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I said one of the things we need to do if we are to understand Becky’s and Desta’s lives is to uncover the pathways by which their families came to inherit their current circumstances. This is the stuff of economic history. In studying history, we could, should we feel bold, take the long view - from about the time agriculture came to be settled practice in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent (roughly, southeast Turkey today) some 11,000 years ago – and try to explain why the many innovations and practices that have cumulatively contributed to the making of Becky’s world either didn’t reach or didn’t take hold in Desta’s part of the world.
Origins and legacies
An orthopaedic surgeon might have the same skills as a carpenter, but bone and muscle were and are regarded as being made of stuff importantly, if mysteriously, different from pine and plywood. Bone and flesh build boxes for souls. Mess with the boxes and you could affect the soul. That gives physicians and surgeons awesome, high-priestly power.
The accountability of medicine’s high priests Priests are a set-apart caste: they are expected to behave better than the hoi polloi. All priests serve in temples. Those in the temples dedicated to divinities are answerable to the divinities; and those (the doctors) who serve in the material temples of the human soul (by rummaging around inside chests or by putting leeches on limb stumps) are answerable to the body owners, or to the society that represents them. But there is a problem about such accountability. If you’re an inaccessibly high priest-if your work is beyond the ken of the people to whom you’re accountable-how can accountability be real?
“The balance of power in Eurasia, the great question which forced the United States into two world wars and a long cold war, largely disappeared from American policy thought.”
The End of History Ends
The American Interest
2 December, 2013
Walter Russel Mead
A preocupação pelo desgaste do poder dos Estados Unidos foi exposta com bastante clareza pelo politólogo americano Walter Mead, no texto intitulado “The End of History Ends”, publicado na revista “The American Interest” na qual é editor, em 2 de Dezembro de 2013, afirmando que as tentativas do presidente americano para se afastar dos compromissos da administração do seu antecessor têm fortalecido a China, o Irão e a Rússia que denomina de “potências centrais”.
Becky, who is 10 years old, lives with her parents and an older brother Sam in a suburban town in America’s Midwest. Becky’s father works in a firm specializing in property law. Depending on the firm’s profits, his annual income varies somewhat, but is rarely below 145,000 US dollars ($145,000). Becky’s parents met at college. For a few years her mother worked in publishing, but when Sam was born she decided to concentrate on raising a family. Now that both Becky and Sam attend school, she does voluntary work in local education. The family live in a two-storey house. It has four bedrooms, two bathrooms upstairs and a toilet downstairs, a large drawing-cum-dining room, a modern kitchen, and a family room in the basement. There is a plot of land at the rear – the backyard –which the family use for leisure activities.