a fellow citizen of the world


“In Berlin, Obama made exactly one point with which it was possible to disagree.” According to David Brooks, it was not this one:

The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.
    We know they have fallen before. After centuries of strife, the people of Europe have formed a Union of promise and prosperity. Here, at the base of a column built to mark victory in war, we meet in the center of a Europe at peace. Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they have come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together; in the Balkans, where our Atlantic alliance ended wars and brought savage war criminals to justice; and in South Africa, where the struggle of a courageous people defeated apartheid.
    So history reminds us that walls can be torn down. But the task is never easy. True partnership and true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice. They require sharing the burdens of development and diplomacy; of progress and peace. They require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other.

Thanks, but no thanks. Touting fellow citizenship of the world is this century’s ladylike complement in stupidity to Woodrow Wilson’s fatal fixation on self-determination as an imperative principle of national action, the principle indispensably and preponderantly responsible for incessant warfare tearing apart the Old World throughout the past century. Today, we Americans could scarcely do worse than forswear our tribal loyalty to the founding documents that circumscribe the walls of our nation. We owe no duty of citizenship to those unwilling or unable to abide by our mandate. On the contrary, to affirm such duty is to undermine the compact that created this nation and continues to maintain it to this day. Our nation is unique in being held together by nothing but its founding principle. It has welcomed the worthiest and the worst off at the cost of renouncing all prior allegiances. It cannot stand without sustaining the boundaries defined by this renunciation. Nor can it go forth tearing down the boundaries between hidebound races, fanatical faiths, and complacent cultures.

On 20 November 1858, while supporting himself as a surveyor, Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal: “Who are bad neighbors? They who suffer their neighbors’ cattle to go at large because they don’t want their ill will,—are afraid to anger them. They are abettors of the ill-doers.” Obama’s alignment with cosmopolitan clastics recalls the prophet of neighborly love, said to have united Jews and gentiles by breaking down the middle wall of partition between them. But the world that defines its commons by disparate commitments to creeds and traditions, must be served by policies that embody bullish insularity of Thoreau, not by fantasies that abet the ill-doers through capturing ovine inclusiveness of Jesus. And that is the neighborly policy that America perpetually renews in virtue of her Constitution, with each turn at mending walls refusing the sufferance of our neighbors’ cattle going at large. And our best foreign policy would commit to a like mending by all neighbors, everywhere in the world.

38 thoughts on “a fellow citizen of the world”

  1. The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.

    Starting with Western Wall?

    1. There is no doubt in my mind that Obama’s demagoguery is bereft of policy implications. Nevertheless, it is worth emphasizing the aspects of American political culture not owing their substance to Jiminy Cricket wishing upon a star. Hence my quotation from Thoreau.

  2. отличный пост. признаю это, хоть я болен обамаманией и ответить по существу мне нечего. пассаж Thoreau понравился особенно. но безотносительно. как вы сами отметили, речь обамы – просто речь сама по себе, так как его политический статус на сегодняшний день не даёт никакой ему силы и не влияет на какие-либо политические доктрины. это речь идеалиста, а потому она и может быть названа демагогией. я думаю, что большинство людей осознаёт этот факт, но им, как и мне, хочется слышать что-то в таком роде for a change. агрессивная тупоголовая риторика просто достала уже. ещё раз спасибо.

    1. Спасибо за внимание. Я не считаю Обаму идеалистом, хоть и готов признать, что моё мнение основано на муниципальных предубеждениях проистекающих из шести лет проживания в Чикаго. А насчёт благодушного бессилия, всё существенное высказано Периклом у Фукидида в «Истории Пелопоннесской войны», 2:62.4: «Действительно, блаженное невежество может наполнить самоуверенностью даже грудь труса, но презрение суть привилегия тех, кто, подобно нам, убеждены размышлениями в их превосходстве над противником.» В этом раскладе, Обама скорее относится к партии убеждённых размышлениями, к чему относятся в частности его давешние упрёки в адрес работяг, цепляющихся за всяческие цацки.

      1. >Обама скорее относится к партии убеждённых размышлениями
        мне кажется, что это тоже очень верное замечание.
        но, оно может быть принято во внимание, когда мы говорим о человеке, о личности, или о нашем оппоненте.
        а вот если обаму рассматривать в отрыве от его личности, а как модель политика. скажем, на сегодняшний день, какой-то сегмент общества чувствует желание перемены. извините за банальность, но перемена висит в воздухе для части людей.
        и вот есть конкретный механизм произвести эту перемену – выбрать нового президента. может быть перемены и не произойдёт и это иллюзия, но она есть и примем её.
        теперь перед нами две модели кандидатов в президентов.
        одна построена на базе личности конкретного человека, его жизненного опыта, его прошлого, подвигов, героизма. с каккой стороны не подойти к ютой модели, можно докопаться до сути откуда что идёт, и многих рассуждений не потребуется. то есть эта модель прямо противоположна тому образу “убеждённых размышлениями”, который вы построили.
        другая модель практически не имеет корней в личном. это чистый вектор, чистая идея, укореннённая в “убеждении размышлениями”, но эта идея и есть квинтэссенция того, что говорит и хочет в данным момент определённая группа людей. но в тоже время и эта модель и не только идея, она на сегодняшний день имеет правовую силу. которая даёт ей соревноваться с первой моделью. то есть воплощение идеи и победа идеи выходит на первый план в момент конкретного соревнования, когда в основном это соревнование идей.
        теперь, оговорюсь, и это в свете первого того, что вы сказали, вторая модель, победив может вполне оказаться чистой демагогией и не реализоваться в личности.

        теперь, в ситуации, в которой чувствуют себя люди, желающие перемены сегодня, какая модель им больше подходит? и каковым будет их приоритет? личность или идея? другими словами, мне кажется что обама сегодня не зря там, где он есть.
        (извините за сумбур. к сожалению я не достаточно образован, чтобы дискутировать на вашем уровне.)

        1. Знаете, здесь как в известном анекдоте:

          A Zen master attired in a flowing robe comes up to a New York City hot dog vendor and says: “Make me one with everything.”
          The hot dog vendor fixes a hot dog and hands it to the Zen master, who pays with a $20 bill.
          The vendor puts the bill in the cash box and closes it. “Excuse me, but where’s my change?” asks the Zen master.
          The vendor winks: “Change must come from within.”

          Так вот, французы по этому поводу имеют два вида политики. С одной стороны — такая женственная политика обликов и представлений (la politique); с другой стороны — эдакая мужественная политика мер и установок (le politique). Причём они, ясным образом, взаимосвязаны и взаимопроникаемы через средства массовой информации. Но в то же самое время, никакой здравомыслящий человек не станет принимать решения на основании женственных обликов, без рассмотрения мужественных установок.

          In other words, they are trying to sell the sizzle, not the steak. Your job is to reverse their equation.

          1. ок. похоже, что так, как у французов, но момент не наступил для “принятия решения …” и “рассмотрения мужественных установок.”. надеюсь, если обаму изберут,то он будет руководствоваться этим принципом. спасибо за обмен. спокойной ночи.

              1. I just thought that a graphic representation of the le politique that you seem to approve could provoke some indigestion:

                JAN. 18, 2005 An Iraqi girl after her parents were killed by American gunfire in Tal Afar.“>

                1. You still don’t get the principle that graphic representations lie in the province of the bitch. No surprise there.

                  ObBook: Guy Debord, La Société du spectacle. In view of your gendered preferences, you might try the movie version instead.

  3. You may be yearning to elicit my anger, but kvetching like a bitch not the way to do it. Baudelaire tells of disagreeing liberally with the editor of a review, who kept responding to all his objections: “C’est ici le parti des honnêtes gens.” Your imputation of trying to embrace the indefensible is just as limp-wristed. All your upbringing should have sufficed to inform you that images prove nothing. Zionists and Nazis derive very different lessons from watching Der Ewige Jude. Only a nincompoop expects an ideological commitment of his equals to emerge from his purveyance of simulacra.

    1. I do not aim to elicit your anger, but to point out the error. If that makes you angry, may be it is appropriate to reconsider calling yourself a philosopher.

      You may say that images prove nothing, but the linked article article suggests that the Pentagon thinks otherwise.

      1. In view of your pictorial purveyances, in the context of our French dichotomy, two quotations are in order. One comes from La Chute by Albert Camus:

        Il m’a toujours semblé que nos concitoyens avaient deux fureurs : les idées et la fornication. À tort et à travers, pour ainsi dire. Gardons-nous, d’ailleurs, de les condamner : ils ne sont pas les seuls, toute l’Europe en est là. Je rêve parfois de ce que diront de nous les historiens futurs. Une phrase leur suffira pour l’homme moderne : il forniquait et lisait des journaux. Apres cette forte définition, le sujet sera, si j’ose dire, épuisé.

        It has always seemed to me that our compatriots had two obsessions: ideas and fornication. Without rhyme or reason, so to speak. Let us, by the way, abstain from condemning them; they are not alone, all of Europe follows suit. I sometimes think of what future historians will say of us. A single sentence will suffice for modern man. He fornicated and read the newspapers. After that vigorous definition, the subject will be, if I may say so, exhausted.

        The other one is due to you: “В России девушки самые лучшие, в этом не может быть сомнений никаких.” As your vigor exhausts itself in twin perusals of European obsessions, remember to heed the words of Ron Barrett’s Politeness Man: “A spent lover always says ‘Excuse me’ when practicing the art of coitusy.”

        Concerning your attempt to point out my error through divination of suggestions that betoken the thoughts of Pentagon, it doesn’t add up to an argument, either. As your compatriots say, “Слив засчитан.”

        1. I was operating under the impression, that you were capable of adding two and two without my aid. But since you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, I am quite happy to oblige.

          Your newly adopted country is the world’s foremost spreader of war and mayhem. World opinion polls consistently show, that majority ranks the land of the free and the home of the brave close to the top among the threats to the world peace, well ahead of Iran and north Korea. So, whether the next electoral circus ends with Лощёный or Контуженный as your great leader is material only to the lifelong victims of the institutions of manufacturing consent.

          1. Sour grapes of alleged majorities in world opinion polls affect my political positions no more than nugatory prestidigitations of Noam Chomsky. In over three decades of living in the United States, I have had no misgivings about any of her wars, with the twin exceptions of the Iranian fuckup and the Balkan walkover. In the former instance, adverse consequences crystallized in overcompensation for domestic loss of self-respect, while the latter campaign even now emboldens your Motherland in her claims to South Ossetian ius ad bellum. I am gladly on board with all our remaining spread of war and mayhem. May you rest as content with your nation’s incessant Caucasian incursions.

            1. Calling Chomsky’s research into the workings of the US media “prestidigitations” does have a certain impact on credibility- but not necessarily Prof.Chomsky’s.

              Not one of the wars America fought since 1945 can be fairly called any other than aggression, declared by the US “the supreme war crime” in Nuremberg. Unlike the US, Russia does not launch wars on manufactured pretext.

              Thus you confess that your stand is thoroughly amoral.

              1. Our Congress gave legal power to our President to go to war against Iraq, for the sake of enforcement of UN Security Council Resolution 687. That enforcement fully justifies the invasion of Iraq under international law. From my private standpoint, Saddam’s genocidal domestic policies and sponsorship of international terrorism had the same effect.

                1. Our Congress gave legal power to our President to go to war against Iraq

                  Based on consciously falsified evidence, as is amply proved by now. If the US had functioning democracy and rule of law, somebody would have been held responsible.

                  But beyond that, waging war against country that had no intention of attacking the US is a war crime, if that term has any meaning at all.

                  That enforcement fully justifies the invasion of Iraq under international law.

                  I am sure the Chancellor of Germany obtained all required authorization before endeavoring to defend legal rights of Sudet Germans, persecuted by Poland. It was humanitarian intervention, too.

                  From my private standpoint, Saddam’s genocidal domestic policies and sponsorship of international terrorism had the same effect.

                  In that case, I assume you are going to speak out in favour of bombing Saudi Arabia (financing Sept. 11) and Pakistan (creating the Taliban and selling nuclear weapons blueprints)

                  1. The threat of Iraq’s continuing weapons of mass destruction programs was a minor component in the House Joint Resolution 114. Saddam’s refusal to accommodate weapons inspectors constituted a necessary and sufficient casus belli. I am all in favor of aggressive diplomacy backed by a big stick. All the better if it complies with international law, in contradistinction to Hitler annexing Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia and Putin Medvedev invading Georgia to protect the rights of South Ossetians freshly minted Russian citizens. Looks like you could benefit from remedial instruction in history and geography concerning these matters.

                    1. The threat of Iraq’s continuing weapons of mass destruction programs was a minor component in the House Joint Resolution 114. Saddam’s refusal to accommodate weapons inspectors constituted a necessary and sufficient casus belli.

                      It is a real shame to see the resort to such threadbare lies. Anyone with attention span longer than a gnat remembers, that Iraq allowed weapons inspectors to do their work, and that they were pulled out on the eve of the invasion so as not to be killed by the US humanitarian bombs.

                      Your secretary of state climbed atop the tribune of the UN and delivered to the world sombre presentation of the Iraqi WMD programs, backed by satellite photos, “proving” the existence of the same. Presentation, that has since been revealed to be known to Powell at the time to be a pack of bald-faced lies. Far from a “minor component”, the non-existent WMD program and equally false allegiations of Saddam’s ties to al-Qaeda were the rationale for invasion.

                      It is litle wonder that Percentage of Britons and Canadians, respectively, who say the United States is a “force for evil”: 35, 34

                      All the better if it complies with international law, in contradistinction to Hitler annexing Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia and Putin Medvedev invading Georgia to protect the rights of South Ossetians freshly minted Russian citizens.

                      US-backed Gerogia attacked South Ossetia, bombarding Tskhinvali with MLRS artillery, killing Russian peacekeeping troops and Ossetian civilians, in violation of agreements that it signed earlier. All the while, UKUSA blocked the UN resolution, proposed by Russia, that demanded the cessation of the use of force. That was before Russian army moved into Ossetia.

                      International law makes no provisions for safe heavens for the aggressor. Did the US and its “democratic leader” Saakashvili expect that they can level a city, and then retreat and declare ceasefire, like nothing had happened ? That would be a lot like demanding that the Red Army in 1943 stopped its advance upon reaching the border of the Soviet Union. Looks like it is you who stands in need of some instruction.

                    2. I am heartened to witness your embrace of manly logic in the wake of kvetching like a bitch. “Given the choice between military intervention and an inspections regime that is inadequate because of a failure to cooperate on Iraq’s part, we must choose the decisive reinforcement of the means of inspections,” Villepin said. In other words, given the choice between A and B, we must choose C.

                      Don’t get me wrong—it’s good to see you posturing like any kind of man, even a Frenchman. We must do our best to oppose terrorism, both foreign and domestic. Even so, your patriotic agenda are ill served by citing Britons who regard your country UK’s biggest threat after al-Qaeda and Iran.

                    3. So, after the project to instruct me in the matters of international law and history was grounded by the defects of your factual base, you decided to switch to instructing me in the skill of being a man ? I do not a priory object to that, just like I don’t object to being taught any other useful skill. But I would expect that an instructor has its own competence in the matter beyond question. What are your qualifications, – menacing corporate employees with your handguns ?

                      Tell you what, prove yourself in one of the theaters of military actions that you so strenuously defend. I hear that the US army is experiencing manpower shortages. Show that you can wave a gun at someone who can wave right back, and then we’ll talk.

                    4. You misunderstand the point of this conversation. I am not claiming any kind of qualification for instructing you in any subject. I do submit that you would be much happier in a more open society, so if you are still open to instruction, I suggest another term of study in the U.S. Let me know if you need a letter of recommendation.

                      As regards my willingness and ability to wave a gun at someone who can wave right back, the traditional venue for its exploration is a challenge to a duel issued on rec.arts.books. Then again, since your government doesn’t trust you with sidearms, perhaps you would be better off waving something else.

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  14. Spamhaus Over and Above the Law?

    Spamhaus a bunch of liars and criminals

    – Spreads slander about isps and their customers
    – Infringes on peoples privacy
    – Sends spam itself (their “abusemails” are undesired bulk email just as well)
    – Blackmails ISPs to comply to their rediculous “demands”
    – Actively pushes ISPs to let Spamhaus use their networks to commit computer sabotage
    (hinder communications with specific other computer systems).
    – Publicises private details illegally copied from databases

    Spamhaus, despite claiming to be a not-for-profit organisation, is registered
    as a UK limited, appearantly with a branch office in switzerland.

    The Spamhaus Project Ltd.
    26 York Street
    London W1U 6PZ
    United Kingdom

    The Spamhaus Project Ltd.
    Avenue Louis-Casai 18
    Geneva
    CH-1209
    Schweiz
    +41.225330399

    and it’s CEO and Founder Steve Linford
    (resident of Monaco)

    Companies House registration numbers found:

    05303831 THE SPAMHAUS PROJECT
    05078652 SPAMHAUS TECHNOLOGY LIMITED

    Spamhaus, despite claiming to be a not-for-profit organisation, sells datafeeds
    for large scale commercial use for profit.

    Read more:

    Complaints regarding Spamhaus:
    http://www.cb3rob.net/spamhaus-ico-complaint.txt

    Spamhaus attacks free speech:
    http://www.quackpotwatch.org/opinionpieces/spamhaus%20attacks%20free%20speech.htm

    What you don’t know about Spamhaus:
    http://www.oswaldbousseau.com/about-spamhaus.html

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