Re: MD junk or politics on this list

From: Wim Nusselder (
Date: Sat Apr 17 2004 - 23:03:11 BST

  • Next message: Wim Nusselder: "Re: MD What have you freed lately?"

    Dear Jon,

    You wrote 30 Mar 2004 18:28:24 -0500:
    'from the beginning in 1776, America and its system of government was
    referred to as an "experiment." The founding fathers were, in a very real
    way, scientists.'

    Is it possible that they used "experiment" as a metaphor, making them "like
    scientists" rather than "in a very real way scientists"?

    You wrote:
    'I have always looked at this as a battle of ideas. ... If people can, for
    brief moments, literally become the personification of a concept, I contend
    that so can nations. ... In Iraq, the concept of Freedom had a showdown with
    the concept of Tyranny.'

    I agree to some extent: Ideas motivate actions. Success of actions is an
    argument in a metaphorical "battle of ideas".
    Real battles and the behaviour of real nations are only in a small part a
    result of motives, however. Like individual behaviour it is largely
    habitual: mob behaviour, us versus them reflexes in response to fear,
    looking at the one with the highest status to follow his/her lead. Nations
    (and groups in general) also "personify" the habitual patterns of value that
    hold them together.
    No nation and no individual only "personifies" ONE concept. And apart from
    "personifying" habitual and symbolic patterns of value (third level and
    fourth level static patterns of value), they are also receptive to Dynamic
    Quality and shouldn't be treated like 'turds that clog toilets and only need
    to be flushed to let fresh water stream'. Saddam not only "personifies"
    Tyranny, but also Arabic nationalism....

    I hope America learns from this "experiment"
    - that democracy nor appreciation of freedom can be imposed on people with
    strong (national and/or religious, collective and/or individual) identities,
    - that security cannot be guaranteed by military power, even if it equals
    the sum total of the military power of the rest of the world taken together
    - that the only way to make the world a better world to live in -also for
    Americans- is to use economic and military power to give everyone better
    perspectives instead of mainly looking after American interests.

    With friendly greetings,


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