Born lucky ? (was Re: [extropy-chat] urban sprawl as defense)

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at
Sun Aug 29 02:50:26 UTC 2004

Mike Lorrey wrote:

> > It's not a club of citizens - its a club of nations. Your's has a
> > particularly priviledged seat on it. Your personal capacity to
> > influence it is not great but its a lot better than most one
> > persons living in the world.  
> At best we can influence which person gets to appoint the US
> ambassador to the UN, as we vote for president. This is no 
> different than Britain's Parliament, or that of France.

Votes do determine who gets to be president but the sort of
influence an individual has (or can potentially have, if they are born
in the US is not just limited to their vote - which is only the crudest 
way to exercise minimal political influence). Some individuals in the
US can go into politics and get to be the US ambassador to the UN
or even President.   Or can they?  Are you actually living in a
plutocracy that is just pretending to be a democracy? 

What do you think?
> > You have
> > free speech rights in the US and you have a Bill of Rights.
> >   Mike, you were born lucky.  
> I was born to good parents, and to a family of people wise enough to
> have gotten out of whatever hellhole they lived in to emigrate to the
> US. No luck about it.

That's kudo's to your good parents and family though. Not to you
personally.  You didn't pick your genes - and you are not merely 
you genes.  

I'm pushing you on this because I think you'd see the world quite a 
lot differently had your parents not been so good or wise. 

What would Mike Lorrey libertarian be like born in the Middle East
or Iraq? Or France?  Would he be the arch-enemy of the Mike Lorrey
born in the US?

In Iraq you'd still have had to fight to make space for yourself in which
to live but the ground on which you'd have had to fight would not have
been so favourable.  Maybe you'd have grown up irritated by Saddam's
regime but still managing to get by under it, not by supporting it, but
managing to stay out of its way, then someday in the name of freedom
someone drops a misguided bomb on your house.

Your family is dead - collateral damage - you weren't fond of Saddam
but you were managing - how do you imagine that you'd feel towards
the country that invaded your country and killed your family to deprive
Saddam of weapons that it turned out Saddam didn't have?

Wouldn't you be pissed? Would you perhaps become a terrorist
in order to get payback? 

Those guys that flew planes into buildings on september 11, you could
call them terrorists and I *would* agree with you. But if you want to call
them crazy just because they were zeolous believers I'd have to disagree.

They were also motivated warriors - they died and knew they would 
die doing what they did. That sort of passion coupled with that sort of 
organisation and planning comes from somewhere. I suspect it came 
from cold-burning moral outrage. I suspect those guys *thought* they 
had good reason to be pissed off.  

> It is not in our interest for France to hamstring the SC and thereby
> eliminate the effectiveness of the UN to promote individual human
> liberty.

I'd agreed if they were hamstringing. But as it turned out there were no
WMD's, and the restraint that they were showing with respect to Iraq
turned out to be well founded. 

Would you only have yes-men and your enemies give you counsel?
Are you that sure that you are always going to be right?  

> This is evidenced by the fact that the UN is steadfastly attempting to
> create a worldwide ban on the private ownership of firearms, which are
> the only means by which individuals can resist state fascism without
> massive loss of life.

That's too big a claim for me to accept without your showing me the
evidence.  I respect that you have done some reading here (that's good)
but I still think you have your wires crossed.

Consider Article 2 (7)

"Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorise the United
Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic
jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such 
matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall
not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter
It is that prohibition against intervening in domestic matters which most
people don't get - that is what makes the UN limited (sensibly limited)
in what it can do. 

Brett Paatsch

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