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Re: OT: Politics [Was:Social Contract]

On Monday 01 May 2006 12:11, Curt Howland wrote:

> About John O'Hagan's list of things as seen from outside the US: It is
> interesting to note that without government intervention those items
> would be of no importance. 

I don't agree: a democratic government can legitimately - and must - impose 
restrictions on anti-social behaviour like gun-use, profiteering, polluting 
and other selfish behaviour (obviously including regular crime); and even in 
the absence of any government at all (like, say, the Anarchists of the 
Spanish Civil War), or in a traditional community, these problems and issues 
are important and must be dealt with. 

> His "unwillingness to help those in need without apportioning blame"
> is actually absurd on its face. In just one example, the S.E.Asia
> tsunami of 2004 saw some $500M donated by the American government.
> The dollars donated by private Americans was in the $billions.
The world appreciated this generosity; what I was referring to was the 
resistance to domestic welfare, and its tying to certain behaviour, i.e. 
tsunami victims are seen as blameless and worthy of assistance, whereas 
someone standing on a New York street corner with a paper cup is seen as the 
author of their own misfortune, without any consideration of whether they may 
have experienced poverty, racism, mental illness, social or family 
dysfunction, etc. That is what I mean by "apportioning blame".


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