Tuesday, 24 October 2006 - 11:15 AM BST
"Freedom without firepower is like a pleasant, abstract concept without the attendant mechanisms of violence which may actually undermine it."
If that is so then,
"Is freedom at the point of a gun really freedom?"
Let's not force our faltering lifestyle on the rest of the world.
Freedom at the point of a gun? Well suppose the Ku Klux Klan, National Front or BNP went around harassing people from ethnic minorities. Would you not think it right that the police turned up and if necessary pointed guns at them to protect the freedom of the non-whites? I think it would be right. I would expect their freedom to be protected at the point of a gun. That's the point - a free society always has enemies, such as white supremacists for example, people who want to oppress others. They do not have that right. Sometimes force must be used to remind them of it.
As far as forcing our faltering lifestyle on the rest of the world is concerned, I am inclined to wonder whether you've noticed that there are people from the rest of the world hiding in container ships, running through the Channel Tunnel, paying to be packed in lorries and clinging to rafts to move to the west and experience our 'faltering lifestyle'. The tide of human traffic has only moved in one direction. From the unfree world to the free world.
Apart from Deen Reed that is - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Reed
Meanwhile, has anyone else noticed the extraordinary turnaround in recent years? It used to be the crusty right-wingers who argued for maintaining stability in unfree countries. That 'Mussolini made the trains run on time' line of thinking always made me feel sick. Like when older people tell you that Spain was a much better place to visit when Franco was in charge, as though political freedom was less important than whether British holiday makers had a good time in Puerto Banus.
Now it's the right that is being radical, while it's the left who complain about the instability that the right has caused. What would a veteran of the Spanish Civil War make of that? It was the British left who fought against fascism then.