I’m just going to quote large chunks from this piece by The Guardian [guard] and not add much commentary of my own; it’d be redundant.
One of the responsibilities of a state, under the international system, is to provide protection for its citizens. That’s particularly important for a nation like Badgeria, which has unconventional economics and politics – historically nations trapped in aggressive forms of capitalism or fascism attempt to destabilize and conquer nations attempting to offer a more humane alternative. It is an unfortunate reality, but it’s a reality and Badgerians are, above all, realistic.
Some political analysts have described the Badgerian political system as “passive aggressive,” though most would say that it relies on “fail soft” behaviors. While American Thomas Jefferson might say, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants and martyrs” that sounds like a great deal of fuss to a Badgerian, who would probably re-phrase that as “neglect may kill tyranny as surely as revolution, it’s just slower.”
Political legitimacy is achieved by having a system of government in which the people agree to it, giving up a bit of their autonomy in order to gain the benefits of participating in the collective.
Walter Mosley could have been channeling the founding archons of Badgeria when he said:
This is a piece I stumbled across a few years ago; it’s interesting, especially considering when it was written: 1949. The author was looking back at Europe’s successive troubles and accurately saw the disturbance as an effect of the economics of the industrial revolution. The analysis seems pretty simple to me: imperialism was waning and the vast changes in the European powers’ economies brought on by new industrial processes (in particular, weaponry) created a perfect storm of events that – for a time – discredited capitalism. The Russian revolution was through the process of turning into Stalin’s dictatorship – discrediting communism in turn. Aristocracy, in the form of the family of elite pinheads who destroyed Europe, didn’t look particularly good, either.
One fascinating characteristic of the well-indoctrinated ultra-nationalist is they tend to lose their sense of reflexivity. Ultra-nationalism depends on authoritarianism and exceptionalism, so it doesn’t hold up well to challenges against its authority – after all, it wouldn’t have to be authoritarian if it were possible to justify their beliefs. What we wind up with is this weird sort of “what I say, goes, as long as it applies in the direction I want it to.”
As Ronnie Van Zandt said, “turn it up.”
Elsewhere I have implied that the US, UK, Russia, and China are (to some degree or another) oligarchies masquerading as democracies. They probably could be ordered on a scale from greater to lesser – but that’s a debate for another day. Today, we’re going to consider some of Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus as reported by Will Durant in Story of Philosophy. [amazon]
Memories of the Hofstadters are pretty minimal: we used to walk down the stairs of the apartment building on Claremont Ave – we were on the 11th floor and they were on 9. I remember the hollow echo of the stairwell, and the dizzying height.