Our culture is in crisis. The symptoms hardly require enumeration: political disarray, social dissolution, chaotic violence. The very survival of the culture that has defined the Euro-American way of life for centuries is in doubt.
That culture can be called ‘Western’ or ‘Modern’ or ‘Liberal’ or ‘Classical Liberal’, but whatever the name, in terms of its implications for society the culture in question comes down to a single word: ‘tolerance’ — not tolerance for ill-treatment of people or for doctrines that call for some to dictate to all others how they must live their lives, but tolerance for all people to live their lives as they see fit short of such unacceptable behavior.
Doubtlessly, there are people who are siding with anti-tolerance forces who are doing so out of fear and confusion. The fracturing of society and its associated outcomes are driving them to that profoundly desperate position. This essay can give those folks a very different outlet for their concern.
There are also many among us who are reveling in the possible demise of the culture of tolerance. Many of them are doing all they can to hasten its end.
Some of the people who are genuinely anti-tolerance insist that to be intolerant of their anti-tolerance is hypocritical. Really, though, to tolerate anti-tolerance in the name of tolerance is to be fatuously self-defeating.
After all, anti-tolerance people have the option of using force to achieve their goals. On the other hand, while it is possible to use physical force to defend the culture of tolerance against those who would use physical intimidation and even violence against it, even if people wanted to, it is not possible to use force to facilitate tolerance in itself. Tolerance is the opposite of forcing oneself on others.
Still, we do need something more — and better — than our fists to defend the culture of tolerance. Those of us who revel in its existence must find some common conceptual ground upon which we can peacefully but triumphantly defend the culture we cherish in the political process. That is where we are losing; it is where winning matters most.
One barrier to unifying people of disparate perspectives is an all-too-human penchant for being exclusionary: ‘this or that is mine (ours) and therefore no one else can claim it or any part of it’. That attitude is applied to both physical and abstract things.
Yet, abstract things — beliefs, ideas, positions, opinions, etc. — can be shared by an infinite number of people. Moreover, it is as possible in the abstract realm as it is in the physical realm to get to the exact same place from many different points of origin. So let us begin by determining to set aside any exclusionary impulse we might detect at any time within ourselves.
At this point I assume that I am writing to (if anyone) people who consider themselves to be progressives or liberals or libertarians — or none of the above. People who are for tolerance but count themselves as conservatives have to decide whether to remain in that camp and fight the good fight or to decamp from there. People who are in favor of tolerance but against taxes and public debt owe it to themselves to see where this goes.
overview of a potential piece of common ground
My purpose in this essay is to make the case that an idea upon which all people who are in favor of the culture of tolerance could unite already exists. It is not the product of any ideology or theology. As will be seen, accepting it requires no one to share or accept any belief, value, attitude, feeling, opinion, etc. of mine.
This idea provides, one could say, an improved redevelopment of the conceptual ground that the culture of tolerance has been occupying for centuries. It maximizes liberty in a practical way and conceptually reinforces the democratic political process.
Both conceptually and practically, this idea will fulfill the fondest desires of people who are libertarians and liberals and progressives — and anyone else who is for the culture of tolerance. In places this essay will probably frustrate even those who are most ardently predisposed towards particular ends it promises. I implore any readers there are to keep all of that in mind whenever they get uneasy about the direction this essay might be taking.
What is the idea? It is a better, more advanced understanding of justice. For now, any more than that bold claim will have to wait. There is other ground to cover first. One thing must, however, be said immediately: while an assertion of “a better, more advanced understanding of justice” should meet with skepticism, if dismissal of any new, different idea is all people can manage, then for the culture of tolerance the ship of hope has not only sailed, but already sunk.
For the sake of preserving the culture of tolerance we all have to accept outcomes that are short of the ultimately ideal society we might envision. (Personally, I am a spiritually informed — non-Marxist — commune-ist.) The preservation of that culture is the most important thing; its destruction would preclude any chance to create any society, any set of social structures, that would be harmonious with it. Surely, for all potential members of the coalition being sought, the material benefits that this new account of justice guarantees will be deemed to be a sufficient practical improvement for society.
Applying this new, improved account of justice to the economy would provide the means to eliminate, without cost and with no need for redistribution, societal problems as old as civilization: unemployment and poverty. It would do that while eliminating the need for taxes or public debt. It would also increase sustainability, without additional regulations or changes in behavior. The economy would be stable and self-regulating.
There is no hidden societal cost. There would still be no limit on income or wealth. Any fundamental change in society will inevitably involve losses for some individuals (such as, in this case, those who have depended on tax codes for their incomes), but there is no price to pay for those outcomes that would apply to society as a whole.
It is true that growth in GDP would decline, but maximizing GDP is not the point of human existence. At present, maximizing GDP is mandated in order to maximize employment, income, and tax revenues. It is necessary to maximize those in order to minimize unemployment and poverty. Here, there would be no unemployment or poverty at any level of GDP.
I know how that looks. Either some spaced-out, impractical Utopian vision or outright kookdom appears to beckon. Yet, the simple fact is that we can make those outcomes as certain as, say, E=MC² — in the U.S., with a single Act of Congress.
Accomplishing those outcomes would not require people to act rationally or altruistically or justly or any other particular way. Again, no one would be required to change one’s economic behavior one whit.
Rather, those outcomes would be built into the structure of a new and different monetary system. In that sense, this proposal can be considered in strictly economic terms, with no reference to justice whatsoever, as simply a new and different way of supplying the economy with money.
[Readers who can’t wait to see the economic proposal or get really apprehensive about where all this is headed in terms of economics could check out a “4-min. read” of mine right here on medium.com: “For American Conservatives: Time to Put-up or Shut-up on the Economy” (which there is also one of those addressed to “American Lefties”). A slightly longer Medium option would be “A Cure for the Ills of Capitalism.” This is as good a place as any to state for the record that I do have an M.A. in economics (1988), which I earned to be able to evaluate the economic implications of this new approach to justice. My Thesis included a review of the academic literature on ‘distributive justice’ that started with the publication of John Rawls’s book, A Theory of Justice (1971) and, in an appendix, a summary of the much scantier scholarly discussion of ‘neutral money’, the concept around which those who would found the ‘Austrian school’ in economics (Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, et al.) first coalesced.]
the nature of the crisis
I think that, for starters, we who would defend the culture of tolerance have to come to a common understanding of just exactly what it is that we are seeing that is unfolding before our eyes. No single idea can encompass all that is at stake and all that is contributing to our cultural crisis. Even so, the deeper we go towards the most fundamental common denominator possible for all of that, the more will be taken into account with a single concept.
I am convinced that what we are witnessing is the dissipation of the ideals that have informed the culture of tolerance and given shape to the societies within it. Those ideals are going the way of a morning fog in June in Georgia (which I am witnessing out the window as I write this).
The first such society was brought into this world as a result of the American Revolution. That revolution, and the ideals that motivated those who made it, moved the entire world in a new direction.
Those who are thinking ‘not for the better’ also owe it to themselves to see where this goes. We can’t change the past; the very best we can do is to make the future better.
That revolution was based on a new, more advanced — better — understanding of justice. To be sure, that understanding of justice has never been realized in any entire nation in full measure, but the failure to live up to any ideal does not of itself invalidate it.
Yet, that understanding of justice is being invalidated. More accurately, its inherent inadequacies are being revealed.
Although it was a better understanding of justice, it was not, it turns out, the final word on justice. For starters, many a well-reasoned critique has been leveled against the conceptual foundations of that approach to justice, from both religious and secular perspectives, from the time of its advent to the present (including, from postmodernists, the invalidation of the very notion of “conceptual foundations”).
That approach to justice is also being invalidated on practical grounds. Simply put, it has proven to be inadequate in the face of the material challenges that have arisen for society with the Industrial Revolution and its aftermath.
Political democracy, the crowning achievement of that approach to justice, is not of itself a solution to any material problem. At its best, it is however a societal construct in which solutions can be brought forward, given public consideration, and implemented; fundamentally, it is a vehicle for nonviolent societal change.
The “material challenges” we have inherited include, let’s be clear, ‘Big Business’. Its emergence killed any possibility of realizing the libertarian ideal in this nation (which also required ending slavery, which the Civil War did, which proved to be a vehicle for Big Business to begin its domination of the nation — “and on and on,” as Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. would say.) Now, realistically, we are stuck with those economic Goliaths.
More pointedly, societies with that idea of justice as their organizing principle but dominated by large corporations have failed to meet the “legitimate expectations” (Rawls) that the members of every society have for adequate provisioning of universal material needs. Although people do not choose which society to be born into and most of us have no real choice but to remain in the nation of our birth, justice requires that the members of a society, the citizens of a nation, must be taken into consideration as though their membership in it were completely voluntary. For me, as for Rawls, that is the pertinent takeaway from John Locke’s version of the famous ‘State of Nature’ conceptual device.
No human being would voluntarily choose to live in a society in which that person could work full-time but live in poverty so that others employed in the same enterprise could receive hundreds of thousands of dollars — perhaps millions of dollars — of its revenue. That is the issue Rawls resolved with his famous “difference principle.” The more advanced approach to justice towards which we are trudging resolves that issue in a totally different way.
Absolutely, the “provisioning” available in any society will always be relative to the material resources available. Yet the approach to justice that has been associated with the culture of tolerance until now is bereft of any intrinsic response to those legitimate expectations.
The largest practical inadequacy of that approach to governing governance is that it has no capacity for directly governing the economy as a societal process. The economy requires governance as surely as the political process does.
Libertarians’ position is that free markets, left to themselves, govern themselves adequately. As already noted, Big Business — not Big Government — killed that possibility for this nation.
On that subject, Locke’s famous government-as-“Night Watchman” must be big enough and strong enough to protect the members of society from the biggest, most powerful predators in society. Make no mistake, the ‘animal spirits’ the market-based economy unleashes most certainly include predation.
It is because the idea of justice in the culture of tolerance includes no means for governing the economy that those who see a need for governing it have had no option but to turn to government for its governance. To make sure I get that nail driven in completely, if the economy as a societal process were governed by an ethic (the same one governing the political process), that would obviate any need to attempt to use government to achieve that governance.
So, the theoretical and practical inadequacies of the understanding of justice that the culture of tolerance has entailed heretofore are being revealed to us. One does not have to conclude that that approach to governing governance was ‘wrong’ or a bad idea to accept that we need a new, more advanced, even better approach to justice.
whither our beliefs
As I sort of mentioned already, I am a Believer. I believe in the existence of God as the Creator of this Universe and all that is in it as fully, completely, and resolutely as a person can believe anything. Yet, I have learned that to advance our understanding of justice we have to think critically about the nature of beliefs. [For present purposes, a belief is an assertion of a reality that is transcendent with respect to material existence; it is therefore not possible to validate or invalidate a belief within material existence.]
Here’s the thing: every belief of every single human being is absolutely, perfectly valid for the believer, but no belief of any human being has any validity whatsoever for any other human being who does not share that belief. That is far from being the most obscure thing I have learned; it is without question the single most important thing of this world that I have learned.
That does not mean that we have to abandon our beliefs; our ideas of ‘what should be’ can always be informed by beliefs. It does mean that we must all accept a degree of humility regarding our beliefs.
Justice, after all, is an ontological thing. It is what results when people act (including ‘speech acts’) in accordance with justice as an ethic, a rule governing conduct. Since all moralities are based on beliefs and all beliefs are ‘equal’, any morality, any belief-based rule for governing conduct, any belief-based ethic is as valid as any other. ‘Might makes right’ is one example.
By the nature of beliefs, belief-based conflicts can only be “contests of power” (Michel Foucault). When both (or all) sides of such a conflict are absolutists, it can only be resolved when one side achieves total victory, absolute domination. That is most especially true of conflicts centered on the governance of governance. Totalitarianism beckons.
Beyond that, when it comes to the structure and expected functioning of the ‘basic institutions’ of society, if the answer to the question, “What should be?” is based on beliefs, then those beliefs are inevitably being imposed on people who do not share them.
Who among us would agree that it is just to have beliefs we reject imposed upon us? No one who believes in the societal ideal of tolerance possibly could.
beliefs and justice in the culture of tolerance
That gets us to the most fundamental inadequacy of the approach to justice within the culture of tolerance as it is presently constituted: that approach to justice is based on beliefs. Those beliefs are two: human moral equality and the existence of a priori Rights, specifically a Right to liberty.
Those beliefs can come from a perspective that is secular/ideological or religious/theological. Either way, they are still beliefs.
That in itself invalidates them for justly governing the governance of society. That is to say that based on those very ideals of justice, beliefs cannot be justly used to determine the structure and expected functioning of the political process and the economy, as well as the entire system of laws and their enforcement that is determined within the political process, not to mention a general rule or two regarding people’s interpersonal treatment of one another. For some to impose their beliefs on others is a violation of any idea of justice that follows from believing in equality and liberty.
That does validate the critique that the ‘religious right’ has leveled against the ‘secular left’ in recent decades in the culture of tolerance. The latter has engaged in arbitrarily privileging secular beliefs because they are secular. Of course, the former has sought to privilege its beliefs, too. As we say down in Georgia, “Oy vey.”
no ethic, no justice
There is a further problem with using equality and a Right to liberty as the organizing principles for a just society. The problem of which I speak is that neither of them is an ethic, i.e., a rule for governing conduct.
I desire liberty as much as a person can, but liberty is in fact the opposite of an ethic — though it could be considered a moral precept. Liberty is doing whatever one damn well pleases. Sure, there are ways to curb liberty for the sake of justice, but that makes those curbs, or the sources of those curbs, the locus of justice, not liberty.
Equality is in itself no more of an ethic than liberty is. Since, in itself, it makes no reference to human conduct, it can’t even be a moral precept.
mutual respect to the rescue
Equality does, however, imply an ethic: mutual respect. That implied ethic is in fact what has redeemed this approach to justice. It is a requirement of mutual respect following from moral human equality that has informed political democracy and drawn the limit on liberty at ‘an equal liberty for all others’ and ‘the persons and property of all others’, as it is often put.
In limiting liberty as it does, mutual respect actually provides the maximum liberty that co-existing individuals can share simultaneously. In other words, properly understood, liberty is the product of justice (mutual respect), not its predicate, or source, or foundation, etc. (For me, far from diminishing enthusiasm for mutual respect, that makes achieving justice as mutual respect all the more urgent: ‘if you want liberty, work for justice’.)
So recognizing mutual respect as the ethic of justice in its own right would in itself be an advance in our understanding of justice. In practice it is already the ethic that governs governance in the culture of tolerance. The problem remains, however, that mutual respect as an ethic following from human moral equality is still dependent on a belief for its existence.
mutual respect, but without beliefs
The most important discovery I have made is to have found a way to arrive at an ethic of justice that involves no belief at any point. Rather, it follows from observation within material existence.
The observations from which that ethic follows are that humans are social beings (we live in groups — societies) and we have no choice but to effect choices (choose among perceived alternatives and taking action to bring that choice to fruition — from Warren J. Samuels).
That makes choosing for oneself integral to being human. That, by the way, holds even if as individuals the choices we make are somehow pre-determined.
Co-existing, choice-effecting human beings have no choice but to have some rule governing the governance of society. ‘Anything goes’ is still a rule. We can call that rule the ethic of justice.
The ethic following from those observations is, in twenty-five or fewer words, mutual respect in effecting choices. Since it is completely contained within material existence, with both its determiners and its referents limited to material existence and involving no beliefs, I call it ‘real justice’.
To engage in mutual respect in effecting choices is to recognize the other as a fellow human being. To violate that ethic is to assert by one’s action some relative status among those involved that cannot be confirmed by observation within material existence. It can only be some form of a belief. Any such assertion of relative status is therefore invalid for anyone who does not, well, choose to accept it.
To be clear, the ethic of real justice must be accepted as applying to all people, whether anyone likes it or not, because it follows form observation within material existence. Being completely contained within material existence makes mutual respect in effecting choices an ethic that is necessarily universally valid for human beings (for those who accept that intersubjective understanding of a shared reality within material existence is possible — as, I would think, anyone who pays any attention to anything spoken or written by any other person must).
To be sure, anyone can still reject real justice. People reject that Earth is a sphere. People reject that the average temperature of the lithosphere of Earth is increasing.
People are entitled to their own reality; we are not entitled to having others, much less society as a whole, accept our reality. Real justice applies to (all) human beings who acknowledge the validity of the observations from which the ethic of real justice follows.
Those who reject the validity of those observations can only validate such a claim by acting consistently with it. Merely to state such a claim as an abstract possibility does not invalidate for the claimant those observations. To effect that claim one must act as though one is under no compunction to take any other person into account when effecting any choice.
We do have words to describe such people: ‘sociopath’ and ‘psychopath’. One can be one of those types of people and be benign, but society as a whole and its individual members must be protected from anyone living within any personal reality who harms others or manifestly threatens harm to others. To allow a person in that state of being to enjoy the full measure of his or her reality is societal insanity.
Mutual respect in effecting choices is the definitive, sufficient, prescriptive condition of real justice. In a nutshell, it means taking into account others who are involved whenever a choice is being effected.
Real justice also has a minimum, necessary, proscriptive condition of justice: no one may co-opt any other person in effecting any choice. Anyone’s involvement in the process, as ends or means, must be sufficiently informed and voluntary.
The proscriptive condition of justice boils down to a handful of prohibitions (to be construed most broadly) governing one’s interactions with other human beings in the process of effecting any choice: no killing, harming, coercing, lying, cheating, or stealing to get one’s way. So long as one is doing none of those things to get what one wants, one is refraining from being intentionally unjust.
The presence of that proscriptive condition of justice absolves real justice of the favorite criticism leveled at the political ‘left’ by the political ‘right’ in this country: moral relativism. It has more explicit constraints on human interactions than are contained in the Ten Commandments in the Bible.
Now, it is inevitable that every society of human beings will have laws and law enforcement. One of the tasks of laws and law enforcement in every case is to address issues related to particular instances in which behavior contravenes the society’s organizing principles. A society with real justice as its organizing principle would not be an exception.
In other words, we aren’t talking about creating a Utopia. We’re not talking about changing ‘human nature’. We are talking about a better approach to justice for societies populated with imperfect human beings. There will always be a need for a legal system of some kind to determine intentionality (‘blame’) and punishment when harm is incurred.
In the foregoing one might have heard echoes, more or less distinctly, of various critiques of ‘Liberal justice’. Those critiques, from religion and Marxism and postmodernism, have revealed its ideals of justice to be conceptual gossamer.
That is why the culture of tolerance and societal constructs associated with it, such as democracy, are in danger of being blown away. Mutual respect as the ethic of justice acknowledges those critiques while preserving the culture of tolerance from its anti-tolerance foes, setting its societal ideals of maximum liberty and political democracy in conceptual concrete.
For all that, it is perfectly A-O.K. to accept for oneself mutual respect as the organizing principle of society because one believes in equal human moral equality and in liberty as an (albeit limited) a priori Right. On that basis one can promote mutual respect and advocate for its application to the political process and/or the economy. One must simply accept that others cannot be required to accept it on that basis.
real justice and the political process and the economy
The political process is the process of effecting choices for the community as a whole. In short, for present purposes, mutual respect as the ethic of justice requires no changes to the structure and expected functioning of democracy as we know it as a societal process. A need for change in specific parts or aspects of specific political systems in particular nations can be debated, but as a process democracy is consistent with mutual respect in effecting choices.
It is crucially important for justice that, in a democracy, in accepting outcomes with which one disagrees one is accepting the justness of the process; one is not being required to accept the beliefs of the people on the other side of any issue. That point seems to have become completely lost to people in the U.S.
The political process, though ‘real’, does have a certain abstract quality; the economy is thoroughly materialistic. Yet, mutual respect applies to it as deftly as it applies to the political process.
I have found that the ethic of mutual respect yields three conditions of justice for the economy. The economy will be more or less just depending on how many of those conditions of justice are met.
One of the conditions of justice for the economy is freedom: freedom for individuals to choose how and to what extent to participate in the economy. Of course, in every society certain goods or services might be banned by law. Also, the political process might yield restrictions and regulations on activities related to producing legal goods and services based on what is deemed to be the broader good of society as a whole or its members as individuals. Still, freedom is a condition of justice for the economy.
Another condition of justice for the economy (if it is, like ours, a monetary economy) is the existence of a democratically distributed income. That is an income that is available for an unlimited number of people, but which no one is required to accept or to provide money for its funding. (The amount that income should be is a moral question that cannot be decided directly by real justice; I have based it on the median income, which, if exactly that amount — technically, one penny below it — would raise the minimum income and therefore the average income without affecting the median income or any income above the median.)
The only way I could devise to have such an income would be to make it the supply of money for the economy. I do realize what a huge concept that is to throw out there. I would hope that no one could have read the preceding and dismiss what I have to say at this point as the product of a self-induced delusion.
The details of that monetary proposal are provided elsewhere. Here I’ll only refer the reader to the outcomes cited near the beginning of this essay.
One outcome, though, does seem to call for special mention: that there would still be no limit on income or property or wealth. The position of people on the political left is that differences in material well-being that are ‘too large’ are themselves an injustice, that ‘economic justice’ requires at least some redistribution. I refer people who hold that position to the appeal for compromise that I made previously in this essay. Those who are way, way ‘left’ on that issue should keep reading.
It is noteworthy enough, I think, to bear repeating that the monetary proposal following from real justice can be considered without any reference to justice, but in strictly economic terms. In that sense, it is but a new and different way for supplying the economy we have with money.
The third condition of justice for the economy that I found to be generated by mutual respect is an absence of exploitation. That could be achieved by extending the democratically distributed income to more positions in the economy. In that economic model all revenue received by any business or government would be for that entity itself; none of it would go into the pocket of any employee of any such entity.
While there would be no exploitation, there would still be no limit on income/property/wealth. People who were independent contractors, like professional athletes and actors, people paid commissions, and people paid royalties would presumably be the highest-paid people. Hopefully, given that theirs is the most important function performed in civilization, we would see to it that farmers would do better materially than they ever have. There would be yet more built-in sustainability. (Personally, I could see humanity having to go to that model for the sake of sustainability.)
Finally, I would like to speak to the issue of scope. It is a simple fact that this world is becoming more socially integrated. More and more, the entire globe is becoming a single community with all of humanity as its members.
That definitely has contributed to freaking people out. Especially, it threatens the notion of ‘sovereignty’ at the bottom of the nation-state model that is all the culture of tolerance has known for the entire span of its existence.
This approach to supplying the economy with money would not interfere in any way at any point with any nation’s domestic political process. That makes it universalizable within the extant nation-state model. It could be adopted by any number of countries. It could even be implemented, eventually, on a global level as a single monetary system without interfering with the notion of sovereignty.
so now what
I hope I have made a convincing argument. The goal is to preserve the culture of tolerance. To do that, we need a new approach to justice. One is available that avoids the pitfalls of ‘Liberal justice’ but sustains its ends, in particular maximum liberty and political democracy. It would thus preserve the culture of tolerance.
Whether or not the foregoing will serve as a manifesto to that end is for each individual who has read this far to decide for oneself. It is for oneself to decide whether to make it one’s manifesto for political action.
With this new, more advanced, better approach to justice in hand, how would victory be achieved? To that question I have no answer as certain as the ethic of real justice.
Obviously, a place to start would be to start telling other people about this idea. That can happen on the interpersonal level as well as through public media. One could even run for Congress with the monetary proposal as one’s platform, since, as I noted above, it could be instituted with a single Act of Congress.
I do have a Web site, www. realjusticemovement.com. It is crude, but it does provide a rough model that someone who is better at such things might possibly improve. The idea there is to use all forms of communication available to create a loose, amorphous network of individuals and organizations to further the Cause without violating the conditions of justice.
That basically limits such efforts to rational persuasion. Peaceable assembly, as a way to demonstrate support, would be legitimate, but even marches, even if peaceful, are too suggestive of intimidation — as those who have witness marches staged by ant-tolerance forces can attest.
Otherwise, I have no suggestions. All I know with absolute certainty in that regard is that I want to see the culture of tolerance not just to survive, but to flourish.
I do believe that we who are alive today who want to preserve the culture of tolerance really do have a duty to those who strived and sacrificed for the idea of justice from which it followed — as well as a duty to our posterity. We must act to preserve that culture.
“All we have to fear is fear itself” is not only great rhetoric, it is the absolute truth. In a crisis fear generates either witless panic or hopeless paralysis. Rather than give in to fear, we must focus on the task at hand, and gather ourselves for the effort required to preserve the cultural legacy of more and better justice.
I have quite a few essays posted here on medium.com. Almost all of them refer to topics contained in the preceding essay. The few that don’t might provide the reader with insight into me as a person for those who are curious (given that I am putting up ideas I have authored to be the impetus for a political movement).
I also have a Web site, www.ajustsolution.com. It puts the economic implications of real justice front and center. There is a Page devoted to ‘real justice’. There are also links to other essays posted at other sites that extend over a broader area than those on my Web site or here on medium.com.