — particularly when soldiers and policemen so depend on the state for rent-seeking wages, bloated pensions, and health care freebies.
Due to the implacable irrationality of mankind, Nock viewed the escalating expansion of state power as more a force of nature than the effect of ignorance. When considering the idea of a society free of centralized coercive oligarchies, he wrote:
“Perhaps, some aeons hence, if the planet remains so long habitable, the benefits accruing to conquest and confiscation may be adjudged over-costly; the State may in consequence be superseded by government, the political means suppressed, and the fetishes which give nationalism and patriotism that present execrable character may be broken down. But the remoteness and uncertainty of this prospect makes any thought of it fatuous, and any concern with it futile.”
Why should we read his book, then, if it holds no hope of change?
Nock answers this in the book itself, but I would like to add a few more reasons.
First, in elegant prose (and sentences so long that they left this audiobook reader gasping for breath), Nock dismantles the myth of the historical social contract, and eviscerates the Jeffersonian delusions that the state was instituted to protect citizens — and says that anything that releases us from the foggy grip of propagandistic pseudohistory deserves great praise.
Second, Nock’s pessimism is bitter, but bracing: Those of us thirsty for activism in the cause of liberty must embrace his challenge, which is that the time is far from right and the minds of our fellow citizens far from open — both being conditions required for any substantial social change.
Nock also helps point us in the right direction — or least away from the wrong direction — by reminding us that just as the state has no money of its own, nor has it any power of its own, it only has the power our delusions give it. This essential insight redirects us from railing against the Olympian storm clouds of lofty political power, and reminds us that the state is a mere effect of the beliefs of those around us, thus focusing our efforts horizontally — which is to say productively — rather than vertically. Railing against politics is like throwing the helium balloons of our hopes into a hurricane.
The state is designed for class exploitation and predation, and so cannot be reformed. This would be like trying to turn outright murder into self-defense after the fact.
If we cannot reform the state, can we enlighten our fellow citizens? Well, in Nock’s day — as in our own — people so strenuously resist reason, thought, and evidence that the true source of the state’s power — mere human delusion — can no more be overturned than the state itself. Exploitation rests on power, power rests on self-deception, and both are as absolute as gravity.
As the old saying goes, we have met the enemy, and he is us.
Nock’s deep cynicism often provokes a scornful backlash: “Surely, things cannot be so hopeless!” However, Our Enemy, the State has the enormous benefit of having been published almost 60 years ago. In Nock’s day, the state that, he so feared, lay in the future now largely lies in our past. We have endless wars, indefinite detentions, state-sanctioned torture, a prison population in America exceeding the ratio of prisoners in Stalin’s gulags. The list is well-known, virtually endless, and a tragic confirmation of the validity of Nock’s “cynical” view of our capacity to avoid political catastrophes. In politics, realism is merely cynicism plus time.
I hold no more hope than he does for reforming the state, or enlightening the general population, but we do have access to powerful opportunities for change that Nock could barely have imagined.
First, of course, is the great Gutenberg we call the Internet, which has smashed the barriers between production and consumption for all who think.
Secondly, the emerging science of brain and child development has given liberty activists a powerful opportunity to lay the foundations for a truly free and peaceful society. If, as most research seems to indicate, the state is a mere effect of the family — and, in particular, early childhood experiences — then by reforming childhood, we reform all aspects of society, including the state. The state is dominance, exploitation, violence, and manipulation: Children raised without punishment, without discipline, and without spanking or yelling will not become criminals or politicians — but I repeat myself — and will no more speak the language of subjugation and dominance than they will Elvish or Klingon.
The ultimate reformation is that of childhood. As Wordsworth said, “The Child is the father of the Man,” we might equally say that childhood has been, and will always be, the future of our species.
The task of rebuilding first requires unbuilding, and there are few better experts at demolition than Albert Jay Nock.
Host, Freedomain Radio
Original article appears on Laissez-Faire Today
Delivered by The Daily Sheeple
Contributed by Silver Bear Cafe of www.silverbearcafe.com. …
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Retired Russian General Konstantin P. Petrov appears in a video commentary where he asks some sobering questions and includes a few thoughts of his own on a variety of topics such as the 9-11 attacks being used to engage America in war in the Middle East, the end of the US dollar world dominance and the people behind the politicians in the coming economic collapse that is being orchestrated before our very eyes. …