Re: MD junk or politics on this list

From: Ian Glendinning (
Date: Sun Apr 18 2004 - 13:07:55 BST

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    I've always taken the view that the only difference between a metaphor and a
    "literal fact" (whatever one of those is), is the time it takes the matphor
    to die and become accepted as a ueful statement in its own right.
    Ian G

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Wim Nusselder" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2004 11:03 PM
    Subject: Re: MD junk or politics on this list

    > 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
    > 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
    > that so can nations. ... In Iraq, the concept of Freedom had a showdown
    > 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
    > 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
    > 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)
    > - 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
    > and
    > - 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,
    > Wim
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