The Public Humanist

Tag Archives | Public Humanist

Chaos is a Ladder: Why The European Union Must Survive

Over the past several years, the European Union’s stability and future have seemed uncertain. But given Europe’s two thousand-year history of cataclysmic war, should the idea of a consensual peace be so quickly discarded?

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Still They Persisted: What a 105 Year Old Strike in Lawrence, MA Can Teach Us About Organization and Social Change

Suggesting that the 1912 strike started in a flash over a wage cut diminishes the contributions of the laborers—mostly women and immigrants—who built unity out of diversity.

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Rhetorical Shifts: Economic Liberty

John Gast’s American Progress, an allegory of Manifest Destiny that was widely disseminated in chromolithographic prints in the late 1800s.

The meanings of welfare and liberty changed significantly from the revolutionary era to the present. How did Adam Smith’s ethically-based concept of liberty come to be replaced with a no-holds-barred free market?

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Thinking with Arendt about Massachusetts Ballot Question 2: Revaluing the “Public” in the Fight for Public Education

Vote buttons

This November, Massachusetts voters will be deciding whether to lift the cap on charter schools in the Commonwealth, begging the question of what advocates mean by the term “public.”

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Welfare and Liberty

Founding Fathers painting

Twenty years ago, President Clinton signed into law the welfare reform act for which his presidency is widely remembered. His efforts changed our national concept of welfare. But the word used to mean something very different, as is true with many of the ideas put forth in the Constitution.

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Lend Me Your Ears: Rhetoric in Ancient and Modern Times

Bust of Alcibiades. Capitalize Museum, Rome

In a democracy, the ability to persuade a voting population is the road to power itself.

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Voice Matters in the Land of the Free and Un-free

The immediate challenge to Michelle Obama’s statement about the slaves who built the White House is a very public reminder that words spoken by an African American tongue are still considered suspect.

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The Kurdish Experiment: Mandates that Made the Middle East

Turkish nationalists demonstrate against the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) in Istanbul on September 8 ,2015. (AFP Photo/Ozan Kose)

Arab nationalism may deserve more credit for shaping the Middle East following World War 1 than it sometime receives—especially in the case of the Kurds.

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Who are “We”?

We know rather little about the life stories of those we call “them”. More worrisome, what we claim to know often reflects a one-size-fits-all set of negative stereotypes that distances us from and reinforces a distrust and fear of those foreign born.

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Arriving in the “Empire of Dreams”

Puerto Rican flags

As a contributor to the Herencia Latina series programming, City of Holyoke Councilor Jossie Valentin explores the significance of Puerto Rican migration through the story of her own arrival in western Massachusetts.

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