ONE blogs – JOHN CALDER – Man for Monday: TERRORISM, PATRIOTISM, FANATICISM… What’s the Difference?

That which we call monomania by any other name would still be as dangerous… Our Man for Monday, John Calder, discusses where terrorism and patriotism converge and the consequences of governments, the press and militants – to paraphrase George Santayana – redoubling their efforts when they have forgotten their aim.

We use words as mind-set clichés and usually without much thought. George Washington was called a terrorist by the British parliament and, not that long ago, that was what Margaret Thatcher called Nelson Mandela, whose statue now stands proudly in Parliament Square along with Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Disraeli, Gladstone and so many others, including Mandela’s one-time compatriot, although on the other side of the ideological fence, Jan Smuts. read more —>

ONE blogs – JOHN CALDER – Man for Monday: IS DEMOCRACY A GOOD THING?

Is democracy a good thing? According to Plato who was able to observe it in its early days in Athens, which first invented it, definitely not. It is too open to corruption, either by those who use it through demagogy or whipped-up prejudice or bribery to take advantage of the naivety of simple people to achieve their own ends, or because most people are too unaware of what is best for them to be able to make the right choices. All that remains true today. Plato saw how Socrates, probably the greatest thinker and teacher of his time, was driven to his death by corrupt democracy. Indeed, if it were not for Plato we would not even know of Socrates’ existence, let alone his ideas because he appears to have written nothing down. read more —>

ONE blogs – JAMES W WOOD – IT AIN’T NECESSARILY SO…

Towards the end of his life, Karl Marx admitted that he had underestimated the capacity of capitalism to adapt to changing social and economic circumstances. In making this admission, Marx was acknowledging the truth that the capacity to analyse and recognise features of a problem doesn’t necessarily mean that one produces the best solution to that problem.

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