A new blogger appears: Tom Paine’s Daughter

September 6th, 2009

Mimi Magick points us to a new blog, which if this first post is anything to go by, will be something to watch carefully:


“Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamities are heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer…”

From Common Sense by Thomas Paine, who died 200 years ago this year, and who argued that people are born with a set of natural rights and that any society that violates those rights is flawed and should be changed..

Now, it is quite clear that today's Germans have absolutely nothing to do with their country's Nazi past and as one German commentator recently remarked; the Germans were probably the most pacific country in Europe. Yet their government has gone to some considerable length to get a square peg into a round hole and ensure their ban on EHE remains law. This is very problematic for the rest of us and should be challenged because the logic they have used would be persuasive if you are ignorant of, and thus fearful, and so hostile to EHE and its place in society. It would be even more problematic if Germany believed its own logic and was pushing for a Europe wide ban. Or if one's government thought that schools can deliver equality.

One of our problems is that the British government are wrongly associating equality with a some sort of good that can be distributed. Neither equality nor education are goods that can be divvied up. They are instead dynamic, the function of processes and relationships. Related to their confusion about equality and distribution is their conflation of equality with standardisation. If equality or education were things you could distribute then giving out the same thing repeatedly might make some sense, but since neither are static in this way, the standardisation agenda is not only misconceived, it is counterproductive. Giving everyone the same experience is not giving them an equal experience because people are different in such complex and irreducible ways. A real concern for equality would recognise that very different approaches, experiences and outcomes can have equal worth within a society.



From out of the woodwork comes a legion of people who were willing to go along with almost anything, as long as there is a minimum amount of liberty. Now that that minimum is being taken away, everyone, on both sides of the atlantic, are up in arms and are simply not going to take it.

It starts with polite discourse and ends with the restoration of balance.

Its about time.

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