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No Man is An Island

31. July 2017

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. –

Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
John Donne

I think that the ‘no man is an island’ clause can be interpreted almost in terms of geopolitics. Here is my take on it.

No man is an island means that Every man is a land-locked nation. Of course there is always room for co-operation however as in any relationship Capabilities matter more than intentions. The individual has no permanent friends, or enemies only permanent interests. The human being is a marionette that can see(1) its own strings, the strings of biology and culture, of causality. These strings control his desires and his aversions and therefore his interests. To cut these strings means death. To put forward his interests with others effectively he has to create a buffer region around him to protect his industrial core. Lets call this buffer region ‘civility’ and the industrial core is his ‘uncensored opinion’.

In effect all interactions between two or more ‘land-locked/non-island’ humans is diplomacy and consequently governed by the laws of social exchange theory.  The nearest ‘non-island’ humans are more likely to have conflicting interests. If a clod is washed away by the sea, this is always a loss for some land-locked humans and a gain for other land-locked humans because you see Europe is not one island nation- one individual but rather a continent of nations with competing interests. Some men’s deaths diminish him but others benefit him because he is involved in mankind. Therefore the bell only tolls for him if it tolls for his individual/national interests(2).

What is the point of this analogy?

It is precisely because ‘No man is an island’ that the bell does not always toll for him. Whereas if he had been an independent agent, an island, so to speak, if he didn’t have a stake in it, then his warm immaterial intentions would have counted rather than the cold hard capabilities that govern him.


(1) To an extent

(2) I know it is quite absurd to think of the individual as a nation or of the nation as an individual, this doesn’t make any sense internally, well may be said that symbolically the people are the body of the nation, at any rate often you will find that when countries ‘interact’ with each other almost as if they were individuals and that their interests remain often unchanged, and if the nation can act is if it were individual when interacting with other nations, I don’t it is too far fetched to analyse the behaviour of human beings when they interact with each others as if they are nations.



Some thoughts on ‘communities’

22. June 2017

I am starting to hate the word ‘community’ as much as the word ‘consensus’ for two reasons. First it disregards whether something is actually right or wrong when appeals are being made to what the community ‘thinks’ about a certain subject usually determined by asking self-appointed and screened community ‘leaders’ and secondly because it simultaneously creates a false sense of bond and division between people tribalising them into groups (i.e. the Muslim community, the Black community) replacing the bonds between individuals with those between groups as if groups were individuals. The funny thing is that it is often employed in an attempt to show that we are not divided in the face of one attack on another by citing the solidarity between groups but if there was so much solidarity as the media claims there is why are there distinct groups in the first place?

Paradoxically the more diverse the groups living(well, inhabiting) together the harder it becomes to remain an individual within a group rather than a mere member in a group (as in a mere foot or a hand whose desires will readily be ignore for the greater good of the group). The reason for this is that in such a diverse environment one’s differences become magnified and one has to act like a representative of one’s group (that is to say a representative for hundreds of thousands or millions of people one has not even met). Everyone becomes a foreigner to each other.

There are two kinds of tribalism we can choose but not neither. Those in favour of multi-culturism often present it as the opposite of tribalism but in effect it is tribalism WITHIN the nation state rather than between nation states.

The Japanese are often presented as a hive-mind, The Borg, individuals who are unable to speak and stand for themselves (i.e. the invertebrate Japanese salary man who is too eager to bow and prostrate himself to suck-up to his elder superiors in an environment  where longevity is rewarded over merit as opposed to the American rugged individual, the thrawed but unyielding young entrepreneur in an unending cycle of creative destruction who will sacrifice all comfort and security that he could gain by just obeying others and who only has to answer to himself,  of course most normal Americans and Japanese do not fall exactly into either of these boxes though many may fall in their proximity) and who instead feel the need to speak for ‘we’ the Japanese whenever confronted by a foreigner(1).

Well, what I want to say is that in an indirect manner such a society offers more individuality than a diverse one like England(Not Britain) and America because Japanese people have so much in common that any anomalie that arises within itself cannot be disowned (This reminds me of Haruki Murakami’s book ‘Underground’ on the Tokyo Subway Sarin Gas Terrorist Attack by the Aum Shinkiyo cult where Murakami claims that there was a considerable effort by the media and society to disown Aum as a not being a  Japanese phenomenon though foreigners correctly did saw it as Japanese) even the world-renowned and hated at home otaku deviant porn culture cannot be effectively disowned by the Japanese. On the hand in a compartmentalized society into groups like Britain there is effectively no such thing as society as people live parallel lives not just in the modern sense that they do not interact with their neighbours but by natural segregation primarily interacting of their own ethnic-national-religious background only interacting with other groups to conduct business. And when some members of one group(usually but not always Muslims) decide to violently attack other groups, it becomes obvious that the groups have different interests which is why, to repeat myself, they are different groups in the first place.

The solution is not to force people to interact with others with ‘intergration’ that will only unbalance the situation but to let it happen naturally over time and bringing in more migrants will only make the process not just harder but more unlikely to happen at all. I understand that limiting immigration will have a negative effect on the economy due to our shrinking workforce and aging population however we have ignored the cultural effects of migrations for too long. The current prosperity is the glue that holds these diverging cultural groups in Britain together but the fortune of nations comes and goes, of course I believe that we should try to keep it but not at the expense of both the individual and society.


(1)This may in effect only be a reaction to being being confronted by a foreigner, feeling the need to act as some sort of representative, while when they talk to each other while having differing opinions it would be quite idiotic to claim to speak for everyone when apparently they are not speaking for those who are disagreeing with, politicians all over do this all of the time of course.


George Orwell: Futuro di una Germania in Rovina

5. February 2017

For the English version: Future of a Ruined Germany

Giacché l’avanzata nella Germania continua, la devastazione causata dal bombardamento dagli aerei Alleati diventa sempre più chiara, ci sono tre commenti che quasi ogni osservatore si ritrova a fare. Il primo è: ‘la gente in patria non ha alcuna nozione o idea di questo.’Il secondo è: ‘E’ un miracolo che hanno continuato a combattere. ‘ E il terzo è, ‘Ma quanto lavoro ci vorrà per ricostruire tutto questo tutto di nuovo!’ E’ proprio vero che la scala del blitz della Germania dagli Alleati non sia persino ora realizzata in questo paese, e che il suo ruolo nella demolizione della resistenza tedesca è probabilmente molto sottovalutato. E’ difficile dare attualità alle notizie di guerra aerea e l’uomo nella strada può essere perdonato se immagina che ciò che abbiamo fatto in Germania nel corso degli ultimi quattro anni non è che la stesso tipo di cosa che hanno fatto a noi nel 1940.
Ma questo errore, che deve essere ancora più comune negli Stati Uniti, ha in sé un potenziale pericolo, e le molte proteste contro i bombardamenti indiscriminati che sono state pronunciate da pacifisti e umanitari hanno solo confuso la questione.
Il bombardamento non è particolarmente inumano. La guerra è in se stessa disumana e l’aereo di bombardamento, che viene utilizzato per paralizzare l’industria e i trasporti, è un’arma relativamente civile. ‘Normale’ o ‘legittima’ la guerra è altrettanto distruttiva di oggetti inanimati ed enormemente cosi di vite umane.
Inoltre, una bomba uccide una sezione trasversale della popolazione, mentre gli uomini uccisi in battaglia sono esattamente quelli che lasocietà non può permettersi di perdere. Il popolo della Gran Bretagna non si sono mai sentiticomodidel bombardamento di civili e di non- combattenti, e senza dubbio saranno pronti ad avere pietà verso i tedeschi non appena li hanno sconfitti definitivamente; ma quello che non hanno ancora capito –grazie alla loro immunità comparativa – è la distruttività spaventosa della guerra moderna e il lungo periodo di impoverimento che ora si trova davanti al mondo intero.
Camminare attraverso le città in rovina della Germania è sentirsi un dubbio reale circa la continuità della civiltà. Poiché uno deve ricordare che non è solo la Germania che è stata blitzzata. La stessa desolazione si estende, in ogni caso notevoli tratti, tutta la via da Bruxelles a Stalingrado. E dove c’è stata lotta a terra, la distruzione è ancora più approfondita. Nelle 300 miglia o all’incirca tra la Marna e il Reno, non c’è una cosa come un ponte o un viadotto che non è stato fatto saltare in aria.
Anche in Inghilterra, siamo consapevoli che abbiamo bisogno di tre milioni di case, e che le possibilità di ottenerle entro tempo misurabile sembra piuttosto esile. Ma quante case avrà bisogno nella Germania, o in Polonia o l’URSS, o l’Italia? Quando si pensa al compito stupendo di ricostruire centinaia di città europee, ci si rende conto che un lungo periodo deve trascorrere prima che anche la qualità di vita del 1939 può essere ristabilita.
Noi non sappiamo ancora la piena portata del danno che è stato fatto nella Germania, ma a giudicare dalle aree che sono state invase fino ad ora, è difficile credere nella capacità dei tedeschi a pagare qualsiasi tipo di riparazioni, sia in beni o nel lavoro. Semplicemente per ri-alloggiare il popolo tedesco, per rimettere le fabbriche in frantumi al lavoro, e per prevenire il crollo dell’agricoltura tedesca dopo che i lavoratori stranieri sono stati liberati, esaurirebbe tutto il lavoro che i tedeschi sono probabilmente capaci di disporre.
Se, come è previsto, milioni di loro saranno espulsi per ricostruzione, il recupero della Germania stessa diverrà molto più lento. Dopo l’ultima guerra, l’impossibilità di ottenere risarcimenti considerevoli in denaro è stato finalmente afferrato, ma era meno generalmente reso conto che l’impoverimento di un solo paese reagisce negativamente sul mondo nel suo complesso. Non ci sarebbe alcun vantaggio nel trasformare la Germania in una sorta di catapecchia rurale.



Pubblicato dal: Observer.- GB, Londra, – 8 Aprile 1945

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