Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system, competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investment are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are determined by competition in goods and services markets. Economists, political economists and historians have adopted different perspectives in their analyses of capitalism and have recognized various forms of it in practice; these include welfare capitalism and state capitalism. Different forms of capitalism feature varying degrees of free markets, public ownership, obstacles to free competition and state-sanctioned social policies; the degree of competition in markets, the role of intervention and regulation, the scope of state ownership vary across different models of capitalism.
The extent to which different markets are free as well as the rules defining private property are matters of politics and policy. Most existing capitalist economies are mixed economies, which combine elements of free markets with state intervention and in some cases economic planning. Market economies have existed under many forms of government and in many different times and cultures. Modern capitalist societies—marked by a universalization of money-based social relations, a large and system-wide class of workers who must work for wages, a capitalist class which owns the means of production—developed in Western Europe in a process that led to the Industrial Revolution. Capitalist systems with varying degrees of direct government intervention have since become dominant in the Western world and continue to spread. Over time, capitalist countries have experienced consistent economic growth and an increase in the standard of living. Critics of capitalism argue that it establishes power in the hands of a minority capitalist class that exists through the exploitation of the majority working class and their labor.
Supporters argue that it provides better products and innovation through competition, disperses wealth to all productive people, promotes pluralism and decentralization of power, creates strong economic growth, yields productivity and prosperity that benefit society. The term "capitalist", meaning an owner of capital, appears earlier than the term "capitalism" and it dates back to the mid-17th century. "Capitalism" is derived from capital, which evolved from capitale, a late Latin word based on caput, meaning "head"—also the origin of "chattel" and "cattle" in the sense of movable property. Capitale emerged in the 12th to 13th centuries in the sense of referring to funds, stock of merchandise, sum of money or money carrying interest. By 1283, it was used in the sense of the capital assets of a trading firm and it was interchanged with a number of other words—wealth, funds, assets, property and so on; the Hollandische Mercurius uses "capitalists" in 1654 to refer to owners of capital. In French, Étienne Clavier referred to capitalistes in 1788, six years before its first recorded English usage by Arthur Young in his work Travels in France.
In his Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, David Ricardo referred to "the capitalist" many times. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an English poet, used "capitalist" in his work Table Talk. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon used the term "capitalist" in his first work, What is Property?, to refer to the owners of capital. Benjamin Disraeli used the term "capitalist" in his 1845 work Sybil; the initial usage of the term "capitalism" in its modern sense has been attributed to Louis Blanc in 1850 and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in 1861. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels referred to the "capitalistic system" and to the "capitalist mode of production" in Capital; the use of the word "capitalism" in reference to an economic system appears twice in Volume I of Capital, p. 124 and in Theories of Surplus Value, tome II, p. 493. Marx did not extensively use the form capitalism, but instead those of capitalist and capitalist mode of production, which appear more than 2,600 times in the trilogy The Capital. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term "capitalism" first appeared in English in 1854 in the novel The Newcomes by novelist William Makepeace Thackeray, where he meant "having ownership of capital".
According to the OED, Carl Adolph Douai, a German American socialist and abolitionist, used the phrase "private capitalism" in 1863. Capitalism in its modern form can be traced to the emergence of agrarian capitalism and mercantilism in the early Renaissance, in city states like Florence. Capital has existed incipiently on a small scale for centuries in the form of merchant and lending activities and as small-scale industry with some wage labour. Simple commodity exchange and simple commodity production, which are the initial basis for the growth of capital from trade, have a long history. Classical Islam promulgated capitalist economic policies such as free banking, their use of Indo-Arabic
Basic Income called Universal Basic Income, Citizen's Income, Citizen's Basic Income, Basic Income Guarantee, or Universal Demogrant, is a periodic cash payment delivered to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement. The incomes would be: Unconditional: A Basic Income would vary with age, but with no other conditions, so everyone of the same age would receive the same Basic Income, whatever their gender, employment status, family structure, contribution to society, housing costs, or anything else. Automatic: Someone’s Basic Income would be paid weekly or monthly, into a bank account or similar. Non-withdrawable: Basic Incomes would not be means-tested. Whether someone's earnings increase, decrease, or stay the same, their Basic Income will not change. Individual: Basic Incomes would be paid on an individual basis, not on the basis of a couple or household; as a right: Everybody resident would receive a Basic Income, subject to a minimum period of legal residency, continuing residency for most of the year.
Basic income can be implemented nationally, regionally or locally. An unconditional income, sufficient to meet a person's basic needs, is sometimes called a Full Basic Income, while if it is less than that amount, it is sometimes called Partial. A welfare system with some characteristics similar to those of a Basic Income is a negative income tax, in which the government stipend is reduced with higher labour income; some welfare systems are sometimes regarded as steps on the way to a Basic Income, but because they have conditionalities attached they are not Basic Incomes. If they raise household incomes to specified minima they are called guaranteed minimum income systems. For example, Bolsa Família in Brazil is restricted to poor families and the children are obligated to attend school. Several political discussions are related to the basic income debate. Examples include the debates regarding robotisation, AI, the future of work. A key issue in these debates is whether robotisation and AI will reduce the number of available jobs.
Basic income comes up as a proposal in these discussions. The idea of a state-run Basic Income dates back to the early 16th century, when Sir Thomas More argued in Utopia that every person should receive a guaranteed income, to the late 18th century when English radical Thomas Spence and American revolutionary Thomas Paine both declared their support for a welfare system that guaranteed all citizens a certain income. 19th century debate on Basic Income was limited, but during the early part of the 20th century, a Basic Income called a'state bonus' was discussed, in 1946 the UK implemented unconditional Family Allowances for the second and subsequent children of every family. In the 1960s and 1970s the United States and Canada conducted several experiments with negative income taxation, a related welfare system. From the 1980s and onward, the debate in Europe took off more broadly and since it has expanded to many countries around the world. A few countries have implemented large-scale welfare systems that have some similarities to Basic Income, such as Bolsa Família in Brazil.
From 2008 onward, several experiments with basic income and related systems took place. In countries with an existing welfare state, at least some of the funding will need to come from replacing all or part of current welfare arrangements. Apart from that, proponents have offered several ideas and proposals regarding the rest of the financing, about the level, other aspects. Governments can contribute to individual and household income maintenance strategies in three ways; the government can establish a minimum income guarantee - not allow income to fall below levels set for various household types, maintaining the levels by paying means-tested benefits. In more detail: 1. A means-tested benefit that raises a household's income to a guaranteed minimum income level is nothing like a Basic Income, because means-tested benefits fall if other income rises, whereas a Basic Income never changes; the only is that both recognise the state's welfare responsibilities towards its citizens. Johannes Ludovicus Vives, for example, proposed that the municipal government should be responsible for securing a subsistence minimum to all its residents, "not on grounds of justice but for the sake of a more effective exercise of morally required charity."
However, to qualify for poor relief, the person’s poverty must—he argued—be undeserved, the recipient must "...deserve the help he or she gets by proving his or her willingness to work."2. The first to develop the idea of a social insurance was Marquis de Condorcet. After playing a prominent role in the French Revolution, he was sentenced to death. While in prison, he wrote the Esquisse d’un tableau historique des progrès de l’esprit humain, whose last chapter described his vision of a social insurance and how it could reduce inequality and poverty. Condorcet mentioned briefly, the idea of a benefit to all children old enough to start working by themselves and to start up a family of their own, he is not known to have said or written anything else on this proposal, but his close friend and fellow member of the Convention Thomas Paine developed the idea much further, a couple of years after Con
Innovation in its modern meaning is a "new idea, creative thoughts, new imaginations in form of device or method". Innovation is also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs; such innovation takes place through the provision of more-effective products, services, technologies, or business models that are made available to markets and society. An innovation is something original and more effective and, as a consequence, that "breaks into" the market or society. Innovation is related to, but not the same as, invention, as innovation is more apt to involve the practical implementation of an invention to make a meaningful impact in the market or society, not all innovations require an invention. Innovation manifests itself via the engineering process, when the problem being solved is of a technical or scientific nature; the opposite of innovation is exnovation. While a novel device is described as an innovation, in economics, management science, other fields of practice and analysis, innovation is considered to be the result of a process that brings together various novel ideas in such a way that they affect society.
In industrial economics, innovations are created and found empirically from services to meet growing consumer demand. Innovation has an older historical meaning, quite different. From the 1400s through the 1600s, prior to early American settlement, the concept of "innovation" was pejorative, it was an early modern synonym for rebellion and heresy. A 2014 survey of literature on innovation found over 40 definitions. In an industrial survey of how the software industry defined innovation, the following definition given by Crossan and Apaydin was considered to be the most complete, which builds on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development manual's definition: Innovation is production or adoption and exploitation of a value-added novelty in economic and social spheres, it is both an outcome. According to Kanter innovation includes original invention and creative use and defines innovation as a generation and realization of new ideas, products and processes. Two main dimensions of innovation were degree of kind of innovation.
In recent organizational scholarship, researchers of workplaces have distinguished innovation to be separate from creativity, by providing an updated definition of these two related but distinct constructs:Workplace creativity concerns the cognitive and behavioral processes applied when attempting to generate novel ideas. Workplace innovation concerns. Innovation involves some combination of problem/opportunity identification, the introduction, adoption or modification of new ideas germane to organizational needs, the promotion of these ideas, the practical implementation of these ideas. In business and in economics, innovation can become a catalyst for growth. With rapid advancements in transportation and communications over the past few decades, the old-world concepts of factor endowments and comparative advantage which focused on an area's unique inputs are outmoded for today's global economy. Economist Joseph Schumpeter, who contributed to the study of innovation economics, argued that industries must incessantly revolutionize the economic structure from within, innovate with better or more effective processes and products, as well as market distribution, such as the connection from the craft shop to factory.
He famously asserted that "creative destruction is the essential fact about capitalism". Entrepreneurs continuously look for better ways to satisfy their consumer base with improved quality, durability and price which come to fruition in innovation with advanced technologies and organizational strategies. A prime example of innovation involved the explosive boom of Silicon Valley startups out of the Stanford Industrial Park. In 1957, dissatisfied employees of Shockley Semiconductor, the company of Nobel laureate and co-inventor of the transistor William Shockley, left to form an independent firm, Fairchild Semiconductor. After several years, Fairchild developed into a formidable presence in the sector; these founders left to start their own companies based on their own, latest ideas, leading employees started their own firms. Over the next 20 years, this snowball process launched the momentous startup-company explosion of information-technology firms. Silicon Valley began as 65 new enterprises born out of Shockley's eight former employees.
Since hubs of innovation have sprung up globally with similar metonyms, including Silicon Alley encompassing New York City. Another example involves business incubators – a phenomenon nurtured by governments around the world, close to knowledge clusters like universities or other Government Excellence Centres – which aim to channel generated knowledge to applied innovation outcomes in order to stimulate regional or national economic growth. In the organizational context, innovation may be linked to positive changes in efficiency, quality and market share. However, recent research findings highlight the complementary role of organizational culture in enabling organizations to translat
Georgism called geoism and single tax, is an economic philosophy holding that, while people should own the value they produce themselves, economic value derived from land should belong to all members of society. Developed from the writings of the economist and social reformer Henry George, the Georgist paradigm seeks solutions to social and ecological problems, based on principles of land rights and public finance which attempt to integrate economic efficiency with social justice. Georgism is concerned with the distribution of economic rent caused by natural monopolies and the control of commons, including title of ownership for natural resources and other contrived privileges. Any natural resource, inherently limited in supply can generate economic rent, but the classical and most significant example of'land monopoly' involves the extraction of common ground rent from valuable urban locations. Georgists argue that taxing economic rent is efficient and equitable; the main Georgist policy recommendation is a tax assessed on land value.
Georgists argue that revenues from a land value tax can be used to reduce or eliminate existing taxes that are unfair and inefficient. Some Georgists advocate for the return of surplus public revenue to the people by means of a basic income or citizen's dividend. Economists since Adam Smith and David Ricardo have observed that, unlike other taxes, a public levy on land value does not cause economic inefficiency. A land value tax has progressive tax effects, in that it is paid by the wealthy, it cannot be passed on to tenants, workers, or users of land. Advocates of land value taxes argue that they would reduce economic inequality, increase economic efficiency, remove incentives to under-utilize urban land, reduce property speculation; the philosophical basis of Georgism dates back to several early thinkers such as John Locke, Baruch Spinoza, Thomas Paine, but the concept of gaining public revenues from land and natural resource privileges was popularized by Henry George and his first book and Poverty.
Georgist ideas were influential during the late 19th and early 20th century. Political parties and communities were founded based on Georgist principles during that time. Early devotees of Henry George's economic philosophy were termed Single Taxers for their political goal of raising public revenue from a land value tax, although Georgists endorsed multiple forms of rent capture as legitimate; the term Georgism was invented and some prefer the term geoism to distinguish their beliefs from those of Henry George. Henry George is best known for popularizing the argument that government should be funded by a tax on land rent rather than taxes on labor. George believed that although scientific experiments could not be performed in political economy, theories could be tested by comparing different societies with different conditions and by thought experiments about the effects of various factors. Applying this method, he concluded that many of the problems that beset society, such as poverty and economic booms and busts, could be attributed to the private ownership of the necessary resource, land.
In his most celebrated book and Poverty, George argues that the appropriation of land for private use contributes to persistent poverty in spite of technological progress, causes economies to exhibit a tendency toward boom and bust cycles. According to George, people justly own what they create, but that natural opportunities and land belong to all; the tax upon land values is, the most just and equal of all taxes. It falls only upon those who receive from society a peculiar and valuable benefit, upon them in proportion to the benefit they receive, it is the taking by the community, for the use of the community, of that value, the creation of the community. It is the application of the common property to common uses; when all rent is taken by taxation for the needs of the community will the equality ordained by Nature be attained. No citizen will have an advantage over any other citizen save as is given by his industry and intelligence, but not till will labor get its full reward, capital its natural return.
George believed there was an important distinction between collective property. Although equal rights to land might be achieved by nationalizing land and leasing it to private users, George preferred taxing unimproved land value and leaving the control of land in private hands. George's reasoning for leaving land in private control and shifting to land value tax was that it would not penalize existing owners who had improved land and would be less disruptive and controversial in a country where land titles have been granted. Georgists have observed that created wealth is socialized via the tax system, while created wealth in land values are privatized in the price of land titles and bank mortgages; the opposite would be the case if land rents replaced taxes on labor as the main source of public revenue. According to Georgists, a land value tax can be considered a user fee instead of a tax, since it is related to the market value of created locational advantage, the privilege to exclude others from locations.
Assets consisting of commodified privilege can be considered as wealth si
Debt is when something money, is owed by one party, the borrower or debtor, to a second party, the lender or creditor. Debt is a deferred payment, or series of payments, owed in the future, what differentiates it from an immediate purchase; the debt may be owed by local government, company, or an individual. Commercial debt is subject to contractual terms regarding the amount and timing of repayments of principal and interest. Loans, bonds and mortgages are all types of debt; the term can be used metaphorically to cover moral obligations and other interactions not based on economic value. For example, in Western cultures, a person, helped by a second person is sometimes said to owe a "debt of gratitude" to the second person; the English term "debt" was first used in the late 13th century. The term "debt" comes from "dette, from Old French dete, from Latin debitum "thing owed," neuter past participle of debere "to owe," "keep something away from someone," from de- "away" + habere "to have". Restored spelling after c.
1400. The related term "debtor" was first used in English in the early 13th century; the -b- was restored in French, in English c. 1560-c. 1660." In the King James Bible, various spellings are used. Interest is the fee paid by the borrower to the lender. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the outstanding principal, which percentage is known as an interest rate, is paid periodically at intervals, such as monthly or semi-annually. Interest rates may be floating. In floating-rate structures, the rate of interest that the borrower pays during each time period is tied to a benchmark such as LIBOR or, in the case of inflation-indexed bonds, inflation. There are many different conventions for calculating interest. Depending on the terms of the debt, compound interest may accumulate at a specific interval. In addition, different day count conventions exist, for example, sometimes each month is considered to have thirty days, such that the interest payment due is the same in each calendar month; the annual percentage rate is a standardized way to calculate and compare interest rates on an annual basis.
Quoting interest rates using APR is required by regulation for most loans to individuals in the United States and United Kingdom. For some loans, the amount loaned to the debtor is less than the principal sum to be repaid; this may be because upfront fees or points are charged, or because the loan has been structured to be sharia-compliant. The additional principal due at the end of the term has the same economic effect as a higher interest rate. Riskier borrowers must pay higher rates of interest to compensate lenders for taking on the additional risk of default. Debt investors assess the risk of default prior to making a loan, for example through credit scores and corporate and sovereign ratings. There are three main ways repayment may be structured: the entire principal balance may be due at the maturity of the loan. Amortization structures are common in mortgages and credit cards. Debtors of every type default on their debt from time to time, with various consequences depending on the terms of the debt and the law governing default in the relevant jurisdiction.
If the debt was secured by specific collateral, such as a car or home, the creditor may seek to repossess the collateral. In more serious circumstances and companies may go into bankruptcy. Common types of debt owed by individuals and households include mortgage loans, car loans, credit card debt, income taxes. For individuals, debt is a means of using anticipated income and future purchasing power in the present before it has been earned. People in industrialized nations use consumer debt to purchase houses and other things too expensive to buy with cash on hand. People are more to spend more and get into debt when they use credit cards vs. cash for buying products and services. This is because of the transparency effect and consumer's "pain of paying." The transparency effect refers to the fact that the further you are from cash, the less transparent it is and the less you remember how much you spent. The less transparent or further away from cash, the form of payment employed is, the less an individual feels the “pain of paying” and thus is to spend more.
Furthermore, the differing physical appearance/form that credit cards have from cash may cause them to be viewed as “monopoly” money vs. real money, luring individuals to spend more money than they would if they only had cash available. Besides these more formal debts, private individuals lend informally to other people relatives or friends. One reason for such informal debts is that many people, in particular those who are poor, have no access to affordable credit; such debts can cause problems when they are not paid back according to expectations of the lending household. In 2011, 8 percent of people in the European Union reported their households has been in arrears, that is, unable to pay as scheduled "payments related to informal loans from friends or relatives not living in your household". A company may use various kinds of debt to finance its operations as a part of its overall corporate finance strate
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is a major American daily newspaper published in Washington, D. C. with a particular emphasis on national politics and the federal government. It has the largest circulation in the Washington metropolitan area, its slogan "Democracy Dies in Darkness" began appearing on its masthead in 2017. Daily broadsheet editions are printed for the District of Columbia and Virginia; the newspaper has won 47 Pulitzer Prizes. This includes six separate Pulitzers awarded in 2008, second only to The New York Times' seven awards in 2002 for the highest number awarded to a single newspaper in one year. Post journalists have received 18 Nieman Fellowships and 368 White House News Photographers Association awards. In the early 1970s, in the best-known episode in the newspaper's history, reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein led the American press' investigation into what became known as the Watergate scandal, their reporting in The Washington Post contributed to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
In years since, the Post's investigations have led to increased review of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In October 2013, the paper's longtime controlling family, the Graham family, sold the newspaper to Nash Holdings, a holding company established by Jeff Bezos, for $250 million in cash; the Washington Post is regarded as one of the leading daily American newspapers, along with The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal. The Post has distinguished itself through its political reporting on the workings of the White House and other aspects of the U. S. government. Unlike The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post does not print an edition for distribution away from the East Coast. In 2009, the newspaper ceased publication of its National Weekly Edition, which combined stories from the week's print editions, due to shrinking circulation; the majority of its newsprint readership is in the District of Columbia and its suburbs in Maryland and Northern Virginia.
The newspaper is one of a few U. S. newspapers with foreign bureaus, located in Beirut, Beijing, Bogotá, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, London, Mexico City, Nairobi, New Delhi and Tokyo. In November 2009, it announced the closure of its U. S. regional bureaus—Chicago, Los Angeles and New York—as part of an increased focus on "political stories and local news coverage in Washington." The newspaper has local bureaus in Virginia. As of May 2013, its average weekday circulation was 474,767, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, making it the seventh largest newspaper in the country by circulation, behind USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Daily News, the New York Post. While its circulation has been slipping, it has one of the highest market-penetration rates of any metropolitan news daily. For many decades, the Post had its main office at 1150 15th Street NW; this real estate remained with Graham Holdings when the newspaper was sold to Jeff Bezos' Nash Holdings in 2013.
Graham Holdings sold 1150 15th Street for US$159 million in November 2013. The Washington Post continued to lease space at 1150 L Street NW. In May 2014, The Washington Post leased the west tower of One Franklin Square, a high-rise building at 1301 K Street NW in Washington, D. C; the newspaper moved into their new offices December 14, 2015. The Post has its own exclusive zip code, 20071. Arc Publishing is a department of the Post, which provides the publishing system, software for news organizations such as the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times; the newspaper was founded in 1877 by Stilson Hutchins and in 1880 added a Sunday edition, becoming the city's first newspaper to publish seven days a week. In 1889, Hutchins sold the newspaper to Frank Hatton, a former Postmaster General, Beriah Wilkins, a former Democratic congressman from Ohio. To promote the newspaper, the new owners requested the leader of the United States Marine Band, John Philip Sousa, to compose a march for the newspaper's essay contest awards ceremony.
Sousa composed "The Washington Post". It became the standard music to accompany the two-step, a late 19th-century dance craze, remains one of Sousa's best-known works. In 1893, the newspaper moved to a building at 14th and E streets NW, where it would remain until 1950; this building combined all functions of the newspaper into one headquarters – newsroom, advertising and printing – that ran 24 hours per day. In 1898, during the Spanish–American War, the Post printed Clifford K. Berryman's classic illustration Remember the Maine, which became the battle-cry for American sailors during the War. In 1902, Berryman published another famous cartoon in the Post—Drawing the Line in Mississippi; this cartoon depicts President Theodore Roosevelt showing compassion for a small bear cub and inspired New York store owner Morris Michtom to create the teddy bear. Wilkins acquired Hatton's share of the newspaper in 1894 at Hatton's death. After Wilkins' death in 1903, his sons John and Robert ran the Post for two years before selling it in 1905 to John Roll McLean, owner of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
During the Wilson presidency, the Post was credited with the "most famous newspaper typo" in D. C. history according to Reason magazine. When John McLean died in 1916, he put the newspap
Raëlism is a religion, founded in 1974 by Claude Vorilhon, now known as Raël. The Raëlian Movement teaches that life on Earth was scientifically created by a species of humanoid extraterrestrials, called the Elohim. Members of this species appeared human when having personal contacts with the descendants of the humans that they made, they purposefully misinformed early humanity that they were cherubim, or gods. Raëlians believe that messengers, or prophets, of the Elohim include Buddha, Jesus and others who informed humans of each era; the founder of Raëlism received the final message of the Elohim and that its purpose is to inform the world about Elohim and that if humans become aware and peaceful enough, they wish to be welcomed by them. The Raëlian Church has a quasi-clerical structure of seven levels. Joining the movement requires an official apostasy from other religions. Raëlian ethics include striving for world peace, sharing and nonviolence. Raël founded Clonaid in 1997, but handed it over to a Raëlian bishop, Brigitte Boisselier in 2000.
In 2002 the company said that an American woman underwent a standard cloning procedure that led to the birth of a daughter, Eve. Although few believe the claim, it nonetheless attracted national authorities and the mainstream media to look further into the Raëlians' cult status; the Raëlians claim the swastika as a symbol of peace, which halted Raëlian requests for territory in Israel, Lebanon, for establishing an embassy for extraterrestrials. The religion uses the swastika embedded on the Star of David. Between 1991 and 2007, this symbol was replaced by a variant star and swirl symbol in an attempt to improve public relations with Israel; the beginnings of Raëlism are rooted in the experiences of a French former automobile journalist and race car driver Claude Vorilhon. In his books The Book Which Tells the Truth and Extraterrestrials Took Me to their Planet, Vorilhon had alien encounters with beings who gave him knowledge of the origins of all major religions; the movement traces its beginnings to a conference in Paris, France of two thousand people in 1974.
From there, the MADECH organization was born. The name MADECH is a double acronym in the French language. By 1976, Claude Vorilhon transformed MADECH into the International Raelian Movement. From 1980 to 1992 Raël and his movement became global. In 1980 Claude Raël's fifth Raëlian book Sensual Meditation was published and formal publication of the Raëlian Messages in the Japanese language began as part of the Raëlian mission to Japan. Two years Africa became another target area in the mission to spread the Raëlian messages. On 26 December 2002, Brigitte Boisselier, a Raëlian Bishop and CEO of a biotechnology company called Clonaid, announced the birth of baby Eve the first-ever human clone; the announcement ignited much media attention, ethical debate, doubt and claims of a hoax. Spokespeople for the movement, including Claude Vorilhon, have suggested that this is one of the first steps in achieving a more important agenda, they say that through cloning they can combine an accelerated growth process with some form of mind transfer, in such, may achieve eternal life.
The structure of the Raëlian Church is hierarchical, with seven levels ascending from level 0 to level 6. The top four levels consist of "Guides"; the level 6 guide, known as the "Guide of Guides", has the final say on who becomes a level 5 "Bishop Guide" or a level 4 "Priest Guide". Bishops and priests promote lower-level members one level at a time during annual seminars; each bishop or priest can propose a new guide as long as the candidate is from a level below their own. Guides can assist "Regional Guides"—level 3 and above—in their assigning of non-guide members to levels 3, 2 and 1. Members of the Raëlian structure begin as level 0 "trainees" during annual seminars; the Raelian structure said in 2007 to have about 2,300 members, 170 "Raëlian guides", 41 bishops. Claude Vorilhon has held the highest position for three seven-year terms. Women make up only a third of the membership in the Raëlian Church, though two anecdotes in the Raëlian Contact newsletter report female majorities joining the movement's Asian Mongolian chapter.
Women such as Brigitte Boisselier, the Chief Executive Officer of Clonaid, play a powerful role in the Raëlian Church. There are two major groups of women in the Raëlian Church; the Order of Angels, founded in the 1990s, consists of over a hundred Raëlian women who call for femininity and refinement for all of humanity. The initiation rites include declaring an oath or making a contract in which one agrees to become defender of the Raëlian ideology and its founder Raël; the Order of Angels has its own hierarchy of "rose angels" and "white angels" which, as of 2003, are six and 160 women, respectively. After the Clonaid human cloning announcement made the headlines, the Daily Telegraph wrote that members of the order not only provided sexual pleasure for Raël, but helped donate eggs for efforts towards human cloning. A few days Time magazine wrote that French chemist Brigitte Boisselier was an Order of Angels member. Around this time, cult specialist Mike Kropveld called the Order of Angels "one of the most transparent movements" he had witnessed, though he was alarmed by the women's pr