Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Norway's "Positive Discrimination"

Norway's "Positive Discrimination"

6:28 AM 12/13/05 Tue

Don't know if anyone's heard about this - I just found out this morning by way of BBC World News Radio - but it seems that Norway is looking to take what we call Affirmative Action - and what they call "Positive Discrimination" - to a whole new level.

That's because, starting Jan 1 2006, the Norweigian goverment has decreed that 40% of ALL private and public board positions, upper-tier management and the like must be held by women. The rationale of course, is that up to now, to deny women these coveted positions in business, society and government is in essence to be anti-democratic, a waste of potentially half the nation's talent, and just plain ole unfair. The astrology for the country of Norway is very interesting in light of these developments:

Norway Jun 7 1905 11AM CET Oslo, Norway; Placidus 8 Vir 47, Campion

It should be clear as a bell to the keen astrological eye: Virgo rises, the Sign of the working class, particularly these days, women; the Sun conjuncts Pluto in the 10th in the bi-sexual Sign of Gemini; the Moon is in Leo (leadership) and Venus is in Taurus, ruling the MC (leadership again) placed in the 9th (courts, college). Not only that, but note that Venus is the most aspected planet in the entire chart. AP=Neptune/Pluto, social programs of grand scope brought forward for all to see; Venus=Saturn/Neptune, another echo of the aforementioned midpoint combination, suggesting in this case, massive social programs specifically targeted at women (see Liz Green's book "The Astrological Neptune" for more on Saturn-Neptune pairings politically); and finally, Moon=Venus/Mars, suggesting a considerable "sexual" index among the people of Norway. It would be interesting to know what the marriage rate is vs. the out of wedlock birth rate there.

Checking the transits for today, we see that Mars, which had just come out of Rx, is tightly opposed the National Mars (which rules the 9th House), transit Uranus opposed the Asc, transit Pluto had, over the past year, opposed the National Sun and Pluto, and transit Jupiter and Saturn have made contacts to the National Moon. Looking ahead in 2006, SA Jupiter=MC in Jul, SA Asc=Neptune/Pluto in Oct and SA Venus=Uranus/Pluto in Nov; the first "hit" suggests success for the nation; the latter two pictures, however, suggest something else.

And then there's the big Saturn-Neptune Opposition coming up in the Summer of 2006, coming to within "striking distance" of Norway's Jupiter in the 9th, and ruling their 5th and 7th Houses (??? Perhaps this "Positive Discrimination" will have the unintended consequence of higher divorce/family breakup rates?).

We'll see.

In any event, before the cheering starts, it should be pointed out that there has been, and will continue to be, a hotly charged debate concerning Affirmative Action here in the United States; once conceived to redress inequities impacting specifically on African Americans, AA has now "morphed" into a tool used by Women's groups as a means to gain access into schools, business and government. Many will see this as not only necessary, but good that such a thing has come about; but what they might not consider, is that the USA is totally different from a place like Norway.

Because the USA is built on the principle (which can and sometimes is, different from the practice, I will concede) of individual merit, not schemes of inclusion based on color, sex or class. Here, the principle of Competition is what undergirds the entire society, and opponents of Affirmative Action argue - not without substance - that such ideas erodes performance and standards of excellence, to say nothing of innovation. Proponents for Affirmative Action argue that up until recently, groups of folks who had both talents and skills were deliberately kept out of the mix.

With an all-out cultural push to see a woman in the White House with TV programs like "Commander in Chief", the putting up of Hillary Clinton to run for President in 08 and so on, no doubt this debate will continue. Since I'm not one for staying on the sidelines, I'll say right now that I think that, while the idea of Affirmative Action was well intentioned, in the longrun it can prove to be not only ineffective, but potentially destructive as well, for a whole host of reasons. Even IF the notion of individual merit is at best an idealistic one that is rarely actualized (as some may argue), it's an ideal worth striving for. Afterall, Norway is, like many countries in Europe, for the most part homogenous, small in population and to a large extent existing in something of a fishbowl compared to the dynamic, diverse and competitive - and yes, flawed, United States.

That's it.



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