Friday, January 18, 2008

The Day Today - 18th January 2008

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling writes:

Gosh, this is good. My sympathies lie with Messrs Brown and Litterick. That said there is much that HORansome and I would agree on as well, despite my being a baby-eating libertarian. I oppose the Forebed and Seashore legislation, and I don't have a problem in principle with the Waitangi Tribunal as a court to try and redress provable injustices despite all the original protagonists being long dead.

But the whole situation needs to be parsed a little finer than HORansome is. Paul's contention is this

We live in the world's oldest democracy, where we elect our governments, where we have the rule of law as well as plenty of checks and balances. No act of political violence is necessary or justified. As citizens we have the right to elect our representatives. We do not want Mr Iti and a bunch of suburban guerillas deciding that it may be necessary to murder some of them.

And that pretty much makes most of HORansome's claims, though mostly not untrue, irrelevant. Even if accept that injustices have happened, and are happening (I wouldn't call it oppression, oppression is sustained and that simply does not exist in New Zealand. Injustice is a more accurate word) the way to change things is by way of the ballot box and by convincing your fellow citizens, although with the new Democracy Rationing legislation you won't be able to do the convincing in election year.

And what of how the raids were conducted. I would say fairly well. Just how I would expect and want my police force to act if they had information that there might be "Te Quadea" in the East Coast plotting violent acts. You go in with overwhelming force at a most inconvenient time (so the suspects don't get to warn the others) and treat everyone and everything as something of interest, and that includes family members and buses - Russell Brown mentions that two wanted men had slipped out of town by hiding on a Kohanga Reo bus.

If Jamie Lockett and Tame Iti don't like the way they have been treated then they can just do what I do, act like a civilised human being and agitate for change peacefully.

As a related aside is this review by Keith Windshuttle of The Oxford History of the British Empire. (Readers who are Objectivists, hi Rick and Peter, may recognise Elijah Lineberry going by the name of Eric Williams about a quarter of the way through.) The final two paragraphs are rather accurate.

Pierre Manet looks at the difficulties Political Philosophy had dealing with the twentieth century.

certainly no Hegel, no Marx, even no Comte, has lived in our century

Some tried, but the most convincing were works of fiction...

our most impressive documents are novels: which political treatise on communism is a match for "1984" or Animal Farm" or "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" or "The Yawning Heights"? And what a strange commentary on this situation that, for some readers at least, the most suggestive introduction to Nazi tyranny is to be found in On the "Marmor Cliffs"

Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism) gave it a go, trying to find some muse from political philosophers past, without much success and for a chilling reason...

In a piece titled "Ideology and Terror," Arendt borrows from Montesquieu’s analysis and classification of regimes to try to categorize the totalitarian regime. For Montesquieu, each regime has a nature and a principle. The principle is the more important, since it is the "spring" that "moves" the regime. Now, explains Arendt, totalitarianism has no principle, not even fear-which is the principle of "despotism" according to Montesquieu. For fear to be a principal motive of action, the individual would need to think or feel that he is able to escape danger through his own actions; under totalitarianism, on the other hand, where the killings wax and wane without any discernible reason, this sense cannot be sustained.

The solution? Leo Strauss and the Return to the Greeks.

Imre Lakatos, you and your "quotation marks" are being called out.

Oh, and thanks! The image at the top is of Mercury, taken by the messenger spacecraft.


Rick said...

may recognise Elijah Lineberry going by the name of Eric Williams about a quarter of the way through.)


HORansome said...

You know, Eric, rather than making grand statements why don't you actually join in on the debate on that post over at the Fundypost?