Vale all the dead women. IWD 2015

8 Mar

“IWD is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.” Right. We’ve come a long way, baby. Can’t deny that.

Though I don’t see a lot to celebrate recently, to be honest. Perhaps we’ve hit a plateau. I hope it isn’t a brick wall.

I’d attend a dawn candlelight memorial service for women and children all over the world murdered by violent partners, but I don’t think that’s caught on as an International Women’s Day ritual. It’s alarming that it hasn’t, really. So, at the risk of raining on the self-congratulatory feminist talk-fest parade, here’s where my thoughts are at, and who IWD ought to be for.

No celebratory event should begin today without first acknowledging the women and children who’ve died, and those who live and suffer often for their whole lives, from the violence perpetrated against them.

May no woman be murdered in Australia today.

coffin_full

For women who today will be subjected to violence in their homes everywhere in the world.

For women today who will suffer sexual violence.

For women in Australia, and the children who are with them who have no sanctuary, because the refuge nearest them has been closed down by the Minister for Women.

For women who will be admitted to hospital every three hours today with injuries sustained in attacks by intimate partners.

For the children who witness.

For women in Australia who can no longer access legal aid to protect them from violent partners, because the service has been terminated in their area by the Minister for Women.

For Indigenous women who remain consistently overlooked, disregarded, disrespected and silenced.

For women and children who are homeless.

For women everywhere who are in harm’s way.

For women who struggle with every kind of oppression for no reason other than they are women.

 Lily. Georgia O'Keeffe

 

For the women who believe they have smashed a glass ceiling by being permitted, that is being permitted to eat their celebratory lunch at Tattersalls’ men-only club in Brisbane.

You’ve been colonised by a particularly insidious type of masculinity. Or, to put it more crudely, you have pricks in your heads.

For the Minister for Women. No you aren’t.

Violence-Against-Women-is_Page_01

So, remind me. What’s to celebrate?

International Women’s Day. Australia. 2015.

Candles

Advertisements

64 Responses to “Vale all the dead women. IWD 2015”

  1. Elisabeth March 8, 2015 at 11:40 am #

    And what can we do about it? Raise our voices in protest? It seems it’s not enough. These inequalities are so entrenched, but I agree with you Jennifer, we need not pretend there’s that much to celebrate today, when we still have so far to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson March 8, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

      Chain ourselves to the railings like the suffragettes.

      Like

      • paul walter March 8, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

        Oddly enough, it occurs to me that anyone with a vision for a better future is going to be disheartened when the enormity of the challenge becomes apparent.

        Yet, without an appreciation of what is faced, how could meaningful future action be planned and implemented. That is the challenge, to resist “evil”, for want of a better word. The resistance itself is important, not just for what it might acheive for future generations, but for self respect and sanity.

        In a funny way, I think of Marilyn here. No matter how she can rile with her obduracy, you have to be pretty dense and hard hearted not to respect her grittiness and logic and not be grateful that she adds an unfamiliar but illuminating point of view to the debates she involves herself in.. an eventual realistic appreciation of something can be unpalatable, but does it make that invalid, what hope without it?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson March 8, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

          I agree with you on Marilyn. She coruscates at times, but her steadfastness is astonishing.

          I don’t believe in evil as an exterioirity, PW. All horror is human.

          Like

        • doug quixote March 8, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

          Loose cannons can still hit a target.

          Like

          • Jennifer Wilson March 9, 2015 at 5:32 am #

            They usually do, don’t they? Isn’t that why everybody worries about them?

            Like

            • doug quixote March 9, 2015 at 8:12 am #

              Their own side is often just as badly injured as the enemy. And sometimes worse.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Jennifer Wilson March 9, 2015 at 8:36 am #

                Which seems fair enough.

                Like

                • doug quixote March 9, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

                  ??? You surely don’t mean to advocate the mentality of the suicide bomber!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Jennifer Wilson March 9, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

                    Not advocating, DQ, just observing.
                    The suicide bomber provokes increased hatred and fury towards his or her cause, the cause that bred & supported their actions, & that’s reasonable enough, is something along the lines of what I was thinking.

                    Like

                • paul walter March 12, 2015 at 12:14 am #

                  Good comment, Jennifer. As Abbott’s attempted bullying of the Indonesians has demonstrated, strong arm tactics can be potentially fatal, for young men regarded as collateral damage.

                  Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymous March 11, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

        Thank-you Jennifer.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. hudsongodfrey March 8, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    Maybe there is a flipside though!

    You have a voice where once you didn’t have the vote. Had you been born in a Muslim country you’d probably lack the means to express yourself for want of an education. Science in the past century or so ensures childbirth is both safe when it happens and optional when you don’t want it to. Feminism in our lifetime has successfully established itself as a movement for equality that even most men have come to see as a good thing for the kind of society we share.

    And violence? Still affects all of us less than it did in the middle ages, overall through the insanity of armed conflict still disproportionately affects men, and yet is almost universally condemned…..

    The problem as I see it is that condemnation of violence comes too often through a veil of crocodile tears What we know is that progressives have achieved a lot, but we who would join you in condemning violence against women might perhaps also have to acknowledge that the very advances I enumerate above that give us some hope we can succeed if we endeavour to end the violence are also a list of issues we prioritised ahead of ending the violence.

    Was it because we didn’t think we could? Or because it doesn’t work as a purely feminist argument? There’d have to be a double standard in feminists just saying we only hate violence when its directed towards us. And even though I don’t hear anyone really saying that, when it comes to including most men in the conversation about ways to help other men not to hit, or even talking about the misery both partners experience when domestic bliss turns to discord then we’re just not doing it!

    Does anyone think men want to be in the kinds of unhappy relationships that they’d probably say drive them to regrettable extremes? If not then I really hope somebody suggests ways for men to get the help they need as part of the solution. A lot of abuse comes from people who’re repeating the patterns of their own abuse, usually as children.

    There’s a lot of other stuff that will inevitably get raised about better women’s shelters and AVOs etc, and I think we can work a little harder on being positive and constructive along those lines, But if we also gave couples relationship counselling bulk billed at least once a year, like a check up, then maybe that would also help to normalise the process of asking for and accessing a bit of help where its needed and do something positive to avoid waiting until there is a blow up and it’s all too late to piece things back together again.

    Like

    • paul walter March 8, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

      I think the start comes in identifying the forces and factors that hold back contructive change. Society is loaded with neolib, globalising bullsh-t in our era and reform of the meaningful sort is fobbed off by self interested, self absorbed technocrats and autocrats.

      I agree the worst of feminism comes of a post marxist separatism born of a discouraged ignorance of how the world works. This can’t be a surprise, given the amount of propaganda, often subtle, even unconscious cultural reinforcement stuff (Clint Eastwood movies, for example), directed by reactionaries against true reformism. The dumbing down creates yobs of males and (understandably) reactive women, but the 1% vision is so sterile as to be apparent to folk like us and what better have we to do with our time than to resist, if only for the sheer heck of it, seeing it for what it is and understanding it is also a threat to us.

      If we have to go down, let’s go down fighting..at least that way we don’t have to choke on our own vomit and who knows, maybe we might even succeed in some of our goals for the betterment of others and ourselves.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jennifer Wilson March 8, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

        I think it would be a good thing if the young were allowed to experience and channel the perfectly normal feelings of aggression and violence everyone can experience. I don’t believe in the forced repression of such feelings, but I do believe in teaching the young the ways in which they can be managed and channeled that don’t involve inflicting torment on another.

        I suspect that change in attitude and education might begin a process of change.

        But then we would probably have to give up fighting in wars as well and no politician or arm manufacturer really wants to do that. There’s nothing a leader loves as much as to be a leader in wartime.

        Like

    • Jennifer Wilson March 8, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

      I don’t think men in such situations are in the least happy, HG. What is needed is a means to educate them from a young age that it is not acceptable for them to express their unhappiness in blows upon another’s body.

      I’m all for such education as soon as they are old enough to learn.
      I mean that as a solution for all human violence.

      Like

      • hudsongodfrey March 8, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

        I’m usually up for a nature versus nurture debate, but it does get a bit tedious having to wonder what life would be like in a society that genuinely believed acting on the impulse to settle matters forcefully was as despicable as say the impulse to rape…..

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson March 9, 2015 at 5:31 am #

          I used to know a policeman of the “old school” who took juvenile offenders out the back and gave them a dusting up. I don’t know how well it worked.

          Like

          • hudsongodfrey March 9, 2015 at 9:55 am #

            On one level that may work for some teens because at least it shows that somebody cares enough about their future to try to change it. Or at least I hope that was the coppers’ intent.

            On the other hand thinking about these Bali death sentences I’m moved to argue that the moral authority opposing crimes such as murder cannot come from a system that itself commits homicide under the hypocritical guise of legal sanction. And I think it can be argued there are parallels in some proportion that filter down through all levels of hypocrisy within our society even as far as spanking.

            None of which is to say I’m critically unaware of the mindset I may be enculturated to which teaches us that your freedom of expression ends at the point when the flag you’re waving becomes an implement of battery against which I’m entitled defend myself.

            In reality that would be to say we’re seldom crying husband battery when its claimed she delivered the first slap so naturally he blacked both her eyes. But I would like to be able to say SOMETHING about the ego that couldn’t endure that slap, how we prepare ourselves as men to tame it, and maybe even how society ought to help us……At a very basic level, if it isn’t women who’re in the wrong then surely they’re not the ones who need to change, yet if we keep dealing only with the consequences of male violence as if it’s some immutable force of nature then obviously we’re doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

            So yes we absolutely need the funding for refuges and the courts, but I would go further to submit that the urge among some to meet force with like force against the perpetrators of domestic violence ends where the war on drugs has done. By putting a prophylactic in place to protect a few while changing nothing much for the majority.

            We’re wasting the opportunity of having Rosie as our Aussie of the year if we don’t start the most needed conversation between men about this issue.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Jennifer Wilson March 9, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

              Yes, that last line, HG. The most needed conversation between men about this issue.

              I’m going to read the Kant link DQ provided us with now.
              I always liked what he said about politics needing to bow before human rights. Kant, not DQ.

              Though re the slap from the woman and the man retaliating by blackening her eyes. Unequal forces.

              Liked by 1 person

              • hudsongodfrey March 9, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

                Well if we’re going to delve into the philosophical aspects of what I think we otherwise agreed was a perfectly straightforward question then we may find ourselves struggling with that most inconvenient of problems re: unequal forces. What if there are equally bad impulses?

                On the philosophical face of it you or I might argue one thing, whereas in the context of the society we share we’ve a differently nuanced understanding.

                Kant says society concerns itself with establishing cohesion through a system of laws, without which society as we know it simply would not exist. In reality that means the majority who agree upon setting boundaries comprise an unequal force in the interests of maintaining the social order. So, perhaps there are some kinds of unequal force we do permit.

                If you’re going to have as interesting an idea as his categorical imperative then you still have your work cut out for you in discerning the various categories. Which is why the better answers to many of the curlier questions of justice rely upon evidence of harm. In the case in point it is easy to see who did the greater harm in terms of how we weigh wrongdoing, but it is also necessary to consider evidence of cause and effect such that other scenarios might be considered to lead to better results.

                In the unlikely event that the man in question is, by reason of inclination or disability, completely incapable of retaliation then any woman slapping him is herself just a bully. Imagine the guy to be Stephen Hawking if you will, and I’ll grant he wouldn’t retaliate so the example is incomplete.

                Then maybe we can go on to argue, what I’m sure seems controversial but is intended in this instance by way of example not recommendation. That is to say that had she known this man was prone to uncontrollable anger then she might have avoided slapping him. Clearly an argument better made in a society that provides more favourable options for women than confronting an abuser. Nor do I insist all episodes of domestic abuse are precipitated with my slapping scenario.

                What I did come back to though was the point upon which one or the other of the parties to such an episode might have options and indeed responsibilities that I think come down to us prepackaged in “right” and “wrong” categories that maybe we do need to unpack for people in this greater kind of detail such that when they find themselves on the verge of irrationality they recognise the need to step away.

                Like

                • paul walter March 9, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

                  I suspect that’s a better approach then most to Kant, though, I’d not be an expert on these things.

                  Like

          • paul walter March 9, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

            This little exchange is getting close to a hub of much of what follows, impulse control.

            If you are bought up in a home where there is little evidence of impulse control and much violence, it will be like being bought up in a home where the parents are unable to express affection, so you will never have learned to show affection, or avoid throwing a punch in response to frustration.

            You have to decide if some people are never going to have the “wherewithall” to learn impulse control or express themselves in a more rewarding way, or if it does just get back to social and cultural “reproductive” factors.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Jennifer Wilson March 9, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

              PW, I’m about to write something about hegemonic masculinity. I just need a little more time to think it through and how it applies to this discussion.

              Like

              • paul walter March 9, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

                Ahh, I know how you feel..better than sex, when one is into an exploratory process.and some answers are starting to form, for the hard work.

                Liked by 1 person

            • hudsongodfrey March 9, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

              When you live in an environment with too little impulse control and a culture that implies might is right then it might well be hard to see why anyone capable of physical dominance wouldn’t assert themselves.

              Maybe the better question relates to examples where that doesn’t happen including from within the same culture that is said to be so corrosive of self control when it comes to domestic violence.

              Like

  3. doug quixote March 9, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

    To Jennifer and HG, in particular :

    This article reviews Immanuel Kant’s views on punishment, including capital punishment.

    http://philosophos.org/philosophy_article_78.html

    It provides food for thought, does it not. (I don’t need to ask HG to discuss it; just try to stop him 🙂 )

    Like

    • paul walter March 9, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

      That is a far harsher Kant than the one I’m used to..live and learn.

      Like the commentator, I’d say he is definitely wrong and contradictory if he asserts that rulers are not subject to the law..it would go against his own Categorical Imperative and constitute a two thousand year relapse tot the worst of Plato’s Republic. That is, to what we would think of as fascism and Hobbes’ jungle.

      I’d rather go back to Shakespeare’s Portia’s appeal for the “Milk of Human Kindness”, against Shylock’s employ of the law in its narrow form, to acheive vengeance ove those who wronged him previously, it is true.

      DQ, If I remember rightly, you have some understanding of the law.
      Is the current argument between Legal Positivists (or legal narrowists as I prefer to call them) and progressives related to above?
      I’d like to think there is a place for context in court cases, eg a woman who hits a husband with a saucepan and inadvertantly kills him when he is coming at her with fists for the thousandth time because he is drunk again, eg a discretion for judges and magistrates that involves nuance, is the job of the law, lest “the truth” become an actual lie.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson March 9, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

        Yes, and me.

        There is a place for context in such cases, PW. Women are at times given suspended sentences for manslaughter of men who have abused them or threatened their lives.

        Like

        • paul walter March 9, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

          With above, is there a conjuction between “the ruler”and “the State” ?
          How culpable is “the state” when poor judgement from inadequately staffed and funded welfare and law enforcement agencies prevents risk assessment when someone thought to be violent is released back on to the streets and commits a revenge crime?
          Particularly when politicians of a certain ilk have decided that funding cuts inevitably leading to such situations are justifiable for other reasons (say, tax cuts for wealthy people)?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson March 9, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

            I really think Kant is untrustworthy on this particular issue, PW.

            Like

      • paul walter March 9, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

        I should have had the wit to realise someone with DQ’s brains would have included a rebuttal.

        Its hard not to not wish for an end to sadistic murderers, thrill killers, just the same.

        Like

    • hudsongodfrey March 9, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

      Normally anyone who summaries Kant does the reader a favour… In this case I’m not so sure….

      Not sure its on topic for this thread, but certainly in relation to other matters much on people’s minds these days I think the death penalty should be considered hypocritical if it is the crime of murder you seek the moral authority to condemn. It doesn’t seem to me that two wrongs make a right or that the state sanctioned killing of a criminal is anything less homicidal by reason of the arguments Kant puts forward.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson March 10, 2015 at 11:20 am #

        I agree with you on the death penalty invalidating moral authority to condemn.

        And state sanctioned killing is no less murder.

        I don’t agree with Kant’s arguments on this matter. Perhaps this is one of Kant’s perspectives that are better understood in his life time, not ours.

        Like

  4. doug quixote March 9, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    Additionally, for a more recent analysis :

    http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1032&context=llr

    Liked by 2 people

    • doug quixote March 9, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

      This seems the most sane view for the world of 2015.

      Like

    • Jennifer Wilson March 9, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

      This is far more sensible than Kant’s position. Kant was arguing in a very different society from this one, as far as moral values and individual responsibility are concerned.

      Good comparisons, DQ

      Like

    • hudsongodfrey March 9, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

      There you go… If Libertarian Jurists writing for Jesuit Universities can get it right then why can’t we all just agree to stop executing people?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. doug quixote March 10, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

    Regarding Kant and his favouring the death penalty, and James Gray’s article refuting the various arguments in favour, I thank each of you for your input.

    I have long thought that there is a case for the euthanasing of those who have forfeited the right of living in a civilised society, where their crimes have been proven beyond any doubt whatsoever. I include in that the likes of (I won’t name them they don’t deserve any recognition) the Port Arthur mass murderer (35 killed, hundreds horribly affected) and the one in Norway (75 killed, hundreds horribly affected).

    Their crimes are so clear, so obvious and so heinous that they should be euthanased as soon as possible after due process, fast tracked.

    Those are the only circumstances in which any State is justified in executing anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter March 12, 2015 at 12:16 am #

      Unfortunately, I tend to agree, especially when it involves sadistic creatures of the Ivan Milat sort.

      Like

      • Anonymous March 12, 2015 at 8:11 am #

        To the men who have dominated here.
        Now that i’ve had time & space to come up for air after reading Jennifers deeply felt ‘eulogy’ for all the dead women.
        .”Women need our moment. We need it like the air we breathe. You can do this for us. Respect.”
        Your taking up soo much space felt like a clodish, totally insensitive & suffocating intrusion to me. Would 2 minutes of silence & restraining your input just this once been too much to sacrifice? Disappointing, but not unexpected that you approved & encouraged them Jennifer. And weighing in on a cruel jab at Marilyn, not even cleverly disguised as admiration. Not.
        Vale all the dead women.

        Like

        • doug quixote March 12, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

          And just who the fuck are you to appoint yourself moderator and censor of this site? 2 minutes silence, eh?

          Like

          • Anonymous March 12, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

            you really just don’t get it.

            Like

            • doug quixote March 13, 2015 at 8:26 am #

              I get it all right. You want a blog whereby any commenter must first be possessed of a vagina.

              But its not this one, praise be to Jennifer.

              Like

              • Anonymous April 26, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

                nonsense, you still don’t get it you silly old goat,..academic intelligence maybe,..not much insight in the emotional sphere.

                Like

        • Jennifer Wilson March 12, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

          Anonymous: Marilyn and I have communicated for several years now. I think she would be the first to agree she can be coruscating and that she doesn’t give a shit that she is. I see no reason to pretend Marilyn is not how she is, and to respect her as she is. Marilyn may not know this as I’ve never said it before, but I think she is one of my favourite online people. PW has also been associated with Marilyn for even longer than me.

          I have never edited any of Marilyn’s commentary on this blog, or anyone else’s, with very rare exceptions. I am not going to begin now and I am most certainly not going to begin on the basis of gender. That is unthinkable to me.

          I have no issue with men responding to this blog post. It in no way detracts from the sentiments I expressed in the post or my own feelings about violence against women.

          I don’t always engage with comments deeply, and the reason for that is I’m usually focused on what I want to write next, and I have limited time and energy. There are many arguments I could have with people who leave comments, but I have to choose whether to do that or write something else, as it isn’t possible for me to do both. If something in the comments inspires or annoys me it usually ends up as a post rather than an argument in the comments.

          All the best, Jennifer.

          Like

          • doug quixote March 12, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

            I know Marilyn and she knows me, though we’ve never met. I know her views and she knows mine. The same goes for Paul Walter, who I regard as a friend, though once again we have never met.

            If we have a dig at each other now and then, it is our business, and not that of some Anonymous censor.

            Liked by 1 person

          • paul walter March 12, 2015 at 11:54 pm #

            Interesting, this comment from anonymous.

            I’ve wondered myself if men, including myself, do not comment too often here, but that relates to my experience previously at other blogs operated by and or for women, perhaps as a specific demographic; where males have been discouraged or silenced in response to a sense amongst some women that the male voice is too strong and blots out woman’s ideas and feelings.

            I beleive, as someone who has followed this site for maybe five(?) years now, that one reason Jennifer Wilson herself decided to set up with this format was itself to explore if men could participate at a woman’s blog, after becoming aware that some women bore a resentment against male “hegemony/homogeneity” as they saw it; whether their responses would have been altered; if a new sensibility had emerged.

            And for that matter, if not, why not.

            I beleive Jennifer wants women to feel comfortable commenting here and hopes that her male posters learn how to communicate effectively, in turn, with women.

            I suspect JW hoped that women and men could find common cause, developing a better mode of communication based on men and women, learning what issues to consider with others, in concert, and which issues to leave be.
            I think it’s based on an idea that fifty percent of the population blocked from the other fifty represents a huge loss of input.

            I won’t ask this person if (presumably) she feels comments from men ought to be automatically discounted for no better reason than they come from males even (faint possibility) intelligent ones. I’d imagine she would rather I thought about whether I had improved my own communication skills and learned to listen better, in some cases and if my own clumsiness contributes to less women commenting at Sheep.

            I do hope anonymous comes back and specifies which particular areas in this thread actually bother her and can say why- apart from the fact that some comments are written by men.

            Like

            • Jennifer Wilson March 13, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

              I’m sick of gender wars

              Like

              • paul walter March 13, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

                Well, you are right about the wars.

                Better if there are fruitful adult conversations of the sort you generally to facilitate.

                They are a diametric contrast to preppie bleatings.

                I wanted anonymous to add something more constructive; specific- not petulantly excluding and abusive stuff and am sad to see only Jennifer Wilson has replied so far

                Like

    • Jennifer Wilson March 12, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

      Food for thought. I hadn’t considered that point, DQ.

      The point on mass murderers that is.

      Like

    • hudsongodfrey March 13, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

      Actually Doug…. There is another time when lives are taken by the state, though rarely thought of in the same context as the judicial taking of lives. That is the case for warfare and a grant of sanction for killing based loosely around the concept of self defence.

      In relation to what Kant said about the oft afforded privilege to heads of state in similar regard, the opposite could be argued in the moment that an enemy head of state is deposed that they are morally if not materially likened to enemy combatants. If their captors, as often happens, choose to summarily execute them, then with or without some semblance of a legal seal over the proceedings, it serves as a decisive way to underscore an end to hostilities.

      Although Kant would say serving the greater good is a poor justification I hold that kind of situation to be the sole exception to the case for execution. In many cases the argument is also easily made that a tyrant had but one life to give for the many they’d snuffed out. Dare I say sometimes rationality eludes the best of us?

      In all other circumstances I do feel that given any time to weigh matters like deterrence or punishment verging upon a desire for vengeance against the need for the justice system to stand above the very act we seek to condemn as a moral authority then we simply must err on the side of not stooping to the murderer’s level.

      Like

      • paul walter March 13, 2015 at 11:42 pm #

        Killing Saddam Hussein never really solved anything, or killing Muammar Gaddafi.

        Theoretically correct, but there is that usual massive gap between the normative and the actual.

        Like

        • hudsongodfrey March 14, 2015 at 12:05 am #

          I’d add Bin Laden and Ceaușescu to the list in more recent terms. It wasn’t as if it their reign either hadn’t ended or waned to the point of irrelevancy. Its like this group of reactionaries we’ve come to know as IS. Some people just are patently going to be on the wrong side of History from the very outset. But there’s some merit in making that clearer by lopping off a figurehead or two in timely fashion if it means malcontents, mostly youthful don’t waste their lives drawn as it we’re like moths to the flame of some romanticised notion of rebellion.

          Like

          • paul walter March 14, 2015 at 2:10 am #

            Of the two, I think Ceaucesu was the uglier..both were creations of their time, as are we.

            What woud you say of Murdoch and the Koch Brothers, for example?

            Like

            • hudsongodfrey March 14, 2015 at 9:20 am #

              That we don’t have the direct evidence to convict, or that thought crimes and the taking of political prisoners is the kind of stuff we leave to North Korea. Much as I like neither our power is either in choosing to resist their influence or actively head in the opposite direction.

              Like

            • doug quixote March 14, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

              No, I doubt any of them, much as I dislike them, have deliberately murdered people.

              Like

      • doug quixote March 14, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

        I really find a paradox and an enigma here, HG. I’m sure greater minds than mine have pondered the greater good, in the context of let us say assassinating Hitler. Would his death have stopped the War, stopped the killings, and at what stage would that have worked?

        Most people would probably agree that his death would have been if not a good thing, a least-worst thing.

        But can we guarantee that? What of his likely successors?

        And what if “peace” was agreed after his death in 1943, let us say; as the Nazi government would then continue in power, and continue its genocide against Jews, Gypsies, Slavs and the handicapped, and anyone else they did not like? And what, when Germany developed the Atomic Bomb by say 1947, many Atomic Bombs, with V2 missiles to deliver them; and then proceeded to use them . . . it is too horrible to contemplate.

        Like

        • hudsongodfrey March 14, 2015 at 6:59 pm #

          I know what you’re trying to get at, and the exercise of imagining what might have been is frequently fascinating, but to weigh supposition against the devil you know is already incomprehensibly repugnant has always been a risk people would I believe rightly conclude to be acceptable. Or to put it from its inverse perspective the idea that we might be paralysed to act against the known tyrant for fear of the unknown future takes more of pessimist than I think ever existed.

          Like

          • doug quixote March 14, 2015 at 9:06 pm #

            Yes, I would agree with that.

            That is why I have used the example I have. Even put thus, at its strongest, we should still act against the known enemy.

            Like

            • hudsongodfrey March 14, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

              And of course a sense of proportionality is absolutely necessary, otherwise Abbott would have more to fear than derision from the likes of you or I. 🙂

              Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: