Re: MD The Quality of removing Saddam Hussein from power.

From: Wim Nusselder (
Date: Mon Feb 03 2003 - 06:54:43 GMT

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    Sent on behalf of Sam (Elizaphanian) who is currently having problems with
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    Hiya David,

    I'll pick up the threads on ritual this week, all being well. In the
    meantime, this will do as a little political warm-up (I didn't expect us to

    > DMB says:
    > How do you figure? The pursuit of wealth and power are social level
    > not biological. Surely this includes the control of oil and the
    > of a tribe's dominance. I think you've confused vice crimes with other
    > of crimes. There are different kinds of crimes because there are different
    > kinds of laws. Intellectual property theft, for example, is not in the
    > class as vice crimes like prostitution or drug abuse. See? But the Iraqi
    > leader is quite the fascist. We certainly agree on that.

    This is what I meant when I said I could be completely off-beam about the
    levels (or patterns). To my mind, seeking control of resources in order to
    preserve the flourishing of your blood clan is, to use the language of my
    original post, "a social pattern controlled by biological values", where the
    preservation of the blood clan is the biological value (blood = biological,
    see?). To me there is social authority (UN or US, whichever = the Sheriff)
    and then there is the actor that rejects that social authority (Hussein, the
    criminal). So if Pirsig is right that you can't talk criminals (fascist
    dictators) into submission, there must be first the threat and then the use
    of force.

    > DMB says:
    > This is your biggest mistake. Calling the UN a "world policeman" does not
    > turn that organization into a vice cop. The UN represents intellectual
    > control of society. Vice cops are social and they keep biology at bay, but
    > the UN keeps nations at bay. International organizations and agreements
    > supposed to keep the Giant from its usual acts of exploitation and
    > This is a HUGE difference. This mistake has led to some extremely dubious
    > conclusions.

    How does the UN keep nations at bay? How does it exercise (as opposed to
    represent symbolically) the intellectual control of society?

    The point of my distinction between formal and substantial was that the UN
    is *formally* the highest legal authority, even if it is not, in truth, the
    highest decision making forum.

    > DMB says:
    > It would surprise me if a priest and a conservative columnist DID NOT
    > alike. Sorry if that offends you, but its only consistent with what the
    > would predict and so it seems worth pointing out.

    That's why most of the Anglican hierarchy agrees with you on this issue
    then? Whereas my non-conformism shows my more deeply conditioned social
    level thinking. Right. Once upon a time I would have been very upset to have
    been labelled conservative. I certainly began our conversation last
    September on the issue with a clear sense that I *wasn't* one. Yet the more
    time goes on the more accurate a description it seems to be. Guess I'll just
    have to live with the ignominy of it. (Because I want to adhere to the
    truth, not kowtow to social level values like popularity <wink>).

    > Don't forget that Bush involved the UN only very reluctantly and keeps on
    > saying that he'd be quite willing to go to war inspite of what the UN

    If you're a criminal being told to put your gun down, you're more likely to
    resist that pressure if you think the other guy doesn't mean what he says,
    or if you think there are elements in society sympathetic to you, who can
    talk the sheriff out of it.

    > He's thumbed his nose at every international organization, treaty and law
    > that has come near him. He supported the attempted coup in Venezula just
    > last April and pretty clearly did so because he cares more about their oil
    > than their constitution or their democracy. His foreign policies only make
    > sense in terms of oil. And don't forget that Bush has under his control
    > weapons of mass destruction than anyone in the world, by far.

    Fair comments. The foreign policy establishment of the US is not staffed
    wholly by guardian angels. But hey - if the Iraqi population are not in an
    overwhelmingly better place within eighteen months or so of the end of this
    conflict, I'll be the first to admit that I'm wrong. Bit late by then, but -
    to use your language - 'I'm just telling it like I see it'.


    "A good objection helps one forward, a shallow objection, even if it is
    valid, is wearisome." Wittgenstein

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