To protect the people and secure their rights

Liberty and Democracy are not opposing ideas. The political center is where all change is made. Let's embrace reason and civility.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pride of Nations - My Foreign Policy

I downloaded a new game last month on Steam... it's called "Pride of Nations" by Paradox Entertainment, a Swedish design group I've been following for years now.  I've played Europa Universalis III with a college professor and other friends, and also the Hearts of Iron series as a solo game... for hundreds of hours.

Interesting point about "gamers"... we don't talk politics.  Usually.  I mean, everyone is entitled to their opinions and their own pursuits, and I have to thank all my gamer friends who have tolerated my participation over the decades.  Like West Point graduates of the mid-1800's,, we know and respect each other.

These games are "epic scale", encompassing the entire Earth:  Europa Universalis begins in 1399 and proceeds as far as the early 1800s.  Hearts of Iron begins in 1936 and lasts until the end of an eventual World War Two.    If anyone wants to understand the expansion of "western civilization" over the world, these two games provide interesting models to consider.

But this latest game, Pride of Nations, just gave me the heebie-jeebies.  The game begins in 1850 and ends in 1920.  Think of that.  Just 70 years--  The "Victorian Age", the beginning of modern warfare.  The Age of Imperialism; the Age of Industrialism.  The Forge of the Modern Age.

I clicked on United States to begin a solo campaign-- and I just stared at it for a second, a minute, ten minutes... and I had to turn away.  Shut down!  NO WAY.  I can't deal with this.

The US begins the game barely "controlling" the eastern part of what we now call America.  The Spanish, the English, the Austrians.. you name it... and the "indigenous peoples" who would eventually be displaced and exterminated like so many Ukranians... I can't handle this "model".  It's too real.

But that's the fact of history.. the fact of reality, a fact of "Sovereignty".  Serously, what would YOUR foreign policy be in 1850 as the US player?

I have always, for over 30 years, been anti-war, anti-draft, anti-imperialism; yet I have always been drawn to games where the martial arts are involved.  The Art of War defines any claim to Sovereignty.  This has been true since the first campfires of civilization lit the night sky.

Those who seek Peace should prepare for War.  There is no alternative, no reasonable Excuse:  "Pandora will shit you out with zero warning."

And I quote Avatar here because, quite frankly it has been the most unquoted film of all time, in spite of it's epic success and acclaim.  When YOU seek to establish your personal "foreign policy", you really should resolve the issues presented in Avatar... from both perspectives.

I've tried, but I'm still thinking.

Is there a way to extend "sovereignty" without violating human rights?  I think there is.  But seriously, I'm looking for input here.  Please speak your mind in the comment section below.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lincoln on OWS (Occupy Wall Street)

Below is from an email I received from the Alan Grayson campaign referring to a speech Lincoln gave to Congress just two years before the Gettysburg Address. I offer it here as an interesting, historical observation about Labor and Capital during the early years of the American Civil War. Of course, Lincoln was the first Republican president.

This is what President Lincoln said to Congress, to America, and to us:

"It is not needed, nor fitting here [in discussing the Civil War] that a general argument should be made in favor of popular institutions; but there is one point, with its connections, not so hackneyed as most others, to which I ask a brief attention. It is the effect to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above, labor, in the structure of government.

It is assumed that labor is available only in connection with capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else, owning capital, somehow by the use of it induces him to labor. This assumed, it is next considered whether it is best that capital shall hire laborers, and thus induce them to work by their own consent, or buy them, and drive them to it without their consent. Having proceeded thus far, it is naturally concluded that all laborers are either hired laborers or what we call slaves. And further, it is assumed that whoever is once a hired laborer is fixed in that condition for life.

“Now, there is no such relation between capital and labor as assumed, nor is there any such thing as a free man being fixed for life in the condition of a hired laborer. Both these assumptions are false, and all inferences from them are groundless.

“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights."