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06 November 2001

Kudos to Atlee

This paragraph from Atlee's latest is just delightful (analytically and substantively speaking):

I've got a little tactical advice for the pacifist types out there who are so fond of Gandhi and MLK: suit your methods to your opponents. In particular times and particular places, the methods of those two men were appropriate and laudable; but please remember who it was they were fighting before deciding on the universal applicability of those methods. Gandhi fought against the British government, MLK against the American one, and they did so by challenging those governments to live up to their core principles. I've always thought it was just a beautiful move strategically as well as morally, but it only works on people who know their actions are in contradiction to their stated beliefs. The Nazis might have been deluded, but hypocrites they weren't. Their words and deeds were in perfect concordance -- they just happened to hold some truly awful ideas. How, exactly, would it have improved matters if we challenged them to live up to their principles?

I rarely post whole paragraphs from bloggers (even if they are old friends), preferring simply to highlight the whole piece on my weblog page, but this really is a nicely written paragraph that makes points I haven't seen elsewhere. I wish I had written it! :)

[Posted @ 03:12 PM CST]


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