So the idea that there is nothing essential, in the sense that there are no human universals, is dogma. Ask most anyone who is going to be shot at dawn.
I want to put any number of assorted ‘ists’ – such as relativists, deconstructionists, destructivists, postmodernists, the more maudlin kind of pacifists and feminists – firmly in their place.
Open government is, within limits, an ideal that we all share. U.S. President Barack Obama endorsed it when he took office in January 2009.
Except when war is waged in a desert, noncombatants, also known as civilians or ‘the people,’ constitute the great majority of those affected.
Modern scientific knowledge appeared piecemeal. Historians wrote about human history; physicists tackled the material world; and biologists studied the world of living organisms. But there were few links between these disciplines, as researchers focused on getting the details right.
I asked someone once why he liked Jean-Michel’s work and why it was being singled out for acclaim, and he said, ‘Because it looks like art.’ But then again, art doesn’t always look like art at first. The way the space shuttle that lifts off doesn’t much resemble the space shuttle as it lands.
The idea that we can actually have an impact on places more or less instantly, too, by responding in some way or not responding, I think, also makes it true.
Americans think they’re the leader of the world and yet can say that they’re putting their economic interests ahead of the lives of – quite possibly – tens of millions of people who over the next 50 years will die because of floods or storms or tropical diseases or whatever. I guess that sort of thing makes me angry.
The most fundamental purpose of government is defense, not empire.
We should aim for our children to be good people, and to live ethical lives that manifest concern for others as well as for themselves.