Egalitarianism is an American Tradition

Egalitarianism is an American Tradition

There Is A Deep History Of American Egalitarianism That Is A Long Cultural Tradition
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In the year 2017, many people mistakenly assume that concepts like communism and socialism are strictly European traditions that migrated around the world to various places when being adopted. This mistake is largely associated with the immense crackdown of anything resembling Soviet communism and Marxist theories of that nature that took root in Europe and Asia in the 20th century. Events like the Cold War perverted terminology and distorted history to the point that many forget that there is a deep historical root of communalism and socialized egalitarianism that conceived ideas in both theory and practice that parallel with the theories developed in Europe during the same time periods such as with Karl Marx and the communist philosophy.

Decades before Karl Marx wrote his Communist Manifesto, the Massachusetts mill girls in the 1840s were the first in the United States to call for the democratization of the work place following the early industrial revolution. They made their argument by saying "workers who work in the mills should own the mills"; a question that placed intense emphasis on the rationality of the Boss-Worker relationship, given democratic councils of the worker themselves would distribute the economic surplus value extracted from the collective labor of the workers in a manner that fit the worker interests rather than the interests of the boss. This rationality of democratizing factory work paralleled with the questioning of the Master-Slave relationship that perpetuated the markets that relied on institutional slave labor of the chattel variety.

By the time the Civil War started to break out, calls to abolish the wage labor system became prevalent to the point that abolishing chattel slavery and wage slavery, as it became called, went hand-in-hand throughout the abolition movement. Calls for abolishing wage slavery for being on par with chattel slavery was within the original Republican Party platform. Many who fought for the Union did so under the pretense that both systems would be abolished. The Master-Slave relationship was exposed as completely antithetical to any democratic pre-text even if the illusion of democracy was perpetuated by the aristocracy slave master class. It was recognized that not only was slave master aristocracy and their plantation system illegitimate and antithetical to American traditions and values; so too were Industrialist aristocracy deemed illegitimate for similar reasons. Over the next few decades, that industrialist aristocracy became known as Robber Barons.

Calls to democratize the workplace intensified after the Civil War with militant labor wars and entire worker uprisings occurring during the 1870s-1910s. The Robber Barons established such power that roughly 300 individuals/families owned most of the US economy at the time. They attempted to retain their power and economic dominance through perpetuating the Boss-Worker hierarchy to the point that workers were held in line and factories were kept going by the barrel of a gun and threats of violence and death. This eventually led mass worker revolts, entire cities and towns rising up; and establishing successful democratic communes and councils to operate the institutions within their regions. One of the largest most successful of these were during the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 where numerous cities, including Chicago, rose up in worker rebellions. These strikes and conflicts continued for decades, The United States saw the most violent and bloody labor wars seen in any industrialized nation. Thousands died; tens of thousands injured, blacklisted, or ostracized in one form or another.

Momentum towards democratizing the economy saw boost during the anti-trust busting era of Theodore Roosevelt and his progressive wing, worker movements continued with a wide spectrum of ideologies from socialist, communist, and anarchist, to radicals and progressive liberals. These forces were making rapidly more progress; that is until the United States entered the First World War. Upon entering, the United States passed legislation such as the espionage act and alien sedition act that justified the state intervention and break up/dismantling/destruction of numerous organizations on the economic and political left that were systematically uprooted and left husks of their former selves. This dismantling and destruction continued through the red scare of the postwar years, the post World War II years with legislation passed by Harry Truman following the end of the war, the McCarthy era, the FBI's COINTELPRO, and even to the modern day Occupy Movements.

While the forces of mobilized response to the antithetical existence of the Boss aristocracy class of US society has been broken, it has not been forgotten. Every act to crush and suppress these egalitarian movement only invigorates the next generation to push forward strong and greater. The history of this egalitarianism may be attempted to get distorted and disguised by historical revisionism and biased mythology; but the United States has a deep history of egalitarianism that rivaled the European traditions. And in some cases, the US varieties bore greater fruits and learned wiser lessons than the egalitarian counterparts elsewhere on the planet.

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Your Wait time At Theme Parks Is Not Unfair, You're Just Impatient

Your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself.

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Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios "unboxed" on June 30, 2018. My friend and I decided to brave the crowds on opening day. We got to the park around 7 AM only to find out that the park opened around 6 AM. Upon some more scrolling through multiple Disney Annual Passholder Facebook groups, we discovered that people were waiting outside the park as early as 1 AM.

We knew we'd be waiting in line for the bulk of the Toy Story Land unboxing day. There were four main lines in the new land: the line to enter the land; the line for Slinky Dog Dash, the new roller coaster; the line for Alien Spinning Saucers, the easier of the new rides in the land; Toy Story Mania, the (now old news) arcade-type ride; and the new quick-service restaurant, Woody's Lunchbox (complete with grilled cheese and "grown-up drinks").

Because we were so early, we did not have to wait in line to get into the land. We decided to ride Alien Spinning Saucers first. The posted wait time was 150 minutes, but my friend timed the line and we only waited for 50 minutes. Next, we tried to find the line for Slinky Dog Dash. After receiving conflicting answers, the runaround, and even an, "I don't know, good luck," from multiple Cast Members, we exited the land to find the beginning of the Slinky line. We were then told that there was only one line to enter the park that eventually broke off into the Slinky line. We were not about to wait to get back into the area we just left, so we got a Fastpass for Toy Story Mania that we didn't plan on using in order to be let into the land sooner. We still had to wait for our time, so we decided to get the exclusive Little Green Man alien popcorn bin—this took an entire hour. We then used our Fastpass to enter the land, found the Slinky line, and proceeded to wait for two and a half hours only for the ride to shut down due to rain. But we've come this far and rain was not about to stop us. We waited an hour, still in line and under a covered area, for the rain to stop. Then, we waited another hour and a half to get on the ride from there once it reopened (mainly because they prioritized people who missed their Fastpass time due to the rain). After that, we used the mobile order feature on the My Disney Experience app to skip part of the line at Woody's Lunchbox.

Did you know that there is actually a psychological science to waiting? In the hospitality industry, this science is the difference between "perceived wait" and "actual wait." A perceived wait is how long you feel like you are waiting, while the actual wait is, of course, the real and factual time you wait. There are eight things that affect the perceived wait time: unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time, pre-process waits feel longer than in-process waits, anxiety makes waits feel longer, uncertain waits are longer than certain waits, unexplained waits are longer than explained waits, unfair waits are longer than equitable waits, people will wait longer for more valuable service and solo waiting feels longer than group waiting.

Our perceived wait time for Alien Spinning Saucers was short because we expected it to be longer. Our wait for the popcorn seemed longer because it was unoccupied and unexplained. Our wait for the rain to stop so the ride could reopen seemed shorter because it was explained. Our wait between the ride reopening and getting on the coaster seemed longer because it felt unfair for Disney to let so many Fastpass holders through while more people waited through the rain. Our entire wait for Slinky Dog Dash seemed longer because we were not told the wait time in the beginning. Our wait for our food after placing a mobile order seemed shorter because it was an in-process wait. We also didn't mind wait long wait times for any of these experiences because they were new and we placed more value on them than other rides or restaurants at Disney. The people who arrived at 1 AM just added five hours to their perceived wait

Some non-theme park examples of this science of waiting in the hospitality industry would be waiting at a restaurant, movie theater, hotel, performance or even grocery store. When I went to see "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," the power went out in the theater right as we arrived. Not only did we have to wait for it to come back and for them to reset the projectors, I had to wait in a bit of anxiety because the power outage spooked me. It was only a 30-minute wait but felt so much longer. At the quick-service restaurant where I work, we track the time from when the guest places their order to the time they receive their food. Guests in the drive-thru will complain about 10 or more minute waits, when our screens tell us they have only been waiting four or five minutes. Their actual wait was the four or five minutes that we track because this is when they first request our service, but their perceived wait begins the moment they pull into the parking lot and join the line because this is when they begin interacting with our business. While in line, they are experiencing pre-process wait times; after placing the order, they experience in-process wait times.

Establishments in the hospitality industry do what they can to cut down on guests' wait times. For example, theme parks offer services like Disney's Fastpass or Universal's Express pass in order to cut down the time waiting in lines so guests have more time to buy food and merchandise. Stores like Target or Wal-Mart offer self-checkout to give guests that in-process wait time. Movie theaters allow you to check in and get tickets on a mobile app and some quick-service restaurants let you place mobile or online orders. So why do people still get so bent out of shape about being forced to wait?

On Toy Story Land unboxing day, I witnessed a woman make a small scene about being forced to wait to exit the new land. Cast Members were regulating the flow of traffic in and out of the land due to the large crowd and the line that was in place to enter the land. Those exiting the land needed to wait while those entering moved forward from the line. Looking from the outside of the situation as I was, this all makes sense. However, the woman I saw may have felt that her wait was unfair or unexplained. She switched between her hands on her hips and her arms crossed, communicated with her body language that she was not happy. Her face was in a nasty scowl at those entering the land and the Cast Members in the area. She kept shaking her head at those in her group and when allowed to proceed out of the land, I could tell she was making snide comments about the wait.

At work, we sometimes run a double drive-thru in which team members with iPads will take orders outside and a sequencer will direct cars so that they stay in the correct order moving toward the window. In my experience as the sequencer, I will inform the drivers which car to follow, they will acknowledge me and then still proceed to dart in front of other cars just so they make it to the window maybe a whole minute sooner. Not only is this rude, but it puts this car and the cars around them at risk of receiving the wrong food because they are now out of order. We catch these instances more often than not, but it still adds stress and makes the other guests upset. Perhaps these guests feel like their wait is also unfair or unexplained, but if they look at the situation from the outside or from the restaurant's perspective, they would understand why they need to follow the blue Toyota.

The truth of the matter is that your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself. We all want instant gratification, I get it. But in reality, we have to wait for some things. It takes time to prepare a meal. It takes time to experience a ride at a theme park that everyone else wants to go on. It takes time to ring up groceries. It takes patience to live in this world.

So next time you find yourself waiting, take a minute to remember the difference between perceived and actual wait times. Think about the eight aspects of waiting that affect your perceived wait. Do what you can to realize why you are waiting or keep yourself occupied in this wait. Don't be impatient. That's no way to live your life.

Cover Image Credit:

Aranxa Esteve

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Who is On The Shortlist For Supreme Court Justice?

President Trump gets to decide.

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Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring. Kennedy has been on the bench since 1988, after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. Kennedy has been the swing vote on the court in many key 5-4 decisions. He has played an important role in many cases, including Citizens United v. FEC, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and Obergefell v. Hodges. The Constitution of the United States requires that the President must select a nominee when a seat is open. The nominee is then confirmed by the U.S. Senate.



President Trump will now have an opportunity to put another Supreme Court Justice on the bench. He nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill Antonin Scalia's seat. Gorsuch took the oath of office in April of 2017. The Constitution says that justices will remain on the bench for life or when they decide to retire. The next man or women to take the oath will serve for many years to come. Their impact will shape history and the nation. So, who's in the running? Who is the President considering? Trump will make his announcement on July 9th and everyone wants to know who is on the shortlist.

The Washington Post and the New York Times reported that President Trump met with four candidates on July 2nd, one week before his announcement of a nominee. The President met with four federal appeals court judges. They were Amy Coney Barret of the Seventh Circuit, Brett M. Kavanaugh of the District of Columbia Circuit, Raymond M. Kethledge of the Sixth Circuit, and Amul R. Thapar of the Sixth Circuit.

The president has expressed great interest in nominating a woman to the Supreme Court. Should he nominate Amy Barret from the Seventh Circuit, she would join Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor, as the fourth woman on the bench. Barret is a favorite among religious conservatives and clerked for Justice Scalia.

Kavanaugh was appointed by President George W. Bush and clerked for Justice Kennedy. Kethledge also clerked for Justice Kennedy and is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. Judge Thapar was President Trump's nominee for an appeals court in 2017. Thapar was also considered by Trump to fill Justice Scalia's seat in 2017. Whoever the president appoints, they would surely be confirmed by the Senate, which is a Republican majority Senate. How will Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats react to the announcement? And what questions will be asked at the Senate hearings?



The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. President Trump will make history again by nominating a second judge in his first term. Justice Kennedy's retirement will be official on July 31st, 2018. After the President's announcement on July 9th preparations for Senate hearings will begin. As stated earlier, the next Justice of the Supreme Court will have a major impact and may change the course of history.

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