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Thread: Hello From Tasmania Australia

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    Hello From Tasmania Australia

    Just a bit of background since I hope to be here at this site for a few years.-Ron
    ---------------------------------
    EMPLOYMENT-SOCIAL-ROLE POSITIONS: 1943-2011


    1999-2011-Writer & Editor, Poet & Publisher, Journalist & Independent Scholar; Retired Teacher & Lecturer, Tutor & Adult Educator, Taxi-Driver & Ice-Cream Salesman, George Town Tasmania Australia
    2002-2005-Program Presenter City Park Radio Launceston
    1999-2004-Tutor and/or President George Town School for Seniors Inc
    1988-1999 -Lecturer in General Studies & Human Services West Australian Department of Training
    1986-1987 -Acting Lecturer in Management Studies & Co-ordinator of Further
    Education Unit at Hedland College in South Hedland WA
    1982-1985 -Adult Educator Open College of Tafe Katherine NT
    1981 -Maintenance Scheduler Renison Bell Zeehan Tasmania
    1980-Unemployed due to illness and recovery
    1979 -Editor External Studies Unit Tasmanian CAE, Launceston; Youth Worker Resource Centre Association Launceston; Lecturer in Organizational Behaviour Tasmanian CAE; Radio Journalist ABC Launceston
    1976-1978 -Lecturer in Social Sciences & Humanities Ballarat CAE Ballarat
    1975 - Lecturer in Behavioural Studies Whitehorse Technical College, Box Hill Victoria
    1974 -Senior Tutor in Education Studies Tasmanian CAE Launceston
    1972-1973 -High School Teacher South Australian Education Department
    1971 Primary School Teacher Whyalla SA Australia
    1969-1971 Primary School Teacher Prince Edward County Board of Education Picton Ontario Canada
    1969 Systems Analyst Bad Boy Co Ltd Toronto Ontario
    1967-68 -Community Teacher Department of Indian Affairs & Northern
    Development Frobisher Bay NWT Canada
    1959-67 -Summer jobs-1 to 4 months each- from grade 10 to end of university
    1949-1967 - Attended 2 primary schools, 2 high schools and 2 universities in
    Canada-McMaster Uni-1963-1966 Windsor Teachers’ College-1966/7
    1944-1963 -Childhood(1944-57) & adolescence(1957-63) in and around
    Hamilton Ontario
    1943 to 1944-Conception in October 1943 to birth in July 1944 in Hamilton Ontario

    2. SOME SOCIO-BIO-DATA TO 2011

    I have been married twice for a total of 44 years. My second wife is a Tasmanian, aged 65. We’ve had one child: age 34 in 2011. I have two step-children: ages: 45 and 41 in 2011 and two step-grandchildren, age 18 and 15 in 2011. I am 66, am a Canadian who moved to Australia in 1971 and have written several books--all available on the internet. I retired from full-time teaching in 1999, part-time teaching in 2003 and volunteer teaching/work in 2005 after 35 years in classrooms. In addition, I have been a member of the Baha’i Faith for 52 years. Bio-data: 6ft, 230 lbs, eyes-brown/hair-grey, Caucasian.

    My website is found at: Ron Price - Pioneering Over Five Epochs You can also go to any search engine and type: Ron Price followed by any one of a number of words: poetry, Bahá'í, literature, history, bipolar disorder, psychology, sociology, inter alia._____________________________________________ ___

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    The Great Terror: 1936-1938--A Personal Retrospective

    JUST BEFORE MY PARENTS MET

    In the late 1930s, as far as I know, my mother and father met in Hamilton Ontario. They both worked at the Otis Elevator Company. My father was a Welshman who had come out to the USA just before the Great War. My mother was in her mid-30s when she met my dad. They knew nothing about the Great Terror/Purge (1936-3 in the Soviet Union. Indeed few did. Judging from the Soviet records we now have, the number of people who died in both the Great Terror and in the Gulag(1930-1960) between 1933 and 1945 is fewer than historians once thought. This short piece of writing attempts to place May 1937, at the heart of the Great Terror of 1936 to 1938, in a personal perspective.

    In 1937, as his vision of modernization faltered, Stalin ordered the Great Terror. Because we now have the killing orders and the death quotas, inaccessible so long as the Soviet Union existed, we now know that the number of victims was not in the millions. We also know that, as in the early 1930s, the main victims were the peasants, many of them survivors of hunger and of concentration camps. The highest Soviet authorities ordered 386,798 people shot in the “Kulak Operation” of 1937–1938. The other major “enemies” during these years were people belonging to national minorities who could be associated with states bordering the Soviet Union: some 247,157 Soviet citizens were killed by the NKVD in ethnic shooting actions.

    In the largest of these, the “Polish Operation” that began in August 1937, 111,091 people accused of espionage for Poland were shot. In all, 682,691 people were killed during the Great Terror to which might be added a few hundred thousand more Soviet citizens shot in smaller actions. The total figure of civilians deliberately killed under Stalinism, around six million, is of course horribly high. But it is far lower than the estimates of twenty million or more made before historians and analysts had access to Soviet sources. At the same time, we see that the motives of these killing actions were sometimes far more often national, or even ethnic, than we had assumed. Indeed it was Stalin, not Hitler, who initiated the first ethnic killing campaigns in interwar Europe.-Ron Price with thanks to Timothy Snyder, “Who Was Worse, Hitler or Stalin?,” The New York Review of Books, 10 March 2011.

    In May 1937 as the first
    Seven Year Plan opened1
    and the delegates returned
    home form Chicago that
    Commission of Inquiry into
    the charges made against Leon
    Trotsky in the Moscow Trials,
    commonly known as the Dewey
    Commission had begun in New
    York by supporters of Trotsky
    to establish the truth about the trials.
    The commission was headed by the
    famous American philosopher and
    educator John Dewey. The hearings
    were conducted to prove that Leon
    Trotsky was innocent; they brought
    evidence and established that specific
    charges made at the trials could not be
    true……The Dewey Commission later
    published its findings in a book of 422
    pages titled Not Guilty. Its conclusions
    asserted the innocence of all those who
    were condemned in the Moscow Trials.
    For a summary go to good old, but often
    that unreliable, encyclopaedia Wikipedia.2

    1 The first Seven Year Plan of the North American Baha’i community: 1937-1944 to implement ‘Abdul-Baha’s Divine Plan written during the Great War.

    2 In its summary, the commission wrote: "Independent of extrinsic evidence, the Commission finds:
    • That the conduct of the Moscow Trials was such as to convince any unprejudiced person that no attempt was made to ascertain the truth.
    • That while confessions are necessarily entitled to the most serious consideration, the confessions themselves contain such inherent improbabilities as to convince the Commission that they do not represent the truth, irrespective of any means used to obtain them.
    • That Trotsky never instructed any of the accused or witnesses in the Moscow trials to enter into agreements with foreign powers against the Soviet Union [and] that Trotsky never recommended, plotted, or attempted the restoration of capitalism in the USSR.
    The commission concluded: "We therefore find the Moscow Trials to be frame-ups."

    Ron Price
    4 August 2011

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    Ron, thanks for your report. A private detective would not have done a better job. We will file it under T (for Tasmania).

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    Belated thanks, Windup Merchantski. Trust my file is useful to someone.-Ron

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    Anna Akhmatova--1936-1937---So Many Worlds and Yet One

    Between 1935 and 1940 Anna Akhmatova(1889-1966), a Russian and Soviet modernist poet, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Russian canon, composed, worked and reworked her long poem Requiem. She did her work in secret; it was a lyrical cycle of lamentation and witness, depicting the suffering of the common people under Soviet terror.1 Stalin's harshest period of mass repression, the so-called Great Purge or Great Terror, was launched in 1936-1937 and involved the execution of over a half-million Soviet citizens accused of treason, terrorism.

    My mother and father had just met or were about to meet in the five years 1935-1940; the first Baha’i teaching Plan was planned and launched in 1936-1937. They were a busy two years in history: the years that Hitler consolidated his power and WW2 began. See this link was a survey of its main features: World history 1936 -1937

    Akhmatova carried the poem with her as she worked and lived in towns and cities across the Soviet Union. It was conspicuously absent from her collected works, given its explicit condemnation of the purges. The work in Russian finally appeared in book form in Munich in 1963; the whole work was not published within USSR until 1987. It consists of ten numbered poems that examine a series of emotional states, exploring suffering, despair, devotion, rather than a clear narrative.

    Biblical themes such as Christ's crucifixion and the devastation of Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, reflect the ravaging of Russia, particularly witnessing the harrowing of women in the 1930s. It represented, to some degree, a rejection of her own earlier romantic work as she took on the public role as chronicler of the Terror. This is a role she holds to this day.-Ron Price with thanks to 1"Akhmatova, Anna" Who's Who in the Twentieth Century. Oxford University Press, 1999.

    Worlds apart, a purge in Russia1
    and another one in Iran, but who
    would know half a world away.
    Shoghi Effendi could marry Mary
    Maxwell; my mother & father met
    at the Otis Elevator Company in the
    Golden Horseshoe and the Baha’i
    Faith was banned in Germany. A
    Baha’i School was opened in the
    Antipodes…But who would ever
    have known; there were so many
    worlds as there are now and yet:2
    it’s an organic-unity: one world.3

    1 Although the work is recognizable as an epic lament for a particular people in response to specific circumstances of history, Akhmatova couches references to actual times and places in such a way that the work transcends its era and becomes a universal and timeless voice for the victims of persecution anywhere and anytime. See Poetry Criticism, ©2004 Gale Cengage
    2 See Glenn Cameron with Wendy Momen, A Basic Baha’i Chronology, George Ronald, Oxford, 1996, pp.247-251.
    3 Formalist theories of art take the view that any work of art is an organic unity; that is, it is a self-contained, self-justifying entity. Such is this prose-poem. Cosmologically, the notion of organic unity sees the entirety of creation as the voice of the infinite. In my view an Unknowable Essence. The organic is an expression of the unity. We are no longer separate from the rest of creation, because we contain all of creation. Thus by studying creation, we study ourselves. It all starts from oneness, the infinite, when the universe existed in a state of pure potential. In geometry, it is the point. This oneness is the unity point from which the organic arises. The goal now is to achieve politically what already exists biologically: the socio-political unity of humankind.

    Ron Price
    13 January 2012

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    RUSSIA AND ME: A Retrospective

    On the first day of April 2012, just after April Fools’ Day ended as it does at noon, after I had been retired from the world of jobs for a dozen years, I was able to develop my study of Russia. I had taken an interest in Russia from the 1960s while at university and had even applied for a job there in my first years as a teacher sometime around 1970, before serving as an international pioneer instead---in Australia for the Canadian Baha’i community. Inevitably, in my role as a student or as a teacher, of history and sociology, literature and psychology, some aspect of Russia came into the curricula over that half-century from, say 1955 to 2005.

    On 1 April, a Sunday afternoon, I chanced to watch a BBC Four program entitled The Art of Russia.(1) This series on Russian art was first shown on the BBC in December 2009. Andrew Michael Graham-Dixon(1960--), the British art historian was the presenter. He has been the chief art critic of The Independent newspaper where he remained until 1998 and, as of 2005, has been the chief art critic of The Sunday Telegraph. -Ron Price with thanks to(1)ABC1TV, 3:00-3:55 p.m. 1 April 2012.

    Your roots of art were in Byzantium1
    and your story, like so many stories,
    is a long one….Thank you, Michael,
    for your TV work since ’92, when I
    was beginning to eye my retirement
    from more than fifty years of jobs &
    student life so that I could spend my
    life in places other than classrooms!!

    It is programs like this that now enrich
    these evening years, these years of late
    adulthood(60-80) and old age(80+), if
    I last that long. My classroom is now the
    world which pours into my study---daily.
    I had three children, too, Michael…...but
    I don’t live in London…..rather…..at the
    ends of the earth in Tasmania…...the last
    stop on the way to Antarctica…….if you
    take the western-Pacific rim-route……..I
    thank you for that incredible story of the
    art of Russian: mystery & magnificence!

    1Very few students in our modern world have any idea where and what Byzantium was. Like so much of knowledge, this field of history and art will not help students negotiate the mine-fields of marriage and jobs, the many tests that come their way from cradle to grave. They will survive without ever knowing anything about Byzantium.

    It was an ancient Greek city, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 657 BC and named after their king Byzas. The city was later renamed Nova Roma by Constantine the Great, but popularly called Constantinople and briefly became the imperial residence of the classical Roman Empire. Subsequently, the city was---for more than a thousand years---the capital of the Byzantine Empire, the Greek-speaking Roman Empire of late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Constantinople was captured by the Ottoman Turks becoming the capital of their empire, in 1453. The name of the city was officially changed to Istanbul in 1930 following the establishment of modern Turkey.

    Ron Price
    30 April 2012.

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