Archive for June, 2009

Another problem with leaders

June 18, 2009

A problem with leadership of any kind is that, when a bad policy or
 mistake is made, people tend to focus blame only on
the leaders.
They don’t consider the underlings carrying out the
 bad policies, or the ideological base from which leadership usually
springs.
The responsibility for one’s own actions becomes shifted.
This seems to make for a vicious cycle, and it
explains why some (though apparently not enough) hesitate to give
 any leader wholehearted and generous support.

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The meat and potatoes version of my view on representative democracy.

June 15, 2009

In the so-called “information age,” image dominates more than ever.
In America we tend to fancy ourselves as rugged, self-governing individuals.
However, despite the image, it’s simply not self-government if somebody is making
decisions on our behalf.
Nor is it so if you happen to govern others.
 I actually endorse the idea that people are self-owners,
 which is why I have come to disagree with representative
governments of all kinds.
We already know that, no matter what their stated intent, many seek power to
 the extent of gambling with people’s lives.
I do not want this to happen, but I do want substance.
The solution?  It inevitably comes back down to self-government.
However imperfect that sounds, it’s better than actually desiring to have rulers.

The Law and Detentions

June 5, 2009

Offhand, I can’t name a single protester held indefinitely by the
 US under Bush-era terror legislation.
That is exactly why, if peaceful protesters are arrested — which
 I don’t think should be the case, but if they
 in fact are — they should have charges filed against them, an
 evidence that they pose some sort of threat, and the
 case should be made open to the public.
It’s an elementary approach to justice — inside or outside an official courtroom —
that I happen to agree with, but which our beloved government apparently does not.

Of course, the statist reactionaries can ironically exploit any ignorance regarding
 secret detentions.  After all, why criticize something that, at least on the
 surface, doesn’t appear to be happening?
But the main point is this: They can’t logically ask for secret
 detentions, then mock  us civil libertarians for not knowing all of the
 possible details of such detentions.
It is absolutely ludicrous.
But the danger is, in fact, very real.

According to Bruce Ackerman, a Yale law professor, existing torture
 legislation “authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy
 combatants, even if they have never left the United States.
 And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a
 trial by their peers or any other of the normal
protections of the Bill of Rights.”(1)

So far this trend has not really reversed. 

(1.  “A Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy?,” Mike Whitney, World Prout Assembly, October 1, 2006:
http://www.worldproutassembly.org/archives/2006/10/a_vast_rightwin.html)

On International Organizations

June 2, 2009

Personally, I think international organizations are necessary.
 But I don’t think they have to be the United
Nations per se.
 We mainly see international crime because we
 have trans-national states.
 If you take these power politicians out of the picture,
 and the capitalist impulses they serve so well, there is
 no need for a centralized international body of schemers like
the UN.
The UN exists primarily so powerful states can keep the
weaker and more erratic ones in line with their exploitative agendas.
 
I view nations as part of the global economy, not
 as separate things altogether.
 That’s another reason why, for the most part, I simply don’t care about these
 imaginary distinctions between “public” and “private.”
 I care about the reality of whatever is occurring.