Whoever or whatever it was — or remains — if it was evil, we should collectively appreciate its import, ameliorate its damage, if comparatively recent, and pack it away not to be repeated if the semblance of the same may be prevented or damped.
As lies are told to hide something or to get something, those who counsel the excising of history — erasure of the past, in essence — would seem most of all ashamed of themselves and sensitive to their own hidden predilections for control and conquest. Only the pulling down of the despot’s statue at the time of the revolution proves liberating and signal of liberation. Yanking old generals off their pedestals? That’s something else.
Notice how Locke’s empiricism dovetails with the political principles of natural rights and basic equality: because all people have eyes and ears and minds, and because we must check and consult with each other to find truth, the many, not just the few, are entitled to assert their own beliefs and contest others. Epistemic rights, like political rights, belong to all of us; empiricism is the duty of all of us. No exceptions for priests, princes, or partisans.
With America’s former “Fake News!” Fake President dooming Congressional members of the Republican Party into becoming IrrElephants, now seems just the time for reconsidering the character, history, and nature of what informed and modern humanity has come to call “Truth”.
The matter shouldn’t be that complex, but considering the long history of narcissistic conceits (why of course the sun revolves around the earth!) and wars involving irreconcilliable beliefs, cocksure wrong conclusions, and innumerable faiths, it should seem no wonder that for the pleasure of obtaining where all may a deeply responsible peace we have arrived in a lively conversation about empiricism and epistemology.
I have only started reading Rauch’s book but feel both the quote and note here worthy of play.
I’m not going to take on the complete review of western states and the state of freedom in each. Quite a few organizations now do that. However, given the interests of EU/NATO in responsible governance and the proper interests of mankind, I may offer this handful of related reports as bellwether to the west’s own degraded and eroding condition as a powerful network of open democracies.
Twenty years ago (almost) on “9/11”, al Qaeda brought a new “Muslim Question” to the fore of Western consciousness, paving the way for an appropriately defensive and primordial response that boosted cultural pride in every EU/NATO state while — with popular approval — bulking up and shaping for each their intelligence, military, and paramilitary forces to meet the challenges posed by lethal non-state actors. In some states, both the patriotic urge, sensible enough, and fear brought home and laced with xenophobia (add ten years later the start of the refugee-herding Syrian Tragedy), promoted a turn to what would become the latest craze in populism, i.e., the New Nationalism.
Well, are democracies family businesses to be managed as private businesses after all?
Have some terrorist struck and — add COVID-19 — stricken democracies become so weak as to fail to defend their own nobility in good citizens against an ignoble collection of, um, less good citizens?
Having drifted far toward a “Reactionary Right” with the support of wealthy interests, some states appear to have regressed from their own once liberating and democratically revolutionary ideals more or less in the direction of feudal power and anachronistic but familiar familial, racial, religious, or tribal conflict.
The Medieval World, so it seems, continues to stalk a few should-be Modern states in relation to either the decline in the civility of their political rhetoric or private-sided degrading of their realpolitik.
It takes a long time to build a nation’s confidence in freedom with a both a civil and extraordinary extraordinary bandwidth in cultural and personal expression and identity while maintaining internal cohesion, coherence, and security.
Some, apparently, have stumbled.
On Feb. 15, Viktor Orbán’s government shut down Klubrádió, one of Hungary’s largest independent radio broadcasters. This comes after a Budapest court upheld a decision by the country’s media regulators to revoke the station’s license, forcing it to exist exclusively online.
Last September, the country’s Media Council, appointed by the Fidesz party, rejected the station’s broadcast permit renewal. Klubrádió allegedly breached laws by missing deadlines to file reports and playing too little Hungarian music. Therefore, the authorities refused to extend its license, which expired on Feb. 14.
NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 2 – Marking the International Day to End Impunity in Crimes against Journalists, the Italian Mission to the UN recalled that over 1,000 journalists have been killed in the last decade. “We reaffirm our commitment to press freedom and safety and protection of journalists, as cornerstones in achieving the 16th Sustainable Development Goal calling for the promotion of just, peaceful and inclusive societies.
Since the beginning of 2020, 32 media operators where killed on the line of duty, Reporters Without Borders announced today, calling for the establishment of a UN Special Representative to investigate all cases. “If we do not protect journalists, our ability to remain informed and make evidence-based decisions is severely hampered”, the UN Secretary general, Antonio Guterres, said today: “When journalists cannot do their jobs in safety, we lose an important defence against the pandemic of misinformation and disinformation that has spread online.”
Poland has fallen to 62nd out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index compiled annually by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a leading Paris-based NGO that seeks to promote and defend independent journalism and access to information. It classifies Poland as among the counties that have “a noticeable problem” with press freedom.
This is the fifth year in a row that Poland has recorded a decline in the ranking, all of which have taken place under the current Law and Justice (PiS) government that came to power in late 2015. In that year, Poland had reached a record high of 18th in the index. Now, five years later, it finds itself below Armenia (61st), Niger (57th) and Papua New Guinea (46th).
The report also pointed a finger at President Trump who, it said, “exacerbates” press freedom problems with his repeated declarations that journalists are an “enemy of the American people,” his accusations of “fake news,” his calls to revoke broadcasting licenses and his efforts to block specific outlets from access to the White House.
“The president’s relentless attacks against the press has created an environment where verbal, physical and online threats and assault against journalists are becoming normalized,” RSF Interim Executive Director Sabine Dolan tells NPR.
Unlike the underground of Czarist times, today’s samizdat has no print ing presses (with rare exceptions): The K.G.B., the secret police, is too efficient. It is the typewriter, each page produced with four to eight carbon copies, that does the job. By the thousands and tens of thousands of frail, smudged onionskin sheets, samizdat spreads across the land a mass of protests and petitions, secret court minutes, Alexander Solzhenit syn’s banned novels, George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and “1984,” Nicholas Berdyayev’s philosophical essays, documents of the Czech Spring, all sorts of sharp political discourses and angry poetry.
An appeal from the Inconnu Independent Art Group for funds to produced wooden grave markers to be erected in June 1989 at Plot 301 in Budapest’s New Public Cemetery, the assumed resting place of Imre Nagy and other leaders of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, on the 31st anniversary of their execution.
The adoption of an emergency law that allows the government to rule by decree indefinitely, brought in after the coronavirus pandemic struck, “has further exposed the undemocratic character of Orbán’s regime,” the authors wrote, adding that “Hungary’s decline has been the most precipitous [they have] ever tracked.”
The cause: the emotional distress of reactionary conservative at the thought of responsible executive management and oversight of large (immense!) social networking platforms.
Here is reason.
From the Awesome Conversation
Most platforms are only “common carriers” — they support communications / “content” and, if large, attend to some maintenance of normal community standards. The systems that support extremism include “dark web” and specialized communities that one has to know how to access via the “out there” or radical vines.
Of course the idea of self-proclaimed “patriots” invading the Capitol and attempting to disrupt the validating of possibly the most well observed and secured election in American history would be mind boggling but for the agitprop and disinformation industries and the self-selected “echo chambers” that surround those who fall into cult-like information traps.
Here’s another and related excerpt from today busyness, and it follows from an absurd and irresponsible statement of fact that wasn’t factual. From the Awesome Conversation –>
“Free Speech” is a right that Government cannot limit” — not true. Criminal law prohibits speech associated with conspiracy and incitement; tort law addresses libel and slanders. While we may enjoy a great bandwidth in expression, we treat adult sexual material differently than we do other content – I hope you don’t have a problem with that – and professional and responsible publications prove themselves sensitive to differentiating between valid-reliable information and bunk.
Most of the public understands differences between mainstream media and partisan publications. The major common carriers – like Facebook – believe they have cultural, political, and social responsibilities that include the discouragement of disinformation and the encouragement of good civil conduct whatever the speaker’s beliefs and thoughts may be.
I’ve owned this one a long time and here own up to not having yet read it! 🙂 However, I know of it and reviews may be easily found online:
President Donald J. Trump at Rally, Evansville, Indiana, August 30, 2018.
President Trump’s own behavior x actions x associations x utterance speaks for him, and the so-called “biased media” is only turning up what may be associated with his real estate enterprises and his name.
Perhaps some Americans demand to see a memorandum of understanding between Putin and Trump that doesn’t exist, but the Trump associates going to jail, plea bargaining their way down, or hiding behind some convoluted national security screen (Felix Sater) very much exist (ask their kids) and the impression of collusion (much like the appearance of conflict of interest that executives should seek to avoid) only worsens.
If the east-west conflict game of choice is chess, then perhaps Americans have been forked between the obligation to defend the Constitution of the United States and continued loyalty — when it matters — to a President suspect, at least, of eliding the law for his business interests and treating issues concerning himself as if he were the unquestionable leader of a feudal estate.