Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2013 December 26

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December 26[edit]

Leeward Island missionaries[edit]

This book summarize the history of the London Missionary Society in the Society Islands mentioning accounts mentions by the missionaries like James C. Vivian. Where can I find the original accounts written by resident missionaries such as Vivian? Anywhere online? Would these papers be held with the records of the London Missionary Society at the library of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 08:03, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Looks like SOAS is the best place to start. They definitely hold at least some original material written by Vivian from the field (examples here and here). The archivist can be contacted via docenquiry@soas.co.uk. -Karenjc (talk) 08:54, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Peterborough Katherine of Aragon[edit]

Why didn't Mary I of England legitimate her mother by reburying her in Westminster Abbey instead of leaving her shabby grave in Peterborough Cathedral?--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 10:35, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

The cathedral's website says it has been suggested that Henry made it a cathedral as a tribute to Katherine, so it's possible that Mary felt she couldn't move her mother's bones as they would make the cathedral a place of pilgrimage for her. --TammyMoet (talk) 12:12, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be the opposite of that? Wouldn't they make the pilgrimage to the actual grave? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:34, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
I think Tammy was suggesting that Mary wanted Peterborough to become a unique place of pilgrimage for her mother, and that's why she didn't move the bones to Westminster Abbey. Blueboar (talk) 13:55, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
If so, Mary had changed her mind by the time she wrote her will, in which she requested that her mother be disinterred from Peterborough and reburied close to her own tomb. This request, like others in her will, was ignored. - Karenjc (talk) 23:11, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Did Ayn Rand ever address this question?[edit]

My understanding is that she advocated a pure Laissez Faire economy where government stays completely out of business, not regulating it at all. My question: are there any sources to her addressing questions as to how, if her philosophy were implemented, things like Henry Frick working steel workers into the ground and bringing the hired guns the Pinkertons to the Homestead Strike would not happen? Basically, why she thought her philosophy would not lead to Robber Barons everywhere? 75.75.42.89 (talk) 18:47, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

She doesn't allow the initiation of force by any party, public or private, businessman or laborer. See [1]. Nor is she of the notion that crimes won't happen. That's the whole reason the government exists, to prevent, if possible, and punish them. She's neither for the businessman against the laborer nor for the laborer against the businessman. Her characters Mike in The Fountainhead and the Wet Nurse in Atlas Shrugged are some of her greatest heroes. If you want essays on the subject, read Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal. μηδείς (talk) 19:36, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
Rand doesn't think robber barons are a problem. If their workers don't like conditions, her view would be that they can and should strike out on their own. Furthermore, she would argue, I think, the robber barons' mastery of business entitles them to their wealth and power. The issue is the conflict between freedom and equality. Rand comes down absolutely on the side of freedom. The issue that she doesn't acknowledge is what happens when the only freedom available to some people is the freedom to starve. Marco polo (talk) 19:57, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
Define what Ayn Rand means by "equality". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:35, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Equality 7-2521 is described as "six feet tall, 21 year old male." 20.137.2.50 (talk) 14:53, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Clearly, that would not work as a standard for an entire population. The book, as described in the article, sounds pretty funny. A good satire in the Mark Twain tradition. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:02, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
It is an amusing book/short story. When Mr. Equality shows his rediscovery of electricity to the collective and how it could be used for light, they cry "What will become of all the candlemakers?!" :) 20.137.2.50 (talk) 16:30, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Basically a nation full of Luddites. Like the story of the New England farmer who was turning 100, and a reporter commented to him that he must have seen many changes in his lifetime. The farmer answered, "Yep... and I was against every one of 'em." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:34, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
  • To answer the question, equality is equality before the law. Not egalitarianism, with hatchet, axe, and saw. μηδείς (talk) 19:43, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
What do you mean by "power"? Rand never says anything of the sort. Nor would she use a term like robber baron, which implies some unspecified crime of being a businessman. People don't just materialize out of thin air, starving to death on the estates of productive businessman. Let's stick to sources and quotes, rather than smears and supposition. μηδείς (talk) 20:32, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
Henry Frick was Andrew Carnegie's chairman. After workers went on strike after being driven 12-hour shifts working hard in very dangerous conditions at the steel mill, he (Frick) hired the Pinkertons to shoot the striking steel workers. That's exercising some power in an I-know-it-when-I-see-it sort of definition of the term. List of businessmen who were labeled as Robber Barons.75.75.42.89 (talk) 20:37, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
Here is a supporter of Ayn Rand who agrees with me that her conception of freedom includes the freedom to starve. That is not a smear, it is even a source sympathetic to Rand. And here is a source explaining why Rand lacks much credibility among serious economists or other scholars. Marco polo (talk) 21:25, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
The "right to starve" someone else, presumably. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:38, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
This is not a chat board or a soapbox. If you have requests for references, like the ones I have given, feel free. Otherwise there are plenty of places to express your opinions elsewhere. μηδείς (talk) 02:23, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
I appreciate the references so far, Medeis and Marco polo. I'll try to find Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal through my local library system, as I'm not interested enough to buy the book. 75.75.42.89 (talk) 03:57, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
What did Ayn Rand have to say about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911, and what do the adherents of her philosophy have to say about the 2013 Savar building collapse? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:59, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
The owners of the TSF would have been criminally negligent in the least for chaining the doors shut, if not guilty of manslaughter.
The owner of the Savar building is the son of a politician whom it would seem was able with his political pull to bypass the rules that applied to other owners, and who had industrial machinery running in a building certified only for commercial use. Without making a definitive statement, since our article doesn't go into the proper details, he'd presumably be liable to charges of criminal negligence in regard to the safety of those entering his building, and civilly liable to any banks or owners who suffered damages due to his misuse of the structure.
In the US, for example, one wouldn't get a loan on a property unless the building's use were described and its suitability to that use somehow certified. Issues like due care and attractive nuisance and such would apply based on common law. Businesses wouldn't be able to secure loans or make contracts if reasonable liability insurance were required, yet the standards of industry consultants like Underwriters Laboratories weren't met.
Rand's concern is always for the rights of the individual, which includes the homeless man, not for some class conflict, which is the Marxist obsession. Her politics is organic, federalist, and bottom-up. There's no desire to subject the poor to the rich, or to allow any one group to starve another. (Even the premise is silly, as if the rich could get rich by stealing the belongings of people who have no belongings.) I'd very strongly recommend Isabel Paterson's The God of the Machine, one of the most brilliant books on politics I have ever read, and one which Rand endorsed unreservedly, even though Paterson was a Roman Catholic. μηδείς (talk) 19:31, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Who pays (or, how does the government realistically raise enough money) for the courts and police to rule and enforce in Rand's world? 20.137.2.50 (talk) 20:07, 27 December 2013 (UTC) (IP deleted question after it was answered, I restored it for context. μηδείς (talk) 20:24, 27 December 2013 (UTC))
The people who use them? Rand isn't a rationalist or a utopian; she doesn't have a set agenda other than moving towards freedom and minimal government. Local jurisdictions would work out what was best, lotteries, user fees, taxes on contracts, loser pays/the court taking a percentage of judgments. This is covered in Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal. μηδείς (talk) 20:24, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
American history demonstrates that minimal government, minimal regulation, leads to the crushing of freedom for all but a ruthless, immoral few. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:08, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
Is that a question? Or did you misformat your links and references, Bugs? Did you miss my lengthy response to your question on TSF and the Savar collapse? I am not interested in, and the OP didn't ask for unsupported, mere party-line assertions. Again, this is not a debate forum. μηδείς (talk) 03:02, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
See slavery for further info. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:37, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
Assuming that's meant seriously, it is interesting that slavery can only exist where it is established by government regulation. (This is covered over chapter length in Paterson, cited above.) There was no slavery in the US North, or in the territories, where local government wouldn't enforce it. Only after statehood was granted to "slave states" did or could plantation owners expand into those territories, under slave constitutions.
The Dred Scott Case, decided by a Democrat majority and written by a Democrat chief justice, upholding slavery, required that free states submit to the federal government and enforce the fugitive slave act. They required the industrial capitalist North to countenance and collude in an institution they wanted no part of, and fond no profit in. It was the laissez-faire classic liberals in Britain who outlawed slavery, and they who prevented Britain from intervening on the side of the the South in the US Civil War. Note also that there never was any industrial slavery in the US, only the mockery of feudalism that existed on southern plantations. Again, how any of this has to do with Capitalism or Ayn Rand is, to say it charitably, unclear in the extreme. μηδείς (talk) 02:36, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Independent and unaligned politicians in Australia[edit]

What's the difference, at least in a NSW context? Apparently Inverell Shire has a nine-member council with two independents and seven unaligned; I can't understand why they're not all grouped together. Nyttend (talk) 22:11, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Have you looked on the Australian Electoral Commission website? Asking this question at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Australian politics might get a better response. Nick-D (talk) 05:02, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
It's very common in Australian local government elections for members of the major political parties to stand, but claim that that are not representing their party, just themselves and the local people, and hence are independent. I think it's a load of hogwash, but maybe it's relevant hogwash. HiLo48 (talk) 23:16, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Reminds me of the old Flanders and Swann joke: My council is strictly apolitical - they're all Liberals. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 08:16, 28 December 2013 (UTC)