[ExI] Boycotting as Protest

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sat Apr 12 20:44:54 UTC 2008

Fred wrote in "Performance Enhancing"

> This and other factors might cause some rethinking about the
> organization and function of some "sporting" events.  And when
> considered in conjunction with the recent news of the demonstrations as
> the Olympic torch heads to China it might be the case that some will
> start to consider some other possibilities.  Making the Olympics not
> organized on the basis of political entities might be an interesting
> idea although not likely due to the vested interests in keeping the
> current structure.

I would enjoy your and other people's opinions on this very much.
Every time in my life that I've tried to formulate some kind of
principle to cover whether or not to approve of protests via boycotting
supposedly international or non-partisan events, I find I cannot really
live with certain counter-examples.

People refused to shake Fritz Haber's hand at chemical conventions
after World War I.  Should bygones have been bygones?

The U.S. deliberately sabotaged economic development in the
U.S.S.R. in an especially clever and sinister way, by causing
their controversial pipeline to blow up in the greatest non-nuclear
man-made explosion ever (by insidious software).

One stated purpose of the Olympics should be to bring nations
together. At first glance, it seems horribly wrong to use things
like this for political purposes. On the other hand, consider 
China's treatment of Tibet!

Eleanor Roosevelt claimed that even before World War II it
would have been wrong to shake Adolph Hitler's hand. Really?
If I'd been her, I just could not have forced myself, even knowing
what I know, to be so discourteous, doubly-so to an important
head of state whose moods and resulting temperament may be
very, very important.

The world tried to hold up South Africa's economic development
via sanctions. If that was good, then was doing the same to Saddam
Hussein also good?

I just don't have any strong opinions one way or the other about
any of these. Do you?


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