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One frontier: two different worlds

One frontier: two different worlds

The comparison between the two approaches to American life and values represented by the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie series) and Bess Streeter Aldrich (A Lantern in Her Hand and its sequel White Bird Flying) opens some significant, and possibly uncomfortable, differences that lay at the root of the contrast of the families’ fortunes, despite living in the same…

"A Lantern in Her Hand": an alternative view of the American frontier

"A Lantern in Her Hand": an alternative view of the American frontier

For the last few weeks, I have catalogued the flaws of the American “spirit” as represented in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series and the unsuitability of the family as role models. Recognizing the inadequacy of the Ingalls-Wilder family as representative of an ideal American way of life and society is important because, due to a long-running TV show and…

Some further thoughts on the Little House on the Prairie series

Some further thoughts on the Little House on the Prairie series

In the US, especially among those who see themselves as promoting family values and independent spirit, there is a tendency to lionize the Little House on the Prairie series, a sequence of children’s books written by a woman, Laura Ingalls Wilder, who lived on the American frontier and witnessed its transition into the modern era. The truth of the matter is that there was little to admire…

Bashing big bosses: the favourite discipline of the French press

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
Bashing big bosses: the favourite discipline of the French press

It is an antiphon, declared over and over again in public opinion. From high-level intellectuals like Noam Chomsky to the average citizen, everyone agrees: control by the big bosses over the media protects the former from being targeted by the latter. Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber was already warning of the danger of journalists losing control of their media to big business almost 60 years ago.…

The Curse of the ‘Abroad’: A Romanian Perspective

The Curse of the ‘Abroad’: A Romanian Perspective

“The civilizational ‘us’ and the extracivilizational ‘them’ is a constant in human history”.[1]  Samuel Huntington’s observations summarized in the above quote offer valuable insight, mostly regarding the mentality of former empires and great powers. For Romanians, the opposite is true. The ‘abroad’ has always been civilized, while we…

Independence and specialization: part I

Independence and specialization: part I

Despite the contemporary narrative surrounding the decline of low-skill manufacturing jobs, specialization as the only source of stability and career path is the historical norm. During the Colonial era, the standard professional arrangement was tradesman, and with it apprenticeships.  As part of the apprenticeship process the final stage was achievement of Master status obtained either…

Government bloat: societal divide

Government bloat: societal divide

In his writing regarding the ratio of federal employees to federal contractors (1.5 million : 15 million), economic historian and professor Brian Domitrovic argued that the contractor bubble is rooted in a desire to undermine the private sector. His argument is that federal contractors are in reality federal employees under a different name. The root of Domitrovic’s thesis lies in American…

Things and joy

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Things and joy

“I looked around the rooms I did not see as rooms, but more as landscapes for my emotions, a biography of memory.”…

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