Friday, December 16, 2005

May You Live In Interesting Times

God Bless the Iraqi's. I don't have much hope for them but at least they've come closer than the majority of humanity to achieving self-rule. Let's try to help them.

The one thing holding them back is their own - our own - human nature. We'd rather embrace security and stability and totalitarianism that insecurity, change, and self-rule. Democracy is messy and most people decide it just isn't for them. Even in the US our people seem to want to embrace a take-care-of-me-ism from the government than to forge their own way.

It makes me remember that supposed Chinese curse of "May you live in intersting times." The Iraqi's are. They don't know what's around the corner - a messy democracy, and crystal clear dictatorship, anachry.

Last night I watched the very fine The Third Man from 1949. Orson Welles character has the following lines when his friend confronts him about the water downed penicillin Orson's been dumping onto the black market:
Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly.
For my own children - and the Iraqi people - I hope they don't live in interesting times and it's a life full of cuckoo clocks for them.

Stay You.
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