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Tech-Driven Deprofessionalization

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What ultimately has made the criticism of the Chicago strike so odd and irritating is that the critics are so dismissive and arrogant about the chief sticking points in the negotiations, which aren't really about money. There's a seeming inability to understand why poorly designed evaluation systems, particularly those that are tied to test results, threaten the very best and most inspiring teachers as much as anyone. What they threaten is not the loss of job security, but the professional discretion and skill of good teachers. You can't be in favor of clumsy or cookie-cutter evaluations and still claim to be primarily concerned about the quality of teaching in public schools.

What might be happening here is less the rage of privileged elites against anyone they deem to be beneath them, and more the rage of upper middle-class professionals who have found their own lives increasingly hemmed in by forms of deprofessionalizing oversight and dumb operant-conditioning gimmickry sold to organizations by snake-oil consultancies.

The trick in the next decade is going to be: can we get the river to flow the other direction? Rather than give in to every person who insists that whatever outrages and inefficiencies of 21st Century Taylorism have been inflicted on them must be inflicted on everyone else, we should be trying to claw back generative, productive forms of dignity and autonomy to the working lives of every person.

Do Liberals and Elites Hate Teachers? | Easily Distracted

I took a super-interesting Information History class with Dan Schiller my last semester at GSLIS, and one of the main themes of the course was how IT allows capital and management to deprofessionalize and regiment work. This starts at least from the invention of the modern clock, and goes up through the early management techniques of the industrial revolution, to office technology like the typewriter and the adding machine which replaced a whole middling professional class of clerks with pooled labor. Then you get the full monty with Taylorism and all the dehumanizing results that followed from that, which was thankfully somewhat offset by the rise of organized labor by midcentury.

So, then modern computer IT comes along, which of course was initially clearly centralized and controlling (think mainframes and men in gray flannel suits.) But, since I didn't know my history or recognize my privilege I'd always thought of the emergence of the networked personal computer as different somehow, liberatory instead of controlling. And, of course, it can be, for those with the power to control it rather than be controlled. 

What we're seeing now is the rapid shrinking of the proportion of people and professions who have that power. It's happening to teachers, lawyers, writers (think of the methods of HuffPo and Nick Denton and the rise of pageviews as the measure of cultural worth if you don't think that cultural work can be regimented and automated) and lots of other previously autonomous professional occupations.

That call center worker whose every second and every move is monitored and timed and dictated? Well, that may be your future too, unless we fight tooth and nail for power over our working conditions. That's what teachers in Chicago are doing now. It's time for professional classes to realize that they have a lot more in common with those below them on the economic ladder than with the people running things. We're in a place now where solidarity isn't just sentiment, it's survival.

The technology I like is the American paperback edition of Freedom. I can spill water on it and it would still work! So it's pretty good technology. And what's more, it will work great 10 years from now. So no wonder the capitalists hate it. It's a bad business model," said Franzen, who famously cuts off all connection to the internet when he is writing.

"I think, for serious readers, a sense of permanence has always been part of the experience. Everything else in your life is fluid, but here is this text that doesn't change.

"Will there still be readers 50 years from now who feel that way? Who have that hunger for something permanent and unalterable? I don't have a crystal ball.

"But I do fear that it's going to be very hard to make the world work if there's no permanence like that. That kind of radical contingency is not compatible with a system of justice or responsible self-government."

(The Telegraph | Jonathan Franzen: e-books are damaging society)

What absolute piffle. He starts out heading in a fruitful direction when he talks about the economics of ebooks. They're definitely a threat to the commons and especially to libraries, because they're a remote-controllable and license-able medium. When you buy a paper book, you own it free and clear and the law is clear on your rights for lending, reselling and reuse. Not so with e-books, and if we don't get it in hand, public libraries will be renting their whole collection on onerous and restrictive terms, the same way academic libraries have to now with journals.

So, that's a big advantage to paper, but that's not really what he's on about, because he's not really worried about democracy or civil society or the commons. Just like with Stanley Fish awhile back, what he's really concerned about is authorial identity and authority. Funny how the "radical contingency" of electronic media tends to freak out privileged white dudes sitting at the top of their fields more than anyone else.

This ain't about democracy. Democracy will be just fine, except for the whole rapacious global capitalism issue, but more authority and stability for the current crop of elites sure won't help us on that front either.

Radical contingency, mutability, fluid and collaborative notions of authorship, and an interactive and fiercely contested intellectual and public sphere were all hallmarks of the print culture that spawned and nurtured early democratic polities. Electronic media are bringing back those conditions, albeit with the complicating issues of surveillance, control at a distance, and I.P. What he's really lamenting is the loss of broadcast culture, which privileges a few fortunate voices and denies the rest a chance to talk back or participate in culture creation.

Which, if this is the best those voices can come up with, good riddance.

This fascinating examination of Neoliberalism through the lens of the sanitization of European soccer supporter culture stirred up a lot of conflicts with me.

The piece is really long, and you should read it if you have any interest in European soccer or the cultural and economic state of things in France, but I'll sum it up for you for our purposes here. Basically, the deal here is that Paris Saint-Germain were a historically underperforming (both economically and results-wise) team in a huge market. Think, I dunno, the LA Clippers, but if they didn't have the excuse of the Lakers, since PSG are the only game in town for professional soccer in Paris.

So, they were underperforming, but had fervently loyal and organized working class supporter bases who kept them in business. But those supporter bases were problematic in a lot of ways, in that they were all-male, organized along racial lines, had issues with constant low-level violence inside the stadium, with occasional outbreaks outside the stadium and a few serious injuries and deaths, etc.

This is pretty standard stuff for supporter groups of soccer clubs in large European cities, but there are a lot of things about 20th-century style soccer supporter culture that give me hives. Part of it is that I'm an American, and just really can't grok intensely class-based organization and group identity like this. I may be a good social solidarity leftist, but this kind of thing sorta horrifies me in an Orwellian way:

The casuals and ultras of the earlier era had been able, in maintaining their anonymity, to suspend their individuality within the flow of the group, which became larger than the sum of its parts; in the concourses it was only in death that your personal, unique name was "spoken" by either being carved on a plaque or spraypainted on a wall. In Auteuil especially, individuality was intentionally sacrificed for the sake of the tifo, the show of spirit: to chant in unison, to hold the right card at the right time, to cover yourself with the giant banner stretching over the entire stand, to be a node forever preparing a response to stimulus from the capo.

Another part of it is that I'm a sheltered, effete upper-middle-class liberal who has never even been in a fight and just can't contemplate dealing with this sort of ugliness and danger in person. Finally, American sports, at least in the modern era, have been about individual, largely apolitical support from the start. I can't imagine dealing with organized violence, territoriality and chaos in the stands and on the streets, racist chants, an atmosphere overtly hostile to women and kids, and so on just to go to a Cubs game, or why anyone would want to.

Then again, I've certainly chafed a lot at the ever-increasing prices, and especially the ever-increasing security presence at American sporting events, a presence that often seems to be much more about enforcing the team's economic prerogatives (e.g., searching you to keep you from bringing in your own food) and even enforcing mass participation in officially sanctioned jingoistic exercises than about preventing violence.

Still, even if I deplore the methods used to suppress them (and those methods are a lot more harsh than the stuff that bugs me about American sporting events), I have a hard time mourning the loss or neutering of these racist / patriarchal / violent / etc. supporter cultures at first glance. I'm ok at the end of the day with using state and institutional violence to suppress organized racism and homophobia. I don't think we would have accomplished even what little we have on those fronts in America without the application or threat of organized violence by the state.

However, if you look into it a little more carefully, that's not quite what is going on here, which is why this piece is so interesting. That "enforcing of economic prerogatives" part is the key here. Basically, after tolerating this stuff for years and not really caring about it, PSG finally decided they wanted to spend big, attract an upper middle class crowd, and be the French Chelsea. They then used the excuse of a supporter who was killed in fighting between two fan groups (and a key tell here was that it was black-on-white violence, whereas the vast majority of the violence was historically going in the other direction) to clean house in a draconian way, and kick their working class support to the curb to make way for more well-heeled customers.

I've always had somewhat of a "give the devil his due" attitude about Neoliberalism on issues of tolerance and multiculturalism. I figure that the success of the women's rights and gay rights movements, among many other social advances over the past few decades, has a whole lot to do with the fact that multiculturalism and tolerance are good business, and that that fact probably guarantees more than anything that these changes will stick. If Neoliberalism and this round of globalization leave any good legacy to stand on, that will probably be it.

However, even this gets really problematic when you scratch the surface, and the case presented here shows exactly why. I always knew Neoliberals in power weren't supporting social liberalization out of the goodness of their hearts. But this lays bare the true cynicism at the bottom of their multiculturalism. They're using anti-racism and social liberalism as a way to divide people along class lines, and as a cudgel to force through their economic agenda. And they're not really even dealing with these race/gender/homophobia issues so much as dispersing them and pushing them out of sight of all the nice upper-middle-class people like me who can't quite bear to face them on a day-to-day basis. They're gentrifying the stadium, and clearing the field for officially sanctioned and more lucrative economic activity. They're also turning what was a contested public space into a fully private and relentlessly commercialized space.

But you only really see that if you stop to think about it, and you have to look past the undeniable local improvements. The experience at Parc de Princes for most everyone who isn't an Ultra was undeniably improved by these steps, and the de-organization of the violent and racist elements of the supporter groups is probably a social improvement, even if it does nothing to address the underlying social and cultural problems that such groups are a symptom of.

Similarly, the gentrification of the urban core of many American cities over the past couple of decades has certainly had many positive effects on them as places and spaces, and as someone who loves city life and is too much of a wuss to deal with the violence, chaos, and overt racism of the mid-century American city, I really have a hard time discounting those effects. 

But in the end, if you're going to be honest, you have to admit that both kinds of gentrification are mostly about pushing "problem" populations and behaviors to the margins and clearing safe spaces for privileged people to enjoy themselves and make money. You can still love and enjoy those spaces, but you can't in good conscience ignore their cost, and you especially can't take the easy way out by using them as a refuge and a cocoon from your complicity in socioeconomic problems, or an excuse to declare those problems as solved or on the mend.

These processes often aren't quite so overt in America, but we don't talk about any of these issues as overtly here to begin with, and class even less so than race. I've always had a problem with political correctness on these grounds. I think it works in much the same way as the processes described above. Just as PSG, the Premier League, and creative class gentrifiers have pushed aside the unsavory elements in their environments, so have we in our intellectual and cultural spheres. And again, there are undeniable local and atmospheric improvements as a result of this, but at the cost of class-based marginalization and stratification, based on the signifiers of the very injustices we claim to be fighting. We avoid immediate discomfort in this way, but more importantly and tragically, we avoid the hard and nasty generational work of grappling with the social and economic problems that underly that discomfort.

I don't have answers here. I'm just as complicit in this crap as anyone else. But it's important to notice once in awhile, and this made me notice, and make some important connections between my own pursuits and enjoyments, Neoliberalism, gentrification, and political correctness, all things that I'm deeply conflicted about and looking for answers to and ways forward from.

(link originally via dayan)

As an interesting little side-note to the latest whine-fest about how the intarnets are destroying journalism, this article at Newsweek whingeing about how bloggers aren't willing to give interviewers carte-blanche on their terms sure is a treat. Now, Winer is notorious for being touchy and tough to deal with, and Calacanis is not known as the nicest guy on the web either, but still, they have good reason to be suspicious. Most bloggers who have dealt with the media at all do, because they have in many cases learned from hard experience. Now that they have enough power to have some degree of control of how the media represents them, they're certainly justified in using it.

"The interviewer used to be in charge, but that's no longer the case," says media blogger Jeff Jarvis. "I can decide how long the quote is, I can make sure the context is accurate."

All this can be unnerving to someone (like, um, me) who has spent a career conversing with people on the other end of the phone line or lunch table. A live interview allows me not only to follow up quickly but to sense the verbal cues that direct me to more fruitful topics. In e-mail, people talk at you; in conversation I can talk with subjects, and a casual remark can lead to a level of discussion that neither party anticipated from the beginning. I am more likely to learn from someone in a conversation than in an e-mail exchange, which simply does not allow for the serendipity, intensity and give-and-take of real-time interaction.

We in the journalism tribe operate under the belief that when we ask people to talk to us we are not acting out of self-interest but a sense of duty to inform the population. It's an article of our faith that when subjects speak to us, they are engaging in a grand participatory act where everyone benefits. But these lofty views don't impress bloggers like Rosen. "You have to prove [you represent the public]," he says.

Yes, we do. But every time we lose the priceless knowledge from those essential, real-time interviews, our stories are impoverished, to the detriment of our readers: you.

There is a reason that bloggers feel like reporters have to prove that they represent the public and are acting in good faith. And that is primarily that almost all of us, or at least someone we know, have at one point or another naively and in good faith given an interview about blogs or online culture to some traditional media outlet, and upon reading the end-product, found it to be a total misrepresentation of the content of the interview given and the terms under which it was given.

Over and over again, I've seen reporters come into stories about blogging and other geeky lifestyle stuff with a pre-written thesis that they're seemingly determined to cram whatever their interview subjects say into, regardless of whether said thesis stands up to the reality of the people they are supposedly trying to learn about. In just the most recent of many, many examples that I know of, a friend of mine was interviewed about fantasy hockey. The reporter pitched it as sort of an expository/anthropological lifestyle piece, and said he just wanted some info on the appeal and mechanics and what have you of online fantasy sports. The finished piece focused almost entirely on gambling and addiction, which scarcely came up in the interview itself, and it had a real "look at the freaks!" feel to it, further reinforced by the photo (now gone, retrieved from they published with it, which almost seemed calculated to make him look like a pathetic loner or something, which he (and most of us who are thriving in the online world) is decidedly not.

Seeing this kind of thing play out over and over again has made me increasingly suspicious that this happens constantly on much more serious subjects as well. Some of it may be simple ignorance, but ignorance is no excuse for how some of these things come out. More like incompetence that is in effect indistinguishable from malice, if we are going to be generous about motives here.

Isn't the job of a reporter to go out and find the facts, and then write a story, instead of pre-writing a story and then cherry-picking facts to flesh it out? Sure, to even have the idea of a story you may have to have an angle in mind, just like scientists have to have a hypothesis to work from, but when the facts don't bear your hypothesis out, you're supposed to rethink it. If you're not doing that, you're not seeking the truth, you're creating it from whole cloth. Insofar as their mission is to turn out journalists with the tools and mentality needed to seek the truth, journo schools are not doing their job, if the often laughable coverage of any of the subcultures and technological changes that I've been a part of and am semi-expert on is any indication.

Now, there are plenty of ways to begin to earn back that trust. Some reporters, (but not nearly enough of them) are doing a very good job of using the interactivity of the web to turn these things into a public dialogue, which eventually results in them getting it mostly right by the end of the discussion. Another way to do this would be to use these tools to provide much greater transparency to the whole newsmaking process. Frontline, for example, does a very good thing, in that they still make and edit down their show as they always have, but they then post the full interviews and lots of the other background that went into making it to their website, so anyone who wants the extra context can easily get it, and anyone who feels they have been misrepresented by the finished product can point to the original sources by way of defense and correction.

In the absence of the limitations and costs of print, this should be fairly trivial for newspapers to implement. It would increase trust immensely, and it would allow bloggers and others to dig around in the source material and find new angles and connections, and ultimately help the journalists to do their job and uphold their civic obligations. This is just one of many ways in which newspapers are failing to grok the potential of the new mediums and technologies available to them, and in doing so, endangering their own survival and failing the people they claim to work on behalf of.

I'll start this out by saying that I come from the position of a pretty strong free speech zealot. I'm a card-carrying ACLU member, and so on. But, there's a lot of confusion going on out there lately about what freedom of speech really is and means.

Free speech is a right of individuals and groups in relation to the state, not in relation to each other. This is something that the people who are kneejerking about the proposed or actual moderation of comments on web forums and blogs in response to the recent hateful and scary attacks on feminist bloggers should keep in mind. Allowing unfettered speech might be a good principle to try to uphold personally or as a community, but nobody has a right to be jerk or a bigot with impunity on anyone else's website or in any community's forum, any more than they have a right to spam someone else's site or forum. You delete spam, don't you? That's speech too, albeit often of a rather dadaist and puzzling variety.

And especially now that public outlets for anyone's speech are essentially free and fungible, even the principle of allowing unfettered speech is pretty weak. If someone wants to say hateful or bigoted things in relation to something I write, they can start up a blogspot blog for free and link/rant to their heart's content, and I can't and won't do anything to stop them unless they defame me or threaten me with violence. But I'm sure as hell not going to invite them to do it in my own sandbox that I'm paying for and maintaining and that carries my name and represents my identity to the larger world.

Reading this post at Slacktivist reminded me that these confusions about speech also extend to hate crime laws. The first big problem is a misapprehension of what hate crime laws actually do. Hate crime laws do not ban hateful speech. If they did, I would oppose them. The KKK and the Nazis can still have their marches and hand out their literature and run their websites, and I'll fully support their right to do so, though I'll also support my and everyone else's right to shout them down and/or ignore them. Again, they have the right to appear in the public square and say their piece without government interference, but the community has a right to express their opposition as well. If the community breaks other laws in trying to suppress their speech, such as by threatening or doing violence to them, then they're in the wrong, but vigorous opposition within the law is covered just as much under the 1st Amendment as the hateful speech being opposed.

As for the more nuanced issues regarding speech, thoughts, crime, and punishment: Hate crimes do indeed concern speech and thoughts, but only insofar as they pertain to motive, intent, and culpability for a crime. Consider the varying degrees of culpability involved in different scenarios in which a pedestrian is run down by a car: Someone who has a heart attack and runs down a pedestrian is less culpable than someone who accidentally does so, who is less culpable still than someone who is drunk and does so, who finally is less culpable than someone who makes and executes a plan to do so. As soon as you act on your thoughts to harm others, those thoughts become a part of the context and the evidence by which the nature of your crime and the degree of your guilt is measured, and it's hard to argue that the punishment is for some sort of "thoughtcrime," unless you think that either state of mind, thoughts, and speech should be inadmissable as evidence in any crime, or that everyone who thinks or expresses hateful or bigoted thoughts is inevitably going to act on them and should be preemptively charged.

So how is it any different to add another category to the above scenarios: someone who makes and executes a plan to run down a black man to send a message to others like him that they are not welcome or safe in a neighborhood, or to run down someone in front of an abortion clinic to scare others who might try to get an abortion? The murder is already a crime, and hate crime laws add in the possibility of an additional crime of attempting to terrorize a whole class of people, if said intent can be proven to the jury.

Something I don't quite get about conservatives who oppose hate crime laws is that they are often very much in favor of extra punishment for violence-as-speech when said violence is overtly political, which is called terrorism. Setting off a bomb and killing people is a crime already, so why add an extra punishment for the speech or intent part? That's the same logic as "assault is a crime already, so why add an extra punishment if the violence was intended to send a message to a particular minority?" And of course, it bleeds together at the margins. Was the KKK at the height of their power a domestic terrorist organization? I would say yes. They participated in and fomented violence intended to terrorize everyone else into accepting their preferred political and social arrangement. Their individual acts could be seen as hate crimes today, but when they became pervasive enough, it amounted to terrorism. When hate-motivated violence expands from individual cases to a broader social environment, it thus becomes political and pretty much indistinguishable from terrorism.

Now, there are some scenarios that are a little more exclusive to speech. You can probably be charged with a hate crime under some statutes for, say, burning a cross on a black family's yard. But, not all speech is protected. Credible threats of violence constitute assault under most assault laws (hence the distinction between assault and battery) and in the context of American racial violence, it is not hard to see a burning cross on your lawn as a credible threat of violence. In the very odd but I suppose possible case in which it wouldn't be, well, that's why we have prosecutors with leeway and jurys of our peers who have to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt.

So, to sum it up, speech is free, but not free as in beer, and lots of folks would do well to take that into account.

The Once and Future UN

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Time for more from the department of interesting crossovers and coincidences in reading. I find that this is one of the best parts of reading widely and voraciously... you start to see all kinds of serendipitous and productive new connections between different genres, groups of ideas, historical eras, and so on and so forth. The more you read and learn, the more your further reading and learning is enriched, and the more sense it all starts to make, at least internally, and at times externally as well. This is why reference and allusion, when done well, is so great. It's more than just being able to feel really smart whenever you "get" a reference. It goes two ways... modern writers invest their works with meaning through allusion and reference, and this in turn can make musty-seeming older works take on a new, modernized significance and applicability of their own.

This is much of why I tend to defend at least some sort of loose form of the literary canon. There are certain things that you just have to read, or at least certain concepts and ideas that you have to be familiar with, to be able to fully understand and get the most out of just about anything else you read, and vice-versa. Most "important" books are that way for a reason... because many people who came afterward saw fit to write about them. Even if you don't greatly enjoy, say, the Iliad or the Odyssey on their own merits, slogging through them will truly enrich your experience with an innumerable number of later books and authors.

Anyhow, this week, it's been the confluence of TH White's The Once and Future King, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and an article lamenting the possible demise of internationalism, in the latest Mother Jones. These at first don't seem like a terribly likely combination; an Arthurian fantasy novel, a terse historical document, and a despairing commentary on current events, but, they dovetail quite nicely, at least in my addled brain.

King, besides being a delightful and poignant modern update on the Arthurian legend, is also sort of a tradegian look at the ongoing experiments of liberalism, human rights, and civil society. It casts the forming of the Round Table by Arthur as an attempt at replacing the Medieval idea of Might as Right with one of the use of controlled Might to defend Right, with the eventual goal of establishing equality before civil law, and abolishment for the need of violent, warlike power at all. He brings the knights, the most powerful and invulnerable weapons of his time, under his central control, and uses them to prevent the various feudal lords and barons from using them to promote tyranny and anarchy for personal gain.

The United Nations was formed with similar goals in mind. Horrified by the carnage and chaos that typified the first half of the 20th century, the internationalist founders of the UN tried to restrain the use of Might by nations for selfish means, by attempting to set up a global version of concentrated power enforcing civil law. They neglected to attempt in earnest to concentrate true Might behind it(perhaps a mistake in retrospect, perhaps not), relying more on consensus and mutual benefit, but the main idea was the same, to replace the idea of kill or be killed with that of cooperation and the concentration of power for mutual safety and benefit.

There is a dual tragedy operating in White's book, that of Arthur's own personal life, fatal error, and eventual unfulfilled death, paralleled by that of the demise of his grand project. He harnesses Might productively at first, subjugating the warring barons and bringing peace and prosperity to the kingdom. However, with nothing else to occupy and direct it, the controlled violence of the Table soon begins to turn on itself and others. He then tries to direct Might on a cleansing spiritual quest, in the form of the Holy Grail, in the hopes of both occupying and taming it. This also succeeds for a time, and the knights who succeed are indeed cleansed of violence or killed, but this sadly leaves only the more mercenary among them in place with no countervailing force to restrain them. The end of the book documents the slow unravelling of Arthur's dream in internecine warfare and chaos, both in the case of his kingdom and of the fate of himself and the people he loves.

Reading the utopian vision of universal rights that is the Universal Declaration, the defining document and hope of the UN, I couldn't help but think of what I had just read about the failure of Arthur's beautiful dream. Both were incredibly worthy ideas, which society and human nature in the real world are sadly just not ready to practically allow. The UN and internationalism are currently threatened with irrelevance by the same uncontainable forces and human failings that destroyed Arthur's vision, the same streak of irrational violence, fear, hatred, and selfishness that runs through the heart of us all, and by extension all of our aggregations together as nations or societies in greater or lesser degrees. The same failings that have destroyed every attempt at ending war and providing liberty, equality, and justice for all. The eternal bane of all Utopias.

So, does this mean that we should come to our senses already and just stop trying? I'm not so sure. White ends his book on a more hopeful note, having Arthur call in a youthful page named TomFootnote
Sir Thomas Malory, of course. See what I was saying about allusion and references above?
, and ask him to stay out of the coming (and fatal) battle, and instead to make sure that the ideas for which it was being fought would live on.

"Thomas, my idea for those knights was a sort of candle, like these ones here. I have carried it with me for many years with a hand to shield it from the wind. It has flickered often. I am giving you the candle... you won't let it out?"

I think that Arthur finally realized, right there at the edge of death's door, that there would be no winning of a decisive ultimate battle, no magic bullet that would fix everything and lead us to a Utopian world. What matters is slow progress over time, and what allows that is ideas that survive and pervade, that change individual minds, the sentiments and choices of which filter upward to form what we call societies, nations, and the global community. Arthur would die in a futile and foregone battle the next day, but he would not be a failure, because his dream would live on, and others would work towards bringing the world closer to approximating his vision.

Even if the UN meets a similar fate and eventually fails politically, and this incarnation of internationalism goes by the wayside, there's no reason to despair or quit. The world is a better place now than it was looking backward from 1948 by almost every measure. The ideas that the UN and the UDHR made legitimate and important on a global scale are here to stay, enduring in the hearts and minds and actions of millions of people and many governments around the world. The candle may gutter at times, and the ideas may come to manifest themselves in a different form in the future, but I don't think there is any way that particular flame is going to go out anytime soon. Like Arthur, the Once and Future King, they too will return to lead us one day, if we are willing to fight on their side.

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