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Monday, June 13, 2005



via raimondo, i find that no less a personage than alexander solzhenitsyn is concerned about american-financed revolution in russia. as quoted in the sunday times and russian news and information agency:

“An Orange Revolution may take place if tensions between the public and the authorities flare up and money begins flowing to the opposition."

“Democracy is not worth a brass farthing if it is being installed by bayonets. Democracy should grow slowly and gradually.”

Solzhenitsyn slammed the US policy, saying that over ten years ago, the US "launched an absurd project to impose democracy all over the world."
"The US has a strange idea of democracy - they first interfered with the Bosnian situation, bombed Yugoslavia, then Afghanistan, and then Iraq." "Who is next, perhaps, Iran?" the writer wonders. "The US must understand that democracy cannot be introduced by force, by the army," he said.

Good evening Gaius,

I've followed your comments and blog for a while after seeing several of your comments at Reason.Com. I often find you say intriguing (at the least) even if I don't always agree with it 100 percent. Then again, who does agree with someone else 100% of the time?

As for the issue at hand:

America supports such "democracies" as Uzbekistan and Pakistan. Real politik or "pragmatic diplomacy" or whatever people want to call it doesn't particularly disgust me inherently but when we are using the "global spread of Democracy" as our new reason to disrupt half the world, our inconsistencies become shockingly galling.

Also random question:

Is there any particular reason you always write/type in lower case? It is something I've been wondering aobut what for a while.

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i tend to agree, mr beard. realism was, i think, unchristian, and violates one's sense of morality when one has been brought up in a christian culture even if one isn't religious. but i do think it machiavellian -- which is a slur in the christian context, but was an object of admiration for a humanist like machiavelli, being the ancient civic ethic of classical civilization.

what i find appalling in our new tack is the admixture of machiavellian means-justification -- which is only a part of the ultimate in social empirical pragmatism, the political antithesis of idealism -- with nakedly idealist and ideological ends. this will be a source of much destruction, internal and external. with most idealist utopians in civility -- say anabaptists or pietists -- there was often at least a humility of means that often forbade much methodology on idealist grounds.

but syncretic promiscuity -- that alchemy of idealism, individualism and abstraction -- has freed us to separate means from ends and recombine them at will and without a need for the logical consistency of the systemic philosophies of past civilization. in our society, we see "christian" leaders advocating civil violence and refusing to countenance forgiveness; and we see those who would manifest "freedom" (more properly, "freiheit") happy to pursue war and empire as the ironic vehicle. and i think that not at all removed philosophically from the pursuits of robespierre, trotsky and hitler -- all men who abandoned any pretense of pragmatic ends while relentlessly utilizing pragmatic means even in irony and hypocrisy. no coincidence that these men followed, in time and philosophy, rousseau, hamann and herder.

on the typography -- e.e. cummings, really. being (as we all are) citizens of the age of irony, i found it easy to take the name of marius -- the most shamelessly fame-hungry, unlawful, antitraditional and populist roman politician of his day, perhaps the man most singularly responsible for driving the republic to its destruction. likewise, cumming's ardent postmodernism -- his dedication to the individual, primitive and personal, his antipathy for law, rationality and criticism -- made him a lovely example of civility in collapse.

thank you for the comment, mr beard. it never fails to surprise me that anyone reads my monologue -- my surrogate memory, as it were -- but dialogue is vital to understanding. comments can be precious.

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