Thursday, October 18, 2007

Leaving in a few days.
I suppose it's a truism that one of the signs of adulthood is the discovery, recognition or realization of a need to be discrete; a newfound need for me but there it is. Still it's important to know when and where, and be willing to refuse that obligation if and when you judge according to your principles that refusal is appropriate.
I don't defend China as it is, but I respect it. I don't defend a lot of people, governments, or policies. I hope I make my compromises knowingly. I have no patience for Americans who worry about "the Palestinian problem" or who refer again and again to the deaths of 3500 US volunteers rather than of one million Iraqis. But it's interesting to see the shades of grey in societies that are neither as open as many would wish nor as closed as others would imagine. Fascism was an anomaly, like totalitarianism a form of modernity, and both render normalcy impossible. What we're returning to is the recognition of a world with many different kinds of normalcy. You may choose to advocate for one or another form, but it's no good -it helps no one- to declaim from absolutes. Governments with some very extreme exceptions are aspects of society. To forget that is make the same mistake the moderns made, to argue from a sense of one's own freedom, and that's where government by delusion got its start.
If the US attacks Iran, as I've said before, it will be seen in the long run as as much the responsibility of American liberals as of Bush and Cheney.

It's been good to be here. It'll be good to be back in NY, and it will be good to be back here again soon. It's all good.

1 comment:

Mark said...

"I hope I make my compromises knowingly."

Well put. I'm too tired to explain just how clarifying this bit of wisdom is, especially to someone such as I--someone who hasn't quite cleared up every inconsistency within their political worldview. Suffice it to say I might quote you here: