Posts Tagged Rosdaughr

Locke’s Political Thought and the Oceans Pirates, Slaves, and Sailors

lockeandtheoceans

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Sarah Pemberton, PhD., examines John Locke’s political thought on the laws and freedom of the oceans by examining the Two Treatises of Government. Locke argued that the seas were collectively owned by all humans and governed by universal natural laws that prohibited piracy. His Two Treatises provided insight on international and maritime law. In this book; Pemberton analyses Locke’s political thought in an absorbing weave which draws together the Treatises along with Locke’s unpublished writings and other intriguing archival finds.

John Locke was born in 1632 near the port of Bristol. During his ‘Shaftesbury’ period (1666-1683), he was employed by Lord Anthony Ashley-Cooper, later Earl of Shaftesbury. A radical proponent of religious freedom, individual liberty and conscience, he believed power should be controlled and used to secure national interests. He was politically conservative, economically mercantilist, and morally authoritarian. He was a puritan with a modern and empirical vision. He was a member of the Board of Trade in England in the 1690s. Shaftebury is considered by some to be the founder of liberalism.

Locke’s Two Treatises are said to have been written at the pinnacle of his political philosophy. The Treatises contain his theory of government, power, property, trust, and rights. He wanted to build an empire on both land and sea. He proposed an anti-piracy treaty between Europe’s largest maritime players. He advocated English piracy laws and supported the idea of deploying the Navy against pirates. His ideas on piracy were consistent with natural law theory developed in the Two Treatises.

There has been much debate about when Locke’s two treatises were originally written. Published in 1689, they were possibly, written earlier. Considered an apology for the Glorious Revolution, British historian Peter Laslett, feels the writings date back to 1679. This lapse in time would have allowed Locke to amend the original, giving it the appearance of an apology, rather than a prescription for revolt, which could have caused him contention at the time.

In his first Treatise, he rebuts Sir Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha. Patriarcha’s main premise embraced the divine right of Kings. Filmer’s theory is a diktat that “all government is an absolute monarchy: since Adam was an absolute monarch, all princes since his time should also be absolute monarchs.” Filmer did not believe that man was born free, nor should they be governed by consent, as the masses do not possess the intellectual wherewithal to elect their leaders. Pemberton discusses this in her examination of Locke’s political theories.

Filmer claimed that man was not born into freedom, and a father, like a Monarchy; possessed unlimited rights over men’s lives, however Locke refuted this idea as unjustified. He argued against Fillmer’s attempts to provide a theoretical basis for patriarchy and examined his assumptions for logical cohesion. Taking issue with his ideas, Locke countered the theory of divine rule. He argued that Adam’s creation alone did not presume sovereignty over anything. Locke felt that rights must be established and argued that man is a governor in habit; potentiality did not imply actuality – he wrote, “A very pretty way of being a Governor without Government, a Father without Children, and a King without Subjects”. He argued against Divine rule, then outlined, in his second Treatise his justification of consensual government.

Locke’s Treatises are consistent with his later work on the board of Trade. There, he advocated forced migration and forced labour for English convicts. He felt forced labour was consistent with theories on penal slavery for the period and he discussed these in the Two Treatises. Pemberton feels Locke’s theories were intended to justify the current practice during the period. She sees a tension between his arguments in the Treatises with policies of forced naval service, which Locke, as a member of the Board of Trade, supported. Locke had a good relationship with King William and was very involved with colonial and trade policy during this period. His theories guided English government policies in the arenas of slavery and piracy, and he was influenced by Grotius’ Mare Liberum; whose central argument was based on freedom of the seas.

Locke’s theories of law and freedom on the seas also influenced his vision of English National Identity.

Locke was a colonial thinker, devoting much attention to the settlement and governance of the colonies. He was in the minority of political thinkers active in the practical aspects of business promotion and administration of overseas settlements, due to his position on the Board of Trade. Locke suggested that Europe come to a formal agreement on how to deal with international maritime law about piracy in his second Treatise. The international piracy agreement would be known as the Power of War and Peace, Leagues and Alliances and all the Transactions with all Persons and Communities outside the Commonwealth.

Locke considered the grandfather of liberalism; in the standard histories of philosophy, was also an exemplar of empiricism. His position on the Board of Trade had a bearing on his philosophies in the Treatises, just as Grotius’s writings on Natural Law came from his defence of the Dutch East India Company’s maritime activities. He argued freedom of trade across the oceans in The Free Sea (1609). Locke understood Grotius’s position well.

Locke acknowledged extractable resources such as fish and ambergris produced by the ocean could be acquired as the property of man. He glossed over that fact that these resources might be finite and risk extinction due to over-extraction. Conservation efforts such as with fisheries would have been consistent with Locke’s concerns about acquisition of private property. His theory of property had concerns. Starting with the premise that potential productivity of natural resources derived from human labour and not in the inherent value of the resource itself. He ignored the finite nature of natural resources, and he underestimated the value that eco-systems could provide. Overly concerned with human contribution, he completely ignored resource depletion. Furthermore, he criticized Native practices of land use, feeling they did not use the land productively enough, he felt that sustainable fishing wasted resources and again, ignoring resource depletion he emphasized man’s contribution and focused on over-productivity. His Treatises provide a systematic political theory of the seas and did not feel oceans could be considered ‘appropriated’ because they cannot be managed or improved in the same way that land can be improved.

Pemberton relates that Locke first addressed piracy in an unpublished manuscript called Pyracy which now resides in the Bodleian library. In this manuscript, he ambitiously proposed extending England’s existing piracy law to the colonies and extending protection of European trade to those involved in the Treaty of Ryswick and urged them to reach a formal international agreement on the piracy issue. Described as Power of War and Peace, Leagues and Alliances and all the Transactions of all persons and communities outside the Commonwealth, he wished to create a coordinated approach to piracy, to extend these laws across the World’s oceans. Unfortunately, he missed the issues of jurisdiction under Admiralty law. Like a good Loyalist, he felt that these laws could be extended to the colonies thereby preventing colonials from exercising autonomy on this issue. Locke’s contribution to piracy was consistent with his ideas on natural rights and the rule of law under the Two Treatises.

Locke had theories on penal slavery which stemmed from his position as a member of the Board of Trade and his work on piracy. This resulted in him advocating expanding English legal and naval power at sea and reducing political autonomy in the American colonies, which gave rise to tension between liberty and empire. He felt that penal slavery, including the English convicts, was justified. Those who broke natural law give up their rights and they should be punished proportionately, which he felt would deter future crimes and allow for making victim reparations. He argued attacking someone’s liberty was equivalent to murder and felt that participants in an unjust war broke natural law and should be legitimately enslaved or killed.

A practice England had already been taking part in for quite some time. The colonists including many so called ‘free’ subjects co-existed with those sent there under forced labour (penal) and forced migration. Pemberton relates that between 1600 and 1800 more than a million Europeans migrated to America and the Caribbean and up to a third of these immigrants were transported convicts or indentured servants, or bonded slaves, due to the cost of transportation across the Atlantic. Some came during this time by choice, but they forced many. After his death, his political philosophy in turn impacted on ideas leading to the Age of Enlightenment. It related to the development of separation of Church and State in the American Constitution. Pemberton takes us on an interesting journey, dissecting the Treatises, adding social and political context so we understand the period and why Locke was formulating the theories he was, his influences, along with other possible economic and political factors which may have played a part in the formation of his ideas.

Reviewed by Rosdaughr

 

Further reading recommendations on Locke:Tully, J., Rediscovering America: The Two Treatises and Aboriginal Rights’.
An Approach to Political Philosophy: Locke in Contexts. 1993.
Arneil, B., John Locke and America: Defence of English Colonialism. 1996.
Farr J., ‘Locke, Natural Law, and New World Slavery’, Political Theory. 2008.
Israel, Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man, 1670-1752 (Oxford, 2006).

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CD Review: Made in Oakland

troublemakerfile004Trouble Maker

“Trouble Maker have been knocking East Bay punks flat with their aggressive hardcore punk sound and real-life lyrics. Think Fear, think Agnostic Front (pre-metal days), think that great local hardcore band you loved in 1986.”  -AlternativeTentacles-

www.makesometrouble.com

http://www.facebook.com/TroubleMakerOak

 

This is formidable hardcore brilliance.  The mix on this is great, the vocals are right up front and in your face, the drums are thundering and drive it down the highway like a GTO with all barrels blazing, the guitars sear right through the rest and into your soul.   Yes this CD is scorching.

The Made in Oakland CD is a collection of the band’s new material and includes songs from the 2009 unreleased Smash Hits with some material thrown in from 2003’s Fist Impression.  Currently, Trouble Maker are writing new material and they will be playing the Gilman in Berkley CA on October 18th with the English Dogs.

Trouble Maker were always one of my absolute favourite bands to tour and do live gigs with.  They always were intense, vociferous and great guys to boot, fun as hell.  Trouble Maker are one of the bands that to me, best represent the diversity that is West Coast hardcore.  Not a band to ever fall into the generic hardcore punk abyss, these guys are a Mack Truck barreling down the highway at full speed playing chicken in your headlights.

zpfile001Saturday Night – Saturday Night is a great fist pumping sing along with a hint of Oi.  Complain is full of crispy-crunchy goodness and surprise hooks as it burns rubber around the curves and lays out on the stretches, while I Don’t Care is tight and powerful.  Liquor Store is a sing-along drinking song perfect to start off your Friday night partay. And the hits keep coming on this one, Alcoholic is a rock powerhouse with great melody and Poser, well the intro into Poser reminds me of old 80s buttrock bands.  The beginning of this one takes me back to a time in Portland back in the early 80s, when we punks were hanging out at a rocker party, and typical little trouble maker that I was then, I walked up to the biggest poser in the place with his flowing golden locks. I grabbed and hacked off a handful of his God-like ‘Do’ thereby eliminating his Rock God spandex powers.  As we wandered out of the party a few minutes later, it broke out into an all-out bar room brawl with 2x4s… and that is what this song breaks into after the pretty intro.  Sheer Trouble Making Punk Rock madness.  Outstanding.

zpfile000Rough House – another heavyweight sing along ditty.  Jekyll & Hyde – Chunky goodness that is melodic as hell with excellent lyrics which is what Trouble Maker do best.  All Fed Up – This one reminds me a bit of early Minor Threat.  Outta Control – Tight and fast, again epic West Coast hard-core sound here.  Bad Attitude – This starts with a most excellent bass line and the vocals are riding a tight and winding curve holding on for dear life..  Then it drives straight into a wall of guitar hell that just takes you higher. Another one that you can’t help but sing along to.  This is one of my top favourites on this CD.  Sex with the Ex – another melodic ditty full of in your face hard-core.  Your Scene – More melodic brilliance from the lads, this one’s danceable for all your little Mohawk spike encrusted leather jacket poseurs..  I love the sentiments on this one and it perfectly describes my own complaints about the sad state that some punk has degenerated into.

Trouble Maker – Not one to finish on a light note, Trouble Maker is an impressive hard edged annihilating finale to this CD.  Get yours and play it. LOUD.

Reviewed by Rosdaughr

Track listing:

  1. No Regrets
    This is Oakland
    3. Saturday Night
    4. Never Quit
    5. Hit & Run
    6. Complain
    7. I Don’t Care
    8. Liquor Store
    9. Alcoholic
    10. Poser
    11. Rough House
    12. Jekyll & Hyde
    13. All Fed Up
    14. Outta Control
    15. Power Trip
    16. Dirty Cop
    17. Bad Attitude
    18. Sex with the Ex
    19. Cause for Alarm
    20. Your Scene
    21. Trouble Maker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Music: Pick Yer Poison

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Pick Yer Poison is a split CD featuring two bands, Rum Rebellion and Hammered Grunts.

 

 

 

 

 

Rum Rebellion

Rum Rebellion

Rum Rebellion emerged from Portland, Oregon as an acoustic group in 2005. Their bio describes them as a, “a salty mix of Irish tunes, sea chanteys, oi!, and street punk. A union of maritime instrumentation with street punk energy, folk punk and Irish rock bands.” They are one of the better new bands coming out of the West coast scene, and I am seldom easily impressed.

Rum Rebellion are an interesting and hard hitting mix in a similar vein as the Pogues, Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys, in my opinion, they do it better…

They soon added bass and drums and began playing live in January of 2006. They released “Cruisin’ For A Boozin’”, the band’s first full-length album in November ’06. This release was well received and they began playing around the US, mainly West coast.

The CD, I am listening to was a recently released split CD with their mates, Hammered Grunts, called “Pick Yer Poison”. Released on Bostons’, Rodent Popsicle label and distributed by Pyrate Punx Records from Oakland. Recorded at Opal Studios, and engineered and mastered by Kevin Hahn.

Current Line up

Dave Noyes - Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vox
Tyler Miles - Tin-Whistle, Backup Vox
Sage Howard - Bass, Backup Vox
Greg Smasher - Electric Guitar, Backup Vox
Jason Robbins - Drums

A Little Bit of History:

These guys are named for the historical Rum Rebellion of 1808. William Bligh, the Governor of New South Wales made an attempt to normalise trade conditions by prohibiting the use of Rum as payment for commodities. This was an attempt to squash the power of the rum merchants and the NSW Corps who both had stakes in the trade. Bligh’s interference led to a military rebellion in January of 1808. Bligh was eventually arrested by the mutineers, namely George Johnston of the NSW Corps, held for over a year then sent packing off to England.

I seriously can’t say enough about these guys, they are one of my favourite newer bands. I have listened to a lot of punk rock over the years and I am not easily impressed with many newer bands, who seem to me to be mainly generic hard-core and tributes to bands from the early 80s. There are few bands who have come along in the late 90s and after 2000 who I felt were original or really had that genuine quality about them. Rum Rebellion is one of them. Pick Yer Poison is well worth the few quid you will put down on it.
It includes:-

1: Burn It Down
2: Stand Up
3: Drink With The Devil
4: Off To Limerick
5: Gotta Go
6: On Call
Burn it to the ground: what can I say? A snappy little sing-along song of destruction.
Drink with the Devil: My favourite song by far on the CD, This is an driving ditty that gets you up on your feet for a bit of a mosh and a bit of a jig… these guys are really tight and the traditional folk element of flutes and fiddle really add to the composition, bringing a warm touch to their rousing drinking tunes.
Gotta Go: Another traditional melody to get you up on your feet and downing those pints before you head out for some live music! Catchy this one, if you are not careful it will sneak up on you and you will find yourself humming it to yourself as you head out about your day.

Off to Limerick: Nothing soft about these guys, they are straight ahead swashbuckling swaggering punk rock. Much more of an Oi! feel to this one with the sing along choruses and the straight punk beat, but there is a surprise halfway through the song with a lush solo of drums and more traditional acoustics, before they kick back into the good ole punky oi! boys sound.
On Call: Another traditional folk feel to this one, until they hit the top of that intro and it gets quite heavy with some amazing drum work. Damn these guys kick ass! I can’t think of too many young bands on the West coast who can really match these guys in many ways. Funny mix on this one of folk and an old school punk melody that just works.

Further info on Rum Rebellion at:

youtube video

Merch

 

Hammered Grunts

Hammered Grunts

Genre: street thrash
Members:
VOX Thaddeus Hammered
Bass Germey Grunt
Drums Bro-dog
Guitar Dooger
Record label: Rodent Popsicle/Underdog Records
Current Location Portland OR
Press contact thompsonthad@yahoo.com

Background:
Hammered Grunts were established 2004 to the dismay of neighbours and music snobs alike. Hammered Grunts have been compared to bands such as Blood Clots and Carrier Soldiers, however I am not familiar with these bands, so I cannot comment on that comparison. The group consists of four friends dedicated to being involved and making music in the local Vancouver and Portland punk rock scene. After releasing their self-titled 15 song street punk album, the band delivered a very successful 5 state 23 shows tour in August of 2008.

Next the Hammered Grunts recorded a split EP with Hometown Hero’s “Rum Rebellion” and will displayed another 6 song onslaught of energy & angst. “Hammered Grunts” also went on a summer 2009 tour to support the record. This is the CD I have been listening to.

What I can say is the recorded material from these guys is fast, tight, melodic hard-core. I do not like much of the more generic young hard-core that have come along since the late 80s, however these guys are tight and have a bit of a metal edge, and are worth checking out. Listen to them at Reverbnation.
I was perusing through the net to find some band pics of these guys and saw someone make this comparison of them, “Hammered Grunts’ Music sounds like a cross between Metallica (Creeping Death) Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies”. Their singer’s a fucking speed-vox maniac while the guitar bass duo are a mosh pit of brilliant madness.
Self-Destruct This is probably the song I like best of theirs on the CD. It’s the type of song I would love to sing as a speedcore/hardcore vocalist.. with some excellent timing and stops in it. Stand up is another brilliant song – pure in your face punk rock, not for the pusillanimous.
Ok the drummer in this band kicks ass too… where the hell were these drummers when we were looking for one?? And lo and behold I hear an Irish tin whistle in there with all this hard-corey goodness! Thrashingly excellent.
And speaking of Thrash, since 2010, the Grunts have taken big steps towards playing and producing more of a thrash feel with their music. Hammered Grunts, I believe, have released their next album “Hostile Takeover” which is meant to include 12 tracks of a much more brutal sound. If they want to send me this new one as well, I would definitely review it. I can say these guys grow on you.. and they appear to be getting better with the new recordings! Check out Hostile Takeover with a video and song links here

You can find them on MySpace and Facebook.

Review by Rosdaughr

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