Leftist Ideologies

Deeply embarrassing, but after 25 years alive I still didn’t know what socialism and fascism (and to a lesser extent, communism) were, so I set out to remedy this immediately.

Socialism is an economic/social structure in which workers, not a wealthy overlord or private corporation, control production. If you want to start a business, you get some friends or partners and start and work the company yourself – you don’t hire contractors or workers under you. People cooperate with each other and production is need-based. Socialists believe that capitalism is undemocratic and exploitative, and want to replace it with socialism. Examples of socialist organizations include credit unions and labor unions.

Fascism is a political ideology in which traits/demographics considered undesirable are attempted to be purged. This might include specific ethnicities, religions, physical markers, etc. Fascists are notably nationalist, meaning they would identify as “Russian” over “Christian”, and militaristic, adopting aggressive foreign policies and favoring militaristic expansion.

Communism/anarchism are like the most extreme/developed forms of socialism, in which you have no classes, money, or state structure. There is no concept of personal property – everything belongs to the collective population (with socialism, you can have personal though not private property; with communism, you have neither personal nor private property). Communism and anarchism differ in that communism espouses bureaucratic ways of achieving full ‘equality’ (forming parties and enacting laws), whereas anarchism is more non-bureaucratic and goes the route of protests and such.


The Founding Myths of Rome

As interested as I am in history, one of my biggest problems in learning and reading about it is that I tend to get so bogged down in the (oft fascinating) details that I lose sight of the bigger picture. And so it is now – I’ve been doing a very slow, laborious listen-through of Mike Duncan’s excellent podcast The History of Rome, except am so concerned with remembering details that sometimes I replay episodes even 2-3 times to try and catch all the minutia. But why? If I don’t yet know the larger unfolding of events, what good will all the inconsequential details do me? Many times I’ve found myself delving into the comprehensive – except if you were to ask me for a 3-sentence summary afterwards, I couldn’t tell you.

So going forward, I aim for all my notes on history to be concise; no in-depth features unless the topic really warrants it because there are already plenty of well-written essays out there on any given topic, written by experts in their fields.

Anyway, on to actual Rome-related points!

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In Which My Wannabe-Master Perfumier Ass Reviews Some Perfumes

Title says it all. I’ve been obsessed with finding a new fragrance lately, and I mean obsessed. Like, I’ve rushed to the nearest Sephora after work every day this week and basically just camped out in their fragrance section until they closed. I guess you could argue that considering I usually get out of work pretty late, this doesn’t seem like the most impressive statement…but it’s the dedication that counts, okay. In three evenings I’ve smelled literally every single women’s fragrance the FiDi branch offers, from designer Dior and Balenciaga to the more niche Nest and Atelier Cologne. Every. single. one. And I actually mean that literally – I started at the first row, first column, matrix[0][0], of all the shelves and just worked my way down and over, perfume by perfume. It was exhausting and my nose is the most incredible trooper in lower Manhattan, but I’m here to tell the tale of what I learned this past week.

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Quitting Running…or at least taking a break

I started running the summer after my freshman year of college after I gained the Freshman 20. It was the first semi-regular exercise I ever did my in my life, and even though I wasn’t consistent or very intense about it (think half an hour on the treadmill every other night, with 1/3 of that spent warming up and cooling down), I still managed to bring my weight down to some semblance of normal in time for the start of sophomore year. Since then, I’ve run numerous races from 5k to 15k, have been unintentionally on and off with it, have occasionally loved it and found it really enjoyable – but the one constant across the past several years is the struggle.

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