Category Archives: Theory

>Structure vs Agency

>To what extent do individuals control the events around them? And to what extent do structures such as the social, environmental, economic and state systems control those individuals?

Many professors have told me that this is one of the hardest and longest lasting questions in social science. Yet I think we can adress it simply if we so choose. Who has the biggest impact; you or the structures, groups and rules in which you live out your life within/by?

>State of Nature

>Dr S Lechner, a Lecturer from Kings College London, wrote an article on the above especially for this website. You can see it here:
http://www.thebigqs.co.uk/Articles/Philosophy/State%20of%20Nature%20by%20S.%20Lechner.pdf

It is a subject that has provoked a lot of thought from philosophers and also from the public in general. What questions do you see arising from the topic? What do you see the State of Nature as being? If there was no creation then can we even talk about a State of Nature?

Any thoughts are welcome.

>Is progression linear?

>A few sub-questions to think about…

  1. What is progression?
  2. Are there stages of history that societies pass through?
  3. Do we inevitably improve ourselves individually and collectively?
  4. Was everything chaos in the beginning and will it be in the end?
  5. Was everything ‘eden’ (the Hebrew word for pleasure/paradise) in the beginning and will return to it in the end?

>What is life?

>Most scientists have some sort of opinion on what life is. In fact most would state their opinion very confidently as if it were fact. But there are many tricky situations such as the fact that plants are completely different to animals and insects and that there are plasmas in space that reproduce. What do you think life is and why?

>Can the Marxist vision of Communism ever be realised?

>Is there ever going to be a time and place where Communism can truly succeed in the basic form outlined by Marx and Engels? There have been many ‘experiments’ along the communist model (Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Laos, Vietnam). However, these have tended to rebrand Communism in their own formula to suit their specific needs. My girlfriend has told me that according to George Orwell’s book Animal Farm (which I have so far embarrassingly failed to read), human nature dictates that our greed and desire for increased wealth and prosperity ensures that pure communism is just a dream. However, is this just the opinion of Orwell or can Communism never be truly realised?

>Genocide and Human Rights Catastrophe

>The holocaust happened in the 30s and 40s. We swore it would never happen again. Yet look at the Middle East today. Since the holocaust Arabs have been pitted against Israelis and vice versa. Some people even call for a new holocaust, and many would be glad for it.

The Rwandan Genocide took place in 1994. Yet how many people die brutal deaths in Africa every day? And they don’t even make news in the west for they are not considered news worthy. Look up the average age for someone living in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. You will be shocked.

These events are socio-cultural diseases whereby we inflict such pain upon ourselves, and refuse to help our neighbours. Are they inevitable? Are they simply Darwinian purges of society necessary for the strongest groups to evolve? Or can we do something about it? If so, then what?

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