Marijuana and Mill’s Harm Principle

Marijuana is a very sensitive and controversial topic nowadays. At the opposite ends of the spectrum, people argue against each other about the legalization of the drug. For the supporters of the legalization, there are people arguing for the job creations and economic opportunities by comparing Marijuana to alcohol and tobacco. On the other hand, people argue against the drug because of its negative effects on the health and the fact that it is usually considered as a “gateway” drug to other more addictive drugs such as cocaine, heroine, etc. In the recent lectures, we learned a very interesting idea about the “Harm Principle” discussed by John Stuart Mill in his “On Liberty” Chapter IV. In this blog post, I will try to use this principle to explain whether or not Marijuana should be legalized.

Medial Marijuana Legalized States (Apr 2014) (link)

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United Nations and Social Contracts

United Nations (UN) was founded in 1945 after the greatest war in human history. After hundreds or even thousands years of chaos and disputes, mankind finally got together and started to find a way to keep long-term peace and development. The purpose of the United Nations seems to be easy to understand – just like citizens in a country need to have a government, countries need to have “a government of countries” to ensure peace and prevent wars among nations. However, is the role of the UN among countries really the same as that of a government for its citizens? In my opinion, the short answer here is NO. In order to more closely examine this issue, I will use the theories of Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau to compare UN with a common “country” in their different ways to keep “Social Contracts”.

UN General Assembly Hall – The hall that holds the main deliberative assembly of the United Nations (Link)

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A Brief Discussion of Hobbes’s “Covenants” in Modern Economics

In Thomas Hobbes’s “Leviathan“, he discusses the concept of “State of Nature” and the important role of a “Leviathan” (Commonwealth) in a society. According to his argument, performing and keeping “Covenants” among men is paramount. Studying Hobbes reminds me of the market structures in Economics, and the nature of competitions in a market economy. After substituting “Companies” in an economy for “men” in a society,  I noticed Hobbes’s theory is no longer perfectly feasible in such a modern scenario. In fact, instead of “keeping Covenants”, the “Leviathans” in a market economy would more apt to break them.

In a modern Market Economy, does the "Leviathans" still act the same role? Are "Covenants" between companies, like those between "men", still encouraged to be kept by a commonwealth? (link)

In a modern Market Economy, does the “Leviathans” still act the same role? Are “Covenants” between companies, like those between “men”, still encouraged to be kept by a commonwealth? (link)

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NASCAR: The Ultimate Representation of an American Dream

Still reassuring yourself by saying “the Big House” as the biggest stadium in the Western Hemisphere after the recent fiasco against Spartans? What I am going to talk about might disappointing you because “the Big House” is nothing compared to the largest speedway in the world. As a matter of fact, the majority of NASCAR tracks in the US are larger than “the Big House”, and the largest one among them, the grandiose Indianapolis Motor Speedway, once attracted roughly 400,000 spectators, is practically four times bigger than the highest capacity of “the Big House”.

Aerial view: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Dwarfs “the Big House” (link)

Apparently, from those comparisons and stats, you have already successfully conjectured: the protagonist here is NASCAR. In fact, apart from introducing the history and development of NASCAR, what I am going to argue in this blog post is that: NASCAR (forget about football and baseball) is the actual and genuine “Ultimate Representation” of  an American Dream

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Kim Jong-un: A modern demonstration of Machiavellianism?

All right, even though the Medias all over the world are still looking for Kim Jong-un’s whereabouts these days, I am here to talk about how this little fatty relates to Machiavellianism. In fact, Kim Jong-un and his family have utilized Machiavellianism so successfully for more than half a century that I would recommend whoever has a serious interest in “The Prince” should facebook Kim Jong-un and his family for some further clarifications and suggestions.

 

Machiavellianism? Ask me! (link)

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“Professional Sport”: Also a form of “play” defined by Huizinga?

So when I first read bthor22’s “The Transformation of ‘Play’”, I was planning to write a short comment about my different point of view about professional sports, but I ended up wrote a whole bunch of paragraphs so I finally decided to expand it and write it as an separate blog post.

In bthor22’s “The Transformation of ‘Play’”, the central thesis is basically that the modern professional sports is no longer defined by Huizinga’s definition of ‘Play’ because the primary motivation for the modern athletes is monetary needs. However, I was not fully convinced and I believe that this is an arguable idea.

Before going on to talk about the professional athletes, I firstly want to discuss how the casual form of sports, that people play after school or work, is defined by Huizinga’s definition of ‘Play’. In Huizinga’s “Homo Ludens”, he presented several basic features or traits of ‘Play’. If we put a type of sports, ex. soccer, into Huizinga’s context, we would apparently find that soccer (or any other casual sports) is defined as a form ‘Play’ by Huizinga: playing soccer is voluntary; it is ‘pretend’ (outside real-life); it is not about normal wants and needs; it is limited in time and space; it has a fixed ‘cultural form’ (repeated in some style once formed); it is rule-governed…and so on. Therefore, ‘soccer’ (or other sports), played by amateurs, is definitely defined as a ‘Play’ by Huizinga’s definition.

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