Wednesday, 17 June 2009

‘Third of May’ - Goya


I fear for what we might see on the streets of Iran tonight.  The revolution is still being twittered – despite Iranian government efforts to shut it down and to spread misinformation – and as one twitterer says, “this will be a pivotal day for Iran.” Whatever you might say about the man whose flag they’re rallying behind, people in Iran are risking their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honour for freedom.

Will we the scene portrayed above by Goya, or the conquering heroes of Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People.

Reports of deaths, injuries and missing persons are streaming into Twitter accounts from Isfahan, Shiraz, Sharhrak Gharb and Tehran. Students have been reported dead and wounded at Shiraz, Nooshiravani Babol and Mashad universities. Army generals arrested in a rumoured coup d'état. While the military is reportedly refusing orders to fire on protestors, the pro-government militia (the Basij) has taken up the slack with relish.  The Tabriz Basij (pro-government militia) headquarters has been set on fire, and “many dead” reported.  Hezbollah and Hamas thugs from Lebanon and Palestine have been mobilised to quell protests.

Mousavi’s rally and general strike – the third straight day of resistance – is being countered with a “pro-government rally,” and there is talk that some of the marches to which protestors are being invited are being set as a trap.  Tehran hotels have been put under under high security to stop Iranians from contacting foreign press. Foreigners’ visas have been cancelled. Foreign media are banned from leaving their offices to cover the protests. Anyone with  a camera or a laptop is attacked in street.

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times.  It is the season of Light, it is the season of Darkness.  It is the spring of hope, and the winter of despair.  The people of Iran have everything before them, they have nothing before them. 

For good or evil, today (their time) will likely tell the tale. History is poised – yet in history there is hope. For in history, says Ludwig von Mises, there are “an abundance of striking examples to show that, in the long run, even the most ruthless policy of repression does not suffice to maintain a government in power.”


  1. Following on from Stratfor's analysis, this from the WSJ's "Wanted: 'Hope' for Iran":

    "Someday a future president may have to apologize to Iranians for Mr. Obama's nonfeasance, just as Mr. Obama apologized for the Eisenhower administration's meddling.

    But the better Eisenhower parallel is with Hungary in 1956. Then as now a popular uprising coalesced around a figure (Imre Nagy in Hungary; Mir Hossein Mousavi in Iran), who had once been a creature of the system.

    Then as now it was buoyed by inspiring American rhetoric about freedom and democracy coming over Voice of America airwaves.

    And then as now the administration effectively turned its back on the uprising when U.S. support could have made a difference.

    Hungary would spend the next 33 years in the Soviet embrace.

    So, looks like Iran has been thrown to the dogs, Israel has appeared to be backing down with conditions, and Palestine is gripping more tightly.

    In the meantime, America's foundation is weakening. China and Russia are just sitting back and watching.

    So, the next couple of years will be about gathering, hunting, and murder while the giant rots from the inside.

    How do we heal the bitterness of Obamites?

    I don't know.

    Dr. Sowell has a column today on the notion of payback.

    It ties in with the concept of bitterness.

  2. Shari

    I hadn't thought of the parallel between Hungary and Iran. You're certainly correct about what occurred there. The poor Hungarians managed to eject the Soviets for a few days. They were greatly motivated by all the talk from Radio Free Europe. In the end the talk was all there was and the Hungrians were left to be mercilessly crushed. The US administration of the time considered that a good result as it was a public demonstration of the ruthlessness inhumanity of the Soviets.

    Recently released documents disclose that the administration policy was to encourage the Hungarian Revolution with no intention of offering assistance simply because they expected a heavy handed Societ response would be a useful PR victory for the USA. Cynical and pragmatic.

    Is something similar occuring with Iran? I don't think a PR victory is available for Obama in this instance. He seems hopelessly lost in rhetoric- probably swamped with advice and data and latest intgelligence reports but without a hope of working out what to do about it all. The man is a product of faulty premise and ideology, the product of slick salesmanship without substance, inadequate against the task facing him. Bet you that whatever he does try will be a half-measure, a compromise between advisors, a balance between the factions within his own regime. What a dangerous situation.


  3. Its doesn't really matter at all whether this fundamentalist anti-freedom dictatorial asshole Mousavi 'beat' the fundamentalist anti-freedom dictatorial asshole Ahmadinejad in an 'election' does it?
    Oh really... Hungary? Lets try to get real here.

  4. LGM,

    The Iran-Hungary deja vu and all words from "someday" right through "embrace" are thoughts from Bret Stephens in the WSJ. A brief bio from the WSJ is copied below:

    "Mr. Stephens writes the Journal's "Global View" column on foreign affairs, which runs every Tuesday in the U.S. and is also published in the European and Asian editions of the paper.

    He is a member of the Journal's editorial board, and has previously worked for the paper as an assistant editorial features (op-ed) editor in New York and as an editorial writer in Brussels for The Wall Street Journal Europe.

    From March 2002 to October 2004 Mr. Stephens was editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post, a position he assumed at age 28."

    I am still learning history with the aide of such writers, maps, philosophy, and religion.

    But as Janet A. has written in The Australian, there is courage and hope coming through in Britain and Europe (heads up from ZB).

    Radio Free Europe. Voice of America. Letter from America. Alistair Cooke.

    Radio Free NZ. Voice of NZ.

    I learned a little of nationalism when looking into 1920s Germany through the eyes of Wagner and the mind of Nietzsche.

  5. "(Obama) is a product of faulty premise and ideology, the product of slick salesmanship without substance, inadequate against the task facing him."

    All that, LG.

    And yet he is still feted as some kind of star by so many in the US media.

    Letterman's an example. He almost licks Obama's boots.

    L: "You folks behind President Obama?"
    Crowd: Yay! Lots of applause.
    L: "At least he's doin' something, yeah?!"
    Crowd: Yay! Lots of applause.

    Never mind *what* he's doing. No analysis at all. Twats.

    Even Howard Stern's shown his true authoritarian colours in his praise of BO. And he and Letterman are often described as being sympathetic to libertarianism? Do me a favour.

  6. Shari

    Thanks for that.

    BTW you are entirely correct about Nagy. Indeed he was a creature of the system. He was the Communist Party Agriculture Minister responsible for the brutal nationalisation of farms and land holdings throughout Hungary. During the revolution he turned out to be a weak vacillator who couldn't accept that communism was never going to work in Hungary and that the uprising was the direct result of people rejecting its "benefits." Finally, after much lost opportunity he reluctantly demanded the Soviets withdraw and that Hungary regain independence. When the Soviets reinvaded Budapest he went into exile (straight to a communist governed country- the fool!) and was returned (or chose to return- depending on whose story you accept) to face a show trial followed by a rather gruesome form of hanging. The guy was no hero. He remained a dedicated communist (at least until very near the end of his life). Interesting how despite this he became recorded as a "leader" of the revolution. It is true he attained a sort of figure head status but he was no revolutionary, nor a freedom fighter. He led nothing.


  7. Dave

    Perhaps you might care to consider what actually did occur during the Hungarian Revolution. There are parallels with what is starting to occur in Iran. I hadn't thought of this until Shari's earlier contribution. Now that's not to say that the two uprisings are the same, but the similarities are worth consideration.



  8. LGM I remember the Hungarian Uprising. I had friends subsequently who settled in England having escaped from Hungary illegally during the short period of opportunity which presented itself then for flight.

    As far as I am concerned, the only similarities between these two situations is that one lot was trying to wrestle power from another lot and that almost all of the participants had two arms and two legs each. Oh... and the USA was a country then as it is now, and almost all of their population have 2 arms and 2 legs each as well. Whoop-de-doo.

    As for Iran this week or this month, call me intolerant, but I couldn't give a flying fuck if yesterday's militant islamofacists all take to the streets and slaughter today's islamofascists or vice versa. Whatever the outcome, I'm sure it will mean zilch and the more of them slaughter each other the better off we will all be.

    Now, if the so-called demonstrators were campaigning for real change and wanted to take Iran down some sort of path towards being a cibilized society... that would be a different scenario completely. But it isn't, so fuck the lot of them.

    As for blaming the USA... oh god.. lets bring on the bloody violin chorus yet again shall we? The Great Satan can even cop the blame when it is is not involved at all. There are always convoluted ways to blame merica for everything and it gets so bloody boring, frankly.

  9. You know Dave, it's nice to read that you have friends and very very nice to know there are Magyars who may number among them. Hardly relevant to the point is it?

    You wrote: "As far as I am concerned, the only similarities between these two situations is that one lot was trying to wrestle power from another lot and that almost all of the participants had two arms and two legs each."

    That's a pretty deep analysis you've presented there. You must have put a great deal of thought into arriving at that startling conclusion- years of investigation, study and thought. BTW had you realised that description could be applied to pretty much any European revolution or war? Outstanding scholarship. Who'd have known it!

    Seriously though, that's really pretty shallow. Seems like you posess a trivial familiarity with what occurred during and after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. That's not going to be enough to defend your position on this occasion.

    Yes, there are parallels to consider (and learn from). And, yes, the US administration of 1956 had a lot to answer for. Will the present one fare better?

    You also wrote: "Whatever the outcome, I'm sure it will mean zilch.."

    Really? And you know it will mean zilch because....

    If the outcome of this situation means zilch, then there is nothing for anyone to concern themselves with- now or in the future. So, that's Iran sorted then. How easy was that!

    Yeah. Right.

    You wrote: "Now, if the so-called demonstrators were campaigning for real change and wanted to take Iran down some sort of path towards being a cibilized society... that would be a different scenario completely. But it isn't..."

    Dave, can you explain what those specific demonstrators are campaigning for exactly? How do you know? Explain.

    What path do they want to direct themselves towards exactly? How do you know? Explain.

    What is your evidence? Cite it.

    Returning to the president. It is President Obama's actions (or lack thereof) that are under scruitiny here. Perhaps you might care to read what PC has written on the subject. Consider it carefully this time. It isn't an anti-Great-Satan-USA type rant. Not he, nor me, nor Shari are proceding along that sort of line.


  10. LGM,

    It is fair to suggest Dave has a point in the 'let one group slaughter the other group' scenario.

    Obama's response to Iran is "not meddling".

    The bottom line is again the same. One Muslim group fighting another Muslim group.

    Modern Muslims fighting Orthodox Muslims.

    Orthodox Muslims slaughtering Modern Muslims.

    Will Modern Muslims ever arm themselves? No, because they do not want blood on their hands.

    Dave has a point in that Americans are tired of being called upon time after time to defend democracy. And once this has been achieved, Americans are blamed for ethnic blood spilled.

    American lives lost are forgotten in the equation.

    Dave's anger is justified. It is most unfortunate the use of foul language is mixed with his thoughts. Perfectly understandable within context.

    So, Obama's stance of 'not meddling' is sending the message to the Iran revolutionaries -"you're on your own."

    So who can the Revolutionaries turn to?

    Will they be unarmed for long?

    Will Iraqis lend a hand?

    Israel has a far greater interest in Iran than America.

    Will the Revolution succeed?

    I can't see the orthodox use of chemicals.

    The peasants may be persuaded through subsidies and cash to start an uprising. Maybe. Farmers carry sickles, so they start from a higher ground in combat against an unarmed civilian.

    So will the Revolution succeed?

    I don't know.

  11. Shari

    Dave ought to be able to speak for himself. This time he didn't make his points very well.

    Regarding democracy.
    Popularity contests are a poor means of determining political direction. What is far superior is the recognition of Individual Rights. That leads to the requirement for a suitable constitution to protect said Rights. Democracy is not much of a substitute.

    People in the USA ought to be tired of promoting the vacuous concept of democracy internationally. The USA certainly does not owe its own well being or progress to such a notion.

    Re Iran
    Sure is hard to tell what is going on there presently.

    It is the time for the President to come out with a powerful speach- one like his predecessors accomplished. For example, PC quotes President Reagan. Perhaps Obama might like to read that speach and consider emulating it as a start. He could even visit Egypt to deliver it (wouldn't that be something!).

    It's time to bring significant pressure to bear against the crook regime presently wrecking Iran. In the long run that's certainly going to cost less than keeping scared, staying quiet and doing nothing whatsoever.

    Of all people, it is the President of the USA who has the ability to make a difference right now. He can make a significant difference.


    PS Isn't it curious how Candidate Obama could tour the World making big speaches about change, yet now, having attained great powers, he is muted...

  12. LGM,

    Regarding democracy - a constitution is a brilliant thing. Is Democracy the best political system man has come up with to protect a constitution?

    Regarding Iran - Absolutely right on Obama. The Washington Post has a good guide on what Obama should be saying and doing.

    PC quotes Reagan, huh? Good for him. I note he likes something about Wagner. He likes art as well.

    Great stuff. I appreciate art in all its forms.

  13. Shari

    You ask whether democracy is the best political system Man has come up with to protect a constitution. I think the answer to that is that it isn't. Perhaps there is room for it at some level, but it isn't a good system.


  14. LGM,

    What then, is a good system?

  15. LGM,

    I got to thinking about 'tolerance' - writing other stuff, and remembered the postings here.

    I started with looking for the meaning of the word 'tolerance' and found:

    It comes from Latin 'tolenrantia' (1375–1425) which covers patience, fortitude, and ability to bear/endure pain, adversity .

    That's quite a range in the spectrum of tolenrantia.

    Then I find that John Locke published A Letter Concerning Toleration in 1689.

    In it, he argues for a new understanding of the relationship between religion and government.

    Unlike Hobbes, who saw uniformity of religion as the key to a well-functioning civil society, Locke argues that more religious groups actually prevent civil unrest.

    Locke's primary goal is to "distinguish exactly the business of civil government from that of religion."

    The two serve separate functions, and so, must be considered to be separate institutions.

    Toleration is central to Locke's political philosophy. Consequently, only churches that teach toleration are to be allowed in his society.

    Locke’s view on the difficulty of knowing the one true religion may suggest that religion is not personally important to Locke. As an empiricist, he took practical considerations into account, such as how the peace of civil society will be affected by religious toleration.

    Hobbes or Locke? Believer or empiricist? Which is a better political structure?

    Just rambling here. Interesting to ponder these things.

    It's hard to 'hear' a person's writings in terms of tone.

    In the absence of tone, one must rely upon the words chosen by the thinker.

    In the absence of any future reminder, always regard my tone as 'even'. :)

  16. Shari

    Good Morning (cold enough, isn't it).

    In order to protect freedom it must first be a valued ideal. It needs to be practiced. Hence there is the pre-requisit that the culture is very different from what we experience presently. Culture (which is nothing more than the collection of habits, conventions, understandings and common practices of people living in close proximity to each other and interacting with each other) is powerful.

    Presently New Zealanders utilise a culture of socialist envy, entitlement and dishonest leisure. There is a malicious component of rorting and a casual disregard for personal integrity (often displayed as fibbing in order to sneak down for the lowest shortcut). There is also a heavy reliance on range of the moment decision making (choosing what seems most comfortable now, rather than considering all of the consequences of a decision, including the longer term ones). Worst of all is a blind faith in supra-human entities which supposedly are present to preserve the believer against the trials and tribulation of living, including the consequences of his or her own decisions. Oh yes, this comes for free (always at someone else's expense).

    In such a culture freedom is not a consistently highly regarded value. It is difficult to protect it. In that context, regardless of a constitution, it is unlikely that any means of selecting government employees is going to preserve freedom- let alone the constitution.

    Popularity contests such as democratic elections are among the worst ways of seeking suitable candidates for responsible roles. A head count, without consideration of the content of those heads, is a poor way of evaluating the suitabilty, talent, honesty, experience, knowledge, integrity and fundamental principles of a candidate for government employment. In other words popularity contests are not a good means of establishing the suitability of the potential employee.

    BTW I have never worked in an organisation where the appointment or promotion of an employee was determined by a democratic election by all the other employees. What company would do this and expect to succeed.

    So, first you need a fundamentally different culture in place from that which is experienced presently.

    Next, you need an appropriate constitution. This would state what role and government is tasked with undertaking and describe what powers it was granted. Anything other than that is excluded.

    Now we come to selecting government employees. There will not be very many of them. There isn't the opportunity for any of them to attain great power over other people. Nor is there a path via government to huge wealth. The roles on offer are on a similar level as other utility providers. Nothing much for power lusters and rort artists to gain in such a situation. There wouldn't be the overwhelming population of them anyway and those that did exist would be unlikely to apply. Selection of remaining canidates would be by examination and attainment of qualification. A candidate would likely start employment with junior responsibilities and if successful attain promotions until appointed to senior level having attained experience to suit. Such a person would be well tested.

    As an alternative or compliment to that there is also the possibility of a heriditary selection system. That tends to preserve a long term, super-generational approach. Candidates would still need to demonstrate suitabilty by examination, experience and qualification.

    Whatever is the selected approach it oulw be a better bet than representational democracy. Democracy as presently promoted and practiced is near as poor an approach as one could employ. You can hardly say that people are "getting their say" when they make a few marks in a box on a little piece of paper once every few years. It is even sillier to believe that a candidate selected by such means is your "representative." The notion is naieve, ignorant in fact.


  17. Shari

    Re Religion.
    There is no need to be tolerant of it really. It has no place in public life- definately no place in politics, government, business etc. It is an offensive, illogical aberation that deserves no tolerance from sane people whatsoever. If bewildered individuals insist of believing superstition, then they'd best restrict it to their own private lives.

    However, it is also not right to persecute the religious by banning their meetings, burning their churches, imprisoning them and so forth solely on the basis that they are religious. They remain individuals who should be free to pursue that which makes them happy. It should still be remembered that they have no freedom to insist on their values and culture be forced onto others.


    Locke is very interesting. He was operating in a time when superstitious nonsense had already created wars and other crimes of significant magnitude. How difficult it must have been for him to try and tease out people's civil values from the blind predjudice cemented in place by silly religious indoctrination. What would he think of the situation were he alive today?


    There is an important difference between tolerance and acceptance I think.


  18. Hi Shari. You said:

    "Toleration is central to Locke's political philosophy. Consequently, only churches that teach toleration are to be allowed in his society."

    Is this not a contradiction in terms?

  19. Sure is. Locke wasn't perfect, but what he did get right set the west on the path to freedom. But when he got it wrong . . . :-/

  20. LGM, Sus, and PC,

    I must confess all words from "In it" to "toleration" have been copied and pasted from Wikipedia.

    While some argue Wikipedia to be an unreliable source, I find it most invaluable in my search on matters philosophical. I must exercise more care in future writings and pay heed to the importance of citation. I apologise.

    Sus, I cannot see any contradiction. It is highly likely you are viewing the words under the 2009 light.

    Perhaps if you adjust your perception towards 1689, you will most certainly see the reason why Locke's idea on toleration is aptly summarised in those two lines.

    Plato's Euthyphro was about method, not content. Locke's Letter Concerning Toleration was about content in 1689, and no doubt for many hundreds years after, but in 2009, it is a matter both of content and method.

    The content of Locke's Letter is a remarkable insight into politics, law, and religion in his time. The method is philosophical in nature.

    However, if you still see a contradiction, I am happy to attempt to see it through your perspective.

    PC, please write about which particular thought Locke 'got it wrong'.

    LGM, I hear what you are saying about your ideal form of government. I am sure you are not alone in the type of utopia you perceive.

    Recall Locke wrote in Latin. His concept of the word 'tolenrantia' covers patience, fortitude, and ability to bear/endure pain, adversity .

    Recall also Hobbes' description of the condition of man and his solution - Sovereignty.

    The essence for survival of government lie in the tolerance of its people.

    Locke says "No man can be a Christian without charity and without that faith which works, not by force, but by love".

    The word "Christian" is to be understood in the context of Locke's time. He also wrote "toleration to be the chief characteristic mark of the true Church".

    Broadly speaking, Locke says that the world is "a society of men constituted only for procuring, preserving, and advancing their own civil interests".

    What are 'civil interests?'

    Locke says they are "life, liberty, health, and indolence of body, and the possession of outward things, such as money, lands, houses, furniture, and the like".

    He draws our attention to the beast in man when he speaks of "mark of men striving for power and empire over one another than of the Church of Christ".

    Let's say we call your proposed government system LGM.

    So, under the LGM system, you are leader. How did you become leader?

  21. Shari

    I've not proposed a utopia. I answered a specific question you directed to me, regarding what would be a superior system to representational democratic goverment and the holding of popularity contests to select government employees. The context was the preservation of freedom in a society.

    Government should not be about "leadership". In the same sense that the local electricty supplier is not a leader, over-lord or controller of people, nor should government be. Govt is a utility present only to provide some limited services and protections (protection of Individual Rights).

    I am "leader" of myself. Same for you, same for each other individual. You attain this by being able to apply your faculty of reason logically and act on it.

    Now looking at your last question again, there would be no "leadership" of a country in the sense that one has powers to direct the economy or to arbitrarily raise new laws and regulations. Hence, assuming I wanted to gain employment in the government in some capacity, I would not be "leader" in the sense that such an authority conveys presently. There would be no such role available for anyone to aspire to.


    I still like Locke. He was struggling with some issues that were critical in his time and still find relevance today (even if sometimes in a somewhat different form). Not perfect but well worth the time to read and consider.

    Cheers and have a good weekend.



  22. LGM,

    Okay. No utopia. For want of a name, we'll call the system that is superior to representational democratic government the LGM system.

    The context of the LGM system is preservation of freedom in society.

    There are no leaders in the LGM system. Each person in the society applies his faculty of reason logically and act on it.

    Let's say there are 100 people in the LGM society.

    One day, two men are out hunting.

    Only one returns. He says his companion died when he fell off a cliff.

    All 99 go off to retrieve the body.

    Although all 99 are able to apply his faculty of reason logically, the surviving man's account of how the man died does not somehow, make sense.

    Some members of the group seem to accept the version of events readily because the dead man was not liked by them.

    The group becomes confused because their emotions get in the way of their combined faculty of reason.

    The 98 people are split into two camps. One supporting the surviving man's version of events, and the other not.

    Months go by and the argument gets heated. In fury, one member strikes another across the face which results in an all out brawl.

    When the dust has settled, there is one more dead.

    This time, there is consensus as to how the second man died, and the person who is responsible.

    What should the LGM society do to the accused?

    If he is to be banished from society, how is he to provide for his family?

    Should the rest of LGM's society aid the banished member's family?

  23. Shari

    Who initiated force against another? In other words, which person was it that acted against the Individual Rights of another? It is necessary to identify that person and prove that was the one who commited the act.

    By violating Individual Rights, a person loses the protection of those principles. He can't expect anyone to observe his rights and freedoms if he fails to observe those of others. He is now fair game for the government to take retribution. The retribution may be banishment, it may be imprisonment, it may be all sorts of sanctions. That would depend on what was determined at trial as fit and proper.

    If sanction is taken against him, then it is not up to anyone else to support his family. No-one should be forced to do that against their will. That being the case, it is within the realms of possibility that other members of the society would voluntarily step forward and offer help. It may be that members of the extended family voluntrily step in (grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, brothers, isters, parents etc.). It may be that friends and acquaintanced offer assistance voluntarily. It may be that charities or other organisations offer assistance voluntarily. Some or all of the remaining family members may have to seek employment, full time or part time. Note that a similar challenge faces the family of the dead man. Nevertheless, no-one should be forced to support other people. That in itself is a violation of individual Rights.


  24. LGM,

    Excellent. So what we have in the LGM system are the following elements:

    1 - Its foundation is built on preservation of freedom in society;

    2- There are no leaders;

    3 - Each person in the society applies his faculty of reason logically and act on it;

    4 - The implication in (3) above is that logic is equally available to all;

    5 - In your last posting, you have said: "He is now fair game for the government to take retribution."

    6 - So, while there are no leaders, there is place for 'the government'.

    7 - You have also said: "That would depend on what was determined at trial as fit and proper".

    8 - So, there is place for 'trials'.

    9 - With your use of the words 'retribution and sanction', you acknowledge there is place for 'punishment'.

    10 - With your use of the words 'extended family', you acknowledge there is place for 'family & friends'.

    11 - There is room for charity.

    12 - Individual Rights.

    So, in the spectrum of the LGM System, we can identify the following concepts and elements:

    Freedom, no leaders, logic, equal, government, trials, punishment, family, friends, charity, and individual rights.

    Are there any more elements and concepts you may wish to include?

    The next question would be:

    Where on the political spectrum does the LGM system lie?

    Broadly speaking, a political spectrum consists of 3 states:

    Anarchy, Democracy, Sovereignty.

    So, since the LGM System is superior to Democracy, it follows it must be closer to Sovereignty.

    But that's not possible because the LGM System has no leaders.

    Which means the LGM System must lie beyond Sovereignty.

    What lies beyond Sovereignty?

    I guess that depends on the definition of sovereignty.

    What do you understand sovereignty to mean?

  25. Shari


    2/. There would be no "leadership" of a country in the sense that one has powers to direct the economy or to arbitrarily raise new laws and regulations.

    4/. The ability to apply reason logically is not a task that all people are equally skilled at performing- unfortunately. Nevertheless, everyone should be allowed the opportunity (and encouraged) to apply their faculty as best they are able (assuming they are able).


    The spectrum is


    Regarding soverignty, collectivism grants little or none to each person. Permissions must be applied for. There are no Individual Rights and the free range of action of each person is restricted/controlled. Individuals are not soverign.

    Individualism is the antithesis of that. In that case each individual person is soverign over his or her own life.


  26. LGM,

    Okay. Interesting.

    We are on different spectrums.

    I am on the anarchy/sovereign spectrum.

    You are on the collectivism/individualism spectrum.

    So allow me to look at your perspective from your spectrum.

    I see a few groups whose perception is that there is something 'bigger than themselves'.

    There are a few individuals as well, who, to borrow your phrase, "applies his faculty of reason logically and act on it."

    Yes, not a bad view.

    Not bad at all. :)

    Hey, how about a drink? whiskey or port?

    That warms the soul, that does. What is it that the English say? It warms the cockles of me heart? Or it warms dem bones?

    Something like that.

    hey, seen "Charlie Wilson's War?"

    As transcribed from the movie:


    Charlie Wilson: Do you drink, Mr. Avrakotos?

    Gust Avrakotos: Oh God yes.

    Charlie Wilson: Well, then, should we try some of this scotch, or is it going to release Sarin gas?

    Gust Avrakotos: Well, I don't think so, but do me a favor and open it over there.
    [points away from him]


    Joanne Herring: May I ask what it is that I've done to make you dislike me, Mr. Avrakotos?

    Gust Avrakotos: I like you just fine, Mrs. Herring, it's just been my experience that when people with money and too much free time get involved in politics, pretty soon, I forget who it is I'm supposed to be shooting at.


    Joanne Herring: Are you Catholic, Mr. Avrakotos?

    Gust Avrakotos: Greek Orthodox.

    Joanne Herring: Still a Christian, though.

    Gust Avrakotos: Imagine my relief.


    It's been an interesting exercise attempting to understand a liberal viewpoint.

    I thank you.


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