i do not care what you write here

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i do not care what you write here

Post by candy7445 on 11/26/2012, 8:49 pm

First day here yaay
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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by commander_chair on 11/26/2012, 8:50 pm

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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by cmanrocks2012 on 11/26/2012, 9:03 pm

oke doke.
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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by Gweedo358 on 11/26/2012, 11:59 pm

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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by Crazy_Darkness on 11/27/2012, 12:22 am

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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by Kevo235 on 11/27/2012, 12:55 am

Here, read this!

Idealism is the act or practice of envisioning things in an ideal form. Niccolo Machiavelli and the philosopher, Plato, both have opposing ideas on what the ideal society would look like. The ideal Machiavellian ruler and the ideal Platonic ruler were very different; Machiavelli thought that the person with the most power and influence should be the ruler, and the ruler should attain more holdings as well as defend the ones he has through war, whereas Plato perceived the ruler as the person who is the best at the jobs required to rule and to be self-sufficient without relying on others to aid them. The governments of both ideal societies were also very different from one-another. The ideal government, as Machiavelli thought it, was an opportunistic government. He philosophized that the government should never ally with others unless it gives the governors a benefit. He also believed that if such alliances were starting to hinder, rather than help, the government should abandon the alliance. Plato viewed the ideal government as a just and self-sufficient system where every citizen works for the state according to their natural gifts. Plato's ideal citizen also works in accordance with their natural talents as well as working in harmony with the three parts of the soul: the rational part, the emotional part, and the spiritual part. Machiavelli's ideal citizen endeavors to succeed not only for personal gain, but also for the gain of the state through business opportunities. In The Prince, by Machiavelli, and The Republic, by Plato, we are shown what the ideal society looks like in the eyes of the authors from their ideas of how the ideal ruler should act, what an ideal citizen should look like, and what the overall structure of the ideal government should be.

Machiavelli's perception of the ideal ruler was somewhat authoritarian; a sole head of state responsible for all actions made by the government; but Plato saw the ideal ruler as a man of the people, the greatest thinker among the populous, that was naturally born to understand all aspects of ruling. Machiavelli's ideal rule is both feared and loved, but he states very strongly that it is better to be feared than loved. In The Prince, Machiavelli states: "It would be best to be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved"(The Prince, Chapter XVII). Since the ruler of the states rules over the people, it is best to be feared than to be loved because the citizens and rival states will be more afraid to inflict harm on someone that is feared, as opposed to someone that is loved. Plato's ideal ruler is a man of the people; not one that suppresses them. Plato perceived the ideal ruler as being the sole head of state, as Machiavelli did, but Plato saw the ruler as the person that specializes best in all tasks a ruler needed to accomplish and all factors of ruling. Plato explains in a metaphor that "a true pilot must of necessity pay attention to the seasons, the heavens, the stars, the winds, and everything proper to the craft if he is really to rule a ship" (The Republic, Book VI). If a pilot of a ship can master all of these things, he would be an ideal pilot; on the contrary, if he could not, he will not be able to rule the ship. Instead of focusing on all aspects of ruling equally, Machiavelli though that a Prince should only focus on war. He saw war as the sole priority for the ruler. Much as the system of the Roman Empire, the ideal society would set forth to conquer all states, kingships, duchies and so forth to constantly build his society but also to defend his holdings through war as well. Machiavelli says "a prince should have no care or thought but for war, and for the regulations and training it requires, and should apply himself exclusively to this as his peculiar province; for war is the sole art looked for in one who rules"(The Prince, Chapter XIV). Machiavelli thought that a leader must constantly try to solidify his position as the leader and must constantly be concerned with staying in power as well as expanding his holdings into neighbouring provinces. Machiavelli and Plato both have very different opinions and ideas about what constitutes someone to be the ideal leader. Machiavelli's idea of an ideal leader is a cunning and feared warmonger that is constantly concerned with new military campaigns and solidifying his position as the leader in newly conquered areas as well as in the country he is a prince of. Plato's ideal ruler, however, is a philosopher that is concerned with all aspects of ruling and is only concerned with ruling his country, not taking over massive amounts of other countries. Machiavelli's ideal ruler reflects on what he thinks the ideal government should be: smart, cunning, feared and ruthless, since both the government and the ruler are basically the same. Plato's government is a self-sufficient system which has a specialized economic system and where life is virtuous and just for all citizens.

Plato's ideal governmental system would rely on the citizens to be given their occupations based on their talents that they were born with. He believed that the ideal society was a just one, which was realized when the citizens working in harmony with the government for the success of the government and, in turn, the success of the people. Machiavelli believed that the governments should focus on only their own interests and do nothing without benefiting from it. Plato believed in a society that was entirely self-sufficient which focused on specialization. He believed that if each person worked for the state with the talents that they naturally have, the state would be economically prosperous. Plato states that "all things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease when each man works at a single occupation in accordance with his natural gifts" (The Republic, Book II). In Plato's eyes, the ideal government system is in charge of having each occupation filled by observing every citizen's natural talents and placing them in the correct line of employment. Machiavelli proposed that the ideal government system should only watch out for its own interests, not the personal interests of the people, not the personal interests of himself, only the interests of the government. If the government allows certain things that go against his interest, he believed that they would not be a vigilant government at all. Machiavelli states "a prudent ruler ought not to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interest" (The Prince, Chapter XVII). For the government to prosper, they need to look out for themselves and nobody else. If they hold true to alliances without getting any gain from them, the government will collapse. On the same note, if the alliance is broken before all gain from it is lost, the government will succeed. Plato believed that the ideal government should also have the citizens working with the government towards a common goal. If the state works with the government for both the interests of the people as well as the interests of the government, a just society will be achieved. "Justice in the life and conduct of the state" Plato says, "is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens" (The Republic, Book IV). If the citizens work for only personal gain, there will be no justice; if the citizens work for the gain of society, there will be justice. The Ideal systems of government shown by Machiavelli and Plato are very different when compared to one-another. Plato believed that the occupations in society are to be filled with the most talented people and that the government must work in conjunction with the citizens in order for a just, and therefore ideal, society to be attained. Machiavelli believed that the ideals of the government should be to the sole discretion of the ruler. His ideal government believes that doing something for governmental gain is better than doing what is morally 'right' or 'just'. The ideal government is impossible without the ideal citizen. Plato and Machiavelli both agree that the citizens play a huge part in having an ideal government, but what constitutes the ideal citizen once again is debated by the two.

The ideal citizen, according to Plato, has three parts to the soul that make him just; the rational part, the emotional part, and the spiritual part. He believed that once these parts are in harmony with each other, the individual will be just. In the citizen, "justice is establishing the parts of the soul so that they dominate and are dominated by each other" (The Republic, Book IV). The ideal citizen in the Platonic society is just, and justice is achieved by having the soul in tact and the three sections of it agree with a common goal. Machiavelli describes his version of the ideal citizen as the working class that achieve self-goals and enterprises that help the government indirectly. He advises the ruler of a nation to "encourage his citizens peaceably to pursue their affairs, whether in trade; in agriculture, or in any other human activity so that no one will hesitate to improve his possessions for fear that they will be taken from him" (The Prince, Chapter XXI). Machiavelli explains that the citizen is important to the society by their role of being the government's pawn. Their sole purpose, as the citizens, is to help the state by succeeding in their business ventures without intruding on government affairs. Plato also thought that the ideal citizen was born with special talents and was destined for a certain occupation and level of class according to which 'metal' he was born with. His belief was that "while god moulded you, he mingled gold in the generation of some, and those are the ones fit to rule, who are therefore the most precious; he mingled silver in the assistants; and iron and brass in the farmers and other craftsmen" (The Republic, Book III). Each metal represented a different social class that each citizen would be destined to succeed at; gold represented the future rulers, silver represented the auxiliaries or the soldiers, and brass or iron represented the working class producers. The ideal citizen would have his occupation picked based on these natural talents. From birth, each citizen would be destined to succeed at a certain occupation in each social role. Plato's ideal citizen would be one that chooses his or her occupation based on the talents they were born with. Plato also suggests that the ideal citizen is just. They become just by having the three parts of the soul in harmony with each other. Machiavelli's ideal citizen would peacefully prosper in business opportunities and better themself in order to better the state while also obeying the rule of the prince without questioning or challenging his authority.

Niccolo Machiavelli and the philosopher, Plato, both have opposing ideas on what the ideal society would look like. In The Prince, by Machiavelli, and The Republic, by Plato, we are shown what the ideal society looks like in the eyes of the authors from their ideas of how the ideal ruler should act, what an ideal citizen should look like, and what the overall structure of the ideal government should be. The ideal Platonic ruler would be someone born into the position and would naturally be the best at the jobs required to rule. The ideal Machiavellian ruler would be the person with the most power and influence, and they should attain more holdings as well as defend the ones he has through war to be ideal. Machiavelli saw the ideal government as an opportunistic one that would only pursue ideas and actions that would benefit themself and no other. Plato viewed the ideal government as a self-sufficient system where every citizen works at their best occupation according to their natural gifts. Plato's ideal citizen works for the society by using their natural talents to benefit them as well as working in harmony with the three parts of the soul. The ideal Machiavellian citizen helps the state by succeeding at business ventures. The ideal utopian society is described differently by every person; therefore the ideal society is impossible to attain since every person has a different belief of what that society would be like.
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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by Krazo on 11/27/2012, 2:36 am

Well, it is in the right subgroup. It isn't even posted in Apply for Guide orso.
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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by commander_chair on 11/27/2012, 7:31 am


Section and elevation of Brunelleschi's dome of Florence Cathedral.
Architecture (Latin architectura, from the Greek ἀρχιτέκτων – arkhitekton, from ἀρχι- "chief" and τέκτων "builder, carpenter, mason") is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.
"Architecture" can mean:
A general term to describe buildings and other physical structures.
The art and science of designing and erecting buildings and other physical structures.
The style and method of design and construction of buildings and other physical structures.
The practice of the architect, where architecture means the offering or rendering of professional services in connection with the design and construction of buildings, or built environments.[1]
The design activity of the architect, from the macro-level (urban design, landscape architecture) to the micro-level (construction details and furniture).
The term "architecture" has been adopted to describe the activity of designing any kind of system, and is commonly used in describing information technology.
In relation to buildings, architecture has to do with the planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, environmental, and aesthetic considerations. It requires the creative manipulation and coordination of material, technology, light and shadow. Architecture also encompasses the pragmatic aspects of realizing buildings and structures, including scheduling, cost estimating and construction administration. As documentation produced by architects, typically drawings, plans and technical specifications, architecture defines the structure and/or behavior of a building or any other kind of system that is to be or has been constructed.

Brunelleschi, in the building of the dome, not only transformed the cathedral and the city of Florence, but also the role and status of the architect.

The Parthenon, Athens, Greece, "the supreme example among architectural sites." (Fletcher).[2]
The earliest surviving written work on the subject of architecture is De architectura, by the Roman architect Vitruvius in the early 1st century AD.[3] According to Vitruvius, a good building should satisfy the three principles of firmitas, utilitas, venustas,[4][5] which translate roughly as –
Durability – it should stand up robustly and remain in good condition.
Utility – it should be useful and function well for the people using it.
Beauty – it should delight people and raise their spirits.
According to Vitruvius, the architect should strive to fulfill each of these three attributes as well as possible. Leone Battista Alberti, who elaborates on the ideas of Vitruvius in his treatise, De Re Aedificatoria, saw beauty primarily as a matter of proportion, although ornament also played a part. For Alberti, the rules of proportion were those that governed the idealised human figure, the Golden mean. The most important aspect of beauty was therefore an inherent part of an object, rather than something applied superficially; and was based on universal, recognisable truths. The notion of style in the arts was not developed until the 16th century, with the writing of Vasari.[6] The treatises, by the 18th century, had been translated into Italian, French, Spanish and English.

The Houses of Parliament, Westminster, by Charles Barry, with interiors by A.W.N. Pugin
In the early nineteenth century, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin wrote Contrasts (1836) that, as the titled suggested, contrasted the modern, industrial world, which he disparaged, with an idealized image of neo-medieval world. Gothic architecture, Pugin believed, was the only “true Christian form of architecture.”
The 19th century English art critic, John Ruskin, in his Seven Lamps of Architecture, published 1849,[7] was much narrower in his view of what constituted architecture. Architecture was the "art which so disposes and adorns the edifices raised by men ... that the sight of them" contributes "to his mental health, power, and pleasure".
For Ruskin, the aesthetic was of overriding significance. His work goes on to state that a building is not truly a work of architecture unless it is in some way "adorned". For Ruskin, a well-constructed, well-proportioned, functional building needed string courses or rustication, at the very least.
On the difference between the ideals of "architecture" and mere "construction", the renowned 20th C. architect Le Corbusier wrote: "You employ stone, wood, and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces: that is construction. Ingenuity is at work. But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good. I am happy and I say: This is beautiful. That is Architecture".[8]
By contrast, le Corbusier's contemporary, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said that architecture begins "when 2 bricks are put together."

The National Congress of Brazil, designed by Oscar Niemeyer.
[edit]Modern concepts of architecture
The great 19th century architect of skyscrapers, Louis Sullivan, promoted an overriding precept to architectural design: "Form follows function".
While the notion that structural and aesthetic considerations should be entirely subject to functionality was met with both popularity and skepticism, it had the effect of introducing the concept of "function" in place of Vitruvius' "utility". "Function" came to be seen as encompassing all criteria of the use, perception and enjoyment of a building, not only practical but also aesthetic, psychological and cultural.

Sydney Opera House, Australia designed by Jørn Utzon.
Nunzia Rondanini stated, "Through its aesthetic dimension architecture goes beyond the functional aspects that it has in common with other human sciences. Through its own particular way of expressing values, architecture can stimulate and influence social life without presuming that, in and of itself, it will promote social development.'
To restrict the meaning of (architectural) formalism to art for art's sake is not only reactionary; it can also be a purposeless quest for perfection or originality which degrades form into a mere instrumentality".[9]
Among the philosophies that have influenced modern architects and their approach to building design are rationalism, empiricism, structuralism, poststructuralism, and phenomenology.
In the late 20th century a new concept was added to those included in the compass of both structure and function, the consideration of sustainability. To satisfy the contemporary ethos a building should be constructed in a manner which is environmentally friendly in terms of the production of its materials, its impact upon the natural and built environment of its surrounding area and the demands that it makes upon non-sustainable power sources for heating, cooling, water and waste management and lighting.

This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2011)
Main article: History of architecture
[edit]Origins and vernacular architecture
Main article: Vernacular architecture

Vernacular architecture in Norway.
Building first evolved out of the dynamics between needs (shelter, security, worship, etc.) and means (available building materials and attendant skills). As human cultures developed and knowledge began to be formalized through oral traditions and practices, building became a craft, and "architecture" is the name given to the most highly formalized and respected versions of that craft.
It is widely assumed that architectural success was the product of a process of trial and error, with progressively less trial and more replication as the results of the process proved increasingly satisfactory. What is termed vernacular architecture continues to be produced in many parts of the world. Indeed, vernacular buildings make up most of the built world that people experience every day. Early human settlements were mostly rural. Due to a surplus in production the economy began to expand resulting in urbanization thus creating urban areas which grew and evolved very rapidly in some cases, such as that of Çatal Höyük in Anatolia and Mohenjo Daro of the Indus Valley Civilization in modern-day Pakistan.

The Pyramids at Giza
[edit]Ancient architecture
In many ancient civilizations, such as those of Egypt and Mesopotamia, architecture and urbanism reflected the constant engagement with the divine and the supernatural, and many ancient cultures resorted to monumentality in architecture to represent symbolically the political power of the ruler, the ruling elite, or the state itself.
The architecture and urbanism of the Classical civilizations such as the Greek and the Roman evolved from civic ideals rather than religious or empirical ones and new building types emerged. Architectural "style" developed in the form of the Classical orders.
Texts on architecture have been written since ancient time. These texts provided both general advice and specific formal prescriptions or canons. Some examples of canons are found in the writings of the 1st-century BCE Roman military engineer Vitruvius. Some of the most important early examples of canonic architecture are religious.

Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), Kyoto, Japan
[edit]Asian architecture
Early Asian writings on architecture include the Kao Gong Ji of China from the 7th–5th centuries BCE; the Vaastu Shastra of ancient India and Manjusri Vasthu Vidya Sastra of Sri Lanka.
The architecture of different parts of Asia developed along different lines from that of Europe; Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh architecture each having different characteristics. Buddhist architecture, in particular, showed great regional diversity. In many Asian countries a pantheistic religion led to architectural forms that were designed specifically to enhance the natural landscape.

The Taj Mahal (1632–1653), in India
[edit]Islamic architecture
Main article: Islamic architecture
Islamic architecture began in the 7th century CE, incorporating a blend of architectural forms from the ancient Middle East and Byzantium, but also developing features to suit the religious and social needs of the society. Examples can be found throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Spain and the Indian Sub-continent. The widespread application of the pointed arch was to influence European architecture of the Medieval period.
[edit]The medieval builder

Notre Dame de Paris, France
In Europe, in both the Classical and Medieval periods, buildings were not often attributed to specific individuals and the names of architects remain frequently unknown, despite the vast scale of the many religious buildings extant from this period.
During the Medieval period guilds were formed by craftsmen to organize their trade and written contracts have survived, particularly in relation to ecclesiastical buildings. The role of architect was usually one with that of master mason, or Magister lathomorum as they are sometimes described in contemporary documents.

La Rotonda (1567), Italy by Palladio
[edit]Renaissance and the architect
In Renaissance Europe, from about 1400 onwards, there was a revival of Classical learning accompanied by the development of Renaissance Humanism which placed greater emphasis on the role of the individual in society than had been the case during the Medieval period. Buildings were ascribed to specific architects – Brunelleschi, Alberti, Michelangelo, Palladio – and the cult of the individual had begun. There was still no dividing line between artist, architect and engineer, or any of the related vocations, and the appellation was often one of regional preference.
A revival of the Classical style in architecture was accompanied by a burgeoning of science and engineering which affected the proportions and structure of buildings. At this stage, it was still possible for an artist to design a bridge as the level of structural calculations involved was within the scope of the generalist.
[edit]Early modern and the industrial age

Paris Opera by Charles Garnier (1875), France
With the emerging knowledge in scientific fields and the rise of new materials and technology, architecture and engineering began to separate, and the architect began to concentrate on aesthetics and the humanist aspects, often at the expense of technical aspects of building design. There was also the rise of the "gentleman architect" who usually dealt with wealthy clients and concentrated predominantly on visual qualities derived usually from historical prototypes, typified by the many country houses of Great Britain that were created in the Neo Gothic or Scottish Baronial styles. Formal architectural training in the 19th century, for example at Ecole des Beaux Arts in France, gave much emphasis to the production of beautiful drawings and little to context and feasibility. Effective architects generally received their training in the offices of other architects, graduating to the role from draughtsmen or clerks.
Meanwhile, the Industrial Revolution laid open the door for mass production and consumption. Aesthetics became a criterion for the middle class as ornamented products, once within the province of expensive craftsmanship, became cheaper under machine production.
Vernacular architecture became increasingly ornamental. House builders could use current architectural design in their work by combining features found in pattern books and architectural journals.
[edit]Modernism and reaction
Main article: Modern architecture

The Bauhaus Dessau architecture department from 1925 by Walter Gropius
Around the turn of the 20th century, a general dissatisfaction with the emphasis on revivalist architecture and elaborate decoration gave rise to many new lines of thought that served as precursors to Modern Architecture. Notable among these is the Deutscher Werkbund, formed in 1907 to produce better quality machine made objects. The rise of the profession of industrial design is usually placed here. Following this lead, the Bauhaus school, founded in Weimar, Germany in 1919, redefined the architectural bounds prior set throughout history, viewing the creation of a building as the ultimate synthesis—the apex—of art, craft, and technology.
When Modern architecture was first practiced, it was an avant-garde movement with moral, philosophical, and aesthetic underpinnings. Immediately after World War I, pioneering modernist architects sought to develop a completely new style appropriate for a new post-war social and economic order, focused on meeting the needs of the middle and working classes. They rejected the architectural practice of the academic refinement of historical styles which served the rapidly declining aristocratic order. The approach of the Modernist architects was to reduce buildings to pure forms, removing historical references and ornament in favor of functionalist details. Buildings displayed their functional and structural elements, exposing steel beams and concrete surfaces instead of hiding them behind decorative forms.

Fallingwater, Organic architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright developed Organic architecture in which the form was defined by its environment and purpose, with an aim to promote harmony between human habitation and the natural world with prime examples being Robie House and Falling Water.

The Crystal Cathedral, California, by Philip Johnson (1980)
Architects such as Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson and Marcel Breuer worked to create beauty based on the inherent qualities of building materials and modern construction techniques, trading traditional historic forms for simplified geometric forms, celebrating the new means and methods made possible by the Industrial Revolution, including steel-frame construction, which gave birth to high-rise superstructures. By mid-century, Modernism had morphed into the International Style, an aesthetic epitomized in many ways by the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center.
Many architects resisted Modernism, finding it devoid of the decorative richness of ornamented styles and as the founders of that movement lost influence in the late 1970s, Postmodernism developed as a reaction against its austerity. Postmodernism viewed Modernism as being too extreme and even harsh in regards to design. Instead, Postmodernists combined Modernism with older styles from before the 1900s to form a middle ground. Robert Venturi's contention that a "decorated shed" (an ordinary building which is functionally designed inside and embellished on the outside) was better than a "duck" (an ungainly building in which the whole form and its function are tied together) gives an idea of these approaches.
[edit]Architecture today
Main article: Contemporary architecture

Postmodern design at Gare do Oriente, Lisbon, Portugal, by Santiago Calatrava.
Since the 1980s, as the complexity of buildings began to increase (in terms of structural systems, services, energy and technologies), the field of architecture became multi-disciplinary with specializations for each project type, technological expertise or project delivery methods. In addition, there has been an increased separation of the 'design' architect [Notes 1] from the 'project' architect who ensures that the project meets the required standards and deals with matters of liability.[Notes 2] The preparatory processes for the design of any large building have become increasingly complicated, and require preliminary studies of such matters as durability, sustainability, quality, money, and compliance with local laws. A large structure can no longer be the design of one person but must be the work of many. Modernism and Postmodernism, have been criticised by some members of the architectural profession, such as Christopher Alexander, who felt that successful architecture was not a personal philosophical or aesthetic pursuit by individualists; rather it had to consider everyday needs of people and use technology to create liveable environments, with the design process being informed by studies of behavioral, environmental, and social sciences.

Green roof planted with native species at L'Historial de la Vendée, a new museum in western France.
Environmental sustainability has become a mainstream issue, with profound affect on the architectural profession. Many developers, those who support the financing of buildings, have become educated to encourage the facilitation of environmentally sustainable design, rather than solutions based primarily on immediate cost. Major examples of this can be found in greener roof designs, biodegradable materials,and more attention to a structure's energy usage. This major shift in architecture has also changed architecture schools to focus more on the environment. Sustainability in architecture was pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright, in the 1960s by Buckminster Fuller and in the 1970s by architects such as Ian McHarg and Sim Van der Ryn in the US and Brenda and Robert Vale in the UK and New Zealand. There has been an acceleration in the number of buildings which seek to meet green building sustainable design principles. Sustainable practices that were at the core of vernacular architecture increasingly provide inspiration for environmentally and socially sustainable contemporary techniques.[10] The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system has been instrumental in this.[11] An example of an architecturally innovative green building is the Dynamic Tower which will be powered by wind turbines and solar panels.[12]
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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by Krazo on 11/27/2012, 8:03 am


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the common variant of communism utilized in multiple communist party-led states, see Marxism–Leninism. For the form of government in which a state is controlled by a communist party, see Communist state.
"Commie" redirects here. For other uses, see wikt:commie.
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Communism (from Latin communis - common, universal) is a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless, and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order.[1] This movement, in its Marxist–Leninist interpretations, significantly influenced the history of the 20th century, which saw intense rivalry between the "socialist world" (socialist states ruled by communist parties) and the "western world" (countries with capitalist economies).
Marxist theory holds that pure communism or full communism is a specific stage of historical development that inevitably emerges from the development of the productive forces that leads to a superabundance of material wealth, allowing for distribution based on need and social relations based on freely associated individuals.[2][3] The exact definition of communism varies, and it is often mistakenly, in general political discourse, used interchangeably with socialism; however, Marxist theory contends that socialism is just a transitional stage on the road to communism. Leninism adds to Marxism the notion of a vanguard party to lead the proletarian revolution and to secure all political power after the revolution for the working class, for the development of universal class consciousness and worker participation, in a transitional stage between capitalism and socialism.
Council communists and non-Marxist libertarian communists and anarcho-communists oppose the ideas of a vanguard party and a transition stage, and advocate for the construction of full communism to begin immediately upon the abolition of capitalism. There is a very wide range of theories amongst those particular communists in regards to how to build the types of institutions that would replace the various economic engines (such as food distribution, education, and hospitals) as they exist under capitalist systems—or even whether to do so at all. Some of these communists have specific plans for the types of administrative bodies that would replace the current ones, while always qualifying that these bodies would be decentralised and worker-owned, just as they currently are within the activist movements themselves. Others have no concrete set of post-revolutionary blueprints at all, claiming instead that they simply trust that the world's workers and poor will figure out proper modes of distribution and wide-scale production, and also coordination, entirely on their own, without the need for any structured "replacements" for capitalist state-based control.[citation needed]
In the modern lexicon of what many sociologists and political commentators refer to as the "political mainstream", communism is often used to refer to the policies of communist states, i.e., the ones totally controlled by communist parties, regardless of the practical content of the actual economic system they may preside over. Examples of this include the policies of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam where the economic system incorporates "doi moi", the People's Republic of China (PRC) where the economic system incorporates "socialist market economy", and the economic system of the Soviet Union which was described as "state capitalist" by non-Leninist socialists and later by communists who increasingly opposed the post-Stalin era Soviet model as it progressed over the course of the 20th century (e.g., Maoists, Trotskyists and libertarian communists)—and even at one point by Vladimir Lenin himself.[4]
Contents [hide]
1 Etymology and terminology
2 Theory
3 History
3.1 Early Communism
3.2 Modern Communism
3.3 Cold War
3.4 Red Scare
3.5 After the collapse of the Soviet Union
4 Marxist Communism
4.1 Marxism
4.2 Leninism and Marxism-Leninism
4.3 Stalinism
4.4 Trotskyism
4.5 Maoism
4.6 Prachanda Path
4.7 Hoxhaism
4.8 Titoism
4.9 Eurocommunism
4.10 Libertarian Marxism
4.11 Council Communism
4.12 Left Communism
4.13 Situationism
4.14 Autonomism
5 Non-Marxist Communism
5.1 Anarchist Communism
5.2 Christian Communism
6 Criticism
7 See also
8 References
9 External links
Etymology and terminology

Communism comes from the Latin word communis, which means "shared" or "belong to all".[5][6]
In the schema of historical materialism, communism is the idea of a free society with no division or alienation, where the people are free from oppression and scarcity. A communist society would have no governments, countries, or class divisions. In Marxist theory, the dictatorship of the proletariat is the intermediate system between capitalism and communism, when the government is in the process of changing the means of ownership from privatism to collective ownership.[7] In political science, the term "communism" is sometimes used to refer to communist states, a form of government in which the state operates under a one-party system and declares allegiance to Marxism-Leninism or a derivative thereof.[citation needed]

The hammer and sickle and the red star are universal symbols of communism.
In modern usage, the word "communism" is still often used to refer to the policies of self-declared socialist governments comprising one-party states which were single legal political party systems operating under centrally planned economies and a state ownership of the means of production, with the state, in turn, claiming that it represented the interests of the working classes. A significant sector of the modern communist movement alleges that these states never made an attempt to transition to a communist society, while others even argue that they never achieved a legitimate socialism. Most of these governments claimed to base their ideology on Marxism-Leninism (though this, too, may be erroneous), but they did not call the system they had set up "communism", nor did they even necessarily claim at all times that the ideology was the sole driving force behind their policies: Mao Zedong, for example, pursued New Democracy, and Vladimir Lenin in the early 1920s enacted war communism; later, the Vietnamese enacted doi moi, and the Chinese switched to socialism with Chinese characteristics. The governments labeled by other governments as "communist" generally claimed that they had set up a transitional socialist system. This system is sometimes referred to as state socialism or by other similar names.
"Pure communism" is a term sometimes used to refer to the stage in history after socialism, although just as many communists use simply the term "communism" to refer to that stage; the term is synonymous with "Full communism". The classless, stateless society that is meant to characterise this communism is one where decisions on what to produce and what policies to pursue are made in the best interests of the whole of society—a sort of 'of, by, and for the working class', rather than a rich class controlling the wealth and everyone else working for them on a wage basis. In this communism the interests of every member of society is given equal weight to the next, in the practical decision-making process in both the political and economic spheres of life. Karl Marx, as well as some other communist philosophers, deliberately never provided a detailed description as to how communism would function as a social system, nor the precise ways in which the working class could or should rise up, nor any other material specifics of exactly how to get to communism from capitalism. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx does lay out a 10-point plan advising the redistribution of land and production to begin the transition to communism, but he ensured that even this was very general and all-encompassing. It has always been presumed that Marx intended these theories to read this way specifically so that later theorists in specific situations could adapt communism to their own localities and conditions.

According to communist theory, the only way to abolish capitalist inequalities is to have the proletariat (working class), who collectively constitute the main producer of wealth in society, and who are perpetually exploited and marginalised by the bourgeoisie (wealthy class), to overthrow the capitalist system in a wide-ranging social revolution.[8] The revolution, in the theory of most individuals and groups espousing communist revolution, usually involves an armed rebellion. The revolution espoused can be explained by theorists in many different ways, and usually depends on the environment in which the particular communism theory originates. For example, the Chinese Revolution involved military combat between the Chinese Red and the Chinese Nationalist Armies, while the Vietnamese Revolution was characterised by guerrilla warfare between the heavily backed Vietnam People's Army and various Western armies, culminating in the Vietnam War which ended in 1975. Meanwhile, the Cuban Revolution was essentially a coup that did not involve intensive wide-scale military conflict between Fulgencio Batista's soldiers and those of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. In fact, Castro initially did not believe that a vanguard party was necessary in Cuba's case, a view boosted by Batista's unpopularity at the time of the actual armed conflict between the two sides. Regardless of the specific form a communist revolution takes, its aim is for the working class to replace the exploiter class as the ruling class to establish a society without class divisions, called socialism, as a prelude to attempting to achieve the final stage of communism.[9]

Countries of the world now (red) or previously (orange) which were led by nominally communist (Marxist-Leninist) governments, often erroneously called "communist states" in the West.
Main article: History of communism
The use of the term "communist" to describe any of the states often called communist states is debatable, as many analysts say countries such as the People's Republic of China, or the Soviet Union are state capitalist and do not actually fit the definition of communism, or indeed do not adhere at all to the beliefs of Marxism that they claim to hold. This argument is based on the fact that Marx and Engels described communism as a stateless society, which means that the term communist state is, in fact, and oxymoron, and such a thing existing would be impossible,[10][11] and that Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the first lasting government of this nature, referred to the economic policies of Russia as state capitalist on numerous occasions.[12][13] While state capitalism, in the transitional nature Lenin described, does not necessarily preclude the development of communism, in countries such as China, and The Soviet Union it became permanent policy, and served only to strengthen the state, rather than causing the state to "wither away", meaning that they do indeed go against the definitions of communism put forth my men such as Marx and Engels.[14]
According to Karl Marx:
"Communism differs from all previous movements in that it overturns the basis of all earlier relations of production and intercourse, and for the first time consciously treats all natural premises as the creatures of hitherto existing men, strips them of their natural character and subjugates them to the power of the united individuals."
— Karl Marx, The German Ideology, 1845[15]
Early Communism
Further information: Primitive communism, Religious communism, and Utopian socialism
The origins of communism are debatable, and there are various historical groups, as well as theorists, whose beliefs have been subsequently described as communist. German philosopher Karl Marx saw primitive communism as the original, hunter-gatherer state of humankind from which it arose. For Marx, only after humanity was capable of producing surplus, did private property develop. The idea of a classless society first emerged in Ancient Greece.[16] Plato in his The Republic described it as a state where people shared all their property, wives, and children: "The private and individual is altogether banished from life and things which are by nature private, such as eyes and ears and hands, have become common, and in some way see and hear and act in common, and all men express praise and feel joy and sorrow on the same occasions."[16]
In the history of Western thought, certain elements of the idea of a society based on common ownership of property can be traced back to ancient times. Examples include the Spartacus slave revolt in Rome.[17] The 5th century Mazdak movement in what is now Iran has been described as "communistic" for challenging the enormous privileges of the noble classes and the clergy, criticizing the institution of private property and for striving for an egalitarian society.[18]
At one time or another, various small communist communities existed, generally under the inspiration of Scripture.[19] In the medieval Christian church, for example, some monastic communities and religious orders shared their land and other property (see Religious and Christian communism). These groups often believed that concern with private property was a distraction from religious service to God and neighbour.[citation needed]
Communist thought has also been traced back to the work of 16th century English writer Thomas More. In his treatise Utopia (1516), More portrayed a society based on common ownership of property, whose rulers administered it through the application of reason.[citation needed] In the 17th century, communist thought surfaced again in England, where a Puritan religious group known as the "Diggers" advocated the abolition of private ownership of land.[20] Eduard Bernstein, in his 1895 Cromwell and Communism[21] argued that several groupings in the English Civil War, especially the Diggers espoused clear communistic, agrarian ideals, and that Oliver Cromwell's attitude to these groups was at best ambivalent and often hostile.[22] Criticism of the idea of private property continued into the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, through such thinkers as Jean Jacques Rousseau in France.[citation needed] Later, following the upheaval of the French Revolution, communism emerged as a political doctrine.[23] François Noël Babeuf, in particular, espoused the goals of common ownership of land and total economic and political equality among citizens.[citation needed]
Various social reformers in the early 19th century founded communities based on common ownership. But unlike many previous communist communities, they replaced the religious emphasis with a rational and philanthropic basis.[24] Notable among them were Robert Owen, who founded New Harmony in Indiana (1825), and Charles Fourier, whose followers organized other settlements in the United States such as Brook Farm (1841–47).[24] Later in the 19th century, Karl Marx described these social reformers as "utopian socialists" to contrast them with his program of "scientific socialism" (a term coined by Friedrich Engels). Other writers described by Marx as "utopian socialists" included Saint-Simon.
In its modern form, communism grew out of the socialist movement of 19th century Europe. As the Industrial Revolution advanced, socialist critics blamed capitalism for the misery of the proletariat—a new class of urban factory workers who laboured under often-hazardous conditions. Foremost among these critics were Marx and his associate Friedrich Engels. In 1848, Marx and Engels offered a new definition of communism and popularized the term in their famous pamphlet The Communist Manifesto.[24] Engels, who lived in Manchester, observed the organization of the Chartist movement (see History of British socialism), while Marx departed from his university comrades to meet the proletariat in France and Germany.[citation needed]
Modern Communism
This section needs additional citations for verification. (October 2011)

Vladimir Lenin after his return to Petrograd.
In the late 19th century, Russian Marxism developed a distinct character. The first major figure of Russian Marxism was Georgi Plekhanov. Underlying the work of Plekhanov was the assumption that Russia, less urbanized and industrialized than Western Europe, had many years to go before society would be ready for proletarian revolution to occur, and a transitional period of a bourgeois democratic regime would be required to replace Tsarism with a socialist and later communist society. (EB)[citation needed]
In Russia, the 1917 October Revolution was the first time any party with an avowedly Marxist orientation, in this case the Bolshevik Party, seized state power. The assumption of state power by the Bolsheviks generated a great deal of practical and theoretical debate within the Marxist movement. Marx predicted that socialism and communism would be built upon foundations laid by the most advanced capitalist development. Russia, however, was one of the poorest countries in Europe with an enormous, largely illiterate peasantry and a minority of industrial workers. Marx had explicitly stated that Russia might be able to skip the stage of bourgeoisie capitalism.[25] Other socialists also believed that a Russian revolution could be the precursor of workers' revolutions in the West.
The moderate Mensheviks opposed Lenin's Bolshevik plan for socialist revolution before capitalism was more fully developed. The Bolsheviks' successful rise to power was based upon the slogans such as "Peace, bread, and land" which tapped the massive public desire for an end to Russian involvement in the First World War, the peasants' demand for land reform, and popular support for the Soviets.[26]
The usage of the terms "communism" and "socialism" shifted after 1917, when the Bolsheviks changed their name to Communist Party and installed a single party regime devoted to the implementation of socialist policies under Leninism.[citation needed] The Second International had dissolved in 1916 over national divisions, as the separate national parties that composed it did not maintain a unified front against the war, instead generally supporting their respective nation's role. Lenin thus created the Third International (Comintern) in 1919 and sent the Twenty-one Conditions, which included democratic centralism, to all European socialist parties willing to adhere. In France, for example, the majority of the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) party split in 1921 to form the French Section of the Communist International (SFIC).[citation needed] Henceforth, the term "Communism" was applied to the objective of the parties founded under the umbrella of the Comintern. Their program called for the uniting of workers of the world for revolution, which would be followed by the establishment of a dictatorship of the proletariat as well as the development of a socialist economy. Ultimately, if their program held, there would develop a harmonious classless society, with the withering away of the state.[citation needed]

Socialist countries led by governments which were nominally Marxist-Leninist in 1980. Color-coding indicates political alignment, with either the Soviet Union (red) or the People's Republic of China (yellow), or non-alignment (black).
During the Russian Civil War (1918–1922), the Bolsheviks nationalized all productive property and imposed a policy of war communism, which put factories and railroads under strict government control, collected and rationed food, and introduced some bourgeois management of industry. After three years of war and the 1921 Kronstadt rebellion, Lenin declared the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1921, which was to give a "limited place for a limited time to capitalism." The NEP lasted until 1928, when Joseph Stalin achieved party leadership, and the introduction of the first Five Year Plan spelled the end of it. Following the Russian Civil War, the Bolsheviks, in 1922, formed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), or Soviet Union, from the former Russian Empire.
Following Lenin's democratic centralism, the communist parties were organized on a hierarchical basis, with active cells of members as the broad base; they were made up only of elite cadres approved by higher members of the party as being reliable and completely subject to party discipline.[27] The Great Purge of 1937–1938 was Stalin's attempt to destroy any possible opposition within the Communist Party. In the Moscow Trials many old Bolsheviks who had played prominent roles during the Russian Revolution of 1917, or in Lenin's Soviet government afterwards, including Kamenev, Zinoviev, Rykov, and Bukharin, were accused, pleaded guilty, and executed.[28]
Following World War II, Communists consolidated power in Central and Eastern Europe, and in 1949, the Communist Party of China (CPC), led by Mao Zedong, established the People's Republic of China, which would follow its own ideological path of Communist development following the Sino-Soviet split. Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Angola, and Mozambique were among the other countries in the Third World that adopted or imposed a Communist government at some point. By the early 1980s almost one-third of the world's population lived in Communist states, including the former Soviet Union and PRC.[citation needed]
Communist states such as the Soviet Union and PRC succeeded in becoming industrial and technological powers, challenging the capitalists' powers in the arms race and space race.
Cold War

USSR postage stamp depicting the communist state launching the first artificial satellite Sputnik 1.
Main article: Cold War
By virtue of the Soviet Union's victory in the Second World War in 1945, the Red Army occupied nations not only in Central and Eastern Europe, but also in East Asia; consequently, communism as a movement spread to many new countries. This expansion of communism both in Europe and Asia gave rise to a few different branches of its own, such as Maoism.[29]
Communism had been vastly strengthened by the winning of many new nations into the sphere of Soviet influence and strength in Central and Eastern Europe. Governments modelled on Soviet Communism took power with Soviet assistance in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland, Hungary and Romania. A Communist government was also created under Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia, but Tito's independent policies led to the expulsion of Yugoslavia from the Cominform, which had replaced the Comintern. Titoism, a new branch in the world Communist movement, was labelled "deviationist". Albania also became an independent Communist nation after World War II.[30]
By 1950, the Chinese Communists held all of Mainland China, thus controlling the most populous nation in the world. Other areas where rising Communist strength provoked dissension and in some cases led to actual fighting through conventional and guerrilla warfare include the Korean War, Laos, many nations of the Middle East and Africa, and notably succeeded in the case of the Vietnam War against the military power of the United States and its allies. With varying degrees of success, Communists attempted to unite with nationalist and socialist forces against what they saw as Western imperialism in these poor countries.
Red Scare

A 1947 propaganda book published by the Catechetical Guild Educational Society warning of the dangers of a communist revolution.
Main article: Red Scare
With the exception of the contribution in World War II by the Soviet Union, China, and the Italian resistance movement, communism was seen as a rival, and a threat to western democracies and capitalism for most of the 20th century.[31] This rivalry peaked during the Cold War, as the world's two remaining superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, polarized most of the world into two camps of nations. This was characterized in the West as The Free World vs. Behind the Iron Curtain.[citation needed] It supported the spread of their respective economic and political systems (capitalism and communism) and strengthened their military powers. As a result, the camps developed new weapon systems, stockpiled nuclear weapons, and competed in space exploration.
Near the beginning of the Cold War, on February 9, 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy from Wisconsin accused 205 Americans working in the State Department of being "card-carrying communists".[32] The fear of communism in the U.S. spurred McCarthyism, aggressive investigations and the red-baiting, blacklisting, jailing and deportation of persons suspected of following communist or other left-wing ideologies. Many famous actors and writers were placed on a blacklist from 1950 to 1954, which meant they would not be hired and would be subject to public disdain.[31]
After the collapse of the Soviet Union
Further information: List of communist parties and List of communist and anti-capitalist parties with parliamentary representation
In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became leader of the Soviet Union and relaxed central control, in accordance with reform policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). The Soviet Union did not intervene as Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary all abandoned Communist rule by 1990. In 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved.
By the beginning of the 21st century, states controlled by communist parties under a single-party system include the People's Republic of China, Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, and North Korea. Communist parties, or their descendant parties, remain politically important in a number of other countries. President Dimitris Christofias of Cyprus is a member of the Progressive Party of Working People, but the country is not run under single-party rule. The South African Communist Party is a partner in the African National Congress-led government. In India, communists lead the governments of three states, with a combined population of more than 115 million. In Nepal, communists hold a majority in the parliament.[33] The Communist Party of Brazil is a part of the parliamentary coalition led by the ruling democratic socialist Workers' Party and is represented in the executive cabinet of Dilma Rousseff.

A tableau in a communist rally in Kerala, India, of a young farmer and worker.
The People's Republic of China has reassessed many aspects of the Maoist legacy; it, along with Laos, Vietnam, and, to a lesser degree Cuba, has reduced state control of the economy in order to stimulate growth. Chinese economic reforms started in 1978 under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping; since then, China has managed to bring down the poverty rate from 53% in the Mao era to just 6% in 2001.[34] The People's Republic of China runs Special Economic Zones dedicated to market-oriented enterprise, free from central government control. Several other communist states have also attempted to implement market-based reforms, including Vietnam.

A demonstration of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Moscow, December 2011.
Theories within Marxism as to why communism in Central and Eastern Europe was not achieved after socialist revolutions pointed to such elements as the pressure of external capitalist states, the relative backwardness of the societies in which the revolutions occurred, and the emergence of a bureaucratic stratum or class that arrested or diverted the transition press in its own interests. (Scott and Marshall, 2005) Marxist critics of the Soviet Union, most notably Trotsky, referred to the Soviet system, along with other Communist states, as "degenerated" or "deformed workers' states", arguing that the Soviet system fell far short of Marx's communist ideal and he claimed the working class was politically dispossessed. The ruling stratum of the Soviet Union was held to be a bureaucratic caste, but not a new ruling class, despite their political control. Anarchists who adhere to Participatory economics claim that the Soviet Union became dominated by powerful intellectual elites who in a capitalist system crown the proletariat's labour on behalf of the bourgeoisie.
Non-Marxists, in contrast, have often applied the term to any society ruled by a communist party and to any party aspiring to create a society similar to such existing nation-states. In the social sciences, societies ruled by communist parties are distinct for their single party control and their socialist economic bases. While some social and political scientists applied the concept of "totalitarianism" to these societies, others identified possibilities for independent political activity within them,[35][36] and stressed their continued evolution up to the point of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its allies in Central Europe during the late 1980s and early 1990s.[citation needed]
Marxist Communism

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Main article: List of communist ideologies
Variations to the communist movement have developed, each based upon the ideas of different political theorists, usually as additions or interpretations of various forms of Marxism, the collective philosophies of the German philosophers Karl Marx.[37] Marxism-Leninism is the synthesis of Vladimir Lenin's contributions to Marxism, such as how a revolutionary party should be organised;[38] Trotskyism is Leon Trotsky's conception of Marxism, influenced by Lenin, and meanwhile, Maoism is Mao Zedong's interpretation of Marxism to suit the conditions of China at that time, and is fairly heavy on the need for agrarian worker support as the engine for the revolution, rather than workers in the urban areas, which were still very small at that point.
Self-identified communists hold a variety of views, including Marxism-Leninism, Trotskyism, council communism, Luxemburgism, anarchist communism, Christian communism, and various currents of left communism. However, the offshoots of the Marxist-Leninist interpretations of Marxism are the best-known of these and had been a driving force in international relations during the last quarter of the 19th century and most of the 20th century up to around 1989 and what historians refer to as "the collapse of communism."[39] However, other forms of communism worldwide continue to exist in the ideologies of various individual labor movement trade unions worldwide, particularly in Europe and the Third World, and also in communist parties that continue to espouse the ultimate need for communist revolution.
Most communists today tend to agree that the remaining communist states, such as China, Vietnam and especially North Korea (which has replaced Marxism-Leninism with Juche as its official ideology), have nothing to do with communism, whether as practised currently within leftist resistance movements and parties, or in terms of the ideologies and programmes held by those movements.[40][41][42][43]
A diverse range of theories persist amongst prominent globally known people such as Slavoj Zizek, Michael Parenti, Alain Badiou and other radical left thinkers who proclaim themselves communists; they and others like them are examples of present-day well-known figures in the modern communist movement.

The Communist Manifesto
Main article: Marxism
Like other socialists, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels sought an end to capitalism and the systems which they perceived to be responsible for the exploitation of workers. Whereas earlier socialists often favored longer-term social reform, Marx and Engels believed that popular revolution was all but inevitable, and the only path to socialism and communism.
According to the Marxist argument for communism, the main characteristic of human life in class society is alienation; and communism is desirable because it entails the full realization of human freedom.[44] Marx here follows Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in conceiving freedom not merely as an absence of restraints but as action with content.[45] According to Marx, communism's outlook on freedom was based on an agent, obstacle, and goal. The agent is the common/working people; the obstacles are class divisions, economic inequalities, unequal life-chances, and false consciousness; and the goal is the fulfilment of human needs including satisfying work, and fair share of the product.[46][47]
They believed that communism allowed people to do what they want, but also put humans in such conditions and such relations with one another that they would not wish to exploit, or have any need to. Whereas for Hegel the unfolding of this ethical life in history is mainly driven by the realm of ideas, for Marx, communism emerged from material forces, particularly the development of the means of production.[45]
Marxism holds that a process of class conflict and revolutionary struggle will result in victory for the proletariat and the establishment of a communist society in which private property and ownership is abolished over time and the means of production and subsistence belong to the community. (Private property and ownership, in this context, means ownerships of the means of production, not private possessions).[48] Marx himself wrote little about life under communism, giving only the most general indication as to what constituted a communist society. It is clear that it entails abundance in which there is little limit to the projects that humans may undertake.[citation needed] In the popular slogan that was adopted by the communist movement, communism was a world in which each gave according to their abilities, and received according to their needs. The German Ideology (1845) was one of Marx's few writings to elaborate on the communist future:
"In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic."
Marx's lasting vision was to add this vision to a theory of how society was moving in a law-governed way towards communism, and, with some tension, a political theory that explained why revolutionary activity was required to bring it about.[45]
In the late 19th century, the terms "socialism" and "communism" were often used interchangeably. However, Marx and Engels argued that communism would not emerge from capitalism in a fully developed state, but would pass through a "first phase" in which most productive property was owned in common, but with some class differences remaining. The "first phase" would eventually evolve into a "higher phase" in which class differences were eliminated, and a state was no longer needed. Lenin frequently used the term "socialism" to refer to Marx and Engels' supposed "first phase" of communism and used the term "communism" interchangeably with Marx and Engels' "higher phase" of communism.[50]
These later aspects, particularly as developed by Vladimir Lenin, provided the underpinning for the mobilizing features of 20th century communist parties.
Leninism and Marxism-Leninism
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Main articles: Leninism and Marxism-Leninism
Leninism is the political movement developed by Vladimir Lenin, which has become the foundation for the organizational structure of most major communist parties. Leninists advocate the creation of a vanguard party led by dedicated revolutionaries in order to lead the working class revolution to victory. Leninists believe that socialism will not arise spontaneously through the natural decay of capitalism and that workers are unable to organize and develop socialist consciousness without the guidance of the Vanguard party. After taking power, Vanguard parties seek to create a socialist state continually led by the Vanguard party in order to direct social development and defend against counterrevolutionary insurrection. The mode of industrial organization championed by Leninism and Marxism-Leninism is the capitalist model of scientific management pioneered by Fredrick Taylor.
Marxism-Leninism is a version of Leninism merged with classical Marxism adopted by the Soviet Union and most communist parties across the world today. It shaped the Soviet Union and influenced communist parties worldwide. It was heralded as a possibility of building communism via a massive program of industrialization and collectivisation. Despite the fall of the Soviet Union and the 'Eastern Bloc' (meaning communist countries of Eastern and Central Europe), many communist parties of the world today still lay claim to uphold the Marxist-Leninist banner. Marxism-Leninism expands on Marxist thoughts by bringing the theories to what Lenin and other Communists considered, the age of capitalist imperialism, and a renewed focus on party building, the development of a socialist state, and democratic centralism as an organisational principle.
Lenin's pamphlet What is to be Done? (1902), proposed that the (urban) proletariat can successfully achieve revolutionary consciousness only under the leadership of a vanguard party of professional revolutionaries—who can achieve aims only with internal democratic centralism in the party; tactical and ideological policy decisions are agreed via democracy, and every member must support and promote the agreed party policy.
To wit, capitalism can be overthrown only with revolution—because attempts to reform capitalism from within (Fabianism) and from without (social democracy) will fail because of its inherent contradictions. The purpose of a Leninist revolutionary vanguard party is the forceful deposition of the incumbent government; assume power (as agent of the proletariat) and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. Moreover, as the government, the vanguard party must educate the proletariat—to dispel the societal false consciousness of religion and nationalism that are culturally instilled by the bourgeoisie in facilitating exploitation, and to instil the material scientific outlook of the world and the sense of proletarian internationalism. The dictatorship of the proletariat is governed with a de-centralized direct democracy practised via soviets (councils) where the workers exercise political power (cf. soviet democracy); the fifth chapter of State & Revolution, describes it:
".... the dictatorship of the proletariat—i.e. the organisation of the vanguard of the oppressed as the ruling class for the purpose of crushing the oppressors. . . . An immense expansion of democracy, which for the first time becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the rich: . . . and suppression by force, i.e. exclusion from democracy, for the exploiters and oppressors of the people—this is the change which democracy undergoes during the transition from capitalism to communism."
The post-revolutionary Bolshevik government was hostile to nationalism, especially to Russian nationalism, the "Great Russian chauvinism", which was seen as an obstacle to establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat.[52] However, under the regime of Joseph Stalin, after the Allied victory in the Great Patriotic War, Russian nationalism became upheld as a force in shaping both the domestic and foreign policies of the Soviet Union.[53]
The primary elements unique to Marxism-Leninism are: the revolutionary vanguard party, revolution as a means to overthrow capitalism, and democratic centralism.
Main article: Stalinism

Joseph Stalin
Stalinism was the political system of the Soviet Union and the countries within the Soviet sphere of influence during the leadership of Joseph Stalin. The term usually defines the style of a government rather than an ideology. The ideology was officially Marxism-Leninism theory, reflecting that Stalin himself was not a theoretician, in contrast to Marx and Lenin, and prided himself on maintaining the legacy of Lenin as a founding father for the Soviet Union and the future Socialist world. Stalinism is an interpretation of their ideas, and a certain political regime claiming to apply those ideas in ways fitting the changing needs of Soviet society, as with the transition from "socialism at a snail's pace" in the mid-twenties to the rapid industrialization of the Five-Year Plans.
The main contributions of Stalin to communist theory were:
The groundwork for the Soviet policy concerning nationalities, laid in Stalin's 1913 work Marxism and the National Question,[54] praised by Lenin.
Socialism in One Country, stating that communists should attain socialism in their own country as a prelude to internationalising.
The theory of aggravation of the class struggle along with the development of socialism, a theoretical base supporting the repression of political opponents as necessary.
The legitimacy of Stalin's claim to the role of leadership in the Soviet Union (and thus the international communist movement as a whole) is a matter of some debate. Advocates of Stalinism cite both Lenin's praising of the early works of Stalin and the economic successes of the Five-Year Plans. Opponents, however, point out that certain aspects of Stalinism (socialism in one country, "revolutionary patriotism", etc.) are not found in Leninism, and argue that some aspects are even contradictory to Marxism-Leninism. Also, in Lenin's Testament, a document written by Vladimir Lenin in the last weeks of 1922 and the first week of 1923 outlining his proposed changes to the structure of the Soviet governing bodies, Lenin suggested "that the comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from [the Secretary-General] post and appointing another man in his stead who in all other respects differs from Comrade Stalin in having only one advantage, namely, that of being more tolerant, more loyal, more polite and more considerate to the comrades, less capricious, etc." Both sides of this debate identify as being ideologically orthodox to Leninism and criticise the other as being "revisionist."
Main article: Trotskyism

Leon Trotsky reading The Militant.
Trotskyism is the branch of Marxism that was developed by Leon Trotsky. It supports the theory of permanent revolution and world revolution instead of the two stage theory and socialism in one country. It supported proletarian internationalism and another Communist revolution in the Soviet Union, which, under the leadership of Stalin, Trotsky claimed had become a degenerated worker's state, rather than the dictatorship of the proletariat, in which class relations had re-emerged in a new form.
Trotsky and his supporters organized into the Left Opposition and their platform became known as Trotskyism. Stalin eventually succeeded in gaining control of the Soviet regime and Trotskyist attempts to remove Stalin from power resulted in Trotsky's exile from the Soviet Union in 1929. During Trotsky's exile, world communism fractured into two distinct branches: Marxism-Leninism and Trotskyism.[9] Trotsky later founded the Fourth International, a Trotskyist rival to the Comintern, in 1938.
Trotskyist ideas have continually found a modest echo among political movements in some countries in Latin America and Asia, especially in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Sri Lanka. Many Trotskyist organizations are also active in more stable, developed countries in North America and Western Europe. Trotsky's politics differed sharply from those of Stalin and Mao, most importantly in declaring the need for an international proletarian revolution (rather than socialism in one country) and unwavering support for a true dictatorship of the proletariat based on democratic principles.
However, as a whole, Trotsky's theories and attitudes were never accepted in worldwide mainstream Communist circles after Trotsky's expulsion, either within or outside of the Soviet bloc. This remained the case even after the Secret Speech and subsequent events which critics claim exposed the fallibility of Stalin.

Portrait of Mao Zedong at the Tiananmen Gate
Main article: Maoism
Maoism is the Marxist-Leninist trend of Communism associated with Mao Zedong and was mostly practiced within China. Nikita Khrushchev's reforms heightened ideological differences between China and the Soviet Union, which became increasingly apparent in the 1960s. Parties and groups that supported the Communist Party of China (CPC) in their criticism against the new Soviet leadership proclaimed themselves as 'anti-revisionist' and denounced the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the parties aligned with it as revisionist "capitalist-roaders." The Sino-Soviet Split resulted in divisions amongst communist parties around the world. Notably, the Party of Labour of Albania sided with the People's Republic of China. Effectively, the CPC under Mao's leadership became the rallying forces of a parallel international Communist tendency.
Definitions of Maoism vary. Within the Chinese context, Maoism can refer to Mao's belief in the mobilization of the masses, particularly in large-scale political movements; it can also refer to the egalitarianism that was seen during Mao's era as opposed to the free-market ideology of Deng Xiaoping; some scholars additionally define personality cults and political sloganeering as "Maoist" practices. Contemporary Maoists in China criticize the social inequalities created by a capitalist and 'revisionist' Communist party.

Prachanda, giving a speech at Pokhara, Nepal
Prachanda Path
See also: Marxism–Leninism–Maoism–Prachanda Path
Prachanda Path refers to the ideological line of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal. This thought is an extension of Marxism, Leninism and Maoism, totally based on home-ground politics of Nepal. The doctrine came into existence after it was realized that the ideology of Marxism, Leninism and Maoism could not be practiced completely as it was done in the past. And an ideology suitable, based on the ground reality of Nepalese politics was adopted by the party.
Main article: Hoxhaism
Another variant of anti-revisionist Marxism-Leninism appeared after the ideological row between the Communist Party of China and the Party of Labour of Albania in 1978. The Albanians rallied a new separate international tendency, which would demarcate itself by a strict defence of the legacy of Joseph Stalin and fierce criticism of virtually all other Communist groupings as revisionism. Critical of the United States, the Soviet Union, and China, Enver Hoxha declared the latter two to be social-imperialist and condemned the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia by withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact in response. Hoxha declared Albania to be the world's only Marxist-Leninist state after 1978. The Albanians were able to win over a large share of the Maoists, mainly in Latin America such as the Popular Liberation Army, but also had a significant international following in general. This tendency has occasionally been labelled as 'Hoxhaism' after him.
After the fall of the Communist government in Albania, the pro-Albanian parties are grouped around an international conference and the publication 'Unity and Struggle'.
Main article: Titoism
Elements of Titoism are characterized by policies and practices based on the principle that in each country, the means of attaining ultimate communist goals must be dictated by the conditions of that particular country, rather than by a pattern set in another country. During Tito's era, this specifically meant that the communist goal should be pursued independently of (and often in opposition to) the policies of the Soviet Union. The term was originally meant as a pejorative, and was labelled by Moscow as a heresy during the period of tensions between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia known as the Informbiro period from 1948 to 1955.
Unlike the rest of Central and Eastern Europe, which fell under Stalin's influence post–World War II, Yugoslavia, due to the strong leadership of Marshal Josip Broz Tito and the fact that the Yugoslav Partisans liberated Yugoslavia with only limited help from the Red Army, remained independent from Moscow. It became the only country in the Balkans to resist pressure from Moscow to join the Warsaw Pact and remained "socialist, but independent" until the collapse of Soviet socialism in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Throughout his time in office, Tito prided himself on Yugoslavia's independence from Russia, with Yugoslavia never accepting full membership of the Comecon and Tito's open rejection of many aspects of Stalinism as the most obvious manifestations of this.
Main article: Eurocommunism
Eurocommunism was a trend in the 1970s and 1980s within various Western European communist parties to develop a theory and practice of social transformation that was more relevant in a Western European democracy and less aligned to the influence or control of the Soviet Union. Parties such as the Italian Communist Party (PCI), the French Communist Party (PCF), and the Communist Party of Spain (PCE), were politically active and electorally significant in their respective countries).[citation needed]
The main theoretical foundation of Eurocommunism was Antonio Gramsci's writing about Marxist theory which questioned the sectarianism of the Left and encouraged communist parties to develop social alliances to win hegemonic support for social reforms. Eurocommunist parties expressed their fidelity to democratic institutions more clearly than before and attempted to widen their appeal by embracing public sector middle-class workers, new social movements such as feminism and gay liberation and more publicly questioning the Soviet Union. Early inspirations can also be found in the Austromarxism and its seeking of a "third" democratic "way" to socialism.
Libertarian Marxism
Main article: Libertarian Marxism
Libertarian Marxism refers to a broad scope of economic and political philosophies that emphasize the anti-authoritarian aspects of Marxism. Early currents of libertarian Marxism, known as left communism,[55] emerged in opposition to Marxism–Leninism[56] and its derivatives, such as Stalinism, Maoism, and Trotskyism.[57] Libertarian Marxism is also critical of reformist positions, such as those held by social democrats.[58] Libertarian Marxist currents often draw from Marx and Engels' later works, specifically the Grundrisse and The Civil War in France;[59] emphasizing the Marxist belief in the ability of the working class to forge its own destiny without the need for a revolutionary party or state to mediate or aid its liberation.[60] Along with anarchism, Libertarian Marxism is one of the main currents of libertarian socialism.[61]
Libertarian Marxism includes such currents as Luxemburgism, council communism, left communism, Socialisme ou Barbarie, the Johnson-Forest tendency, world socialism, Lettrism/Situationism and operaismo/autonomism, and New Left.[62] Libertarian Marxism has often had a strong influence on both post-left and social anarchists. Notable theorists of libertarian Marxism have included Anton Pannekoek, Raya Dunayevskaya, CLR James, Antonio Negri, Cornelius Castoriadis, Maurice Brinton, Guy Debord, Daniel Guérin, Ernesto Screpanti and Raoul Vaneigem.
Council Communism
Main article: Council communism
Council communism is a far-left movement originating in Germany and the Netherlands in the 1920s. Its primary organization was the Communist Workers Party of Germany (KAPD). Council communism continues today as a theoretical and activist position within both left-wing Marxism and libertarian socialism.
The central argument of council communism, in contrast to those of social democracy and Leninist Communism, is that democratic workers' councils arising in the factories and municipalities are the natural form of working class organisation and governmental power. This view is opposed to both the reformist and the Leninist ideologies, with their stress on, respectively, parliaments and institutional government (i.e., by applying social reforms), on the one hand, and vanguard parties and participative democratic centralism on the other).
The core principle of council communism is that the government and the economy should be managed by workers' councils composed of delegates elected at workplaces and recallable at any moment. As such, council communists oppose state-run authoritarian "State socialism"/"State capitalism". They also oppose the idea of a "revolutionary party", since council communists believe that a revolution led by a party will necessarily produce a party dictatorship. Council communists support a worker's democracy, which they want to produce through a federation of workers' councils.

Rosa Luxemburg, prominent left communist critic of Leninism
Left Communism
Main article: Left communism
Left communism is the range of communist viewpoints held by the communist left, which criticizes the political ideas of the Bolsheviks at certain periods, from a position that is asserted to be more authentically Marxist and proletarian than the views of Leninism held by the Communist International after its first and during its second congress.
Left Communists see themselves to the left of Leninists (whom they tend to see as 'left of capital', not socialists), anarchist communists (some of whom they consider internationalist socialists) as well as some other revolutionary socialist tendencies (for example De Leonists, who they tend to see as being internationalist socialists only in limited instances).
Although she died before left communism became a distinct tendency, Rosa Luxemburg has heavily influenced most left communists, both politically and theoretically. Proponents of left communism have included Amadeo Bordiga, Herman Gorter, Anton Pannekoek, Otto Rühle, Karl Korsch, Sylvia Pankhurst and Paul Mattick.
Prominent left communist groups existing today include the International Communist Party, the International Communist Current and the Internationalist Communist Tendency.
Main article: Situationist International
The Situationist International was a restricted group of international revolutionaries founded in 1957, and which had its peak in its influence on the unprecedented general wildcat strikes of May 1968 in France.
With their ideas rooted in Marxism and the 20th century European artistic avant-gardes, they advocated experiences of life being alternative to those admitted by the capitalist order, for the fulfillment of human primitive desires and the pursuing of a superior passional quality. For this purpose they suggested and experimented with the construction of situations, namely the setting up of environments favorable for the fulfillment of such desires. Using methods drawn from the arts, they developed a series of experimental fields of study for the construction of such situations, like unitary urbanism and psychogeography.
They fought against the main obstacle on the fulfillment of such superior passional living, identified by them in advanced capitalism. Their theoretical work peaked on the highly influential book The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord. Debord argued in 1967 that spectacular features like mass media and advertising have a central role in an advanced capitalist society, which is to show a fake reality in order to mask the real capitalist degradation of human life. To overthrow such a system, the Situationist International supported the May 1968 revolts, and asked the workers to occupy the factories and to run them with direct democracy, through workers' councils composed by instantly revocable delegates.
After publishing in the last issue of the magazine an analysis of the May 1968 revolts, and the strategies that will need to be adopted in future revolutions,[63] the SI was dissolved in 1972.[64]
Main article: Autonomism

Antonio Negri, main theorist of Italian autonomism
Autonomism refers to a set of left-wing political and social movements and theories close to the socialist movement. As an identifiable theoretical system it first emerged in Italy in the 1960s from workerist (operaismo) communism. Later, post-Marxist and anarchist tendencies became significant after influence from the Situationists, the failure of Italian far-left movements in the 1970s, and the emergence of a number of important theorists including Antonio Negri, who had contributed to the 1969 founding of Potere Operaio, Mario Tronti, Paolo Virno, etc.
Through translations made available by Danilo Montaldi and others, the Italian autonomists drew upon previous activist research in the United States by the Johnson-Forest Tendency and in France by the group Socialisme ou Barbarie.
It influenced the German and Dutch Autonomen, the worldwide Social Centre movement, and today is influential in Italy, France, and to a lesser extent the English-speaking countries. Those who describe themselves as autonomists now vary from Marxists to post-structuralists and anarchists. The Autonomist Marxist and Autonomen movements provided inspiration to some on the revolutionary left in English speaking countries, particularly among anarchists, many of whom have adopted autonomist tactics. Some English-speaking anarchists even describe themselves as Autonomists. The Italian operaismo movement also influenced Marxist academics such as Harry Cleaver, John Holloway, Steve Wright, and Nick Dyer-Witheford.
Non-Marxist Communism

The dominant forms of communism are based on Marxism, but non-Marxist versions of communism (such as Christian communism and anarchist communism) also exist.
Anarchist Communism
Main article: Anarchist communism

Peter Kropotkin, main theorist of anarcho-communism
Anarchist communism (also known as libertarian communism) is a theory of anarchism which advocates the abolition of the state, private property, and capitalism in favour of common ownership of the means of production,[65][66] direct democracy and a horizontal network of voluntary associations and workers' councils with production and consumption based on the guiding principle: "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need".[67][68]
Anarcho-communism differs from marxism rejecting its view about the need for a State Socialism phase before building communism. The main anarcho-communist theorist Peter Kropotkin argued "that a revolutionary society should “transform itself immediately into a communist society,”, that is, should go immediately into what Marx had regarded as the “more advanced,” completed, phase of communism."[69] In this way it tries to avoid the reappearence of "class divisions and the need for a state to oversee everything".[69]
Some forms of anarchist communism such as insurrectionary anarchism are egoist and strongly influenced by radical individualism,[70][71][72] believing that anarchist communism does not require a communitarian nature at all. Most anarcho-communists view anarcho-communism as a way of reconciling the opposition between the individual and society[73][74][75]
To date in human history, the best known examples of an anarchist communist society, established around the ideas as they exist today, that received worldwide attention and knowledge in the historical canon, are the anarchist territories during the Spanish Revolution and the Free Territory during the Russian Revolution. Through the efforts and influence of the Spanish Anarchists during the Spanish Revolution within the Spanish Civil War, starting in 1936 anarchist communism existed in most of Aragon, parts of the Levante and Andalusia, as well as in the stronghold of Anarchist Catalonia before being brutally crushed by the combined forces of the authoritarian regime that won the war, Hitler, Mussolini, Spanish Communist Party repression (backed by the USSR) as well as economic and armaments blockades from the capitalist countries and the Spanish Republic itself. During the Russian Revolution, anarchists such as Nestor Makhno worked to create and defend—through the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine—anarchist communism in the Free Territory of the Ukraine from 1919 before being conquered by the Bolsheviks in 1921.
Christian Communism
This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2011)
Christian communism is a form of religious communism centred on Christianity. It is a theological and political theory based upon the view that the teachings of Jesus Christ urge Christians to support communism as the ideal social system. Christian communists trace the origins of their practice to teachings in the New Testament, such as the Acts of the Apostles at chapter 2 and verses 42, 44 and 45:
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and in fellowship ... 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things in common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
—King James Version
Christian communism can be seen as a radical form of Christian socialism. Also, because many Christian communists have formed independent stateless communes in the past, there is a link between Christian communism and Christian anarchism. Christian communists may not agree with various parts of Marxism, but they share some of the political goals of Marxists, for example replacing capitalism with socialism, which should in turn be followed by communism at a later point in the future. However, Christian communists sometimes disagree with Marxists (and particularly with Leninists) on the way a socialist or communist society should be organized.

Main articles: Criticisms of communism, Anti-communism, and Mass killings under Communist regimes
See also Criticisms of Marxism and Criticisms of socialism for a discussion of objections to socialism in general.

The government's forced collectivization of agriculture is considered a main reason for the Soviet famine of 1932–1933.
Some people have criticised socialism and by extension communism, stating that the two systems have distorted or absent price signals,[76][77] slow or stagnant technological advance,[78] reduced incentives,[79][80][81] and reduced prosperity,[82][83] as well as on the grounds of its feasibility[76][77][78] and its social and political effects.[84][85][86][87][88][89]
Part of this criticism extends to the policies adopted by one-party states ruled by communist parties (known as "communist states"). Some scholars are specially focused on their human rights records which are claimed to be responsible for famines, purges and warfare resulting in deaths far in excess of previous empires, capitalist or other regimes.[90][91][92] However, such state regimes do not fit the definition of communism as a stateless and international workers' democracy, as repeatedly advocated by Marx and Engels, and subsequent orthodox Marxists.
The Council of Europe in Resolution 1481 and international declarations such as the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism and the Declaration on Crimes of Communism have condemned some of the actions that resulted in these deaths as crimes.
Stéphane Courtois argues that communism is responsible for the murder of almost 100 million people in the 20th century,[93] but two of the main Black Book's contributors, Nicolas Werth and Jean-Louis Margolin, disagreed and publicly disassociated themselves from Courtois's statements.[94]
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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by Buwar0 on 11/27/2012, 11:45 am

Heyyou guys, keep the comments short and readable? Please?
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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by Kevo235 on 11/27/2012, 1:12 pm

Buwar0 wrote:Heyyou guys, keep the comments short and readable? Please?
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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by Heisenberg on 11/27/2012, 1:24 pm


The J'ardeen are a curious race. They are one of the only four species to make itself extinct. The most famous of these species is of course the Dodo, who spent their time trying to hug the savage apes that hunted them. Many believed that if the Dodo had arms, their lovable, but stupid, nature would have turned them into pets instead of a Sunday roast. The J'ardeen went extinct not due to wanting a hug, but due to a thirst for knowledge. Before 42, the answer to life, the universe and everything, many philosophers were still trying to find out the meaning of life. The J'ardeen were a deeply philosophical species, struggling to eat without knowing whether or the not their food would have led a richer, meaningful life had it not been slowly dissolved in it's seven heeloglans. Two million years and twelve exploded brains later and a plucky young J'ardling put forward his idea. It went like this: Blarg blarg blarg blarg, quibble quibble quibble. For thoses of you that have misplaced your babel-fish goggles, that roughly translates to: The meaning of life is death. Before I continue there is something rather important you should know about the J'ardeen. They were the most stubborn race in the southern part of the rotten cabbage multiverse. This was the true cause of the Seven Moons war, despite what the Galactic Bollocks says. Galactic Bollocks is, in fact, the only bit of truth is the whole news podcast. It all started in a planetary spelling bee against Jovian. A Jovianian had correctly spelled plasmateriaquiasiterationer (Which ironically means "A stubborn or hot-headed person who cannot spell") when there was a mass outcry from the opposing J'ardlings. One bit of stubborn ignorance later and Jovian was imploded in a puff of light yellow smoke. This was the record for the shortest war of all time, 14.2 seconds. It would have been quicker, but the gunner on duty was preoccupied pondering whether his banana would have ever known true love. So, when death was put forward as the answer, there was lots of suicides and fights. Strangely, death by toaster was the most popular. This proved to be a significant problem with the answer to life, mostly due to the fact they were dead, mostly due to the lack of toast (Another popular meaning of life). This led to several other questions, the main one being: How can you live if your dead? This prompted several new books to be published, boosting the economy and allowing the J'adeen to buy more toasters, which led to more deaths. The stubbornness was almost the cause of the extinction itself, but this of course, was nothing new. They'd already been 9,637,280 civil wars on the planet in the short 8 billion years it's been inhabited. Many refused to believe that toast was nothing more than part of your 38 a day, arguing and fighting that it was the true meaning of life. By this time, of course, that was no body left to fight due to the fact their opponents had been turned into toasted slugs. The answer in the end was a simple one requiring simple technology. All that was needed was to sever the link between the body and the brains, killing the body whilst the brains remains active and toast-loving. Over the course of the next few years the J'ardeen genetically evolved themselves into non-physical conscience beings, or "ghosts", as they were know by humans. A J'adling conscience looks like a lime green cloud of vapour, extremely similar to the gas which Teevlers (The J'adeen's organic, living vacuum cleaners) eat. This inevitably caused the extinction of the J'adeen and the rise of the Teevler army, which went on to suck up the entire left side of the Prime galaxy, 23 left socks and a baby hippo covered in peanut butter.


A Smugian is a large green slug. It is approximately 12Dr long, and 4vtR tall. When God (See Chapter 12: Who is watching you pee? for more info) created the universe it must have taken a long time. Many people think Smugia was the result of God having a break, and deciding to have a dump in the middle of the universe. Much like the Vogons, evolution took one look at the green turd crawling along the floor and decided to go have a hamburger instead. The most popular theory is their smell scared evolution away. Smugians do not have noses, they cannot smell the richest perfumes that a Dafer emits from its rear end. Unfortunately, this is why they're still here. If they had noses, their whole body would be inside out. It's a weird reflex to try and hide from a predator or anything harmful (They never use it since everything's already been killed by their stench). The slug would turn itself inside out to try and protect itself from the odour. If this did happen, all it would do is trap the smell inside them, slowly killing them. If would be highly unselfish, but unfortunately none of them are that considerate. A Smugian's smell has been rumoured to be smelt by the small worm-like people of Gax VII, 2 million light years away. This smell has led to many strange, yet hilarious, deaths, many of which feature on galactic shows. The most popular deaths on the galactic show, 'What's that smell?', are the Moscerts. They possess enormous heads 14 times bigger than their whole body. They use small servants to keep their heads from snapping off. Unfortunately, apon smelling the Smugian stench, they stagger backwards in horror and disbelief, causing their large heads to snap off. The severed heads often bowl down the servants hired to protect it, the record being 213 rolling head related deaths. This is the funnier of the two ways they die. The second death that can happen is their heads simply explode. The strange thing is it seems they were made especially to explode, since when their heads do explode, confetti comes out and it makes a joyful 'hooray!' sound. This was one of the things that prompted the J'ardeen to think death was the meaning of life. Eventually UPBP (Universal Protection of Bullied Planets), put together a charity gig to help raise money for nose pegs. Unfortunately they had booked a Vogon to headline it, and ended up spending the money on earplugs instead. The Smugian smell affected 1,125,545 planets, one of which was Saltapia, home to the cute salt loving hamsters know as Hamsters. 1,125,544 planets have waged war on Saltapia, because it was literally a ball of salt. They were repelled by the cute hamsters who decided to use gorilla warfare and throw bananas at their enemies. All this was pointless as 3 months later a huge crocodile ate the planet and spat it out, straight towards Smugia. Nobody knows why it ate the planet, or why it conveniently spat it out directly towards Smugia. Nobody cared either, as they were busy enjoying a new found delicacy, salted slug.
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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by BroadStreetBully on 11/27/2012, 6:10 pm

Alien life, such as bacteria, has been hypothesized to exist in the Solar System and throughout the universe. This hypothesis relies on the vast size and consistent physical laws of the observable universe. According to this argument, made by scientists such as Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking, it would be improbable for life not to exist somewhere other than Earth.[1][2] This argument is embodied in the Copernican principle, which states that the Earth does not occupy a unique position in the Universe, and the mediocrity principle, which holds that there is nothing special about life on Earth.[3] Life may have emerged independently at many places throughout the Universe. Alternatively life may form less frequently, then spread between habitable planets through panspermia or exogenesis.[4] In any case, complex organic molecules necessary for life may have formed in the protoplanetary disk of dust grains surrounding the Sun before the formation of the Earth based on computer model studies.[5] According to these studies, this same process may also occur around other stars that acquire planets.[5] (Also see Extraterrestrial organic molecules.)

Suggested locations at which life might have developed include the planets Venus[6] and Mars, Jupiter's moon Europa,[7] and Saturn's moons Titan and Enceladus.[8] In May 2011, NASA scientists reported that Enceladus "is emerging as the most habitable spot beyond Earth in the Solar System for life as we know it".[9][10] Life may appear on extrasolar planets, such as Gliese 581 c, g and d, recently discovered to be near Earth mass and apparently located in their star's habitable zone, with the potential to have liquid water.[11] In December 2011, scientists working with NASA’s Kepler space telescope announced the discovery of Kepler-22b, an exoplanet that appears to be orbiting a sun-like star within the habitable zone.[12]

No widely accepted evidence of extraterrestrial life has been found; however, various controversial claims have been made.[13] Beliefs that some unidentified flying objects are of extraterrestrial origin (see Extraterrestrial hypothesis),[14] along with claims of alien abduction,[15] are dismissed by most scientists. Most UFO sightings are explained either as sightings of Earth-based aircraft or known astronomical objects, or as hoaxes.[16]

In November 2011, the White House released an official response to two petitions asking the U.S. government to acknowledge formally that aliens have visited Earth and to disclose any intentional withholding of government interactions with extraterrestrial beings. According to the response, "The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race."[17][18] Also, according to the response, there is "no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye."[17][18] The response further noted that efforts, like SETI, the Kepler space telescope and the NASA Mars rover, continue looking for signs of life. The response noted "odds are pretty high" that there may be life on other planets but "the odds of us making contact with any of them—especially any intelligent ones—are extremely small, given the distances involved."[17][18]

[edit]Possible basis

Several hypotheses have been proposed about the possible basis of alien life from a biochemical, evolutionary or morphological viewpoint.

Main articles: Biochemistry, Hypothetical types of biochemistry, and Water and life
All life on Earth is based upon 26 chemical elements. However, about 95% of this life is built upon only six of these elements: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur, abbreviated CHNOPS. These six elements form the basic building blocks of virtually all life on Earth, while most of the remaining elements are found in only trace amounts.[19]

Life on Earth requires water as the solvent in which biochemical reactions take place. Sufficient quantities of carbon and the other elements along with water, may enable the formation of living organisms on other planets with a chemical make-up and temperature range similar to that of Earth.[20] Terrestrial planets such as Earth are formed in a process that allows for the possibility of having compositions similar to Earth's.[21] The combination of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in the chemical form of carbohydrates (e.g. sugar) can be a source of chemical energy on which life depends, and can provide structural elements for life (such as ribose, in the molecules DNA and RNA, and cellulose in plants). Plants derive energy through the conversion of light energy into chemical energy via photosynthesis. Life, as currently recognized, requires carbon in both reduced (methane derivatives) and partially oxidized (carbon oxides) states. Nitrogen is needed as a reduced ammonia derivative in all proteins, sulfur as a derivative of hydrogen sulfide in some necessary proteins, and phosphorus oxidized to phosphates in genetic material and in energy transfer.

Pure water is useful because it has a neutral pH due to its continued dissociation between hydroxide and hydronium ions. As a result, it can dissolve both positive metallic ions and negative non-metallic ions with equal ability. Furthermore, the fact that organic molecules can be either hydrophobic (repelled by water) or hydrophilic (soluble in water) creates the ability of organic compounds to orient themselves to form water-enclosing membranes. Additionally, the hydrogen bonds between water molecules give it an ability to store energy with evaporation, which upon condensation is released. This helps to moderate the climate, cooling the tropics and warming the poles, helping to maintain the thermodynamic stability needed for life.

Carbon is fundamental to terrestrial life for its immense flexibility in creating covalent chemical bonds with a variety of non-metallic elements, principally nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. Carbon dioxide and water together enable the storage of solar energy in sugars, such as glucose. The oxidation of glucose releases biochemical energy needed to fuel all other biochemical reactions.

The ability to form organic acids (–COOH) and amine bases (–NH2) gives rise to the possibility of neutralization dehydrating reactions to build long polymer peptides and catalytic proteins from monomer amino acids. When combined with phosphates, these acids can build the information-storing molecule of inheritance, DNA, and the principal energy transfer molecule of cellular life, ATP.

Due to their relative abundance and usefulness in sustaining life, many have hypothesized that life forms elsewhere in the universe would utilize these basic materials. However, other elements and solvents could provide a basis for life. Life forms based in ammonia (rather than water) have been suggested, though this solution appears less optimal than water.[22]

From a chemical perspective, life is fundamentally a self-replicating reaction, but one which could arise under a great many conditions and with various possible ingredients, though carbon-oxygen within the liquid temperature range of water seems most conducive. Suggestions have even been made that self-replicating reactions of some sort could occur within the plasma of a star, though it would be highly unconventional.[23]

Several pre-conceived ideas about the characteristics of life outside of Earth have been questioned. For example, a NASA scientist suggested that the color of photosynthesizing pigments of hypothetical life on extrasolar planets might not be green.[24]

[edit]Evolution and morphology
In addition to the biochemical basis of extraterrestrial life, many have considered evolution and morphology. Science fiction has often depicted extraterrestrial life with humanoid and/or reptilian forms. Aliens have often been depicted as having light green or grey skin, with a large head, as well as four limbs—i.e. fundamentally humanoid. Other subjects, such as felines, insects, blobs, etc., have occurred in fictional representations of aliens.

A division has been suggested between universal and parochial (narrowly restricted) characteristics. Universals are features which are thought to have evolved independently more than once on Earth (and thus, presumably, are not too difficult to develop) and are so intrinsically useful that species will inevitably tend towards them. The most fundamental of these is probably bilateral symmetry, but more complex (though still basic) characteristics include flight, sight, photosynthesis and limbs, all of which are thought to have evolved several times here on Earth. There is a huge variety of eyes, for example, and many of these have radically different working schematics and different visual foci: the visual spectrum, infrared, polarity and echolocation. Parochials, however, are essentially arbitrary evolutionary forms. These often have little inherent utility (or at least have a function which can be equally served by dissimilar morphology) and probably will not be replicated. Intelligent aliens could communicate through gestures, as deaf humans do, by sounds created from structures unrelated to breathing, which happens on Earth when, for instance, cicadas vibrate their wings or crickets stridulate their wings, or visually through bioluminescence or chromatophore-like structures.

Attempting to define parochial features challenges many taken-for-granted notions about morphological necessity. Skeletons, which are essential to large terrestrial organisms according to the experts of the field of gravitational biology, are almost assured to be replicated elsewhere in one form or another. The assumption of radical diversity amongst putative extraterrestrials is by no means settled. While many exobiologists do stress that the enormously heterogeneous nature of life on Earth foregrounds an even greater variety in outer space, others point out that convergent evolution may dictate substantial similarities between Earth and extraterrestrial life. These two schools of thought are called "divergionism" and "convergionism" respectively.[23]

[edit]Planetary habitability in the Solar System

See also: Planetary habitability and Natural satellite habitability
Some bodies in the Solar System have been suggested as having the potential for an environment that could host extraterrestrial life, particularly those with possible subsurface oceans. Though due to the lack of habitable environments beyond Earth, should life be discovered elsewhere in the Solar System, astrobiologists suggest that it will more likely be in the form of extremophile microorganisms.

The planets Venus and Mars, along with several natural satellites orbiting Jupiter and Saturn, and even comets, are suspected to possess niche environments in which life might exist. A subsurface marine environment on Jupiter's moon Europa might be the most suitable habitat in the Solar System, outside of Earth, for multicellular organisms.

Panspermia suggests that life elsewhere in the Solar System may have a common origin. If extraterrestrial life was found on another body in the Solar System, it could have originated from Earth just as life on Earth may have been seeded from elsewhere (exogenesis). The Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment, developed by the Planetary Society launched in 2011 was designed to test some aspect of these hypotheses, but it was destroyed along with the carrier Fobos-Grunt mission.[25] The first known mention of the term Panspermia was in the writings of the 5th century BC Greek philosopher Anaxagoras.[26] In the nineteenth century it was again revived in modern form by several scientists, including Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1834),[27] Kelvin (1871),[28] Hermann von Helmholtz (1879)[citation needed] and, somewhat later, by Svante Arrhenius (1903).[29] Sir Fred Hoyle (1915–2001) and Chandra Wickramasinghe (born 1939) were important proponents of the hypothesis who further contended that lifeforms continue to enter the Earth's atmosphere, and may be responsible for epidemic outbreaks, new diseases, and the genetic novelty necessary for macroevolution.[30]

Directed panspermia concerns the deliberate transport of microorganisms in space, sent to Earth to start life here, or sent from Earth to seed new solar systems with life. The Nobel prize winner Francis Crick, along with Leslie Orgel proposed seeds of life may have been purposely spread by an advanced extraterrestrial civilization,[31] but considering an early "RNA world" Crick noted later that life originating may have originated on Earth.[32]

Proponents of Intelligent Design creationism (ID) attempting to evade objections to religious views being introduced into science education have claimed that the "designer" might be aliens rather than God. The movie "Expelled" promoting ID featured narrator Ben Stein asking Richard Dawkins about ID, and presented his response as an endorsement of panspermia. In an op-ed on 18 April 2008, shortly before the film opened, Dawkins explained that he was going through this science fiction scenario as the nearest ID got to science, to show that even if evidence could be detected that life on Earth had been seeded by intelligent aliens, the designers themselves would have had to have evolved.[33]

In a virtual presentation on Tuesday, April 7, 2009, Stephen Hawking discussed the possibility of building a human base on another planet and gave reasons why alien life might not be contacting the human race, during his conclusion of the Origins Symposium at Arizona State University. Hawking also talked about what humans may find when venturing into space, such as the possibility of alien life through the theory of panspermia.[34]

Carl Sagan, David Grinspoon and Dirk Schulze-Makuch have put forward a hypothesis that microbes could exist in the stable cloud layers 50 km above the surface of Venus; the hypothesis is based on the premises of hospitable climates and chemical disequilibrium.[35]

Main article: Life on Mars (planet)
See also: Water on Mars
Life on Mars has been long speculated. Liquid water is widely thought to have existed on Mars in the past, and there may still be liquid water beneath the surface. The origin of the potential biosignature of methane in Mars atmosphere is unexplained, although abiotic hypotheses have also been proposed.[36] By July 2008, laboratory tests aboard NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander had identified water in a soil sample. The lander's robotic arm delivered the sample to an instrument which identifies vapours produced by the heating of samples. Photographs from the Mars Global Surveyor from 2006 showed evidence of recent (i.e. within 10 years) flows of a liquid on Mars's frigid surface.[37] There is evidence that Mars had a warmer and wetter past: dried-up river beds, polar ice caps, volcanoes and minerals that form in the presence of water have all been found. Nonetheless, present conditions on Mars may support life since lichens were found to successfully survive Martian conditions in the Mars Simulation Laboratory (MSL) maintained by the German Aerospace Center (DLR).[38][39] In June, 2012, scientists reported that measuring the ratio of hydrogen and methane levels on Mars may help determine the likelihood of life on Mars.[40][41] According to the scientists, "...low H2/CH4 ratios (less than approximately 40) indicate that life is likely present and active."[40] Other scientists have recently reported methods of detecting hydrogen and methane in extraterrestrial atmospheres.[42][43]

Carl Sagan and others[44] in the 1960s and 70s computed conditions for hypothetical amino acid-based macroscopic life in the atmosphere of Jupiter, based on observed conditions of this atmosphere. However, the conditions do not appear to permit the type of encapsulation thought necessary for molecular biochemistry, so life is thought to be unlikely.[45]

However, some of Jupiter's moons may have habitats to sustain life. Scientists have suggested that heated subsurface oceans of water may exist deep under the crusts of the three outer Galilean moons—Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. The EJSM/Laplace is planned to determine the habitability of these environments. However, Europa is seen as the main target for the discovery of life.


Subsurface oceans such as the one pictured of Europa, could possibly harbour basic life forms.[7][46]
Jupiter's moon Europa has been subject to speculation about the existence of life due to the strong possibility of liquid water beneath an ice layer. Hydrothermal vents on the bottom of the ocean, if they exist, may warm the ice and could be capable of supporting multicellular microorganisms.[7] It is also possible that Europa could support aerobic macrofauna using oxygen created by cosmic rays impacting its surface ice.[47]

The case for life on Europa was greatly enhanced in 2011 when it was discovered that vast lakes exist within Europa’s thick, icy shell. Scientists found that ice shelves surrounding the lakes appear to be collapsing into them, thereby providing a mechanism through which life-forming chemicals created in sunlit areas on Europa’s surface could be transferred to its interior.[48][49]

While Saturn is itself considered inhospitable to life, the planet's natural satellites Titan and Enceladus have been speculated to possess possible habitats for life.

See also: Life on Titan
Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, is the only known moon with a significant atmosphere. Data from the Cassini–Huygens mission refuted the hypothesis of a global hydrocarbon ocean, but later demonstrated the existence of liquid hydrocarbon lakes in the polar regions—the first stable bodies of liquid discovered outside of Earth.[50][51][52] Analysis of data from the mission has uncovered aspects of atmospheric chemistry near the surface which are consistent with—but do not prove—the hypothesis that organisms there are consuming hydrogen, acetylene and ethane, and producing methane.[53][54][55]

An alternate explanation for the hypothetical existence of microbial life on Titan has already been formally proposed[56][57]—hypothesizing that microorganisms could have left Earth when it suffered a massive asteroid or comet impact (such as the impact that created Chicxulub crater only 65 mya), and survived a journey through space to land on Titan.

Enceladus (moon of Saturn) has some of the conditions for life including geothermal activity and water vapor as well as possible under-ice oceans heated by tidal effects. The Cassini probe detected carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen—all key elements for supporting living organisms—during a fly-by through one of Enceladus's geysers spewing ice and gas in 2005. The temperature and density of the plumes indicate a warmer, watery source beneath the surface. However, no life has been confirmed.[36]

[edit]Small Solar System bodies
Small Solar System bodies have also been suggested as habitats for extremophiles. Fred Hoyle has proposed that microbial life life might exist on comets.[58] Live bacteria were found on the camera of the Surveyor 3 probe that had stayed on the surface of the Moon for two and a half years. This finding was later considered doubtful as sterile procedures may not have been fully followed.

[edit]Scientific search

The NASA Kepler Mission for the search of extrasolar planets.
The scientific search for extraterrestrial life is being carried out both directly and indirectly.

[edit]Direct search
Scientists are directly searching for evidence of unicellular life within the Solar System, carrying out studies on the surface of Mars and examining meteors which have fallen to Earth. At the moment, no concrete plan exists for exploration of Europa for life. In 2008, a joint mission by NASA and the European Space Agency was announced that would have included studies of Europa.[59] However, in 2011 NASA was forced to deprioritize the mission due to a lack of funding, and it is possible that the ESA will take on the mission by itself.[60]

There is some limited evidence that microbial life might possibly exist (or have existed) on Mars.[61] An experiment on the Viking Mars lander reported gas emissions from heated Martian soil that some argue are consistent with the presence of microbes. However, the lack of corroborating evidence from other experiments on the Viking lander indicates that a non-biological reaction is a more likely hypothesis. Independently, in 1996, structures resembling nanobacteria were reportedly discovered in a meteorite, ALH84001, thought to be formed of rock ejected from Mars. This report is controversial.

Electron micrograph of martian meteorite ALH84001 showing structures that some scientists think could be fossilized bacteria-like life forms.
In February 2005, NASA scientists reported that they may have found some evidence of present life on Mars.[62] The two scientists, Carol Stoker and Larry Lemke of NASA's Ames Research Center, based their claim on methane signatures found in Mars' atmosphere resembling the methane production of some forms of primitive life on Earth, as well as on their own study of primitive life near the Rio Tinto river in Spain. NASA officials soon distanced NASA from the scientists' claims, and Stoker herself backed off from her initial assertions.[63]

Though such methane findings are still very much in debate, support among some scientists for the existence of life on Mars seems to be growing: an informal survey conducted at the conference at which the European Space Agency presented its findings on methane in Mars' atmosphere, indicated that 75% of the people present agreed that bacteria once lived on Mars. Roughly 25% agreed that bacteria inhabit the planet today.[64]

In November 2011, NASA launched the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover which is designed to search for past or present habitability on Mars using a variety of scientific instruments. The MSL landed on Mars at Gale Crater in August 2012.[65][66][67]

The Gaia hypothesis stipulates that any planet with a robust population of life will have an atmosphere in chemical disequilibrium, which is relatively easy to determine from a distance by spectroscopy. However, significant advances in the ability to find and resolve light from smaller rocky worlds near their star are necessary before such spectroscopic methods can be used to analyze extrasolar planets.

On March 5, 2011, Richard B. Hoover, an astrobiologist with the Marshall Space Flight Center, speculated on the finding of alleged microfossils similar to cyanobacteria in CI1 carbonaceous meteorites.[68][69] However, NASA formally distanced itself from Hoover's claim.[70][71][72] See Hoover paper controversy for more details.

In August 2011, findings by NASA, based on studies of meteorites found on Earth, suggests DNA and RNA components (adenine, guanine and related organic molecules), building blocks for life as we know it, may be formed extraterrestrially in outer space.[73][74][75] In October 2011, scientists reported that cosmic dust contains complex organic matter ("amorphous organic solids with a mixed aromatic-aliphatic structure") that could be created naturally, and rapidly, by stars.[76][77][78] One of the scientists suggested that these compounds may have been related to the development of life on Earth and said that, "If this is the case, life on Earth may have had an easier time getting started as these organics can serve as basic ingredients for life."[76]

On August 29, 2012, and in a world first, astronomers at Copenhagen University reported the detection of a specific sugar molecule, glycolaldehyde, in a distant star system. The molecule was found around the protostellar binary IRAS 16293-2422, which is located 400 light years from Earth.[79][80] Glycolaldehyde is needed to form ribonucleic acid, or RNA, which is similar in function to DNA. This finding suggests that complex organic molecules may form in stellar systems prior to the formation of planets, eventually arriving on young planets early in their formation.[81]

In September 2012, NASA scientists reported that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), subjected to interstellar medium (ISM) conditions, are transformed, through hydrogenation, oxygenation and hydroxylation, to more complex organics - "a step along the path toward amino acids and nucleotides, the raw materials of proteins and DNA, respectively".[82][83] Further, as a result of these transformations, the PAHs lose their spectroscopic signature which could be one of the reasons "for the lack of PAH detection in interstellar ice grains, particularly the outer regions of cold, dense clouds or the upper molecular layers of protoplanetary disks."[82][83]

[edit]Indirect search

Terrestrial Planet Finder
If there is an advanced extraterrestrial society, there is no guarantee that they are transmitting information in the direction of Earth or that this information could be interpreted as such by humans.[citation needed] The length of time required for a signal to travel across the vastness of space means that any signal detected, or not detected, would come from the distant past.[citation needed]

Projects such as SETI are conducting an astronomical search for radio activity which would confirm the presence of intelligent life. A related suggestion is that aliens might broadcast pulsed and continuous laser signals in the optical, as well as infrared, spectrum;[84] laser signals have the advantage of not "smearing" in the interstellar medium, and may prove more conducive to communication between the stars. While other communication techniques, including laser transmission and interstellar spaceflight, have been discussed seriously and may well be feasible, the measure of effectiveness is the amount of information communicated per unit cost. This results in radio transmission as the method of choice.[citation needed]

Some have hypothesized that very advanced civilizations may create artificial black holes as an energy source or method of waste disposal. Thus, they suggest that the observation of a black hole with a mass of less than 3.5 solar masses, the theoretical lower mass limit for a naturally occurring black hole, would be evidence of an alien civilization.[85]

[edit]Extrasolar planets
Main article: Extrasolar planets
See also: List of planetary systems
Astronomers search for extrasolar planets that may be conducive to life, such as Gliese 581 c, Gliese 581 g, Gliese 581 d and OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, which have been found to have few Earth-like qualities.[86][87] Current radiodetection methods have been inadequate for such a search, since the resolution afforded by recent technology is inadequate for a detailed study of extrasolar planetary objects. Future telescopes should be able to image planets around nearby stars, which may reveal the presence of life – either directly or through spectrography – and would reveal key information, such as the presence of free oxygen in a planet's atmosphere:

Artist's Impression of Gliese 581 c, the first extrasolar planet discovered within its star's habitable zone.
Darwin was a proposed ESA mission designed to find Earth-like planets and analyze their atmosphere.
The COROT mission, initiated by the French Space Agency, was launched in 2006, and is currently looking for extrasolar planets; it is the first of its kind.
The Terrestrial Planet Finder was supposed to have been launched by NASA, but as of 2011, budget cuts have caused it to be delayed indefinitely.
The Kepler Mission, largely replacing the Terrestrial Planet Finder, was launched in March 2009.
It has been argued that Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to Earth, may contain planets which could be capable of sustaining life.[88]

On April 24, 2007, scientists at the European Southern Observatory in La Silla, Chile said they had found the first Earth-like planet. The planet, known as Gliese 581 c, orbits within the habitable zone of its star Gliese 581, a red dwarf star which is 20.5 light years (194 trillion km) from the Earth. It was initially thought that this planet could contain liquid water, but recent computer simulations of the climate on Gliese 581 c by Werner von Bloh and his team at Germany's Institute for Climate Impact Research suggest that carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere would create a runaway greenhouse effect. This would warm the planet well above the boiling point of water (100 degrees Celsius/212 degrees Fahrenheit), thus dimming the hopes of finding life. As a result of greenhouse models, scientists are now turning their attention to Gliese 581 d, which lies just outside of the star's traditional habitable zone.[89]

On May 29, 2007, the Associated Press released a report stating that scientists identified twenty-eight new extra-solar planetary bodies. One of these newly discovered planets is said to have many similarities to Neptune.[90]

In May 2011, a planet in the Gliese system was found capable of sustaining life. Researchers predict Gliese 581 d, which orbits a red dwarf 20 light years away, not only exists in the "Goldilocks zone" where water can be present in liquid form, but is big enough to have a stable carbon dioxide atmosphere and "warm enough to have oceans, clouds, and rainfall," according to France's National Centre for Scientific Research.[91]

In December 2011, NASA confirmed that 600-light-year distant Kepler-22b, at 2.4 times the radius of Earth, is potentially the closest match to Earth in terms of both size and temperature.[92][93]

Since 1992, hundreds of planets around other stars ("extrasolar planets" or "exoplanets") in the Milky Way Galaxy have been discovered. As of November 19, 2012, the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia identified 851 extrasolar planets (in 670 planetary systems and 126 multiple planetary systems); the extrasolar planets range in size from that of terrestrial planets similar to Earth to that of gas giants larger than Jupiter.[94] The number of observed exoplanets is expected to increase greatly in the coming years. Because the Kepler spacecraft must view three stellar transits by exoplanets before it identifies them as candidate planets, it has so far only been able to identify planets that orbit their star at a relatively quick rate. The mission is expected to continue until at least 2016, in which time many more exoplanet candidates are expected to be found.[95]

Despite these successes, the transit method employed by the Kepler spacecraft requires that planetary orbits be at a small inclination to the line of sight of the observer. Due to this constraint, the probability of detecting a planet of Earth’s size and orbital radius around a distant star is just 0.47%. Thus, the number of planets we are currently able to detect is only a small fraction of the total number of planets present within the galaxy.[96]

[edit]The Drake equation

Main article: Drake equation
In 1961, University of California, Santa Cruz astronomer and astrophysicist Dr. Frank Drake devised the Drake equation. This controversial equation multiplied estimates of the following terms together:

The rate of formation of suitable stars.
The fraction of those stars which are orbited by planets.
The number of Earth-like worlds per planetary system.
The fraction of planets where intelligent life develops.
The fraction of possible communicative planets.
The "lifetime" of possible communicative civilizations.
Criticism of the Drake equation follows mostly from the observation that the terms in the equation are entirely based on conjecture. Thus the equation cannot be used to draw firm conclusions of any kind.[97] Although the Drake equation currently involves speculation about unmeasured parameters, it was not meant to be science, but intended as a way to stimulate dialogue on these topics. Then the focus becomes how to proceed experimentally. Indeed, Drake originally formulated the equation merely as an agenda for discussion at the Green Bank conference.[98]

Drake used the equation to estimate that there are approximately 10,000 planets in the Milky Way galaxy containing intelligent life with the possible capability of communicating with Earth.[99]

Based on observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, there are at least 125 billion galaxies in the observable Universe. It is estimated that at least ten percent of all sun-like stars have a system of planets,[100] i.e. there are 6.25×1018 stars with planets orbiting them in the observable Universe. Even if we assume that only one out of a billion of these stars have planets supporting life, there would be some 6.25×109 (billion) life-supporting planetary systems in the observable Universe.

The apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations is known as the Fermi paradox.


[edit]Ancient and medieval ideas
Main article: Cosmic pluralism

Anunciacion by Carpaccio
In antiquity, it was common to assume a cosmos consisting of "many worlds" inhabited by intelligent, non-human life-forms, but these "worlds" were mythological and not informed by the heliocentric understanding of the solar system, or the understanding of the Sun as one among countless stars.[101] An example would be the fourteen Loka of Hindu cosmology, or the Nine Worlds of Old Norse mythology, etc. The Sun and the Moon often appear as inhabited worlds in such contexts, or as vehicles (chariots or boats, etc.) driven by gods. The Japanese folk tale of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter (10th century) is an example of a princess of the Moon people visiting Earth.

The Jewish Talmud states that there are at least 18,000 other worlds, but provides little elaboration on the nature of those worlds, or on whether they are physical or spiritual. Based on this, however, the 18th-century exposition "Sefer HaB'rit" posits that extraterrestrial creatures exist, and that some may well possess intelligence. It adds that humans should not expect creatures from another world to resemble earthly life any more than sea creatures resemble land animals.[102][103]

Hindu beliefs of endlessly repeated cycles of life have led to descriptions of multiple worlds in existence and their mutual contacts (Sanskrit word sampark (सम्पर्क) means "contact" as in Mahasamparka (महासम्पर्क) = "the great contact"). According to Hindu scriptures, there are innumerable universes to facilitate the fulfillment of the separated desires of innumerable living entities. However, the purpose of such creations is to bring back the deluded souls to correct understanding about the purpose of life. Aside from the innumerable universes which are material, there is the unlimited spiritual world, where the purified living entities live with perfect conception about life and ultimate reality. The spiritually aspiring saints and devotees, as well as thoughtful men of the material world, have been getting guidance and help from these purified living entities of the spiritual world from time immemorial.[citation needed]

According to Ahmadiyya a more direct reference from the Quran is presented by Mirza Tahir Ahmad as a proof that life on other planets may exist according to the Quran. In his book, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth, he quotes verse 42:29 "And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and of whatever living creatures (da'bbah) He has spread forth in both..."; according to this verse there is life in heavens. According to the same verse "And He has the power to gather them together (jam-'i-him) when He will so please"; indicates the bringing together the life on Earth and the life elsewhere in the Universe. The verse does not specify the time or the place of this meeting but rather states that this event will most certainly come to pass whenever God so desires. It should be pointed out that the Arabic term Jam-i-him used to express the gathering event can imply either a physical encounter or a contact through communication.[104]

When Christianity spread throughout the West, the Ptolemaic system became very widely accepted, and although the Church never issued any formal pronouncement on the question of alien life,[105] at least tacitly, the idea was aberrant. In 1277, the Bishop of Paris, Étienne Tempier, did overturn Aristotle on one point: God could have created more than one world (given His omnipotence). Taking a further step, and arguing that aliens actually existed, remained rare. Notably, Cardinal Nicholas of Kues speculated about aliens on the Moon and Sun.[106]

[edit]Early modern period

Giordano Bruno, De l'Infinito Universo et Mondi, 1584
There was a dramatic shift in thinking initiated by the invention of the telescope and the Copernican assault on geocentric cosmology. Once it became clear that the Earth was merely one planet amongst countless bodies in the universe, the extraterrestrial idea moved towards the scientific mainstream. The best known early-modern proponent of such ideas was the Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno, who argued in the 16th century for an infinite Universe in which every star is surrounded by its own planetary system. Bruno wrote that other worlds "have no less virtue nor a nature different to that of our earth" and, like Earth, "contain animals and inhabitants".[107]

In the early 17th century, the Czech astronomer Anton Maria Schyrleus of Rheita mused that "if Jupiter has (...) inhabitants (...) they must be larger and more beautiful than the inhabitants of the Earth, in proportion to the [characteristics] of the two spheres".[108]

In Baroque literature such as The Other World: The Societies and Governments of the Moon by Cyrano de Bergerac, extraterrestrial societies are presented as humoristic or ironic parodies of earthly society. The didactic poet Henry More took up the classical theme of the Greek Democritus in "Democritus Platonissans, or an Essay Upon the Infinity of Worlds" (1647). In "The Creation: a Philosophical Poem in Seven Books" (1712), Sir Richard Blackmore observed: "We may pronounce each orb sustains a race / Of living things adapted to the place". With the new relative viewpoint that the Copernican revolution had wrought, he suggested "our world's sunne / Becomes a starre elsewhere". Fontanelle's "Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds" (translated into English in 1686) offered similar excursions on the possibility of extraterrestrial life, expanding, rather than denying, the creative sphere of a Maker.

The possibility of extraterrestrials remained a widespread speculation as scientific discovery accelerated. William Herschel, the discoverer of Uranus, was one of many 18th–19th-century astronomers convinced that the Solar System, and perhaps others, would be well populated by alien life. Other luminaries of the period who championed "cosmic pluralism" included Immanuel Kant and Benjamin Franklin. At the height of the Enlightenment, even the Sun and Moon were considered candidates for extraterrestrial inhabitants.

[edit]19th century
Since the 1830s, Mormons have believed that God has created and will create many Earth-like planets on which humans live.[109] They believe that all of these people are children of God. Joseph Smith, the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, taught that God revealed this information to Moses and that the Creation account written by Moses corresponded only to "our" earth.[110] There is no official doctrine relating to the location or commonality of these inhabited planets.[111]

Speculation about life on Mars increased in the late 19th century, following telescopic observation by some observers of apparent Martian canals — which were however soon found to be optical illusions. Despite this, in 1895, American astronomer Percival Lowell published his book Mars, followed by Mars and its Canals in 1906, proposing that the canals were the work of a long-gone civilization.[112] This idea led British writer H. G. Wells to write The War of the Worlds in 1897, telling of an invasion by aliens from Mars who were fleeing the planet’s desiccation.

Spectroscopic analysis of Mars' atmosphere began in earnest in 1894, when U.S. astronomer William Wallace Campbell showed that neither water nor oxygen were present in the Martian atmosphere.[113] By 1909 better telescopes and the best perihelic opposition of Mars since 1877 conclusively put an end to the canal hypothesis.

The science fiction genre, although not so named during the time, develops during the late 19th century. Jules Verne's Around the Moon (1870) features a discussion of the possibility of life on the Moon, but with the conclusion that it is barren. Stories involving extraterrestrials are found in e.g. Garrett P. Serviss's Edison's Conquest of Mars (1897). The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells was published in 1898 and stands at the beginning of the popular idea of the "Martian invasion" of Earth prominent in 20th-century pop culture.

[edit]20th century
See also: Space exploration

The Arecibo message is a digital message sent to globular star cluster M13, and is a well-known symbol of human attempts to contact extraterrestrials.
A radio drama version of Wells' novel broadcast in 1938 over the CBS Radio Network led to outrage because it supposedly suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was in progress.

In the wake of the Roswell UFO incident in 1947, conspiracy theories on the presence of extraterrestrials became a widespread phenomenon in the United States during the 1940s and the beginning Space Age during the 1950s, accompanied by a surge of UFO reports. The term UFO itself was coined in 1952 in the context of the enormous popularity of the concept of "flying saucers" in the wake of the Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting in 1947. The Majestic 12 documents published in 1982 suggest that there was genuine interest in UFO conspiracy theories in the US government during the 1940s.

The trend to assume that celestial bodies were populated almost by default was tempered as actual probes visited potential alien abodes in the Solar System beginning in the second half of the 20th century, and by the 1970s belief in UFOs had become part of the fringe beliefs associated with the paranormal, New Age, Earth mysteries, Forteana etc. A number of UFO religions developed during the surge in UFO belief during the 1950s to 1970s period, and some, such as Scientology (founded 1953) and Raëlism (founded 1974) remain active into the present. The idea of "paleocontact", supposing that extraterrestrials ("ancient astronauts") have visited the Earth in the remote past and left traces in ancient cultures, appears in early-20th-century fiction such as The Call of Cthulhu (1926) and the idea came to be established as a notable aspect of the Ufology subculture in the wake of Erich von Däniken's Chariots of the Gods? (1968). Alien abduction claims were widespread during the 1960s and 1970s in the United States.

On the scientific side, the possibility of extraterrestrial life on the Moon was decisively ruled out by the 1960s, and during the 1970s it became clear that most of the other bodies of the Solar System do not harbour highly developed life, although the question of primitive life on bodies in the Solar System remains an open question. Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman founded the U.S. Planetary Society, partly as a vehicle for SETI studies in 1980, and since the 1990s, systematic search for radio signals attributable to intelligent extraterrestrial life has been ongoing.

In the early 1990s, NASA was set to join in on SETI research with a planned targeted search and all-sky survey. However, Senator Richard Bryan of Nevada cut funding for the project, and no comparable search has taken place since.[114]

[edit]Recent history
The failure so far of the SETI program to detect an intelligent radio signal after decades of effort, has at least partially dimmed the prevailing optimism of the beginning of the space age. Notwithstanding, the belief in extraterrestrial beings continues to be voiced in pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, and in popular folklore, notably "Area 51" and legends. It has become a pop culture trope given less-than-serious treatment in popular entertainment with e.g. the ALF TV series (1986–1990), The X-Files (1993–2002), etc.

The SETI program is not the result of a continuous, dedicated search, but instead utilizes what resources and manpower it can, when it can. Furthermore, the SETI program only searches a limited range of frequencies at any one time.[115]

In the words of SETI's Frank Drake, "All we know for sure is that the sky is not littered with powerful microwave transmitters".[116] Drake noted that it is entirely possible that advanced technology results in communication being carried out in some way other than conventional radio transmission. At the same time, the data returned by space probes, and giant strides in detection methods, have allowed science to begin delineating habitability criteria on other worlds, and to confirm that at least other planets are plentiful, though aliens remain a question mark. The Wow! signal, detected in 1977 by a SETI project, remains a subject of speculative debate.

In 2000, geologist and paleontologist Peter Ward and astrobiologist Donald Brownlee published a book entitled Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe.[117] In it, they discussed the Rare Earth hypothesis, in which they claim that Earth-like life is rare in the Universe, while microbial life is common. Ward and Brownlee are open to the idea of evolution on other planets which is not based on essential Earth-like characteristics (such as DNA and carbon).

The possible existence of primitive (microbial) life outside of Earth is much less controversial to mainstream scientists, although, at present, no direct evidence of such life has been found. Indirect evidence has been offered for the current existence of primitive life on Mars. However, the conclusions that should be drawn from such evidence remain in debate.

The Catholic Church has not made a formal ruling on the existence of extraterrestrials. However, writing in the Vatican newspaper, the astronomer, Father José Gabriel Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory near Rome, said in 2008 that intelligent beings created by God could exist in outer space.[118][119]

In September 2010, it was reported that the U.N. General Assembly had appointed Mazlan Othman as their official extraterrestrial liaison by the UK paper The Sunday Times.[120] This claim was later refuted.[121]

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in 2010 warned that humans should not try to contact alien life forms. He warned that aliens might pillage Earth for resources. "If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans", he said.[122] Jared Diamond has expressed similar concerns.[123] Scientists at NASA and Penn State University published a paper in April 2011 addressing the question "Would contact with extraterrestrials benefit or harm humanity?" The paper describes positive, negative and neutral scenarios.[124]

In 2011, Richard Hoover, an astrobiologist at the U.S. Space Flight Center in Alabama, claimed that filaments and other structures in rare meteorites appear to be microscopic fossils of extraterrestrial beings that resemble cyanobacteria—a phylum of photosynthetic bacteria.[125]

In August 2012 Eamonn Ansbro, an Irish Roscommon-based astronomer, attracted international media attention when he claimed that his research had discovered evidence of extraterrestrial activity.

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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by Leagle on 11/27/2012, 6:17 pm

Your average tl;dr topic.
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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by mickdude2 on 11/27/2012, 7:08 pm

Y'all can copy and paste. Congrats.
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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by Keshaluver on 11/27/2012, 7:10 pm

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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by lordgonk on 11/27/2012, 8:04 pm

I had a hard time scrolling through that stuff let alone read a word.
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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by Guest on 11/27/2012, 8:19 pm


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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by OsgaTharp on 11/28/2012, 12:29 am

I could totally post my position paper on genetic engineering if someone wants it
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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by Kevo235 on 11/28/2012, 12:49 am

Oh gawd, what have I started? xD

An epicwinthread, of course.
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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by Krazo on 11/28/2012, 2:55 am

Y'all can copy and paste. Congrats.

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might as well post

Post by Guest on 12/3/2012, 5:29 pm

I stayed up all night to fix my Vista's internet and mess with ipconfig and ethernet cables so I could play Maplestory. At about 4am... i got it working, and the download took about... 6 hours.... (let it on while at class)... annnnd... it launches... to the error screen.... apparently it's a common problem right now... Can't find anything on their forums.... made me realize why I like minecraft so much; There's never a huge ordeal to play, and I don't have to buy cash items and then feel like crap when the game stops working... oh and this:


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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by ExtraSauce on 12/3/2012, 6:27 pm

Linah wrote:

I'm 7 and what is this?
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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by Guest on 12/3/2012, 10:10 pm

ExtraSauce wrote:
Linah wrote:

I'm 7 and what is this?

it is a shiny place filled with expensive crap *-* XD


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Re: i do not care what you write here

Post by jackOPSftw on 12/4/2012, 3:44 am

Linah wrote:

I enjoy this gif.
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