American Samizdat

Wednesday, November 14, 2007. *
One would do well, to drink in Isaiah Berlin's advise of the coming political cataclysm of the West and it starts with Merica, The New America. If only to remember what could have been. Our garden has become toxic. Why do I have Pat Travers slash crash and burn in my head as sound track to the new stillborn republic? Can we slash and burn? Start over agin, reset, do over, remix Westphalia? "Optimism"? hardly...

this comes from a discussion of machiavelli by Isaiah Berlin
and is one of the best essays on power and the state that i have ever read

Some thought that there was a single end for all men in all circumstances, or different ends for men of different kinds or in dissimilar historical environments.
Objectivists and universalists were opposed by relativists and subjectivists, metaphysicians by empiricists, theists by atheists.
There was profound disagreement about moral issues; but what none of these thinkers, not even the Skeptics, had suggested was that there might exist ends—ends in themselves in terms of which alone everything else was justified—which were equally ultimate, but incompatible with one another, that there might exist no single universal overarching standard that would enable a man to choose rationally between them.
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:16 PM
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