Date: Tue 10 Dec 2002 - 02:17:13 GMT
> > I should hope that freedom, equality, basic human rights and
> > representative government are 'politically correct'; I see politics,
> > in
> its purest and most idealistic form, as the effort to maximize these
> ideals, > in the real world, for all citizens. Politics is not
> perfect, or even in > principle perfectible (since available choices,
> and therefore the > definition of freedom, constantly expand), but I
> see these goals as ones > that responsible governments should always
> keep in mind when > formulating policy.
> >> Yes, of course, but you can be so political correct that in order
> >> to be
> that way you deny people to choose freely. That is what I meant with
> my argument that the Iraqi people would not have the chance to choose
> freely the constitution they want to live under. It is IMO, an
> illusion to think that this kind of compelment is a real democratic
> trait. You have atleast to admit that within your in principle
> perfectly attempt to give all citizins freedom and democraties some,
> and in many cases, all your attempts will fail_ atleast in the short
> run !
Well, the German people voted to end their democracy in the thirties, although I do not think they were aware of it at the time - to their deep regret.
> My take on this, following Havel is the next, each citizin, American,
> Iraqi or any one other, is in the same time victim and carrier of the
> political/ cultural/ social and/ or religious system in which he/ she
> lives. After the US will have freed the Iraqi people from slavery the
> US will be confronted with a people with a degenerated morality, with
> a people that is used to say something else than what they think, with
> a people who is used to believe in nothing than but themselves_ but in
> a negative sense. Individualistic responsibility will be the prior
> target for the US, not the lay- outs for democracy...
And the US should not simply disengage at that point, but should help the Iraqi people to establish workable democratic institutions. I believe that after the sobering lesson of post-Soviet Afghanistan, that they would indeed do so.
> > It is forever assailed by the perpetual imperfection of reality, and
> > its eternal failure to achive the ideals, but those very ideals, and
> > the benefitsof even imperfectly realizing them, inspire further
> > strivings,
> even in the face of that perpetual imperfection, to asymptotically
> approach, > as closely as possible, an ideal that can never in reality
> be completely > achieved.
> >>Agreed ! But will you account for the victims, the death of those
> who will loose their lives in the US its imperfect attempt to free
> them !? The US have not to free the Iraqi people from slavery but also
> from a memetic deathlock. Even you recon that your attempt will be
> imperfect you can 't and will not do enough to comprehend the
> necessity for real structural reform, not only political but also
> socially, religiously, meme- tically ! IMO, the US, or any other
> country or institution isn't up to such a task. I hope I do get it
> wrong here, but if we can 't compensate the loss of individuality and
> identity the ' old ' structures will re- surface.
Precisely why immediate post-regime-change disengagement is not a feasible option, and exactly where we will most require Europe's assistance.
> > Yes, the Europeans, who owe much to us in the realm of ideas (as we
> > undeniably owe much to them, and we all owe much to the Greeks),
> > tend to look down their nose at the 'colonies' as if we were
> > uncouth, ill- bred and ignorant barbarians.
> >>That is how I, personaly don 't look at Americans, but like all
> I suppose, except the Brits, but again what Havel said makes sense to
> me, " there is no doubt something within the human being that comes up
> to the exeptations of the [ political] system, something that comes to
> meet and adapts, something that paralizes him to revolt. That is why
> the system alienates not only the human being, but the alienated
> humanity supports at the same time the system."
> That is to say, that within the context of Europe is contrary to the
> US, that each side works for and against it own degeneration. If thus
> Europeans see the Americans like you describe them as above, a certain
> amount of truth has to accompany this and vice versa of course.
My particular understanding is that all people should strive for the maximization of the personal freedoms of each. To me, this means that all individuals should enjoy all freedoms that do not conflict with the freedoms of other individuals, and where inevitable conflicts between freedoms arise, they should be resolved by equal and proportional compromise.
> > One cannot lose sight of the real in pursuit of the ideal, because
> > it is
> > difference between the real and the ideal that is the object of
> > one's strivings - to shrink it as much as is practically possible.
> >> Hm, for one brief moment I gave you the credit to be right, but
> >> alas.
> IMO, I think that the US lost sight of reality, or the real in pursuit
> of the ideal. Still, IMO, and again I use here Havel to demonstrate,
> there is something both in the American individual as well within the
> Iraqi individual that makes him " un- individualize " himself. The
> ideal is to be a part of " one", of " man ", of " they ", of " we ".
> The ideal to obtian freedom for all citizins made you blind for the
> fact that the efforts means ' un- freedom ' for others and for
> yourself ! I stand for authenticity ! And I cannot achieve this while
> one other is trying to achieve his or its ideal....while thus one
> other is intervening with my attempt(s) even those are committed in
> the best interest for myself !
There can be no individual authenticity genuinely achieveable under a collectivized system, whether it is communist or fascist. Having read Havel's THE POWER OF THE POWERLESS, I'm quite sure he would agree.
> > But freedom and equality and representative democracy and basic
> > human rights are not mere brands, opposed by other equally feasible
> > brands. Slavery and inequality and totalitarianism and rightless
> > serfhood compete very poorly in the marketplace of ideas whenever
> > the showroom is equally open to their alternatives.
> >> The point to make here I suppose is to see if the doors are open 24
> >> h
> every day and that everybody has the equal right to enter freely!?
> Intimidation and psychological oppression are more than brands to get
> people out of the voting box. The way by which Saddam controls the
> people is not only pierced thru' the whole of Iraqi society but
> injured also the whole of the existention of the and each individual.
> In a sense, living in a free country under democratic ruling would be
> living within an ' individualistic ' lie_ the conflict within each and
> every individual would have huge consequencies.
The horror which those people currently undergo makes practically any alternative vastly preferable. If they would have internal conflicts, they should be allowed to have them, and to publicly express them; something they are not allowed under the current totalitarian regime.
> > Well, actually, the US is grateful for any help that it is offered
> > in such globally beneficial endeavors, and incessantly requests it,
> > through the UN, NATO, the WTO, bilateral negotiations, and many
> > other political and diplomatic means. When these things desperately
> > need to be done for the good of all the world's peoples, it is not
> > fair to not help the US
> do them and then criticize that it is too much for them to do on their
> >> I doubt very much the sincerity of the US policy in this particular
> >> case.
> After Iraq handed over a 12. 000 pages containing rapport to satisfy
> the worlds hunger for information the only respons the US got was ' we
> don 't believe it ' ! Good show, guys ! The possible attack on Iraq is
> in that way not seen by the world as a des- perately need to free it
> from Saddam, but more as a personal vendatta. Not even considering
> that for once Iraq has good intentions, whatever the reason may be, is
> denying that any diplomatic effort to solve the problem has a
> possibility the succeed. The US wants war ! You ask why Europe is
> contrary and we hestitate with giving you support!?
Practically NO ONE believes it. Saddam has lied copiously about such matters before, and it remains to be seen whether the document deals with the WMD's that we were sure he had even four years ago. And the Iraqi people who are able to speak freely desperately want regime change, and are more than willing to absorb the collateral casualties necessary to achieve it rather than to continue to be enslaved and killed unter their present situation.
> > Oh, Europe's time will come. Sooner or later the alligator you
> > cynically feed will swivel its hungry jaws in your direction. We
> > are both Dar-el- Harb, the world of war, and until we are
> > assimilated into the Dar-el- Islam, the Islamofascist Ummah will
> > grant us no peace. Now that the US has made itself a harder target,
> > the fanatical fundamentalist zealots who memebotically attack all
> > that has not been assimilated under their religious dogma's
> > totalitarian thrall will find you to be easier meat to feed upon,
> > and will turn their feasting eyes upon you soon enough. Europe's
> > common cause, and common preservation, is with the US, and it would
> > behoove both Europe and the US to cooperate in freedom's defence.
> >> No doubtely so, but I exept that Europe won 't retaliate with
> >> bombing
> Afghanistan or Iraq. It would surely ask for the US to help and so the
> circle of violence will close on itself. But, there is another
> strategy_ counting the death and doing nothing ! Nothing in the extent
> that we will respond with words, with economical and political
> measures. No doubt that will bring nothing further on the sleeve of
> solving the problem, but it would take the wind out of the sails of
> those who oppose us. In the end, if they continue to attack us, we
> will be forced to act, and I think we will be beastly as them, and
> even more. Never corner a wounded animal....Christians to the core !(
> I am not !)
Suicidal the US is not! When the Clinton administration failed to effectively respond to Al Quaeda attacks, Osama Bin Laden used that nonresponse as a recruiting tool, labeling the US as a 'paper tiger', and weaker than the Soviets in Afghanistan. He claimed, after Somalia, that all that was necessary was to inflict casualties upon the US, and they would yield. After 9/11, an entirely new lesson is being taught.
> > It is a dogma of One Truth, that cannot tolerate even the existence
> > of others, that attacks us; the US has a government in which is
> > enshrined a principle that is anathema to its assailants; the
> > separation of Church and State.
> >> I doubt that ! Maybe in principle yes, like over here in Belgium
> >> and
> like in the rest of Europe but we all know that ain 't true !
> In the US creatonism is the red shred under its society, even Bush
> allows to give more money to schools and institutions who will teach
> creatonism above the Darwinian doctrine. If you believe for a fact
> that within the US church and state are separate things, believe again
> ! I don 't even believe that I, as the person I am, is separateble in
> that context !
There is very little money flowing into parochial schools here in Florida, the only state where such a policy has been approved. Most of the students who opted to try it have returned to public education of their own volition. It is a failed initiative.
> Many regards from a now freezin ' Belgium,
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This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
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For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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