Killing the SS PDF Summary

Killing the SS PDF SummaryThe Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History

We all have heard stories and legends regarding the events which shaped the world and balanced the scales after WW2.

Nonetheless, we rarely come across information about operations that were considered top secret in post-war Europe.

To compensate for the dearth of concrete information, Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard divulged the Nazi hunt that swept the world.

Who Should Read “Killing the SS”? And Why?

Evidently, not all mass murderers and assassins were brought to justice after the collapse of the German Reich. Most of the Nazi criminals devised a plan and prepared an escape route that could have been their ticket to freedom.

Nonetheless, the Allies were not too keen to allow the high-ranking Nazi Officials to get away with everything they’ve done.

To that extent, we believe that “Killing the SS” is an enlightening classic that puts an end to all rumors and brings about clarity with regards to Nazi involvement in crimes against humanity.

As such, we believe it is suitable for all history lovers.

Bill O'ReillyAbout Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard

Bill O’Reilly is a renowned American journalist, author, and reporter. His journalism career began at WNEP-TV, and since then he received many accolades for his astonishing professionalism.

Martin Dugard is an American author residing in California.

He and Bill have a long history of working together and co-authoring a dozen books all related to politics, one way or the other.

“Killing the SS PDF Summary”

We have all heard a great deal about Nazi Germany and the crimes committed against humanity. Society these days, feels like some of the story is left in the shadows, and more should be revealed with regards to the whole “witch hunt” on the notorious SS officers.

Heinrich Himmler, the blatant executioner, was the head of this organization, which relentlessly raged terror all across conquered Europe. During the worst periods of WW2, Jews became the primary target and ended up being deported to concentration camps in Poland, mostly.

Their fate was sealed as the SS orchestrated the mass murder or extermination of Jews with approximately 6 million victims.

May 8th, 1945, Germany surrendered to the Allies. Many of the surviving Jews found themselves in the midst of the conflict between East and West.

The Soviets have confiscated their homes in post-war Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, while the Germans have tried to exterminate them to the very last person.

Their skeletal appearance and sickly physique depicted the atrocities and calamitous damage done to them.

Meanwhile, high-ranking SS officers prepared for a getaway, as Himmler shaved off his mustache, and carried a cyanide capsule with him just in case things go south.

Among them was Otto Ohlendorf, a notorious war criminal, and commander of the Einsatzgruppen a special operations group that killed civilians and plundered the conquered lands. Livestock, grain reserves, and pretty much everything was taken from the people.

They intended to travel South to the Harz Mountains and then lay low for a while. The next best thing would have been to climb the Alps and perhaps leave Germany.

On August 10th, 1944 a secret meeting was held in Strasbourg. The attendee were high ranking military officials, members of the secret police, industrialists, and politicians who conspired to support the Nazi regime in post-war Europe.

Among them was a French undercover agent who passed the notes of the meeting to the US Secretary of State.  

Himmler and his collaborators counted on transporting large quantities of gold and money through neutral countries, but it wasn’t as easy as they planned.

Upon Germany’s unconditional capitulation, at the North Sea port town of Brunsbüttel, they faced their first major obstacle. Himmler accompanied by Major Macher and Colonel Grothmann crossed Elbe river with the help of a local fisherman.

The next morning they ran into a group of Wehrmacht soldiers and blended into the unit.

For the second time, Himmler had a decision to make – Was it safe to cross the bridge over the Oste river? Weeks prior to Germany’s defeat, he could have used an airplane to go beyond enemy lines, but he rejected this proposition, as he intended to jeopardize Anglo-Soviet partnership.

Himmler ended up being detained by British authorities. He was then stripped and thoroughly searched by the British officers. The interrogators found a cyanide capsule, as Himmler replied: That’s my medicine.

Upon conducting a more thorough search, they located another capsule in Himmler’s mouth. They failed to take it away as the notorious executioner bit down hard and ended his life. He was buried in an unmarked grave near Lüneburg.

Unfortunately for the Allies, many more SS officials tried to escape from the face of justice, as the witch hunt commenced.

Dr. Josef Mengele was one of the first Nazi collaborators who understood what could happen if the Soviet troops capture them. He turned his views to the West, alongside many others who feared Soviet retribution.

The so-called Angel of Death performed many experiments on the Jews, and aware of the crimes committed, he knew of his fate if captured.

Bormann, Mengele, Barbie, Eichmann are just a handful of Nazis who used their position to arrange their escape in neutral countries. The not yet fallen Reich was still able to provide these high-ranking executioners with passports and documentation needed to bypass hostile patrols.

To counter this cowardice desertion, a group of men labeled as “Nazi hunters” was preparing for a massive hunt that was about to bring justice.

With the Cold War approaching, The United States Office of Strategic Services (OSS) the predecessor of the CIA began recruiting top-ranking Nazi Officials. They were to be given clean papers and employed as federal spies to perform various operations mostly to sabotage Soviet Intelligence and expansionism.

The most notorious of all was the “The Butcher of Lyon” – Klaus Barbie.

Many organizations had a role in Nazi escape, whose members tried to evade capture. Vatican was allowed to function in its entirety and did nothing when the Jews were round up and executed by SS squads.

Adolf Eichmann, one of the instigators of the “Final Solution,” professed that he never killed a single Jew and had nothing to do with the deportation and execution of the Jewish population. His claim was by no means acceptable and endorsed.

In 1960, he was eventually arrested by Mossad’s top agents in Argentina and smuggled into Israel. He was then tried and hanged for his war crimes against humanity.

But, let’s go back a bit and see how the witch hunt intensified over the years.

Benjamin Ferencz, a Jewish American soldier who survived the D-Day and the horrors in Normandy, is now a war-time hero. He was born in Romania and was one of the lucky immigrants who fled to the US just before the Nazi rhetoric was brought to life.

Upon visiting the concentration camps, Sergeant Ferencz was capable of understanding the extent of the atrocities committed by the hands of those who refer to them as Nazis.

The Nuremberg trials are a slight beacon of hope led by chief prosecutors Roman Rudenko (USSR) and Robert H. Jackson (USA).

On March 13th, 1946 Hermann Göring, the highest ranking prisoner and ex-head of the Luftwaffe was called upon to testify. Throughout the process, he remained confident in the Nazi ideal as he blamed the people for the defeat of Germany.   

He was sentenced to death by handing and died on October 15th, 1946 after taking a cyanide capsule delivered to him by an American soldier.  

Benjamin Ferencz was appointed chief prosecutor at the Einsatzgruppen trial at Nuremberg. He singled out 24 Nazi officers who were directly involved in the massacre of 33,771 Jews and were the “implementers” of Hitler’s anti-semitic policies.

Everybody awaited the sentencing and the testimonies of witnesses who were at the scene or had some additional information. Benjamin Ferencz didn’t need any witnesses due to the fact that he had in his possession documents which revealed SS atrocities in Kyiv.

Out of the 14 SS officers sentenced to death by hanging, only 4 will actually feel the rope around their neck.

The rest of them were released in the late 50s; gen. Otto Ohlendorf (the mastermind) was not among them.

He was to be hanged on June 8th, 1951.

Prior to his death, he uttered the following sentence: “The Jews in America will suffer for this.”

The name Adolf Eichmann yet again crops up in the discussion. He protested his innocence until the very last breath and denied any involvement whatsoever in the massacre of Jews in the Soviet Union.

In 1944, Hungary had the largest intact Jewish community in Europe. Himmler dispatched “the expert” of the Jewish Solution Adolf Eichmann, to arrange the transport and take care of the details.

After the war, he grew impatient, worried that the Nazi hunters could get to him. In 1950, he received unwanted attention, as some sort of a Nazi defiance and decided to settle down for good using former Nazi links.

He prepared an escape plan using the same route as Dr. Josef Mengele did a year earlier. The hunted Nazi criminal boarded the SS Giovanna C and arrived at Rio de la Plata in Argentina 4 weeks later.

Seven years after the end of WW2, Eichmann was united with his family.

Despite the early joy, Mossad continued to chase down Nazi criminals and smuggled them into Israel. Zvi Aharoni was in charge of the hunt. He believed that Ricardo Klement (Adolf Eichmann’s fake name) was, in fact, the notorious war criminal.

Upon laying eyes on Eichmann, Aharoni wrote a report back to his authorities in Tel-Aviv. After a while, they confirmed his identity and issued an order to bring Adolf Eichmann to justice.

He was then tried and sentenced to death.

Key Lessons from “Killing the SS”

1.      The effects of history
2.      Every nation has its darkest moments
3.      Read and learn and reject stereotypes

The effects of history

Even though we want to portray our nation, culture or tradition as victims of oppression, almost no one has a clean past.

Our job is to learn from history, never to repeat it.

Every nation has its darkest moments

Try to adopt a broader look on life, and accept people as they are. Try not to be judgmental and understand that every culture had its good and bad moments.

We are all here to learn, and whatever was done in the past, should remain there.

Read and learn and reject stereotypes

As a sequel to the previous statement, one must really reject socially-imposed ideologies and stay with both feet on the ground.

It is a decisive moment that could lead to global prosperity and peace.

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“Killing the SS Quotes”

For the first time in modern history, anti-Semitism became governmental policy. Click To Tweet The United States Office of Strategic Services (OSS) is not aggressively pursuing war crimes prosecutions. Instead, it is recruiting members of the Nazi Party to spy against the Soviet Union. Click To Tweet The fact of the matter is that hundreds of SS officials are now in the United States, with some even working for the CIA. This is a truth that must never be revealed. Click To Tweet Immediately after the war, a group of Jewish partisans known as the Nokmim traveled throughout Germany and Austria hunting down former members of the SS. Also known as the Avengers, this band of mercenaries paid by the government of Great… Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Wise people always want to hear both sides of the story to help them in their judgment. Since the end of WW2 and the defeat of Hitler, the society was keen to know more of what led the Nazis to commit all those crimes and why did they follow a lunatic.

On top of that, psychologists have pondered about the people’s choice to associate with the likes of Himmler.

Anyway, in this book, you’ll get a glimpse into the story that was whispered all these years. We find it both educational and intriguing at the same time.

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Ship of Fools PDF Summary

Ship of Fools PDF SummaryHow a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution

The US has been experiencing some internal shifts in the past few years that come with a series of legal and practical ramifications.

Regardless of how progressive this may seem on the outside, on the inside, America is crumbling.

Is there a stop to this madness, and when will America put an end to the radical, social engineering programs?

Let’s see what Tucker Carlson has to say about it!

Who Should Read “Ship of Fools”? And Why?

Well, even the name Tucker Carlson for a lot of Americans is self-explanatory. As a host of the noteworthy right-leaning news site in America – Fox News, his words are disturbing for the people on the other side of the fence.

In a free democratic country, where free speech should be celebrated – Tucker feels like censorship and idiotic policies are America’s biggest bottleneck.

A country brimming with opportunities and progression faces its biggest political crisis in recent history. To that extent, we feel that “Ship of Fools” deserves a place on your bookshelf, regardless of your political ideas.

Tucker CarlsonAbout Tucker Carlson

It may sound like a boxing intro, but Tucker Carlson needs no introduction anywhere in modern-day America. He is an American conservative, reporter, host, and author born on May 16th, 1969.

Tucker has written columns for The Weekly Standard, Esquire, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, and more.

“Ship of Fools PDF Summary”

In the aftermath of the #MeToo, BLM and other leftist movements, conservative values have been put under severe scrutiny and testing.

It’s a foolish transition that is underpinned by the Democratic Party values and the mainstream Press.

Tucker Carlson starts with reminiscing about his life and childhood in the 70s in California where he was surrounded by left-leaning individuals. He recalls that the kids in his classroom smoked weed with their parents, and basically emulated the Hippie movement, which emerged a decade earlier.

Above all else, Tucker puts into the spotlight his first-grade teacher named Mrs. Raymond. He describes her as a hardcore liberal who would arrive late at school wearing Indian print skirts and sandals. Mrs. Raymond was never particularly interested in academia, as she mainly wanted to instill a sense of “righteousness” into the hearts of the students.

One day, she came into the classroom as inflamed as ever and turned off the lights. Tucker alongside the other kids, sat down in darkness and said nothing. After a while, Mrs. Raymond started shedding tears in despair of not being able to subdue the injustice prevailing in the world.

If you take a critical view of the whole situation, you’ll notice that the world is not just, and never shall be. Despite the accuracy of this premise, Conservatives opt to live by this principle of inequity, whilst Democrats make a fuss over everything.

Almost half-a-century later, Tucker faces the same old hypocritical thesis put forward by Democrats and Liberals alike.

Another example of the ill-defined conceptual indoctrination by the Left is the Tech-Boom in the 90s. When Google, Apple, Microsoft soared and scaled their influence, nobody really cared about the people who would eventually lose their jobs due to technology.

The same thing happened with Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg knew from the beginning that Facebook is an addictive platform operating through an advanced algorithm that “steals,” stores, and reverses data through social interactions and then sells that information to businesses.

If you question Facebook’s interests in protecting your data, you might think again because Mark Zuckerberg avowed that his mission is to create an open world.

It’s also important to mention that in the 2016 Presidential Election, almost all of the Tech-Giants voiced their support for Hillary and labeled Trump as anti-progressive.

Importation or Deportation? And the Consequences of War

If you are a liberal and if the name Cesar Chavez rings any bells, brace yourself for a big shock. The renowned labor leader and civil rights activist who is regarded as a hero of the pro-immigration and liberal elite never supported illegal resettlement.

At pro-immigration rallies, you’ll often see people shouting the slogan “Yes, we can” that even Obama used in his presidential campaign. Let’s do a quick throwback to get the big picture!

When the Government enacted the Bracero Program in the 60s, according to which Growers were allowed to hire season workers from Mexico, Chavez organized a protest. He even referred to the illegals as “wetbacks.”

They agreed to work for much lower wages and basically this illegal stream of labor embezzled the job opportunities for American-born citizens. The Union, led by Chavez intercepted most of the illegal crossers when the US Administration failed to secure the border, and they often beat them with barb wire, and God knows what else.

Mexican officials knew of the strategy but were paid to keep their mouths shut.

Bill Clinton at one point, during his presidential tenure, even declared that Americans have every right to be concerned about illegal migration. Twenty years later, Hillary Clinton endorsed a radical Democratic shift with regards to illegal migration and demanded mitigating measures.

She contended that the American policy on migration is somewhat racist and that the law-enforcement system can easily deal with the difficulties that may ensue in the aftermath of the open-border policy.

The Democratic rhetoric was met with skepticism even amongst groups that strongly supported the Democrats.

The Conservatives on the other end, implied that If people with a shady background set foot on US soil, it will only incite criminal behavior and threaten the safety of law-abiding citizens.

It was a public backlash that eventually cost Hillary the elections and made Trump the 45th President of the United States.

However, the Democrats believed that a sudden veer in political approach would earn them the votes of the so-called Non-White Americans or minorities. And they were right but at what cost? – It was all just a political bluff that acted as an extended hand of the Democrats.

For ordinary, law-abiding Americans it was crystal clear that neither Republicans or Democrats in Congress care about the territorial integrity of the USA.

They would rather pour money into third-world countries to keep immigrants “away” than acting in favor of the American public. At the height of the problem, Paul Ryan was designated as the Speaker of the House and whose job was to transform the President Trump’s words into actions.

He professed his love for Republican ideals and tried to portray himself as a real supporter of Donald Trump’s policies. The reality however, was quite different. Under George W. Bush, Ryan exerted himself in silencing the pro-immigration flowery language, but behind closed doors, he advocated for open borders.

Since the shaming defeat in Vietnam, the US has been dragged into various conflicts all around the globe, acting as the World’s policeman. Max Boot is Tucker’s first target and promoter of meaningless wars who throughout his career has been described as an expert on foreign policy.

After the 9/11 attacks, the American public awaited a response from the Bush Administration. Boot openly declared war on Afghanistan and then Iraq and called upon American troops to be assertive in their implementation of international law.

He vouched for overthrowing the political regimes in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, and institute a pro-American government in these countries. He also reflected on the possibility of modernizing Saudi Arabia.

In one of his columns, he openly challenges Russia and suggests that the Russian Federation should be expelled from the global financial system, without giving thought to a potential conflict. He even advocated for scaling up the delivery of weapons to Ukrainians.

Those who disagree with his irrational policies were marked as Putin’s puppets or something equally demeaning.  

Many Americans don’t believe that the war in Vietnam had any real values other than misleading agenda. Whether America held the moral ground or not, remains a mystery and Tucker reflects on that in this book.

Jimmy Carter won the Presidential Elections in 1977, and he quickly became renowned for his antiwar campaign. It was a refreshing start, as he pledged to keep American troops out of the face of trouble.

Carter’s pacifism was tightly linked to his distrust in American military potential as he refused to fight potentially “oppressive” wars that don’t justify the atrocities.

To some degree, his attitude toward foreign intervention remained unclear.

Carter even bragged about America’s democratic and peaceful means as the pillar of modern resolution. As it turns out, the antiwar rhetoric had seen its ups and downs both on the left and right, during and after the Cold-war era.

Liberals were loud in opposing wars, but not all of them. They didn’t want to engage in battles where they couldn’t impose their will, but silently endorsed conflicts which suited their agenda.

As an illustration, liberals lashed out at Nixon’s administration, when US troops received the go-ahead to bomb Cambodia. However, they refrained themselves from any reaction when North Vietnam invaded the South.

They criticized American military presence in Italy but didn’t make any fuss regarding the communist invasion of eastern Europe.

Throughout history, Liberals struggled to maintain a set of arguments that will serve as a backbone of their political message.

The rise of identity politics

Identity politics is a handy way to transform a modern country into a segregated community. It is designed to help one political establishment paint a picture of how a certain group should respond to given allegations and policies.

It is an organized attack on the white working-class whose standard of living declines with each passing generation. The white-male privilege myth has also been debunked on numerous occasions, but the idea of white heterosexual oppressor remains the favorite rhetoric of the left.

Even though data shows that whites have a significantly higher suicide rate, and attack people from other communities at a lower rate than Blacks or Hispanics.

Nothing stops those who want to portray the working-class family man as a perpetrator of all sorts of crimes and oppressor in its genes.

The left rarely mentions the single-motherhood prevailing in the black community. They almost never reflect on the absence of fathers and the consequences of it.

But ask yourself this – If a country previously segregated should enforce tribalism and identity politics? By all means, that would be like trying to put out a fire with gasoline. A progressive society should deemphasize racial differences and put unity at the very core of social progress.

However, the left mainly wants to know how they can control a certain group and live by those rules. Intolerance, wars, enslavement happened on all four parts of the world, Africans were no better than the rest.

There’s no race in crime and history is anything but pretty. If we want to sum up the identity politics introduced and promoted by the left – we must use one word, dehumanization.

With that being said, the situation is escalating on campus as well. Students are massively brainwashed and indoctrinated to adopt similar beliefs and treat biological facts with suspicion and disgust.

Tucker Carlson notes:

The solution to the crisis is simpler: attend to the population.
Think about what they want.
If they start dying younger or killing themselves in large numbers, figure out why.
Care about them.
If the majority is worried about something, listen. Give them back some of their power.

Key Lessons from “Ship of Fools”

1.      Let logic prevail over emotion
2.      Make your own decisions
3.      Get out of the mob

Let logic prevail over emotion

We often times here that the left is too busy playing with emotions that they forgot about a simple thing known as – fact.

Refrain yourself from making assumptions and double check everything that is served by the mainstream media.

Make your own decisions

As a sequel to the previous assertion, many people these days just follow the behavior of their social group.

They are easily manipulated and triggered. Try not to become one of them, and fight to preserve your unique perspective.

Get out of the mob

Many philosophers and renowned reformists have always referred to the crowd as an inept decision-making body which doesn’t wield any legitimate power.

In all honesty, many of us, try to blend into a social group without taking into account the consequences of such actions.

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“Ship of Fools Quotes”

Would you be a good parent if you despise your children? Would you be a good officer if you didn’t care about the lives of your soldiers? Click To Tweet At exactly the moment when America needed prudent, responsive leadership, the ruling class got dumber and more insular. Click To Tweet America isn’t Venezuela. But if wealth disparities continue to grow, why wouldn’t it be? Click To Tweet Various experts tried to explain the trend. Was it sexism? Russian propaganda? Hillary’s failure to campaign in the upper Midwest? Almost nobody suggested the obvious: if voters think you hate them for how they were born, they won’t vote… Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Your political and personal views are your business, and you should never allow being manipulated. To that extent, we believe that Tucker lifts the veil on many policies that hamper the growth of certain communities.

The book clearly falls under the “factful” category and gives a realistic overview of the US and its policies.

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Factfulness PDF Summary

Factfulness PDF SummaryTen Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Terrorist attacks, climate change, pollution, children dying of preventable diseases…

Think that the world is worse than ever?

Well, it’s time you stopped being a pessimist and become “a very serious possibilist.”

What you need is a little dose of:

Factfulness.

Who Should Read “Factfulness”? And Why?

Hans Rosling devoted most of his life to teaching people how to see the world more accurately.

Not only because, by his own admission, this has saved his life; but also, because it could help everybody act a little more reasonable and more in tune with what reality actually is.

“The world would be a better place if literally millions of people read the book,” wrote Bill Gates.

So, please do: you won’t regret it.

About Hans Rosling

Hans RoslingHans Rosling was a Swedish medical doctor, professor of international health, academic, statistician, and renowned public educator.

Listed by Time magazine as one of the one hundred most influential people in the world, Rosling was an adviser to UNICEF and WHO, and a co-founder of Médecins Sans Frontières in Sweden and the Gapminder Foundation.

In addition, his TED Talks – in which “global trends and economics come to vivid life” – have been viewed by almost 40 million people.

Rosling died in 2017. He spent the last years of his life writing Factfulness, his only book. The book was completed by Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Han’s son and daughter-in-law.

“Factfulness PDF Summary”

You either know and love Hans Rosling or, well, you don’t know him.

Because it’s almost impossible not to love him even if you have seen merely one of his numerous engaging and wonderful TED Talks.

We know that not many people like to read stats, and even those who do, have problems making data and tables interesting.

Bar graphs certainly help, as do line graphs and pie charts.

But what Hans Rosling did was magic!

He basically made stats alive.

Don’t believe us?

Here’s the evidence:

Now, unfortunately, Hans Rosling left us a year ago, at the age of 68.

What he left behind him was the all but finished manuscript of Factfulness, as he says in the “Introduction,” his “very last battle in [his] lifelong mission to fight devastating global ignorance” and his “last attempt to make an impact on the world: to change people’s ways of thinking, calm their irrational fears, and redirect their energies into constructive activities”:

This is data as you have never known it: it is data as therapy. It is understanding as a source of mental peace. Because the world is not as dramatic as it seems. I will teach you how to recognize overdramatic stories and give you some thinking tools to control your dramatic instincts. Then you will be able to shift your misconceptions, develop a fact-based worldview, and beat the chimps every time.

And, in a nutshell, that’s what this book is about: a definitive proof (after all, it’s stats) that the world is not as bad as it seems.

There are ten reasons why you think that it’s terrible.

Ten instincts, ten mega misconceptions which prevent you from seeing the world accurately.

Let’s have a look at each of them.

And teach you how you can fight them!

Key Lessons from “Factfulness”

1.      The Gap Instinct
2.      The Negativity Instinct
3.      The Straight Line Instinct
4.      The Fear Instinct
5.      The Size Instinct
6.      The Generalization Instinct
7.      The Destiny Instinct
8.      The Single Perspective Instinct
9.      The Blame Instinct
10.      The Urgency Instinct

The Gap Instinct

Explanation: The gap instinct is basically the ubiquitous “us vs. them” logic, which leads you to categorize people into two groups with a large gap between them.

Examples: There are rich people, and there are poor people, there are developing, and there are developed nations.

Now, that’s true, says Rosling, if you’re living in the 19th century!

Because, nowadays, almost 75% of the population fits in the gap between the developing and developed! So, it’s not really a gap anymore, is it?

A more accurate model nowadays would be a model of four income levels:

#1. Level 1: 1 billion people (14%) live on around $1 a day (compare: in the 1800s, more than 85% of humanity could be described this way!)
#2. Level 2: 3 billion people (43%) make, on average, $4 a day
#3. Level 3: 2 billion people (29%) make $16 a day
#4. Level 4: 1 billion people (14%%) earn $64 a day

How to fight it: Always look for the majority: it’s usually in the middle, where the gap is supposed to be.

The Negativity Instinct

Explanation: Thinking that things are getting worse; evolutionary, it makes sense: it is more important to notice bad things than good if you want to survive.

Examples: Most people hear all the time news of terroristic attacks and watch CSI shows and think the world is getting more violent than ever; it is most certainly not; also, things can be both bad and getting better; for example, 4% of children younger than 5 died in 2016; however, almost half of them (44%) died in 1800; so, it’s a huge improvement!

How to fight it: Expect bad news, since they are much more likely to reach you; good news is not news, but that doesn’t mean that things are not gradually improving day in day out.

The Straight-Line Instinct

Explanation: The belief that trends go up in a straight line.

Examples: The population is rising steadily ever since the Industrial Revolution, and it’s only natural to expect that it will keep on rising if things are going as great as Rosling says. however, the United Nations think that we’re close to hitting the peak precisely because of better conditions, because as poverty decreases, so do the number of children.

How to fight it: Remember that straight lines are rare in reality: you grew up until you reached your twenties, and then stopped growing; so do many other things; so, don’t assume straight lines.

The Fear Instinct

Explanation: Now that we live in a world safer than ever, we’ve started fearing things that don’t exist; in fact, that’s where your stress (and ulcers) come from.

Examples: How much do you fear terrorist attacks? A lot – especially if you’re living in, say, Paris, or New York. However, do you know that during the past decade and a half, no more than 50 people are killed by terrorists on a yearly basis? Just for comparison: on average, 5000 people die in traffic accidents in a year!

How to fight it: Don’t ever forget that frightening things get your attention because of evolutionary reasons; but if something is frightening, it doesn’t mean that it is risky: stop overestimating the risks of violence or contamination; remember this equation: risk = danger × exposure.

The Size Instinct

Explanation: The size instinct is the reason why you overestimate the things your fear instinct tells you to dread.

Examples: Listen to this: 9.5 million crimes were reported in the United States in 2016; that’s too much! But, let’s put that into perspective: 14.5 million crimes were reported in the USA 1990. Does it sound that bad now?

How to fight it: As demonstrated in the example, by putting things into perspective; lonely numbers seem impressive, but mean nothing if not compared or divided by relevant numbers; always look for comparisons.

The Generalization Instinct

Explanation: Your instinct to oversimplify things by putting them into large categories; compare to the gap instinct.

Examples: Categories are usually used as explanations, but not as the only possibilities; generalization is helpful in the former case, misleading in the latter; for example, if I say, with Malcolm Gladwell, that there are two types of geniuses (Picassos and Cézannes), I’m explaining two extremes, but ignoring those that are in-between.

How to fight it: Always question your categories; look for differences within groups and for similarities across groups; beware of vivid examples and never forget that Blakean quote: “to generalize is to be an idiot; to particularize is the alone distinction of merit.”

The Destiny Instinct

Explanation: The idea that some outcomes are unavoidable because some things never change.

Examples: Hans Rosling is Swedish and, as is well known, Sweden is one of the most liberal countries in the world; you can’t even imagine that Catholic Poland will ever be as open about topics as sex and abortion as Sweden, can’t you?

And yet, in 1960, abortion was illegal in Sweden, and, in order to get one, young pregnant Swedish students traveled to – you’ve guessed it – Poland. Five years later, Poland banned abortion, and Sweden legalized it. The lesson? There are no innate characteristics of people. Things change.

How to fight it: Never forget that slow change is change nevertheless; try to keep track of gradual improvements and to update your knowledge as often as you can. Also: talk to Grandpa; that’s the best way to be reminded how values (even those which seem to have been there forever) regularly change.

The Single Perspective Instinct

Explanation: If you see the world through pink lenses, you’ll see it pink; if you see it through black, you’ll see it dark; both are limited, single perspectives: you need to use more than one lens.

Examples: North Korea and Venezuela are two of the worst countries to live in nowadays; for comparison, South Korea and Chile are highly developed, rich, and democratic nations. The lesson? Capitalism and democracy bring peace and prosperity; communism – doom.

However, if you visited these four countries in the 1970s, you’d have a very different opinion; back then, Venezuela was so rich it was called Saudi Venezuela, and people in North Korea earned more than their southern neighbors; moreover, South Korea and Chile were ruled by military dictatorships.

Did you know that?

And do you know that nine out of the ten fastest growing economies today are not exactly democratic? Still thinking that only democracy leads to economic growth?

How to fight it: Recognize that a single perspective can limit your imagination; test your ideas and beware of simple solutions: the world is just too complicated; travel to test your ideas; get a toolbox, not a hammer.

The Blame Instinct

Explanation: Once you identify a bad guy, you look no further than him; suddenly, he’s the one who should be blamed for everything.

Examples: Pharmaceutical companies often don’t research solutions to some ailments which only affect the most impoverished populations (malaria, sleeping sickness, and other neglected tropical diseases). So, blame it on the CEOs! However, does the CEO decide for himself or follows the lead of the board members? What about the shareholders?

Another example: Trump. It’s easy to blame him for all the problems in America, but it’s difficult to ignore the fact that many of them were there before he came to power.

How to fight it: Look for causes, not villains: there are usually no Darth Vaders in the world, but system malfunctions; the opposite is true as well: sometimes the system works well; so, resist pinpointing scapegoats or heroes.

The Urgency Instinct

Explanation: This is the instinct which tells you that if you don’t act now, tomorrow will be too late; activists and rhetoricians cultivate it so as to be heard; but resist the temptation to believe them.

Examples: Urgency usually comes with a clear-cut solution; take a breath before rushing into anything; for example, the refugee problem (and the maltreatment of people just like you) is a real one, but don’t point your fingers before understanding its complexity.

How to fight it: Recognize when a decision feels urgent: it rarely is; take small steps and insist on the data; beware of fortune-tellers, because every single prediction about the future is uncertain; also, beware of drastic actions

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“Factfulness Quotes”

There’s no room for facts when our minds are occupied by fear. Click To Tweet Forming your worldview by relying on the media would be like forming your view about me by looking only at a picture of my foot. Click To Tweet The world cannot be understood without numbers. But the world cannot be understood with numbers alone. Click To Tweet Every group of people I ask thinks the world is more frightening, more violent, and more hopeless—in short, more dramatic—than it really is. Click To Tweet Here’s the paradox: the image of a dangerous world has never been broadcast more effectively than it is now, while the world has never been less violent and more safe. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

According to Bill Gates, Factfulness is “one of the most important books… an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.”

His wife Melinda shares the same opinion: “Hans Rosling,” she writes, “tells the story of ‘the secret silent miracle of human progress’ as only he can. But Factfulness does much more than that. It also explains why progress is so often secret and silent and teaches readers how to see it clearly.”

“A hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases” (Barack Obama), Factfulness is an eye-opening account of what the world is and how we’ve made it that way.

And features numerous great pieces of advice to teach you how you can make it even better!

Indispensable.

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Why Nations Fail PDF Summary

Why Nations Fail PDF SummaryThe Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty

Some countries are rich, and others are poor.

Why?

Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson try to give a definite answer to these questions in their ultra-popular and heavily discussed book:

Why Nations Fail.

Who Should Read “Why Nations Fail”? And Why?

Why Nations Fail, writes Jared Diamond, “should be required reading for politicians and anyone concerned with economic development.”

It should also be required reading for those who want to understand why some nations are rich and others poor, as well as those who want to put an end to inequality and corruption.

About Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

Daron AcemogluDaron Acemoglu is a Turkish-born American economist and professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the past two and a half decades.

After completing his Ph.D. at the London School of Economics in 1992, Acemoglu embarked on a very successful career which made him one of the most recognizable economists of the 21st century.

In fact, a 2011 survey of American economists ranked him the third most favorite living economist under the age of 60 (just behind Paul Krugman and Greg Mankiw), and a 2015 study named him the most cited economist of the past decade.

James A. RobinsonJames A. Robinson is a British economist and political scientist with a Ph.D. from Yale University; he has worked as a professor of economics at numerous prestigious institutions, currently at the Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago.

A close collaborator of Acemoglu, Robinson is mostly interested in comparative political and economic development of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

He has written quite a few books and studies, many of them collaborations.

Acemoglu and Robinson have written two books together: Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy and Why Nations Fail.

“Why Nations Fail PDF Summary”

In Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson set before themselves a very ambitious task: to pinpoint, once and for all, the real reasons why some countries are rich and prosperous, and why others are poor and doomed to fail all over again.

And in fifteen chapters, they lay out a thought-provoking theory which, if not something more, has incited a lively discussion among the most famous economists, intellectuals, and political thinkers of the XXI century.

Let’s see what all the fuss is about.

The Existing Explanations

It isn’t difficult to guess that Why Nations Fail isn’t the first book to try to get to the bottom of the “rich vs. poor countries” quandary.

And it is even easier to suppose that before presenting their theory, Acemoglu and Robinson try to point to the faults of other people’s explanations of the problem.

They group them into several categories, which we’ll further group into three.

Geography and Climate

According to the geography hypothesis most eloquently demonstrated by Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel, some nations were merely lucky enough to form countries on locations blessed with a pleasant climate.

There’s a reason why the poorest countries in the world are located in tropical regions, and why the wealthiest can be found in cooler climatic zones.

Simply put, diseases are more likely to develop in the tropical zones of central Africa and America, and, thus, it is only natural to expect from a Zambian to be far less productive than a Norwegian.

However, ask Acemoglu and Robinson, then why are neighboring countries such as North Korea and South Korea so different?

Moreover, why is Singapore so prosperous, even though it is located in the tropical climate zone.

Culture and Religion

According to the culture hypothesis, some people are simply more inclined to work than others, because of their cultural and religious heritage.

Most of the developed countries, for example, went through the Protestant Reformation.

And, as any Protestant knows, work is a religious duty, and everyone should embrace it; so, it’s only natural to expect that a country with a Protestant past should be far more prosperous than one with, say Confucian values.

Because the latter thinks that humanity, loyalty, and honesty is much more important than work and success; and, because economics is, well, to quote Thomas Carlyle once again, a dismal science.

However, this once again fails to explain why North Korea is one of the poorest countries in the world, and South Korea one of the most developed ones.

Ignorance

According to the final group of explanations, the ignorance hypothesis, North Korea is less developed than South Korea because of the ignorance of the ruling elites.

In other words, the people who ruled North Korea were incompetent, and instead of solving problems, they merely created more; on the contrary, those who ruled South Korea understood the root of the problems and tried to solve them.

This does explain some things, but it doesn’t do well in the case of others.

A few case studies provided by Acemoglu and Robinson – such as, for example, Ghana – show that it is not the ignorance of political leaders which causes the economic decline of countries, but it is, on the contrary, their very shrewd understanding that this decline also leads to their personal economic evolution.

And that’s basically the main point of Acemoglu and Robinson’s study.

Rich countries are founded around inclusive and uncorrupted economic and political institutions; poor countries, on the other hand, suffer because of extractive institutions.

Let’s analyze both of them in detail.

Inclusive Institutions

In essence, inclusive – or integrative – institutions are those which allow large groups of people to have a say in political and economic decision-making.

Inclusive institutions give individual members of a society access to high-quality education and allow them to freely choose the profession they like.

They also incentivize them to be creative and challenge the status quo.

And this is especially important because it provides a relatively fair and level playing ground in which the talented know that they can benefit by providing benefit to the other people.

Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos became the wealthiest people in the world because their products made the lives of many people easier; however, Carlos Jesus Slim in Mexico earned his money by exploiting the monopoly in landline telephony.

The extractive institutions in Mexico allowed him to prosper and become rich without providing his countrymen additional value; integrative institutions would almost never allow this.

And how do inclusive institutions come about?

Well, interestingly enough, in many cases, merely by accident.

Consider the example of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 in England; in less than a century, this revolution would lead to the Industrial Revolution which would eventually change the world in ways nothing before ever did, practically marking the beginning of the “rich vs. poor” debate, as argued in A Farewell to Alms.

And it all started because of the plague.

The plague, you see, had led to the deaths of so many people, that, the ones who survived had to work the jobs of five and still received the paycheck for one.

So, they rebelled, and the attempt to meet their demands eventually led to the establishment of economic institutions which guaranteed the protection of private property and, with it, introduced actual free market policies.

The rest is history.

Extractive Institutions

Extractive institutions are – you’ve guessed it – the very opposite of inclusive institutions.

Acemoglu and Robinson call them extractive because they believe that the thing which defines these institutions is their inclination to extract wealth from those who are not part of them.

So, in countries ruled by extractive institutions, there are always two classes, with the first one (the elite) always in a position to repress the latter one.

The only way for those who are not in power to prosper in a country governed by extractive institutions is to join the vicious circle, i.e., to become part of the elite and prevent others from doing it.

Extractive institutions disincentivize people from taking part in the political and economic processes of a country; the reason for this is simple: they want to keep the status quo.

Now, don’t get Acemoglu and Robinson wrong: they firmly believe that in addition to inclusive institutions, centralized political power is a must if you want to create a wealthy and prosperous country.

However, there’s a limit to how centralized it should be since the economic processes are too complicated for one to be able to predict the results.

For example, in the time of Stalin, the centrally planned economy of the USSR decided to reward workers with bonuses as high as a third of their paycheck for exceeding the assigned quotas.

This did the trick for a while, and USSR became the second largest economy of the world; however, in retrospect, it also disincentivized these workers to think outside the box, which prevented the process of creative destruction (Schumpeter).

But, then again, extractive institutions fear innovation and creative destruction, since these forces usually lead to them losing their power.

So, they stifle them, and thus, cause the failure of their countries.

The Curious Case of China

Now, Acemoglu and Robinson are capable of explaining many things through their framework, but, even at first glance, China is a curious case.

Even though it is still an authoritarian country, China’s economy is growing at such a rapid pace that many have started wondering if we’re living the last years of American dominance.

So how did China succeed to become the second largest economy of the world even though still a communist country ruled by extractive institutions?

Well, according to Acemoglu and Robinson, the main reasons for this are the inclusive policies advocated by Deng Xiaoping, whose economic reforms opened China’s economy to the world and, in addition, they reoriented it internally towards market-based economic programs.

However – and this is the more exciting part of Acemoglu and Robinson’s analysis – their model predicts that, unless China furthers the inclusiveness of its institutions, its growth will steeply drop over the next decade.

What we may be seeing is just another case of the 1970s Soviet Union.

Back then, the relocation of labor from the agricultural sector to the manufacturing industry worked wonders, but twenty years later, the USSR collapsed.

Something similar may happen to China as well unless the country improves its political and economic inclusiveness.

Now, that’s a bold prediction.

Key Lessons from “Why Nations Fail”

1.      The More Inclusive the Institutions, the Richer the Country
2.      Democracy Evolves Because of the Threat of Revolutions
3.      Foreign Aid Is Sometimes the Opposite

The More Inclusive the Institutions, the Richer the Country

The central thesis of Acemoglu and Robinson’s Why Nations Fail is that economic prosperity depends on the inclusiveness of the political and economic institutions of a country.

In other words, the more people make political and economic decisions, the better off a country is supposed to be.

Inclusive institutions flourish because they change. And they change because they allow people to freely choose their professions and the market to guide the country on a prosperous path through its invisible hand.

Extractive regimes, in contrast, are more interested in keeping the status quo, since it is the status quo which allows them to remain in power.

However, the status quo means no innovation or creative destruction, and this is the main reason why some nations have never – and may never – attain wealth.

One more thing, though: a powerful, centralized government is always essential, because, as the case of Somalia shows, without it, neither the free market nor anything else really works.

Libertarians would, of course, beg to differ.

Democracy Evolves Because of the Threat of Revolutions

According to Acemoglu and Robinson, the history of democracy is the history of revolutions prevented.

They think that all societies must begin as non-democratic regimes in which elites rule through extractive governments.

However, at some point, the ruled realize, to quote Marx, that they have nothing to lose but their chains, and this is when they start pondering whether revolution is the optimal escape from their doom.

Since a revolution would cost them all of their benefits, the rich act so that they lose only some of them. Namely, they propose smaller taxation rates and appropriate measures which don’t necessarily lead to revolution; in turn, this causes redistribution which helps some of the ruled ones move vertically upward.

And this works until it doesn’t anymore – when the process restarts.

Thus, democratization happens when the rich try to avoid revolution by willingly increasing monetary redistribution and making some of the poor richer.

In time, this leads to the inclusion of many, and to the transformation of extractive institutions to inclusive ones:

Inclusive economic and political institutions do not emerge by themselves. They are often the outcome of significant conflict between elites resisting economic growth and political change and those wishing to limit the economic and political power of existing elites.

Foreign Aid Is Sometimes the Opposite

Interestingly enough, the analysis above implicitly suggests that foreign aid will more often do a disservice to a country rather than helping it.

In simpler terms, if a country is ruled by extractive institutions, foreign aid will rarely reach the intended addressees and will be, in fact, used by the elites to corrupt even more people interested in defending the status quo.

An excellent example of this process is Afghanistan, a country which, despite billions of dollars in foreign aid, hasn’t prospered almost two decades after the fall of the Taliban!

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“Why Nations Fail Quotes”

Poor countries are poor because those who have power make choices that create poverty. Click To Tweet Politics is the process by which a society chooses the rules that will govern it. Click To Tweet The most common reason why nations fail today is because they have extractive institutions. Click To Tweet Traditionally economics has ignored politics, but understanding politics is crucial for explaining world inequality. Click To Tweet Economics has gained the title Queen of the Social Sciences by choosing solved political problems as its domain. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Why Nations Fail is both an engaging and thought-provoking read.

As we pointed out in the “Who Should Read This Book” section, even Jared Diamond, who has found many faults with its central thesis, endorses it full heartedly.

And we share his enthusiasm!

The central thesis of the book may be a bit reductive and constraining, but it is nevertheless one which will be debated for many decades.

And what more can you ask from a book?

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Jesus Is Risen PDF Summary

Jesus Is Risen PDF SummaryPaul and the Early Church

Want to learn how the Christian Church was established?

David Limbaugh tells it all, from Paul’s Conversion to the Gospel of Love.

It’s his fourth Christian-themed book:

Jesus Is Risen.

Who Should Read “Jesus Is Risen”? And Why?

In a nutshell, Jesus Is Risen is a chronological retelling of six books of The New Testament (Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, and Romans), all concerning Paul’s early attempts to establish a Christian Church.

Of course, Limbaugh provides the reader with many notes and commentaries, some of which should probably interest even experienced readers of the Bible.

But, as a rule of thumb, if you can navigate yourself around the New Testament, then think of Jesus Is Risen as complementary material: something which can certainly help you, but also something you can do without.

If, however, you are having trouble finding yourself around the many names, events, and toponyms of Paul’s New Testament books, then there aren’t many better books to get started than Limbaugh’s Jesus Is Risen.

About David Limbaugh

David LimbaughDavid Limbaugh is an American author and conservative Christian political commentator.

Born in 1952, Limbaugh graduated cum laude with a B.A. in political science from the University of Missouri; he received his J.D. from the same university in 1978.

Afterward, he went on to teach business law at Southeast Missouri State University, in addition to practicing law at the Limbaugh Firm.

He has written numerous columns for many different publications, as well as nine non-fiction books, primarily dealing with religion and politics.

Some of them are explicitly aimed at the style of governing by Democrats, such as Absolute Power: The Legacy of Corruption in the Clinton-Reno Justice Department, Bankrupt: The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Today’s Democratic Party, or his two books criticizing Obama: Crimes Against Liberty: An Indictment of President Barack Obama and The Great Destroyer: Barack Obama’s War on the Republic.

Since 2014, Limbaugh is dedicated to writing books which concentrate on his personal religious conversion and the merits of the Bible. He has so far written four of them: Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel, The Emmaus Code: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament, The True Jesus: Uncovering the Divinity of Christ in the Gospels and Jesus is Risen: Paul and the Early Church.

“Jesus Is Risen PDF Summary”

As he explains himself in the “Introduction,” Jesus Is Risen is David Limbaugh’s “fourth Christian-themed book.”

His first one was Jesus On Trial in which Limbaugh recounts his “personal faith journey from skeptic to believer” and lays out the reasons because of which he came “to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and gave His life for the redemption of all who put their trust in Him.”

The Emmaus Code followed, in which Limbaugh details “the countless ways the Old Testament points to Jesus Christ.”

His third book was The True Jesus in which he presents the Gospels “in one unified narrative in chronological order.”

His initial idea, he explains, was to summarize the whole New Testament, but this ambitious plan seemed more fit for several books.

Well, Jesus Is Risen is a sort of a sequel to The True Jesus, summarizing – once again in a chronological order – Saint “Paul’s six so-called missionary epistles: Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, and Romans, which are believed to have been written before his other seven epistles.”

Paul is David Limbaugh’s favorite biblical figure and writer, something which he makes apparent basically on every single page of this book.

Chapter 1: How a Trip to Damascus Changed the World

“By all appearances,” Limbaugh writes, “Paul is the least likely person to become Christianity’s premiere evangelist.”

A Jew born by the name of Saul, he was raised and educated in Jerusalem under a highly respected Rabbi named Gamaliel.

And he grew to become “a Pharisee of Pharisees,” who “intensely persecuted” the followers of Jesus.

It was precisely on a mission to seek out and arrest Christians in Damascus that Paul’s worldview was changed to its very core.

As told in Acts 9:3–9, this is what happened:

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’
‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked.
‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’

“The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless,” the text goes on. Apparently, “they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes, he could see nothing. So, they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.”

On the fourth day, Ananias of Damascus restores Saul’s sight.

Saul is baptized, and before too long becomes Paul, “the apostle of grace,” and the most important figure in Christianity after Jesus Christ.

Truly miraculous.

Chapters 2–5: The Acts of the Apostles

In chapters 2 to 5, Limbaugh retells the Acts of the Apostles, the 51st book of the Bible and a sort of a sequel to the Gospel of Luke. In fact, it is believed that its author is none other than Luke himself and that it was originally written sometime around 60 A.D.

Chapter 2: Acts 1-7: A Church Is Born

The first seven chapters of the Acts tell the story of the very infancy of the church. One of the central events recounted here is Apostle Peter’s sermon to the Jews gathered for the Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks.

Supposedly, the Holy Spirit descended upon the 12 apostles from heaven “with a sound like a mighty rushing wind” and manifesting itself in “tongues of fire.”

The Holy Spirit in them, the apostles start speaking in languages they don’t understand and are consequently ridiculed by the Jews as drunkards.

But Apostle Peter counters this by embarking on a bold sermon which results with the conversion of 3000 new believers.

“The arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost,” notes Limbaugh, “is considered the birth of the Christian Church. As such, it’s interesting that Jesus was also conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35).”

Chapter 3: Acts 8-13: An Equal Opportunity Faith

The next few chapters of the Acts describe various aspects of the evangelism of the apostles.

Here you can read all about the false accusation and stoning of Stephen, the religious conversion of Paul, as well as the first attempts by the Apostles to impart Christianity upon the Gentiles.

Speaking of which, in these chapters you can find the very first use of the term “Christians” in the history of the written word.

Chapter 4: Acts 14-20: Suffering and Success While Spreading the Word

Next, we move geographically to the outskirts of Jerusalem and outside of the holy city.

Saul changes his name to Paul so that he can be better accepted by the Gentiles (the former is Hebrew, the latter Greek).

In the fifteenth chapter, the Jerusalem Council takes place, and the spreading of the gospel message among Gentile nations is authorized.

Lydia, a female seller of purple fabric, becomes the first European woman to accept Christianity.

Chapter 5: Acts 21-28: Arrest of an Apostle

After some time, Paul travels to Jerusalem where he is arrested; he is sent to Rome to be put on trial. There he is imprisoned, but we learn little what happens next since the Acts abruptly end here.

“It’s generally agreed,” writes Limbaugh, “that Paul was martyred in Rome, probably by sword, though the precise date is uncertain. Many scholars place his death around 62 AD, at the close of his two-year house arrest in Rome, while others say it could have been in 64 AD, and still others as late as 66 AD after a second arrest.”

“Of course,” Limbaugh goes on, “Paul’s influence did not end with his death, since he did more than anyone besides Jesus to expound and clarify the Gospel.”

Most of which he did through a series of letters, and these are the ones Limbaugh summarizes in the rest of his book.

Chapter 6: Galatians: Freedom in Christ

The book of Galatians is, arguably, the first of Paul’s epistles (letters) sent to local Christian churches.

In this letter he explains how he had been chosen by Jesus himself to preach his gospel, and that “if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”

Next, he explicates how living a religious life is difficult; and how, since, nobody is capable of obeying the ten commandments from the cradle to the grave, the only salvation one can attain is through Jesus Christ.

Hence the title of this chapter: Freedom in Christ.

Chapter 7: 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians: Christ’s Return and the Day of the Lord

In the first of the two letters written to strengthen and encourage the Christian church in Thessalonica, Greece, Paul writes mostly about the Second Coming of the Grace, aka, The Day of the Lord.

Let’s be realistic: if you need some strength, nothing can give you more of it than someone telling you that you’ll eventually be rewarded for your effort, no questions asked.

In the second letters to the Thessalonians, Paul reemphasizes these feelings commending the receivers of his words on their perseverance and cheering them to persist some more.

Jesus, writes Paul, will deal out “retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

Chapters 8-10: 1 & 2 Corinthians

Chapter 8: 1 Corinthians 1–8: A Call for Unity in the Church

In the first letter to the Corinthians, Paul explains the reason for writing it in the first place: “there are quarrels among you,” he writes, and I need to remind you of your calling.

And that calling is pretty simple: to live in accordance with the Gospel, for “the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Chapter 9: 1 Corinthians 9–16: The Primacy of Love, and a Spiritual Gift for Every Believer

These are some of the most famous pages in the Bible, dealing with the primacy of love – even over faith (13:1-3):

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Here Paul says that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a topic “of first importance” since it is the foundation of the Christian faith.

Chapter 10: 2 Corinthians: Strength in Weakness

In the second letter to the Corinthians, Paul describes the essential traits of an Apostle.

One of them is, interestingly, the capability to endure suffering.

Because, as Paul says right away, some fifty years of earthly pain should mean nothing to a real Christian, because they will lead him to an “eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.”

Those who cannot endure suffering, basically, are no Christians at all.

Chapter 11-12: Romans

Chapter 11: Romans 1–7: Righteousness through Faith

In the epistle to the Romans, you can read all about the power of the Gospel to counteract the guilt present in all humans, which is why this chapter is titled “Righteousness through Faith.”

Try as you might, you’ll never be a righteous person through your deeds only; however, you can be one through your faith in Jesus Christ.

“For the wages of sin is death,” writes Paul, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Chapter 12: Romans 8–16: Christ: The Hope of Jews and Gentiles

If God is with you, who can be against you, asks Paul here and goes on to explain how the faith in Christ gives him the power to go back to God even after sinning.

Here Paul also shares his plans to reach Rome, which he eventually will – but we know how that ended from the Acts.

Key Lessons from “Jesus Is Risen”

1.      A Trip to Damascus of a Hebrew Prosecutor Named Saul Changed the World
2.      Love Is More Important Than Faith… Until It Is Not
3.      The Resurrection of Christ is the Foundation of the Christian Faith

A Trip to Damascus of a Hebrew Prosecutor Named Saul Changed the World

Saul was a Hebrew, “a Pharisee of Pharisees,” whose main obsession in life was prosecuting Christians.

However, on a trip to Damascus (of course, with a mission to arrest some Christians) Jesus appeared to him, and Saul’s worldview suddenly changed.

OK, that’s a bit of a stretch since he was first blinded for about three days, so his worldview was in complete darkness.

But after his sight was restored by a Christian, he became one.

Or, to be more precise, the One.

Paul did for Christianity more than just about anyone save for Jesus.

There are billions of Christians nowadays mostly because of his relentless efforts to share the Gospel.

Love Is More Important Than Faith… Until It Is Not

Blame us for being ignorant, but we have trouble understanding the very essence of Paul’s words.

Namely, his main message is that one can only redeem himself from his sins (of which he is guilty either way) through his faith in Christ and His resurrection.

However, in 1 Corinthians 13, he claims that love is more important than faith and that even if you have faith that moves mountains, without love, you’re nothing and you’ll gain nothing.

So, our question is quite simple: if one does have love in him and lives his life in accordance with it, but doesn’t believe in Jesus, is he entitled to salvation?

Or is he just guilty enough beforehand and nothing he ever does will grant him redemption from the fires of Hell?

The Resurrection of Christ is the Foundation of the Christian Faith

If we follow Paul and Limbaugh, the answer to the question above is straightforward: you can’t be a Christian if you don’t believe in Christ and you can’t go to Heaven if you’re not a Christian.

In fact, this is how the Gospel of Jesus looks like, according to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, a few of the most important New Testament verses ever written:

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

Apparently, as David Limbaugh says, “Paul echoes Jesus’ teaching that we are saved not by our works and not by adherence to the Law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.”

There you have it.

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“Jesus Is Risen Quotes”

Paul, probably even more than Peter, is the prominent leader of the early Christian Church. The central figure in the Book of Acts, Paul writes more New Testament books than any other apostle, though Luke’s books contain more words and… Click To Tweet The better we understand the darkness of (Paul’s) past, the more we will understand his gratitude for grace. (Via Chuck Swindoll) Click To Tweet To love God and one’s neighbor is the sum of the commandments. Click To Tweet While works don’t earn us salvation, we will reflect our saving faith and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit through our works. Click To Tweet The more we study the Book of Acts and Paul’s letters, the more fully we comprehend God’s plan for our lives and His offer of free grace for our salvation through faith in Christ. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“My humble wish,” writes David Limbaugh at the end of Jesus Is Risen, “is that you have learned or re-learned important basics about the Book of Acts and these six Pauline epistles and are excited to get back into the Bible, read these books and meditate on their message.”

To be perfectly frank, this book didn’t have that effect on us.

But, truth be told, it is written in a manner which makes us believe that it should have such effect on many people.

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21 Lessons for the 21st Century PDF Summary

21 Lessons for the 21st Century PDF SummaryFeeling unprepared for what lies ahead?

Yuval Noah Harari is here to teach you

21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

Who Should Read “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”? And Why?

If you like Harari’s previous two books, Sapiens and Homo Deus, there’s no reason not to like this one too.

You know that he is capable of offering new perspectives and fresh insights into familiar topics, and this book proves this yet again.

Whether it’s history, politics, technology or biology – Harari knows just enough to paint the larger picture, “smashing together unexpected ideas into dazzling observations.”

A great gift for big-picture thinkers.

About Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah HarariYuval Noah Harari is an Israeli historian, specializing in macro-historical processes and the history of war; he is a professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the author of three bestsellers.

Harari’s first three books were published in relative obscurity though received acclaim among war historians: Renaissance Military Memoirs: War, History and Identity, 1450–1600, Special Operations in the Age of Chivalry, 1100–1550, and The Ultimate Experience: Battlefield Revelations and the Making of Modern War Culture, 1450–2000.

Influenced by Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, and published in 2014, Harari’s fourth book, Sapiens, a sketch of the history of humankind, made him an international intellectual superstar; Homo Deus was written as a sequel to Sapiens, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century revisits some of the ideas analyzed in these two books.

Find out more at https://www.ynharari.com/.

“21 Lessons for the 21st Century PDF Summary”

21 Lessons for the 21st Century is, as suggested by its very title and described in a Guardian review, “a loose collection of themed essays, many of which build on articles for the New York Times, Bloomberg and elsewhere.”

Harari has chosen to group these into five parts, each of which includes a few (three, four or five) essays on different topics.

Part I: The Technological Challenge

The first part of Harari’s book consists of four chapters, covering the topics of disillusionment, work, liberty, and equality.

The gist of it is stated in the subtitle of the main chapter:

Humankind is losing faith in the liberal story that dominated global politics in recent decades, exactly when the merger of biotech and infotech confronts us with the biggest challenges humankind has ever encountered.

And the first four lessons are:

#1. The end of history has been postponed
#2. When you grow up, you might not have a job
#3. Big Data is watching you
#4. Those who own the data own the future

Harari is interested here into how and to what extent computer technology is disrupting almost every single sphere of our existence.

His main point is that up to recently, we used computers and robots to automatize some mechanical processes. And that was not bad at all.

However, we’re at a stage when automating cognitive processes is not anymore just a possibility, but also an inevitable part of the future.

Modern neuroscience has all but confirmed what we’ve feared for quite some time – namely, that even our brains maybe just machines. Exceptionally complex, but machines nevertheless.

And if that is the case, not much time will pass before we build a God-Brain, a supercomputer which will know much more than us.

In that world, human intuition will have no value whatsoever, and all important decisions will be made by AI.

Don’t believe us?

Just remember that back in the 1990s, nobody believed that computers will ever beat a human at chess. Nowadays, no chess player is capable of beating a computer. In fact, now computers are teaching humans to play chess.

So, prepare for a world ruled by AI.

Harari’s serious.

Part II: The Political Challenge

The second part of Harari’s book deals with the political climate of the 21st century, exploring the nature of present-day communities, civilizations, nationalism, religion, and immigration.

Once again, the main lesson is chilling:

The merger of infotech and biotech threatens the core modern values of liberty and equality. Any solution to the technological challenge has to involve global cooperation. But nationalism, religion and culture divide humankind into hostile camps and make it very difficult to cooperate on a global level.

The subtitles of the five essays which comprise this chapter say a lot by themselves.

#5. Humans have bodies
#6. There is just one civilization in the world
#7. Global problems need global answers
#8. God now serves the nation
#9. Some cultures might be better than others

To understand Harari’s analyses and opinions from this very important section of the book, you must first go back to Samuel Huntington and his “clash of civilizations” thesis, according to which, humankind “has always been divided into diverse civilizations whose members view the world in irreconcilable ways.”

In other words, the Western liberals and the Eastern Muslims are as different from each other as wolves and bears. “These incompatible world views make conflicts between civilizations inevitable… and only the fittest have survived to tell the tale.”

The very existence of such cross-cultural creations such as the European Union is evidence enough that this thesis is misleading. However, the current state of affairs unravels the dualistic existence of the modern world.

On one side, the great issues of this century – such as, for example, climate change and nuclear weapons – require a global community; on the other, immigration and nationalism form the basis of the defense mechanism of those threatened by globalization.

Is there a way out?

Read ahead!

Part III: Despair and Hope

The five essays which comprise the third part of Harari’s book try to answer some of the questions posited in the first two parts of 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

Aptly titled, the “Despair and Hope” chapter treats – in five essays – subjects such as terrorism, war, humility, god, and secularism, and ultimately boils down to this:

Though the challenges are unprecedented, and though the disagreements are intense, humankind can rise to the occasion if we keep our fears under control and be a bit more humble about our views.

#10. Don’t panic
#11. Never underestimate human stupidity
#12. You are not the center of the world
#13. Don’t take the name of God in vain
#14. Acknowledge your shadow

As far as Harari is concerned, the best way a human being can keep its fears under control and be a bit more humble about his or her views is secularism, something which “can provide us with all the values we need.”

Unlike dogmatic stories – political or religious – secularism presupposes doubt and critical mindset, as well as a coherent set of values, such as equality, compassion, freedom, truth, courage, and responsibility.

It also allows us to make these kinds of analyses.

During the past 17 years – meaning: since the 9/11 attacks – no more than 50 people are killed by terrorists in the European Union on a yearly basis. During that same period, 80,000 Europeans have died in traffic accidents.

So why are we talking so much about terrorism?

Simply put, because we’re stupid and we’re playing the game terrorists want us to play.

They are proverbially nothing more than flies on the bulls in a china shop. Unable to cause much damage themselves, they merely create a buzz so that the bulls cause it in their stead.

Part IV: Truth

If you ask us, this fourth part may be the most important one of the whole book, encompassing four enlightening essays on ignorance, justice, post-truth and science fiction.

The main lesson:

If you feel overwhelmed and confused by the global predicament, you are on the right track. Global processes have become too complicated for any single person to understand. How then can you know the truth about the world, and avoid falling victim to propaganda and misinformation?

The four sub-lessons:

#15. You know less than you think
#16. Our sense of justice might be out of date
#17. Some fake news lasts forever
#18. The future is not what you see in the movies

Harari’s starting point is one he has already analyzed in detail in Sapiens. Namely, that much of what we do and have accomplished is the result of our capacity to believe in fictions.

Comparing religion to what Donald Trump named “fake news,” Harari notes sarcastically that, “when a thousand people believe some made-up story for one month, that’s fake news. When a billion people believe it for a thousand years, that’s a religion, and we are admonished not to call it fake news in order not to hurt the feelings of the faithful (or incur their wrath).”

The point is simple: it is difficult nowadays to distinguish between facts and fiction, because every single aspect of our existence is so intricate and complex that not many people are able to understand it.

Embracing our ignorance is the only road towards salvation.

Because you’re helping nobody if you are talking about the war in Ukraine or climate change even though you are not that interested into politics and don’t know a single thing about meteorology.

Part V: Resilience

The fifth part of Harari’s book is the shortest one, comprising only three essays on education, meaning, and meditation.

And instead of a lesson, it is framed by a very thought-provoking question:

How do you live in an age of bewilderment, when the old stories have collapsed, and no new story has yet emerged to replace them?

The final three lessons are also pretty short:

#19. Change is the only constant
#20. Life is not a story
#21. Just observe

What lies beneath them is an exploration of Harari’s personal understanding of how should one act in this age of bewilderment.

“Having criticized so many stories, religions and ideologies,” he writes, “it is only fair that I put myself in the firing line too, and explain how somebody so skeptical can still manage to wake up cheerful in the morning.”

Completely aware of the fact that what works for him might not work for everybody, Harari shares his love of meditation and advocates it as an antidote to the chaotic world of today.

In his eyes, there are no more over-arching stories to guide us through our day, but there have always been – and always will be – feelings that define our experience.

And they stream through us.

And it’s about time that we get to know them.

Our systems of education should mirror this thirst for self-discovery and teach us to critically analyze the world instead of merely teaching us to memorize facts and trivial data.

The man of the future is the Skeptic, an always curious Socrates aware of his ignorance and ready to get to the bottom of it.

Key Lessons from “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”

1.      The World Is Changing Faster Than Ever, and We’re Failing to Acknowledge This
2.      The Age of Bewilderment: Do We Have a Story?
3.      The 22nd Lesson: Be a Socrates

The World Is Changing Faster Than Ever, and We’re Failing to Acknowledge This

21 Lessons for the 21st Century tries to make sense of many political, social, and technological changes humankind faces at the moment.

In the opinion of Harari, many of these changes are as inevitable as death and taxes, and yet very few people acknowledge that they are happening.

For example, automation all but guarantees a very recent future in which many people will be left without jobs, and, for some reason, neither Trump nor Hillary Clinton discussed this problem during the 2016 presidential campaign.

What they chose to talk about most was, say, terrorism, even though, essentially, this is basically unimportant topic and is, in fact, what terrorists want to achieve.

They are much more marginal than hundreds of groups of people, and yet, fighting against terrorism is the focus of American – nay, world – foreign policy ever since September 11.

In the meantime, Facebook has gathered data of just about everybody on the planet, automated cars are on the verge of eliminating the need of human drivers altogether, and religion has stopped being an important part of the lives of most Europeans.

So why are we still talking about free will, open jobs, and God?

The Age of Bewilderment: Do We Have a Story?

As stated above, the subtitle of the fifth part of Harari’s book posits a very important question: “How do you live in an age of bewilderment, when the old stories have collapsed, and no new story has yet emerged to replace them?”

As Harari explained all too well in Sapiens, our species exists precisely because of these stories, fiction being “among the most effective tools in humanity’s toolkit.”

Everything – from money to religion to laws – is, in its essence, a big lie; but since these lies come with a story, and we are storytelling chimpanzees by our very nature, we’ve chosen to believe them.

And we’ve made a good choice, since this has helped us create communities and civilization itself.

However, at present, we have a fairly serious problem: a large number of people are uninterested in believing these stories.

Considering the fact that some of them – be that fascism or communism, nationalism or almost every single religion – have wreaked havoc on the world for millennia, this, according to Harari, may not be such a bad thing after all.

“So,” he notes something Jordan Peterson would probably sign as well, “if you want to know the truth about the universe, about the meaning of life, and about your own identity, the best place to start is by observing suffering and exploring what it is.”

“The answer is not a story,” he adds.

The 22nd Lesson: Be a Socrates

So, what is it?

Of course, Harari’s book doesn’t include a 22nd lesson; however, inspired by the Guardian review quoted at the very beginning of our summary, we felt compelled to add it, meshing a few of Harari’s insights into one very actionable advice.

And we feel that it’s good if we start explaining Harari’s point by quoting this passage from the 18th chapter of the book:

Unlike the creators of The Matrix and The Truman Show, Huxley doubted the possibility of escape, because he questioned whether there was anybody to make the escape.
Since your brain and your ‘self’ are part of the matrix, to escape the matrix you must escape your self. That, however, is a possibility worth exploring. Escaping the narrow definition of self might well become a necessary survival skill in the twenty-first century.

In other words, we are our brains and it is impossible for us to escape them.

So, in order to not be brainwashed, doubt everything!

Admit your ignorance before yourself and be skeptical.

Listen to each and every story – coming from many different people – and try to find cracks as often as you can.

Understand your mind before the algorithms of tomorrow start making your mind up for you.

Contemplate, reflect, ruminate, muse, meditate.

You know, be a Socrates.

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“21 Lessons for the 21st Century Quotes”

In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power. Click To Tweet Questions you cannot answer are usually far better for you than answers you cannot question. Click To Tweet Morality doesn’t mean ‘following divine commands’. It means ‘reducing suffering’. Hence in order to act morally, you don’t need to believe in any myth or story. You just need to develop a deep appreciation of suffering. Click To Tweet Silence isn’t neutrality; it is supporting the status-quo. Click To Tweet Humans think in stories rather than in facts, numbers, or equations, and the simpler the story, the better. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

If we are perfectly honest, Harari is better at detecting the problems humankind is facing at the moment than offering appropriate solutions, so the title of his newest book may be a bit misleading.

In addition, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century recycles many of his past ideas, so don’t expect anything revolutionary here.

Even so, we think that Harari’s book feels like a breath of fresh air in an intellectual world where many people seem to know more than they do and many others predict the apocalypse without even understanding that this is the same as shouting fire in a crowdy theatre.

At least he’s also saying “don’t panic.”

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Good and Mad PDF Summary

Good and Mad PDF SummaryThe Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger

Wondering about the origins of the #MeToo movement?

Well, it’s time to learn something about the history of women’s anger and why that’s the place where girl power sits!

Dear ladies – and gentlemen in the all but forgotten, literal sense of that word – we present you the summary of Rebecca Traister’s Good and Mad!

Who Should Read “Good and Mad”? And Why?

Regardless of some people’s claims, in the intellectual world, it is not exactly debatable whether women have been the second sex for millennia; and whether some kind of bad form of gender inequality still exists.

So, all of you women who want to change that, this is one of the best books on the subject; and all of you men who can’t seem to understand it, please, first read all about its history in Good and Mad.

After all, nothing comes out of nothing.

Why should the #MeToo movement or feminism be any different?

About Rebecca Traister

Rebecca TraisterRebecca Traister is an American writer, mostly interested in the topics of women’s rights and politics; according to American writer Anne Lamott, she may be ”the most brilliant voice on feminism in this country.”

She debuted in 2010 with Big Girls Don’t Cry in which she attempted to understand and analyze the reinvigoration of the women’s movement in the USA due to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 political campaign.

Eight years later, she published All the Single Ladies, a book often described as “a remarkable portrait of contemporary American life and how we got here, through the lens of the unmarried American woman.”

Good and Mad, published just this year, is Traister’s third book; inspired by the #MeToo movement, it follows the cumulation of women’s anger through the past few centuries.

Find out more at http://www.rebeccatraister.com/

“Good and Mad PDF Summary”

The Beginnings of Women’s Anger

Back in 1963, Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique and revealed to the world a “problem that has no name.”

Namely, that the majority of women didn’t like – who would have guessed, ha? – to be measured against an archetype of a children-loving and always-smiling housewife whose sole objective was to find a good husband, and maybe shop for groceries and chauffer Boy Scouts.

That can’t be all, wrote Betty Friedan; there must be so much more to life than that.

And that’s basically how women’s anger was born, almost concurrently with the anger against racial injustice and the one against the War in Vietnam.

And this anger marked most of the 1960s and the 1970s, a period during which women successfully campaigned for the legalization of abortion and birth control, as well as for laws which made divorce easier and sexual harassment a form of discrimination against women.

And then the 1980s came, and Ronald Reagan reversed all that.

Suddenly, these women – labeled as “freaks” at the beginning – evolved to become nothing short of demons and witches.

Don’t believe us?

Just think of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.

Which is why women’s anger subsided during the 1990s. No woman wanted to be associated with the she-devils of the 1970s. You know the ones who’d burn their bras, shout in your face, and wouldn’t back down.

Instead, anger made place for humor; a great thing, of course, but even greater for the men. After all, it is far easier to deal with someone funny than with someone angry.

You can just ignore the first one; there’s no way you can ignore the second one.

Angry Yet Again

In a word, not much was going on in the world of feminism between the 1970s and today.

There were few sparks here and there – Anita Hill’s accusation against Clarence Thomas for sexual harassment, Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign – but these were all just short-lived and ignorable.

And then Clinton’s second presidential campaign came, and, just as the women of America started preparing for a woman president, the shock arrived: Donald Trump won.

And, once again, women’s anger erupted!

On January 21, 2017, just a day after the inauguration of Donald Trump, the Women’s March happened; its goal: to “send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.”

And a bold message it did send: more than 4 million people participated in the Women’s March, making it the most massive single-day protest in US history!

Of course, that was only one of the events through which women’s anger found a way out during the past two years.

The other – still going on – was the #MeToo movement, which spread virally soon after sexual abuse allegations were made against Harvey Weinstein.

What the cases of Trump and Weinstein revealed to the women of the world was something they became aware of in the 1970s: no matter how much they try, chances are they will always be the second sex.

Trump, for example, is both a racist and a misogynist, and yet he won a presidential race against a woman. And as the #MeToo movement revealed, no matter how high on the Hollywood success ladder you’ve climbed, powerful men can still use and abuse you.

What does that leave for the rest of the women out there?

The Sexist Nature of Anger

Nothing.

That’s the answer to the question posited in the last sentence of the previous paragraph.

Most women are utterly defenseless against the powerful and unchanging structure of our patriarchal society; unfortunately, only women can understand the full weight of this sentence. But let us try and make it a bit clearer for you.

Think of an angry young man. What do you see in him? A rebel, a fighter for justice. Even though his face is contorted and his mouth wide open, there’s nothing especially repelling there.

Now think of an angry young woman.

Get it?

The very idea of an “angry woman” somehow seems wrong, almost oxymoronic. Angry women are witches and she-devils: they seem disagreeable to all but everybody, including their parents and partners.

Society has always frowned upon them. After all, there’s a reason why the term “hysterical” originates in the Ancient Greek word for “uterus”; men, for some reason, can’t be hysterical; women are not allowed to.

That’s why Donald Trump can call publicly Mexicans “rapists,” women “pigs” and “cows,” and rave against almost everybody and everything and still win the presidency. And that’s why Republicans were able to all but dismiss the allegations of Kamala Harris for Russian interference simply by labeling her “hysterical.”

Even if you can rationalize against it, deep inside you, you still think that women are supposed to be submissive and smiling, agreeable and beautiful; nothing less, and nothing more. Apparently, we all believe that this is in the very genes of women.

And you know why we believe that?

Because it has suited the people in power for millennia; and because it still does.

After all, they are men.

Stifling Women’s Anger

And please note: we’re not saying that men are consciously doing this.

“On some level,” writes Traister, “if not intellectual then animal, there has always been an understanding of the power of women’s anger: that as an oppressed majority in the United States, women have long had within them the potential to rise up in fury, to take over a country in which they’ve never really been offered their fair or representative stake.”

And this is perhaps the reason why women’s anger is so broadly denigrated, and so often represented as ugly, alienating, and irrational. Because, in the opposite case, it is capable of bringing down the current order.

Just think of Jordan Peterson’s (of course, borrowed from Jung, Taoism, and the spheres of mythological thinking) often-quoted dualistic idea that “Order is the white, masculine serpent; Chaos, its black, feminine counterpart.”

Within this frame of reference, you can’t argue with him. However, this frame of reference is masculine. And, of course (as Beauvoir showed us more than half a century ago) the only way you can define womanhood inside it is by relation.

So, if men represent order – and they do: for starters, there are about five times more of them in US politics – then women, by definition, represent chaos. They are the ones who can do something unexpected.

Traister correctly points out:

What becomes clear, when we look to the past with an eye to the future, is that the discouragement of women’s anger – via silencing, erasure, and repression – stems from the correct understanding of those in power that in the fury of women lies the power to change the world.

Remember this.

Because this is the discussion we’re having.

Key Lessons from “Good and Mad”

1.      It’s Not the End of the Struggle for Women’s Rights… It’s Merely the Beginning
2.      Women’s Anger Is Good
3.      I’m Mad as Hell and I’m Not Going to Take This Anymore!

It’s Not the End of the Struggle for Women’s Rights… It’s Merely the Beginning

2017 was a revolutionary year in terms of women’s struggle for their rights.

It was marked by two momentous events: the Women’s March (the largest single-day protest in U.S. history) and the #MeToo movement.

However, as Rebecca Traister shows, in retrospect, what these women are fighting for are, more or less, the same things the women of the 1960s and the 1970s had all but won.

Merely a second of inattention may lead to another repeat of Reagan’s masculine 1980s.

So, it’s not the end of the struggle – it’s merely the beginning

Women’s Anger Is Good

Don’t let anybody fool you: as far as revolutions are concerned, anger is a prerequisite.

After all, it’s not like the American Revolution started because the Founding Fathers waited for the Englishmen to give them freedom and rights.

They tried the good way, and when that failed, anger festered to the point when the spilling of the tea was the only possible outcome.

“I confess that I am now suspicious of nearly every attempt to code anger as unhealthy, no matter how well-meaning or persuasive the source,” writes Traister.

And then she goes on:

What is bad for women, when it comes to anger, are the messages that cause us to bottle it up, let it fester, keep it silent, feel shame, and isolation for ever having felt it or rechannel it in inappropriate directions. What is good for us is opening our mouths and letting it out, permitting ourselves to feel it and say it and think it and act on it and integrate it into our lives, just as we integrate joy and sadness and worry and optimism.

I’m Mad as Hell and I’m Not Going to Take This Anymore!

This is the central message of Good and Mad.

And we will quote the paragraph stating it best in its entirety:

What you are angry about now – injustice – will still exist, even if you yourself are not experiencing it, or are tempted to stop thinking about how you are experience it, and how you contribute to it. Others are still experiencing it, still mad; some of them are mad at you. Don’t forget them; don’t write off their anger. Stay made for them. Stay mad with them. They’re right to be mad, and you’re right to be mad alongside them. Being mad is correct; being mad is American; being mad can be joyful and productive and connective. Don’t ever let them talk you out of being mad again.

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“Good and Mad Quotes”

Men literally have no idea how to even legitimately recognize or name our anger—largely because we don’t either. Click To Tweet The Women’s March on January 21, 2017 was the biggest one-day political protest in this country’s history, and it was staged by angry women. Click To Tweet The British feminist Laurie Penny tweeted in July 2017, ‘Most of the interesting women you know are far, far angrier than you’d imagine.’ Click To Tweet I want to convince you that there are types of anger that are not bad. (Via Myisha Cherry) Click To Tweet Women’s anger, publicly and loudly expressed, is all of that: unnatural, chaotic, upsetting to how power is supposed to work. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Every fifty years since the French Revolution, writes noted journalist and critic Vivian Gornick, “there’s been an uprising on behalf of women’s rights—we’re in the middle of one right now—and each time around a fresh chorus of voices is heard, making the same righteous bid for social and political equality, only with more force and more eloquence than the time before.”

“Among today’s strongest voices is the one that belongs to Rebecca Traister,” she goes on. “Deeply felt and richly researched, her new book, Good and Mad, is one of the best accounts I have read of the cumulative anger women feel, coming up against their centuries-old subordination. Read it!”

Coming from Gornick, that’s as a compelling argument as any to read Good and Mad.

Black and hip-hop feminist scholar Brittney C. Cooper (by the way, the author of Eloquent Rage) adds yet another: “Rebecca Traister has me convinced in this deftly and powerfully argued book that there will be no 21st-century revolution until women once again own the power of their rage.”

“As I read,” Cooper adds, “my blood started pumping, my fist tightened, and my spirit said, ‘hell yeah! We aren’t going down without a fight.’”

And if you are a woman, it’s your duty to not allow this.

At the moment at least, Good and Mad is an essential read.

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Summary Thomas Hobbes

Summary Thomas HobbesThe Matter, Form and Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiastical and Civil

Now, that has to be one of the greatest covers of all time!

A monstrous creature with the head of a man and the body of, well, three hundred smaller men, ominously waving a sword and a staff over the world.

Above him, in Latin, a quote taken out of the Book of Job: “There is no power on earth to be compared to him.”

And below, the title:

Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes.

Who Should Read “Leviathan Summary Thomas Hobbes”? And Why?

Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes is perhaps the earliest and inarguably one of the two most influential texts which have attempted to sketch the ideal social contract – in addition to pinning down its origin and its significance (the other, of course, being Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract).

As such, it is one of the cornerstones of modern political philosophy, and one of the first books you should read if you are interested in that field.

Then move on to Rousseau. Then contrast and compare.

There: you’re halfway through understanding the whole field.

About Thomas Hobbes

Thomas HobbesThomas Hobbes was a 17th-century English philosopher and political thinker, one of the foremost figures of the European Enlightenment.

Best known for his 1651 book, Leviathan, Hobbes was a polymath who made significant contributions in more than one field of inquiry, ranging from history and philosophy to geometry and physics.

He is widely considered one of the founders of modern political philosophy, and, paradoxically (since he championed the absolutism of the sovereign), a precursor of classical liberalism.

“Leviathan Summary”

Written in 1651, Leviathan is titled after a sea monster mentioned in the Bible, most notably in the Book of Job. There’s a lengthy description there – if you want to, you can read it here (it starts in the previous chapter, verse 25) – but, let’s just say that the Leviathan is not something you’d want to mess with.

Looking at the frontispiece of Thomas Hobbes’ book, you probably already know what we’re talking about.

Surprise, surprise –

You don’t.

Because even though, at first sight, this image of the Leviathan calls to mind a dystopian dictatorship, it actually represents Hobbes’ vision of an ideal social contract, aka the perfect civil society.

Strangely enough, Hobbes does have a point why you need a sea monster and not a butterfly to serve as a metaphor for a utopian society.

Most of it is presented in the first book of Leviathan, with the other three further analyzing the political implications of the philosophical conclusions reached at the beginning.

So, let’s see what’s Hobbes’s deal.

Part I: Of Man

Mechanical Interpretations

The first part of Leviathan is the most important one—it is the one upon which all the others are founded.

In other words, if there’s something wrong with it, then you’ll undoubtedly find quite a lot of flaws in the other three parts as well.

Which is why everybody spends about a hundred times more time analyzing this first part in comparison to the time spent on the other three parts.

And its essence?

Well, basically, that all of those sentimental, spiritual, otherworldly explanations of what we are and how we live are just a bunch of nonsense!

In other words, every single feeling and concept can be explained mechanically and materialistically, in terms of the movements of our bodies and minds toward or fromward objects, which, in turn, can be absent or present.

Our mind is moving toward or backward in terms of opinions; our body is moving in terms of appetites/desires (when toward an object) and aversions (when fromward an object).

Let’s make that clearer for you!

Say you have an appetite/desire for something, coupled with an opinion that you can get that something; then you’re experiencing hope. In this case, both your body and your mind are moving toward that thing.

However, if you just have an appetite for a thing, but you don’t believe that you can ever obtain it – then, that’s despair; your mind is moving backward now, even though your body is still prompting you to go toward that thing.

Fear is when both your mind and your body are averted, “with opinion of hurt from the object;” courage is “the same, with hope of avoiding that hurt by resistance;” anger is sudden courage, etc. etc.

Good vs. Evil

As you can see, similarly to Aristotle, Hobbes thinks of some feelings as much more complex than the others.

But just like molecules – no matter how complex – can be ultimately broken down into one of no more than 118 atoms, feelings and concepts can be too, and into no more than a few “bodily” movements and “mindedly” opinions.

Now, you’d expect that the most complex emotions and states – such as Good and Evil – should be the most complex arrangements of simple feelings and concepts, right?

Wrong!

You know why?

Because they are the simplest.

And this is both the catch and the most important inference from Hobbes’ mechanical analysis of the human species!

In essence, he says in an anachronistic language we’ll spare you the trouble from interpreting for now, there are no such things as Good and Evil.

We say that something is good if that something aligns with the appetites and desires of our body and our mind; if, however, it doesn’t, we call that thing bad, “vile, and inconsiderable.”

The words good and evil, Hobbes goes one, are always used with relation to the person who uses them.

The point?

There is nothing simply and absolutely good or bad in nature; the goodness or badness of a thing – when there is not such a thing as a commonwealth (see part II) – is taken from the person of the man who judges it or represents it.

The bottom line?

Whatever is good for one person, is bad for another one; and vice versa.

Summum Bonum vs. Summum Malum

And therein lies the rub!

Hey, look – we inadvertently quoted Hamlet, a play written half a century before Hobbes’ Leviathan!

Are we trying to make some point?

Of course we are (aka it wasn’t at all inadvertently)!

We wanted to remind you, as a side note, that Shakespeare managed to sum Hobbes up in a single sentence from the second scene of Act II of Hamlet: “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

However, there’s a reason why Hobbes had to write about a hundred pages to explain that sentence.

It’s because, at his time, everybody believed the opposite.

Namely, that there’s something, deep within us, which is divine and which helps us align our actions with the Highest Good, or, in Latin, the summum bonum.

This Idea of the Highest Good originates in Plato – remember, the essentialist Plato? – and is a Form which exists irrespective of us and which is the ultimate object of our striving and knowledge; it is from It that things on earth which are good gain their value and their usefulness.

So, we just need to discover It, and we’ll be able to understand everything that is good why it is good and everything that is bad why it is not good.

Think of it as the finish line of a race you’re running; once you see it, you know in which direction you should run and when to stop running.

Yeah, right – said Hobbes!

Everybody knows what’s good – to him.

And good luck Plato if you want to create a society based on summum bonum: there could be no such thing because everyone’s desires are different!

Fortunately, everyone’s aversions seem to converge at one point, the summum malum, the Greatest Evil.

Namely: violent death.

The Natural State

So, let’s turn this discussion on its head – advised Hobbes!

Instead of trying to do the impossible – i.e., create a society which will satisfy the desires of all of its members – let’s try to do something much more obtainable – create a society which will eliminate the aversions of its inhabitants.

Summum bonum – butterflies and zebras, and moonbeams and fairytales – is a myth; summum malum – the fear of being hit on the head with an ax or a sledgehammer – is much too real.

And it must have been – since the very beginning of times!

You see, in the absence of a community – that is, man’s natural state – it seems to have been every man for himself. And that, coupled with a lack of resources, must have resulted in a war of all against all, the only conceivable state of men without civil society.

Because when there are no such things as a common good and a common bad, all men have “equal right unto all things:”

In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently no culture of the earth, no navigation nor the use of commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

The Natural Laws

Because this is something nobody wants – because it is something which could destroy everybody – some laws must have evolved spontaneously.

Hobbes calls these natural laws (leges naturales) and defines them as precepts, or general rules, “found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do that which is destructive of his life, or take away the means of preserving the same; and to omit that by which he thinks it may be best preserved.”

Hobbes comes up with 19 such laws, the first two of which are by far the most important.

The first and fundamental law of nature and reason is this: “that every man, ought to endeavor peace, as far as he has hope of obtaining it; and when he cannot obtain it, that he may seek, and use, all helps, and advantages of war.”

It sounds a bit Kantian, doesn’t it?

If I can war to obtain the things I like, then everyone can do that too, and this means that I should fear for my life on a daily basis. So, it’s better for me not to wage war in cases where I can obtain peace; and when peace is out of the question, only then I should resort to warring.

Neither sentimental nor humane, but a giant leap from the natural state!

Now, from this “fundamental law of nature” follows the second one, according to which a man should be “contented with so much liberty against other men, as he would allow other men against himself.”

It’s both liberalism at its best, and even more Kantian once you think about it.

In fact, Hobbes sums up this law thus: “Whatsoever you require that others should do to you, that do ye to them.”

So, the Golden Rule yet again!

Parts II-IV

Part II: Of Common-Wealth

So, basically, the essence of these two natural laws is this: instead of acting as packs of wolves, let’s act as organs of a single body.

This single body – the one on the cover – is the Commonwealth, whose purpose Hobbes describes thus:

The final cause, end, or design of men (who naturally love liberty, and dominion over others) in the introduction of that restraint upon themselves, in which we see them live in Commonwealths, is the foresight of their own preservation, and of a more contented life thereby; that is to say, of getting themselves out from that miserable condition of war which is necessarily consequent, as hath been shown, to the natural passions of men when there is no visible power to keep them in awe, and tie them by fear of punishment to the performance of their covenants.

Then Hobbes goes on to describe the twelve principal rights of the sovereign, the three types of government (monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy; monarchy is, yet again, the best), the succession and the taxation rules.

Not that exciting or original; but also kind of interesting.

Part III: Of a Christian Common-wealth

Which you can’t say about the third part of Leviathan, in which Hobbes tries to see how compatible Christianity is with his philosophical ideas.

Considering the fact that he was oftentimes called an atheist – and this was at a time when that was worse than being called, well, anything – it seems only necessary that Hobbes devoted so much of his time and energy to explaining something which, nowadays, would have been unnecessary.

However, behind all the biblical scholarship, the gist of this third part is rather simple: religious power must be subordinate to civil power.

Why?

Because, just like Good and Evil, revelations are just too subjective and too untestable!

For example, I can casually say that an angel gave me a golden book with, I don’t know, seventeen new commandments which go against the civil laws of a country; and you wouldn’t be able to disprove me.

And that, logically, shouldn’t be allowed if you want a just civil society.

Part IV: Of the Kingdom of Darkness

As you can infer from the title, the fourth part of Leviathan is also interested in some biblical ideas. More specifically, in how to guard the Commonwealth against liars and deceivers.

Hobbes lists four types of religious deceivers one should be especially wary about:

#1. Misinterpretators; these are people who cite and quote the Holy Book to prove that there are such things as angels and demons; yes, Hobbes is talking about the priests.

#2. Demonologists; these are people who not only claim that there are angels and demons, but they also claim to know how to deal with them; yes, Hobbes is explicitly talking about the Catholic Church and the Pope;

#3. Crusaders against the Truth; these are people who use the Scripture to punish other people for their opinions; he specifically mentions his friend Galileo’s punishment asking “what reason is there for it? Is it because such opinions are contrary to true Religion? That cannot be, if they be true;” great observation, Thomas;

#4. Privileged truthers; these are those who, for some reason, others believe that have privilege over the truth; the point being: scientists and philosophers have as much right to truth as priests and the Pope himself.

Key Lessons from “Summary Thomas Hobbes”

1.      A War of All Against All
2.      The Natural Laws
3.      The Commonwealth

A War of All Against All

Hobbes’ Leviathan is perhaps most famous for its idea that the natural state of man was one of war of all against all.

Why?

Because, in Hobbes’ opinion, good and evil are subjective, and when there are no communities, everybody has equal right upon everything.

When that is the case – nobody is safe.

The Natural Laws

And it is precisely because nobody is safe in a bellum omnium contra omnes state of affairs that, after some time, people had to come up, intuitively, with these two laws.

It isn’t that they devised them or put them down on paper or something – it’s just that they realized that, if they want to work for themselves, they have to follow them.

The first law is that peace is better than war when the former is an option; and the second, that one should be content with that freedom which doesn’t affect the freedom of other people, because that’s the freest one can be without risking a conflict.

The Commonwealth

Most of Leviathan is actually a description – as the book’s subtitle explicitly states – of the matter, form and power of the commonwealth,

It is a community ruled by a sovereign, which helps people get themselves out from “that miserable condition of war which is necessarily consequent… to the natural passions of men when there is no visible power to keep them in awe, and tie them by fear of punishment to the performance of their covenants.”

The best civil commonwealth is a monarchy, separated and superior to the ecclesiastical, i.e., religious part of the government.

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“Summary Thomas Hobbes Quotes”

Curiosity is the lust of the mind. Click To Tweet Hell is truth seen too late. Click To Tweet The condition of man... is a condition of war of everyone against everyone. Click To Tweet Leisure is the mother of philosophy. Click To Tweet Force and fraud are in war the two cardinal virtues. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Leviathan is one of the first-order classics of political philosophy.

However, do yourself a favor and don’t bother that much with parts II to IV – fortunately, we’re now past them.

Part I, however, is so thought-provoking it will probably be discussed for as long as we exist; or, at least, find a scientific proof that it is or isn’t right.

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The Social Contract PDF Summary

The Social Contract PDF Summary“Man is born free, and yet he is everywhere in chains.”

Do you know where that line comes from?

Well, no surprises here: of course it comes from the book we summarize below.

Rousseau’s The Social Contract.

Who Should Read “The Social Contract”? And Why?

Too many people criticize Rousseau without having read anything but a few quotes of him.

Unfortunately, this results in a one-dimensional representation of him, which does neither him nor ideas any justice—regardless on which side you’re on.

So, here’s your chance to change them: glorify him to the heavens, criticize him back to hell, but please spend some time with him first.

The Social Contract is a great place to start.

About Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques RousseauJean-Jacques Rousseau was a major Swiss-French philosopher of the Enlightenment.

Even though he often disagreed with the ideas and opinions of his contemporaries (especially those of Voltaire), he believed, just like them, in the necessity of progress and the possibility of a utopian society just to every person.

He authored some of the most important books of the period, including the political essays, Discourse on Inequality and The Social Contract, the educational treatise Emile, the novel Julie, or the New Heloise and his controversial autobiography, Confessions.

He exerted enormous influence on the thinkers of Europe long after his death and his writings are rightly considered as the main instigators of the Romantic movement.

“The Social Contract PDF Summary”

What is a Social Contract?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s 1762 book The Social Contract was influential enough to provide the world with a term used even today to describe a topic discussed by philosophers long before Rousseau was even born.

So, consider it as something similar to what Google is in relation to internet browsing: even though Google was not the first search engine, it popularized Internet browsing to such an extent that nowadays we freely use the verb “googling” as a synonym for this action.

Well, the same holds true in the case of The Social Contract. Although Rousseau was neither the first nor the last one to discuss it, his book was the one which popularized the importance of this topic, and nowadays we say that Hobbes’ Leviathan—though written more than a century before Rousseau’s treatise—also discusses “the concept of the social contract theory.”

But what does the phrase “social contract” refers to?

In a nutshell, to the relationship between natural and legal rights.

Or, to put that in even simpler terms, the theories of the social contract try to explain how, why, and even if the state should have authority over the free will of an individual.

As far as Thomas Hobbes was concerned the answer was all but obvious: in the absence of laws, the unlimited natural freedoms of the individuals will undoubtedly lead to a state of “war of all against all.”

Rousseau, however, has some very different ideas about how “the natural state of men” looked like. And, consequently, the nature of his social contract is very different as well.

Rousseau’s Natural State

It is important to note from the start that Rousseau discusses the social contract in both this book and an earlier essay, titled “(Second) Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men.”

Even though he repeats some of the claims from the essay in his book as well, in order to understand The Social Contract better, you need to have some knowledge and understanding of his “Second Discourse” as well.

As always—we’re here to help!

So, in a few words, the “Second Discourse” provides Rousseau’s vision of how human societies evolved: from the natural state of the tribesmen to the modern civil society.

However, unlike Hobbes, Rousseau doesn’t believe that prehistory was all that bad.

In fact – quite the opposite.

In Rousseau’s mind, the natural state of men is that of the peaceful, uncompetitive life. Due to the small number of people inhabiting the world and the abundance provided by nature, early humans didn’t have problems satisfying their very few needs.

Also, even though living in a world of saber-toothed tigers and mammoths, they must have had fewer fears and stresses, since, as Bob Dylan once sang in a completely different context, “when you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”

It may seem idealistic to you now (it certainly did to just about every serious thinker of his time), but you’ll be surprised to learn that modern anthropologists have recently resurrected Rousseau’s theory once again.

So, what happened?

Why did we paved paradise and put up civil society?

Private Property and the Fall from Grace

Because of the inevitable: paradises are never meant to last.

In humanity’s case, the problem was relatively simple – the smarter the humans grew, the more capable they became in terms of defending themselves against wild animals and natural catastrophes.

This resulted in a gradual growth of the population which then led to a lack of resources. This, naturally, caused the first severe strives and conflicts.

However, the real problems came when private property was invented.

“The first man,” writes Rousseau in “The Second Discourse,” “who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society.”

Because, thinks Rousseau, the moment someone said something is his marked the moment when someone else realized that that something doesn’t belong to him anymore.

When one gained, another one lost.

And this led inevitably to such awful things as competition, greed, and vanity; and that’s how inequality was born.

The one who profited from this state of affairs were, expectedly, not the most capable or the smartest ones, but the strongest and the least moral people.

However, as Rousseau notes, “the strongest is never strong enough to be always the master unless he transforms that strength into right.”

Or to quote Wyatt Earp: “there’s always a man faster on the draw than you are, and the more you use a gun, the sooner you’re gonna run into that man.”

So, in an ironic twist, the strongest ones—and, consequently, at this point, the richest ones as well—proposed to the not so fortunate ones that a government is created tasked with protecting the freedom and the ownership rights of every man.

And that’s how the Natural Social Contract was signed.

Rewriting the Social Contract

Naturally, Rousseau is not that fascinated with this Natural Social Contract. So, in The Social Contract, he proposes that it should be rewritten because that’s the only remedy for the ills of modern societies.

Put in simpler terms, they were created by the strong and are meant to protect the strong. In the process, the weak lost everything—including their freedom.

Before they realize they can get it back through a violent revolution, Rousseau thought, maybe it’s better that we draft a new version of the social contract that should be fair to everybody.

The Social Contract begins with one of the most famous opening sentences in the history of all texts:

Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains.

This is the paradox Rousseau’s social contract attempts to resolve; it is, as one can only imagine, a fundamental paradox of existence, boiling down to something all lovers find out sooner or later.

Namely, that living with another means giving up some aspects of your freedom; or, to paraphrase Winnie-the-Pooh, taking a few steps backward to give way to the happiness of the person you love.

Now, in a relationship, you know why you do this: so that two “I’s” can become a “we”; you skip watching the Jets tonight not because you don’t want to, but because it is for the greater good of the relationship.

However, if you stop watching the Jets altogether (even though you want to), then it’s fairly apparent that you’re not with the right person.

There’s no “we” or equality when one gets everything and the other next to nothing; there’s only inequality and a master/servant hierarchy.

The Essence of the New Social Contract

Well, if you asked Rousseau, the 18th-century society—and our society as well—was at such a stage of its development.

Namely, some people were abusers, and others merely caught living in an abusive relationship.

Rousseau is adamant that this needs to change.

And that, as is often the case, the abused ones are incapable of changing the state of affairs without any help.

So Rousseau offers it in his proposal for a new social contract.

Its essence?

[The social contract] can be reduced to the following terms: Each of us puts his person and all his power in common under the supreme direction of the general will; and in a body we receive each member as an indivisible part of the whole.

Problems understanding that?

Don’t worry!

Basically nobody has.

We’ll offer one interpretation of it, possibly the most flattering to Rousseau’s convoluted logic. But be aware that he is a divisive thinker and that many believe that, just like Plato in his Republic, what he proposes in The Social Contract looks much more dystopian than utopian.

The good part?

Rousseau, just like many of the (finally) enlightened philosophers of his time, believes that all men are created equal and born free. “To assert that the son of a slave is born a slave,” he writes, “is to assert that he is not born a man.”

In other words, there’s absolutely no reason why some people should speak in the place of others, and why the voice of these others should not be heard.

So, that’s a big “no-no” to representative democracies.

The Mystery of the General Will

But it is a big “yes” to direct democracies!

Let’s try to summarize the logic which leads to this, before explaining the consequences.

You know who is a healthy individual?

The one in agreement with himself; the one who is not, suffers from schizophrenia or MPD and can only be acted out by James McAvoy.

By the same analogy, the only relationship which works is the one in which two people act as if one. This means that they come to agreements on different matters, and respect them to the best of their capabilities.

When they don’t—and this is the most important part—they actually work against themselves.

They work against themselves when they don’t make their wills and desires known as well—because how should the other one take them into consideration if he doesn’t know that they exist?

To make the long story short: the only society which makes sense is the one in which all people make their wills known and, thus, contribute to the formation of something Rousseau refers to as general will.

The general will is the will of the Sovereign, which is how Rousseau calls the collective grouping of all citizens. So, think of it as the will of a giant individual composed of all the people living in a single community.

In a relationship, you have your own individual will (say, watching the Jets), your girlfriend has her own individual will (say, watching a movie), and the couple has its own general will, which is not a mere aggregate of these two wills.

In other words, due to having one TV, this couple’s general will would instead go out to a restaurant.

Naturally, obeying this general will is better for the common good: no arguments, and hugs before sleeping.

The General Will and Society

Now, how should the 300 million Americans know their general will?

Well, they can’t.

Simply as that.

If we understand Rousseau well, they are simply too many to think as a community.

General will can only be formed when the sovereign consists of a limited number of people. So, just like Aristotle, Rousseau thinks that utopian societies can only exist in small city-states where everybody knows everyone and can identify, to some extent, with his/her needs.

And everyone is supposed to meet at least once a while, tell to the others what bothers him or her, and participate in the final formation of the general will, aka, direct democracy.

Of course, the general will is then translated into law, and this process repeats to the end of the times and back.

The obvious problem, of course, is what should the Sovereign do with those individuals who refuse to conform to the general will? After all, it should be only expected that not every decision will be unanimous!

Rousseau goes all biblical here.

Not that he quotes the Good Book, but that he kind of suggests something Jesus does in the Sermon on the Mount: “And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

No, he doesn’t say that the Sovereign should kill the individuals who act freer than they are expected to. But it says that it should muffle them, for they do not know what they are doing or even what they truly want.

There it is, we quoted the Bible yet again.

We told you that Rousseau is biblical.

Key Lessons from “The Social Contract”

1.      The Social Contract
2.      The General Will
3.      Forced to be Free

The Social Contract

A social contract is a theory which concerns the processes by which individuals transfer their rights and freedom to a collective governing body such as the state.

Rousseau’s Social Contract is one of the most influential and controversial takes on this vital topic.

The gist of his idea is that, paradoxically, in order to reclaim their freedom, people need to give up on it yet again.

However, this time, this should be done by everybody and in agreement with everybody.

The General Will

When everybody points his individual will in the direction of one common good, something Rousseau calls “the general will” is created.

This general will is basically the will of the collective body (the sovereign) but is neither the aggregate nor the compromise between the individual wills which comprise this collective.

What it is can only be found through the process of direct democracy.

Forced to Be Free

As for those who don’t want to obey the general will?

Well, simply put, they don’t know what they want!

They must, says Rousseau, be “forced to be free.”

Whatever that means.

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“The Social Contract PDF Summary Quotes”

Every man having been born free and master of himself, no one else may under any pretext whatever subject him without his consent. Click To Tweet In truth, laws are always useful to those with possessions and harmful to those who have nothing; from which it follows that the social state is advantageous to men only when all possess something and none has too much. Click To Tweet As soon as any man says of the affairs of the State ‘What does it matter to me?’ the State may be given up for lost. Click To Tweet It is easier to conquer than to administer. With enough leverage, a finger could overturn the world; but to support the world, one must have the shoulders of Hercules. Click To Tweet In a well-governed state, there are few punishments, not because there are many pardons, but because criminals are rare; it is when a state is in decay that the multitude of crimes is a guarantee of impunity. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We kind of feel that The Social Contract is famous for all the wrong reasons.

We’re not saying that you should forget about the concept of the “general will” and the “forced to be free” adage; on the contrary: it seems as if these ideas need further interpretation.

However, when you read this work, don’t forget that its objective was to devise a way how to take away the power from the monarchs and give it back to the people.

Even if the way is wrong, the general idea is more than commendable.

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The Warmth of Other Suns PDF Summary

The Warmth of Other Suns PDFThe Epic Story of America’s Great Migration

For those of you who haven’t heard of the plight of African Americans in the South, this book summary will open your eyes.

We are not trying to demonize or discredit American achievement in any way, because even today it’s probably the most progressive country on a global scale.

That being said, America’s Migration leaves a stain on 20th– century politics and serves as a reminder for future generations.

Who Should Read “The Warmth of Other Suns”? And Why?

We implore readers from various religious, racial and national backgrounds to give this book a shot. We enjoyed while reading it because it makes you aware of what should not be espoused – ever.

In other words, “The Warmth of Other Suns” is an all-encompassing book whose implications throw light upon many questionable policies enacted or subtly promoted by the government.

We believe it will benefit the wider audience.

Isabel WilkersonAbout Isabel Wilkerson

Isabel Wilkerson is a prominent journalist and American author who received many accolades for her work.

She obtained her college degree from Howard University has been rewarded the Pulitzer Prize in journalism!

“The Warmth of Other Suns PDF Summary”

The Warmth of Other Suns unearths the main events which led to American’s Great Migration and reshaped society. Isabel Wilkerson bends over backward to deliver us a glimpse of the truth behind Southern Blacks’ resettlement in the northern and western regions of the country.

Why were they actually fleeing North?

Let’s take it one step at the time, and go back to where it all started.

It is safe to say that – The Great Migration commenced in 1915 and waves of migration continued to crop up until the 1970s. It’s said that the main trigger for this mass exodus is in line with the stirred up racial tensions toward Blacks in the southern regions.

As of the 1970s, the racial hostility began to alleviate, and that officially ends the racial drought that was tearing America apart.

In recent time, it has been estimated that approximately six million Blacks Southerners left their life and belongings behind to escape from Jim Crow’s reach in that 60-Year Time Frame. The journey to the north was instigated by oppressive behavior toward African-Americans and racial impatience brewing in the South.

It’s needless to say that no one can accurately point out the number of migrants who decided to abandon their shelters and head North.

To some extent, even the six-million figure is questionable, and it might be even higher since many of them preferred to travel at night to avoid unnecessary quarrels with the locals.

No official reporting is kept.

Isabel Wilkerson is the grand-daughter of a woman who was actually involved in this mass migration. As the second-generation of a black migrant who moved north, she is able to depict with almost surgical precision how Jim Crow’s laws affected her community.

At that time, the North was seen as a way out. Fleeing for a better and more playful life was probably the only instigator of this process.

Part one starts with the following quote:

Our mattresses were made
of corn shucks
and soft gray Spanish moss
that hung from the trees.…
From the swamps
we got soup turtles
and baby alligators
and from the woods
we got raccoon,
rabbit, and possum.

From an early age, Wilkerson picks up countless stories that portray the harsh treatment bestowed upon Blacks in the South. She starts to understand why so many people had little choice but to abandon their houses and embark on a perilous journey.

In the meantime, she ponders about the difficulty of leaving everything behind including your friends, family, childhood memories, passion, etc. Many of the escapees referred to it as the foreign land; they felt like they’ve been driven out of it with harmful policies.

Upon settling in the North, they were compelled to deal with the cold and new climate among other things. The Civil Rights Act signed in 1964 conferred rights to Blacks, and other minorities who were neglected and their voice was silenced.

Nonetheless, no one actually believes that a piece of paper can so easily eliminate all that’s been built up until that point. As a matter of fact, It took at least a decade for things to cool off.

People in the North had those weird accents and strange diet, so it took the Blacks a while before they caught up on the new way of life. They did, however, find general acceptance, and more opportunities to explore and exploit.

Homesickness turned out to be a big problem because they weren’t inured to the freezing temperatures and changeable weather.

Now, let’s focus on the book’s narrative!

In the spotlight, Isabel puts three persons whose lives are entwined with her story: Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, George Swanson Starling, and Robert Pershing Foster.

Ida Mae Gladney along with her husband, George, and their two young children decided to flee from the cotton fields of Chickasaw County, Mississippi, advance through Milwaukee while hoping to settle in Chicago.

She chose to abandon the harsh life in 1937 when a mob lynched her cousin under false accusations – that he stole a turkey. Her main goal was to leave the backbreaking work on the cotton fields in pursuit of a better life. In Chicago, she found peace and harmony.

George Swanson Starling obtained a college degree and was an agricultural worker in Florida who demanded better pay for the workers. He organized a strike against the land-owners and risked being beaten up to death.

To save his life, he fled from Florida and moved to Harlem, New York City. He found a job there as a train porter and was involved in mass protests for better rights. Even though he was bullied and harassed for his rhetoric against racial oppression, he managed to endure thanks to his deep faith in God.

Dr. Robert Pershing Foster was forced to leave Louisiana after no hospital in the South wanted to give him a staff position. Despite being a renowned surgeon in the U.S. Army forces, he struggled to find a job and decided to try his luck elsewhere.

The voyage to Los Angeles was filled with unpleasant encounters, as he roamed around to find a room where he could spend the night in. Anyway, he fulfilled his high-minded ambitions by becoming a renowned doctor and a personal physician to Ray Charles.

The immigrants who decided to escape to the urban areas in the North and West discovered that the brutal reality might shatter their dreams. The hopes of living the American dream were fueled by higher wages which didn’t come absent additional cost.

Even though Jim Crow laws were not officially enforced, racial hatred & bigotry still existed. The subtler form of racism infiltrated all tiers of American society, but it was a good consolation prize for the Blacks at the time since the South was way worse.

The 1964 Act which granted better rights to Blacks was partially enforced and accepted in the country.

The South was lagging in all areas, including racial tolerance and the Civil Act didn’t trigger an immediate alteration.

As you all probably know, the act was signed by President Lyndon Johnson after the Civil Rights Movement reached a nation-wide dispute. It was made illegal for a person (of color) as referred to back then, to be discriminated by an employee or service-provider based on race.

In practicality, the law still had some loopholes which the land and business owners used to circumvent the Act. It was easy to fictionalize the reasons behind disapproval or rejection of blacks but as time went by the situation for African-Americans started to improve.

The system didn’t go down without a fight, and Martin Luther King was quite aware of that. We all like to believe that all migrants made headway in their journey North, but that’s far from the truth. Some were forced to go back and deal with the problems in the community.

Despite the obstacles which seemed insurmountable at given times, the spirit of African-Americans remained intact.

Their determination to have a piece of the American dream made them stronger as they continue to thrive in sports, science, entertainment, etc.

It’s a struggle for the upcoming generations; it’s a struggle for worldwide prosperity!

Key Lessons from “The Warmth of Other Suns”

1.      Promote tolerance among all races
2.      Don’t trust organizations which prefer one race over the other
3.      Read and educate yourself

Promote tolerance among all races

These days you’ll witness a lot of false narratives which on the surface give the impression of harmonious agendas, but in truth they still instigate segregation.

Move away from them and find the strength in your heart not to judge a person based on its skin color or whatever.

Don’t trust organizations which prefer one race over the other

Countless venal politicians use certain social groups to promote their agenda while making them dependent on government welfare.

Subdue the urge to be a part of the mob, and think on your own. Be skeptical about everything the media portrays as “noble.”

Read and educate yourself

It goes without saying that ignorant people don’t read and have no inclination to expand their horizons.

Don’t trust what others are saying – explore, dive, scrutinize every little aspect, and you’ll often find fabricated data and truths.

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“The Warmth of Other Suns Quotes”

It occurred to me that no matter where I lived, geography could not save me. Click To Tweet That's why I preach today. Do not do spite, Click To Tweet And more than that, it was the first big step the nation's servant class ever took without asking. Click To Tweet Contrary to modern-day assumptions, for much of the history of the United States—from the Draft Riots of the 1860s to the violence over desegregation a century later—riots were often carried out by disaffected whites against groups… Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

History cannot and should not be fabricated, for the sake of new generations. We mustn’t turn a blind eye on the painful past, but remain vigilant and tackle the inequalities which plague the society.

The truth behind the mass migration should serve as a reminder to every nation, to every race, to every people, that indulging in violence is a self-destructive mechanism.

We hope that good-hearted people will draw out the positives from this book!

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