"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Apr 17, 2010

Conjunctions of Thought

"The laws of most nations protect property fiercely, the individual capriciously and society scarcely at all. A single murder is prosecuted; mass murder is the legitimate business of states. Only when these acts are given names – genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes of aggression - do we begin to understand their moral significance.

The same applies to nature. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 criminalises anyone who “intentionally picks” a single flower from a protected plant(9). But you can grub up as many as you like as long as it’s “an incidental result of a lawful operation.” Pick a buttonhole and you could find yourself in the dock. Plough out the whole habitat and the law can’t touch you."

George Monbiot

"Never adequately explained in the midst of all the talk of social contracts and the legitimacy conferred by elections, however, is why one human institution is allowed to violate the basic norms of right and wrong, "murder" to you or me becoming mere "collateral damage" if carried out with enough brutality by a government agent. If children are taught early on that consent, not violence and coercion, is to govern human relations, why does that lesson not apply to government? What is the moral and philosophical case for exempting any subset of humanity from the rules by which the rest must live?

The state, envisioned as that great mechanism for promoting human cooperation and betterment, is -- outside the realm of textbook -- in reality clearly anti-social, its very essence the "flagrant negation of humanity," as Russian radical Mikhail Bakunin once wrote. The government's de facto right to violate universal notions of individual morality is, Bakunin argued, both "its supreme duty and its greatest virtue" in the eyes of those who support it..."

Charles Davis

Or, as a friend once said to me, "If you or I dump a gallon of benzene in the river, we're going to jail. If Dupont or Dow dump ten thousand gallons, they get a tax deductible fine."

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