Sovereign of the Three Realms by Li Tian - Ongoing To (ePUB, PDF, MOBI Downloads), ePub, PDF, MOBI musicmarkup.infoign of the. Sovereign of the Three Realms - To Chapter (ePUB, PDF, MOBI Downloads), ePub, PDF, MOBI musicmarkup.infoign of the Three Realms. Description: Jiang Chen, son of the Heavenly Emperor, unexpectedly reincarnated into the body of a despised young noble, thus embarking on.
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Jiang Chen, son of the Heavenly Emperor, unexpectedly reincarnated into the body of a despised young noble, thus embarking on the path of the underdog trouncing all commoners. No one has the right to call himself a genius in front of Jiang Chen, as no one has a better. San Jie Du Zun 三界独尊 三界獨尊. Jiang Chen, son of the Heavenly Emperor, unexpectedly reincarnated into the body of a despised young noble, thus embarking on the path of the underdog trouncing all comers. No one has the right to call himself a genius in front of Jiang Chen, as no one has. Sovereign of the Three Realms - Ongoing To (ePUB, PDF, MOBI Downloads), ePub, PDF, MOBI musicmarkup.infoign of the Three.
David Belbin - Boy King retail epub Dokument: epub 1. I wasn't allowed to visit the King because London was so disease-ridden. Half the children there die before they're sixteen. I was the King's only male child, the heir to the throne. My life must never be put at risk. He'd had a bad leg for two years and his sight was going. He bought pairs of glasses ten at a time and left them all over every one of his palaces.
They were communicators of the divine will. The prophetic book is the written record of the divine revelation mediated to the people of God through the prophet. For Chalmers, the process by which the largely spoken words of the prophets became the written books involves three distinct movements in the formation: 1 from oral words to written words; 2 from written words to collected words; and 3 from collected words to a prophetic book.
Chalmers is right in asserting that our primary focus should be on exegeting the text in its final form, rather than trying to explain the exact process behind the written text. At this point it is important to understand that what counts as history is not merely origins, but also effects.
In other words, the prophetic witness as it stands within the canon presents a history on its own terms. There is a tendency to reconstruct the prophets historically and treat them in supposed temporal sequence instead of trying to understand them as they are within the biblical witness.
What Chalmers neglects in this chapter is that the canonical presentation of the prophets is its own kind of theological and historical statement. It is a statement in its own form. The Historical World of the Prophets Chalmers acknowledges that the historical context of a prophetic book may not be clear. He also recognizes as a challenge that a single book may address multiple historical contexts.
For Chalmers, one needs to seriously consider the secondary sources to gain understanding for the occasional nature of the prophetic literature and historical context. The aim of the historical reconstruction of the prophetic book is seeing the text in its historical and cultural context Sitz im Leben. The higher critical view of the prophets has given them a kind of distinctiveness that makes it difficult to relate them to one another or to understand them as an associated movement.
Moreover, the New Testament bears witness to the unity of the book. Isaiah is cited by name about twenty times in the New Testament, and such citations include references to the three parts of the book.
The Theological World of the Prophets In this chapter Chalmers discusses two key traditions that are particularly important for interpreting the prophets since they form the background to and provide the basic shape for much of the prophetic proclamation. Chalmers speaks of the prophets changing some pre-existing traditions found in the Scripture in order to communicate their message.
He lists Amos with possible allusion to the Exodus tradition and the events associated with the first Passover. It is not a matter of changing traditions as much as using and applying traditions in different context. The Rhetorical World of the Prophets In this chapter Chalmers discusses the rhetorical world of the prophets to enquire how they effectively used language to persuade and influence their audience, and how they shaped their material to communicate their message in a compelling fashion.
First, he considers the rhetorical structure of the individual prophetic units of speech. This process involves identifying the various units within a passage and focusing on the structure and movement within these the forms include prophecy of judgment, salvation, prophetic lawsuit, vision reports, and symbolic action reports. Second, he analyzes the rhetorical features of Hebrew poetry including parallelism and the use of images and the various literary and rhetorical devices the prophets employ including metonymy and synecdoche, irony and sarcasm, hyperbole, merism, and hendiadys.
Chalmers understands the limits of approaching prophetic rhetoric in a scientific fashion and calls for a balancing approach that keeps the interpreters contemplative by ruminating over the text to enter into the experience of the text and allow it to capture their imaginations.
Chalmers suggests that when we read apocalyptic texts we need to focus on the big picture, interpret images within their original historical context, and focus on the paradigms the texts embody. In an attempt to define apocalyptic literature and its literary features, Chalmers unpacks a few of the key ways in which apocalyptic texts differ from prophecy. Apocalyptic literature emphasizes a visionary mode of revelation.
This revelation is often mediated by a third party—an angel.
Moreover, apocalyptic texts often have a narrative framework and are literary compositions. That in itself is significant. These things can happen largely because we lack a way to talk about them. But one can see its effects in every aspect of our lives. It fills our days with paperwork. Application forms get longer and more elaborate. Ordinary documents like bills or tickets or memberships in sports or book clubs come to be buttressed by pages of legalistic fine print.
It had its first stirrings, one might say, just at the point where public discussion of bureaucracy began to fall off in the late seventies, and it began to get seriously under way in the eighties. But it truly took off in the nineties. In an earlier book, I suggested that the fundamental historical break that ushered in our current economic regime occurred in , the date that the U.
This is what paved the way first for the financialization of capitalism, but ultimately, for much more profound long-term changes that I suspect will ultimately spell the end of capitalism entirely.
I still think that. But here we are speaking of much more short-term effects. What did financialization mean for the deeply bureaucratized society that was postwar America? As John Kenneth Galbraith long ago pointed out, if you create an organization geared to produce perfumes, dairy products, or aircraft fuselages, those who make it up will, if left to their own devices, tend to concentrate their efforts on producing more and better perfumes, dairy products, or aircraft fuselages, rather than thinking primarily of what will make the most money for the shareholders.
It was among other things the philosophical basis of fascism. Indeed, one could well argue that fascism simply took the idea that workers and managers had common interests, that organizations like corporations or communities formed organic wholes, and that financiers were an alien, parasitical force, and drove them to their ultimate, murderous extreme.
Even in its more benign social democratic versions, in Europe or America, the attendant politics often came tinged with chauvinism18—but they also ensured that the investor class was always seen as to some extent outsiders, against whom white-collar and blue-collar workers could be considered, at least to some degree, to be united in a common front. From the perspective of sixties radicals, who regularly watched antiwar demonstrations attacked by nationalist teamsters and construction workers, the reactionary implications of corporatism appeared self-evident.
The corporate suits and the well-paid, Archie Bunker elements of the industrial proletariat were clearly on the same side. Unsurprising then that the left-wing critique of bureaucracy at the time focused on the ways that social democracy had more in common with fascism than its proponents cared to admit. Unsurprising, too, that this critique seems utterly irrelevant today. The mergers and acquisitions, corporate raiding, junk bonds, and asset stripping that began under Reagan and Thatcher and culminated in the rise of private equity firms were merely some of the more dramatic early mechanisms through which this shift of allegiance worked itself out.
In fact, there was a double movement: corporate management became more financialized, but at the same time, the financial sector became corporatized, with investment banks, hedge funds, and the like largely replacing individual investors.
As a result the investor class and the executive class became almost indistinguishable. Before long, heroic CEOs were being lionized in the media, their success largely measured by the number of employees they could fire.
By the nineties, lifetime employment, even for white-collar workers, had become a thing of the past. When corporations wished to win loyalty, they increasingly did it by paying their employees in stock options. The common cant was that through participation in personal retirement funds and investment funds of one sort or another, everyone would come to own a piece of capitalism.
In reality, the magic circle was only really widened to include the higher paid professionals and the corporate bureaucrats themselves. Still, that extension was extremely important. No political revolution can succeed without allies, and bringing along a certain portion of the middle class—and, even more crucially, convincing the bulk of the middle classes that they had some kind of stake in finance-driven capitalism—was critical. Hence, the U. Democratic Party, or New Labour in Great Britain, whose leaders engage in regular ritual acts of public abjuration of the very unions that have historically formed their strongest base of support.
These were of course people who already tended to work in thoroughly bureaucratized environments, whether schools, hospitals, or corporate law firms. The actual working class, who bore a traditional loathing for such characters, either dropped out of politics entirely, or were increasingly reduced to casting protest votes for the radical Right.
It was a cultural transformation. And it set the stage for the process whereby the bureaucratic techniques performance reviews, focus groups, time allocation surveys … developed in financial and corporate circles came to invade the rest of society—education, science, government—and eventually, to pervade almost every aspect of everyday life. One can best trace the process, perhaps, by following its language.
There is a peculiar idiom that first emerged in such circles, full of bright, empty terms like vision, quality, stakeholder, leadership, excellence, innovation, strategic goals, or best practices. Now, imagine it would be possible to create a map of some major city, and then place one tiny blue dot on the location of every document that uses at least three of these words.
Then imagine that we could watch it change over time. We would be able to observe this new corporate bureaucratic culture spread like blue stains in a petri dish, starting in the financial districts, on to boardrooms, then government offices and universities, then, finally, engulfing any location where any number of people gather to discuss the allocation of resources of any kind at all.
For all its celebration of markets and individual initiative, this alliance of government and finance often produces results that bear a striking resemblance to the worst excesses of bureaucratization in the former Soviet Union or former colonial backwaters of the Global South. There is a rich anthropological literature, for instance, on the cult of certificates, licenses, and diplomas in the former colonial world.
In , 58 percent of journalists had a college degree. Today, 92 percent do, and at many publications, a graduate degree in journalism is required—despite the fact that most renowned journalists have never studied journalism. Ability is discounted without credentials, but the ability to download credentials rests, more often than not, on family wealth. Almost every endeavor that used to be considered an art best learned through doing now requires formal professional training and a certificate of completion, and this seems to be happening, equally, in both the private and public sectors, since, as already noted, in matters bureaucratic, such distinctions are becoming effectively meaningless.
While these measures are touted—as are all bureaucratic measures—as a way of creating fair, impersonal mechanisms in fields previously dominated by insider knowledge and social connections, the effect is often the opposite. In some cases, these new training requirements can only be described as outright scams, as when lenders, and those prepared to set up the training programs, jointly lobby the government to insist that, say, all pharmacists be henceforth required to pass some additional qualifying examination, forcing thousands already practicing the profession into night school, which these pharmacists know many will only be able to afford with the help of high-interest student loans.
These debts do not just happen by accident. To a large degree, they are engineered—and by precisely this kind of fusion of public and private power.
The corporatization of education; the resulting ballooning of tuitions as students are expected to pay for giant football stadiums and similar pet projects of executive trustees, or to contribute to the burgeoning salaries of ever-multiplying university officials; the increasing demands for degrees as certificates of entry into any job that promises access to anything like a middle-class standard of living; resulting rising levels of indebtedness—all these form a single web.
One result of all this debt is to render the government itself the main mechanism for the extraction of corporate profits. Another is to force the debtors themselves to bureaucratize ever-increasing dimensions of their own lives, which have to be managed as if they were themselves a tiny corporation measuring inputs and outputs and constantly struggling to balance its accounts. Rather, the legal system has itself become the means for a system of increasingly arbitrary extractions.
I once attended a conference on the crisis in the banking system where I was able to have a brief, informal chat with an economist for one of the Bretton Woods institutions probably best I not say which. I asked him why everyone was still waiting for even one bank official to be brought to trial for any act of fraud leading up to the crash of ME: So in that case … okay, I guess the real question is this: has there ever been a case where the amount the firm had to pay was more than the amount of money they made from the fraud itself?
ME: So what are we talking here, 50 percent? But it varies considerably case by case. Now, on one level, this might just seem like another example of a familiar story: the rich always play by a different set of rules. If the children of bankers can regularly get off the hook for carrying quantities of cocaine that would almost certainly have earned them decades in a federal penitentiary if they happened to be poor or Black, why should things be any different when they grow up to become bankers themselves?
But I think there is something deeper going on here, and it turns on the very nature of bureaucratic systems. Such institutions always create a culture of complicity. And insofar as bureaucratic logic is extended to the society as a whole, all of us start playing along. This point is worth expanding on. What I am saying is that we are not just looking at a double standard, but a particular kind of double standard typical of bureaucratic systems everywhere.
All bureaucracies are to a certain degree utopian, in the sense that they propose an abstract ideal that real human beings can never live up to. Take the initial point about credentialism. Sociologists since Weber always note that it is one of the defining features of any bureaucracy that those who staff it are selected by formal, impersonal criteria—most often, some kind of written test. In theory they are meritocracies. In fact everyone knows the system is compromised in a thousand different ways.
The first criterion of loyalty to the organization becomes complicity. This is how bureaucracies have always tended to work. But for most of history, this fact has only been important for those who actually operated within administrative systems: say, aspiring Confucian scholars in Medieval China. As a result, this culture of complicity has come to spread as well. Many of us actually act as if we believe that the courts really are treating the financial establishment as it should be treated, that they are even dealing with them too harshly; and that ordinary citizens really do deserve to be penalized a hundred times more harshly for an overdraft.
As whole societies have come to represent themselves as giant credentialized meritocracies, rather than systems of arbitrary extraction, everyone duly scurries about trying to curry favor by pretending they actually believe this is to be true. So: what would a left-wing critique of total, or predatory, bureaucratization look like? I think the story of the Global Justice Movement provides a hint—because it was a movement that, rather to its own surprise, discovered this was what it was about.
I remember this quite well because I was deeply involved in the movement at the time. Technological advances—particularly the Internet—were knitting the world together as never before, increased communication was leading to increased trade, and national borders were rapidly becoming irrelevant as free trade treaties united the globe into a single world market.
In political debates of the time in the mainstream media, all of this was discussed as such a self-evident reality that anyone who objected to the process could be treated as if they were objecting to basic laws of nature—they were flat-earthers, buffoons, the left-wing equivalents of Biblical fundamentalists who thought evolution was a hoax.
Thus when the Global Justice Movement started, the media spin was that it was a rearguard action of hoary, carbuncular leftists who wished to restore protectionism, national sovereignty, barriers to trade and communication, and, generally, to vainly stand against the Inevitable Tide of History.
The problem with this was that it was obviously untrue. Against it, they proposed a genuinely borderless world. Such arguments were, effectively, taboo. But we discovered that there was something we could do that worked almost as well.
We could besiege the summits where the trade pacts were negotiated and the annual meetings of the institutions through which the terms of what was called globalization were actually concocted, encoded, and enforced. The actions operated like a magic charm that exposed everything that was supposed to be hidden: all we had to do was show up and try to block access to the venue, and instantly we revealed the existence of a vast global bureaucracy of interlocking organizations that nobody was supposed to really think about.
And of course, at the same time, we would magically whisk into existence thousands of heavily armed riot police ready to reveal just what those bureaucrats were willing to unleash against anyone—no matter how nonviolent—who tried to stand in their way.
It was a surprisingly effective strategy. This was not some natural process of peaceful trade, made possible by new technologies.
The foundations for the system had been laid in the s, but it was only with the waning of the Cold War that they became truly effective. In the process, they came to be made up—like most other bureaucratic systems being created on a smaller scale at the same time—of such a thorough entanglement of public and private elements that it was often quite impossible to pull them apart—even conceptually. These actually developed the economic—and even social—policies followed by supposedly democratic governments in the global south.
Below that came the transnational mega-corporations. Finally, one has to include the NGOs, which in many parts of the world come to provide many of the social services previously provided by government, with the result that urban planning in a city in Nepal, or health policy in a town in Nigeria, might well have been developed in offices in Zurich or Chicago.
We often came close. But we rarely quite out and said it. In retrospect, I think this is exactly what we should have emphasized. Even the emphasis on inventing new forms of democratic processes that was at the core of the movement—the assemblies, the spokescouncils, and so on—was, more than anything else, a way to show that people could indeed get on with one another—and even make important decisions and carry out complex collective projects—without anyone ever having to fill out a form, appeal a judgment, or threaten to phone security or the police.
The Global Justice Movement was, in its own way, the first major leftist antibureaucratic movement of the era of total bureaucratization. As such, I think it offers important lessons for anyone trying to develop a similar critique. Let me end by outlining three of them: 1. Do not underestimate the importance of sheer physical violence. Free-market liberalism of the nineteenth century corresponded with the invention of the modern police and private detective agencies,30 and gradually, with the notion that those police had at least ultimate jurisdiction over virtually every aspect of urban life, from the regulation of street peddlers to noise levels at private parties, or even to the resolution of bitter fights with crazy uncles or college roommates.
We are now so used to the idea that we at least could call the police to resolve virtually any difficult circumstance that many of us find it difficult to even imagine what people would have done before this was possible.
Or, at least, no impersonal bureaucratic ones who were, like the modern police, empowered to impose arbitrary resolutions backed by the threat of force. Here I think it is possible to add a kind of corollary to the Iron Law of Liberalism. The bureaucratization of daily life means the imposition of impersonal rules and regulations; impersonal rules and regulations, in turn, can only operate if they are backed up by the threat of force. All this takes place as social theorists continue to insist that the direct appeal to force plays less and less of a factor in maintaining structures of social control.
It begins to sound more and more like a desperate refusal to accept that the workings of power could really be so crude and simplistic as what daily evidence proves them to be.
In my own native New York, I have observed the endless multiplication of bank branches. When I was growing up, most bank offices were large, freestanding buildings, usually designed to look like Greek or Roman temples. Over the last thirty years, storefront branches of the same three or four megabanks have opened, it seems, on every third block in the more prosperous parts of Manhattan.
In the greater New York area there are now literally thousands of them, each one having replaced some earlier shop that once provided material goods and services of one sort or another.
In a way these are the perfect symbols of our age: stores selling pure abstraction—immaculate boxes containing little but glass and steel dividers, computer screens, and armed security. And that conjuncture has come to provide the framework for almost every other aspect of our lives.
When we think about such matters at all, we generally act as if this is all simply an effect of technology: this is a world whisked into being by computers. It even looks like one. And indeed, all these new bank lobbies do bear a striking resemblance to the stripped-down virtual reality one often found in s video games.
Since, in such video games, nothing is actually produced, it just kind of springs into being, and we really do spend our lives earning points and dodging people carrying weapons. But this sense that we are living in a world created by computers is itself an illusion.
To conclude that this was all an inevitable effect of technological development, rather than of social and political forces, would be making a terrible mistake. Do not overestimate the importance of technology as a causative factor. Technological change is simply not an independent variable. Technology will advance, and often in surprising and unexpected ways. But the overall direction it takes depends on social factors. This is easy to forget because our immediate experience of everyday bureaucratization is entirely caught up in new information technologies: Facebook, smartphone banking, site, PayPal, endless handheld devices that reduce the world around us to maps, forms, codes, and graphs.
Still, the key alignments that made all this possible are precisely those that I have been describing in this essay, that first took place in the seventies and eighties, with the alliance of finance and corporate bureaucrats, the new corporate culture that emerged from it, and its ability to invade educational, scientific, and government circles in such a way that public and private bureaucracies finally merged together in a mass of paperwork designed to facilitate the direct extraction of wealth.
This was not a product of new technologies. To the contrary, the appropriate technologies took decades to emerge. In the seventies, computers were still something of a joke. Consider the ATM machine. Nor have I been able to find anyone I know who can.
This is so true that in the wake of the U. What does this say about what really matters to Americans as a nation? Financial technology then has gone from a running gag to something so reliable that it can form the assumed backbone of our social reality.
You never have to think about whether the cash machine will dispense the correct amount of cash. Meanwhile physical infrastructure like roads, escalators, bridges, and underground railways crumbles around us, and the landscape surrounding major cities is peppered with the futuristic visions of past generations now lying smelly, dirty, or abandoned. None of this just happened. It is, precisely, a matter of national priorities: the result of policy decisions that allocate funding for everything from landmark preservation to certain kinds of scientific research.
Rather than causing our current situation, the direction that technological change has taken is itself largely a function of the power of finance. This is a kind of individualistic fascism. In the north Atlantic countries, all this is the culmination of a very long effort to transform popular ideas about the origins of value. Most Americans, for instance, used to subscribe to a rough-and-ready version of the labor theory of value.
It made intuitive sense in a world where most people were farmers, mechanics, or shopkeepers: the good things in life were assumed to exist because people took the trouble to produce them; doing so was seen as involving both brain and muscle, usually, in roughly equal proportions. In the mid- nineteenth century even mainstream politicians would often use language that might seem to have been taken straight from Karl Marx. So Abraham Lincoln: Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital.
Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Carnegie and his allies embarked on a well-funded campaign of promoting the new gospel, not just in Rotary Clubs and Chambers of Commerce across the nation, but also in schools, churches, and civic associations. In this view, value was ultimately a product of the very bureaucratic organization of the new conglomerates.
One thing that the global justice movement taught us is that politics is, indeed, ultimately about value; but also, that those creating vast bureaucratic systems will almost never admit what their values really are.
This was as true of the Carnegies as it is today.
Anyone who claims to base their politics on rationality—and this is true on the left as well as on the right—is claiming that anyone who disagrees with them might as well be insane, which is about as arrogant a position as one could possibly take. Neoclassical economics is notorious for making this kind of move. In other words, talking about rational efficiency becomes a way of avoiding talking about what the efficiency is actually for; that is, the ultimately irrational aims that are assumed to be the ultimate ends of human behavior.
Here is another place where markets and bureaucracies ultimately speak the same language. Both claim to be acting largely in the name of individual freedom, and individual self-realization through consumption. Even supporters of the old Prussian bureaucratic state in the nineteenth century, like Hegel or Goethe, insisted that its authoritarian measures could be justified by the fact they allowed citizens to be absolutely secure in their property, and therefore, free to do absolutely anything they pleased in their own homes—whether that meant pursuing the arts, religion, romance, or philosophical speculation, or simply a matter of deciding for themselves what sort of beer they chose to drink, music they chose to listen to, or clothes they chose to wear.
Bureaucratic capitalism, when it appeared in the United States, similarly justified itself on consumerist grounds: one could justify demanding that workers abandon any control over the conditions under which they worked if one could thus guarantee them a wider and cheaper range of products for them to use at home. At first, of course, this freedom was limited to male heads of household; over time, it was at least in principle extended to everyone.
The most profound legacy of the dominance of bureaucratic forms of organization over the last two hundred years is that it has made this intuitive division between rational, technical means and the ultimately irrational ends to which they are put seem like common sense. In most times and places, the way one goes about doing something is assumed to be the ultimate expression of who one is.
Others will insist that life should become art; or else, religion. But all such movements are premised on the very division they profess to overcome.
In the big picture it hardly matters, then, whether one seeks to reorganize the world around bureaucratic efficiency or market rationality: all the fundamental assumptions remain the same. But this is the way it looks from the top. In fact, from inside the system, the algorithms and mathematical formulae by which the world comes to be assessed become, ultimately, not just measures of value, but the source of value itself.
They are continually assessing, auditing, measuring, weighing the relative merits of different plans, proposals, applications, courses of action, or candidates for promotion.
Market reforms only reinforce this tendency. This happens on every level. It is felt most cruelly by the poor, who are constantly monitored by an intrusive army of moralistic box-tickers assessing their child-rearing skills, inspecting their food cabinets to see if they are really cohabiting with their partners, determining whether they have been trying hard enough to find a job, or whether their medical conditions are really sufficiently severe to disqualify them from physical labor.
All rich countries now employ legions of functionaries whose primary function is to make poor people feel bad about themselves.
But the culture of evaluation is if anything even more pervasive in the hypercredentialized world of the professional classes, where audit culture reigns, and nothing is real that cannot be quantified, tabulated, or entered into some interface or quarterly report. A critique of bureaucracy fit for the times would have to show how all these threads— financialization, violence, technology, the fusion of public and private—knit together into a single, self-sustaining web. The process of financialization has meant that an ever- increasing proportion of corporate profits come in the form of rent extraction of one sort or another.
Since this is ultimately little more than legalized extortion, it is accompanied by ever-increasing accumulation of rules and regulations, and ever-more sophisticated, and omnipresent, threats of physical force to enforce them.
At the same time, some of the profits from rent extraction are recycled to select portions of the professional classes, or to create new cadres of paper-pushing corporate bureaucrats. In the end, this is just an extension of the basic logic of class realignment that began in the seventies and eighties as corporate bureaucracies become extensions of the financial system. Every now and then you chance on a particular example that brings everything together.