The legal imagination

I have the right to remain silent (2017). Oil on canvas (35 x 25cm). Private Collection.I have the right to remain silent (2017). Oil on canvas by Albert Barqué-Duran.

Hypotheticals, fantastical beings, and a fictional omnibus: legal reasoning is made supple by its use of the imagination

Maksymilian Del Mar is a reader in legal theory at the School of Law at Queen Mary University of London. He is the co-editor of Legal Fictions in Theory and Practice (2015). He lives in London.

The legal world is wonderfully strange. Pull down a dusty volume of case law from a barrister’s bookshelf, and you’ll discover a parade of fantastical beings that could have been lifted from the pages of Jorge Luis Borges or Dr Seuss. In the law, constitutions behave like living trees, the island of Minorca is treated as a suburb of London, immobile houses suddenly zoom along beltways, Clapham omnibuses are packed with reasonable men, and spectral officious bystanders routinely spy on contractual negotiations. The legal realm is full of unlikely and improbable possibilities, as well as paths not taken, counterfactuals, mights, perhapses and maybes.

All of this draws on the faculty of the imagination. You’d be forgiven for thinking of a judge as someone who spends all day shoehorning ‘the facts’ into pre-fabricated principles, and laying down determinative rulings like geological strata. In fact, legal reasoning is a much more supple exercise. Individual judges must resolve knotty questions under conditions of uncertainty, and in a context in which there’s usually profound disagreement about both what has happened and what ought to be done about it. 

In these circumstances, imagination performs many salutary functions. Indeed, legal reasoning would be impossible without it. Imagination allows judges to explore what might be at stake in any particular dispute, and to provide a set of resources for future decision-makers. It lets them communicate doubt and express hesitation. And it brings the language of law alive, moving us and inviting us to imagine further – and so enables a thriving, interactive community of enquiry.

Of course, imagination also carries certain dangers. It might encourage bias, or signal a departure from common sense. But overall it should be celebrated – in law and, perhaps, in other domains where people must engage in the messy business of public reasoning.

Legal reasoning has at least four imaginative abilities at its disposal. The first is supposing: pretending that something is the case when you know or suspect that it’s not. Judges have been doing this sort of ‘as-if’ style of imagining for thousands of years. Courts in ancient Rome frequently used a mechanism known as fictio civitatis, the fiction of citizenship, which let authorities rule on the behaviour of ‘aliens’ as if they were Romans. As Gaius, a celebrated jurist in the second century CE, said:

If it appears that a golden cup has been stolen from Lucius Titius by Dio the son of Hermaeus or by his aid and counsel, on which account, if he were a Roman citizen, he would be bound to compound for the wrong as a thief.

Fictions are not just the preserve of the West. In 17th-century China, clans of villagers set up ‘companies’ that collected and distributed capital to their members, who were supposedly united by kinship with common ancestors. But as the legal scholar Teemu Ruskola at Emory University in Atlanta argues in Legal Orientalism (2013), ‘the idiom of the family was frequently only a legal fiction used to recruit members, many of whom were not even related by blood to the clan they joined’. Needless to say, this fiction often proved useful in raising revenue for the company.

However, I will focus on the common law – a tradition that comes from Britain, and in which the authority for a principle is settled through the slow accretion of case law and custom, rather than by setting out everything in statutes or codes. This mode of thought involves its fair share of judge-invented fictions. In the 18th-century case of Mostyn v Fabrigas, for example, a resident of Minorca – an island off the coast of Spain that was under British rule – claimed that he had been falsely imprisoned by the British government. To gain jurisdiction, the British court treated the territory as if it were a suburb of London.

Legal scholars usually dislike such judicial inventiveness. ‘[T]he pestilential breath of Fiction poisons the sense of every instrument it comes near,’ wrote the jurist and philosopher Jeremy Bentham in 1776. He said that imagination had infected the law like syphilis, ‘begotten in the bed of metaphor’ – something of an irony, given his own turn of phrase. Bentham claimed that legal language would reflect the truth of affairs only if it were direct and free of ornament, and accused lawyers of deliberately mystifying the law so as to retain sole guardianship over its mysteries – and thereby enrich themselves…

mores…

https://aeon.co/essays/why-judges-and-lawyers-need-imagination-as-much-as-rationality

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Muslims Confiscate Wives Salaries – Where Are Feminists?

More Algerian women work, but husbands control wages

By AFP
Female police cadets perform during their graduation ceremony at the police academy in Ain Benian August 6, 2009. 
PHOTO: REUTERS

Female police cadets perform during their graduation ceremony at the police academy in Ain Benian August 6, 2009. PHOTO: REUTERS

ALGIERS: 

More and more Algerian women are challenging traditional norms by getting jobs, but many see their salaries confiscated by their husbands despite a law against the practice.

“It’s financial harassment,” lawyer Fatma-Zohra Benbraham said. “It’s a dangerous phenomenon that has been kept silent for a long time.”

Lawyers say that as more women go into the workplace, tensions over money are causing a surge in divorces.

lleviating poverty: 252 deserving women get buffaloes

Female employment rose from 10.2% in 2005 to 13.6 by 2015, with around 2 million Algerian women now in work, alongside just under nine million men. The number of divorces almost doubled from 34,000 in 2007 to around 60,000 in 2014.

Benbraham said financial disputes, particularly over control of wives’ salaries, are behind the rise. “The tendency to divorce has increased in recent years. Money is the main cause of marital breakdowns,” she added.

Women say they face financial blackmail. If a wife refuses to let her husband control her wages, she is forced to stay at home or even face divorce proceedings – a source of shame in the conservative country.

Women empowerment: Top aide says K-P to adopt bill on domestic violence

In other cases, fathers or brothers take control of their female relatives’ money. “Many women prefer to divorce so they can keep their salaries for themselves and their children,” said Benbraham.

In 2015, Algeria’s parliament adopted a law aimed at preventing husbands from taking control of their wives’ salaries.

It says “anyone who exercises constraints on their spouse in order to have access to their property or financial resources” can be imprisoned for up to two years.

But many women say the law does not protect them enough.

“I never see my money. My husband takes it all,” a woman identified only as Nadia told local daily El Watan. “The law should protect us.”

Nourredine Bekis, professor of sociology at the University of Algiers, said the practice was a result of patriarchal society.

“We have taught boys that financial power is the basis for establishing male domination,” he said.

‘Women should be given equal rights’ 

Algerian husbands are traditionally responsible for providing for their wives and children, while a wife’s money is reserved for her own use. But as they head to work, women have little choice but to hand their cash over to their husbands or risk their families falling apart.

The debate on the right of women to control their salaries was recently revived by Mounia Meslem, minister for the family and the status of women.

She provoked a wave of criticism on social media when she called on women to give their wages to the state to help it cope with financial difficulties arising from a fall in the price of oil, the country’s main resource.

“We can help our country,” she told the private television channel El Bilad. “It is not our income that gives us a livelihood, but rather our husbands who take care of us.”

Critics said her comment represented a step backwards for women’s rights.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1365408/algerian-women-work-husbands-control-wages/

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The Illusion of America: Has it Ever Really Existed?


by Ryan Cristian, Guest Waking Times

In the past, this country has always prided itself on the personal freedom and Constitutional rights of the individual, and oddly enough, it still does today despite the fact that the US currently ranks 41st according to the 2016 world press freedom index, and 11th on the Heritage Institute’s 2016 index of economic freedom, behind countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Chile.

However, the facts have yet to stop the government, or rather the faction that co-opted the government, from carrying out its will and broadcasting whichever story reinforces that will. From lying about attacks and epidemics, to fabricating them all together, what this country once could have been is simply no longer present, where sadly, it truly counts: within the government, save for a brave few. But the people remain, and that American Dream still resides within their hearts and longs to be realized. Regardless of whether that dream was ever truly seen to fruition or if it was sabotaged by some of the very men who took part in its creation, it has taken root in the very foundation that holds this broken country together, it has become eternal; it prevails within the deep-seeded beliefs of that which makes this country truly powerful: its people.

Those who have participated in this fabrication are terrified that the people will once and for all see through the lie, and find the sinister reality behind. And that is indeed what we are witnessing in real-time, as Americans finally begin to wake up to this gross manipulation.

This awakening has been a long time coming, and was brought on by many different occurrences. Yet, the one event that was always meant to reinforce the citizen’s blind faith and dedication to the system, the election process, has much to the establishment’s dismay, become the largest awakening event in American history. People are being hyper-exposed to the true nature of the government and those who have complete control over its actions, thanks almost entirely to WikiLeaks and those who anonymously leaked the information.

From blaming the Russians with zero evidence, and pitting Americans against each other with race, religion and political standing, to the classic ‘lesser of two evils” ploy, the entire past election has weirdly enough turned into one of the most important things that could have happened to the individual, as it shook us all out of our complacency to see the true level of corruption operating right beneath our noses, while being told we are living the dream.

Does the Government Represent the People?

In today’s “feelings-over-facts“ climate, when a study does not embody what one chooses to embrace as “the truth,” it is simply disregarded as “fake news” or some other catch-all measure of dismissal that allows the individual to ignore contradictory information, and do so with a sense of confidence, be it a false one. Which is the case with the following study, that wildly enough has not gotten much attention since its release, as something like this would only be ignored by a willfully uninformed populace. This study actually quantifies the irrelevancy of the American public in regard to their influence on the government and its policy.

Researchers at Princeton University looked at more than 20 years worth of data to answer a pretty simple question:

Does the government represent the people?

Quoting the Princeton study directly:

“The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

(Click the graph to see the full video)
Many are beginning to come to grips with the reality that their opinion doesn’t matter in this country, and that the government truly doesn’t care what they think, and sadly… they are correct. But there’s a catch. Economic elites, business interests–those who have enough money to hire lobbyists–have an entirely different line on the graph above than the average America(the bottom 90%), and surprise surprise, it’s much closer to the ideal representation, which means these elite individuals do in fact directly influence policy in this country. So in other words, this study clearly demonstrates that money, and those who have it, dictate this country’s true direction, not the people and their faux democracy.

Ultimately, this shows that the elites have the ability to get what they what, regardless of the American majority-will, and the people pay for it, literally and figuratively. With one in every five American children born into poverty, the American people suffer the most expensive healthcare in the world, a floundering education system, and a catastrophically detrimental failure of a drug war, all spurred on with egregiously wasteful spending seemingly without end. Almost every major issue Americans face as a nation can be tied back to the realization brought on by the above graph: The average person has essentially zero influence on the passage of the very laws that affect their daily lives and the direction of their own country, which they then pay for with their hard-earned money, lest they be forced into a cage at gunpoint. Sounds like freedom to me…

more…

About the Author

Ryan Cristian is the author of website, The Last American Vagabond.

This article (The Illusion of America: Has it Ever Really Existed?) was originally created and published by The Last American Vagabond and is printed here with permission. 

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/03/27/illusion-america-ever-really-existed/

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What do slaveholders think?

Resultado de imagem para Labourers in Vidharbha region in Maharashtra, India. Photo by Sanjit Das/Panos

Labourers in Vidharbha region in Maharashtra, India. Photo by Sanjit Das/Panos

 image edited by Web Investigator

It is everywhere illegal yet slavery persists in many corners of the global economy. How do its beneficiaries justify it?

by Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick is a professor of sociology at the University of San Diego. His latest book is What Slaveholders Think (2017).

I liked Aanan as soon as I met him. My field notes read: ‘What a nice guy, you can just see from his face.’ Open-faced and conversational, he was enthusiastic about the explosive growth in his quarry operations and excited to show me around. Together, we toured the open mines where his workers carve into the earth, producing boulders that are broken down into gravel by smaller labourers, often women and children. Together with his workers, Aanan laughed at my efforts to repeat the process for myself, the sledge held high over my head before arcing down, momentarily disappearing into shards and dust.

He showed me the crushing equipment that transformed gravel into silica powder, proudly explaining that the Indian multinational company, Tata, which makes generous donations to Harvard’s renowned business school, was the exclusive buyer of his materials. I had met Aanan through a friend of his, a reference that considerably eased his concerns about speaking with an outsider regarding his operations. The fact that I was most interested in challenging bonded labour – a contemporary form of slavery – didn’t matter.

Around half of the world’s slaves are held in debt bondage in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Debt bondage is a very old form of slavery in which radically marginalised members of society, often from India’s ‘untouchable’ caste, must trade all their labour for single small infusions of cash. Broader social and economic systems ensure that they do not understand the terms of such loans, and that the time required to repay them is interminable. Lack of other work, lack of credit, and the need to pay for schooling and marriages effectively guarantee that there is no single contractual debt between the landlord and labourer but rather a string of interconnected informal loans.

Workers are often promised that their debt will be repaid within a certain period of time, only to be told that they have somehow incurred new debts. Running debts are occasionally sold to other slaveholders, and in this way a worker can change hands several times. Local officials are more likely to turn a blind eye than to enforce a remote law. 

The days of owning people are over, yet slavery still persists in dark pockets of the global economy. All forms of slavery are now illegal in every country on Earth, yet the practice still festers in unreformed nests of feudalism, where threats and violence can suppress or eliminate pay for work. Where slavery is verboten, psychological control through deception and fear is the new coin of the realm. In the case of debt bondage, it is the caste system – with Brahmin at the head and ‘untouchable’ beneath – that does the delicate work of stitching debts together into a seamless, infinite coercive system that leaves labourers feeling trapped.

Despite the abuse, the caste-based worldview frames these exploitative labour relations in familial terms. ‘You have to understand the mentality of labourers, and you should know how to make them work,’ says Aanan, who views himself as the caring parent and his workers as children. ‘To manage a group of labourers is like managing a group of primary-school children. They have to be provided with food or clothes, and they are taught how to behave … sometimes they start drinking alcohol; sometimes they indulge in feasts. So we have to pay them with caution. We divide them into small groups because larger numbers of workers tend to form a union and sometimes engage in mass holidays or strikes.’

Aanan says the happiness of his worker is paramount, even though his business model depends on entrapping the vulnerable and working them to the bone as they crush rock from dusk to dawn. He couldn’t come out and say this to me or to his workers – or perhaps even to himself.

Withholding pay and limiting opportunities to mobilise are important strategies for controlling workers. But all of this is done for the workers’ own good, Aanan insists. Though landlords complain about alcohol, such indulgences are also tactics for increasing debt. Rowdy festivals allow workers to blow off steam, effectively directing frustration away from their abusers. These events also allow workers to spend what little money they have, increasing the likelihood that they will remain dependent on the landlord’s line of credit. 

To the erstwhile slaveholder, leisure activities – talking, idling, drinking – are vices, tangible manifestations of social decline

When asked if he needs the workers or the workers need him, Aanan explains that: ‘The worker is my cash machine, my fate.’ In this one statement, he has captured a central contradiction inherent in most human-rights violations worldwide: exploitation takes place at the intersection of culture and capital, in the overlap between relationship and extraction, at the moment where care and exploitation intersect…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/this-is-what-slavery-looks-like-today-in-the-eyes-of-slavers

 

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Microwave Towers & Faster Downloads: The Hidden Health Impact of Wireless Communications

by Benjamin Nowland, New Dawn Waking Times

Imagine you arrive home after work to discover a new microwave antenna tower stationed at the edge of your backyard fence? How would you respond?

  1. If you’d had non-existent mobile phone reception for years prior (or if you were a techie ‘hooked on faster downloads’) then you might find reason to celebrate!
  2. You might respond as an ambivalent disempowered citizen, “I really wonder about those things but there isn’t much I can do about this anyway.”
  3. You may be in the growing group of empowered action-takers. You’ve either experienced microwave radiation sickness attributable to exposure or you’ve read books and articles on the topic which resonate with your own truth

Out of Sight Does Not Equal Out of Mind

Now forget the antennas in the backyard. Rather, that same day you arrived home from work telcos had erected a microwave antenna tower 300 metres from your residence. They paid someone rent to place it in a stealth location, a church steeple, behind a shop rooftop façade or on a water tower tucked out of public view behind parkland. Or it might have been located entirely visible, say next to a highway. We are already seeing so many of these towers that they no longer register. Our innate sensibility has often numbed to them in the same way we can numb to catastrophe or violence through a constant diet of Hollywood and TV news.

Telcos seeks to irradiate a large area (coverage) and increase data rate by:

  1. Multiple waveforms emitted (a variety of microwave frequencies generated and sent out through the ether via the antennas) – for instance the 700 MHz (0.7 GHz) band is highly penetrating (including through buildings) and is therefore especially effective used in conjunction with the 2600 MHz (2.6 GHz) band which has a high data rate (PENETRATION + HIGH DATA = HAPPY TELCO and customers). Keep in mind these frequencies are used to cook flesh. The microwave oven you dropped off at the recovery area of the rubbish tip the other week runs at 2.45 GHz.
  1. Turning up the ‘volume’ or microwave power density on the antenna array – in the same way we turn up the volume of our stereo. This is the same ‘invisible stuff’ emitted by your mobile device and WiFi. In the above example when the antenna tower was at the edge of your back fence (say 100 metres from your bedroom), you’d likely complain, “Not In My Back Yard!” When it is located 300 metres away and out of sight in council bushland there is no way for you to complain as you do not even know about it! Even if it is located on the side of a road you might not consider taking action, such is the distorted form of information passed on to the public (more on this later).

Distance is an important consideration per the Inverse Square Law for distance from source (of microwave radiation) – Intensity α 1/distance.2

If the antenna was at 100 metres distance then was moved to 300 metres, the intensity will be 1/9th that at 100 metres. However, what if the telco turned up the ‘volume’ of the antenna array at 300 metres to be 90 times higher than the antennas at 100 metres? Intensity would then = 1/9 x 90 = 10 times higher at 300 metres than at 100 metres. Most of us do not spend our evenings searching data on local antenna emission levels.

The Inverse Square Law applies similarly to devices. Many years ago I had a wireless emitting Telstra modem located underneath a couch I enjoyed lying on in the evening to read – not clever. I wondered why my sleep was so chaotic during that phase. I correlated to show the pre-bed ritual of a book on the couch was a contributor. I’ve since hardwired my Internet.

Transform your brain health by simply stretching out to arms-length and putting your phone on ‘speaker’ rather than pressing it to your ear and literally ‘cooking’ parts of your brain.

  1. Working with trajectory and strategic location – there is an overlay strategy to eliminate ‘black spots’. One element that can assist (and hinder) this strategy is trajectory. If in the above example the tower 100 metres from your bedroom is at 50 metres elevation per Figure 1 (note this is indicative software only) and you happen to live in a tenth floor apartment, then you could well be in the direct line of fire. If you were in a house on the ground floor the power density (or exposure levels) would not be as high. However, consider the ‘side lobes’ that are the diagonal high intensity lobes dependent on antenna design/type. There is a myth that you are ‘protected’ directly beneath an antenna array. Because of side lobes this is not the case, though you are less exposed than if you were directly in front of it.

Faster Data Rates PLEASE MR TELCO

The telcos suggest the market is requesting faster data rates and ‘eradication’ of mobile black spots. The suggestion is we want high-speed coverage everywhere.

Telcos tell us the public is demanding faster rates on their devices and that is why they need to build more towers and turn up the power density. Do you want to download ten videos simultaneously rather than just one? We are a misinformed public with minds etched by PR and advertising. We are told of the benefits of a wireless world such as convenient communications, improved work efficiency, and safety devices.

The law of polarity holds that wherever there are benefits we find shortcomings. We do not hear that in 2009 over 300,000 Swedes indicated they are detrimentally affected by electromagnetic radiation. We are not presented the stories of thousands of Australians experiencing anxiety, headaches, brain fog and even heart palpitations, lost in an unreceptive, outdated and often derisive medical system. We aren’t informed of the snake-oil industries that have sprung up to ‘service’ the desperate.

Presently ‘we’ as powerful individuals are not demanding faster downloads. There is a collective entity influencing and it can be difficult to create space to ‘see’. I switch on my phone for around 10-20 minutes per day. Not everyone can do this, and I may have a work-lifestyle that requires more connectivity in the future. Why not experiment? The act of experimenting is an act of questioning the status quo. How low can you go?

Am I Being Rattled by Microwaves?

For those who have been feeling ‘off’ for no apparent reason, with headaches, anxiety, a general ‘jitteriness’ and irritation, insomnia and perhaps more extreme symptoms such as tingling in the extremities, brain fog and palpitations, the answer may be YES. Microwave radiation exposure is not the only contributor, however it’s one of multiple environmental factors…

more…

About the Author

BENJAMIN NOWLAND (Honours Mechanical Engineer, Grad. Cert. Environmental Management, Cert. IV Training and Assessment, Certified Health Practitioner and Yoga Teacher) shares original perspectives on health and spirituality. Ben is the best-selling author of Playing GOD Biological and Spiritual Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation – a book created to stretch perceptions whilst easily digested by the householder. He has spent two decades exploring human potential, the infinite and eternal. Connect with Ben at: ben@dharamhouse.com.

Benjamin Nowland is the author of Playing GOD Biological and Spiritual Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation, a book for empowered action-takers in the community, health practitioners and for those experiencing symptoms. To obtain your copy, visit www.vividpublishing.com.au/playinggod/ or call Vivid Publishing on 08 9467 4143. For further information on Ben’s work, visit his website www.dharamhouse.com.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/03/21/microwave-towers-faster-downloads-hidden-health-impact-wireless-communications/

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In defence of hierarchy

Resultado de imagem para Daoist power: Herding Horses by Han Gan, Tang dynasty, China.

Daoist power: Herding Horses by Han Gan, Tang dynasty, China. Photo courtesy the National Palace Museum, Taipei/Wikipedia

As a society we have forgotten how to talk about the benefits of hierarchy, expertise and excellence. It’s time we remembered

BY Stephen C Angle is professor of philosophy at Wesleyan University. He has written and edited many books on Chinese philosophy, including Sagehood: The Contemporary Significance of Confucian Philosophy (2012). He lives in Middletown, CT.

The modern West has placed a high premium on the value of equality. Equal rights are enshrined in law while old hierarchies of nobility and social class have been challenged, if not completely dismantled. Few would doubt that global society is all the better for these changes. But hierarchies have not disappeared. Society is still stratified according to wealth and status in myriad ways.

On the other hand, the idea of a purely egalitarian world in which there are no hierarchies at all would appear to be both unrealistic and unattractive. Nobody, on reflection, would want to eliminate all hierarchies, for we all benefit from the recognition that some people are more qualified than others to perform certain roles in society. We prefer to be treated by senior surgeons not medical students, get financial advice from professionals not interns. Good and permissible hierarchies are everywhere around us.

Yet hierarchy is an unfashionable thing to defend or to praise. British government ministers denounce experts as out of tune with popular feeling; both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders built platforms on attacking Washington elites; economists are blamed for not predicting the 2008 crash; and even the best established practice of medical experts, such as childhood vaccinations, are treated with resistance and disbelief. We live in a time when no distinction is drawn between justified and useful hierarchies on the one hand, and self-interested, exploitative elites on the other.

As a group, we believe that clearer thinking about hierarchy and equality is important in business, politics and public life. We should lift the taboo on discussing what makes for a good hierarchy. To the extent that hierarchies are inevitable, it is important to create good ones and avoid those that are pernicious. It is also important to identify the ways in which useful and good hierarchies support and foster good forms of equality. When we talk about hierarchies here, we mean those distinctions and rankings that bring with them clear power differentials.

We are a diverse group of scholars and thinkers who take substantively different views on many political and ethical issues. Recently, we engaged in an intensive discussion of these issues under the aegis of the Berggruen Philosophy and Culture Center in Los Angeles, and we found ourselves agreeing on this: much can be said in defence of some kinds of hierarchy. The ideas we present here are at the very least worthy of more widespread and serious attention. All of this takes on a new urgency given the turn in world politics towards a populism that often attacks establishment hierarchies while paradoxically giving authoritarian power to individuals claiming to speak for ‘the people’.

What then, should be said in praise of hierarchy? 

First, bureaucratic hierarchies can serve democracy. Bureaucracy is even less popular these days than hierarchy. Yet bureaucratic hierarchies can instantiate crucial democratic values, such as the rule of law and equal treatment.

There are at least three ways in which usually hierarchical constitutional institutions can enhance democracy: by protecting minority rights, and thereby ensuring that the basic interests of minorities are not lightly discounted by self-interested or prejudiced majorities; by curbing the power of majority or minority factions to pass legislation favouring themselves at the expense of the public good; and by increasing the epistemic resources that are brought to bear on decision-making, making law and policy more reflective of high-quality deliberation. Hence democracies can embrace hierarchy because hierarchy can enhance democracy itself…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/hierarchies-have-a-place-even-in-societies-built-on-equality

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How Showing Compassion for Animals Can Improve Personal Well-Being

by Alex Pietrowski, Staff,Waking Times

Compassion is the humane side of suffering, which inspires the most beautiful acts of humanity. In man’s world, animals often bear the worst of our dark side, suffering under the stresses of cruelty and ruthlessness, however, being compassionate towards animals may actually be good for your health and well-being, perhaps even prolonging your life.

For so many of us, compassion appears to be an innate, instinctual part of the human experience, something so many of us do automatically, and decades of clinical psychological research into the problem of human suffering shows how our most evolved nature is to respond compassionately. A host of university studies share the conclusion that compassion is part of our higher nature, looking at the biological basis for compassion.

Dacher Keltner summarized the emerging findings from this new science of human goodness, proposing that compassion is “an evolved part of human nature, rooted in our brain and biology.”” [Source]

Human well-being is multi-dimensional and the corollaries between how we behave and how that behavior in turn affects our overall wellness are more understood now than ever before. When we act from our higher nature, it benefits our health, which may explain the tendency for so many people to live altruistic lives in helping others and protecting animals.

“That suffering, as unpleasant as it is, often also has a bright side to which research has paid less attention: compassion. Human suffering is often accompanied by beautiful acts of compassion by others wishing to help relieve it. What led 26.5 percent of Americans to volunteer in 2012 (according to statistics from the US Department of Labor)? What propels someone to serve food at a homeless shelter, pull over on the highway in the rain to help someone with a broken down vehicle, or feed a stray cat?” [Source]

Taking this one step further, looking at the tendency of people to extend compassion beyond the human race, showing empathy towards the animal kingdom and the natural world, we find an infinite number of possibilities for improving our own lives by directing our energy toward ending the pain and suffering of many beings.

Being compassionate has even been shown to make us more attractive to the opposite sex in behavioral studies looking at societies with more altruistic tendencies.

“One more sign that suggests that compassion is an adaptively evolved trait is that it makes us more attractive to potential mates. A study examining the trait most highly valued in potential romantic partners suggests that both men and women agree that “kindness” is one of the most highly desirable traits.” [Source]

Furthermore, engaging in acts of compassion, when done for the right reasons, can increase one’s peace of mind and happiness:

“The cultivation of well-being has specifically shown that it is eudemonic, rather than hedonic wellbeing which is linked to a sense of connectedness with oneself, and others. Eudemonic wellbeing implies finding meaning and purpose in life, living in accordance with one’s values and developing a sense of long-term “spiritual” health (not necessarily religious).

In turn, eudemonic well-being may be cultivated through mindful practices such as mediation and compassion training.” [Source]

Final Thoughts

It’s not something that would surprise most people, as the expression of our best nature feels good and is uplifting for everyone involved, but the inverse of this must also be true, that people who neglect their own health would have a more difficult time being compassionate to animals, and even nature in general. Therefore, adding intentional kindness, compassion and empathy the ways in which we attain better health and wellness makes perfect sense.

About the Author

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and Offgrid Outpost, a provider ofstorable food and emergency kits. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.

This article (How Showing Compassion for Animals Can Improve Personal Well-Being) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alex Pietrowski and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/03/21/the-link-between-compassion-for-animals-and-good-health/

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