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System of Government where the Same Family Cannot Inherit

System of Government where the Same Family Cannot Inherit


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I have been trying to find evidence of a system of government where one of the principles it works on would be to hinder the creation of effective political families (thereby allowing people to advance based on merit and not familial relations -- though I accept this would not be a natural consequence of such a system).

  • The dogal election system in Venice was the first possible option, and that seemed to be close although not satisfying the conditions of this question as people from the same family have inherited the title after each other: List of Doges of Venice. The election system, however, is still fairly complex and does seem to be successful in curbing the power of families. Would anyone be able to offer comment on whether the fact that people from the same families inherited was due to those people being 'ordained' by the family or actual abilities they had? Was being the doge something a Venetian even worked towards (or would they have preferred another office)? [What about the other mercantile republics of Genoa and Amalfi and Pisa?]

  • The Papacy is another (and, quite possibly, the strongest) candidate. However, both Roman noblemen (earlier periods) and the Italian families of the High Middle Ages seem to have exerted considerable power in choosing cardinals -- or, at least in making certain someone would not be chosen. How effectual was this way of curbing familial powers, and how easy was it for someone to make their candidate the Pope? This will have surely also depended on the time period, with more recent elections being subject to stricter rules so highlighting the change in this would also be helpful (and why a change in rules came about to begin with).

  • The Polish-Lithuanian(-Ruthenian) free election is another option, but that does not quite qualify as the intention of every magnate was to find a weak king. The family of the person was less relevant, although certain familial relations may have been helpful for some candidacies.

Can anyone suggest other states where the leader was chosen (either automatically, by the system in place, or 'manually') with the intention to prevent the formation of powerful dynastic blocks?

Perhaps I should add for clarity that I do not think it necessary for one family to be disqualified entirely after one 'term of office' but rather for there to be a considerable gap in it -- say that a grandson could rise to the office the grandfather held, but that the father would have been ineligible to serve in any such capacity.


The Papacy is as good as it gets as an example - altough there were families with considerable influence over the choice of Cardinals and later on the Pope, and Nepotism was rampant, there were effective checks on Papal power - if one family tried to get a firm grip on the Pope/Papal position, at least one unhappy nation would start a war, not to mention the internal plots that would try to curb said family's power.

A perfect example are the Borgias - synonymous with "nepotism", "greed for power" and etc. they had only two Popes, and especially the second one, Alexander VI, who had a lot of power and tried to advance his family in all possible ways - he nearly brought the destruction of his House because there were a lot of people, Kings and Emperors and Cardinals and regular bishops and schemeres who misliked him and how powerful he and his relatives were.

So, as we can see, there was a sort of self-regulating principle that curbed the power of whoever got too much of it.

Edit: Plus, the mere fact that (by definition and job description) the Pope doesn't have any children, the "same family inheritance" is extremely limited (and that's why nepotism is named nephewism)


The Novgorod Republic comes to mind. I cannot think of any family supplying more than one top ruler (be it a Prince, a posadnik or an archbishop). I cannot say if Novgorodian system was specifically set up to prevent the formation of powerful dynastic blocks, but it surely succeeded in doing so.


Etatism and Totalitarianism: The Legacy of Mises's Omnipotent Government

Hayek’s book soon became a classic, and it is still considered a force to be reckoned with. Mises’s book has been less fortunate. Yet it is an important contribution, for at least two reasons. On the one hand, Mises offers his explanation of what made German politics degenerate to the point of trusting her fate into Hitler’s hands.

On the other hand, Mises offers a complex understanding of the consequences of what he calls “etatism” in the international sphere. Mises uses “etatism” instead of statism because that word, “derived from the French état… clearly expresses the fact that etatism did not originate in the Anglo Saxon countries, and has only lately got hold of the Anglo-Saxon mind.”

His critique of interventionism here does not only focus on its unintended consequences, insofar as people’s welfare is concerned. Instead, he identifies some of its broader political consequences.

The world parted from liberalism in two key ways. In a liberal world, “frontiers are drawn on the maps but they do not hinder the migrations of men and shipping of commodities. Natives do not enjoy rights that are denied to aliens.” One may think of perhaps the most extraordinary passage in Pericles’s funeral oration: Athens, he claimed, is open “to the world, and never by alien acts to exclude foreigners from any opportunity of learning or observing, although the eyes of an enemy may occasionally profit by our liberality.” That sense of openness as an essential mark of a liberal polity is central to liberalism in Mises’s view (though of course he had a more inclusive understanding of political right). For him, embracing liberalism would be the only effective guarantee of world peace: any other solution than embracing free trade and open borders is bound to develop conflict between states.

In his biography of Mises, Guido Hülsmann points out that, as soon as he arrived in the United States and got in touch with other European emigres, he started thinking about what might happen in Europe after the war. In this context, he thought deeply about the problems of the international order. His reflections are a lucid example of the application of the economic way of thinking—and a meditation on the power of economic ideas, which goes beyond the mere sphere of their application.

If Omnipotent Government seems bitter, it does so because Mises thought “etatism” made conflict widespread and potentially unavoidable. “A democratic commonwealth of free nations is incompatible with any discrimination against large groups,” but modern politics thrive on such discrimination—which are apparent in trade and migration barriers. Etatism”must lead to conflict, war, and totalitarian oppression of large populations:” for Mises, it breeds conflict and thrives on conflict. “In our age of international division of labor, totalitarianism within several scores of sovereign national governments is self-contradictory. Economic considerations are pushing every totalitarian government toward world domination.”

Etatism breeds monism and intolerance. “The right and true state, under etatism, is the state in which I or my friends, speaking my language and sharing my opinions, are supreme. All other states are spurious. One cannot deny that they too exist in this imperfect world. But they are enemies of my state, of the only righteous state, even if this state does not yet exist outside of my dreams and wishes.”

“A world parliament elected by the universal and equal suffrage of all adults would obviously never acquiesce in migration and trade barriers,” since the interests of the world poor are those that are hurt the most. Alas, as Mises knows well, such a Utopian dream can hardly be of any use in the world of politics.

The distinctively non-Utopian world which saw the emergence of Nazism is the core of Mises’s study. Omnipotent Government is the ultimate version of a manuscript on which Mises started to work in 1938, as he wanted to explain “The Way of the German People toward National Socialism” (this was the working title). It is closely linked with his 1919 book Nation, State, and Economy, where Mises had explained the rise of German imperialism.

While he was often dismissed as a laissez-faire ideologue, Mises’s explanation is historical and nuanced. He tracks the decline of the fortune of German liberalism and the rise of nationalism, trying to refuse easy and mistaken explanations. While he was deeply pessimistic about the spirit of the age (“It seems that the age of reason and common sense is gone forever,” he wrote to Hayek in 1941), his work attempts to be a logical, cold analysis of what happened.

He maintains it was “very easy indeed to assemble many facts of German history and many quotations from German authors that can be used to demonstrate an inherent German propensity toward aggression”—but that was wrong. “There have been in Germany, as in all other nations, eulogists of aggression, war, and conquest. But there have been other Germans too. The greatest are not to be found in the ranks of those glorifying tyranny and German world hegemony. Are Heinrich von Kleist, Richard Wagner, and Detlev von Liliencron more representative of the national character than Kant, Goethe, Schiller, Mozart, and Beethoven?”

These words were not written lightly and one should not assume that were dictated by an imperfect knowledge of what happened in Nazi Germany.

It is true that the Soviets entered at Auschwitz in 1945 and only then did the world truly realise the extent of the Nazis’ atrocities. But Mises had a better grasp than many of Nazism. After the Anschluss, his apartment in Vienna was searched and looted by the Gestapo, and the inheritance bequeathed to him and his brother Richard by their father was confiscated. For years, as Hülsmann carefully reports, Mises was doing all he could to help colleagues who were stripped of their jobs and academic positions to find new ones abroad. Then he had to leave Austria himself, first for Switzerland and then the United States.

Yet Omnipotent Government is permeated by a profound admiration for German culture and can be seen as an attempt to save it from a prejudice that sees Germany as fated to become a hotbed of cruel nationalism. On the contrary, Germany could have been liberal, as evidenced by the tentative flowering of liberal developments in the middle of the 19th century, but the political debate took a different turn, thereby preparing the scene for the rise of the Nazi regime.

For Mises, the turning point in German history was the constitutional conflict which opened in Prussia when liberal parliamentarians refused to accept the government’s plan for military reform in the late 1850s. The army was understandably a sensitive issue for German liberals, as it was used to suppress the uprisings in 1848-49. The court wanted to strengthen the army to reduce the likelihood of any other revolutionary attempts. The liberals “wanted to wrest the army from the King and to transform it into an instrument for the protection of German liberty. The issue of the conflict was whether the King or Parliament should control the army.” “The struggle against this army bill,” Mises wrote, “was the last political act of German liberalism.”

Not that the liberals actually wanted to prepare the ground for any popular upheaval. “The liberals were resolved to spare the German people, whenever possible, the horrors of revolution and civil war. They were confident that in a not-too-distant future they themselves would get full control of Prussia. They had only to wait.” Mises describes the German liberals of the 19th century as fervent believers in public opinion and the education of the masses. They knew “they could not establish popular government within a nation where many millions were still caught in the bonds of superstition, boorishness, and illiteracy.” Thus education, and a strong appreciation for the virtues of a free society, ought to spread precisely among “those strata of the population from which the King drew his reliable soldiers.”

In his narrative of German liberalism, Mises emphasizes the extent by which “the aim of German liberalism was the replacement of the scandalous administration of the thirty-odd German states by a unitary liberal government.”He recognizes a liberal element in the struggle for German unification and refuses to see a linear continuity between Prussianism, German nationalism and National Socialism.

Chancellor Bismarck was hardly a hero of Mises: “Bismarck and his military and aristocratic friends hated the liberals so thoroughly that they would have been ready to help the socialists get control of the country if they themselves had proved too weak to preserve their own rule.” Yet they were not proto-Nazis. If they paved the way for Hitler, they did so in a different sense. The triumph of German militarism, together with the emergence and success of socialist doctrine, changed “the nation’s mentality.” The liberal party, and hitherto liberal positions generally speaking, vanished: at some point “there were no longer any liberal authors in Germany. Thus the nationalist writers and professors easily conquered.” Etatism became popular in all quarters. It was not only the bourgeoisie that bought into Prussian militarism: virtually the whole of German society did, with prominent academics (including the so-called “socialists of the chair” Adolph Wagner and Gustave Schmoller) leading the choir.

Mises’s work is idea-centric: he attaches great importance to the fashions of the intellectual world. Politics is a matter of interests, but the dominant ideas in society make those interests intelligible to the very people who hold them. Ideas anticipate and draw the space of the politically possible. The prevailing ideas, in Germany, brought people to consider their nation as a “closed” economic system and to believe that its success depended upon other governments’ failures. “Etatism” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: “the most advanced countries of Europe have poor domestic resources. They are comparatively overpopulated.” As a trend “towards autarky, migration barriers, and expropriation of foreign investments” consolidates, they are bound to experience a severe fall in standards of living.

If “the old liberals were right in asserting that no citizen of a liberal and democratic nation profits from a victorious war,” when you introduce “migration and trade barriers” everything changes. The economy becomes a realm of conflict, not of co-operation. “Every wage earner and every peasant is hurt by the policy of a foreign government, barring his access to countries in which natural conditions of production are more favorable than in his native country. Every toiler is hurt by a foreign country’s import duties penalizing the sale of the products of his work.”

Had Germany adopted free trade and liberalism, these ideas would have gained center stage in continental Europe. But not only it did not happen: the fact that the entire world of politics was openly anti-liberal determined that possible opportunities to move in a liberal direction were never grasped.

A turning point was the end of WWI. “The main argument brought forward in favor of the Hohenzollern militarism was its alleged efficiency.” For Mises the First World War “destroyed the old prestige of the royal family, of the Junkers, the officers, and the civil servants.” By late 1918 “the great majority of the nation was sincerely prepared to back a democratic government.” But the Marxist elements of the Social Democratic Party withdrew their support for democracy, hoping to hasten towards the Revolution. Yet that created the impression that “as the conservatives had always asserted, the advocates of democracy wished to establish the rule of the mob.” Thus “the idea of democracy itself became hopelessly suspect.” For Mises, “the nationalists were quick to comprehend this change in mentality.” Very quickly German politics degenerated into a sort of war between “extreme” groups, Marxist and nationalist: “there was no third group ready to support capitalism and its political corollary, democracy.” Those who thought they were opposing nationalism were “fanatical supporters of statism and hyper-protectionism. Bt they were too narrow minded to see that these policies presented Germany with the tremendous problem of autarky.”

Such an ideological climate, together with the Marxists flirting, made for “a spirit of brutality” that gave “political parties a military character.” “If Hitler had not succeeded in winning the race for dictatorship, somebody else would have won it.”

The time was ripe for something like Nazism to emerge. It was not the support of the wealthy that caused Hitler’s success. It is true that he “got subsidies from big business…. Hitler took their money as a king takes the tribute of his subjects…. The Entrepreneurs preferred to be reduced by Nazism to the status of shop managers than to be liquidated by communism in the Russian way. As conditions were in Germany, there was no third course open to them.”

The Nazis conquered Germany because they never encountered any adequate intellectual resistance. Mises insists that this happened because “the fundamental tenets of the Nazi ideology do not differ form the generally accepted social and economic ideologies.”

Such tenets are (a) an understanding of capitalism as a system of exploitation (b) the idea a duty existed for the government to substitute control of business for free enterprise (c) price controls are legitimate (d) easy money policy has “nothing to do with the periodical recurrence of economic depression,” (e) capitalism does not serve the masses and has not increased their living standards., (f) the only advantage in international trade lies in exporting.

For Mises, what consolidated Nazism was the fact that statism was the hegemonic ideology in the Western world too. Instead of being inclined towards international cooperation and trade, other countries faced Germans in the way the Nazi expected—and that allowed them to grow consensus.

“With regard to these dogmas there is no difference between present-day British liberals and the British labor party on the other hand and the Nazi on the other.” Mises of course does not mean that these groups share the same means of the Nazi, who were “sadistic gangsters”: but that in the 1920s and in the 1930s the dominant intellectual discourse was such as to leave no doubt that European countries saw each other as antagonists in the economic race, and not as potential allies that could gain by cooperating and trading with each other.

It is worth noting that, when the book came out, Hans Kohn, the distinguished historian of nationalism, reviewed it in The American Historical Review. While Kohn considered Mises the last holder of the “belief, current a century ago, that in a world of perfect and unhampered capitalism, of free trade and democracy, there would be no incentives for war and conquest,” a faith that he considered “utopian,” he valued Mises’s liberal warnings in an age of collectivism. Furthermore, he thought Mises presented his analysis of German nationalism “with cogent arguments, with many illuminating references and in a brilliant style.”

Mises’s liberalism in this book is, as always, adamant. “It is a delusion to believe that planning and free enterprise can be reconciled. No compromise is possible between the two methods. Where the various enterprises are free to decide what to produce and how, there is capitalism. Where, on the other hand, the government authorities do the directing, there is socialist planning.” But it will be wrong to take this for an uncritical endorsement of “real world capitalism.” He sees the emergence of a businessman’s syndicalism (crony capitalism, we would call it) as “something like a replica of the medieval guild system. It would not bring socialism, but all-round monopoly with all its detrimental consequences. It would impair supply and put serious obstacles in the way of technical improvements. It would not preserve free enterprise but give a privileged position to those who now own and operate plants, protecting them against the competition of efficient newcomers.”

Omnipotent Government may be seen by some as an overly economistic attempt to make sense of totalitarianism. Indeed, there was more to Nazis than their system of price controls. But it is precisely for this reason that it is such a fascinating read. Brutality, hatred and the pride some political groups take in aggression are traced back to a flawed understanding of the world, propelled by their rejection of liberalism. Omnipotent Government is a testimonial to the power of the economic way of thinking and to Ludwig von Mises’s analytical power.

Footnotes

[1] Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War. Edited with a Foreword by Bettina Bien Greaves (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011). Online text available at the Online Library of Liberty at Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War.

*Alberto Mingardi is Director General of the Italian free-market think tank, Istituto Bruno Leoni. He is also assistant professor of the history of political thought at IULM University in Milan and a Presidential Scholar in Political Theory at Chapman University. He is also an adjunct fellow at the Cato Institute.


The Prince

As leaders rapidly rose and fell, Machiavelli observed traits that, he believed, bolstered power and influence. In 1513, after being expelled from political service with the takeover of Florence by the Medici family, Machiavelli penned his outline of what makes an effective leader in The Prince.

Unlike the noble princes portrayed in fairy tales, a successful ruler of a principality, as described in Machiavelli’s writings, is brutal, calculating and, when necessary, utterly immoral.

Because people are “quick to change their nature when they imagine they can improve their lot,” he wrote, a leader must also be shrewd. “The fact is thatਊ man who wants toꂬt virtuously in਎very way necessarily comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous. Therefore, ifਊ prince wants to maintain his rule he mustꂾ prepared not to be virtuous, and to make use of this or not according to need.”

Until Machiavelli’s writing, most philosophers of politics had defined a good leader as humble, moral and honest. Machiavelli shed that notion, saying frankly, “It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot have both.”

Cruelty can be better than kindness, he argued, explaining that “Making an example of one or two offenders is kinder than being too compassionate, and allowing disorders to develop into murder and chaos which affects the whole community.” Keeping one’s word can also be dangerous, he said, since 𠇎xperience shows that those who do not keep their word get the better of those who do.”

Moreover, Machiavelli also believed that when leaders are not moral, it’s important they pretend they are to keep up appearances. 𠇊 prince must always seem to be very moral, even if he is not,” he wrote.


Dictatorship

A dictatorship is a form of government in which a person or a small group rules with almost unlimited power. The ruler of a dictatorship is called a dictator. Absolute monarchs (kings) are another type of ruler with unlimited power. But monarchs usually inherit their position. By contrast, dictators take power by force or by misleading the people.

How Dictators Rule

Dictators may come to power in free elections and gradually take over the entire government. Or they may use force to throw out the current ruler. This is called a coup. When an army commander or a group of army officers takes power, it is called a military dictatorship.

Once in power, dictators use the police or the army to keep control. They often take away people’s freedoms. In addition, many dictators cancel or control elections so that the people cannot vote them out of office.

A special form of dictatorship is totalitarianism. Totalitarian dictators control all parts of society. Schools, businesses, newspapers, and even the arts must follow the government’s wishes. Anyone who displeases the dictator may be killed. The worst totalitarian governments of the 1900s were those of Adolf Hitler in Germany and Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union.

History

The word dictator was first used in the ancient Roman Republic. At that time a dictator was a temporary leader. His great power lasted only during times of trouble. But one Roman leader, Julius Caesar, became dictator for life.

Dictatorships became common during the 1800s and 1900s. In those years many colonies of foreign nations gained their independence. As they did so they either became democracies or dictatorships. Many dictatorships arose in Latin America in the 1800s and in Africa in the late 1900s.


Contents

The clan (xeem 姓 ) remains a dominant organizing force in Hmong society. There are about eighteen Hmong clans that are known in Laos and Thailand. [3] Clan membership is inherited upon birth or occasionally through adoption. All children are members of the father’s clan, through which they will trace their ancestors. Women become members of their husband's family upon marriage but will retain their clan name of their father. Members of the same clan consider each other to be kwv tij, translated as "brothers", "siblings," and they are expected to offer one another mutual support. The term kwv tij is regarded as one's father's family or in the case of women who are married it refers to her in laws. A related term neej tsa is the wife family after marriage. However she regards her birth family to be her kwv tij until she is married. Also many clans even consider each last name as kwv tij Example: Khang, Kue, and Kong are kwv tij because they share a history of helping each other and respect for each other. [4] Respected clan leaders are expected to take responsibility for conflict negotiation and occasionally the maintenance of religious rituals. Members of a clan who share the same ritual practices may identify as a group on the sub-clan level.

Faaj (Faj) Fang, Fa,
Haam (Ham) Hang, Hung
Hawj Hue, Heu, Her, Herr, Hur
Khaab (Khab) Khang, Kha
Koo, Xoom Kong, Soung 龔,宋
Kwm Kue, Ku
Lauj Lo, Lor, Lau, Lao
Lis Lee, Ly, Li
Muas Moua, Mua, Mas
Phaab (Phab) Pha
Thoj Thao, Thoa, Tho, Thor
Tsab (Tsaab) Cha, Chang, Tcha, Chah, Jiang, Zhang
Tsheej Cheng, Cheung, Chen, Shang
Tswb Chue, Chu, Tchue
Vaj (Vaaj) Vang, Veng, Va, Wang, Wa
Vwj Vue, Vu, Wu
Xyooj Xiong, Song
Yaj (Yaaj) Yang, Young

Clan groups are exogamous: that is, Hmong may not marry within their own clan group a marriage partner must be found from another clan. [5] For example, a Xiong may not marry another Xiong. However, they are allowed to marry blood relatives from their mother side (Neejtsa). This allows for such cases as two cousins related through their mother to marry, so long as they are in different clans. Traditionally, when a boy wants to marry a girl, he will make his intentions clear, and will "zij" or snatch (In western countries this act is not popular and is considered to be illegal) her at any opportunity that is appropriate. [6] This is traditionally only a symbolic kidnapping.

Before he may "zij" her, the boy must first give a gift to the girl whom he wants to marry. After waiting a few days, the boy may then "zij" the girl. If the boy never gave the girl a gift, she is allowed to refuse and return home with any family member who comes to save her. The parents are not notified at the time of the "zij", but an envoy from the boy's clan is sent to inform them of the whereabouts of their daughter and her safety (fi xov). This envoy gives them the boy's family background and asks for the girl's in exchange. For example, the envoy may tell the girl's family that the groom is from a Stripe Hmong family from Luang Prabang, Laos the bride's parents may then reply that they are Moob Leej/Mong Leng from Nong Het, Xieng Khouang, Laos. Before the new couple enters the groom's house, the groom's father performs a blessing ritual, asking the ancestors to accept the new bride into the household (Lwm qaib). The head of the household moves the chicken in a circular motion around the couple's head. [ needs context ] The girl is not allowed to visit anyone's house for three days after this.

After three days or more, the groom's parents will prepare the first wedding feast for the newlywed couple (hu plig nyab tshiab thaum puv peb tag kis). The wedding is usually a two-day process. [7] At the end of this first wedding feast, the couple will return to the bride's family's home, where they spend the night preparing for the next day. On the second day, the family of the bride prepares a second wedding feast at their home, where the couple will be married (Noj tshoob). Hmong marriage customs differ slightly based on cultural subdivisions within the global Hmong community, but all require the exchange of a bride price from the groom’s family to the bride’s family.

The bride price is compensation for the new family taking the other family's daughter, as the girl's parents are now short one person to help with chores (the price of the girl can vary based on her value or on the parents). The elders of both families negotiate the amount prior to the engagement and is traditionally paid in bars of silver or livestock. [8] In modern times, settlements made in monetary terms are also common. [8]

During the bride's time with the groom's family, she will wear their clan's traditional clothes. She will switch back to the clothes of her birth clan while visiting her family during the second day of the wedding. After the wedding is over, her parents will give her farewell presents and new sets of clothes. Before the couple departs, the bride's family provide the groom with drinks until he feels he can't drink anymore, though he will often share with any brothers he has. At this point the bride's older brother or uncle will often offer the groom one more drink and ask him to promise to treat the bride well, never hit her, etc. Finishing the drink is seen as the proof that the groom will keep his promise. Upon arriving back at the groom's house, another party is held to thank the negotiator(s), the groomsman and bride's maid (tiam mej koob). [7]

During and post-wedding, there are many rules or superstitious beliefs a bride must follow. Here are some examples:

  • When the groom's wedding party is departing from the bride's house, during that process, the bride must never look back for it is to be bad omen endured into her marriage.
  • During the wedding feast, there are to be no spicy dishes or hot sauces served for it will make the marriage bitter.
  • At some point during the wedding, an elder would come ask the bride if she has old gifts or mementos from past lovers. She is to forfeit these items.
  • The bridesmaid's, known as the green lady, job is to make sure the bride does not run off with a man [7] as, historically, many girls were forced to marry and would elope with their current or past lovers.

In the 21st century, Hmong people who practice Christianity may follow traditional Hmong weddings however, some rituals such as "lwm qaib" and "hu plig" are no longer practiced. Some of them follow both traditional Hmong weddings and westernized weddings. [7]

When a husband dies, it is his clan's responsibility to look after the widow and children. The widow is permitted to remarry, in which case she would have two choices: she may marry one of her husband's younger brothers/ younger cousins (never the older brothers) or she can marry anyone from an outside clan (besides her own). If she chooses to marry an extended member from her deceased husband's clan, her children will continue to be a part of that clan. If she chooses to remarry outside of her deceased husband's clan, her children are not required to stay with the clan unless a member of the clan (usually the deceased husband's brother or a male cousin of the same last name) is willing to take care of the children. (This is mostly the practice today in many Western Nations). If no one from the deceased husband's clan is willing to raise the children, they will follow their mother into her second marriage. Once the children go with their mother to be a part of their stepfather's family, a spiritual ceremony may take place. The children can choose to belong to their stepfather's clan (by accepting his surname, his family spirits, and relatives) or they can choose to remain with their original clan (the family, spirits, and relatives of their deceased father). Often, regardless of the wishes of the mother or children, the clan would keep the son(s).

Polygamy is a form of marriage among the Hmong, it has been documented. It is rare among those Hmong who have migrated to Western nations. [8]

Divorce was rare in traditional Hmong society, however it is becoming more prevalent in westernized Hmong communities. If a husband and wife decide to divorce, the couple's clans will permit a divorce but will evaluate the situation fairly. If just the wife wants to divorce her husband without any firm grounds, the bride price must be returned to the husband’s family, as the wife will be the one choosing to leave the household. If just the husband wants to divorce his wife without any firm grounds, the husband will have to come up with some money to send the wife back to her family with all the daughters and the sons will stay with the husband, as the husband will be the one choosing to leave the household. By tradition, the man and the woman do not have equal custody of all the children. If it is determined the wife had committed adultery, the husband will receive custody of the sons, the bride price and an additional fine. However, if it is determined the husband had committed adultery or married a second wife and the wife can not continue being part of the family, she will have the option to leaving her husband without paying back the dowry. If the husband allows it, she can take her children with her. If a divorced man dies, custody of any male children passes to his clan group.

Traditional gender roles throughout Hmong society has changed throughout the dominance in China along with Confucianism.

During the periods in which Confucianism reached its peaks (206 BCE – 220 CE) along with Legalism (法家) or Taoism (道家) during the Han Dynasty. Although the early Hmong had no real commitment to subordination of women, over time Confucian teachings were expanded upon. It was during the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE) that Confucianism was adopted as the government's state doctrine in China, becoming part of official education. In later dynasties, Neo-Confucian interpretations further reinforced male authority and patrilineal customs. According to the Confucian structure of society, women at every level were to occupy a position lower than men. Most citizens accepted the subservience of women to men as natural and proper. At the same time they accorded women's honor and power as mother and mother-in-law within their family. [ citation needed ]

There are traditional gender roles in Hmong society. A man's duty involves family responsibility and the provision for the physical and spiritual welfare of his family. Hmong men have a system for making decisions that involves clan leaders. Husbands may consult their wives if they wish before making major decisions regarding family affairs, but the husband is seen as the head of the household who announces the decision. [ citation needed ]

Hmong women are responsible for nurturing the children, preparing meals, feeding animals, and sharing in agricultural labor. Traditionally, Hmong women eat meals only after the Hmong men have eaten first, especially if there are guests present in the house.

Contemporary Hmong people cannot be characterized as subscribing to a single belief system. Missionaries to Southeast Asia converted many Hmong people to Christianity beginning in the 19th-century and many more have become Christian since immigrating from Southeast Asia to the West. However, most Hmong people, both in Asia and the West, continue to maintain traditional spiritual practices that include shamanism, and ancestor veneration. [9]

These spiritual beliefs are combined with their beliefs related to health and illness. In traditional Hmong spiritual practices, one does not separate the physical well-being of a person from their spiritual health the spiritual realm is highly influential and dictates what happens in the physical world. According to these beliefs, everything possesses a spirit, both animate and inanimate objects. There is a delicate balance between these two worlds thus the necessity to revere and honor the ancestors for guidance and protection. The spirits of deceased ancestors are thought to influence the welfare and health of the living. Individuals perform rituals which include the offering of food and spirit money, pouring libation, and burning incense to appease the spirits and earn their favor. [10]

Role - the male head of the household does the worshipping of ancestral spirits. However, it is not surprising to find women also partake in this role. Rituals performed by the head of the household “in honor of the ancestral spirits” are for individual benefits which are usually done during Hmong New Year celebrations. It is mainly to call upon the spirits of the house to protect the house.

Each person is thought to have 12 parts of soul. These parts must remain in harmony to remain healthy. Some parts have specific roles. One of the 12 parts is reincarnated or join a living relative or descendant after death while the main part returns to the home of the ancestors into the spirit world and stays near the grave of the deceased. The soul of the living can fall into disharmony and may even leave the body. The loss of a soul or parts (poob plig) can cause serious illness. The number of parts lost determines how serious the illness. A soul calling ceremony (hu plig) can be performed by shamans, when the soul has been frightened away, within the community to entice the soul home with chanting and offerings of food. Shamans perform rituals because they are the ones who have special access to go in contact with souls or spirits, or in other words, the otherworld. Rituals are usually performed to restore the health of an individual, or family, and call one’s wandering spirit back home. For soul calling, there are a couple of different ceremonies One usually done by the head of the household and one by the shaman.

Animism and shamanism Edit

For followers of traditional Hmong spirituality, the shaman, a healing practitioner who acts as an intermediary between the spirit and material world, is the main communicator with the otherworld, able to see why and how someone got sick. In ancient times, it is said that humans and the spirits used to live with each other. However, due to conflict between the two very different beings, the deity Saub had blinded the two from being able to see each other. However, there is this good and evil in both worlds and thus whenever humans come into contact with the evilness of the otherworld, a Shaman is needed to perform rituals to go rescue or call back the sick person’s spirit and/or look at the reason for why the person is so sick. A shaman’s real job is to “reproduce and restore belief” [11] not really the physical health, although it may seem so. Rituals, which serve as a treatment, might include herbal remedies or offerings of joss paper money or livestock. In cases of serious illness, the shaman enters a trance and travels through the spirit world to discern the cause and remedy of the problem, usually involving the loss or damage of a soul.

This ritual ceremony, called "ua neeb", consists of several parts. The first part of the process is "ua neeb Saib": examining the spiritual aura of the situation to determine what the factors are.

If during ua neeb Saib the shaman observes something seriously wrong with the individual, such as a soul having lost its way home and caught by some spiritual being, the shaman will end the first part of the ceremony process by negotiating with the spiritual being ("whoever has control of this individual soul") to release the soul most of the time this will do. After that, the shaman would lead the soul to its home.

After a waiting period, if the sick individual becomes well, then the second part of the ceremony, referred to as ua neeb kho, will be performed, in which joss paper is burned and livestock is sacrificed in exchange for the well-being and future protection of the individual's soul. Extended family and friends are invited to partake in the ceremony and tie a white string around the wrist (khi tes) of the individual. The strings are blessed by the shaman and as each person ties it around the individual's wrist, they say a personalized blessing.

Studies done within the Hmong American communities show that many Hmong continue to consult shamans for their health concerns.

A household always has a sacred wall paper altar (a Thaj Neeb made of Xwmkab) in which when the shaman comes, he/she performs the ritual in front of it. Domestic worshipping is usually also done in front of this. This wall paper altar serves as the main protector of the house. It is the place, wherever a household decides to place it, where worshiping, offerings (joss paper, animal, etc.) and rituals are done. In addition, Shamans also have their own personal altar that holds their special instruments and dag neeg. During a ritual, or when a shaman is under a trance, it is prohibited to walk between the altar and the shaman when the shaman in speaking directly with the otherworld.

Not everyone gets to become a shaman they must be chosen by the spirits to become an intermediary between the spiritual realm and physical world. In Hmong shamanism, a shaman can be a man or a woman. Typically, there is a strong chance for an individual to become a shaman if their family history contains shamans. [12] This is due to the belief that ancestral spirits, including the spirits of shamans, are reincarnated into the same family tree. Once blessed with the powers of a shaman, the particular individual will have to seek a teacher (which is a shaman) and he/she will begin training to become an official Shaman society can call upon. Usually the amount of time for a shaman to be done with training depends on the spiritual guardians that guide the shaman in the process of performing the rituals (dag neeg).

People that inherit the skills to become a shaman often experience symptoms of unexplained physical illness, bipolar personality, and multi-personality/ schizophrenia. According to traditional Hmong beliefs, these symptoms are the result of shamanic spirits (dab neeb) trying to get through to the Shaman-to-be. For those that still practice Shamanism, they're able to recognize these symptoms and cure their loved ones by helping them develop into full fledged Shamans. For those that are blessed to become a Shaman and do not want to practice Shamanism, they often turn to Christian exorcism, western medicine, and psych wards. For the few that accept becoming Shamans, it is considered an honor to help their own. In the Hmong community, shamans are highly respected.

Treatments and Practices Edit

Many Hmong still follow the tradition of taking herbal remedies. A common practice among the Hmong women is following a strict diet after childbirth. This consists of warm rice, fresh boiled chicken with herbs (koj thiab ntiv), lemon grass, and a little salt. It is believed to be a healing process for the women. For 30 days (nyob dua hli), she will stay on this diet in order to cleanse her body of leftover blood and avoid future illness. [13]

Kav (coining or spooning) is another form of treatment that involves using the edge of a silver coin or spoon to scrape the surface of the skin. The process begins by applying tiger balm (tshuaj luan paub) onto the areas that will be scraped to supposedly help open the pores on the body and supposedly release toxins. [14]

One Festive Holiday the Hmong culture celebrates is the Hmong New Year celebration, which is a cultural tradition that takes place annually in selected areas where Hmong community exist and in a modified form where smaller communities come together. During the New Year's celebration, Hmong dress in traditional clothing and enjoy Hmong traditional foods, dance, music, bull fights, and other forms of entertainment. Hmong New Year celebrations have Hmong ethnic traditions and culture, and may also serve to educate those who have an interest in Hmong tradition. Hmong New Year celebrations frequently occur in November and December (traditionally at the end of the harvest season when all work is done), serving as a Thanksgiving holiday for the Hmong people.

Historically, the Hmong New Year celebration was created to give thanks to ancestors and spirits as well as to welcome in a new beginning. It is also a time of the year where Hmong people gather with family and meet with relatives from other regions. Traditionally, the celebration lasts for ten days, has been shortened in America due to the difference between the traditional Hmong farming schedule and that of the American 40-hr work week schedule. It has also served the double purpose of a convenient meeting place and time for the Hmong leadership, from the days of China even until now.

During the Hmong New Year celebration, the Hmong ball tossing game pov pob is a common activity for adolescents. Boys and girls form two separate lines in pairs that are directly facing one another. Girls can ball toss with other girls or boys, but boys cannot ball toss with other boys. It is also taboo to toss the ball to someone of the same clan and date the same clan. The pairs toss a cloth ball back and forth, until one member drops the ball. If a player drops or misses the ball, an ornament or item is given to the opposite player in the pair. Ornaments are recovered by singing love songs (hais kwv txhiaj) to the opposite player.[1] but in recent times, in such areas as China, the young lovers have been seen to carry tape players to play their favorite love songs for one another.

The Hmong New Year celebration—specifically based on both religious and cultural beliefs—is an “in-house” ritual that takes place annually in every Hmong household. The celebration is to acknowledge the completion of the rice-harvesting season—thus, the beginning of a new year—so that a new life can begin as the cycle of life continues. During this celebration, every "wandering" soul of every family member is called back to unite with the family again and the young will honor the old or the in-laws—a ritual of asking for blessings from elders of the house and clan as well as the in-laws of other clans.

Also, during the Hmong New Year celebration, house spirits as well as the spirit of wealth (xwm kab) are honored. In addition, if a shaman is in the house, the healing spirits of She-Yee are also honored and released to wander the land (Neeb Foob Yeem)—similar to vacationing after a long year of working—until they are called back right after new year. Hmong New Year lasts only for 3 days—with 10 dishes of food each day, for a total of 30 dishes—thus the Hmong saying “eat 30.” Here are a few practices that the Hmong observe during their New Year Celebration, performed anytime during the 3 days of celebration.

  • Hu Plig (Soul Calling)—Calling back every soul in the family to unite with the family
  • Txi Xwm Kab (Honoring Xwm Kab)—Offerings to the God of Wealth
  • Neeb Foob Yeem/Neeb Tso Qhua—Shamanistic Ritual to release the Curing spirits of She-Yee for “vacationing"—occurs only if the specific family has a shaman in the house
  • Noj peb caug (Eat 30)—The main meal of New year
  • Pe Tsiab (Asking for Blessings from Elders)—Occurred early morning during New Year’s day, including parents, uncles, father/moth-in-law, and dead ancestors
  • Ntxuav Kauv Laug (Cleaning the Body)—To cleanse the body of dirtiness
  • Ntuag Qhauv—A ritual to get rid of problems, issues, temper, loneliness, and all the bad things which have occurred in the household
  • Lwm Qaib/Sub—Using a chicken, a ritual also
  • Tog Neej Tsa Tuaj Noj Tsiab—Request special guests (such as father in law, son in law etc.) to come “eat Tsiab,” a very big “eat 30”.
  • Xa Noob Ncoos/Tsoog Laug—A very special “thanksgiving” event where parents and in-laws are honored
  • Tam Noob Ncoos—A thank you feast from parents and in-laws
  • Tso Plig—To release the souls of all dead ones
  • Noj Tsiab (eat tsiab)—a very big “eat 30,” involving pigs, cows, and buffalo.

The list above is what a Hmong New Year is. All these things take place for only 3 days. After all these things are done, then the “outside” fun begins, which has nothing to do with Hmong New Year. In the United States, people refer to the “outside” event as “new year”—but, this is a misconception. Hmong New Year occurs in-house, and whatever occurs outside after the “new year” is called “Tsa Hauv Toj”—meaning “raising the mountain.” This is the tradition where Hmong toss balls and sing “kwv txhiaj.”

During the Tsa Hauv Toj celebration, Hmong dress in traditional clothing and enjoy Hmong traditional foods, dance, music, bull fights, and other forms of entertainment. Hmong New Year celebrations preserve Hmong ethnic traditions and culture, and may also serve to educate those who are interested in Hmong tradition. Hmong New Year celebrations occurred anytime within or close to the end of the harvesting period give or take a few days. However, the Tsa Hauv Toj event is based on lunar calendar, typically in November and December (which would consider a month ahead of western calendar).

Another Hmong Festival that this culture celebrates is American Independence Day. The Hmong celebrate Independence Day to celebrate the anniversary of their freedom. [15]

Many tribes are distinguished by the color and details of their clothing. Black Hmong wear deep indigo dyed hemp clothing that includes a jacket with embroidered sleeves, sash, apron and leg wraps. The Flower Hmong are known for very brightly colored embroidered traditional costume with beaded fringe.

An important element of Hmong clothing and culture is the paj ntaub, (pronouned pun dow) a complex form of traditional textile art created using stitching, reverse-stitching, and reverse applique. Traditionally, Hmong designs were ornamental, geometric, and non-representational, being that they did not allude to nor contain any symbols that related to real-world objects, with the occasional exception of flower-like designs. [16] Paj ntaub creation is done almost exclusively by women. Paj ntaub are created to be sewn on to Hmong clothing as a portable expression of Hmong cultural wealth and identity. [17] The main traditional functions of paj ntaub are in funerary garments, where the designs are said to offer the deceased spiritual protection and guide them towards their ancestors in the afterlife, and for the Hmong New Year celebration. [18] In the new year celebration, new paj ntaub and clothes are made by women and girls as it was seen as bad luck to wear clothes from a previous year, and they would serve as an indicator of the women’s creativity, skill, and even propensity as a successful wife. [17]

Hmongs play a sport called tuj lub (pronounced too loo), or "spin-top", which resembles aspects of baseball, golf, and bocce. [19] [20] Tuj lub is played on a field 70 feet or longer, with large spinning tops 4 to 5.25 inches in height. Two teams of six players compete. Players spin or fling their top at the opposing team's tops using a length of thread attached to a two-foot stick, earning points by striking the opposing team's tops. A game lasts eight stages, and in each stage the players must strike tops further away. It is traditional to play tuj lub on the first three days of the Hmong new year. An annual tuj lub competition between Hmong American teams is held annually in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where the city installed a tuj lub court in 2016. [21]


Family Ownership Issue #4: Paying The Bills

Having the family contribute funds “as needed” presents significant problems in communication, expectations and enforcement. Will it always be easy to tell your relatives what is needed? How will you ensure the message gets through on time? What if the relative is not prepared to make the required contribution? How can you establish that an obligation has not been fulfilled when so many different kinds of arguments can be made about the notice and payment process?

The answer to all these problems is an annual budget, made in advance, including all the anticipated expenses and income (if any), coupled with a pre-set schedule of regular contributions. Although this system is based on estimates that may turn out to be inaccurate, it will generally tell each family member what payments are due when, and provide a clear determinant of when a payment obligation has not been fulfilled.

The budget and payments should include a reserve component so that funds are reliably available to pay for major repair and replacement. Any reserve is better than none, but basing the reserve amount on a wild guess is only slightly better than having no reserve. The wise approach is to make a list of the items and elements with a useful life of 15 years or less, calculate the cost of replacement or refurbishment, then spread that cost equally over the useful life.


3. Reproductive Choice

Historically, men have exercised enormous power over women's bodies through controlling their sexuality and reproduction.

3.1 Abortion

Roe v Wade (1973) granted women the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, based on an implicit fundamental right to privacy. Although the Supreme Court in its decision did not hold such right was absolute, and argued that it must be weighted against competing state interests in maternal safety and the protection of prenatal life, it protected this right during the first trimester of pregnancy. In the decades following Roe, its ruling has been weakened, most notably by requirements of spousal and parental notification and consent, the enactment of &ldquowaiting periods&rdquo and restrictions on the use of public funds. In the wake of continued social controversy as well as violence and harassment directed at abortion service providers, the number of doctors who are willing and able to provide such services is declining. By the mid 1990s, 85% of America's counties had no facility offering abortions 2 states had only 1 provider (Rhode 1997). Many states have moved to criminalize late term abortions.

Although most feminists endorse some right to abortion, the issue of abortion cannot easily be reduced to the interests of men versus the interests of women. Women are represented on both sides of the abortion issue, as leaders, activists and supporters. Even among feminist arguments in favor of abortion there are a diversity of views as to the grounds that serve to justify it.

Some arguments for permitting a right to abortion depend on denying rights to the fetus. Only persons have rights and fetuses, it is argued, are not yet persons (Tooley 1972). Yet while many arguments against abortion depend on the idea that the fetus has a right to life, not all arguments supporting legal abortion reject that right. Judith Jarvis Thomson (1971) argued that even if the fetus is a person with a right to life, there are limits on what the state can compel women who carry fetuses in their bodies to do. If women have rights over their own bodies, then they have rights not to have their bodies used by others against their will. The state has no right to force someone to donate use of her body to another person, even if that person is in extreme need. (In Thomson's famous example, a person is hooked up to a famous violinist, who will die if she withdraws her body's support. While it might be virtuous to remain hooked up, Thomson argues that it is not required by morality.) Thomson's argument stresses bodily integrity and self-ownership, and argues that if we accept these premises we can only allow fetuses to use women's bodies with women's consent. Implicit in Thomson's argument is also a point about gender equality: since we do not in general compel people (i.e., women and men) to donate use of their bodies to others even in cases of extreme need, then why do we think we are justified in only compelling women?

For some feminists Thomson's analogy is not appropriate. They reject the perspective of thinking of fetus and mother as distinct persons and emphasize their intertwined relationship. Others worry that the perspective of abortion as a right having to do with ownership and control of one's body would make it difficult to question abortions performed on grounds of sex selection, a practice which is becoming more common around the world in countries where having girls is disfavored or abortions sought on trivial grounds like the timing of a vacation.

To view abortion only in terms of the freedom of individual choice or even as a clash of rights neglects a range of other relevant considerations. These include: the fact that women and only women get pregnant and bear children, that women earn less than men, that they are subjected to sexual violence, have little or no access to publicly provided day care, and that they have less familial or political decision-making power than men. Abortion is connected to other issues that need to be considered, especially the effects of unwanted pregnancies on the lives of women and children (Sherwin 1987).

Feminists who see a range of values at stake in abortion are more likely to advocate compromise than those who hold single valued perspectives. Shrage (1994), for example, proposes that given the diversity of values involved in the abortion controversy &mdash including views of life's sanctity (Dworkin 1993) and the meaning of motherhood (Luker 1984) we seek only conditional access to abortion &mdash during the first trimester &mdash and advocate policies that help minimize the need for abortion, such as easily available contraception.

3.2 Commercial Surrogacy

It is now possible for individuals or couples to transact for reproductive services. New technologies now make possible the creation of children whose genes come from people unrelated to the woman who gives birth to them or to the people who raise them. For example, a couple can buy eggs from one woman and then implant those eggs in another woman. Or they can implant a man's sperm in a woman who will bear the child.

Of course, market transactions regarding genetic materials are not new: men have sold sperm in the United States for decades. But contemporary law is unsettled on the issue of commercial surrogacy.

The so-called Baby M case is perhaps the best-known case involving &ldquosurrogate motherhood&rdquo, although the use of the term in this case is, arguably, misleading. Mary Beth Whitehead agreed to be inseminated with the sperm of William Stern and to give up any resulting child to him and his wife for $10,000. After giving birth to a child and turning that child over to the Sterns, Whitehead became distraught. A conflict ensued over parental rights, and a New Jersey court initially gave full custody to the Sterns and discounted the fact that Whitehead was the child's genetic and gestational mother. On appeal, the decision was overturned and the surrogacy contract was invalidated. The court granted custody to the Sterns but ordered that Whitehead be granted visitation rights.

Feminists are divided on the issue of commercial surrogacy. Those who support surrogate motherhood often stress the increase in freedom it brings. Surrogate contracts allow women to have additional choices over their reproduction. Carmel Shalev (1989) goes further, arguing that prohibiting such contracts fails to give due respect to the choices women do make. If a woman freely enters into a contract to produce a child, it is paternalistic and demeaning to prevent her choice.

Defenders of commercial surrogacy also carefully distinguish it from baby selling: children are not sold as commodities, but rather women's reproductive services are for sale. Since we allow men to sell their sperm, why should women be prevented from participating in an analogous transaction? Finally, defenders point out that commercial surrogacy offers new ways for gays and lesbians and single people to become parents.

Critics of commercial surrogacy likewise offer a diversity of objections. Perhaps the most common objection is based on the claim that gestational labor is different from other types of labor. Margaret Jane Radin (1988) and Carole Pateman (1983) stress the ways that the labor of bearing a child is more intimately bound up with a woman's identity than other types of labor. Contract pregnancy involves an alienation of aspects of the self so extreme as to make it an illegitimate practice. Selling sperm is not analogous: the work of pregnancy is long-term, complex and involves an emotional and physical bonding between mother and fetus. (See also Rich 1976 for a brilliant phenomenology of pregnancy.)

Elizabeth Anderson (1990) echoes this objection, but adds that surrogacy contracts also alienate a woman from her love for the child and frequently involve exploitation, as surrogate sellers have less wealth and are more emotionally vulnerable than buyers. Other objections stress the weakening of the link between parent and child, and the special vulnerability of children.

Satz (1992) argues that there are limits to the objections based on an intimate connection between reproductive labor and our selves. Writers are intimately bound up with their writing, but they also want to be paid for their novels. Further, if the link between mother and fetus/reproductive labor is so strong, how can abortion be justified? Instead, Satz's argument stresses the background context of commercial surrogacy: the gender inequality in modern society. Commercial surrogacy allows women's labor to be used and controlled by others, and reinforces stereotypes about women. For example, pregnancy contracts give buyers substantial control rights over women's bodies: rights to determine what the women eat, drink and do. They also may deepen stereotypes: that women are baby-machines. Finally, the race and class dimensions of such markets also need to be considered. In another well known case involving commercial surrogacy, a judge referred to the African American women who gave birth to a child with genes from a white father and a Philippina mother as the baby's &ldquowet-nurse&rdquo and refused to grant her any visitation rights to see the child.

Interestingly, practices such as in vitro fertilization, commercial surrogacy and egg and gamete markets are largely unregulated. There are also huge for profit agencies involved in these ways of making a baby. By contrast, adoption is highly regulated: prospective parents have to submit to intrusive interviews and home visits. It is worth reflecting on this differential treatment, especially since many reproductive technologies also involve vulnerable third parties (Spar 2006).


Illegitimacy Defined

An illegitimate child is a child born to parents who are unmarried at the time of birth. Even if the parents get married later, the child is still considered illegitimate. Many states have abandoned the use of the term "illegitimate" due to its negative connotations. Instead, they use the terms "out of wedlock" or "non-marital" children.

Historically, these children had no legal rights to their parents' estates. Under common law, a child born out of wedlock was not a legal child of either parent. Thus, they had no right to parental support or property. Fathers who did not wish to acknowledge their non-marital children could typically disinherit them.


Device not visible on Family Safety

Have you set an identical computer name for both of the Surface devices?

First, I would suggest you to check if both the surface device has an identical devicecomputer name. If so, change the name for one of the device and then check if the issue persist. Refer to these steps to check and change the computer name:

a) Press Windows key + X, select ‘System’.

b) Now, check the computer name.

c) If it is identical, click on ‘Change settings’ link against the computer name.

d) Now change the computer name and save changes.

If the computers didn’t have an identical name or if changing the name didn’t resolve the issue, I would suggest you to reconfigure family safety for that device and check. Remove family safety from that user account and then set it up back again and check if that resolves the issue. Refer to this article:

Try these steps and let us know the results. We’d be happy to help if you need any further assistance.


Self-Government, Conscience and True Liberty

People often talk about the family as the most basic unit of society, but that is not true. The most basic unit of society is the individual. Each individual person is a creation of God, and is something you must be born into. In this respect, each individual is an institution as much as a family, a nation, or the universal Church (all things created by God into which people are born). All of which are contradistinguished from voluntary associations (i.e., relationships formed by men which people become a member of by joining).

Self-government is also the most basic unit of government. That the individual is also a unit of government should be obvious, when you consider that each person is a moral being, made in the image of God, such that each person is ultimately responsible for their own individual behavior. And, should anyone seek God’s forgiveness for the wrongs they have done, that is a matter utterly dependent on individual choice. We all stand condemned or forgiven based on our own choice – no one else can do it for us.

In fact, all natural rights, and all natural freedoms, are bestowed exclusively on individuals. There are no group rights or corporate freedoms, and no collective salvation. We each stand alone before God as a moral agent – and God fully expects us to govern ourselves accordingly, i.e., as responsible moral agents. Each person is morally aware of certain fundamental principles of right and wrong as evident in our consciences, which awareness guides us in our behavioral decisions.

I daresay that without self-government, none of the other social institutions would be sustainable. Thus, a family cannot maintain itself where the husband and wife do not love and respect each together, where either is unwilling to put the interests of others above their own self-interest, or where either spouse engages in serious self-destructive behavior. Before the family unit can be strong, the spouses/parents must first govern themselves responsibly, and each must really want – truthfully neither can be forced – to fulfill their obligations to the other family members.

Similarly, where the members of a society are unwilling to refrain from unlawful or criminal behavior, no amount of civil government coercion will be able to fully restrain them. As individual unlawful behavior rises, anarchy also rises. And the witness of history is that anarchy is always followed by tyranny. Both anarchy and tyranny are essentially failures of civil government, and both have as their root cause a mass failure of self-government. One inevitably leads to the other.

When the members of a local church or any other association throw off the shackles of self-restraint and turn against each like ungoverned beasts, the result is very predictable – namely, church splits and disintegrations. A house divided against itself cannot stand, and the only thing which prevents deepening divisions in any institution or association is continual self-government and self-restraint. Hence, it is of supreme importance that every person know how God intends that each of us should function as an individual first, before we can function well in greater society.

In recent decades, the fundamental units of society have been subjected to an unrelenting attack. Much attention has been paid to the decline and redefinition of the family, and to be sure, the attacks on (and the weakening of) the family unit are very real and accelerating. Much less attention has been paid to the recent unrelenting attacks on individual self-government, and the lengths to which even well-intentioned people will go to deny others of the right of self-government. The so-called progress in that area has been staggering.

These attacks follow a predictable pattern, because it is one that has worked exceedingly well over the years. First, people are denied the right to exercise rightful self-government, then they are not only permitted but encouraged to make personal decisions that God never authorized or intended anyone to make. The end result is a warped and perverted view of personal liberty (calling good things bad and bad things good), which when fully realized, will undermine and destroy the fabric of society which holds everything together.

THE BASIS OF SELF-GOVERNMENT

Personal Responsibility

Let’s begin our examination by considering the most fundamental principles which form the basis of all self-government.

First, man is made in the image of God. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him male and female he created them.” (Gen. 1:27). While there are a number of principles which flow from this fact, the one I want to focus on here is that every person is a moral being. This is evidenced in the biblical account of creation by comparing Gen. 1:28 with Gen. 2:7. In the one, God gave mankind dominion over every living thing on the earth, by which is meant the animal kingdom, excluding man. In the other, man is referred to as a living soul (KJV) or a living being (NASB).

So the comparison is between living things and living beings (souls), by which the image of God is bestowed on mankind but not the animals, making mankind moral beings and animals merely amoral things (life without morality). Meaning, there is no expectation that animals will be self-governing. They are either dominated (or governed) by men, or they are wild (untamed, and thus ungoverned). In either case, animals cannot exercise self-control. Further, we do not speak of animals as being subject to the behavioral laws of God.

This moral character means that the behavioral decisions of men are morally charged, i.e., our decisions raise issues of right and wrong. Not all decisions are right, and not all are wrong. There is a set of rules, called laws, which tells us what is right and wrong. This is the fundamental purpose of all laws. Right decisions are encouraged, and wrong decisions are punished. Learning the difference between them is where personal responsibility comes in.

Second, each person is ultimately responsible only for himself.

The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. (Ezek 18:20). [To the same effect are Deut. 24:16 2 Ki 14:6 and Jer. 31:30.]

The immediate question is whether fathers and sons are a special or unique case, or whether they are merely illustrative of a broader principle. Is this rule of personal responsibility one that applies to all people no matter what their relationship? I can think of no rationale whereby fathers and sons are a unique case under lonang (the laws of nature and nature’s God) – only that historically they would pose the most common case of abuse of the principle.

Thus, I conclude that personal responsibility is a general rule. Further, it is founded in the law of nature and is a foundational concept in understanding the nature of all government. What kind of world would it be, where people are held accountable for the wrongs of others? And is that, in fact, the kind of world we have? What evidence would support the idea that we live in a world where people are accountable for the sins (i.e., moral wrongs) of others before God?

A cardinal principle of all scripture is that I cannot choose either to bring salvation to any other person, or condemn them. Sin and redemption are profoundly individual, not collective. This is, if ever there was, a self-evident truth. It is ironclad, admitting of no possible exceptions. There are no strange cases or weird circumstances whereby the rule does not apply. It is universal and inescapable.

Which brings us to the matter of government. What is government? Government is restraint. Government – all government – is the mechanism by which people are encouraged to make right decisions, and punished for making wrong ones. Since right decisions are always to be encouraged and one can never make too many right decisions, the restraint exercised by government is always a restraint of evil (or certain morally wrong decisions). Any government which works to restrain right decisions is perverse and wicked, and must not be allowed to continue.

We see this play out every day. Civil government is charged with the authority to punish certain wrong behavioral decisions which constitute crimes, and we refer to this as the administration of justice. The other side of the coin is that civil rulers are to praise those who do good. (1 Pet. 2:14.) But where would society be if that were the only restraint on evil that we had? Civil government can only do so much (and some things, it does very poorly).

A stable society cannot exist where there is not also a pervasive and decentralized system of family government. The family is where parents teach their children to distinguish between right and wrong and use corrective discipline to make the lessons stick. Churches have a collaborative function (not being vested with the authority to punish wrongs), to provide additional moral guidance to all who would listen. In other words, to strengthen and reinforce the moral fabric of society by encouraging good behaviors.

Yet, even these are insufficient to fully restrain evil in society. The society which is governed best, is that which requires the least external restraint, because its citizens govern themselves well.

Consequently, self government is self-restraint. Self-restraint is the process by which the person ultimately responsible for making right and wrong decisions restrains his own decisions to comply with the rules of law. Self-restraint, when it exists, is always the best way to restrain evil, and is therefore primary. All other methods are less effective, and secondary.

The law of promulgation

However, before an individual can be held responsible under any law (whether God or man’s), he must first know what that law is, and what it requires. This is the law of promulgation.

It [law] is likewise “a rule prescribed.” Because a bare resolution, confined in the breast of the legislator, without manifesting itself by some external sign, can never be properly a law. It is requisite that this resolution be notified to the people who are to obey it. 1

That a law may be obeyed, it is necessary that it should be known: that it may be known, it is necessary that it be promulgated. … To promulgate a law, is to present it to the minds of those who are to be governed by it in such manner as that they may have it habitually in their memories, and may possess every facility for consulting it, if they have any doubts respecting what it prescribes. 2

Although Blackstone and Bentham were speaking solely of human laws, the same principle holds true for the Creator, who is the supreme lawgiver. (Isa. 33:22). God is fully aware of the law of promulgation. For “through the law comes knowledge of sin.” (Rom. 3:20). Also, “sin is not counted where there is no law,” (Rom. 5:13) and “if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin.” (Rom. 7:7).

Thus, in order for God to hold anyone personally responsible for their own wrongs, each person must first know what God requires. Logically, this means that if individual responsibility is to attach to every single person, then every single person must have a knowledge of God’s laws, without exception. Do all people in fact possess this knowledge? Yes, indeed.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. (Rom. 1:18-19).

God is certainly capable of keeping secrets, but when it comes to His laws and the standards of conduct He requires, He has taken great pains to reveal those to all people. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Dt. 29:29). Furthermore,

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their measuring line goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. (Ps. 19:1-4, 7a).

What The Creation Reveals

I suspect some of you may be skeptical of the nature and extent of this knowledge which the scriptures claim everyone has. So, let’s briefly review what may be learned merely from observing the creation into which we have all been placed.

First, the creation speaks of the existence and attributes of God, the Creator. The end result of which is, every individual is without excuse before God.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Rom. 1:19-20).

Second, the creation speaks not only of scientific or physical laws, but also of the laws of human behavior.

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. (Ps. 19:7-9).

Third, these laws include the prohibition of all forms of idolatry.

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. (Rom. 1:21-23).

Fourth, bloodshed (murder) defiles and pollutes the land.

You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. (Num. 35:33).

Fifth, all forms of sexual immorality are contrary to nature and prohibited.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator …. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Rom. 1:24-27).

Sixth, all people are aware of behaviors which are generally evil, and that everyone who does evil things deserves to die.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Rom. 1:28-32).

Seventh, God has made it plain to all nations on earth that He will judge all wicked people.

“The Lord will roar from on high, and from his holy habitation utter his voice he will roar mightily against his fold, and shout, like those who tread grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. The clamor will resound to the ends of the earth, for the Lord has an indictment against the nations he is entering into judgment with all flesh, and the wicked he will put to the sword, declares the Lord.” (Jer. 25:30-31).

This is just the really obvious stuff. There is, in fact, much more that can be learned from observing the creation, if you put some effort into it. Things like the law of the land, the law of inheritance, the laws of authority, the knowledge written in the stars, and others. But even a child can figure out the seven laws of nature listed above. Why do I say this? Because everyone has a head start, if you will – a certain knowledge of God’s laws of right and wrong placed inside us from the moment of our birth. We call this the conscience.


Watch the video: Yanis Varoufakis: Basic Income is a Necessity. DiEM25 (May 2022).