Why MAD is mad

WMD

How much is the description of the deterrent weapon true for atomic weapons? And deterrence against what? If the answer is war itself, it is indeed in a world full of atomic weapons that wars are still happening.

One of the biggest farces in our world today is the concept that the way to prevent atomic weapons is to build more and more of them. Napalm bombs, chemical and biological weapons all were supposed to be never used. But they were. In fact, nuclear weapons themselves were used.

And will be used again.

Like politics is behind wars, behind weapons there is fear – not rational debate or thought. And when fear rules, the chance of nuclear weapons being used is more over those countries which have them, in the fear that otherwise they may be used by them.

The biggest weakness of weapons is that they exist. Test and usage are unavoidable stages of any technological endeavor.

When weapons go beyond self-defense and even wars to the stage of dispassionate mass-killings, like in the case of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, they affect human character and behavior. It is in this context that nuclear weapon ban should be seen , different from even the conceptions of disarmament and world piece. Unlike other weapons used during war, it is not something which affects just the soldiers or even the citizens of their time. It moves beyond time and space. Wherever it is used and whenever it is used, it affects all living beings elsewhere and also the generations to come.

Those who make and keep nuclear weapons will have to accept the contempt and hate they have for all of life, whatever be the justification they have for them.

85 mathrubhumi

The Soldier and his destination

soldier

What makes any job valuable is the satisfaction gained while completing it. What makes any knowledge important is what it materializes in life. Indeed, the pleasure and satisfaction obtained while performing it is what which elevates any occupation to greatness. Man wishes to see what he learned and trained for getting realized. This is what binds knowledge to life.

The one exception to this is in military science and its training. The amount of research which is done in this field worldwide is huge. Worldwide, men get trained in this much more than in any other field. At the same time, all sensible people wish that an opportunity to use this knowledge never arises. It becomes a science which is different from, alienated from, life. Perhaps something that extinguishes the vigor of life.

The artificiality of military life is much deeper and wider than that in a modern industrial society. In both, men work for the benefit of someone or something else. Like racehorses. But while in a city, you may actually see this ‘someone/something’ once in a while even if by accident, in military life the tragedy is that it will always remain unseen.

A soldier hopes that he never reaches his destination, making his profession mentally the most artificial. There is no better example of the alienated man that Erich Fromm describes than the military man. A military man hopes that he never gets a chance to use the knowledge he has accumulated. Because, using the knowledge is destroying the thing on which the knowledge is used on.

Break 4 – Bill Maher, best of the rest

Bill Maher

Pastor John Hagee, a spiritual advisor of John McCain has got a book called Jerusalem Countdown: A Warning to the World. He predicts that Russian and Arab armies will invade Israel and be destroyed by God. Israel will then be the site of a battle between China and the West, and will be led by the Anti-Christ, in his role as the head of European Union! Then Jesus will return and, of course, win.

Why is monotheistic faith better than polytheistic? I mean, either you believe – if you believe in, like, a magic person who can do magic things, why is it different – so different if it’s Superman or the Fantastic Four?

I give God more credit that religious people do. It is so insulting to God that you would imagine him up there reading these petitions, ‘God, please give me a real estate business’.My personal savior is common sense. And as far as God goes, I prefer to believe in one that would want me to use the excellent brain he gave us all.

I was just at the newly opened Creationist Museum in Kentucky…. And they have this exhibit of a giant dinosaur…with a saddle on its back. Because the world is only 5000 years old, so man and the dinosaurs had to coexist, and, of course, we rode them. A theory I thought laughable at the age of eight when I saw it on THE FLINTSTONES!

Previously – Break 1 – Bill Maher’s Best

Public and Private Laws

public-law-private-law

In ‘Life of Solon‘, Plutarch mentions that under Solon, there were laws which allowed any citizen to go to court on behalf of a victim and if necessary, even to arrest the wrongdoer. This should perhaps be the earliest example of something close to the public interest litigation of today. When asked which society could be called the best ruled one, Solon is supposed to have said that it would be the one in which the unaffected man shows as much interest in punishing a wrongdoer as the victim of the crime.

Moving this same idea forward, Solon even ruled that someone who remained neutral during a revolution would lose his voting rights. The principle behind it is noteworthy – that people shouldn’t stand apart without any interest in public affairs. Plutarch says that Solon had intended that people should not have any pretense that they are not responsible for the incidents and disturbances in their lands and become selfish, interested only in their own affairs.

Even though they may not have been codified like this, similar public interests would have been there in the ancient laws of tribal groups. The ancient civilizations which existed before the arising of the feudal system were indeed the continuations of tribal systems. In fact, like the industrial era of modern times, even the pre-feudal world had its own limited ‘industrial era’. The political systems of Grecian democracy and the Magadhan power-monopolist state were contributions of that primitive industrial system.

Whether it is in tribal societies or in civilizational ones, the one thing about pre-feudal societies was the importance of public law over private law. So concepts like that of Solon. But with the coming of feudalism and later, of capitalism, private property obtained predominance in affairs of the society and private law obtained prominence over public law. A mark of this was the locus standi principle – that only someone who has the suffered injustice can approach the court.

Law and Justice

law and justice

Man creates law by translating his conceptions of justice into words. His desires and inspirations do solidify in them for sure, but only those till a particular step in his journey. Man is continually moving on. So even while his desires and inspirations till a particular step solidify, he would have moved forward from them. Then he will have to break those laws which don’t conform to his new conceptions of justice. And when the law breaking becomes frequent, circumstances emerge when new laws have to solidify.

What this means is that there will never be a time when law and order is perfectly maintained.

As the embodiment and the instrument of man’s sense of justice, his laws should undoubtedly be followed and implemented without equivocation. But like being followed, being broken is also its purpose. Only laws which while insisting on being followed, also accept that they can be broken, become full ‘laws’.

As Laws are practiced by following them, it is indeed important to recognize that they are also formed by breaking their earlier conceptions. If lawmakers understand this systemic weakness inherent in laws and the strength in lawbreaking, a lot of human tragedies can be avoided. Instead,what we see are yesterday’s lawbreakers insisting that law does not need to go forward anymore when they become the lawmakers.

Hence the fight for the new conceptions of justice by some become law and order problems in the eyes of those who were in a similar state before. Some even try to stop this with force. What they actually do is to canonize their own creations above themselves and make everyone slaves to it.

But man doesn’t stop the revolt and rebellion which are part of his nature. The necessary bending of the laws though then becomes very painful and unnecessarily so.

Translator Reporting 1 – Aalkoottam and being 27

aalkkottam-both2

I bought my copy of Aalkoottam this year. And thatz ’cause the copy I had, that of my dad had started to disintegrate. Was arranging books again a few days ago when I noticed the dates on that old one.

Both of us bought it when we were 27.
And the book is by and large a bunch of random musings from people around that age.

Truth is stranger. etc.etc.

dad-signature

Searching ‘originality’ in the past

originality

There is a picture drawn by a German artist in the 15th century. The context is Alexander’s India attack and he is making a brave attempt to draw an animal unknown to him. The picture shows an elephant and an infantryman. The elephant is drawn having half the height of the infantryman, with a tusk shaped like a trumpet and legs with hooves like those of a bull . The courage of this painter should indeed be admired. He tried bravely to move beyond the boundaries of the corner of the world known and accessible to him.

Man’s imagination has always wanted to soar as further as it could – in his art, in his philosophy, in his worldview. He never wanted to stay still at someplace or be to be restricted to some state of being. In fact, man’s moralities, his art was always indifferent to boundaries. Of course, he had his limitations of his times imposed on him – limitations of geography, limitations of his medium, the customs and practices he may have had to adopt in particular circumstances and particular occasions.

But to celebrate these as nationalities and cultural and social ‘identities’ would be to forget the aspirations and imaginations of those forefathers and to celebrate their limitations and misfortunes. It is a double turning back. We are not even idealizing the limitations of our times but idealizing the limitations of our forefathers who did not have our possibilities.

Long time back and under some circumstances a people grew their hair long and always carried their swords with them. When their descendants today, generations later, ignoring the reality of the times they live in, still do the same, is it a move forward or back? What about those who begin movements announcing that those rituals and ceremonies and their symbols and practices which began when an old culture began to decay, are all the which brings us national identity in the modern world. Man’s urge is to spread beyond borders and move forward with the times. To retreat from that, to make small places, to try to stand still is retrogressive – whether it is in politics, culture or art.

Protest movements have always happened in history. But they can appear as a result of both progress and retrogression. Whether they support or oppose the natural and progressive movement of history should be the criteria of understanding them and indeed, judging them. All which come wearing new colors need not show growth, many in fact show decay.