The Report From Iron Mountain

The Report From Iron Mountain was a hoax written by Leonard C. Lewin in 1967 and published by the Dial Press. The idea for the Report came from Victor Navasky. In 1966, Navasky, then editor of the satiric Monocle magazine, read an article in the New York Times on a stock market downturn due to a “peace scare”. This gave him an idea for a report that would get people thinking about a peacetime economy (the hoax came out during the Vietnam War) and the stupidity of the arms race. With these aims in mind, Lewin wrote the hoax.

Publishing history: see on wikipedia.

Contents of the hoax: The hoax claimed that a 15-member panel, called the Special Study Group, was set up in 1963 to examine what problems would occur if the U.S. entered a state of lasting peace. They met at an underground nuclear bunker called Iron Mountain and worked over the next two years. A member of the panel, one “John Doe”, a professor at a college in the Midwest, decided to release the report to the public. The heavily footnoted report concluded that peace was not in the interest of a stable society, that even if lasting peace “could be achieved, it would almost certainly not be in the best interests of society to achieve it.” War was a part of the economy. Therefore, it was necessary to conceive a state of war for a stable economy. The government, the group theorized, would not exist without war, and nation states existed in order to wage war. War also served a vital function of diverting collective aggression. They recommended that bodies be created to emulate the economic functions of war.

They also recommended “blood games” and that the government create alternative foes that would scare the people with reports of alien lifeforms and out of control pollution. Another facet of the supposed report was the reinstitution of slavery.

Reactions: After the report’s release, Report From Iron Mountain was on the New York Times bestseller list and was translated into 15 different languages. From the first there was controversy over whether it was real or a hoax. Lyndon Johnson was not happy with it. U.S. embassies disclaimed the report, noting it was not official government policy. U.S. News and World Report claimed in its November 20, 1967 issue to have confirmation of the reality of the report from an unnamed government official. Trans-Action devoted an issue to the debate over the book. Esquire published a 28,000-word excerpt (Kifner, 1999). Three men were accused of writing it: Lewin himself, because he had written the report’s introduction, John Kenneth Galbraith, because he had written reviews in the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune under an alias, and the economist and philosopher Kenneth E. Boulding.

Revelation of the hoax an References: see all this and more on the wikipedia site.

The report itself can be downloaded for exemple, chapter by chapter on mega.nu,
a site from Daniel Pouzzner (see his Homepage).

Most people belief in a hoax (for exemple Museum of hoax, http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/iron.html but some ask, if it was not in the beginning a serious project, turned as hoax after revelation (the forbidden knowledge, or Philip Coppens);

… and some saw as the author’s intentions: to expose a kind of thinking in high places that was all too authentic, influential, and dangerous, and to stimulate more public discussion of some of the harder questions of war and peace.

In any way, we have to make this humanity a better palce to live – for all, not only for some choosen ones. But what’s happening in the world shows a increasing application of what’s called social darwinis. Social darwinism is a reign were the stronger beats and eats the smaler.

Social Darwinism:

Social Darwinism is a term used to describe a range of political ideologies which are held to be compatible with the concept that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution of biological traits in a population by natural selection can also be applied to competition between human societies or groups within a society. Initially expressed in the writings of English philosopher and author Herbert Spencer, and those of William Graham Sumner, Social Darwinism became popular in the late 19th century and continued in popularity until at least the end of World War II. The ideology did not necessarily reflect Darwin’s views, and though he did introduce Spencer’s term of “survival of the fittest” as an alternative phrase for “natural selection” in the 5th edition of The Origin of Species, he subsequently rejected it in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871). In all cases, the ideology of Social Darwinism should be distinguished from the scientific theory of evolution developed in The Origins of Species (1859).

The term “Social Darwinism” itself was only coined in 1944, when the American historian Richard Hofstadter published a book entitled Social Darwinism in American Thought. Historically, proponents of Social Darwinism have used the theory to justify social inequality as being meritocratic. At various times it has also been used to justify laissez-faire capitalism, imperialism, or racism.

Social Darwinism is closely tied to earlier conceptions of unilineal evolution which were common until at least the second part of the 20th century. Those who endorsed these views, however, may disagree on political choices. Some believe “natural selection”, which they claim is a principle valid as much in evolution of the animal kingdom as in human societies, can be consciously affected by human beings. Those who take this view believe that governments should implement policies that would guide human evolution in a positive direction. The specific policies supported by such Social Darwinists vary greatly, from eugenics and compulsory sterilization to laissez-faire, free markets and governmental non-intervention in the economy.

However, other Social Darwinists argue that human beings cannot control their evolution any more than animals can, and that governments and their policies, like all other aspects of human society, are themselves subject to evolution rather than being able to control it. Therefore, they do not recommend any political policies; in their view, it is inevitable that human societies will select those policies that are most beneficial to their evolution. These Social Darwinists promote a kind of passive acceptance of any social or political change, because they believe all such changes are driven by evolution.

Darwinism and theories of social change, Theorists and Sources of Social Darwinism, Social Darwinism and Race, Influence of Social Darwinists, References: see all this themes developped on this site of wikipedia.

The opposit of social darwinism is the intention to become a humanity we can be proud of, instead to have to be ashamed of. This is only possible if every human has access to a decent life.

Altruism:

Altruism is the practice of placing others before oneself. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and central to many religious traditions. In English, this idea was often described as the Golden rule of ethics. In Buddhism it is considered a fundamental property of human nature.

Altruism can be distinguished from a feeling of loyalty and duty. Altruism focuses on a motivation to help others or a want to do good without reward, while duty focuses on a moral obligation towards a specific individual (for example, God, a king), a specific organization (for example, a government), or an abstract concept (for example, country etc). Some individuals may feel both altruism and duty, while others may not. Pure altruism is giving without regard to reward or the benefits of recognition.

The concept has a long history in philosophical and ethical thought, and has more recently become a topic for psychologists, sociologists, evolutionary biologists, and ethologists. While ideas about altruism from one field can have an impact on the other fields, the different methods and focuses of these fields lead to different perspectives on altruism.

Altruism in ethics, Altruism in ethology and evolutionary biology, Altruism in politics, Altruism in psychology and sociology, Comparison of altruism and tit for tat, Altruism and religion, External links and References: see all this themes developped on this site of wikipedia.


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