Saturday, February 24, 2007

"Master & Servant"

Remember this old Depeche Mode tune?

There's a new game

We like to play you see

A game with added reality

You treat me like a dog

Get me down on my knees

We call it master and servant

We call it master and servant

It's a lot like life

This play between the sheets

With you on top and me underneath

Forget all about equality

Let's play master and servant

Let's play master and servant

It's a lot like life

And that's what's appealing

If you despise that throwaway feeling

From disposable fun

Then this is the one

Domination's the name of the game

In bed or in life

They're both just the same

Except in one you're fulfilled

At the end of the day

Let's play master and servant

Let's play master and servant

Let's play master and servant

Come on master and servant

.... so it appears the Peter MacKay and Condi Rice will just let bygones by bygones and "agree to disagree" over the Arar scandal. Isn't that special?

I guess that's just peachy. I mean why should the illegal US detainment of a Canadian National who is subsequently forcibly deported by the US to a third country without the knowledge of the Canadian Government and then tortured mercilessly based on faulty US intelligence by Authorities in that third Country (Syria, the most fun-loving Arab democracy of them all!) for a full year warrant any stiff diplomatic rebuke of the United States Government by the Government of Canada ?

We need to sell our beef don't 'ya know?

On top of it all, the secret conspiracy called "deep integration" continues against this sordid and disgusting backdrop.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Decline of the American Empire ?

A very interesting trend - and one that we have certainly noticed and followed.

Does anyone in America care that the world is turning their backs on them?

Do Americans really believe the neo-fascist fantasy that we will bend to their will at every turn?

The end days are coming. And the countdown started some time ago ...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

An Apology?

Our Anglo-American friend over at The Fifth Estate has labeled me as one "who argues like Plato." While I accept the tag as a compliment, I do wish to correct the error of perception.

Much of Plato's design was to use Socrates and his Method in various analogies as a way of castigating the Athenian Democracy for their condemnation of Socrates for the crime of "corrupting the youth of Athens." This comes out very clearly in The Republic, where we see Plato advocating (it would seem) the creation of a very undemocratic City. Much academic work has been concluded on the matter, and it seems clear that Plato's rancour towards the demos is based largely on the anger he felt toward them for the way they treated Socrates.

I accept this interpretation, but I also very much enjoy reading and re-reading The Republic, as I find it a continuing source of wonder through the very power of the emotion that underscores the entire dialectic. I also see the value Plato places on the existence of an educated elite - although I might disagree with him that this elite should always rule as Philosopher-Kings.

But, back to the point; I refer to myself as a Platonist because I accept to a varying degree the idea of virtue, the forms, and intellectual rigour. In reality however, I am actually a devotee of Socrates and his Method (propagated largely, but not entirely, by Plato).

If we examine how Socrates lived his life, we see this:

He went around pissing people off.

Always questioning, hectoring, lecturing, teasing, and puncturing the conventional and unconventional (il)logic of the day. It eventually lead to his demise at the hands of the very people he was trying to enlighten.

Given the customs and practices of the times, Socrates could have fled Athens after the Verdict condemning him. He chose to stay and face his accusers and the jury. During his whole lifetime, Socrates could have left Athens and sought refuge in another City-State.

Why did he stay then? Well, the answer is clear to me. For all of its faults, Athens was the one City-State with a rough commitment to liberty - as it was then conceived. He certainly would have been put to death very early in the game, had he chosen to live in, say, Sparta.

Socrates chose to live and die in Athens. That in no way mitigates his desire to make Athens a better place. That in no way dilutes his desire to educate the Athenian youth. That in no way tempers his impatience with rhetoric and sophistry.

By accepting his fate at the hands of the demos, Socrates at one and the same time condemns their stupidity and laziness and exalts the ideals and hope that is Athens. In the end, Athens stands as the last, best hope for mankind. That the last, best of hope of mankind condemns the greatest Athenian of them all, is an irony lost on the demos, but not to those who know and remember Socrates great maxim:

"The unexamined life is not worth living."

And it is in that spirit that that I choose to live my life.

It is because of this fundamental commitment that I have come to reject cant, hypocrisy, and political parties. It helps me reject the bullshit and blather of both the Left and the Right. It assists me in seeing that Big Business and Big Labour are both part of the problem. It has afforded me the freedom to condemn ideology - the falsest of all gods.

And for all this, I wander around the blogosphere pissing people off.

Except, I would rather term it "making them think."

Or - come to think. Or - open their eyes. Or - realise.

Some get it. Most don't. Kind of like ancient Athens, don't you think?

Now you know. Or do you?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Most Dangerous Game

Vladimir Putin of Russia makes the case that I have been making over the last two years:

Namely, that the Bush Foreign Policy is making the world a very dangerous place by forcing rogue states to undertake nuclear weapons programmes as a means of self-defence, which only serves to destabilise regional and national security arrangements.

Putin is no democrat, and I worry about Russia greatly, but he deserves tremendous credit for his candid comments yesterday.