Friday, July 29, 2016

Trump, Plagiarism, Liberty and the Free Market

Investigative journalist Jarrett Hill noticed similarities between Melania Trump’s speech at the recent GOP convention and that given by Michelle Obama in 2008, and the Trump campaign was embroiled in scandal with charges of plagiarism. Mind you it was only a small sample in the total speech. Jarrett Hill’s tweet “CORRECTION: Melania stole a whole graph from Michelle’s speech. #GOPConvention…” was re-tweeted over 25 000 times.

Though plain to see the mobs entered into the debate. Those on Trumps side trashed the very idea that Mrs. Trump would even be influenced by somebody like Mrs. Obama, and the Trump team talked merely of coincidence. These of course had been the initial reactions, even though it was plain for the whole world to see.

Plagiarism is basically taking somebody else’s thought and passing it off as ones own. The moral crime of plagiarism is that a human being can be so lacking in standards and morals that they cannot acknowledge the source of their idea even though there is no monetary cost for that acknowledgement.

Those who take the concept of liberty and freedom seriously, not as a cover for some other type of debased ideology, understand the moral requirements required for liberty to be a success. Liberty can be used for many lesser ideals, racists use it as their right to hate, their right to be racist, thus undermining the very concept that they use to defend their racism, liberty.

The idea of liberty is that all can participate in the system in the manner that they feel comfortable with, and that their contributions are acknowledged if used, this acknowledgement encouraging further participation. That is liberty and why it is accepted as most just system. Plagiarism is lack of acknowledgement, an idea against any sense of justice.

There are three reasons for plagiarism. The first reason is to look good thinking it’s harmless but one is still taking somebody else’s essence and passing it off as their own for their own benefit. Usually it is to get a pass mark on an assignment in college. It still shows a great moral flaw.

The second reason for plagiarism is professional envy and jealousy, one is so desperate to be seen to be better than they are, and require to be seen at all costs, they know how to use a knife and fork, dress the part but lack the intellectual capability to go with the image they have created, so they plagiarize. They gain fame and fortune at the expense of others, when there would be no harm with a simple acknowledgement and all would be satisfied.

The third reason for plagiarism is probably the most immoral as it has political and ideological undertones. This kind of plagiarism has at its roots hatred and fear. Take the concept of evolution usually credited to Darwin. It comes as shock to learn that the only reason why it is credited to Darwin is because he was of the so called upper-class of the United Kingdom. We learn from biologists such as Bruce Lipton that Alfred Russel Wallace was the person who actually wrote the paper that Charles Darwin presented but he was of a lower class, and society could not have such a person having such intellectual prowess, it just did not fit with those who sponsored science, they would have no justification for the cultural upper class privileges they had bestowed upon themselves.

One can get the jest of this kind of refusal to acknowledge, it is because a certain group of people only wish liberty and freedom for themselves and try to justify by any lie or con that they can think of.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa recently caused a stir by asking on MSNBC “I'd ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you're talking about…” Before asking King what he and his relatives contributed to the great white race one needs to point out that as knowledge moved West from the East, firstly during the crusades, we get incidences whereby the original discoverer of important concepts where not recognized for national and cultural reasons. Take calculus, this modern world would be impossible without calculus that originated in India but falsely attributed to Newton, who himself was way behind Leibniz.

Modern scientific methodology in the West has its roots from the interactions that Frederick Hohenstaufen had with the Arabs during the crusades, where would the world be without scientific methodology, it is not a western invention.

What the west has contributed is the whole-scale principle of liberty, if India had liberty at the time of Bhaskara, they would have been far ahead, China refused liberty 4 000 years ago and chose Confucius. Lao Tsu long understood 4 000 years ago that with liberty there will be lots of trinkets, what is a television but a trinket. People where not acknowledged due to the hatred of people like King towards others throughout history, after appropriating somebody’s mind they go and boast about it, after boasting about it create policies to undermine the minds of others.

Whilst Newt Gingrich said who cares if plagiarism took place, Trump knowing that he could never be seen as anything resembling freedom and liberty decided to have the speech writer apologize and he himself said about the speech writer Meredith McIver on ABC “she made a mistake, people make mistakes… I thought it was terrific the way she came forward and said look it was a mistake I made.”  President Obama did not feel the same need, who knows who believes in liberty anymore besides lip service. 

Bhekuzulu Khumalo

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Bhekuzulu Khumalo

I write about knowledge economics, information, liberty, and freedom