Tuesday, December 09, 2008
just wondering about 'hot' bloggers. what's the appeal of a blogger? pictures? words? surely there's no character to a post. or reality to a picture.
it genuinely puzzles me.
xin has decided not to bore everyone with ermm underdevelopment of Third World countries.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Do TNCs benefit or disadvantage their hosts?
After discussing at length about the mercantilist fear that TNCs would empower hosts with the infusion of capital and knowledge, hereby improving the hosts' relative position in the global economy, we wonder if TNCs truly benefit their hosts.
Do TNCs aid Economic Development?
- FDI is more stable and long-term; costs of withdrawing capital higher thus improving the hosts' bargaining position
At the same time, because TNCs are foreign, they cannot be expected to CARE about national interests; and in times of crisis, naturally choose to retain their factories at home
- Diffusion of skills and technology to the host countries, equipping its workforce
Assuming of course that TNCs would want to hire locals and train them, also assuming that locals will not be averse to their business culture and resistant to picking up new skills; Madeley also argues that since only a specific stage of production is located within the host, workers do not pick up useful skills and knowledge of the whole process - subsidiaries are mere appendages
- Monopoly of TNCs due to their superior knowledge and greater financial access: hire locals and borrow money, depriving local entrepreneurs of resources; making use of economies of scale and advantages to oust out local industries -> creates high dependence on TNCs and not self-reliant growth
- Inappropriate technology: capital-intensive rather than labour-intensive (and labour is presumably the comparative advantage developing countries have); high unemployment, especially since labour-intensive, inefficient local industries are ousted out
TNCs rob states and its people of power
- Transfer pricing and sophisticated accountants - tax evasion in host countries: California's unitary tax laws an utter failure
- INfluence and impact World Trade ORganization: contributed to Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights - allowing them to patent their products and host farmers (who have been planting a certain drug crop for generations) suddenly have to pay royalties to drug companies who has the money and resources to patent them
- Manipulation through trade: Kissinger on righting the 'irresponsibility' of citizens who voted Socialism and with help of US corporations ITT (International Telephone and Telegraph) helped overthrow President Gossens in Latin America in 1973
TNCs contribute to decline in citizen's welfare
- Democratic deficit: Exploitative alliance with authoritarian governments
- Race to the Bottom: Governments, trying to attract TNCs, has less resources for welfare, education, health care; promises low wage, tax free agreements
- Lack of product appropriateness: Nestle producing milk powder in West Africa where there isn't clean water; produces systematic bias against poor
- Cultural imperialism: erosion of traditional cultural and social values in marketing and advertisements, encourage demands for luxury goods
- Irresponsible TNCs in the case of catastrophes 1984 Union Carbide plant exhalation of toxic gases in the city of Bhopal; corporate responsibilities more like public relations; vagrant environmental destruction - Canada cannot prevent US corporations from emitting gases that contribute to acid rain that falls on Canadian forests
Note: In Asian NICs (Newly Industrialized Countries), component-parts-producing industries have a spill over effect, propelling the emergence of other industries, spurring economic development as a whole. Capital intensive industries create overall economic growth, which created jobs, and reduced unemployment e.g. Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea
While TNCs may be at fault, some problems e.g. cultural imperialism, inequality, decline in welfare inherent in economic development; some problems may be due to poor policy-making in host countries or to the structural weakness of host countries
Just like me... now. Boring. Ugh.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
xin has gotten back all her essays, and quite happy because xin expected to fail her last 2 essays :)
xin didn't do brilliantly either - but xin is easily contented.
Now for exams - let's discuss whether the mercantilist (oooh don't we love mercantilism) view that TNCs are detrimental to home countries ring true.
Transnational Corporations: A corporation that owns, controls and manages its assets in more than one country.
Mercantilists say: TNCs are bad for the home country due to outflow of money in terms of FDI to host country, and in view that mercantilists think wealth = power, shall we also argue that, ultimately, what mercantilists fear is that power (in other forms as well) will flow from home to host?
Yes, outflow of money in FDI - less money in home country for developing local industries, promoting economic growth... money which could have been used at home used to develop infrastructure, industries in host country
But money usually generated in the developing countries, and not taken out of home country - problem long pre-empted by Johnson Administration in the 1960s whose discouragement of capital outflow prompted TNCs to raise Eurodollars issues in London to pay for expenses rather than take money out of Wall Street.
Yes still, because state revenue threatened because of sophisticated accountants help TNCs cheat state of money, because difficult to ascertain the profits made within the country, and cannot tax money generated outside home country e.g. profits of oil companies and banks in 70s and 80s – the importance of these companies in bringing fuel and credit forced politicians to not question this preferential tax treatment; also, California tried with its unitary tax laws (tax worldwide profits) but ended with TNCs fleeing the country
Anyway, profits are usually repatriated (though part of it will be used to finance further development of the TNC)
Counterfactual - If TNCs don't use this money for investing in Host Country A, will they necessarily use this money to invest in (assuming TNCs were rational and picked A for its economic benefits) Home Country B and face higher costs of e.g. wages, raw materials, taxes... Will B's TNCs necessarily survive if they choose to keep investment home (and develop local industries blahblahblah) because they might face competition from A's TNCs in B (and which has the advantage of having economies of scale)
Other Forms of Outflow of Power
Technological Transfer – Technological knowledge and managerial know-how ‘exported’ to host country, allowing them to benefit and improve relative to home, relative gain in power by the host threatens home’s position in the hierarchy of power e.g. how the predominance of US position in the global economy was threatened by emergence of European and Japanese TNCs
Extent debatable – home governments not totally at a loss e.g. US Congress urge TNCs to keep their R&D at home, preserving not only skilled jobs domestically, but also its competitive edge in superior knowledge; managerial know-how preserved through employment of home managers even in host countries (high-end jobs preserved as well as managerial skills) e.g. Japanese corporations have a tendency – trust in compatriots, also business culture difficult to export – an implicit method of doing business inherent in culture; exploitation argument (quite Marxist to be honest)– TNCs only develop specific, mechanized stage of production in one particular area so workers are only capable of a standard, repetitive work, without gaining any useful skills applicable to even similar local industries
All down to bargaining power of host, home and TNCs – who has what other people need, formation of cartel (only successful, but very successful in Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) to threaten TNCs with withdrawal of scarce resources (FUEL) – using supply and demand to successfully demand higher prices e.g. 1973 oil embargo – TNCs forced to come home; also, once TNC is settled, built infrastructure – nature of FDI such that it is more costly to simply uproot and go – bargaining power of host increases à home is more threatened
Compare bargaining power of hosts like Asia VS hosts like
General Loss of Political Power
Social impacts: Loss of jobs (duh!) Low-skilled jobs mainly cos R&D generally kept home, as are managerial positions
Environmental blame-game: when a Swiss chemical company inadvertently spilt toxic waste into the Rhine, it was the Swiss government to whom the French, German and Dutch governments complained; but also dependent on power of home country e.g.
Home, if no power (as in to bargain, to threaten, to set policies that will be followed), open to exploitation by TNCs – TNCs are like big bullies, they bully who they can. But we can’t blame them, after all, the state-power-struggle is none of their business, their sole aim is profit-maximization =)
TNCs can help states too in cunning, political manoeuvres because of their immense resources.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
anyway on a happy note, i shall finally post my trip to dundee/st andrews.
we stayed in a nice hotel in dundee, a river away from st andrews - the land of golf!
dundee was famous in the past for its shipbuilding industry, and so famous in fact, that it managed to get itself a contract to build the first (?) ship to go to antartica, the RRS Discovery
Oh and did I mention because we're beside the River Tay, everything is called Tay, like Tay Road Bridge (is the bridge from Dundee to St Andrews in the first pic) and Hotel Tay and North Tay Street and so on. This may not be very interesting,but it kept reminding of my darling Huiyan who gets very excited at her river Tay.
We managed to reach the top of the hill (called the Law) at night (not really night, just dark) and looked down at the bridge connecting Dundee and St Andrews. For once, all the stars were below.
We went to St Andrews the next day and it has a very pretty university building...
Along with very pretty lawns =)
And the lucky Business people in the University of St Andrews has a campus that overlooks the sea. There's ruins of an ancient castle beside it
Drawn to the sea, we walked towards it, and along a very scary, narrow ledge, and looked back at the towering remains of some ancient church.
We visited the church and its cemetery and I found a lovely inscription:
of set music
in fast or slow
to the grave
Coming back to Dundee, how can we forgo a chance to embark the RRS Discovery?
And there we end our journey, catching a train back to foggy Edinburgh.
Amazing. The weather.
Monday, November 24, 2008
'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
It's Lord Alfred Tennyson by the way.
'Loved and lost' - strange how the two words go together so well. How many quotes have you heard with 'loved and lost' - just google it. Or songs about 'loved and lost' - like S Club 7?
Just yesterday, I've a friend telling me about how her cousin got wedded in a beautiful scottish church to his very first love. And today, another tells me about how her boyfriend just told her he's bringing an Californian girl in to live with him. A pretty girl told me once how she never had a boyfriend, just because she's scared to lose. But we all are afraid to lose, aren't we? And thinking back about past relationships, as I grew older, don't we all start a relationship thinking about how we might lose it?
I'm really happy where I am now.
But sometimes I wonder, what do you do with all the odds and ends of your history? Do you just throw away the ring he gave you to mark your love just as he trashed your love? Do you just keep all the love letters in a box that you will never want to open again for fear of the reminders of false promises and glittery words? Or do you just wear those pretty earrings and pretend that they don't come attached to pretty memories long gone? How do you tell a friend to just forget her boyfriend if he had been a bastard - if everything you do reminded you of him? Should you not go to the cafe where both of you always lunched? Should you not go watch the movie at the cinema both of you loved? Should you not cook or eat his favourite food that you used to all the time just because he loved it? Should you take a different path home because he had always walked you down this path, whispering sweet nothings to you and telling you he'll hold your hands forever? Every time it hurts more, and the scar lingers on. I think of it like the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Everyone significant leaves his imprint on you, a mark of glorious history, yet one that mars the smooth concrete pavement anyway - one that is but a ghost of a history, one that's not really there. The stars walk on, their imprints stay.
Every time I want to tell my friend that everything is alright, I know that it isn't, or that she should just dump him, I know that it's difficult and that she'll still hurt for a long time.
So what can I do for her but to stay silent and pray that everything goes well?
Monday, November 17, 2008
but xin still wants to write... about heroes.
If you're a hero you can be an idiot, behave badly, ruin your personal life, have any number of mistresses and talk about yourself all the time, and nobody minds. Heroes are immune.
- Jeanette Winterson
xin wants to be a hero.
when she was young, she thought she could be a hero.
she thought she could not-brush her teeth at night, and have sparkly white teeth
she thought she could play hop-scotch all day long, and have grade As
she thought she didn't have to try, and still have friends
she thought the world was one straight path, and she could just walk on and on.
but when she grew up, she realized that there are so many heroes in the world, and they are the ones who can do whatever they like... but she wasn't one.
xin still wants to be a hero.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
xin has stupidly, for curiousity's sake, picked an extremely difficult question for a person with no economic background and very little knowledge about global economy (but xin thought it would make good revision for exams anyway?) xin picked a historical question.
xin can't remember the question.
something like: how well does the mercantilist approach explain the post-war international political economic development?
Xin's History of Mercantilism
Adam Smith, our favourite Scottish (all Scottish things are our favourite things) supposedly free-trade - we might discuss that some other time - but just remember, supposedly free-trade, guy, talked about the mercantile system, relating it to merchant activities of the 16-17th century. BASICALLY, mercantilists believe in national interest, and according to Smith anw, beggar-thy-neighbour policies. THe world economy is a zero-sum game, and if you lose, I win =D yay! in the past, what states did was to export as much as possible (hence earning foreign, or as HObbes would say, Forraign, money) and import as little as possible (hence preventing the outflow of money!) And money in those times, tended to refer to precious metals like GOLD! cos gold is durable and rare... that will work, except every other (European anyway) state was doing the same, so what they brilliantly did, was to invade! Massive Expansion into the South and went into a mad, rapacious dash to colonize as much as they possibly can. Sure, there was short-term economic expenses, but in return, (they thought) they received long-term power and economic gains. so they exploit all our (speaking on behalf of my fellow colonialised people) natural wealths and they sell as much manufactured goods (which they produce using our raw materialS) to us as possible.
At least until our beloved Adam Smith came along... He says free trade is gain for all! Stop your silly unnecessary warfare and TRADE! He spent a majority of his The Wealth of Nations denouncing mercantilistic policies. And so we believed him... until the World Wars!
The world became a mess of self-interested, paranoid states who only wanted to protect themselves, usually at the expense of others =) Then the Allies and the US thought: why not form an institution so we can coordinate our policies once more. and to cushion domestic fears about economic troubles, we can have domestic autonomy coupled with free international trade. While Smith says, just let the market govern everything, the postwar leaders reasoned states will take part if they feel they can at least have control over their own states' welfare. Thus, the Bretton Woods convention... and this is where my essay will have to begin o_O
Xin knows that her history sense is rather... appalling, shall we say... Xin just hopes she'll survive this essay and not do too badly. Anyone? Anyone at all who's brilliant at economics and want to discuss Mercantilism (or Neo-mercantilism) with me, please contribute =( i don't know how, to be honest.. since my chatterbox is dead as usual.
xin wonders if her human rights essay sounded much more professional than this.
Guess I'm just not cut out for Economics...
Monday, October 27, 2008
i've just completed an essay on 'human have human rights simply in virtue of being human'.
and shockingly, i decided no, humans don't have human rights simply in virtue of being human
Not all humans have human rights (if we take the human rights from the UN Charter of Human Rights). The right to vote for example limited to under sixteen/eighteen/twentyone? and especially not for people under authoritarian regimes (singapore is of course the exception haha!) Even the right to life, something most would consider fundamental and if doubtful about human rights in general, most would at least ask for the right to life, - why do some advocate euthanasia (legalised in ten? countries), why do some advocate abortion?
Discussing the problem of humans as right-holders, I brought up the recent issue of the third generation of human rights - collective rights. right-holders as individuals seem to be a Western concept, with all their autonomy and blahblahblah (oops that wasn't very intellectual) collective rights, though, aren't collective HUMAN rights. in fact, they often contradict human rights - so maybe not.
Because Xin has to go read Koskenniemi's From Apology to Utopia, Xin has to leave 'simply in virtue of being human' - the exciting part - till the next time i blog.
Xin is beginning to have an intellectual blog. BLOG.
Xin has 'The Thin People' on her desktop - it's quite scary.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Hobbes is really interesting - when you're not pressurized to understand every single word, and you can read at leisure.
When I took Philo in Year 1, we discussed dreams. How do you know you're awake, how do u differentiate when you're dreaming or when you're truly awake? Read Descartes' Meditations for some very confusing discussion about this. HObbes mentioned dreams too.
For my part, when I consider that in dreams I do not often nor constantly think of the same persons, places, objects, and actions that I do waking, nor remember so long a train of coherent thoughts dreaming as at other times; and because waking I often observe the absurdity of dreams, but never dream of the absurdities of my waking thoughts, I am well satisfied that, being awake, I know I dream not; though when I dream, I think myself awake.
Hah. There you go. Who careS? I know I'm awake now.
Speaking of dreams, I had a weird dream that I was 1 of a pair of twins, and there was like some adventure, fun-filled, with dangerous dark waters, and identity crises. And you know what, I wasn't even a girl o_O Dot.
my first(?) post this year... well this academic year anyway.
and it's not going to be about me :P
i was reading Hobbes (again) but the full version of 'The Leviathan', and I realised Hobbes said something reminiscent of Newtons' first law of motion, that (the latter) goes somewhat like: An object remains at rest or in its state of motion unless a net external force acts upon it.
well, bearing in mind that Newton published that in 1687, Hobbes said (in 1660) in the Leviathan that: when a thing lies still, unless somewhat else stir it, it will lie still for ever, is a truth that no man doubts of. But that when a thing is in motion, it will eternally be in motion, unless somewhat else stay it, though the reason be the same (namely, that nothing can change itself), is not so easily assented to.
ok, it's not like exactly the same. but. oh well, i don't know what i'm getting at anyway. I bet Hobbes never knew who the hell Newton was or vice versa. news travel pretty slowly in those days. haha :)
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
we arrived at charles de gaulle terminal 2 on thurs evening =) settled in hotel de bellevue and went out in search of sacre coeur......and then moulin rouge (of course)! in the red light district. where people tried selling us tix to watch stuff like lapdancing. do i look like i like to watch sexy girls dancing? dots.
had a lovely dinner and slept!
woke up early on fri to go disneyland. haha i'm so childish. but i do love it!
of cos i took a zillion photos (though i shall not horrify everyone and put everything up here -- fret not, i'll upload to my online photo album soon! err including like last year's photos o_O i haven't had timeeee!) and a million ridess =) like the buzz lightyear one where u shoot evil aliens.
i could go on and on about disneyland and the disney studio (we went to both parks!) but paris is more interesting than that... the clock struck 7pm everything closed and we left for the disney village where we had dinner, before rushing off to the louvre to see it at night =) no slim photos so skip the louvre at night =P
slept in on sat despite all our grand plans, and headed off for arc de triomphe...
...and then to the all famous eiffel tower!
then to ecole militaire..
then to where napoleon's tomb is.... a very distinctive landmark.. the golden dome....
and i noe i should resist putting this is cos it's irrelevant but it's the most exqusitely carved chocolate... choc cows, choc babies, choc froggies. so cute and so realistic! and so costly of course =P paris has the loveliest shops, i can't possibly put down all these photos regrettably! went to a jardin (garden, more like park actually) for lunch, watch little kids sail small wooden boats in the fountain. enjoy a bit of the sun! savour the baguette and feed little sparrows. it was the jardin next to the royal palais but the photos aren't significant enough...
next we went to the pantheon... (strange how italy has one too o_O)
then to notre dame!! which i very clearly remember going few years back...
then we walked down the river seine, and sat down at yet another jardin o_O have some lovely photos of the river and its bridges but none with me inside. dot. and by chance we saw the cruise that brought me down the river few years back! i actually have a photo of it but nvm. and we went back to the louvre! it was lovely at sunset. i look fat in all the photos but how can i not put the louvre down! so here goes... (without me of cos)
went to jardin du tuilleries (i'm making up all the french... basically it means garden of tulips i think. lala) and place de la concorde and we took a photo of eiffel at sunset which is nice... and i insisted that we should wait and see the eiffel tower when it's litted up at night, cos it's glittery and alarming! so we waited by the river (and in the cold) for about an hour or so, and just as we left, the tower twinkled.
saw the grand palais and the petit palais. right opposite each other and honestly, about the same size? haha! then walked down the famous champs elysee and saw the louis vutton departmental store, yes, all 4 storeys of it. well of course i din buy anything. i'm a poor student remember?
next day woke up early again to go to the palace of versailles where we queued for an hour for the ticket, and then an hour to actually ENTER o_O which is absolutely retarded. but well worth it. the jardin was a forest. not that it's unkempt or anything but it's humongous. it's like singapore sized. ok i'm exaggerating...the following is one tiny part of it.. see how far it stretches.
the palace was amazingly grand and contained TONS (as in literally tons) of silver. much of the furniture in the palace was made of pure silver and weighed a few hundred kg. but the pictures will bore u cos we couldn't actually take much, photography being prohibitted. interdit!
took the metro back, walked along the river and i saw a one-man band! he's really cool, so we gave him some coins. and lo and behold, we walked back to the louvre. it's haunting us i tell u. anw, we walked and passed by this gorgeous chocolate shop. i mean GORGEOUS. like a tiny box of pates de fruits cost like 37euros i'm not kidding. try palm-sized box.
we went to the royal opera house, and some touristy attraction building (which i can't remember what it's called) near our place.
went back to sacre coeur the last morning! it was then i realised that's where huiyan and i got cheated the last time. evil black people were still there trying to cheat me again!!! lucky i'm smarter this time and escaped their evil clutches.
and i took photos of a bunch of people in the midst of being cheated. thing is, they tie your hand with a friendship band and then demand money from u, and not just coins, mind u. notes. i.e. at least 5 euros. and they are big, many and scary so most people just give in. don't!
saw 2 moulin rouge windmill in the back streets, forgotten but are truly part of moulin rouge, enroute to montmatre cemeterie. which is honestly amazing. they look like little houses and chapels from afar, but they aren't. they house dead people :S
went to hotel de ville. which had a funfair going on in the square in front of it. and they mounted a huge fake igloo in front which destroyed the aura of the building.
and then we went for our last meal in paris... MUSSELS =) hehe!
then there're a few photos of me and some churches and then a carousel and then we went to shop at the train station before heading to the airport at last. back to edinburgh.
.. and of course, the insane turbulence greeted us as the pilot tried to land, the flight was like scarier than any ride i'd taken in paris. and blustery winds tried to sweep us off our feet as the pelting drizzle (how does that work!) welcomed us back to home sweet home. haha!
haha.. well.. barring the fact that the photo is like from at least a year ago.. and my chatterbox is gone due to bad id o_O and my links are like not updated at all. and blah and blah and blah.
well barring all that, my last entry was like (oh shit i forgot it's march already, so NOT) within the month. is it really march already? gosh.
erps.. so anw haven't been doing that much, it's the post stressful essay period =) catching up on my daily dose of TV or downloaded programmes at any rate. i've re-watched kurosagi and nobuta wo produce!! in the pretext of preparing for my japanese speech yesterday! i spoke on singapore - DUH! it's quite a funny speech i thought. oh well. except i err forgot the conclusion paragraph and spent 1 whole minute gaping at the audience. hahaa! and it was basically about the weather. i must have been influenced by the Brits. haha. What with drinking tea every morning and discussing at length about the weather. but honestly the weather here is exceedingly fickle, u can probably write a 3000 word on it.. haha and i've handed in all my essays, can't believe it! lol. and all i'm doing now is offering my condolences to the poor ppl who still have essays. wheee¬ lala. shhh. i think kenny is doing his essay now.. and william.. all my flatmates in fact. HAHA.
i've blogged! tada¬
ohh i went to paris. disneyland! haha. reminds me just a little bit of jc times. at the arc de triomphe or at notre dame or down the river seine. it's so strange. haha. everything seems different. it's like now that i've lived in the europe region for 2 years, it's not that novel anymore i guess. compared to a few years back, when i was still young and innocent o_O haha and it was my first trip to europe and first trip with my friends.. so many firsts... and everything was grand and sunny it seemed. never noticed that europe had a tragically perpetual gloomy overcast sky... haha nor saw how alarmingly dirty the metro is. never saw the dark and dodgy alleys then either. everything was jsut amazing and fun and dream-like. haha. can't believe so much has changed since. never thought i'll return to paris jsut a few years later, and all by myself at that.. it's not that i dislike paris this time, it's just that my impression of paris then was like postcard-snapshots. pretty eiffel tower; pretty notre dame; pretty champs elysee. no meaning, no history, nothing attached to it, except that it's a pretty tourist attraction.
anyway shall go cook dinner now.. will upload some paris photos later as promisedd.. it's not as gloomy as i made out la.. i'm jsut being philosophical. ERRR. okk. i was just musing to myself... ok byeee =)
Sunday, February 17, 2008
perhaps at a busy time, like now. haha. i tend to do lots of rubbish during times like this.
well actually all i have left to do now (thanks to the amazing lot of work i did last week) are 2 essays, one due in like two days' time, and the other one within the week.
i haven't done much this academic year. i'm beginning to feel like i've no life. it's not like i haven't been going out or doing things, but maybe i just haven't been going out as much! or meeting as many people as i used to! maybe i met too many people last year o_O i haven't been travelling either. i don't really know where to go and no one has been recommending any place to me. (except that EVERYONE wants to go to amsterdam for some obscure reason and i don't know who to go with) i wish blogger didn't have spell check. it annoys me i can't spell as i like without having some red squiggly line appearing. the weather's pretty good these days (these days when i'm holed up at home, gazing wistfully at the sunshine outside). it's quite cold but sunny. i'll love to go out. i'll even like jogging around arthur's seat i should think. it'll be a long time before i jog again i think. gah.
i caught the nutcracker last thursday! with huiyan! who's finally in scotland! and it's amazing!! like she's just a phone call or 20 mins' walk away. whee. and we can go jogging around arthur's seat, shopping along princes' st, breathing in cold scottish air together. and (i think hian liang has gotten the hang of the scottish accent - i think all you do is go down at the end of the sentence, i think mctay speaks quite like a scot)
i feel really lazy and depressed about my second essay, the one i haven't done, or started on really. just cos i put in so much effort for my first one, and i haven't had time to get a breather, and i'm forced to do so much reading on a totally different essay with writers from a totally different era, like a few centuries' apart, discussing the state of nature, civill society (no kidding, it's no typo that's how it's like with Hobbes) and the Commonweal. which of cos means the commonwealth i.e. the state. the wonderful spelling does not help a mote. and of cos i still don't understand what eudokien (or something like that) means and it's in the passage but it doesn't exist in any dictionary. so what should be the appropriate relation between society and state? is the state obliged to the society or the other way round? i think what i'm going to do first thing tomorrow is ring up all my IR friends who have time to listen to me, and ask them exactly that. and maybe i'll have an idea on how to do my essay. GRRR. mann thinking about reading just puts me off. i do hate this. eeee. i wish i had more time. i wish i could do exciting things and be exciting. i'm boring. i lead a boring life.