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Indeed, to most late nineteenth-century Westerners, the concept of cremation seemed otherworldly and even un-Christian. Americans associated funeral pyres and crematoriums with pagan antiquity or the mists of the Far East. Modern people buried their dead, and that was that.
But Olcott saw cremation mostly as a commonsensical social reform: He considered it more sanitary than burial, a deterrent to disease, and a help in freeing up land and labor from inefficient burials. And then there was the deterrence of vampirism, which Olcott took seriously. To promote the practice, Olcott organized the nation's first public cremation service -- or "pagan funeral," as the press called it -- at New York's Masonic Hall on the westside of Manhattan.
So controversial was the idea of cremation, that the proceedings on May 28, , caused a near riot and raised cries that the colonel was spreading heathen rites in the city.
But Olcott was accustomed to courting controversy when exposing the public to new ideas. Since leaving the military, he had become an investigator of ghostly phenomena and a globetrotting advocate for the rights of Hindus and Buddhists, whose numbers had been shrinking under colonial missionary campaigns in India and Sri Lanka.
Olcott became best known, however, for cofounding, with Russian noblewoman Madame H. Blavatsky, the Theosophical Society in New York in But the representatives are making the choices — and people have noticed that that works fine until those representatives either stop making principled decisions or become paralyzed by the vicissitudes of popular opinion.
Both of those things started to happen when Rome began to decline, and both of those things are happening in the US right now. What could they have done differently, and when could they have done it? For years, this system worked quite well in Rome, but for the past century or so of its existence these tools of deliberation were used not to facilitate compromise but to obstruct and punish political enemies and basically prevent anything from happening.
That destroyed the goodwill within the system and really poisoned it in the minds of the voters. Basically, he believed that democracies fall into tyranny when too much freedom leads to disorder and citizens choose the stability of autocracy over the chaos of democracy.
The point at which Romans were willing to make that trade occurred after almost years of political dysfunction, but it also occurred after a generation of really brutal civil war. And the process that started that was one of economic inequality and the inability and unwillingness of the people vested in the upper, successful parts of the Roman state to address that economic inequality.
The inequality problem is maybe the most striking for me. What you saw in Rome, and what you see quite clearly today, is the wealthy undermining the very system that made them wealthy, and a total failure to see how ruinous that is in the long term.
Ben Pitman" PDF. The New York Times. Retrieved 7 March Archived from the original on 30 December Retrieved 20 February Archived from the original on 7 July Retrieved 17 January Cremation Resource. Retrieved 31 May Archived from the original on 29 August Retrieved 4 October Categories : Death customs Undertaking Cremation Crematoria.
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Crematorium Temple, Monumental Cemetery , Milan. United States. Then the Great Depression came, and he boomed. It began with Hitler wanting to adapt what Mussolini had created. Hitler was such a fan of Mussolini; he was writing him, trying to get an autographed picture, trying to meet him.
The killing went on after Mussolini became prime minister. Landowners and businessmen in particular supported the suppression of socialism, and their support allowed Mussolini to come to power. But while Mussolini died in , the ideas he put a name on did not. Though there was a taboo against the idea, at least in theory, after World War II, she has seen its return since the s as a new wave of strongmen have come to power. With the help of coded language, the old ideas are returning.
Fascism is becoming rehabbed for a new generation. Mussolini and Hitler are being idealized again.At the start of the war, the North Korean army had no system for dealing with POWs and just had collection points. Then during the summer and fall of , they moved the POWs on foot to temporary camps in the North and much of the testimony at the U.S. Senate Hearings were about these so-called “death marches.”.