The term Globalization refers to what many different historians considered a process of interrelation (or unification) of the world. It was a process of cultural, political and economic relations that for the first time in history united all mankind. One of these critical events of unification and clash of cultural and political relations took place in February 20 1524. This day is commemorated by Guatemalans to remember the leaders and events of the “The battle of Llanos del Pinal“ ((The Society of Geography and History of Guatemala documented that this battle actually took place on February 12 1524) which took place in the vicinity of the K’iche’ Mayan city of Xelajú (located in today’s mountainous area of Guatemala in Central America).
In this battle, the K’iche’ Rajpop Achij Tecum Umam (Guatemala’s National Hero and K’iche’ Mayan Captain of the army) commanded an army of 72,000 warriors (as narrated by the Chronicler Francisco de Fuentes y Guzmán) that fought against the invading hordes of the conquistador Pedro de Alvarado and his indigenous allies from the territories that are today the South of Mexico. While the invaders defeated the K’iche’ army, the chroniclers of this battle remembered Tecum Umam as the glorious warrior and miraculous hero that started to be referred in the narrations with epic roles and anthropomorphic abilities.
After this battle that “tainted all the neighbouring rivers red of blood” the Spanish conquistadores continued their invasion in the following month of the city of Q’umarkaj (also known as Utatlán). This secured for them the hegemony over the other less powerful cities of Iximche, Mixco Viejo, and Zaculeu that were located in the Southernmost part of the Sierra Madre mountain range.
By the beginning of the Spanish conquest the territory of Mesoamerica the Mayan Civilisation was already extinguished and dozens of different indigenous tribes leaded by caciques, warriors and priests controlled weaker and less advanced forced-labor societies. This enabled the conquest of the territories to be fast and easy.
Just a decade later, by the 1540s, the new elite that ruled this forced-labor societies had already established itself with a mixed Spanish-Indigenous head in control and started the process of acculturation, integration, evangelisation, assimilation and reeducation of a society that went from a tribalist type of life into a mercantilist economy ruled from a metropolitan and global Empire with its head 5,400 miles away in the city of Madrid.
Since 1524, Mesoamerica joined the global community of trade, commerce, acculturation and universalisation of traditions and costumes. This is an important junction that should be remembered by all of us.
WASHINGTON — Faced with billions of dollars in losses, the Postal Service announced on Wednesday (Feb. 06 2013) that it would seek to stop Saturday delivery of letters, a sweeping change in mail delivery that immediately drew criticism from postal unions, some businesses and lawmakers.
What went wrong I wonder? Would it had been better if George Washington had never passed the Postal Service Act of 1792? How many billions would taxpayers have saved since then? Would private companies like the American Letter Mail Company of Lysander Spooner have served better the market? Or would the system have collapsed without government intervention?
In February 20, 1792 the Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department was signed by President George Washington. An interesting date to remember in these days in which the Postal Service made it to the news with their Losses and their controversial solution by ending Saturday Letter Delivery.
We know for certain that in a free market no company would survive if they had kept losses as huge as the one USPS has had over all these years. They had losses of $15.9 billion only last year. A principle of free market transactions is that in competing there appears a beneficialrivalry among sellers trying to achieve goals as increasing profits, market share, and sales volume by varying the elements of the marketing mix: price, product, distribution, and promotion. Thus, enabling for those companies which succeed in growing larger and for those companies which fail to disappear. With the existence of monopolistic services (like the Postal Service in the US) industries and business sponsored by government disrupted market transactions (bureaucratically made) and thus enabled for failing companies to continue existing even though they were not beneficial for society in the long-term.
This reminds me to the company founded Lysander Spooner whom “being an advocate of self-employment and opponent of government regulation of business, Spooner started his own business called American Letter Mail Company which competed with the U.S. Post Office. Postal rates were notoriously high in the 1840s, and in 1844, Spooner founded the American Letter Mail Company, which had offices in various cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. Stamps could be purchased and then attached to letters which could be sent to any of its offices. From here agents were dispatched who traveled on railroads and steamboats, and carried the letters in hand bags. Letters were transferred to messengers in the cities along the routes who then delivered the letters to the addressees. This was a challenge to the United States Post Office’s monopoly. As he had done when challenging the rules of the Massachusetts bar, he published a pamphlet titled “The Unconstitutionality of the Laws of Congress Prohibiting Private Mails.” Although Spooner had finally found commercial success with his mail company, legal challenges by the government eventually exhausted his financial resources. He closed up shop without ever having had the opportunity to fully litigate his constitutional claims. The lasting legacy of Spooner’s challenge to the postal service was the 3-cent stamp, adopted in response to the competition his company provided.“
Each arc represents a unique person, where the yellow color denotes how long they lived before being shot, and the white color how long they could have lived. Each arc is clickable and reveals more detailed information about that casualty.
A relatively hidden button at X-axis origin shows a cumulative graph of this data, revealing the relative peaks of age of the victims of gun crimes. Additionally, at the bottom of the page, a small collection of insights is provided.
One of the most controversial discussions in the last few weeks has been the one around guns, its regulation and controls, its production, on the rights to use guns, on private gun ownership and the arguments of those in favor/against the Right to keep and bear arms in the United States of America. The right to keep and bear arms in that country has a historical significance rooted in a long standing common law, prior even to the existence of their Constitution. In England, a similar legal wording can be found in the Bill of Rights 1689 which states “Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defense”.
The historical significance of this argument is long standing and varies from country to country (specially those with a common law system). The principle behind this topic is the relation of the private ownership (historically contextualized of course) of the “means of force” versus the monopoly of the use of force by government. Today I have two recommendations on this topic for those of you looking for essays and books to read: