72. Crime without Punishment – the journey from means to ends


Sooner or later every­one – indi­vid­u­als, gov­ern­ments, com­pa­nies – has to make choices about whether to put aside cer­tain val­ues to achieve a desired end. Michael Pas­coe, an Aus­tralian finan­cial jour­nal­ist, has recently dis­cussed this at http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/abandon-principles-and-pay-the-price-20140331-35tz4.html

Image credit: Hugh Macleod @ http://www.gapingvoidart.com/ 

Pref­ace: This is a dis­cus­sion paper, not a researched aca­d­e­mic doc­u­ment. The read­ing list at the end is a col­lec­tion of con­tem­po­rary links from the Inter­net and pretty acci­den­tal, not edited for qual­ity. The author is a prin­ci­pal orga­nizer for a Bris­bane, Aus­tralia, dis­cus­sion group whose mem­bers come from diverse back­grounds, and which deals with an eclec­tic col­lec­tion of top­ics. Where a topic is of broad gen­eral inter­est I have adopted the prac­tice of post­ing dis­cus­sion starters like the present one on Academia.edu in the hope that oth­ers might also find them worth think­ing about.

1. Actual Vs hypo­thet­i­cal choices of ends and means


In the real world of events, as opposed to philo­soph­i­cal state­ments of “should”, deci­sions about ends and means always come down to who, if any­body, is respon­si­ble for con­se­quences. Where con­se­quences are not clear for actors, and espe­cially if con­se­quences are not per­sonal, almost any ends can be argued for, and almost any means might be ratio­nal­ized. For this rea­son, the read­ing list at the end of these notes is slanted towards a focus on real world sit­u­a­tions.


2. The spec­trum of human actions used to achieve ends


Action affect­ing other peo­ple can be use­fully put in a means=>end frame.  That is, how do means (actions) which the actor(s) ini­ti­ates con­tribute to some end, and what are the con­se­quences for other peo­ple? The range of actions avail­able usu­ally depends upon the rela­tion­ship between the actor(s) and the affected party (or par­ties), and also whether that party is the main tar­get of the action, or merely a col­lat­eral par­tic­i­pant. Of course, not all actions are intended to affect other peo­ple, but they usu­ally do in some way. Human tar­geted actions to achieve some end can be seen as a con­tin­uum rang­ing from coop­er­a­tion > direc­tive > co-option > cor­rup­tion > intim­i­da­tion > coer­cion > extor­tion >vio­lence.


3. The dis­place­ment of respon­si­bil­ity when peo­ple act in groups


As indi­vid­u­als most of us (but not all of us) prefer to dwell at the gen­tler end of the con­tin­uum of tar­geted actions. As we move up the scale towards vio­lence, our ratio­nale for action becomes more dif­fi­cult to jus­tify to our­selves and to oth­ers. How­ever, humans also act as groups, del­e­gat­ing respon­si­bil­ity and cul­pa­bil­ity for their actions to lead­ers, or even to abstrac­tions like reg­u­la­tions and laws. The groups might be quite inti­mate, they might be mobs, they might be reli­gious, related to employ­ment, or devolved to gov­ern­ments at var­i­ous lev­els, or even trans-national orga­ni­za­tions. As these groups become more abstracted from the indi­vid­ual, most peo­ple feel much less dif­fi­culty in jus­ti­fy­ing actions which they per­haps could not con­tem­plate as indi­vid­u­als. This is because they gen­er­ally become less respon­si­ble for con­se­quences, less likely to be pun­ished for poor judge­ment, and are quite likely to have no per­sonal acquain­tance with the peo­ple who will be affected by their actions. 


4. The indus­tri­al­iza­tion of remote and offi­cial actions tar­get­ing indi­vid­u­als


The dis­place­ment of respon­si­bil­ity to groups has always existed in human soci­eties. How­ever, the 20th Cen­tury saw an “advance” in the removal of per­sonal respon­si­bil­ity with the emer­gence of mass polit­i­cal move­ments, and then total war­fare. The early 21st Cen­tury has seen another omi­nous “advance” of this kind. What­ever the depre­da­tions of ear­lier mass abuses, they tended to be some­what uneven because of the sheer inef­fi­ciency, not to say the stu­pid­ity of indi­vid­ual agents within orga­ni­za­tions. World War II gave rise to an expres­sive acronym: SNAFU => sit­u­a­tion nor­mal, all fucked up. In the 21st Cen­tury this acci­den­tally benev­o­lent incom­pe­tence has been dras­ti­cally reduced though the relent­less pen­e­tra­tion of com­put­ing and the Inter­net into all of our lives. That is, com­put­ing has auto­mated mil­lions of actions which used to depend upon rou­tine but unre­li­able human inter­ven­tion.

On the other hand, the num­ber of peo­ple rapidly affected by sin­gle acts of incom­pe­tence or mal­ice has expo­nen­tially increased. A sim­ple exam­ple would be a com­puter virus with which one rogue oper­a­tor can affect mil­lions of peo­ple. When the rogue oper­a­tor is an orga­ni­za­tion or gov­ern­ment, the out­comes can be cat­a­strophic. That is, group actions, espe­cially at the worst end of the spec­trum, have been indus­tri­al­ized, while neg­a­tive con­se­quences for the actors are almost elim­i­nated. Even war­fare is con­ducted as a com­puter game remote from indi­vid­u­als who are tar­geted to be assas­si­nated by aerial drones. Our pri­vacy, our per­sonal free­doms and our pow­ers to react to abuse are tee­ter­ing on extinc­tion. The pop­u­lar imag­i­na­tion has not really grasped the nature or extent of this loss. 

These notes will look first at the com­pro­mises which we all make between means and ends. It will go on to out­line and doc­u­ment the increas­ing sub­or­di­na­tion of ends we think we are pur­su­ing by orga­ni­za­tional agen­cies mind­lessly pur­su­ing means with indus­trial effi­ciency while evad­ing all respon­si­bil­ity for the car­nage result­ing from their actions. 


5. Mary-Lou and the pitch for a rich guy


Mary-Lou has decided to pitch for a rich guy. Really, she doesn’t love the rich guy, and in fact there is not much to love about him. On the other hand he can provide the mate­rial life to which she aspires, and even if things fall apart, she can walk away with enough gold coins to keep her in com­fort for life. For that mat­ter, the rich guy thinks he is get­ting a tro­phy wife and a sex slave in one pack­age. That is, at least for a while, both par­ties are sat­is­fied that their per­sonal objec­tives jus­tify a (sham?) pub­lic mar­riage. Means jus­tify the ends. OK, this sce­nario is a cliché – or is it? Pick your scan­dal story of the hour. Per­haps Wendi Deng and Rupert Mur­doch. Or even find the Inter­net site to help it all hap­pen. In Aus­tralia in 2013, through the web­site SeekingArrangement.com, “… accord­ing to com­pany fig­ures, there are roughly 7680 sugar babies in Queens­land seek­ing var­i­ous types of arrange­ments, and 530 “sugar dad­dies” and “sugar mom­mies” will­ing to offer their sup­port.  The num­bers were far greater in Syd­ney, where there were 14,500 sugar babies, 800 sugar dad­dies and mom­mies last year. Mel­bourne had 9210 sugar babies, and 640 sugar dad­dies and mom­mies….  Com­pany spokes­woman Jen­nifer Gwynn said that … these “sugar babies” stood to receive approx­i­mately $3000 a month in allowances and gifts from a will­ing Sugar Daddy to help cover tuition and liv­ing expenses…. But she said it was not pros­ti­tu­tion” (Feeney, 2013). Yes, quite. But what­ever we think of Mary-Lou and her sugar daddy, it is a per­sonal com­pro­mise between con­sent­ing adults. As far as we can tell, nobody else is going to get hurt. 


6. Dag­wood wants a pro­mo­tion


The high school debat­ing hero brim­ming with ide­als is usu­ally a very dif­fer­ent indi­vid­ual from his rein­car­na­tion at 30, now with a wife and child, a mort­gage, and his feet on the pro­mo­tion esca­la­tor which nour­ishes career ambi­tion. In other words, the for the teen the prime end of his actions and expressed opin­ions was peer respect and female admi­ra­tion. With those ends in mind he had every incen­tive to pose as some­thing which the ide­als of his peer group would share. Dis­placed to a war sit­u­a­tion, he might even rush out of his fox hole to col­lect either a bul­let or a medal for brav­ery.


As a 30 year old orga­ni­za­tion-man, our ex-teenage hero is trapped in lay­ered insti­tu­tional agen­das over which he has lit­tle con­trol. He finds him­self being required to do things which affect strangers out­side of the com­pany, and per­haps do them dam­age. He learns not to think too hard about this. He per­ceives a road map to higher earn­ings, higher sta­tus and, he tells him­self, one day he will have the actual power to do things as his teenage alter ego thought they should be done. How­ever there are obsta­cles, and they mostly take the form of other peo­ple in his work­place. His peers are now his com­peti­tors, and his stu­pid supe­ri­ors are per­sons of influ­ence to be cul­ti­vated. Dag­wood knows that Axlerod, whom he went to school with, is his only seri­ous com­peti­tor for the upcom­ing line manager’s job. He has the dirt on Axlerod; they used to be friends. It is so easy to let slip a lit­tle inter­est­ing gos­sip about the guy that will surely reach HR. Nobody else needs to know where the dam­age came from. Dag­wood has taken his first slip­pery step on the long, greasy road to the top. When he finally gets there he will no longer have those teenage val­ues from long ago, but he doesn’t know this yet. Nor does he know that at 40 he will pass a hid­den red traf­fic light, and be con­sid­ered “over the hill”. It is a per­verse fact of life that the very attrib­utes and behav­iours which Dagwood’s teenage alter ego thought should be a bar­rier to achiev­ing ends – incom­pe­tence, arro­gance, ruth­less­ness and self­ish­ness, together with spine­less­ness, lag­gard­ness and drunk­en­ness – are appar­ently nec­es­sary qual­i­fi­ca­tions for achiev­ing suc­cess in most Aus­tralian orga­ni­za­tions (Colquhoun 2013).


7. The killing fields of invis­i­ble unem­ploy­ment


Smith is good at what he does, and at 45 he is at the top of his game. For twenty years he has devel­oped exper­tise for the IT needs of a large orga­ni­za­tion. He is a tech­nol­o­gist, not a politi­cian or a bean coun­ter, but he knows that with­out peo­ple like him the whole orga­ni­za­tion would grind to a halt. There­fore he was shocked when fol­low­ing a board shuf­fle nine months ago he was sent off with a redun­dancy pack­age. The new board mem­bers were con­fi­dent that out­sourcing was the way to go, would save a large chunk of oper­at­ing costs, would devolve respon­si­bil­ity for imple­men­ta­tion fail­ures to con­trac­tors, and would bur­nish their rep­u­ta­tions as hot-shot direc­tors. The sim­ple means to so many desir­able ends was a slam-dunk for them. Nine months down the track the com­pany is tee­ter­ing for a cas­cad­ing col­lec­tion of rea­sons, but the direc­tors are too insu­lated to have grasped this yet, and Smith, well he is sit­ting in his pyja­mas at home writ­ing job appli­ca­tion let­ters.


If Smith was shocked by the per­verse behav­iour of his employ­ers, he has been demor­al­ized to find that the large num­ber of very well-pay­ing posi­tions adver­tised for some­one with just his skills have actu­ally evap­o­rated when it came down to the nitty-gritty of apply­ing for them. Smith has even obtained pro­fes­sional assis­tance to pol­ish his CV. Regard­less, com­pa­nies and employ­ment agen­cies have demanded exten­sive, time-con­sum­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion to come with any appli­ca­tion. They have demanded the con­tacts of ref­er­ees, a depre­ci­at­ing resource if they are con­tacted too often. In spite of jump­ing through all the hoops, Smith has received only a hand­ful of responses to many appli­ca­tions. Sev­eral agen­cies have told him can­didly that he is “too hold”, and a cou­ple of oth­ers that his is “overqual­i­fied”, what­ever that means. He did man­age to get a cou­ple of inter­views, only to real­ize that the inter­view­ing pan­els not only had not read his CV, but that they were treat­ing him as a fill-in to jus­tify the hir­ing process for an insider they had already selected. At last, sad­der but wiser, he researched the mar­ket and learned that the major­ity of adver­tised posi­tions were fakes. Gov­ern­ment depart­ments and uni­ver­si­ties with their elab­o­rate com­pli­ance reg­u­la­tions were the worst offend­ers in this fake job cha­rade. The means to an end for them was to tick the boxes they needed to tick before fol­low­ing their true inten­tion. The employ­ment agen­cies were indis­tin­guish­able in their meth­ods from real estate agen­cies. For such busi­nesses, the means for putting up a pub­lic front of enor­mous demand and activ­ity was to churn adver­tise­ments for obso­lete job vacan­cies con­stantly.  The needs of the long suf­fer­ing unem­ployed who had the least avail­able resources, fig­ured nowhere in the cal­cu­la­tions of busi­nesses, agen­cies or gov­ern­ments (Feath­er­ston 2014, “How Many Job Ads Are Fake?”).


8. The killing fields of invis­i­ble ene­mies


This sec­tion looks at the 9/11 Attack and the ensu­ing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as exam­ples of the extreme cor­rup­tion of ends and means in human behav­iour. Count­less other exam­ples could have been cho­sen, but these par­tic­u­lar wars are famil­iar to many read­ers from the con­tem­po­rary polit­i­cal nar­ra­tive.


Wikipedia tells us that “”The Sep­tem­ber 11 attacks (also referred to as Sep­tem­ber 11, Sep­tem­ber 11th, or 9/11) were a series of four coor­di­nated ter­ror­ist attacks launched by the Islamic ter­ror­ist group al-Qaeda upon the United States in New York City and the Wash­ing­ton, D.C. met­ro­pol­i­tan area on Tues­day, Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001” (Wikipedia 2014, “Sep­tem­ber 11 attacks”). The world has not been the same since. The real ori­gins of the 9/11 attacks have been hotly dis­puted (Wikipedia 2014 “0/11 Con­spir­acy The­o­ries”). I am per­son­ally agnos­tic about whether the events were purely an Al Qaeda oper­a­tion, and it will prob­a­bly take a gen­er­a­tion to learn the whole story (or maybe never). What is beyond doubt how­ever is that 9/11 set in train a cor­nu­copia of agen­das within Amer­ica and beyond it. If Osama bin Laden set out to dis­rupt the pre­vail­ing cul­tures of West­ern civ­i­liza­tion he suc­ceeded beyond his wildest dreams, not from Al Qaeda’s actions per se,  but by the self-destruc­tion of America’s claimed val­ues through Amer­i­can responses, both nation­ally and inter­na­tion­ally.


Of all human behav­iours war­fare always engages the most advanced tech­nol­ogy of the age at the ser­vice of the most prim­i­tive instincts. It is a cliché that the first casu­alty of war is the truth. This is a way of say­ing that pub­licly announced ends become tac­ti­cal lies, altered to jus­tify the employed means of destruc­tion. The 9/11 attacks gave rise to two wars against sov­er­eign nations, Iraq and Afghanistan, by the United States. Nei­ther of those states were paragons of good gov­ern­ment, but nei­ther were either of them a sig­nif­i­cant threat to the United States. War was declared against them by the United States in the name of crush­ing Al Qaeda. The over­whelm­ing source for Al Qaeda recruits, Saudi Ara­bia received no sanc­tion at all. Indeed its lead­ers deep­ened their inti­macy with the Amer­i­can pres­i­dent of the day. 


The case for war was fab­ri­cated, and later shown to be entirely based on lies. There were no con­se­quences for actors in the Amer­i­can admin­is­tra­tion, but civil soci­ety in Iraq was destroyed and esti­mates of death from the con­flict range from 110,600 to over a mil­lion (Wikipedia 2014, “Casu­alties of the Iraq War”), entirely dwarf­ing the 3,000 lost in the 9/11 attack. All of this for a pop­u­la­tion which had no con­nec­tion what­so­ever with Al Qaeda’s oper­a­tions. In Afghanistan, tens of thou­sands of peo­ple have become casu­alties in an inde­fen­si­ble war (Wikipedia 2014 “Civil­ian casu­alties in the War in Afghanistan (2001–present)”.  Amer­ica has not won these wars, nor achieved strate­gic objec­tives even using the blood and iron ratio­nale of empire build­ing. By any rea­son­able met­ric, these wars were vast Amer­i­can war crimes, yet this is a ver­dict unac­cept­able to the Amer­i­can public’s self-image. 


Have the wars in fact reduced ter­ror­ist threats in con­ti­nen­tal Amer­ica or world­wide? No, they have ampli­fied the threats by recruit­ing whole pop­u­la­tions now antag­o­nis­tic to Amer­ica, and domes­ti­cally they have led to the emas­cu­la­tion of so-called Amer­i­can free­doms in the name of the Patriot Act, as well as the growth of an out-of-con­trol sur­veil­lance cul­ture through the NSA – spy­ing on all the per­sonal com­mu­ni­ca­tions of ordi­nary Amer­i­cans, the cit­i­zens of other nations world­wide, and even mem­bers of Con­gress in Wash­ing­ton. That is, actions in the name of secu­rity have gen­er­ated ever greater inse­cu­rity for every­one.  


If we fol­low the money of course, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have depleted the pub­lic Trea­sury of the United States, almost fatally, but immea­sur­ably enriched an elite group of arms man­u­fac­tur­ers, con­trac­tors, and their camp fol­low­ers of pros­ti­tuted politi­cians.


For our dis­cus­sion pur­poses here, war­fare of the kind just described poses a puz­zle for any assump­tion of defen­si­ble ends and ratio­nal means. It is only explic­a­ble, to me at least, by rec­og­niz­ing that many thou­sands of indi­vid­u­als act­ing within the shell of orga­ni­za­tions, have aban­doned per­sonal respon­si­bil­ity for the ways that their behav­iour has impacted upon strangers with whom they have no con­nec­tion except through a nar­ra­tive of imag­i­nary ter­ror. They have learned to fear fear itself, and in attack­ing their night­mares have wreaked havoc upon inno­cent oth­ers.



Read­ing List


Axestop­per, Pete (14 Octo­ber 2013) “Means VsEnds”. Asexuality.org web­site, online @ http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/93799-means-vs-ends/

Bain­bridge, Stephen M. (Feb­ru­ary 2002) “Direc­tor Pri­macy: The Means and Ends of Cor­po­rate Gov­er­nance”. Social Sci­ence Research Net­work web­site, online @ http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=300860

Colquhoun, Steve (Octo­ber 22, 2013) “Is our work­place cul­ture bro­ken?”. Bris­bane Times online @ http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/executive-style/management/comment-is-our-workplace-culture-broken-20131022-2vxhe.html#ixzz2iOvigpFw

Feath­er­ston, Tony (April 10, 2014) “How many job ads are fake?”. [rec­om­mended arti­cle, espe­cially the com­ments] Bris­bane Times online @ http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/small-business/managing/blogs/the-venture/how-many-job-ads-are-fake-20140409-36crh.html#ixzz2yTOBWmJy

Feeney, Cather­ine (Feb­ru­ary 1, 2013) “‘Sugar dad­dies’ a learn­ing expe­ri­ence for stu­dents”. Bris­bane Times online @ http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/sugar-daddies-a-learning-experience-for-students-20130130-2dk7z.html#ixzz2Jn460xAv

Goodreads (2014) “Quotes about Means and Ends”. Goodreads web­site, online @ http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/means-and-ends

Got Ques­tions Min­istries (2014) “Do the ends jus­tify the means?”. [Chris­tian Bible site], Got Ques­tions Min­istries web­site online @ http://www.gotquestions.org/ends-justify-means.html

Gov­er­nor, James (25 Sep­tem­ber 2009) “It’s easy to spot a purist”. James Governor’s Monkchips blog, online @ http://redmonk.com/jgovernor/2009/09/25/its-easy-to-spot-a-purist/

Gre­gory, Robin et.al (2012) “Sep­a­rat­ing Means from Ends”. Struc­tured Deci­sion Mak­ing web­site, online @ http://www.structureddecisionmaking.org/steps/objectives/objectives2b/

Grin­stein, Gidi (04/15/2014) “The Essen­tial Archi­tec­ture of Small-Scale Net­works”. Huff­in­g­ton Post online @ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gidi-grinstein/jewish-adaptability_b_5154302.html?utm_hp_ref=world

Griffin, Rebecca(April 8, 2014) “I hope Dianne Fein­stein is emo­tional about tor­ture”.
Of Means and Ends blog – an organizer’s take on pro­gres­sive pol­i­tics and strat­egy, web­site online @ http://ofmeansandends.com/

Hoare, Barry (n.d.) “Ends ‘n Means Comic”. End­sn­Means blog, online @ http://www.endsnmeans.com/update-the-first/ 

Hux­ley, Aldous (1946) Ends and Means [novel]. Full text at Archive.org web­site, online @ http://archive.org/stream/endsandmeans035237mbp/endsandmeans035237mbp_djvu.txt

Jarche, Harold (2007) “Con­fus­ing Means and Ends”. Harold Jarche blog, online @ http://www.jarche.com/2007/07/confusing-means-and-ends/

Macleod, Hugh (n.d.) Gap­ingVoid Gallery web­site @ http://www.gapingvoidart.com/

May, Thor (1998) “Find­ing Truth: The Human Mind as an Error-Check­ing Mech­a­nism”. The Pas­sion­ate Skep­tic web­site, online @ http://thormay.net/unwiseideas/errorcheck.html

May, Thor (29 Jan­u­ary 2001) “Why Grasshop­pers Don’t Have A Prob­lem”. The Pas­sion­ate Skep­tic web­site, online @ http://thormay.net/unwiseideas/hownessofwhy.html

May, Thor (26 March 2001) “Stu­dent Activism : Truth and False Prophets”. The Pas­sion­ate Skep­tic web­site, online @ http://thormay.net/unwiseideas/student.html

May, Thor (2003) “The Case for Favoritism”. The Pas­sion­ate Skep­tic web­site, online @ http://thormay.net/unwiseideas/favoritism.html

May, Thor (2008) “Cor­rup­tion and Other Dis­tor­tions as Vari­ables in Lan­guage Edu­ca­tion” ; TESOL Law Jour­nal, Vol.2 March 2008; ( also on thormay.net and academia.edu) online @ http://thormay.net/lxesl/corruptioninlxed.html

May, Thor (28 March, 2010) “Some­body Else’s Prob­lem – Deci­sion Mak­ing in China”. Thor’s New China Diary, online @ http://thormay.net/ChinaDiary2/somebody-elses-problem

May, Thor (13 July 2011) “Why Write A PhD?”. The Pas­sion­ate Skep­tic web­site, online @ http://thormay.net/unwiseideas/whywriteaphd.html

May, Thor (12 April 2012) “Déjà Vu and Wicked Sto­ries”. The Pas­sion­ate Skep­tic web­site, online @ http://thormay.net/unwiseideas/dejavu.htm

May, Thor (August 2013) “The Free­dom Enter­prise and Other Yarns”. The Pas­sion­ate Skep­tic web­site, online @ http://thormay.net/unwiseideas/Freedom-enterprise.htm

Mises, Lud­wig von (n.d.) “Chap­ter IV. A First Analy­sis of the Cat­e­gory of Action – 1. Ends and Means”. Lud­wig von Mises Insti­tute web­site, online @ https://mises.org/humanaction/chap4sec1.asp

Pas­coe, Michael (April 1, 2014) “Aban­don prin­ci­ples and pay the price”. Bris­bane Times online @ http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/abandon-principles-and-pay-the-price-20140331-35tz4.html

Pruss, Alexan­der (Tues­day, August 5, 2008) “Means-end rea­son­ing”. Alexan­der Pruss’s blog, online @ http://alexanderpruss.blogspot.com.au/2008/08/means-end-reasoning.html

West, Michael (April 12, 2014) “A ban is no deter­rent for bad behav­iour”. Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald online @ http://www.smh.com.au/business/a-ban-is-no-deterrent-for-bad-behaviour-20140411-36ih9.html#ixzz2yeYKDQP5

Wikipedia (2014) “Means to an End”. Wikipedia online @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Means_to_an_end

Wikipedia (2014) “Sep­tem­ber 11 Attacks”. Wikipedia online @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks

Wikipedia (2014) “0/11 Con­spir­acy The­o­ries”. Wikipedia online @ http://en.wikipedia.org/?title=9/11_conspiracy_theories 

Wikipedia (2014) “Casu­alties of the Iraq War”. Wikipedia online @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War


Wikipedia (2014) “Civil­ian casu­alties in the War in Afghanistan (2001–present)”.  Wikipedia online @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilian_casualties_in_the_War_in_Afghanistan_%282001%E2%80%93present%29

Wik­iquote (2014) “Means and Ends”. Wik­iquote web­site online @ http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Means_and_ends

Zinn, Howard (1991) “Machi­avel­lian Real­ism and U.S. For­eign Pol­icy: Means and Ends”. Infor­ma­tion Clear­ing House web­site, online @ http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article12349.htm



The source of this doc­u­ment:


mee­tup group: Gen­tle Thinkers http://www.meetup.com/Gentle-Thinkers/

dis­cus­sion top­ics blog (for the list of pro­posed top­ics): http://discussiontopics.thormay.net/

top­ics already dis­cussed: http://thormay.net/unwiseideas/DiscussionTopics/DiscussionIndex.htm

 com­ments: Thor May – thormay@yahoo.com;

Thor’s own web­sites: 1. arti­cles at http://independent.academia.edu/ThorMay ;
2. main site:



Pro­fes­sional bio: Thor May has a core pro­fes­sional inter­est in cog­ni­tive lin­guis­tics, at which he has rarely suc­ceeded in mak­ing a liv­ing. He has also, per­haps fatally in a career sense, cul­ti­vated an inter­est in how things work – peo­ple, brains, sys­tems, coun­tries, machi­nes, what­ever… In the world of daily employ­ment he has mostly taught Eng­lish as a for­eign lan­guage, a stim­u­lat­ing activ­ity though rarely regarded as a pro­fes­sion by the world at large. His PhD dis­ser­ta­tion, Lan­guage Tan­gle, dealt with lan­guage teach­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity. Thor has been teach­ing Eng­lish to non-native speak­ers, train­ing teach­ers and lec­tur­ing lin­guis­tics, since 1976. This work has taken him to seven coun­tries in Ocea­nia and East Asia, mostly with ter­tiary stu­dents, but with a cou­ple of detours to teach sec­ondary stu­dents and young chil­dren. He has trained teach­ers in Aus­tralia, Fiji and South Korea. In an ear­lier life, prior to becom­ing a teacher, he had a decade of find­ing his way out of work­ing class ori­gins, through unskilled jobs in Aus­tralia, New Zealan d and finally Eng­land (after back­pack­ing across Asia in 1972). 

con­tact: http://thormay.net    thormay@yahoo.com

aca­d­e­mic repos­i­tory: Academia.edu at http://independent.academia.edu/ThorMay
dis­cus­sion: Thor’s Unwise Ideas at http://thormay.net/unwiseideas/unwisendx.html



Crime with­out Pun­ish­ment – the jour­ney from means to ends   ©  Thor May 2014

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