Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mind and society: Why you can trust the people, when they have a chance

A correspondent commends to me "Pray the Devil Back to Hell", an award-winning documentary about how Liberian women put a stop to a long and brutal war.

If so, they are deeply commended from my safe apartment in Toronto.

No country can prosper without good citizens. It is an old notion, called - in Latin - civitas , and in English "citizenship."

Liberia was founded by people who had lived in slavery in the United States, and we must all wish them well in this matter.

The lesson I take from these women's experience is, don't wait for the government to do things we can do ourselves.

That includes - in my experience, admittedly much less painful than these Liberians' - dealing with incidents of racism or anti-Semitism or just plain uncivil behaviour on one's own. Why ask for a big, expensive, and possibly useless or Constitnution-denying government process?

Yes, it creates government jobs. But why not just make clear that we think that the person who talks and acts that way is a useless, tasteless boob who probably couldn't get a job picking up after dogs?

Wouldn't that be far more useful and cheaper?

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