What makes Hobbes’ masterpiece so special is how relevant many of its concepts remain today. Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan still offers a useful prism through which to understand contemporary events.
Imagine yourself in a car powered by the latest super-smart artificial intelligence (A.I.). Three pedestrians recklessly burst onto the road in front of you. Your self-driving vehicle has no time to slow down – it will either hit the pedestrians or veer off the road, most likely crashing and endangering your life. Who should the car decide to save? The pedestrians? Or should it kill three people to save you, the owner, who did nothing wrong?
Donald Trump’s bid to become US President is enduring far longer than anyone anticipated. Each time his campaign courts scandal, or his words spark public outrage, Trump emerges from the resulting media circus more popular than before. It doesn’t matter how outrageously he acts: the normal rules of politics do not seem to apply to Donald J. Trump.
Is the world as free as we’d like to think? Not according to the 2016 Freedom of the Press report, which found that only 13 percent of the world’s population enjoys the benefits of a free press in 2016.
Unlike plenty of violent revolutionaries from the past, American presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are not seeking to overthrow a monarchy, topple an oppressive dictator, or send their enemies to the guillotine. But few witnesses would disagree that they are revolutionizing US politics by mobilizing popular support against what they perceive as inadequacies in the current system.
It’s safe to say that Syria’s besieged President, Bashar al-Assad, made it far enough into The Prince to absorb the lesson that, for the ruler, it is better to be feared than loved. Fear is no longer part of the political lexicon of many rulers, though it remains an important tool for some.
They come to “reclaim speech and public space… to take our place in the Republic.” They are unified by a system that they say has failed them, as well as a feeling of exclusion from the mainstream political system. They tell the press they will continue until the injustices they see in society—mostly based around democracy (or lack of it) and misrepresentation in the political system—are put right.
In 2014, researchers at MIT published data suggesting that, post-Snowden, Google users are increasingly reluctant to search for terms that might arouse the suspicion of the US government.The conclusion? We now think our online movements are being tracked by a higher power, and we’re starting to police ourselves.
Half of the 16 million people in Malawi, Africa, are living in poverty. They earn less than $1 per day, and they cannot access good medical attention. Yet Africa loses an estimated $14 billion in annual tax revenues—enough to save four million children’s lives a year and put every African child into school—because the rich put their wealth in tax havens like Panama.
According to conventional wisdom, Bernie Sanders, the independent socialist-leaning Senator from Vermont, should not have been a viable candidate in the 2016 Presidential election, let alone a serious challenger to former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, within the Democratic Party.
There are few things more terrifying than an epidemic unfolding in real time, when the true cause of a disease is still unknown, and before effective public health interventions can be implemented. And it is all the more vexing when a disease seems to ravish innocent and sympathetic victims, like newborn babies, or has such a devastating impact that it could change the human rights of the people affected.
On first blush, it would seem that by balancing countervailing interests, Super Tuesday is an ingenious check against the potential for subverting democracy that increases with the size and diversity of a republic. But, does Super Tuesday’s national test truly strive towards a purer form of democratic participation, or does it undermine it by subverting local factions?
Amidst the frenzy leading up to Super Tuesday, when 15 U.S. states hold primaries in a single day, we turned to some of history’s greatest thinkers for advice on how to win one of the most coveted offices in the world. Their advice can secure you the competitive edge in any race—be it personal, professional, or political.
Ammar chuckles as he recounts the almost cliché story of how he became an actor when his father wanted him to become a doctor. “I studied science that year. And then one day the head of the school was driving and stopped right by our house. He rolled down the window and shouted to my dad, ‘either you take your son to a different school or he changes subjects.’”
“For a man can lose neither the past nor the future; for how can one take from him that which is not his?”
One can imagine the statue of Marcus Aurelius muttering this under its breath during the Middle Ages, when Christians began destroying all images of past pagan rulers. Aurelius’ statue was only spared because it was mistaken for Constantine, the first Christian emperor.