An introduction

This is a semi-public place to dump text too flimsy to even become a blog post. I wouldn't recommend reading it unless you have a lot of time to waste. You'd be better off at my livejournal. I also have another blog, and write most of the French journal summaries at the Eurozine Review.

Why do I clutter up the internet with this stuff at all? Mainly because I'm trying to get into the habit of displaying as much as possible of what I'm doing in public. Also, Blogger is a decent interface for a notebook

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Asking for the moon

Also in the convention on modern liberty, George made (the germ of) an important point, about how the movement for rights hobbles itself by being so conservative in its demands. Talk is usually of defending and preserving liberties, not of claiming the ones we want. Rights are justified because we, supposedly, always had them, not because they are, well, right.

This conservative tendency is probably inherent in a lot of politicl movements. Think of how many English riots - not merely reactionary ones - were held under the banner of 'church and king'. One fringe benefit of the lack of a British written constitution is to keep a lid on this kind of obsession, compared to the American worship of the founding fathers. Appeals to Magna Carta can only happen on a purely emotional level, since so few of us have any idea what was in the thing.

Rhetorically useful as this trope may be, if we only demand the status quo that is the best we can get. That's perhaps enough for tories, but not for me.

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