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admin | to meditate in silence | 22.06.2014
A deep-seeded mission of this class is to introduce you to the concept of individual action as a process of social change. This image is a word cloud featuring the most popular words and phrases that are associated with social change. Japanese soldiers firing tanegashima (matchlocks), using ropes to maintain proper firing elevation.
Although Taiko, a novel by Eiji Yoshikawa, is set in feudal Japan, many technological advancements and societal changes occur in this world of war and chaos.
When the Oda and Kai forces clash on the battlefield, the Kai emerge as clearly superior in hand-to-hand samurai combat.
In a later chapter in Book 5, Nobunaga receives a letter indicating an old-fashioned formal challenge to battle from Uesugi Kenshin, lord of Echigo.
Nobunaga’s doubts about Christianity illustrate some of the complexities of adapting to social change.
The 28 letters of the Korean alphabet, as developed by King Sejong, in the television series Tree with Deep Roots. The creation and development of the Korean alphabet by the ruler of Korea, King Sejong, in the Korean television drama Tree with Deep Roots does more than promise the equal opportunity of literacy for all Korean citizens; it establishes a source of nationalistic pride and unity for the country through its accessibility and sound. In Tree with Deep Roots, King Sejong’s alphabet will (eventually) teach Koreans of all social statuses how to read and write, but ultimately Hangul has a more symbolic, nationalistic meaning.
In the quotations mentioned above, Jung Gi Joon represents obstinacy in face of social change, particularly when this change brings many benefits for Korean society, including literacy, national pride, and societal survival.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. While some have argued that political action (primarily voting) is in tension with our ends because it relies on aggression, I’m not convinced of this view.
We can see why every libertarian is committed to thinking state driven social change is impossible by examining general libertarian principles about the nature of government. We rely on a variety of empirical and conceptual arguments to justify the basic claim that the government is bad at stuff, but any which way, we all think it’s a good rule of thumb.
Libertarians think political philosophy is historically very good at explaining all these ways in which society could and should look, but that it tends to be pretty bad at providing a good way to make society look that way (and you thought libertarians had poorly developed theories of social change!).
Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society.
This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. With community, university and government partners, we are embarking on research and action that helps create the conditions for healthy, vibrant communities in Nova Scotia and beyond that are self-reliant and socially just.
Over a decade ago, the persistence and injustice of food insecurity in Nova Scotia catalyzed a partnership among the Nova Scotia Nutrition Coun­cil, the Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre, and Nova Scotia Family Resource Centres and Projects, resulting in the Nova Scotia Participatory Food Costing Projects. In 2006, the collaboration expanded to launch the Nova Scotia Food Security Network and additional participatory research projects and activities. FoodARC (Food Action Research Centre) emerged in 2012 to replace the Participatory Action Research and Training Centre on Food Security as the latest step in the evolution of many deep, cross-sectoral relationships and significant research activities working to better understand and build food security in Nova Scotia and beyond. FoodARC wants to continue to work with local, regional, national and international partners to strengthen relationships, share resources and knowledge, and work together across disciplines as a network of activists and researchers to create social justice, healthy, and vibrant communities. Associated with the Department of Applied Human Nutrition, FoodARC continues the strong Mount tradition of research and community-engaged scholarship in supporting social responsibility, the advancement of women, and preparing students for global citizenship. The Service-Learning project is just a beginning to what can be a lifelong process of engaging the issues of our day.
The ability to survive and thrive in a chaotic new world relies on open-mindedness and the foresight to understand the implications of change. These changes create much unrest and anxiety among the characters of these texts and, in their minds, the state of the future is cast in serious doubt. Oda Nobunaga’s success as a military leader is largely due to his utilization of significant changes in weaponry and military strategy.
This boosts the fighting spirits of the Kai; Takeda Katsuyori and his generals subsequently order the Kai army to advance and destroy the Oda. The infiltration of the Christian faith into Japan highlights important commentary on social change.
It is a revolutionary idea; King Sejong wants to construct a language that will be easy for his people to learn—even those who labor all day on fields and farms. The language will serve as a way to empower the common people and establish a distinct language and voice for Korea. The common people will actually have a way to voice their opinions to their king, which better ensures that their issues will actually be properly addressed. Some individuals immediately rise to adapt to these changes and cast off tradition without a second thought; others cling to the ideals of tradition and worry that social change will result in societal collapse. Ever since we started developing theories about free markets, non-aggression, and human flourishing, we have necessarily been interested in how we get from here to there.
We need ideas about how to achieve a free society. Many libertarians have historically turned to political institutions as a force for change. If there is conceptual tension between your means and your ends, you’ve got a problem.
As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.

Why would the government be bad at providing all these great things, but be good at providing social change? Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions. We are working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable ways.
Patty Williams was awarded a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Policy Change and founded the Participatory Action Research and Training Centre on Food Security (PARTC-FS) at Mount Saint Vincent. This is illustrated through the development of firearms, Christian missionaries, and the Korean alphabet.
Some of these social changes are deliberate, such as King Sejong’s creation of the Korean alphabet in Tree with Deep Roots, and other changes, such as the introduction of firearms into Japan or the infiltration of Christian missionaries in Taiko, are unavoidable realities.
In Book 5 of Taiko, the mountainous Kai warriors are defeated by Nobunaga’s army on the basis of inferior weaponry and a failure to understand how war tactics have changed since automatic weapons.
As the Kai forces march onward, Nobunaga signals to his soldiers hidden on Mount Chausu, and suddenly, “the earth shook at the volleys of gunfire.
Nobunaga thinks, “How sad for Kenshin that he wasn’t born during the colorful olden days when they wore scarlet-braided armor with gold plates. Christianity is a Western religion, so it is not neutral; it is connected to Western culture. The technology, medicine, and weaponry are easy for him to digest; they benefit him and give him power. Oda Nobunaga, as the ruler of Japan, has accepted the work of the Christian missionaries, and he has publicly recognized their work in spreading their religion; he even invites them to dine with him at his banquets.
Understanding the implications of this revolutionary new alphabet is important when considering social change in Joseon.
Many of these changes are simply inevitable; they require adjustment if one wants survival and societal advancement. While our end goals are vital to flesh out and understand, what’s the point if they’re never realized? Libertarians spend lots of time working on political rallying, campaigning, voting, and public policy analysis and proposals. Rationality demands that some kind of adjustment is necessary to bring your ends and means into cohesive alignment. Rather than this line of argument about what counts as aggression, I’m merely making the pragmatic case against politically directed social change. There are certain constraints on concentrated power that make it a very dangerous and uncertain means to our ends. It is up to the supporter of government to explain why their project won’t be prone to the knowledge and incentive problems that seem to plague all government action. Libertarianism takes the hard-nosed, realist view that even with the best intentions, the government is a bad means to peoples’ desired ends. Are politicians not subject to knowledge and incentive problems even when libertarians are voting for them?
If you’re a student interested in presenting your perspective on this blog, visit our guest submissions page. The work continued to advance in 2010 with the beginning of a 5-year Community-University Research Alliance (CURA): Activating Change Together for Community Food Security.
Whether intentional or inevitable societal alterations, these changes necessitate adaptation and an open mind. The Portuguese revolutionized warfare with the introduction of firearms in Japan, and thus, the traditional style of fighting could no longer win on the battlefield. The mountain split open and the clouds were shredded… The horses and men of the Kai army fell like mosquitoes into piles of corpses” (Yoshikawa, 437). I wonder what he thinks of Azuchi, with its mixture of Japanese, Southern Barbarian, and Chinese styles?” (Yoshikawa, 452).
In Book 4 of Taiko, Nobunaga visits a Christian school and states that he is very pleased with Western technology, medicine, and weaponry coming to Japan.
Embracing these aspects of Western culture is not as complicated as the religious doctrine that accompanies these advancements.
However, he has also forced Buddhist monks “to their knees” using extreme force and violence, risking permanent disdain from his people. He eventually respects King Sejong’s efforts and understands that the king truly does care for the well-being of his people. Many characters are opposed to King Sejong’s alphabet because they view it as a threat to the nation-state and insist that it violates Confucianism, an ideology that has become entwined with the identity of the country. This is seen at the beginning of the series when the character Dam incorrectly pretends to know the meaning of a royal letter, and as a result, the King’s father-in-law and his household are killed.
Social change, however, is continuous and fluid; as soon as society adjusts and settles, there is typically a new development to be addressed. While it may seem obvious that the way to decrease the size and scope of the state is to elect leaders who will do that, I think a deeper analysis reveals that the idea of state driven social change through political action rests upon a logic completely at odds with libertarianism. My argument is that even if it was ethical to vote, voting is still not going to achieve liberty in practice. Much of political philosophy takes the rainbows-and-unicorns, utopian view that the government is merely a vending machine where you put in a certain amount of money (or political support), press a button, and automatically and mechanically get what you want.

Although there will always be opposition to social change, the characters who achieve and endure in Taiko and Tree with Deep Roots are the ones who willingly embrace the changes of the times, and those who resist are gradually extinguished.
Historical analysis of this development explains that, “As a result of the adoption of firearms, close combat was largely replaced by long-range fighting” (Brown, 244). This scene highlights that, although the Kai are superior warriors, their skills and brute strength cannot compete with a shower of bullets, and thus, they suffer great casualties and complete defeat at the hands of Nobunaga. While reflecting on these recent social changes, Nobunaga sees old traditions and modes of thinking as obsolete, saying, “All of the changes in weaponry and strategy in the last decade have brought us into a new world. He is not, however, satisfied with certain aspects of Westernization, stating, “There were two things that his digestion absolutely rejected: Christianity and Christian education.
Nobunaga is skeptical of the philosophy and accompanying modes of thinking that are sneakily working their way into the country too.
The text reads, “the Buddhist monks raised a hue and cry about which of them Nobunaga considered to be the foreigners—the Christians or themselves” (Yoshikawa, 646). One notable character who repeatedly opposes King Sejong’s work in Tree with Deep Roots is the leader of Hidden Root, Jung Gi Joon (the identity Ga-Ri-On the simple-minded butcher is his cover). Jung Gi Joon fails to see how the Korean alphabet will actually advance the people of Korea; he is content with a stagnant Joseon. But in terms of pragmatic accounts of social change, I think politics is simply a bad means to achieve liberty. Therefore, we should rely on other mechanisms to solve our problems, like markets, private charity, mutual aid, direct action, and so forth. That is, almost all libertarian theory shows us why our ends are for not without the appropriate means, and that even with good ends, government is almost always a poor means.
So, in order to bring our ends and means into cohesive alignment, we ditch our well-intentioned, but impractical ends in favor of the realistic solution (liberty). You can sign up for a weekly digest of the SFL blog and subscribe for a weekly update on SFL’s events, leadership programs, and resources. Nobunaga understands this, but Kai, “protected by its mountains, ravines, and rivers, was cut off from the center of things and isolated from foreign influences” (Yoshikawa, 436). But if these two things had not been allowed to the missionaries, they would not have come with their weapons, medicines, and other wonders” (Yoshikawa, 331).
Nobunaga willingly turns his back on Buddhism, a religion cherished by his people for centuries. The Kai are proud of their province and put all of their confidence in the fierce bravery of their troops.
Nobunaga’s perspective argues that if traditional warfare has no actual benefits in the current times, then holding on to those customs is useless.
Nobunaga is in favor of Westernization as long as it serves a valuable purpose to him (technological advancements, medicine, etc.). Nobunaga can understand the societal implications of technological advancements brought by Westernization; the implications of the Christian faith are less clear, so Nobunaga is waiting to see the direction it will take and whether or not that is a social change worthy of adaptation.
In Episode 19 of the show, Jung Gi Joon meets with King Sejong and tells him, “It [the alphabet] goes against Confucianism. King Sejong tries to explain this to Jung Gi Joon when he proposes that literacy won’t shatter Confucianism in Korea; it could actually bring Koreans closer to Confucian ethics and ideals since they will be able to learn the codes for themselves and better understand the meaning of these codes. They assume that since they have not been defeated in the past, defeat will not be theirs in the future.
Yoshikawa reminds readers that, “Civilization moves on like a horse at full gallop” (Yoshikawa, 436).  Historical analysis indicates that these “new long-range weapons provided the more capable and foresighted barons with an important means of extending their military power, and therefore, facilitated the establishment, by Nobunaga and Hideyoshi, of Japan’s first strong, central government” (Brown, 253). He is tolerant of the Christian schools for the present, but he plans on closely watching over the missionaries. Nobunaga isn’t turning his back on Japan; he realizes that Christianity in Japan is now inevitable so it’s a matter of ruling the country and helping the nation advance into the modern world.
King Sejong eventually does successfully implement his alphabet, and historically speaking, “King Sejong’s reign has been considered the most glorious period not only of the Joseon dynasty, but in all of Korean history” (Jongmyung 136). For the opposing Oda forces, however, “Nobunaga had planned a fully scientific strategy using modern tactics and weapons” (Yoshikawa, 436). Successful survival in a changing and disorderly world can only occur when people adjust to these inevitable social changes. He elaborates further in Episode 20, explaining that literacy for all will throw off the balance of Korean society; the existing social status will be in turmoil. Refusal to adapt, much like the Kai or Uesugi Kenshin, results in an abrupt end to one’s history.
It’s important to keep in mind that Buddhism itself is not native to Japan; it was also a foreign doctrine that required adaptation many years prior.
It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

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