Saturday, October 04, 2003

Mark Kleiman makes reference to the an op-ed in the LA Times by the despicable Philip Agee. Now, remind me, what was the CIA doing in South America in the 60's?
As Kleiman would say... "Riiiiight."
There is a conflict in Agee's piece. What defines the "appropriate kind of exposure" that he defends? But is morality always bound by the same distinctions as law? C'mon kids, you know the answer. Life is a set of actions, law a set of rules. The two have a relation to each other but one is always more complex than the other; that's why we have literature. And, of course, if life is forced to be as simple as the law, we have no freedom.

My mother likes to quote E.M.. Forster: "If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I would have the guts to betray my country." The first time I heard her say that -many years ago- I was a little shocked. I said, "Well, it should depend on the country." She was nonplused.
I still don't agree with her, but I appreciate the thought. Sorry Mr. Kleiman.
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"...if life is forced to be as simple as the law, we have no freedom." [??]
I should have written 'imagination' rather than 'life.' They're not the same thing obviously, but imagination implies an option to act outside the law, and having that option is the definition of freedom.

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