on national boundaries

In his book, The open sore of a continent, Wole Soyinka asks a question that I think will remain relevant as long as nation states exist.

when is a state?

Hopefully, by the time I finish with this book, we can answer the question when is a state?

At present, I am only interested in sharing a quote or rather a passage questioning the inviolability principle of national borders.

The inviolability principle of national boundaries is therefore a fictitious concept, born out of nothing more substantial than faith, and therefore every bit as questionable for those of the rational world. And even those whose existence is bound by faith, especially of the religious kind, are cautious to deny
specific boundaries to the provinces of heaven, hell, or purgatory. These are left severely to the imagination, free to be adjusted according to population proportions in the hereafter.

When Satan launched his takeover bid against the forces of God, it was, after all, an attempt to unify the celestial provinces, if Milton’s account in Paradise Lost is to be believed. This, however, proved one instance when the unity principle did not prove popular; the cultures, mores, and ethics of heaven and hell were simply incompatible, and a war of separate identities was won by the supposedly good side, while evil, on the side of unity, lost out ignominiously. Clearly the notion of unification for its own sake
and at any price has been faulted even in the metaphysical realms, so where, then, in this entire universe are we to find the philosophy of wholes and parts that endows one, rather than the other, with immutable authority?

The answer is Nowhere. Nowhere at all. It is we, the occupants of the whole or the part who must decide whether it serves our collective interest to stay together or pull apart. And we can only commence by a
recourse to history, the quality of life in the present and the tangible advantages, as well as the projection that we can make into the future, stemming from today’s realities in all fields of our human activity.

What do you think of this position? Does it make sense and what, if taken to its logical conclusion, would it lead to in regards to national boundaries.

On the mind

In Musil’s very readable book, the man without qualities, he writes thus of the mind, and which I find both quite interesting and to provide some pause for though

[…] It analyses a substance and notes that it is a poison in large quantities, a stimulant in smaller ones….. To the mind, good and evil, above and below, are not skeptical, relative concepts, but terms of a function, values that depend on the context they find themselves in. The centuries have taught it that vice can turn into virtues and virtues into vices, so the mind concludes that basically only ineptitude prevents the transformation of a criminal into a useful person within the space of a lifetime.

It doesn’t accept anything as permissible or impermissible, since everything may have some quality that may someday make it part of a great new context. It secretly detests everything with pretentions to permanence, all the great ideals and laws and their little fossilized imprint, the well adjusted character. It regards nothing as fixed, no personality, no order of things; because our knowledge may change from day to day, it regards nothing as binding; everything has the value it has only until the next act of creation, as a face changes with the words we are speaking to it.

And so the mind is the great opportunist, itself impossible to pin down, take hold of, anywhere; one is tempted to believe that all of its influence nothing is left but decay. Man feels dangerously close to repeating the fate of those gigantic primeval species that perished because of their size; but he cannot stop himself.

Ulrich, the man without qualities, sees this whole thing in a comical light and concludes

there is certainly an abundance of mind around, the only thing wrong was that mind itself was devoid of mind.

Happy weekend everyone.

 

I say

With Dresser,

I do not know what truth is, what beauty is, what love is, what hope is. I do not believe any one absolutely and I do not doubt any one absolutely. I think people are both evil and well-intentioned.

On crowding in cities

Men are not made to be crowded together in ant hills, but scattered over the earth to till it. The more they are massed together, the more corrupt they become. Disease and vice are the sure results of over crowded cities. Of all creatures man is least fitted to live in herds. Huddled together like sheep, men would very soon die. Man’s breath is fatal to his fellows. This is literally as well as figuratively true.

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Chronicles of YHWH 31: Quotable quotes

Quotable quotes

Quotable quotes:

“Yo momma” – Sigmund Freud.

“Space is stretchy and discombobulating” – Albert Einstein.

“Kill me now” – Yeshua Kristi.

“Dream on” – Martin Luther King.

“Of a surety, ye be a similitude of rain clouds” – Allah.

“I never said any of that shit” – Confucius.

“He that goeth before has consulted the footprints” – Mahayana Buddhist.

“Give me your tithe, your girlfriend and your aunt” – Local Pastor.

“I even heavenly Jesus bible white photosynthesis” – Local Fundie.

“The darker the apple, the sweeter the juice” – Lucifer/ Talking Snake.

“I WILL REVENGE!!” YHWH.

“Earthlings are clearly bananas” – Martians.

“Chillax, all yo” – Universe.

N/B: For access to all anecdotes in this series, check out List of all “Chronicles of YHWH” notes.

When even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast doubt upon the validity of that superstition.

Observations by Mark Twain on the endurance of superstition in the ages and I agree with him.

When even the b…