December 2011 Archives

Interesting that Christopher Hitchens and the Iraq War "leave" us on the same day. Hitchens wrote a lot about religion being the cause of all bloodshed in the world, but also described himself as a "single-issue voter", with the issue being "defending civilization against its terrorist enemies and their totalitarian protectors". He vowed to "expose and oppose any ambiguity" on that matter. He supported America's wars during the last decade, including the idea of preemptive strikes.

Interesting to see how a man who calls himself an "enlightened" rationalist is so lacking in irony and cannot notice that his own warmongering serves and facilitates all the violent, irrational elements of society that he blamed "religion" for nurturing.

There is no "secularism"; All humans are prone to adopt dogmas and anoint idols. All humans are prone to errors of judgment, guided by fear. Faith is the realisation that the world goes on turning without you and that it is futile to try to control it (and those in it). People with and without Faith can be found in both the secular and religious world. Hitchens, I suspect, was driven by fear. May he rest in peace.
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The newspapers are filled with stories of governments spending money they don't have. Some blame it on work ethic (Greece), historical trauma (Germany), political gridlock (US), or just sheer frivolity (Italy). The assumption is that political change will bring about a change in spending patterns. It won't. Politicians take on obligations they can't afford for one simple reason: Because they can.

Throughout history, kings and politicians used paper derivatives of real money to finance their pet projects and wars. In the past, however, their ability to do so was limited by technological constraints (even paper money takes time and resources to produce), competition (the availability of other, more "solid' currencies), and the fact that large parts of the global economy relied on barter trading or other means of exchange and not on official currencies.

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