Thomas Hobbes’ main arguments on absolutism

Thomas Hobbes was a 17th Century philosopher who is famous for his work on absolutist governments and what life would be like if the powers of government were run in an absolutist fashion.  He captured his main theories and arguments in his book Leviathan.  I read a small excerpt, chapters 13-14, from this book and, combined with my RPC course lectures, found he had three main arguments on absolutism.  Hobbes’ worldview was extreme.  He argued that, in a state of nature, everyone is the potential murderer of everyone else, that societies would be in constant war if it were not for governments, and that the only real solution to attain peace is for people to give up their rights to one sovereign ruler.

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The Basics of Constitutionalism

I recently learned about constitutionalism as an important feature in the fabric of Western Civilization.  I had heard of the US Constitution as a document, but I now realize I was mostly ignorant of the underlying principles and historical basis that influenced the Founding Fathers. Tom Woods helped me understand that any “fundamental power that limits government powers” (RPC lecture no. 33) is the essence of constitutionalism. Continue reading “The Basics of Constitutionalism”

The biggest economic decline of the 17th Century

Since starting my RPC course on Western Civilization history, I have learned about things in European history that I didn’t even know happened and events that were incredibly devastating.  The French Wars of Religion and Oliver Cromwell’s tyrannical rule are just a few examples.  However, one event stands out and that is the economic decline of Spain in the 1600’s.

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A Turning Point

In his autobiography, The Persecutor, Sergei Kourdakov shares many experiences that can be considered turning points in his life.  One is when he finished schooling with the highest marks in his class, and another is when he joined the KGB.  Some were more important than others, but turning points nonetheless.  A turning point is, as described by the New Oxford American Dictionary, “a time at which a decisive change in a situation occurs, especially one with beneficial results.” Reading his autobiography has helped me to examine some of my life and realize I’ve already had several events that have influenced who I am now or changed the expected course of my life.  I want to share with you one recent turning point of mine.

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Oliver Cromwell’s Rule: Unpleasant for Everyone

While I was learning about Oliver Cromwell this week, I not only thought about what it was that he did, but I also thought about what it was like for all the people under his rule.  What was life like for them?

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A Change of Heart(-attack)

In my English Course for the Ron Paul Curriculum, I was asked to read the book: A Bus of My Own by James Lehrer.  James Lehrer, more casually known as Jim Lehrer, was a news reporter and fictional writer during the 1950’s.  He retired in 2011 as a news-anchor for the PBS NewsHour.

There was one part, however, where Mr. Lehrer goes through a heart-attack.  The part that I found interesting was not the heart-attack itself, but that the heart-attack literally changed his life.

Mr. Lehrer survived the heart-attack and didn’t suffer any permanent physical or mental damage.    His lifestyle had to change though, and he knew it.

Lehrer decided to change his current diet, which he described as that “of a pimply faced fifteen year-old.”  He didn’t like the new diet at first, but it was loads healthier for him.   He admitted that he was a big smoker for quite a while and that his smoking was probably what caused the attack.  He also said though that because of the attack, he no longer felt the desire or need to smoke.  Previous times, he had tried to quit but it never stuck.  It always came back.  Now, the desire to smoke was simply gone.

When he got back to work he made sure that he made time to take regular naps between airing times and other work.  He found that he had more time to write fiction.  He only had one other novel already published previously and had not had published anything after that.

The heart attack brought about a sudden urge for Mr. Lehrer to change his lifestyle and become better.  It was a good heart attack!  Those are probably two words you never thought you would hear put together: ‘good’ and ‘heart-attack!’

So, although Mr. Lehrer was able to turn his life around and start doing things he enjoyed, not many people are able to go through a heart-attack and survive.   What I feel I can take from this is that, I don’t have time to not do things that make me happy.  To surround myself with friends and family and to make life something worth living.   I guess it takes a near-death experience to be able to appreciate life.

Quinn Palmer

RPC Student

Eutopia!

This week in my Western Civilization class for the Ron Paul Curriculum, I was taught about the Eutopians and their ideas.  I now have been asked by my instructor, Dr. Tom Woods, to answer this question:

“What kinds of ideas were the “eutopians” promoting? Why is it perhaps not a coincidence that this desire to rethink the organization of society emerged in the sixteenth century in particular?”

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Q&A with Quinn Palmer on Business and Robots

Hello, and welcome to QUINNtessential News.  Tonight we interview a teenager whose name is, coincidentally, Quinn!   The program will be a Q&A based around this question:  “Why is running my own business a way to guarantee my employment in 2030?”

Lets begin!

Q: “Quinn how do you feel about this question?”

A: “Actually I feel that, even though I haven’t started a business, being an entrepreneur can be quite a risk and may be hard.  I believe though that there are many advantages to doing it this way:  One, how can you get fired or let go from a job you created and own?  You can still go out of business, but other than that you are pretty safe from getting let go or losing your job.”

Q:  “Yes, that’s true.  We see almost daily that thousands of people get let go or fired because, for example, robots taking up jobs and them being more efficient than humans.   Do you feel that this may be a threat to your progression in a self-owned business?”

A:   “As of right now and twenty years into the future?  No.  Mostly because robots are currently being designed to take over ‘routine jobs’. Jobs you don’t need a college degree or years in college for.  In fact, because of all these robots, it will open up new doors in the working field and create new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.  Someone can be a code, or a robot repair-man.  Makes me think of Star Wars! A robotic revolution is probably coming, but it shouldn’t be something to be afraid of.  We should be getting ready for and anticipating it.”

Alright, thank you very much Quinn for joining me, but unfortunately that is all the time we have tonight, so thank you again and good night.

Quinn Palmer

RPC Student and future business owner

Selling As Service

This week, as part of my Business Course in the Ron Paul Curriculum I finished a book called Selling as Service written by Harry Brown, a business entrepreneur.  I really enjoyed reading this book.  You would be surprised by how simple, logical and easy it is to understand what he explains in his book! If you are interested in selling, I encourage you to get a copy of this book. It is also available as an eBook.

Now, my instructor, Dr. Gary North would like me to answer this question: “How does Harry Brown’s approach to selling rely on the principle of service?”

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