Flickr

  • www.flickr.com
    Abiola_Lapite's photos More of Abiola_Lapite's photos

« Found in Translation | Main | Slang Term of the Day »

May 10, 2006

Comments

Steve Edwards

It is indeed a loathsome organisation. Why must we prostrate ourselves before these people?

Chuckles

Stuff like this represents a major flaw in Chomsky's IR Theories: i.e. that simply because the UN condemned, say, US activities in Nicaragua or Venezuela - ergo, the US is on par with other "terrorist states" or "Failed States" (his latest analysis). He extrapolates a moral position from this, glibly sliding one of his universalit moral truisms into the whole argument.

The primary problem of those who base a critique of American FP on Universalism is the entire rotteness of the Universe to whose standards they seek to hold the US. Faced with this insurmountable block - the dodge? Ah Ha! The US made the Universe rotten! (Kind of like Huey's last line in the "The Trial of R. Kelly" episode of "The Boondocks").

[...if there are 13 countries in either Africa or Asia which can withstand scrutiny of their protection of human rights, my name is Abraham Lincoln...]

An entirely false premise. What matters, is not whether these countries actually protect human rights, what matters is the different cultural perspective they bring to the table - say for instance, on the treatment of Women. It is imperative to check the dangers of Western arrogance and its presumption to a universal standard of decency. What we need is a dialogue between civilizations [sic], lets see if we can find a third way between say, beating wives and not beating them, hating Jews and not hating them, despising blacks and not despising them, starving peasants and not starving them: A third way, that say, *doesnt* beat wives, *hates* Jews, *despises* blacks but *doesnt* starve peasants. Urrrrrrmmm....Yummy...

Steve Edwards

I used to harbour some respect for Chomsky, but having read his latest book I now think he is a bloviating half-wit. The man calls himself an "anarchist", yet whenever he is drawn on tangible action he invariably supports some kind of global social democracy run by UN bureaucrats. It's too ridiculous for words.

Chuckles

[...he invariably supports some kind of global social democracy run by UN bureaucrats...]

Precisely. Precisely. This is something that Raimondo called Left-Anarchists etc out on a while back: Pointing to the crucially Internationalist tenor of Chomsky's thought. A major piece of which includes blaming the many failures of the UN on the US - citing such instances as the vetoing of resolutions. But then, he refers to himself as a "fellow traveler" of Anarchists, so...
This is a man who validates global public opinion as a "Second super power": with wife beaters and all.

Ross

{between civilizations [sic], lets see if we can find a third way between say, beating wives and not beating them, hating Jews and not hating them, despising blacks and not despising them, starving peasants and not starving them}

Sure you can focus on trivial things like all that, but I'm sure when it comes to major abuses such as people drawing mean cartoons the Human Rights Council will be right there.

gene berman

Ross:

I think you've got it. When it comes to murder, rape, torture, despoliation, etc., it's only the affected that are affected. Those unaffected are OK and in some cases, may even derive pleasure or at least satisfaction from treatment meted out to those of whom they disapprove.

But cartoons are a different matter: everybody suffers. Now that I think of it, I'm surprised that the UN had not, apparently, foreseen this baleful effect and set up some continuing, permanent body to prevent the more egregious offenses. (But then, they haven't been that successful with the matters for which they had such bodies. Maybe the whole UN thing wasn't such a great idea after all? Who'd'a thunkit?)

Steve Edwards

Chomsky should start his own political party some day. He could call it "Anarchists for World Government".

Factory

Hmm... the problem with restricting countries that have poor human rights records from joining these types of committees is that you are excluding the very countries that you want to be reforming. Adding in that countries that only have a (relatively) clean record are few in number and quite european in ethnic identity. So it would turn into an exclusive preaching club, which isn't going to do a whole lot for human rights.

Abiola

"the problem with restricting countries that have poor human rights records from joining these types of committees is that you are excluding the very countries that you want to be reforming"

What exactly is wrong with that? You might as well say the problem with juries is that we exclude the criminals on trial from participating in them.

"Adding in that countries that only have a (relatively) clean record are few in number and quite european in ethnic identity"

So what? Who cares what ethnicity someone who cries out about mass murder and state suppression of its citizens is? Your rhetoric reminds of all those people who think it's fine what Kim Jong Il and Robert Mugabe are doing because they're doing it to "their own people".

Steve Edwards

"...excluding the very countries that you want to be reforming." Except in practice this has meant giving Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe the right to issue reports on the human rights record of Australia. This means that free countries are the ones that have to "compromise", not the dictatorships.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Notes for Readers