It was Phocion, the good

who Plutarch writes,

And when once he gave his opinion to the people, and was met with the general approbation and applause of the assembly, turning to some of his friends, he asked them, “Have I inadvertently said something foolish?

and while I haven’t said something foolish, I find myself in agreement with the populist Philipine president, Duterte, following remarks he made about god as reported in this piece.

They report he said, regarding Adam’s sin

“You were not involved but now you’re stained with an original sins … What kind of a religion is that? That’s what I can’t accept, very stupid proposition,”

and for all those freewillers, he asked

God created Adam and Eve only to allow them to succumb to temptation that destroyed their purity.

How do you rationalize such a god?

 

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On rights, human or otherwise

I am reading an interesting book, the right to have rights, which is a critique of that statement made by Hannah Arendt in a book and an a journal.

The authors of the present book critique the human rights regime as it exists now especially its inadequacy in guaranteeing the rights as declared in the many instruments that address human rights for example the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of Independence among others.

The question I find interesting is whether there exists a human nature as such that is subject to rights? And it is in response to this question that I find this quote by Arendt quite telling. She wrote

We are not born equal; we become equal as members of a group on the strength of our decision to guarantee ourselves mutual equal rights.

Seen in this light, therefore, human rights are not a given but are negotiated and makes sense when you look at the varied attempts to by different minority groups everywhere to assert their humanity and rights to be treated as members of the human community.

And in the same light, this quote, below, then is very telling

Perhaps that is what i must learn t accept. to start at ground level. With nothing. Not with nothing but. With nothing. No cards, no weapons, no property, no rights, no dignity. Like a dog. Yes, like a dog.

J.M Coetzee

 

PSA

No, there is no announcement I am making.

I find it hard, almost 90% of the time, when I blog to choose the appropriate title for a blog post. There are times I have deleted posts because I couldn’t think of an appropriate title and I don’t want to use click bait. I still don’t know where this post is going but hopefully it turns out to be something.

Most of the time when people stay away from blogging, Shelldigger i am looking at you, on return they give a number of excuses I mean reasons for the haitus. These have varied from illness to ‘life’. Now, life is an interesting reason to give. I see this blog not just as an expression of my growth and change in opinions and beliefs since I began writing it 6 years ago but also as an opportunity to be not so anonymous. And here there is a contradiction; this blog is public. There is much on it about myself and on the other hand, I am trying to be as anonymous as I possibly can.

So it is not life that has come between me and visiting your blogs which is a major part of blogging but I have been quite busy with other things that has made it impossible to find the right amount of time to blog.

I don’t think socialist would best describe my view of economics. What I know is I anti-capitalist. If I could with ease be assured of a place to sleep, healthcare, education, I would blog and read daily. Don’t get me wrong: I love architecture. I don’t think it is a bullshit job if you think of the positive spaces we mould. But because architects also build spaces of exclusion like prisons and of brainwashing like churches, I am almoat certain, we would not be missed.

That said, I am convinced the world would be a better place if we abolished prisons and police forces because then we would have to address inequalities that make such institutions necessary. We would rethink our justice systems. We would at least behave as rational and reasonable beings. And while at it, maybe stop the manufacture and sale of arms. And destroy all nuclear arsenal.

As Mark Greif writes in his book Against Everything, I am persuaded we should guarantee each citizen a minimum wage and set an upper limit to what anyone individual can take home. Extreme poverty and super wealth, he argues, and I agree are both antithetical to democracy.

So what was this post about? Nothing really except as information that I will be visiting your blogs soon once I can clear my desk.

Cheers everyone.

Random things

This is not a story.

When I last wrote about Somalia, I mentioned they had retained their language having been colonized by France, Britain, Italy and some parts under Ethiopian domination. You see on the one hand, I think we, as Africans ( I must admit here the difficulty of having a precise definition of who an African is) have to decolonize the mind. Suggestions have been made to decolonize the social sciences and language education (pdf). There is need for a common language and it doesn’t have to be English which my professor thinks is not rich and I tend to agree because I swear, there were occasions in Somalia I felt so frustrated.

Nabokov in Lolita broaches a very *delicate* topic in sexuality- pedophilia. I am not going to discuss Nabokov’s book, I suggest you read it for yourself. The reason I bring it up is because of another book, this time by Mark Greif; Against Everything where he argues the sex revolution of the 60s and 70s did not liberate sex but led to a liberalization of sex. He argues we will be able to talk about sex liberation only when it is thought of as we would a coffee date. On the subject of pedophilia he asks why the allure in youth when all the adults who engage in it were once youth?

In the same book by Greif talking about Octomom, he makes some very interesting critique of the media in the US of A but this can apply at home here too. He says when the financial meltdown happened in 2008-09, the media concentrated on a woman-Nadya and a Jew- Maddoff but not the bank and insurance execs who swindled peoples savings while these were known to them. The same seems to be happening here with our faux outrage on corruption. The media’s fingers seems to be tied. They can’t bring themselves to type the name of the banks or name the individuals involved in these banks but splash pictures of hapless conduits. For shame, the mainstream media. You are complicit in the crimes committed by governments and their operatives.

To be continued…..